Archive for Announcements

Contract updates

Hey folks, this blog post is for the creatives the Escape Artists Foundation contracts with, including authors, artists, and narrators. As we mentioned in our recent metacast, part of putting our new American nonprofit status into effect is an update to our contracts. This has now been completed, and you can find the new documents under Pay Rates and Contracts. Every EA publication uses these templates.

Two additional points:

For those of you interested, below the cut you’ll find ‘patch notes’ going into additional summarized detail. As always, if you have any questions please get in touch with your editorial team. Our you can use the contact form on our site.

What you won’t find in this contract update is any new or specific language around artificial intelligence (A.I.) or machine learning tools. Here’s why:

The use of A.I. in the creative fields is a tangle of different issues that encompasses the way these tools are trained, the intellectual property status of their output, and the ways that output is being used or positioned with malintent.

The most pressing expression of these issues as it applies to short genre fiction venues, like us, is A.I. generated prose being submitted in spam-like volumes (see recent Verge and Wired articles for more).

Recent United States Copyright Office decisions are clear that work solely generated by these technologies are not protectable under US copyright laws; they’re not considered ‘products of human authorship’. So from a legal and copyright perspective, purely A.I. generated work isn’t eligible for protection — and therefore can’t be licensed to us for publication.

Our contracts have always required a submitting author warrant (the legal way of saying promise) that they are the author of the work they send us. Submissions we receive which are obviously A.I. generated will be treated the same was as other plagiarised work and declined.

However to aid clarity, we’ll be updating all our submission guidelines to reflect that we do not accept submissions generated purely by automated or machine learning methods.

Yes, this is a simplification of a complex topic. There are lots of unanswered questions: is a grammar checker A.I.?; does using name generators count? How much A.I. usage is acceptable? We don’t know; no one knows. We are actively working with our submission platform, Moksha, and monitoring trusted organizations in both the genre publishing and voice acting industries like SFWA and WGA as their own guidance and recommendations are developed.

If you’d like to learn more about this subject, we recommend this Genre Grapevine post by Jason Sandford, and this round-up created by SFWA.

Contract change notes (v4, March 2023):

(Continue Reading…)

January 2023 Metacast

Presenters: Marguerite Kenner and Alasdair Stuart

Hey folks, welcome to an Escape Artists metacast. I’m Marguerite Kenner. And I’m Alasdair Stuart.

For those of you who have never heard a metacast before, think of this like a mini State of the Union address, a way for us to update you about what’s been happening at EA. The big thing is our news that EA now stands for the Escape Artists Foundation — we’ve become a nonprofit. We want to share with you how we got there, answer some questions, and explain what it means for you. (Continue Reading…)

Escape Artists To Become Nonprofit in 2023

(December 23, 2022) — Escape Artists Inc., the home of free genre audio fiction since 2005, is thrilled to announce it is becoming a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit as of January 1st, 2023. Building on its tagline of ‘One Story, Told Well’, this transition will support EA in its continuing mission to publish free and accessible speculative literature to a global audience.

Completion of the multi-year nonprofit conversion will allow EA to reduce its operating expenses and seek grant funding, while maintaining its SFWA qualifying pay rates to authors.

“Since taking the helm in 2014, we’ve brought EA into the forefront of genre publications,” said Marguerite Kenner, EA’s co-owner. “Two new shows joined the original trio, and we’ve been honored with major award wins and nominations including the Ignyte, Hugo, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Aurora, and Academy of Podcasters awards. Our supporters and audience have been there for us at every step.

But genre magazines are precarious. For all our millions of annual streams and downloads, only about 2% of our audience are donors, a number that hasn’t significantly changed in ten years. Most years, EA barely breaks even. Over the last three years even that has been the exception rather than the rule, with outside investment being required. And we aren’t alone; it’s been heartbreaking to see fellow publications struggle with the same issues, or shutter completely.

So we asked a different question — what could we do to set EA up for the greatest chance at long term success without compromising our values? We refused to consider dropping our pay rates, or abandoning our commitment to pay every single member of our crew, from editors to community moderators. We talked to experts in both the genre publishing and podcasting spaces, and decided that becoming a nonprofit was the best next step.”

Further details will follow in the coming weeks as the change takes place, including a company-wide metacast planned for mid to late January and a new FAQ section on the company’s website. Release schedules of the podcasts are not impacted by the change.

About Escape Artists

Escape Artists Inc. is a US-based media company. 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 for more information and our press kit.

On January 1, 2023, we will become the Escape Artists Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

EA Audience Survey

Audience Survey

Hello everyone!  Escape Artists is so excited to announce that we are running our first ever audience survey from November 15th to 30th! 

We are interested in learning more about you, our audience, including how you engage with our shows, your access needs, what content you enjoy and want to see more of, and how you think we could be doing better. We hope to evaluate and improve how we create our episodes, benchmark our diversity/equity/inclusion progress, and tell potential sponsors/advertisers about our audience.

The survey is anonymous and takes under 5 minutes to complete, and you have the chance to enter a draw to win an EA SWAG BAG full of incredible EA merchandise!

Thank you, as always, for your incredible support, and we can’t wait to hear from you!

British Fantasy Award Nominations Across EA!

Congratulations to the finalists of the 2022 British Fantasy Awards! Here at EA we’re especially honored to recognize:

  • Award-winning genre fiction podcasts PseudoPod and PodCastle return as Best Audio award finalists!
  • Escape Pod assistant Premee Mohamed received nominations for her horror novel A Broken Darkness, and her novella These Lifeless Things!
  • PodCastle editor Shingai Njeri Kagunda‘s novella & This is How to Stay Alive is a Best Novella finalist!
  • EA alums C.L. Clark and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki also picked up nominations.
  • And finally, join us in congratulating Alasdair Stuart and Marguerite Kenner’s weekly pop culture newsletter, The Full Lid, for its Best Nonfiction nomination!

The British Fantasy Society Awards will be presented at Fantasycon on the evening of Saturday, September 17th at the Radisson Red Hotel and Conference Centre, Heathrow.

Hugo Nominations!

The 2022 Hugo Award finalists have been announced and EA is honored to have picked up multiple nominations!

We are thrilled to announce that both Escape Pod and PodCastle are again finalists for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine!

Congratulations to both teams:

  • Escape Pod editors S.B. Divya, Mur Lafferty, and Valerie Valdes, assistant editors Benjamin C. Kinney and Premee Mohamed, guest editor Brent C. Lambert, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, audio producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht, and the entire Escape Pod team.
  • PodCastle editors Jen R. Albert, C.L. Clark, Shingai Njeri Kagunda, and Eleanor R. Wood, assistant editors Sofia Barker and Summer Fletcher, host Matt Dovey, audio producer Peter Behravesh, and the entire PodCastle team.

We’re also thrilled to see both Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya return to the Best Editor Short Form category!

But there’s MORE!

The complete list of finalists is available at the Chicon 8 website – congratulations to them all!

The Hugo Awards will be presented at the 80th World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon 8, on Sunday, September 4th in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Attending members are eligible to vote in the Hugo Awards (learn more about membership options).

Paying It Forward

Starting a new genre publication or stepping into a senior editorial position can be a daunting prospect, with few resources for learning about industry best practices or to privately sense-check new ideas. We might be able to help. (Continue Reading…)

A dark green forest background, with the word Witching Hour and a crescent moon in white.


Escape Artists are very proud to announce their audio drama debut, WITCHING HOUR. This hour-long special will release at midnight, Sunday October 31st for your Halloween audio entertainment, across all four EA podcasts.

Set during 2021’s unique Halloween ‘witching hour’, this alternate PseudoPod is at the centre of a multiverse-threatening ritual. PseudoPod Towers are manifesting across the globe, and its up to the audio drama horror community to unite and save the day.

WITCHING HOUR is an audio drama and audio fiction collaboration featuring contributions from CreepyPod, The Magnus Archives, Neighbourly, NightlightThe Secret of St. Kilda, The Storage Papers, and Unwell.

Written by Ash Beker, Summer Fletcher and Alasdair Stuart, WITCHING HOUR stars audio drama legends Imogen Harris and Alasdair Stuart and features performances by Peter Behravesh Scott Campbell, Kat Day, Graeme Dunlop, Wilson Fowlie, Shawn Garrett, Alex Hofelich, Mur Lafferty, Marty Perrett, MM Schill and Kaitlyn Zivanovich.

Directed and executive production by Marguerite Kenner with producer Ciaran Roberts, sound design and editing by Ryan Boyd and Peter Wood, and graphics by Matt Dovey.

WITCHING HOUR has headline content warnings for death & dying; horror themes; mental health & trauma; sound effects; socio-political themes; violence; swearing, blasphemy, and innuendo. Detailed content warnings will be available behind a spoiler tag when the episode launches. To learn more about how we use content warnings, visit Full text of the episode will be available at launch, along with a downloadable PDF transcript.