Our Mission: One Story, Told Well
That’s what we do, what sets us apart.
Great stories, talented narrators, hosts who know their genres inside out. Enthusiasm, intelligence, compassion and the sheer love of story, all condensed into a commute-sized audio file.
Our shows have served as inspiration for dozens of podcasts and digital or audio magazines. That characteristic format — one amazing story, paired with a fantastic narration and insightful commentary — remains our cornerstone.
We publish over 200 stories every year, each and every one available for free in digital print and audio.
We’re genre fiction’s best kept secret. Are you in?
Escape Pod, our science fiction podcast, was one of the very first audio fiction podcasts. (THE first was Scott Sigler’s EarthCore.) Founded in 2005 by Serah Eley, Escape Pod produced a single science fiction short story every week. Unlike print magazines of the day, the stories were available for free under the then-new Creative Common license, and were distributed in the bleeding edge ‘podcast’ syndication format as audio recordings.
Escape Pod’s siblings — PseudoPod for horror, and PodCastle for fantasy — were launched in 2006 and 2008, respectively. And the podcast explosion followed.
Eley stepped away from EA in 2014, handing the reins over to Alasdair Stuart. Since then EA added a fourth show, Cast of Wonders, in 2016; and published the digital magazine, Mothership Zeta, from 2015 to 2017. All five venues became SFWA qualified markets, and the podcasts launched universal narrator pay in 2015.
In 2016 we began publishing anthologies with PseudoPod’s 10th anniversary debut, For Mortal Things Unsung followed by Escape Pod’s 15th’s anniversary anthology in partnership with Titan Books.
And in 2023, we became a US registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in support of our mission to bring free and accessible speculative fiction to a global audience.
Compensate the Creative
‘Exposure’ is a cause of death, not a way to make rent. Artists deserve to be paid for their work.
We pay every single person involved in our episodes: from writers and narrators, artists and producers, and our entire staff from slush readers to senior editors. All made possible by the generous support of our donors and patrons.
Widen the Circle
Genre fiction has a representation problem, and we aim to help solve it.
Our shows are committed to encouraging submissions from, and publishing, work from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing. Examples include people of color, QUILTBAG authors and all marginalized genders, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States and Western Europe.
We can’t guarantee every author a sale. We strive to give every author a positive and professional experience to build upon.
Short Fiction and Audio Advocates
We lead busy lives, and our commutes and over-packed schedules shouldn’t keep us from enjoying great fiction. Most of our show’s episodes are around 30 minutes long – the average US commute. Thousands of our listeners tell us about enjoying our shows on road trips, in the gym, or during a whole range of daily activities.
We think short stories are the perfect solution to the self-care crunch. You can enjoy one in under an hour and not have to remember where you left off after. They encourage wider reading with low or no up-front cost commitment. And they can introduce you to a new author with dozens of other stories or longer works just waiting for you to dive into.
Print publication shouldn’t be a barrier either. The art of audio fiction is the combination of text, sound and voice, to bring added nuance or flavor to the experience of a story. For some, removing the visual text frees the brain to greater visualization. Audio fiction offers a unique and captivating way to incorporate fiction into our daily lives, or share it with our loved ones in a format as old as humanity itself.
Escape Artists Foundation is a US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, bringing free and accessible short fiction to a global audience. We specialize in creating free-to-listen short fiction podcasts including the original science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. Our award-winning content is downloaded or streamed millions of times a year.
Visit EscapeArtists.net for more information and our press kit.