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Freelancer Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in writing for Kobold Press! As a small press, we work with freelance game designers, editors, cartographers, and artists to produce high-quality, fully-playtested adventures, design guides, and setting materials. This means the Kobold crew is often scouting new talent.

We’re looking to find a new generation of writers and artists, while drawing on the best existing talent. Maybe we can work together.

Game Design Queries and Submissions

Kobold Press is taking queries for PDF releases from Kobold Courier readers (you *do* read our newsletter, right?), from Kickstarter backers, and from established freelancers in the tabletop RPG field—people who are familiar with and excited about Kobold Press releases. Pitches for larger print releases are taken from open call contests (such as the Valhalla Calling contest) and closed calls from backers of our Kickstarter projects, such as the Tome of Beasts closed call for new 5th Edition monsters.

It’s up to you to decide what you’d like to query, though the editors ask that you not query more than one project at a time. Anything sword & sorcery, tabletop RPG, and Midgard-related will get a hearing.

Please send your queries by email to the Queries Team, and include “Query” in the subject line, plus a brief description of the PDF topic, approach, rules set, and likely word count.

What We’re Looking For

On the one hand, as its own small-but-fierce enterprise, Kobold Press already has a stable of regular authors and its own voice. Check a recent release in print or PDF from the Kobold Store to see what sort of materials we publish, but don’t just rehash something we have already done. That gives you an idea what we like.

But what does a Kobold editor really want next? We’re looking for your best stuff, meaning exciting adventures, short player-focused rules expansions, or sourcebooks that work at the game table for both GMs and players. Since it’s a small shop, provide clean, snappy text that doesn’t require a ton of development. “Good idea, lousy execution” will get a rejection every time.

  1. Short player-focused materials on a single race, school of magic, or class, such as the New Paths series or the Advanced Races series offer.
  2. The easiest way to break into print is with a blog entry or blog series (see the web guidelines below). The hardest areas to break into are printed projects.

What We’re NOT Looking For
No campaign settings, long-form adventures, poetry, fiction, character writeups, CRPG material, or game reviews. All of those are great things, but for other sites.

Kobold Press does not hold a license to use copyrighted material from the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and other Wizards of the Coast campaign settings, but we can and will publish material for the Midgard Campaign Setting and for general high fantasy use. We also publish non-setting-specific supplements like Deep Magic and Tome of Beasts, and general queries not linked to any setting are very welcome.

Requested Manuscripts: Length and Formatting
If your query is accepted, you’ll be given a deadline and wordcount, and for print or PDF projects, a contract. Submit the final material as a Word or RTF attachment with minimal formatting (no weird fonts, columns, or similar nonsense). Include your name, address, and the total wordcount on the manuscript. Also, use page numbers. Allow 1 inch margins and at least 10 point type.

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons adventures or sourcebook materials should follow the style presented in those rules, and must rely only the 5th Edition SRD. Pathfinder RPG monsters should be formatted using the Paizo style, as shown in any recent Pathfinder adventure.

Check your manuscript for spelling and grammar, as well as for rules consistency. If you include material from a d20 or Open source, note this both in your cover email and in the manuscript.

Payments and Rights

Rates and payment varies depending on our ability to pay. Our rates for established, proven freelancers vary.

Depending on the article, Kobold Press acquires all rights or first worldwide rights. For first rights, this means that all rights revert to you after publication. All Midgard-related articles are acquired as all-rights to allow for free development of the setting without legal obstacles.

Web Submission Guidelines

Web submissions are largely held to the same standard as print submissions, but follow a slightly different process for submission and publication.

These articles should be 500 words or so, with a strong headline or title. These posts do not require a query. You can submit them directly to the Web editor, Scott Gable. Most web submissions are unpaid; a few long-running series or specially-commissioned articles are paid.

Artist Guidelines

Kobold Press commissions paid art from our existing stable of Kobold Press artists and a few selected artists from the field.

If you’d like to be considered, please send a sample file and/or link to an online portfolio to the Kobold Art Director Marc Radle, or query for details.

Cartography Guidelines

Kobold Press commissions paid area maps and battle maps from our existing stable of Kobold Press cartographers and sometimes from new cartographers from the field.

If you’d like to be considered, please send a sample file and/or link to an online portfolio to the Kobold Art Director Marc Radle, or query for details.

Last Updated: January 07, 2021

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