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Flash Fiction Market Reviews

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My market review articles originally appeared in Pamelyn Casto's e-Newsletter, Flash Fiction Flash.
 
 
Scroll down to see articles. They are listed in order of appearance. A key follows.
 
Rundown = General description of the publication
Essentials = Specific Submission Guidelines
Pet Peeve = What disturbs editors
Slush-Inator = What moves the editor to select a piece for publication
Nitty Gritty = Payment for publication
Special Message = A publication's plug 

Publishers and editors: if you would like to see your publication as a featured market in Flash Fiction Flash, contact me for an interview young.john.p@Gmail.com
 
CONTENTS: In order of appearance
 
SHORT FICTION WORLD
ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE
O'BRIEN'S LITERARY SPECULATOR
LABYRINTH INHABITANT MAGAZINE
WET INK
1097 MAGAZINE
EVERYDAY FICTION
MOUTH FULL OF BULLETS
SPORTY SPEC
FARthing
ESCAPE POD
NINTH LETTER
CONTRARY
CHIZINE
THE HARROW
PARADOX
ICONOCLAST
MSLEXIA
VERSAL FICTION
BOUND OFF
THEMA
VESTAL REVIEW
WRITING AUSTRALIA
MYTHOLOG
FLASH ME MAGAZINE
A FLASHER'S DOZEN
IDEOMANCER
SCRIBBLE
THE MAD HATTER
QUICK FICTION

Short Fiction World

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

Editor:  Chad Plunk

Home: http://www.shortfictionworld.com

Submissions:  Click Here

RUNDOWN:

 I love science fiction, fantasy, and other “genre” fiction, but such fiction is often not considered “literary.” We want works that are both: deeply engaging, emotional transformation stories that just happen to include, for example, a swordsman or a vampire. We’ll publish more standard literary fare as well. We’re aiming for publication on the 15th of each month.

 

ESSENTIALS:

All of our submissions guidelines can be found on our website: Submissions

We only accept email submissions at this time. We’re new, so I can’t really comment on our response time, or for that matter our readership, just yet. We have no problem with simultaneous submissions. We try our best to read submissions quickly, and we do try to comment on stories in which something caught our eye even though we chose not to publish. We’ll send a form letter for most submissions, though, just because time is an issue.

PET PEEVE:

Writers who use the submissions process as their revision process. We receive so many stories that appear to have been written in about an hour and then immediately submitted. The volume of these submissions is what prevents us from being able to comment on all submissions, and also takes up our time so that we can’t work with authors who we might think have potential.

SLUSH-INATOR:

I’ll go with a killer first sentence. Short stories, particularly flash fiction stories, are by definition short. Your first sentence has to grab me and MAKE ME want to read your story. Everything starts with that first sentence. Off the top of my head, I’ll offer up the first sentence of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea as an example. You read it, and you’re already in the story. You can gather more from that sentence than from three or four descriptive paragraphs in a badly written tale. One sentence and you know who the story is about, the conflict that will take place, and you have some empathy for the main character.

Notice I haven’t written the sentence here. Doing a little research is never a bad thing for an aspiring author. When you sneak a peak at that book at the bookstore, grab a few other books by other authors and just read the first sentences. See if you can get a feel for how some of your favorite authors started their stories.

NITTY GRITTY:

We pay the astonishingly high fee of $1 per story. You can pretty much retire after we publish one of your works.

We would like to pay more, and might in the future, but for now our $1 token payment is about all we can afford. If we really like your work, we might publish an interview with you or maybe devote an issue to a few more of your stories. We have to be creative since we can’t yet afford to pay much. The only right we ask is first publication rights on your story, as well as the right to keep a copy of your story posted in our archives after the issue in which it appeared has been published.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We hope to be a site that authors can turn to when they have a work that doesn’t fit into the parameters that literary magazines will accept, but feels to the author to be worthy of more than being labeled simply “genre” fiction. We are first and foremost a site dedicated to publishing quality stories, but we don’t automatically assume a story is not “literary” just because it also fits into a certain genre. We’re new and that very newness provides authors and readers with a chance to be part of our growth process. I think that’s pretty exciting, and hopefully your readers agree.

On the Brighter Side

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor: Susan Taylor

 

Home: http://www.othebs.com

 

Submissions: http://othebs.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2&Itemid=26

 

RUNDOWN: 

Gregg Winkler and I began this little venture of ours after an innocent email from Gregg asking if I knew of any markets where he could submit *humor.* Unfortunately, there aren't many to choose from, and we do like to be paid.  I, for one, do not like to submit to for-the-love markets. I mean, c'mon, how many people do you know who like to mop floors or write computer programs just for exposure?

 

ESSENTIALS: 

Please read the submission guidelines. Thoroughly. Then read them again. We are looking for both fiction and non-fiction short stories and essays. And they MUST be funny. I cannot stress this enough. We prefer e-mail submissions. We also want pieces between 50 - 2000 words. We're firm on this so please don't ask us to reconsider. We're not considering poetry at the moment, so please do not send any unsolicited poetry. We may change our

minds later, who knows?

 

If the story isn't exactly what we're looking for, we'll send you a personal

rejection as to why we rejected it. If the author shows an amazing amount of promise, we will ask him/her to resubmit. Since we've received many submissions, please don't look for a critique. Because we have jobs, families, and other things that keep us busy, we really don't have time to

pick your story apart. Thank you so much for respecting this. We do accept both multiple (no more than 5) and simultaneous submissions. We just ask that if your story is sold elsewhere that we're the first people you're going to fire off an email to, even before emailing your parents. They'll be proud of you and they'll never know you e-mailed us first.

 

PET PEEVE:

Read the guidelines. They're very simple and straight-forward. If you cannot do this, then we beg you not to submit. Another thing that irks is if you end your cover letter "kthanxbai." We will not be impressed. When writing the cover letter, please use the same common sense approach as you would when applying for any other job. If you want to be a respected writer, then act like one. Also, if you're rejected, please don't write back and use yellingly big letters. We don't have time to argue the merit of your story or essay. 

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

If your story or essay is funny, we can help make it publication-worthy. If it's not funny, don't expect us to add The Funny for you. That's your job.

 

NITTY-GRITTY: 

We do pay you! Can you believe it? Since it's a semi-pro to pro- paying market, the competition is fierce. Send us your best work. For any original short story or essay, we pay $.03-.05 per word. We do accept reprints, but we only pay between $.01-.03 per word. Please tell us if it is a reprint or an original. This is very VERY important. We use a standard contract for you to sign, and we will not publish your work unless we have the contract in our grubby mitts. We ask for First World Wide Electronic Rights. Later if we decide to put together an anthology of best essays/short stories, we'll negotiate another contract.

 

O'Brien's Literary Speculator

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

Editor, Jerry O’Brien

Home: http://www.obriensliteraryspeculator.org/index.php

Submissions: http://www.obriensliteraryspeculator.org/submissions.php

RUNDOWN:

We publish writing that is intelligent and answers a question, such as when should intimates ignore one another? Tara Lazar answered that question in The Stranger.  Why does O’Brien’s Literay Speculator exist? It is difficult to get published. I speculated that is because publishers publish writers. Our answer: a writer should publish writers. We promote new, unpublished, lesser-known writers, publishing in March, July, and November.

ESSENTIALS:

All of our submissions guide lines are on our blog. They are also on the first page of our website, www.obriensliteraryspeculator.com, and they are included in the journal itself.

PET PEEVE:

Writers clubs that admit people who are not writers or even trying to be writers. They interfere with the rest of us benefiting from getting together. I have no problem with a stor teller who knows only twelve letters and uses a crayon, but people who complain that the newsletter is using up all the ink on their printer, or that they shouldn't be disturbed with emails about members selling books, etc., that bugs me.

SLUSH-INATOR:

A killer first sentence. If you hook me in the first ten words or so, you pretty much have me. A character I can't forget. I don't have to love, fear, respect or hate the character, but evoking feelings along those lines helps.

Setting. If your character falls into a dumpster, he is going to smell bad, look bad, and act out of the ordinary for a while. I have five senses involve them all.

Action. I like a movie more than stills, but even eye movement or a tremor in the lips may work. Make the characters move.

Great dialog. Your characters are unlikely to always speak in complete sentences. They won't let the other characters have long monologues. They will use contractions, and they will do things while they are talking . The first, second and last are most important to me.

NITTY GRITTY:

We pay a $25.00 honorarium. We get the right to publish once in the journal. If we anthologize, we pay a second honorarium but the writer agrees to let us. We would like the author not to publish the story or poem again for a year, but if they get a great offer which would be a career boost I'm not going to prevent them from accepting it. Writers get a free PDF of the magazine, one year subscription, and, if we do a limited run, one copy of the paper edition. We did a limited run on the first issue, full color, hand bound, Japanese box stitch. They cost $12.00 per copy to make. However, they do look good.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We are really interested in writers who are under-published. Send your best stuff, Read, and reread what you have written. Read it out loud. Have a friend read it out loud. Don't leave out words. Make sure that what you have written is what you wanted to say. My fiction is written, rewritten, rewritten and rewritten, until the characters are as real to me as I am to them. When one of them tells me stop rewriting, I do. Then I send it to my editor, and we work it some more.

If we ever make any money, all profits from the magazine will go to scholarships for writing conferences. The first will be the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference because it is so good and such a great opportunity to meet other writers.

Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

Matthew Carey, Editor

Home:  http://www.labyrinthinhabitant.com/index.html

Submissions: http://www.labyrinthinhabitant.com/submissions.html

RUNDOWN:

Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine (LabInhab) exists to support a fascinating but underused subgenre of speculative fiction, "stories about life in giant artificial structures created by forces beyond human comprehension.” It's organized quarterly, but in reality I post stories as I get them, so the divisions between issues are mostly theoretical.

ESSENTIALS:

Email subs only. Word count: anything up to about 15,000 words. My posted response time is a month, but I'm usually faster. Labyrinth stories can be science fiction, fantasy or horror. LabInhab is intended to serve both audiences: nerds and geeks. Offensive content is OK, but obviously it won't sell me on a story.  I comment on about half of rejected stories, usually because I feel the author could produce material appropriate for the site and I want to encourage them to submit again. Multiple, simultaneous, and reprint subs are all OK.

PET PEEVE:

That would be when somebody sends me a story that was never intended for LabInhab. Like, the story might be about a kid who buys a puppy. And the email will always start with a preface where the author tries to justify it like, "I submit to you that a puppy can be a labyrinth. I would suggest that if you owned this puppy, you would inhabit a labyrinth of emotion." A labyrinth doesn't have to be a maze in Greece, but it does have to a mysterious artificial environment.

SLUSH-INATOR:

Really, everybody who submits is out of the slush pile because I'm the only reader and I read everything carefully (especially at flash length!). I like it when writers treat their extraordinary settings as real, and imagine the many issues and experiences that characters might have to deal with when living there (as opposed to just one big-picture issue that occupies the characters to the exclusion of all else). Lush detail in setting is good; blank walls and empty hallways are a problem. I like surprises; I like characters who seek out or find happiness in circumstances we'd find completely weird.

NITTY GRITTY:

Labyrinth Inhabitant offers $10 US via PayPal for accepted short stories (over 1,500 words) and $5 for poetry, articles and short-shorts. In exchange, I'd like the nonexclusive right to publish and archive your work on the Labyrinth Inhabitant website, and also the nonexclusive right to include your work in a print or web-based Labyrinth Inhabitant anthology. Reprints and simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Accepted works will be displayed freely on the site along with any author bio and links you submit, not locked behind a paywall.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

The big theme for the first issue is shaping up to be "existential questioning". That's no surprise: most labyrinth stories have heroes who wonder what meaningful choices, if any, they have in their environment. A good guideline for punching up your labyrinth story is "add another existential problem!" But also I'd love some labyrinth stories with ecological themes (i.e. about maintaining the ecology of an artificial environment). I'd really like at least one more story, including one at flash length, within the next couple of weeks to round out the first issue. I just went through my inbox and found nothing, so the field is wide open.

WET INK

(Article by John Young young.john.p@Gmail.com)

Dominique Wilson, editor
Home Page:
http://www.wetink.com.au/
Submissions: http://www.wetink.com.au/subs.htm

RUNDOWN:
Wet Ink is a quarterly magazine dedicated to publishing new and exciting
writing from both emerging and established writers - in fact, we encourage
new writers to submit. We publish fiction [all types - from literary to
experimental to genres], poetry and non-fiction [academic papers must be
rewritten for general readership].

The idea for the magazine came about as a reaction to negative articles
appearing in the Australian press at the time, on the death of the short
story - we wanted to prove that there were people out there who still
enjoyed good short fiction.

We're distributed to bookshops and newsagents throughout Australia, and to
40 countries worldwide [the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, South Africa and the
Asia-Pacific region].

ESSENTIALS:
We encourage writers to check out our submission guidelines on our website:
www.wetink.com.au

You'll even find a printable cover-sheet to attach to your work.

We only accept hard copy in the first instance [snail mail]. Expect to wait
3 to 4 months for a response.

If you want to know we've received your work, include a stamped,
self-addressed postcard - we'll mail that back to you as soon as we receive
it.

We have no set word count, but remember that the longer the piece, the more
outstanding it has to be to justify taking the place of two or more shorter
pieces.

Because we receive around 600 submissions for each issue, and can only
publish a dozen or so, it is not possible to comment on rejected stories.

If your work is rejected and you've included a stamped, self-addressed
envelope, we will return your work with a standard rejection slip - if no
envelope, we'll shred and recycle the paper.

No set theme - we have a very wide readership, of all levels of education
[from not finishing high school to PhDs] and very diverse in age [from 18yo
up to 60+]. Our readers come from all over Australia and overseas.

The one thing our readers have come to expect is excellence in writing, so
please only send us your very best work - and only if it hasn't been
published elsewhere - not even online [or we couldn't call ourselves the
magazine of new writing!]

PET PEEVE:
.Submissions that are obviously just first or second drafts
.Writers who can't make up their mind which is their best work, and so send
us everything they've ever written
.Writers who get 'precious' about their work if we suggest
changing/tightening a part of the submission as a condition of it being
published
.Writers who read our guidelines, then email us to argue why they shouldn't
follow them

SLUSH-INATOR:
American writer and poet Stephen Benét once described the short story as
something that can be read in an hour and remembered for a lifetime. That's
a pretty good guideline - does this particular story evoke an emotional
response? Does it have that haunting, elusive quality that keeps it playing
on my mind long after I've finished reading it - and read a dozen more
since?

But that's not all - sometimes we receive stories that are technically
perfect, but that have no soul. Because the short story is, by definition,
such a small thing, it has to distil the very essence of an atmosphere, of a
mood. Every word - every sentence - should matter. It should show us
something new about the world, or about ourselves. It could be an original
idea - or an old idea presented in a new way. We have published stories that
have not been - academically - perfect. But they've had so much energy, so
much passion, that we couldn't not publish them.

What immediately turns me off a short story? Stories that have no reason for
being - by that I mean I get to the end, and my only reaction is "So what?"
Also clichéd stories - or good stories with clichéd endings [e.g. '...and
then I woke up. It was only a dream" or '... I couldn't help it - after all,
I'm only a cat" etc].

NITTY GRITTY:
If your work is accepted for publication in Wet Ink, the copyright stays
with you - we only ask to publish it once in the forthcoming issue. Once we
have published it, you are free to send it elsewhere. If we want to also
publish it online, in the 'sneak read' section of our website, we'll ask for
your permission before doing so.

We pay writers as follows:
. Poetry - AUS $50 + contributor's copy
. Prose - under 1500 words - AUS $50 + contributor's copy
. Prose - over 1500 words - AUS $100 + contributor's copy

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
Firstly, you simply have to get tough and expect rejections - it's all part
of the process and everyone gets them - even famous writers. The ones who
make it are the ones who keep hanging in there.

Research your market - beg, borrow or buy as many issues of that particular
magazine, and read it cover to cover - you'll soon get a feel for what the
editors are looking for. Don't set yourself up for rejection for sending
work that's unsuitable for that particular magazine - or sending a clone of
what's already been published.

Read constantly and widely - it'll improve your writing. I'm always amazed
at the writers [usually ones just starting out] who say they don't read
because they don't want it to influence their voice. You want other writers
to influence your voice - that's how you improve! It's not a matter of
copying - rather that you'll absorb [by osmosis almost] those elusive
qualities that make a good story stand out from the rest.

And here's one last test before you send off your work: ask yourself - and
answer very honestly - this question: 'If I hadn't written this, would I be
willing to pay good money to read it?"

1097 Magazine

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com )

Ian Rose, Editor

Home: http://www.1097mag.com/

Submissions: http://www.1097mag.com/submit.html

RUNDOWN:

We started 1097 Magazine as a way of presenting both literature and art that we found interesting.  There are a ton of great small lit mags out there right now, but we wanted to do something a little different, particularly in terms of a balance between print and web editions.  For a lot of magazines that do both, the online version is a sort of "runner up" to the print edition.  At 1097, the two editions are different, but we don't want either to be stronger or weaker than the other.

ESSENTIALS:

 I won't go through our submission guidelines word-for-word, since those are available on our site, but I can tell you, as any editor in the world will, that not reading the guidelines is a sure-fire way to get rejected.  We get so many submissions that those not conforming to the simple rules we set down have an immediate strike against them.  For convenience as well as paper conservation reasons, we only accept electronic submissions, and we currently accept simultaneous submissions, though that policy is going to be reviewed in the next few months.  We try to comment on as many submissions as we can, but for simple reasons of time constraints, we send a form rejection letter for most pieces we don't choose to accept.

PET PEEVE:

Nothing new here, but spelling and grammar mistakes are my personal deal-breaker.  What especially turns me off is when a word is present in a story or poem that is obviously there because an electronic spell-checker decided that it was a valid word, while a live human would catch it immediately.  A recent example was the word "meant" substituted for "meat" twice in a story.  If a writer doesn't take the time to read the story carefully, why should we?

SLUSHINATOR:

 There is no specific quality that guarantees your way out of the slush pile.  A good submission starts with full adherence to the guidelines as stated on the website, but obviously, it's the quality of the content itself that will separate you from the herd.  For flash fiction, one of the main cut-offs for us is whether we believe that the story is well-suited to the format.  Far too many authors try to write a 6000-word plot in 800 words.  Flash fiction is perfect for capturing a moment, and we love good flash fiction, but if the story needs 6000 words to be told right, send it to us in 6000 words.

NITTY GRITTY:

We believe strongly that artists deserve to be paid for their work.  Though we would love to be able to pay more for that work, even an honorarium is meaningful.  We also believe that no artist should have to pay to see their own work in print.  For these reasons, we offer an honorarium ($5 per poem or flash piece, $10 per short story or visual art piece) plus a 1-year subscription to our print edition for every contributor.  There are no reading fees or anything else of the sort.  You are providing the content, and you deserve to be paid for it.  We sincerely hope to raise these honoraria every few months.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the Editor:

We are extremely excited about our launch in October.  The first web edition will be online on October 1st, and our print edition goes out in mid-October.  We look forward to adding more flash fiction to our pages in the future.  For first-time writers, we think that we are an excellent first market.  We don't read bios until after the review process, so we don't care whether you're a best-selling novelist or a student.  If your work holds up, we're thrilled to help introduce you to the world.

EVERY DAY FICTION
(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com )

Jordan Lapp, editor

Home:
http://www.everydayfiction.com/stories/
Submissions: http://www.everydayfiction.com/stories/submit-story/

RUNDOWN:
Every Day Fiction is a webzine that aims to put a high quality short story
online and into your inbox, every single day. They publish only stories that
take from 1 - 20 minutes to read, so subscribers can log on any time and get
their fiction in short, powerful doses.

ESSENTIALS:
Their target market includes office workers reading on their lunch break, so
your submission must be work-safe. That said, they would accept edgy or
political material (including Horror), so long as that material contributes
to the story in a meaningful way.

Your submission must be under 1000 words. The shorter, the better.

"We just accepted a piece by K.A. Patterson which clocked in at 55 words, so
you can see that there's no lower limit, so long as all the standard story
elements are there (even if they are just implied).

"We do try to comment on stories, but as our submissions volume rises, this
may change. Because of our aggressive publication schedule, you must agree
to our terms before submitting to us (mostly SFWA boilerplate), so
simultaneous submissions are out. Please restrict multiple submissions to
three."

PET PEEVE:
"We've had a really wonderful experience so far. On the few occasions that
we've asked for a rewrite, authors have been very amicable.

"That having been said, there are two things that we find frustrating. First
of all, there are some who have clearly either ignored or not read our
submission guidelines; we don't have many rules, but the word count is
pretty straightforward, and for those making multiple submissions, 'up to
three stories' shouldn't be too hard to understand. Secondly, a good
proofreading really is in order before you submit anything anywhere."

SLUSH-INATOR:
"Stylish, well-crafted prose will always get the attention of the Slush
Mistress (Camille Campbell), and a strong ending will ensure the story gets
at least a second reading. Beyond that, stories that make the reader think
or invoke an emotional response tend to rise above the rest, and clever
humor is also much appreciated.

"We particularly love fiction where there is a deeper story behind the
actual prose, something that you might not pick up the first time you read
through it, but when you do, gives a whole new meaning to the work."

NITTY GRITTY:
"In addition to a token payment of $1/story, we aim to take full advantage
of Web 2.0. In every story we publish, we link to the author's home site,
which will boost their technorati/google stats and hopefully drive some
traffic to their other works. We will also link to the author's page on
Amazon. In this way, you can consider your story to be an advertisement for
your writing. Publish a story with us, and we hope to focus a lot of eyes on
your other work.

"We ask for First North American Serial Rights for one year, and then the
non-exclusive right to keep the story in our archives (unless the author
asks for it to be removed). We also ask for an option for First Anthology
Rights for a proposed annual anthology (for which you will also receive a
token payment)."

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
"Eventually we will be allowing authors to check statistics on their stories
(how many pageviews, etc). At the end of every month, we will be
interviewing the author whose story got the most pageviews.

"Since we are ad supported, all of our content will be free to our readers.
Once the magazine starts to make money, we are hoping to be able to offer
"editor's pick" prizes for the best story (in our eyes) as often as we can."

 

Mouth Full of Bullets

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

BJ Bourg, Owner

 

Home: http://www.mouthfullofbullets.com/

 

Submissions: http://www.mouthfullofbullets.com/submissions_guidelines.htm

 

RUNDOWN:

First, I wanted to offer readers the opportunity to savor some outstanding crime stories and poems by some of the best new and veteran voices in the business. Second, in this seemingly dwindling market, I wanted to offer mystery writers another venue for getting their work published. 

 

I publish four issues per year.

 

ESSENTIALS:

Mouth Full of Bullets has grown a bit since its inception. As with most things, where there’s growth, there’s bound to be some changes. The biggest change is in response time. While I still get back to authors within a few days on some occasions (depending on where I stand with submissions), a more realistic response time is now three to five weeks. 

 

I also no longer have time to reformat stories that don’t conform to MFOB’s guidelines. In the beginning, I would make the changes myself -- even if it meant going line-by-line deleting empty space or getting rid of paragraph indentions. It was a very time-consuming process, especially when I’d have several stories to reformat in a single issue.

 

While I won’t reject stories that don’t conform to my guidelines, I will ask writers -- in the more extreme cases -- to reformat their work before I’ll consider it. I wish I still had time to do it myself, but my life is too demanding at the moment.

 

As for some of the other essentials: word count is from 500 to 3000, I only accept email submissions, I rarely comment on rejected stories, there are no special themes at this time, I prefer not to consider simultaneous or multiple submissions, and I won’t consider stories that include gratuitous sex, violence or profanity. 

 

The two biggest don’ts: don’t indent for paragraphs (skip a line instead) and don’t paste the story in the body of an email (send as a Word or RTF document). 

 

PET PEEVE:

I’m pretty laid back and don’t have many -- if any -- pet peeves, but I did receive a submission once that annoyed me. The attachment came over with the subject line, “Short Story”. Upon opening it, I found thirteen pages of Bible verses. I was not impressed.

 

I’ve also received other stories and poems that had nothing to do with crime in any way. It was clear that these writers either never heard, or simply ignored, one of the basics of writing: Know your market.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

I like reading stories that are realistic. I want believable characters who speak and act naturally, realistic situations that bleed conflict, and surprise endings that are feasible but unexpected. An example of the kind of endings I love is the movie “Seven”. (Warning: movie spoiler) When Brad Pitt’s wife’s head was delivered to him in a box while he had the defenseless serial killer at gunpoint, I was surprised that he actually murdered the killer. Now, I would have done the same thing, but I expected the typical “good guy” ending: 

 

The detective is about to kill the defenseless bad guy, but can’t bring himself to do so. The detective turns his back on the suspect to grieve his wife’s passing. The suspect escapes from his handcuffs, picks up a large rock, and is about to strike the detective on the back of the head. The detective turns and shoots the suspect in self-defense.

 

Sure, the end result is the same in that the bad guy dies, but it’s not as satisfying to me. Had it played out the typical way, it would have been a forgettable ending. Instead, it was an ending that has stayed with me for all these years. Thinking back, I can’t remember a movie scene that was more powerful than that one. Another movie ending I really liked was “The Usual Suspects.”

 

If authors can write endings like these movies, their stories have a good shot at being accepted. They can also read the stories that have already been accepted to get a flavor for what I like. 

 

In addition, my favorite short story author is John M. Floyd. Writers should read his work, study it, and learn from it. If I receive a story half as good as John's, it's as good as accepted. 

 

NITTY GRITTY:

I’m a firm believer in money flowing *to* the writer. I’m not rich by anyone’s imagination and I can only offer nominal rates, but I’m committed to paying writers for their work. I pay $10.00 for short stories (1,001 to 3,000 words), $3.00 for flash stories (up to 1,000 words), and $2.00 for poems. I purchase first-time electronic rights with three months exclusivity. After that three-month period, all rights revert back to the author. I welcome reprints, but I’m not able to pay for them at this time.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

My Editor-in-Chief is Jack Hardway. He and I have been talking about a “Best of…” issue that is planned for September 2007. We haven’t selected the stories yet, but will soon begin the process. This “Best of…” issue will be in addition to the regularly scheduled Fall 2007 Issue. I have some other thoughts regarding what to do with the best stories of the first year, but I have to remain tight-lipped until I’ve heard back from a few people. 

 

Also, after corresponding with Jack, I’ve begun thinking about soliciting additional flash stories based on various themes. Although it’s too late to consider a theme for the Summer 2007 Issue, we might be able to make the announcement in time for Fall 2007.

 

In closing, I’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity. It’s been a real pleasure doing this interview.

 

Sporty Spec: Games of the Fantastic

 (Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Karen A. Romanko

 

Home: http://ravenelectrick.com

 

Submissions: http://ravenelectrick.com/sportyspecgls.html

 

RUNDOWN:

_Sporty Spec: Games of the Fantastic_ is a planned paperback anthology of flash fiction and poetry about sports and games with a speculative twist. Karen A Romanko has been publishing e-zine Raven Electrick for over seven years and decided it was time to “venture out of the ether and into print publishing.” Raven's focus is on speculative flash fiction and poetry, so she wants to continue that tradition, while choosing a fun and fertile theme that attracts readers outside the speculative genres. Sports and games seem ideal.

 

ESSENTIALS:

For _Sporty Spec_, the stories must have two elements: a sports/games theme and a speculative component. The sports and games may be of this world, such as basketball, chess, tennis, poker, etc., or of the author's imagination, but the stories and poems must have an element of science fiction, fantasy, or supernatural horror.

 

Complete guidelines for the specific format requirements and other essentials are here:

 

http://www.ravenelectrick.com/sportyspecgls.html

 

Romanko said, “At the moment, response times are very quick, less than a week. They'll probably lengthen as the slush pile grows, but I'm usually within the 30-day area. I've been using more form rejections recently to speed up response times, so I only occasionally comment on rejected stories.”

 

PET PEEVE:

“My pet peeve is Gore--not Al, but the gruesome stuff. In the guidelines, I specifically warn against sending gore, and mention areas to avoid such as cannibalism and ‘dead babies,’ but there are those authors who seem to think that THEIR dead baby story will somehow charm me. Fair warning--if it turns my stomach (and it turns pretty easily), I'll stop reading and send a rejection.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

Romanko said, “I'm one of those editors who likes to see the ‘fiction’ in flash fiction. It's not that I don't enjoy beautiful writing, but even in the shortest flash, I like to see a STORY--that something has happened, something has changed by the end of the story. My favorite stories contain both lovely writing and good storytelling--not an easy thing to accomplish, but some writers manage to pull it off.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Payment rates are 2 cents per word for new fiction, 1 cent per word for fiction reprints, $5 for new poetry, and $3 for poetry reprints. Authors will also receive one contributor's copy of the perfect bound paperback anthology. Romanko requests first world anthology rights for new works and non-exclusive world anthology rights for reprints.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

“It's a good idea for writers to check my blog, where I post updates on my progress through the slush pile and inside tips on what I'm looking for, themes that have been exhausted, etc. For example, the tip I posted recently was:

 

‘Although it's still quite early, I'm noticing a lot of science fiction in the slush pile. This isn't to say you shouldn't send science fiction, but merely to point out that fantasy and supernatural horror are wide open (but with a sports or games theme, of course). I'd also like to see some female protagonists. Women play sports too--just sayin'. You'll really catch my eye by inventing a sport or game with female players in a fantasy setting.’

 

“By the time this interview is printed, that tip may have expired, but I'll probably have posted a few more in the interim.”

 

Romanko’s blog is found here: http://ravenelectrick.livejournal.com

 

FARthing

 (Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Wendy Bradley, editor

 

Home: http://www.farthingmagazine.com/

 

Submissions: http://www.farthingmagazine.com/submissions.php

 

RUNDOWN:

Farthing exists because the editor couldn't find a publication that contained the kind of fiction she wanted to read, so she decided to publish it herself.  FARthing publishes four issues a year and cover sf, fantasy and horror. 

 

ESSENTIALS:

FARthing only accepts submissions by email: the story must be in the body of the email, not an attachment.  They have irregular reading periods so you need to check out the website.  Basically, they open for subs until they have as many as they can handle and then close until they’ve processed them all, so you can help yourself by reading the guidelines.  For example, they don't take reprints, so they don't accept stories that you've already published on your own website.

 

PET PEEVE:

Writers who don't trouble to read a copy of the magazine before submitting.  It costs three pounds: as an alternative to buying one, you can order it from your local library.  The ISSN is 1752-8208.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

The editor, Wendy Bradley, says, “I like characters who behave like real people, plausible near future predictions, humour, strong female characters, other ways of organising societies, snarky conversation, cake…

 

“Oh.  Not that kind of preference.  I like stories that you couldn't possibly have ordered in advance like "Maggie Doll" and "After the Reformation…" from issue 5: both extraordinary stories that come from unique world views.  I couldn't possibly have said this was the kind of thing I liked in advance: this is the kind of thing I never would have imagined for myself.  That's the good part.”

 

NITTY GRITTY:

FARthing pays on publication, at SFWA rates, plus one contributor copy.  Bradley says, “We are extraordinarily slow at making the payment – feel free to remind me if I owe you a contributor copy or payment!  We require first international rights – that means it mustn't have been published anywhere before, including on the internet – for a year or as long as the issue remains in print, whichever is the shorter, plus a credit if you re-sell or re-publish.”

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We publish three or four – or more – drabbles in every issue.  These are stories of 100 words exactly, the haiku of fiction.  They are extraordinarily difficult to write and extraordinarily satisfying to read.  Can you tell an entire story in 100 words?  We don't take drabbles that hinge entirely on a pun, and the ones I like best are the ones which create a whole world in microcosm with a beginning, a middle and an end. 

 

We also try to strike a balance each issue between sf, fantasy and horror, and between British, American and writers of other nationalities, and between male and female authors.  So if you're a female British hard sf drabble writer with a sense of humour…

 

Escape Pod

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Stephen Eley, Editor

 

Home: http://www.escapepod.org

 

Submissions: http://www.escapepod.org/guidelines

 

RUNDOWN:

Escape Pod is a weekly podcast presenting science fiction and fantasy short stories in audio form.  Their mission is to keep interest alive in short fiction by presenting fun stories when people have time to listen, but not necessarily to read.  They do one "main episode" with a full-length story every week on Thursdays, and frequently release flash fiction, reviews, and other bonus content in between.

 

ESSENTIALS:

They’re looking for science fiction and fantasy in two length categories: full-length stories from 2,000 up to around 6,000 words, and *flash fiction* under 2,000 words.  They don't discriminate between new stories and reprints (i.e., stories that have already sold elsewhere).  They accept e-mail submissions only, and typically get back within a couple of months.  For full details and formatting requirements please see their formal guidelines: http://www.escapepod.org/guidelines. Horror writers might be interested in their sister podcast, Pseudopod (http://pseudopod.org), which has virtually identical submission requirements but is looking for horror content.

 

PET PEEVE:

“Hmmm.  I'm pretty easygoing; I've learned that no matter how specific your guidelines are, people are going to show a wide range of personality and interpretation, and that's fine.  About the only thing that gets on my nerves is when people submit things that *clearly* violate our guidelines (e.g., they send us Word documents, or multiple stories at a time) or who query with questions that are easily answered by the guidelines.  READ THE GUIDELINES FIRST!  I don't think that's just us -- I think it's universal.”

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

“Well, for me it's two things.  One of them is almost technical: because we're an audio market, I'm sort of "reading aloud" in my head as I'm following a story, to make sure it'll work in oral form.  There are many beautiful stories that work incredibly well in prose that just don't work in audio -- because there's too much static description, or they're too non-linear, or their strength is in the language rather than the narration.  I frequently say in my rejection letters that listeners, unlike readers, don't have the easy ability to pause and savor a passage, or flip back a few pages.  They're bound to follow the story at the narrator's pace, and so it has to be an easy story to follow.”

 

“The other one is what I ambiguously define as ‘fun.’  I wish I could make it more specific, but I can't.  Humor works well for us, but not all fun stories are funny.  Strong, well-defined characters can be fun. Even very dark stories can be fun if there's an edge to that darkness.  We want the first response of an average listener, after hearing an Escape Pod story, to be ‘Wow.  I want more of *that*.’  Serious fiction can achieve this, but I worry that there's a movement in the genre to take itself *too* seriously at the expense of fun.  And part of what we're about is reversing that.”

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Escape Pod pays $100 for full-length stories (i.e., 2,000 words and above), and $20 for flash fiction.  They buy non-exclusive audio rights, and distribute the work on a Creative Commons license which permits the audience to share it freely for non-commercial purposes.  (As they see it, if they’re giving the work away, then encouraging everyone *else* in the world to give it away too only furthers their purpose.)  They make their money back via listener donations, archive sales, and occasional sponsorships.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

“We have a very active listener community, who engage in a lot of intelligent story feedback and discussion on the main Escape Pod site (http://www.escapepod.org) and in our forums (http://forum.escapeartists.info).  And of course, as with most markets, the best way to get a sense of what we're looking for is to grab a few episodes and listen!”

 

Ninth Letter

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Jodee Stanley, editor

 

Home: http://www.ninthletter.com/

 

Submissions: http://www.ninthletter.com/submissions/printweb/index.cfm

 

RUNDOWN:

Ninth Letter is a collaborative project between the Creative Writing Program and the School of Art & Design and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Our mission is to explore the intersection of literature and art, and to expand the traditional definition of "literary journal." Our print edition is published twice a year, and new electronic material is added to our web site several times a year.

 

ESSENTIALS:

Our full guidelines are available at our web site, and I encourage all writers interested in submitting to read them carefully; they aren't too terribly different from most other journals' guidelines. We don't take email submissions now, though that may change in the future. We also don't accept simultaneous submissions, but our response time is generally 6-8 weeks, so if a writer submits to us and doesn't hear back within that time, he is certainly free to query us or to send the work elsewhere.

 

PET PEEVE:

Honestly, if all writers would just adhere to our submission guidelines, things would be relatively simple; when writers send submissions that are longer than acceptable, or send more than one submission at a time, or don't include a proper self-addressed stamped envelope--those little things can really add up to a lot of extra work and annoyance for our staff. We have a large staff of student interns and it's hard enough just keeping them organized!

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

What we are interested in at Ninth Letter is a real sense of authorial investment. We see a lot of polished, technically proficient, and clever works of all lengths, from flash fiction to long stories. Polish and skill are not enough to grab our attention--we need to feel that the author is completely invested in telling this particular story, not just to impress us or to add another publication to his credits, but because the story has to be told. That's not the kind of thing one can fake easily, and it's also breathtaking when, as an editor, you discover it. It's what we're all looking for.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

We do pay, $25 per printed page upon publication, plus 2 contributor's copies. We take first North American serial rights only; we do require that work has not appeared previously in any form, print or electronic. Once the work has appeared in Ninth Letter all other rights revert back to the author.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

Ninth Letter is committed to publishing works by new authors as well as established ones--nothing is more satisfying to an editor than "discovering" an extraordinary unpublished writer and being able to showcase his or her first published work. I encourage all new and emerging writers to read Ninth Letter and consider submitting work to us.

 

Contrary
(Article by John Young   young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Jeff McMahon, Contrary Editor

Home: http://www.contrarymagazine.com

Submissions: http://www.contrarymagazine.com/Contrary/Submissions.html

 

RUNDOWN:
We started Contrary at the University of Chicago to push against two walls: the wall that tends to confine the literary arts to traditional definitions of story, poem, or commentary, and the wall that tends to confine literary publication to a relatively intimate salon of writers... regardless of the merit of others.

 

ESSENTIALS:
We publish quarterly, so our response time can take up to three months. We strive to respond personally to every submission. A few slip through the cracks, so we ask writers to check back with us after our publication dates (March 21, June 21, Sept. 21, and Dec. 21) if they don't hear from us. We only accept submissions electronically, through the submissions page at our website. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but we ask writers to inform us when submissions are simultaneous and to let us know if they are accepted elsewhere.

As for fiction, specifically, we ask our fiction writers to imagine their readers navigating a story with one finger poised over a mouse button. Can your story stay that finger to the end? Of course, flash fiction is well suited to this approach. Although we sometimes accept traditional fiction, we favor fiction that defies traditional short-story form. A story may, for example, bring us to closure without ever delivering an ending. And we value fiction as poetic as any poem.

We have a diverse and international readership (and "writership" -- three of the contributors in our current issue live in Europe), but we have an unusually large concentration of readers who are associated with universities. They tend to be familiar with really good literature and tough to impress.

 

PET PEEVE:
Contrary is a raft. We're trying to build a loose community of talented writers, keep them on board, and keep adding more. Our goal is to build an alternative community contrary to the closed community of the literary establishment. Consequently, we like writers who keep in touch, who remain a part of the project, as well as writers who don't mind reading our submission guidelines or our calls for submissions. We encounter quite a few who are just passing through, adding to their credits, who submit without finding out what we're about, and I suppose you could call that a bit of a peeve. Some want us to read their work without reading ours, and that seems a bit unfair.

 

Another peeve is ego, not so much in the writer as in the work. Ego remains a major issue in the arts because artists need ego to persist, but they must overcome ego to make art. We see a lot of submissions that testify to an author's cleverness but convey little or no value to an audience. Good writing serves purposes outside of the author. That tough philosopher, Nietzsche, has some good advice for writers:

"The prime demand that we make of every kind and level of art is the conquest of subjectivity, release and redemption from the 'I', and the falling silent of all individual willing and desiring; indeed without objectivity, without pure disinterested contemplation, we are unable to believe that any creation, however slight, is genuinely artistic."

 

SLUSH-INATOR:
Beautiful writing catches our eye first. If we later realize we're in the presence of multiple levels of meaning, that's what clinches the deal. We prefer to be seduced by beauty, profundity, and mystery than to be bludgeoned by the obvious. Compare these opening lines, from submissions we have received:

1. "Julie and I were having breakfast at the wooden kitchen table. She was talking about her mother again."

2. "The counter is that indeterminate shade of gum chewed too long. A vibrating pattern of tiny flecks floats over it, best viewed with a side-long glance. She's wiping it down in vigorous circles with a sour cloth. Swirls of water droplets replace the crumbs and ketchup thumbprint. The special for one twenty-five, pie and a coffee. Punctuated by the little bell of a spoon stirring in cream, a fork snapped down flat. Soon the ceiling lamps burn milky pink, as if they have a dusk of their own coming on. Their own longings toward cosmology."

We passed on the first. We published the second, by Karina Borowicz, and went on to publish a lot more of Karina's work. Of course, the second example is much harder to write well. The first chapter of Don Delillo's "The Body Artist" is an excellent example of the kind of writing we value. Delillo doesn't tell us his characters are having breakfast. He doesn't have to. The cardboard slosh of the orange juice carton tells us that. And we soon figure out that this breakfast stands for much more:

"It happened this final morning that they were here at the same time, in the kitchen, and they shambled past each other to get things out of cabinets and drawers and then waited one for the other by the sink or fridge, still a little puddled in dream melt, and she ran tap water over the blueberries bunched in her hand and closed her eyes to breathe the savor rising. He sat with the newspaper, stirring his coffee. It was his coffee and his cup. They shared the newspaper but it was actually, unspokenly, hers."

We are drawn into the ordinary by the beauty of the writing, by the presence of meaning, and by mystery: what does Delillo mean when he writes, "this final morning"? This is very different from the sort of exposition in the first example above. Stories can indulge in exposition if they render their beauty and meaning over long narrative tracts, but the work we accept is brief, so it has to get beautiful and meaningful quickly.

 

NITTY GRITTY:
Our standard payment is $20, but we pay $60 for our "cover" piece, which is the first one you see when you go to contrarymagazine.com.

We purchase the following rights: 1. all rights for the three-month period that the accepted work appears in the current issue of Contrary magazine, 2. the right to permanent inclusion of the work in Contrary’s electronic archive, and 3. the right to reproduce the work in print and electronic collections of our content. After the current issue expires, the author is free to seek republication elsewhere but must credit Contrary upon republication.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
I hope writers will remember that most editors are looking for very particular species of work. We try to describe our particular species in our mission statements and our submission guidelines, but those descriptions don't always convey the nuance. That's why many editors urge writers to read the publication itself: in the hope that they will intuit an understanding of its particularities. If you happen to write the particular species of work we favor, your submission may find a happy home with us. If you don't, it does not necessarily reflect on your quality or your ability. It usually just means your work has a happier home somewhere else.

 

ChiZine

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com )

 

Brett Alexander Savory, Editor-in-Chief

Home: http://chizine.com/index.html

Submissions: http://chizine.com/submissions.htm

 

RUNDOWN:

ChiZine publishes dark fiction, generally of a subtle or lower-key persuasion. A surreal or otherworldly tone imbues much of what we publish. Not much blood and guts, though occasionally they do publish more violent fare, if the violence is exceedingly well-handled and necessary to the story. The magazine's purpose is just to provide well-written dark fiction to people interested in reading such. Chizine publishes quarterly.

 

ESSENTIALS:

All they want interested writers to know is located in their submission guidelines: http://chizine.com/submissions.htm

 

PET PEEVE:

Biggest pet peeve is a writer who includes a synopsis, trying to sell the story before we've even opened it. A lot of the time, they ruin plot points that would have been quite enjoyable had we just stumbled upon them while reading the story rather than being told them in the author's cover letter. Just send the story, give a brief bio and maybe a few credits, then let the story speak for itself.

   

SLUSH-INATOR:

Since actual character development is not going to be solidly accomplished in 500 words or less, I think the main thing when working in this length [flash fiction] is to go for resonance. Whatever your story is about, there needs to be resonance, so that when the reader is finished reading the words in your story, something else lingers---an unanswered, intriguing question maybe, or something that makes you rethink what you've just read, makes you see it in a different light. I know that's vague and intangible, but achieving resonance or a sense of weight is the closest I can come to verbalizing what makes flash [fiction] work for us.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Chizine pays 7 cents per word for world rights for 90 days, then one-year archival rights thereafter. However, once the initial 90 days is up, if a writer sells their piece elsewhere, they can simply let Chizine know and they’ll remove the story from their archives.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the Editor:

Chizine holds a short story competition annually in June. Following is a link to previous contest winners http://www.chizine.com/c-stc12.htm.

 

The Harrow: Original Works of Fantasy and Horror

(Article by John Young young.john.p@Gmail.com)

 

Editor in Chief: Dru Pagliassotti, California Lutheran University

 

Home: http://www.theharrow.com/journal/index.php

 

Submissions: http://www.theharrow.com/journal/submissions.php

 

RUNDOWN:
The Harrow began in 1998 in order to offer budding fantasy and horror
writers personal editorial attention and individual critiques. In 2005, The
Harrow began paying for submissions and established a formal monthly
publication schedule, but it still offers individual critiques and
encourages submissions from new writers.
 
ESSENTIALS:

All Harrow submissions must fall within the fantasy or horror genres, by
which the editors mean that they should contain a supernatural or magical element.
The Harrow is open to any style from slipstream to splatterpunk.

Stories should be 7,500 words or less and poems 40 lines or less, and
multiple submissions of two stories and/or four poems per author are
acceptable. They prefer not to receive simultaneous submissions. All author identification should be stripped out of the uploaded manuscript, because The Harrow uses a double-blind review process to ensure objectivity; authors will provide their name and contact
information separately during the uploading process. Emailed or snailmailed submissions are not accepted; all submissions must be uploaded at the website.
http://theharrow.com/journal/submissions.php

Feedback on submissions is provided as part of the review process.

The average acceptance rate since 2005 has been 26 percent, and the average
review time has been 68 days from submission to decision.
 
PET PEEVE:
On the nuts-and-bolts side, authors should remember to upload their stories
as RTF or TXT files; not all of the staff can read Microsoft Word or Corel
WordPerfect files. They also want authors' names taken off the manuscript; that's how objective reviews are guaranteed. Holiday-specific stories (like Halloween stories) should be submitted four or more months before the holiday in question.

On the professional-courtesy side, The Harrow prefers that authors take a moment to
ascertain the gender of the editor to whom they're writing. Bios are
online; it only takes a moment to figure out if an editor is a Mr. or Ms.

SLUSH-INATOR:
We especially enjoy stories that feature unusual and vivid settings -- interesting historical periods, original fantasy worlds, oddball contemporary locales, or well-described ethnic or religious subcultures. We are sent hundreds of stories set in contemporary suburban Anglo-European Genericville. The same goes for characters; we receive many, many stories about middle-class suburban heterosexual Anglo-Americans in their teens to 50s. It's always a pleasure to read a story that features characters who stand out from the crowd.

Consistent internal logic is very important, too; we want to understand the causes behind the effects. Is the heroine being hunted by demons? Make sure the reader knows why she's been singled out for such extraordinary infernal attention. Does the hero's magic falter at the key moment? Be sure the story's magical system is coherent enough for the failure to make sense. Blatantly surreal stories can sidestep internal logic, but in general we want events, and characters' reactions to them, to make sense within the narrative's larger story world.


NITTY GRITTY:
The Harrow currently pays U.S.$5 per story and U.S.$3 per poem or book review, through PayPal, in exchange for nonexclusive one-time electronic (World Wide Web) publishing rights and online archiving of the work for an indefinite period of time (i.e., until The Harrow folds). Payment and rights requested may vary for contest and anthology submissions; see guidelines and contact editors if submitting in those cases. Book reviewers should query with the editor-in-chief before submitting.
 
SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
The Harrow publishes anthologies and runs contests on an irregular basis; check our table of contents or
Ralan.Com for announcements.

We're always looking for high-quality fiction and poetry reviewers, so anyone interested in volunteering their time to read and critique submissions should drop us a line. There's plenty of opportunity at The Harrow to do more than review, too; we'll be happy to entertain ideas for new sections or projects.  Write us!

 

Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Christopher M. Cevasco

 

Home: http://www.paradoxmag.com

Submissions: http://www.paradoxmag.com/submissions.htm

 

RUNDOWN:

 

Paradox features short historical fiction plus fantasy, science fiction, and horror with historical themes--e.g. alternate history, myth, time travel, Arthuriana (for those of you wondering what Arthuriana refers to, it is just another way of saying stories arising from the King Arthur myths). The magazine also includes poetry, interviews, essays, and book and film reviews.  It is the only English-language print publication exclusively devoted to historical fiction in either its mainstream or genre forms.  Paradox is published biannually in June and December.

 

ESSENTIALS:

 

All fiction submissions must have some integral real-world historical context (history being broadly defined to include mythology and religious history as well). Detailed submission guidelines are available at the magazine's website (www.paradoxmag.com). The magazine only accepts snail mail submissions. Use standard manuscript format. Paradox generally publishes stories up to 15,000 words in length (2,000 to 9,000 words strongly preferred). Paradox will (very rarely) consider longer works between 15,000 and 25,000 words in length, but such a work would likely have to be serialized over two or more issues. Currently the response time to all submissions is in the one- to two-month range. The editor provides at least some personal feedback on every submission (sometimes only a brief comment, sometimes more extensive feedback). No multiple or simultaneous submissions are accepted. No vampire tales, were-animals, gratuitous erotica, or children's stories. Paradox is only looking to publish previously unpublished work (publication in any form, including electronic or self publication, renders a story ineligible for submission).

 

PET PEEVE:

 

First, there's no need to query before submitting a story to Paradox.  Second, authors should not send rewrites of previously rejected work unless specifically requested to do so.  Third, stories told in the present verb tense already have one strike against them and will very rarely be accepted for publication in Paradox.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

 

Paradox looks for stories with a unique and compelling narrative voice.  A story should grab the reader in the first few paragraphs and never let go (tales that begin slowly and meander their way toward the central story are far less likely to emerge successfully from the slush pile). Paradox also seeks stories that are artfully crafted, have engaging, fully-developed characters, rich settings, and satisfying (though not necessarily happy) endings. If a story explores or illuminates some aspect of human nature, all the better. 

 

PARADOX, ISSUE 9 SUMMER 2006:

If this issue is an example of Paradox’s usual offering, I must say that the editorial team puts together a fantastic publication. From stellar stories, to great artwork, and easy-reading format, this entire publication is top notch. In this issue, you will find stories from ancient China; early Rome and Japan; 17th century London and the Caribbean; the Antebellum South; and the dangerously naïve days of America in the 1950s. And there’s even more. My favorite in the issue was Tom Brennan’s “The Mouse and the Buzzer” in which Brennan examines the encroaching progress of technology slowly transforming a world that seems barely conscious of the change. It was eerily Stepford-ish in tone.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

 

Paradox pays 3 to 5 cents per word for fiction, on publication. Payment for poetry is a flat rate of $10 per poem. Each contributor also receives four contributor copies of the issue of Paradox in which his or her work appears and is eligible to purchase additional copies of that issue at one-third off the cover price. Paradox buys First World English language rights and an option on anthology rights; all other rights are retained by the author. 

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

Paradox typically launches a new fiction contest each December, with submissions due the following June. This past year, the contest sought submissions of alternate history in flash fiction form (the winning piece will be published in issue #10 later this year, and the author was awarded a $300 prize). The theme for this year's contest will be announced in December.

 

ICONOCLAST

(Article by John Young  young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Philip Wagner

 

SUBMISSIONS: The Iconoclast 1675 Amazon Rd. Mohegan Lake, NY 10547-1804

 

RUNDOWN:

 

The ICONOCLAST exists to provide an imaginative alternative for readers and writers of original work bypassed by corporate and institutional publications. To ignore fads, movements, fashions, styles, current events, the mass media, and agendas (except for the purposes of satire). To support reflection, emotion, thought, and humor. To search for wisdom, accept delight, appreciate wit, and admire craft.

 

The ICONOCLAST seeks poetry and prose from authors interested in the creation, sharing, and transmission of ideas, imaginings, and experiences. Getting rich or famous from publication here is unlikely, but more people in more places actually read ICONOCLAST than the vast majority of other small press literary magazines.

 

ESSENTIALS:

 

Is a cover letter really necessary? They don't do bios (as iconoclasts, they’re not into personality cults or self-glorification). A good writer can make readers interested in nearly any subject or person. Essays that are merely undocumented opinion or op-ed style pieces have little chance. Please don't send preliminary drafts--rewriting is half the job. If you're not sure about the story, don't truly believe in it, or are unenthusiastic about the subject, then don't send it. This is not a lottery (luck has nothing to do with it).

 

One submission per person per month is the limit. Response time is usually well within six weeks (which they think is a fair amount of time both to writers and editors serious about what they do). All submissions are seen by the editor-in-chief. There are no: first readers, committees, grad students, interns, advisors or politics/favoritism (confession: in two stories of equal merit, the subscriber may have an edge). Please include a sufficiently stamped self-addressed envelope with all submissions or correspondence from which you expect a reply-and make it clear whether or not you want the material returned. Everything counts.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

 

No editor truly knows what he or she wants until they see it. You’ve got to scratch an itch the editor didn’t know existed. Read your work aloud: if you find yourself getting marble-mouthed or your audience is glazing over, there may be a problem. Just as there are certain types of people we’re likely to fall in love with, so it is in choosing what an editor publishes. The trouble is, of course, that the “types” we choose are often best recognized by someone else. This is why it has been advised to read a copy (and strangely enough, our readers’ favorite story often differs from mine!)

 

PROSE:

Subjects and styles are completely open (within the standards of generally accepted taste---though exceptions, as always, can be made for unique and visionary works). We like work to have a point. We don't care for the slice of life type of story--or any other kind in which characters are unable or unwilling to change their own conditions. Most stories of alcoholism, incest, domestic and public violence are best left to the mass media. Anything topical has probably already been overdone. Simple storytelling usually wins out over slickness of style or the perfectly crafted workshop, MFA story about nothing or the author's neurosis. We never look down our noses at plot. Nor are we immune to the power of a literary stylist. With the possible exception of mysteries, most genres written well, sincerely, and conscientiously have a chance. Humor and science fiction are hard sells (too often these writers think an interesting concept can substitute for a plot or an original ending), but we do publish a fair amount of both. Politics and religion are best left to the demagogues and hypocrites. Killing a character(s) off in the end usually indicates a lazy or unimaginative beginner. Will we ever publish another bar room story? I don't think so.

 

POETRY:

To 2 pages. Everything above applies. Try for originality; if not in thought than expression. No greeting card verse or noble religious sentiments. Look for the unusual in the usual, parallels in opposites, the capturing of what is unique or often unnoticed in an ordinary or extraordinary moment. What makes us human--and the resultant glories and agonies. The universal usually wins out over the personal. Rhyme isn't as easy as it looks-especially for those unversed in its study.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

 

Prose: 2 copies and 1 cent a word for the First N. A Serial Rights on publication. Poetry: l copy per page or work, $2 - $6 per poem for First Rights on publication. All contributors get a 40% discount on extra copies.

 

Mslexia

(Article by John Young  young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Daneet Steffens

 

HOME PAGE: http://www.mslexia.co.uk/index.html

 

SUBMISSIONS: http://www.mslexia.co.uk/menu/submit.html

 

RUNDOWN:

 

Mslexia (ms=women, lexia=words) is a quarterly magazine for women who write. It was created to provide women with a writing platform, offer useful and stimulating information, guidance and writing tools for both published and unpublished authors, and to improve the quality and standing of women's literature.

 

ESSENTIALS:

 

Mslexia welcomes submissions to every part of the magazine including prose and poetry (there are new themes for every issue—click here to see upcoming themes), book reviews, and flash fiction. Each section has slightly different submission requirements, so please see guidelines at http://www.mslexia.co.uk. Mslexia specifically invites unsolicited submissions for Flash Fiction, 150 words or less (but can only respond if an SAE is included).

 

PET PEEVE:

 

A submission that hasn't followed the proper guidelines!

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

 

We look for intelligent, fresh voices in fiction and poetry; complete, well-told narratives; reviews that make the reasons for reading--or not reading! -- the book transparent and compelling; features that bring new insight to the publishing industry; or the practical and emotional activities of writing.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

 

We generally publish only previously unpublished material in all parts of the magazine; we pay £20.00 for Flash Fiction pieces.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

 

We run a major women's poetry competition every year, and run a touring program of writing and getting published workshops around the UK. We also publish diary designed especially for writers.

-----End.

(Market Review by John Young. If you'd like to see a particular paying market for flash literature featured, contact John Young at young.john.p@gmail.com with your suggestion.)

Versal_wordsinhere

(Article by John Young  young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Megan M. Garr

 

Fiction Editor, Robert Glick

 

HOME PAGE: http://www.wordsinhere.com/versal.html

 

SUBMISSIONS: http://www.wordsinhere.com/versal.html

 

RUNDOWN:

The only literary magazine of its kind in The  Netherlands, Versal (http://www.wordsinhere.com/versal.html)  publishes new poetry, prose, essays, and art. They search around the globe for both known and new voices, thus bringing international poetry and prose into the living rooms of the Netherlands and simultaneously exporting poetry and prose made here to other countries. In searching for writers with an instinct for language and line break, Versal aims to publish the wide range of literatures being written today. Versal is published annually by wordsinhere, an international collective of writers based in The Netherlands.

 

ESSENTIALS:

Prose and Poetry

 

Reading period is from Sept 15 to Jan 16.   

Versal only accepts email submissions. They intend to develop an online submission system next year.  Response time to submissions is four months or less.  

They don't always comment on rejected stories, but if you receive comments, it usually means that they liked the work. Most often, these pieces have come close to making publication. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but not reprints. If a simultaneous submission is accepted elsewhere, please notify Versal as soon as possible.  

Include a bio with your cover letter and indicate if online publication is acceptable.  

Submission guidelines can be found at http://www.wordsinhere.com/versal.html.

 

Prose Only

 

You may submit up to two stories in a submission period.  

Each story must be no longer than 2500 words.   

Please double-space and paginate. 

 

PET PEEVE:

Writers who don't follow submission guidelines. Writers who leave typos in their work. Versal editors have a deep appreciation of beginning writers, even if they don’t make the publication, but it is hard to take their writing seriously if they don’t take the submission process seriously.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

(Speaking here for prose only) We are drawn to good pacing, varied tone, something out of the ordinary. Above all, we look for surprise and richness of detail in representing this surprise. We especially love something written in an unusual voice that also contains depth in content. For more traditional voices, we look for surprise within the story---either by giving us an unusual situation, or by having characters surprise with their actions. Nasty sex and drug adventures don’t really shock us, so unless there’s a fantastic twist to the tale, they don’t provide a jump out of the slush pile. In flash fiction, we are less inclined to the purely anecdotal than to work that somehow manages to convey depth and/or tension.

 

Most important to Versal is that the pieces have a “shape”. This “shape” indicates that there has been some kind of shift in consciousness from the beginning of the piece to the end. By “anecdotal”, Versal editors mean a piece that may be excellently described, with nice syntax, etc, but simply posits a moment in time, lacking any kind of (small or large) transformation.

 

Insofar as it is both highly compressed and highly charged, they are waiting to find flash fiction  (say 1000 words or less) that does take on some of the characteristics of longer fiction. However, they also love flash fiction that has urgency (see Mark Terrell’s piece in Versal) or something like Brautigan’s short works.

 

They challenge writers to continue to tackle larger moments in shorter spans and see what they come up with.

 

RECENT VERSAL: Issue four of Versal reveals the editor’s preferences for introspective writing that features distinctive voice. Several stories are written in first person and avoid traditional plots. This is a publication that rewards experimentation. Some pieces that I felt separated themselves from the rest were: Aleida Rodriguez’s playful poem “Doppelganger,” Dean Serravalle’s pleasingly frenetic prose piece “In the Diner,” Lauro Palomba’s humorous “Diagnosis,” and Helen Degen Cohen’s poem “Response 1 -- the Bus.”

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Payment is one contributor copy, with discounts on additional copies.

Versal releases the copyright to the author upon publication of the issue in which their work appears, but ask that should their work be reprinted in the future that Versal is mentioned.

 

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

In each issue, we highlight work from a particular part of the globe. This year, we are devoting a section of Versal to Uruguayan poets. We were also were featured recently in Poets and Writers magazine. (http://www.pw.org/mag/0509/newsmagnet.htm <http://www.pw.org/mag/0509/newsmagnet.htm>)

 

BOUND OFF: A Monthly Literary Audio Magazine

(Article by John Young   young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editors, Ann Rushton and Kelly Shriver

 

HOME PAGE: http://boundoff.com/

 

SUBMISSIONS: http://boundoff.com/

 

RUNDOWN:


Bound Off is a monthly literary audio magazine, broadcasting literary short fiction with the new podcasting technology.  They consider themselves a reading series, as opposed to Radio Theater or sound performance venue.

 

About seventy percent of listeners come via iTunes, so a good majority of the audience is up-to-date on the new podcasting technology.  But those who want to listen aren't required to have an iPod or iTunes. In fact, anyone who has sound on their computer can listen to Bound Off. There are instructions on the website for listening, and for those who want/need it, a link to download the appropriate software.

ESSENTIALS:


They prefer submissions in the text of the email.  Word count guideline is 250-2,500 words.  Response time averages about a month.  They are looking for fiction, and are not bound by any themes.  Occasionally they will comment on rejected stories, but this is not a standard.  Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but they also ask authors to submit only one story at a time.

Although they are a podcast, Bound Off evaluates stories the old fashioned way.  Additionally, many accepted authors are able to provide a recording of their story, but this is not required.  (A staff of readers is available to read stories for the writers.)

PET PEEVE:


They ask that writers check their guidelines carefully. Something that will be different for you is that you will be asked to include the running time for your story when it is read aloud. So, if you don’t have a program that converts written text into spoken words (so you can note the time it takes to read your story), then be ready to read you story aloud yourself and note the time while doing so.

SLUSH-INATOR:

 

The editors find themselves attracted to work that moves quickly, uses efficient

language, and has the "turn" that surprises the reader or adds depth. Listen to the podcasts; their self-professed tastes vary wildly.
 

RECENT BOUND OFF AUTHORS:

 

Vincent Louis Carrella’s “600 Seconds” is the amount of time one might take while falling from the sky in an airplane’s crash landing. Carrella narrates this himself and makes one feel as though he were whispering in your ear about all the times you neglected to value a mere ten minutes now that these may be your last.

 

Nick Antosca’s  “Mother Country” examines the intimacy of confessing one’s bad dreams.

 

Craig Terlson’s “Broomstick Limbo” examines childhood memories and the impressions left on an observant child who saw a little too much.

 

NITTY GRITTY:


Bound Off pays $20 per contracted story.  They only acquire rights to the specific published sound recording of the story.

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
 
Bound Off is a free podcast. Our episodes are archived. Many of the stories are read by the writers.


 

THEMA

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Virginia Howard, Editor

Home: http://members.cox.net/thema/home.html

Submissions: http://members.cox.net/thema/submissions.html

 

RUNDOWN:

THEMA is a theme-related literary journal, each issue with a different unusual theme.  The journal is designed to provide a stimulating forum for established and emerging literary artists, to serve as source material and inspiration for teachers of creative writing, and to provide readers with a unique collection of well-plotted, nonscatalogic stories and sensitively constructed poetry. We publish three issues per year.

 

ESSENTIALS:

MOST IMPORTANT: Be familiar with our upcoming themes!  Specify the theme when you submit your work!  We prefer snail mail, unless the author lives outside the United States (e-mail submission acceptable in that case).  For short stories, we prefer no more than 20 pages, double spaced (around 6,000 words), but we aren’t bound to that. *Thema also accepts Flash Fiction. See below for reviews of 3 short-shorts. * We prefer to avoid foul language unless it is an integral part of the plot.  (See “Coakley’s Dawn” in the SCRAPS issue of THEMA to see how profanity can be used effectively.) Usually, scatologic language is unnecessary, and serves merely as a smokescreen to hide lack of a plot.  In fact, in most cases, it disengages the reader’s mind (just as a fly disengages taste buds when found in a delicious soup) and causes the plot to lose continuity.

 

PET PEEVE:

BIG pet peeves!  (1) WHEN THE SUBMITTING AUTHOR DOES NOT DESIGNATE A TARGET THEME.  In this case we do not read the manuscript.  We return it to the author, along with a copy of our guidelines and upcoming themes.  (2) WHEN THE SUBMITTING AUTHOR ONLY PRETENDS TO BE FAMILIAR WITH THE JOURNAL!  *OUCH!*  A classic example is a submission with a gushing cover letter, “I love your journal!  I read it all the time!  Enclosed is a manuscript…,” but with no indication of the target theme. If you really do read THEMA, then you know that you must tell us the target theme when you submit your story.  AUTHORS: If you have never read the journal, don’t pretend that you have.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

First, if the opening sentence engages me.  What’s going on?  What happens next?  I really want to know! Second, if the personalities in the story engage my interest.  If I care – and for the length of the story (as in a movie, for the length of the movie) I really CARE about the protagonist, then I’m hooked.

 

SOME RECENT FLASH FICTION IN THEMA:

From _Thema_ Spring 2005, titled: While You Were Out

Thema editors asked writers “How many ways can a person be considered out?”

Judy Renz Sheluk’s “Cinderella Slippers” shows how a resentful mother’s failed suicide resides in the mind of the young daughter who saved her.

Kaye Bache-Snyder’s “Ice Dancing” examines an ice skater’s resentment after colliding with her opponent, losing consciousness, and getting knocked out of the trials.

Jerome Norris’ “How’s Your Fern?” shows a family who slowly warm up to the idea that their fern is talking to them, only to discover that it was warning them of eminent danger.  

 

NITTY GRITTY:

We pay $25/short story, $10/short-short stories [flash stories] (under 1,000 words), and $10/poem, plus one copy of the issue in which the work appears.  THEMA owns only one-time rights.  The rights revert to the author after publication.  We are very pleased indeed if a story or poem that was published in THEMA gains more life in another publication.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

Upcoming themes, with postmarked deadline for submission, are shown below:

The perfect cup of coffee (July 1, 2006)

Written in stone (November 1, 2006)

Everybody quit (March 1, 2007)

 

Normally the response time is about four months after the deadline for submission.  Because of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, however, THEMA is struggling to get back to some semblance of a regular routine and turnaround time.

 

 

Vestal Review

 (article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Mark Budman, Editor

 

Home: http://www.vestalreview.net/

 

Submissions: http://vestalreview.net/html/guidelines.html
 

Issue 26 of Vestal Review, to be launched on July 1, 2006, will have no theme. The reading for this issue began April 1 and ends May 31, 2006, so make sure you send Mark something soon. He’s a pleasure to work with.

 

RUNDOWN:

Vestal Review exists to promote flash fiction, i.e. stories under 500 words that have plots, characters and great language. We publish four issues a year. Our first issue came out in March 2000.

 

ESSENTIALS:

We have very detailed guidelines, http://vestalreview.net/html/submissions.htm, but here is the summary of what we want: only e-mailed submissions (postal subs are not read), 500 words or under, no themes, no children’s stories or syrupy romance and no X-rated stories. We reply within three months, and we accept sim-subs. We sometimes comment on rejected stories. The best advice: read our published stories and our guidelines.

 

 

PET PEEVE:  

We can’t stand it when the writers do not follow our guidelines. If you don’t want to read our submission guidelines, why would we want to read your story?

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

We have three associate editors who move the subs from the slush pile into a folder to be read by two chief editors. While our preferences may vary, we all look for precision, elegance, timeliness, depth, insight—attributes normally associated with the word “beauty.” Writing a perfect flash is not unlike sculpturing. Take a chunk of marble and cut off all that is unnecessary. We all cheer when we see such writing.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

We are paying professional rates now. The payment rates are as follows:

 

Stories up to 100 words (excluding the title)—10 cents a word.

Stories between 101 and 200 words—5 cents a word.

Stories between 201 and 500 words—3 cents a word.

Stories of great merit receive up to $25 flat fee; 3 cents a word is a minimum pay in any case.

 

Every contributor will get one free copy.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We are considering offering an award for the best flash story published in 2005, by any American or Canadian press. This is contingent upon finding a sponsor. If you are interested in sponsoring Vestal Review Award, please contact the editor.

Writing Australia

(article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Kristy Taylor

Home page: http://www.writingaustralia.com/

Submissions: http://www.writingaustralia.com/submissions.html

 

RUNDOWN:

Our publication exists to keep our subscribers up-to-date on the Australian writing scene. When searching the Internet for markets and competitions, many Aussie writers were finding that most information was American based, so we had a niche to fill. We offer a free and a paid subscription; the free being the fortnightly ezine with articles and general information, and the paid giving each writer their own public profile page and access to on-line databases of markets, competitions, agents, publishers, software, ebooks, etc ... (international writers are welcome to subscribe to either level, not just Aussies).

 

We prefer very short fiction, up to 1,000 words, a quick read is a good read (the only exception to this are entries to our short story competitions, which usually have a word limit of 2,000). A well-crafted piece, one that is self-contained in a very brief space of time. All genres are welcome but we don't like excessive violence, sex or bad language unless it's integral to the plot. Fiction does not need to be Aussie based; universal settings are best. Our Fiction Showcase can be accessed on the main page (about half-way down) or direct at http://www.writingaustralia.com/fiction. We currently have only 3 stories on-line as we do remove them if writers have sold other levels of rights elsewhere, so we always welcome new submissions.

 

ESSENTIALS:

First and foremost, our publication and web site are about 'writing'. Always read our on-line submission guidelines before sending anything in. We prefer email submissions, though snail mail will be looked at. All material should be under 1,000 words; most people don't like to read long, dense blocks of text on screen, so we prefer short pieces. Insights, interviews, and processes are always welcome. Don't send anything in on writer's block unless you have a very unique angle. Send us short fiction in any genre.

 

It's surprising how many pieces of fiction are sent in that have a very predictable ending. The reader won't bother to read on any further if they can already guess the outcome. If writers do want to use a 'popular' plot or twist they need to use a new angle, try something different in their story, or use foreshadowing more effectively. The most important aspect of any piece of writing is the very first line. It must interest the reader enough so that they want to continue reading; why has that happened, who's in danger, I wouldn't do that - would I? The first line needs to hook the reader, trap them into wanting to know more. One of the biggest letdowns in a 'passable' piece of fiction is a bad ending. Too many end with no resolution or explanation. Only occasionally can a good writer get away with cutting a piece short, which can actually be more effective, but it has to be done right. In a very short piece of fiction it is not always necessary to develop characters, describe the setting, etc., as there isn't much space to do this. Usually the most important aspect is the plot and time-line. You may need to squeeze a lot of action into only so many words, so a good story structure is needed. It must be easy for the reader to follow, yet keep them enthralled at the same time. Be quick, but be concise.

 

PET PEEVE:

One pet peeve, which is almost silly really, is when a submission lands in our in-box without any contact details. Would you send your resume off to an employer without your name and address? It just doesn't make sense; we can't send you a payment cheque if there's no address to send it to. 

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

A good rule of thumb would be - you should be comfortable enough about your piece to read it out loud in a very public place. If the language is bad, or sex is unnecessarily rampant, or the overall theme is dark and dreary, we won't be too impressed. Most fiction that we have accepted or awarded prizes have been complete, well-rounded stories, with a solid story line, suitable for a general audience. Writers need to remember that the Internet can be accessed by anyone of any age, so their pieces need to be suitable for all.

 

Politeness! Pure and simple, be polite in your submissions. Too many writers come across as rude and snooty, expecting their piece to be published because they are already established. Many submissions include phrases like - this story/article has appeared in (usually 99 other zines), send me a copy when it's published, I expect to hear from you shortly. You get the idea, just plain rude!

 

NITTY GRITTY:

We only ask for electronic reprint and archival rights, the author is welcome to sell their work elsewhere straightaway. We understand the importance of being able to resell mss as many times as possible in order to earn the best 'return on investment of talent'. We pay 5c per word, up to $50 Australian dollars (for 1,000 words), and welcome submissions from writers in any country (we can send payments via Paypal). 

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We are currently running our annual short story competition, which has a top prize of $350 AUD. Entries can be emailed or snail mailed. More information at our site plus a pdf entry form.

 

7th Annual Short Story Competition 2006

Open theme, 2,000 word limit.

http://www.writingaustralia.com/comp.html

or http://www.ktp.com.au

 

We also list our competitions at

http://www.shortstorycompetitions.com

MYTHOLOG: Literature of Mythic Proportions

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com )

 

Asher Black, Editor

 

I recently spoke with Asher Black, editor of Mytholog ezine. He is a pleasure to work with and deserves your best mythic writing. Hmm… Mythic writing? Read on. More than just Minotaurs and Daedalus await you.

 

RUNDOWN:

MYTHOLOG is a quarterly electronic magazine that publishes material with mythic development, regardless of genre or medium. We don’t necessarily mean Fantasy or retold fairy tales. Westerns, Detective, or General Fiction, Sci-Fi, Comic-related material, or Interstitial Literature may convey a sense of universal experience or local tradition. Likewise, whether it’s flash, short or graphic fiction, poetry… all of these media can convey mythic development.

 

The staff accords equal professional dignity to electronically published and print work. This translates into several protocols, from integrity of publication rights to peer-judged submissions and superb production values.

 

We are willing to break some traditional rules for evaluating and publishing literature. For instance, we buy stories not words, paying accordingly. Likewise, new or widely-published author, famous or obscure, staff member or not, we don’t judge submissions on author credits, frequency of appearance, or other ad hominem standards.

 

ESSENTIALS:

We require a header indicating acceptance of our guidelines, and accept submissions only by e-mail. Since we publish quarterly, writers are assured a response within the quarter, but we’re usually looking at 30-60 days, unless there is a lot of debate over the piece among the Submissions Board. We often respond with extensive feedback, but only if the author requests it. We’re able to do this, because we put extensive thought into each submission. We don’t accept simultaneous submissions or work that has ever appeared in public format, either in print or on any web site. The readership is diverse; some people get what we’re doing in terms of mythic development, and some just like a good story in a professional format.

 

We’re looking for stories that are part of the one story, the oldest story, the continual multi-part historical drama of human existence. Two brothers struggle for their father’s approval; lovers are held apart by social convention; a great leader cannot see that those closest to her are her betrayers. These are chapters in the great story, which might be a Western, Sci-Fi, or suburban yuppie Romance. They might have elves or aliens or talking animals, or they might be about Francis Bacon or about your boss. What they have in common is that individuals have retold the great story and added something to it that makes it contemporary – makes it comprehensible to modern men. We are making a chronicle of that form of mythmaking.

 

PET PEEVE:

The number one speed bump, common to most publications, is submissions that don’t follow the guidelines. After that, it’s sifting through writing that isn’t self-edited before submission. People will read a synopsis of our magazine in a list and send a rough draft, or something we can’t use (previously published, Word document attachment, novella or random visual art without a query, etc.). I suppose, after that, it’s stories with no ending; the author starts out with an honest idea, and then chumps out with a cheap ending that betrays the reader. The ability to finish with the same vision that began the work is a hallmark of publishable writing.

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

A satisfying ending is always a good sign. A lack of filler – some sign that the author has edited his own work with integrity – will keep us reading. Something unique to say, an original idea or an unoriginal idea originally presented, real plot development – as much as possible in a short medium – instead of cheap tricks indicates really healthy writing. Above all, I suppose, hit us with something unexpected. We do like elves and retold fairy tales, and such, and we frequently publish these, but hit us with a religious Western, or Detective Science Fiction, or make us laugh, or illustrate your own already-good work, or interest us with a new medium (we’ve yet to receive much-requested graphic short fiction that we can use), and you’re going to get noticed. Your submission response will either be relatively quick (when the Submissions Board gives four thumbs up) or else last minute (when we’ve heartily debated something that challenges us). Final answer? The basics: plot, character, dialogue (if the piece has dialogue) – do those right, and who wouldn’t publish it?

 

NITTY GRITTY:

We acquire First World/Electronic Publications Rights. Anything appearing in a public forum before (print or on a web site) is already published. Reprints, electronic or print, must credit MYTHOLOG. In exchange for this, your work is handled professionally, presented with high production values, and you’re paid:

 

Short Fiction (500 - 7500 words) or Graphic Fiction: $5

Flash Fiction (generally 500 words or less) $3

Poetry, Essay, Review $1

Illustration, Cover Art, Photography $1

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

MYTHOLOG provides a great deal of simultaneous value for reader, author, and staff. We often have pieces illustrated (with links to artist galleries), frequently feature supporting background or quotations, blurb everything, provide verification of publishing and staff credit, and the list goes on. The magazine ‘feels’ like a magazine, not just web site. It’s an interactive atmosphere with a sense of continuity, like an ongoing story. Subscribers (subscribing is free) get notifications when their next issue is ready, and special content is in the works. In all, you get the same feel from our magazine as from an annual subscription or a pricey glossy from the local big box store.

Flash Me Magazine

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor, Jennifer Michaels

Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/biz5/authors/flashme.html

Submissions: http://www.angelfire.com/biz5/authors/flashme.html

 

Flash Me Magazine is dedicated to flash fiction. Pure and simple. Artwork by Elizabeth Tomcheck accompanies every page adding to a pleasant reading experience. Jennifer Michaels, Flash Me editor, is a pleasure to work with. Send her your best.

 

RUNDOWN:

Flash Me Magazine is published quarterly, both online
and in a PDF format that is available only by
subscription. Issues are published on Jan 31, April
30, July 31, and Oct 31, with submission deadlines one
month prior to publication. We started this magazine
due to a lack of markets for flash fiction.


ESSENTIALS:

Submissions must be under 1,000 words and should be
sent either in the body of your email or as a
.doc/.rtf document to:
flashmemag@yahoo.com Enclose in
your email your name, email address and a short
biography to be published with your story. Please have
the word SUBMISSION in your subject, and be sure to
tell us if your submission is a reprint. There are no
restrictions on content, though we will not publish
stories with excess gore, violence, profanity, or sex.
As a magazine geared towards readers of all ages and
beliefs, we reserve the right to decline stories based
on their content. While multiple submissions are fine,
we discourage simultaneous submissions.

We try to keep response time within a few weeks. At
least four editors review each and every submission,
and comment on each story as they come in. Stories
that receive four YES votes will be accepted outright
for publication. Stories with three or four NO votes
will be denied. All other stories may be held until
the submission deadline when all remaining stories can
be considered together. Our editors will then vote for
the stories to fill the other available slots in the
next issue. The authors will be notified of the
results as soon as possible.

Denial letters will be accompanied with a copy of any
editor comments. Accepted stories will be reviewed for
any typos, and if necessary, a list of suggested
corrections will be sent with the acceptance letter. 


PET PEEVE:

Our biggest pet peeve is writers who do not follow our
submission guidelines. Our word limit is firm, and we
require basic information along with each submission.


SLUSH-INATOR:

We love stories that spark wonder, make us laugh, or
evoke tears. We prefer to publish stories that are
unique and memorable. Anything well-written stands a
chance, but we prefer a good opening hook followed by
a well thought out plot.

Flash Me’s RECENT FEATURED WRITERS:

Wayne Scheer’s “A Lonely Place”

Anthony Addis’ “Pallet”

Maggie Ruff’s “Catch a Falling Star”

J. Dean Casey’s “The Ghost and the Music”

 

Three of these stories deal with death. Scheer’s story examines the difficulty in making the DNR decision for a dying parent. Ruff’s story recalls a sad memory sparked by a falling star and the role memory plays in grief. Casey’s story has a more upbeat tone as a woman hears an old broken down music box playing the siren song to her final dance. Addis’ story pits one man’s battle against comic, unfortunate circumstances and the pleasure one takes in small victories.

NITTY GRITTY:

ONE story each quarter will be chosen as our Feature
Story. Feature story winners receive $20 US via
PayPal PLUS a year's subscription. All other stories
receiving four YES votes receive their choice of $10
US via PayPal OR a $5 Amazon.com gift certificate and
a year's subscription to Flash Me Magazine's PDF
version. All submissions held for voting and voted
into the issue receive $5 US via PayPal or a year's
subscription to Flash Me Magazine's PDF version.
Payment (in whichever form the author chooses) will be
sent one week after publication.

We are buying First North American Serial Rights, with
exclusive rights for three months. We require
permission to use accepted stories in both our free
online issue, and our PDF subscription. We will
archive the story for another year unless the author
requests we remove it. If we decide to publish an
anthology at any time in the future, we will contact
the authors for permission to reprint their stories.


SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:
Authors should also consider submitting to our
Lightning Flash Fiction Contest. You don't have to be
a subscriber to enter or win. All contest submissions
must be under 250 words, and be previously
unpublished. The editors will select the top contest
entries, which will be published in the PDF version of
the magazine. Readers will then vote on their favorite
contest entry for the quarter. The winner will be
announced in the following issue, and will be awarded
a $10 gift certificate at Amazon.com!

Flash Me is a free, online magazine, but our
subscription offers another way to enjoy every issue,
with added perks! Our PDF format is an easy-to-view,
easy-to-print magazine without any ads. It includes
all the stories available online, but packs extra
punch! All entries in our Lightning Flash Fiction
contest are published in the PDF subscription, and
only subscribers can vote on the winning entry. We
have also added a new feature - an interview with one
author every quarter!

A Flasher’s Dozen

Editors, Ken Mullin and Sandra Seamans

 

Home page: http://flashers-dozen.blogspot.com/

Submissions: http://flashers-dozen.blogspot.com/2005/11/latest-subscription-and-submission.html

 

Ken Mullin’s endeavor is quite unique in that he charts for readers his progress in starting a new publication. Here is what he shared with me in a recent interview.

 

RUNDOWN:

As far as I know, "A Flasher's Dozen" is the only paying print
publication dedicated entirely to Flash Lit. I wanted an
author-friendly publication that was neither genre-limited nor overly
academic and decided to see if I could afford the time and money to
produce my own. I was fortunate that Sandra Seamans agreed to be my
co-editor, and we publish four issues of "A Flasher's Dozen" per year,
each containing at least 13 stories.


ESSENTIALS:

We only accept one e-mailed 99 - 999-word story per author per issue. We
acknowledge receipt with an estimate as to when we'll review it.
Usually we respond in less than a month, sometimes within two months,
but never more than three months. We offer general comments to
non-subscribers and detailed comments to subscribers. Suggested themes
can be found in the submission guidelines at our blog
(
http://flashers-dozen.blogspot.com/), but they're not required. We
avoid pieces containing gratuitous violence, prurient sex, or
censorable language, and we ask that authors not submit material that
has been submitted or published elsewhere. We mock-up accepted pieces
and mail a copy to each author for corrections, changes, and final
approval of the text.


PET PEEVE:

Some authors ignore our editorial suggestions when they edit and
resubmit a piece. Fortunately, I enjoy playing "word tennis" with my
authors, so we usually reach a mutually acceptable product! However,
one author requested and received a line-by-line review and then never
re-submitted the piece--at least not to us.


SLUSH-INATOR:

We don't have a slush pile. We generally publish about 17 stories per
issue--almost all of them from subscribers; however, we've never
received more than 40 submissions. What grabs our attention is wit: the
fascinating narrator, the well-turned phrase, the clever plot, the
ironic twist! Here are just two examples of outstanding submissions: My
Doppelganger by Jack Goodstein described how the narrator's life had
been haunted by someone named Goldstein whom everyone except the
narrator could see; I was captivated by the tone and the irony from
start to finish, and I got the author's permission to credit Goldstein
in the Table of Contents of The Autumn Issue. Then, among The Winter
Issue submissions, I was attracted to the narrator in Darren Todd's
"Smile Right Line," but I was blown away to find an unexpected "moral"
at the end.


NITTY GRITTY:

For each story, we pay subscribers $15, plus an extra copy, and we
extend their subscriptions by one issue; non-subscribers receive two
copies of the issue in which the story appears. So far we've only
published three stories by non-subscribers. We buy first serial rights
and ask that authors cite us if the piece is reprinted elsewhere.


SPECIAL MESSAGE:

To enhance the value for subscribers and provide another outlet for our
authors, we decided to try publishing a chapbook-sized collection of
Flash Lit by a single author and include it as part of the annual
subscription. I used myself as the Guinea Pig and, with The Autumn
Issue, included my "Not Quite Your Same Old Eden"--19 stories about
Adam, Eve, and Snake. Then, with The Winter Issue, Sandra contributed
"Knights and Dames"--15 delightful private eye tales from days of noir
when knights were bold and dames were dangerous. And we're planning to
include a collection of 55ers by William Naylor with The Spring Issue;
we pay these authors $1 for each annual subscriber plus nine extra
copies and a steep discount for further copies.

Ideomancer: Speculative Fiction

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Website: http://www.ideomancer.com

Submissions: http://www.ideomancer.com/main/ideoMain.htm

 

Ideomancer runs a fantastic e-zine. Great visuals; different categories such as science fiction, horror, and flash; and easy mobility from section to section are among some of the highlights. They are a quirky bunch with a fine sense of humor. Take, for instance this pointed definition: “Flash is very short.” Good advice; let me get to the point, too.

 

RUNDOWN: Ideomancer publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and flash fiction. Their website advises: “We are open to any story with a speculative element-the supernatural, the unexplained, or the undiscovered. Stories without this element will not be considered. In other words, no matter how brilliant your serial-killer story is, it won't pass muster with us; we want that something extra that pushes a story beyond the bounds of reality.”

 

ESSENTIALS: Their reading periods are December-January, March-April, June-July, September-October. All submissions should be e-mailed to them (no snail mail submissions). Attach your story or poem as an .rtf file — no other file types will be accepted! Do NOT embed your story in your e-mail message, or it will be deleted unread.

Please use Standard Manuscript Format. If you are unsure what Standard Manuscript Format is, you can find the details here: http://www.speculations.com/format.htm. Reprints are published by invitation only.

 

For flash fiction submissions, the stories cannot exceed 500 words.

 

SLUSH-INATOR: Ideomancer does not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions. We try to have a very fair turnaround time on stories, so we ask our contributors to give us the courtesy of submitting one story at a time to this market, and no other, until we make our decision. If you haven't heard from us in 30 days, please query, but not before then. All queries must be sent to the query mailbox: query@ideomancer.com. Any queries sent to the submissions box will be deleted unread.

Ideomance also accepts poetry so lang as it is written with a speculative element.

 

NITTY GRITTY:  Ideomancer pays US3c a word, up to a maximum of US $40, and $6 for poems. Ideomancer buys First Worldwide Electronic Rights. They require exclusive rights for three months. The story will be archived for a period of two years unless requested otherwise by the author. The .pdf downloadable magazine will only be available for three months. All rights revert to the author if the story has not been published within two years of acceptance.

Scribble

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Home page: www.parkpublications.co.uk

Submissions: http://www.parkpublications.co.uk/rulesforsubmissions.htm

 

I spoke with the editor of Scribble, David Howarth, recently about

the publication he edits, and here is what he shared with me.

 

 

RUNDOWN:

Scribble, the short story magazine, first appeared early in 1999 mainly because of the lack of outlets for writers of general and entertaining short fiction. My aim is to provide this outlet and (whenever possible) to encourage and assist new writers in publishing their work. Scribble is published quarterly and contains around 60 pages of stories of all genres plus a section for readers’ letters.

 

 

ESSENTIALS:

Scribble is run on a competition basis; the three best stories in each issue are awarded prizes of £75.00, £25.00, and £15.00. I usually select the prize-winners but the readers vote for the best three stories in the summer issue each year. Entry is free for annual subscribers; stories from non-subscribers are welcome but an entry fee of £3.00 per story must be enclosed. I am happy to consider stories on any subject up to 3000 words but I don’t generally like stories about animals, children’s stories or stories with too much sexual content. All submissions must be in hard copy format on single sides of A4 paper, typed or word-processed and preferably double-spaced. We do not accept email submissions so all material should be sent to our postal address. All writers will receive a reply, whether successful or not, so it is appreciated if return postage is enclosed. I don’t normally give reasons why a particular story is unsuitable but if I consider work to have potential I may offer some advice on improvement.

 

PET PEEVE:

I am quite a stickler for correct punctuation and good grammar; poor syntax won’t prevent me from keeping a great story but it means more work for me!  Titles are (in my opinion) important, and should have some relevance – not just a line above the story.

 

SLUSH – INATOR:

It is most important that a short story begins well; the first sentence or paragraph should ‘hook’ the reader and make him want to find out more.  A short story is not like a novel where the writer has plenty of space to set the scene and introduce characters. Every word in a short story must earn its keep and move the plot along in some way.  Characters are the lifeblood in fiction; without them a story would become more like an anecdote. Think of Dickens; if your characters are anything like as interesting as his, you are doing well.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

SCRIBBLE is published in March, July, October, and December.

 

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR.

We are always on the look out for new and talented fiction writers. Our writing competitions are a good way in. Have a look at our web site (www.parkpublications.co.uk) for details or contact us via our postal address for information.

Mad Hatters’ Review

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Carol Novak, Editor

Home page: http://www.madhattersreview.com/menu.shtml

Submission Guidelines: http://www.madhattersreview.com/submit.shtml

 

 

RUNDOWN:

We're very unique.  Every piece of writing is accompanied by a custom-made artwork and most pieces are accompanied by custom-made music.  Authors also have the option to recite their works.  We have an ever-changing army of artists happy to collaborate and several composers on board.  We also offer cartoons and parodies, mini-movies, book reviews, columns, and an art gallery in each issue.  In our next issue, we'll include an interview of a featured experimental writer.

 

Here's what I said in my first issue: "How did we come to be, at least in our current carnation? Way back in summer, 2004, I decided that the Internets [sic] didn't have enough exciting multimedia "literary" magazines, not to mention edgy ones. I envisioned something real flashy and eccentric, experimental, collaborative, multicultural, playful and even meaningful, in the social change/progressive sense."

 

Mad Hatters’ Review continues reading submissions for their next issue until October 6th.

 

ESSENTIALS:

Only email submissions are accepted, with specific requirements that must be read on the website.  Response time can vary from one day to one month.  We sometimes comment on rejected writings, time willing.   We accept simultaneous submissions; do not accept multiple submissions. Mad Hatters’ Review publishes tri-annually.

 

PET PEEVE:

An irritating number of writers don't bother to read our guidelines, and it's clear that many haven't read the rest of the magazine either. This means more wasted time spent writing rejection letters to writers who haven't bothered to read the guidelines.  One day soon we may decide to simply relegate non-compliant submissions to the dump.

 

 

SLUSH-INATOR:

We love originality, surprise phrases and words, exquisite and astonishing imagery, ambitious, experimental, risky writings, writings with rhythm and word-play, writings that demonstrate the authors' delight in the English language.  We loathe cliches and bad grammar, of which there's a plethora. Know the difference between lie and lay, like and as, like and as though/if, the use of me as an object, not I!  If you don't understand the structure of the language, your writing will be mediocre, at best.

 

We're particularly interested in "edgy," experimental, gutsy, thematically broad (i.e., saying something about the world and its creatures), psychologically and philosophically sophisticated writings. Black/dark humor, whimsy, wise satire, erotica, irony, magic realism and surrealism are welcome. We love humor because we need it! Traditional arc, resolution, "Story" structure is far less important to us than originality, surprise, intellectual and emotional strength, lyricism and rhythm. We love writers who stretch their imaginations to the limits and challenge pedestrian notions of reality; we are open to all styles and care little for categories. We also love collaborative ventures, between/among writers, writers and artists, and among writers, artists, and composers.

 

Latest MAD HATTERS:

The folks at Mad Hatters’ Review do an astonishing job of presenting prose and poetry.  You will find the likes of Paul Beckman, Kelvin C. James, Tom O’Connell, Jennifer F. Prado, Tomi Shaw, and Maggie Sheardon there. Along with their stories, you may also find links to the authors’ personal websites. You really must check this out to appreciate it.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Mad Hatters Review offers no payment at the moment. See guidelines on their website for rights.

 

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE from the editor:

We run a different contest in each issue, offering a cash prize to the first place winner and surprise prizes to authors who merit second and third place, sometimes honorable mention.  The prompts for our contests are two works of art guaranteed to tickle the imagination.  We also offer custom-made visuals and music.  Accepted authors may also send recitations of their readings, dependent on the size/s of their piece/s.  We also publish original cartoons, parodies, and mini-movies, columns, book reviews, and offer galleries featuring a different artist in each issue.

Quick Fiction

(Article by John Young young.john.p@gmail.com)

 

Editor , Jennifer Pieroni 

 

Home: http://www.quickfiction.org/index.php

 

Submissions: http://www.quickfiction.org/submit/

 

RUNDOWN:
Quick Fiction is a biannual print journal that features stories and narrative prose poems under 500 words. Our deadlines are September 1 and February 1. We're a Fall/Spring publication.

ESSENTIALS for submitting work:
Include a cover letter and a SASE. All submissions should be titled, typed, double-spaced, page-numbered, and have at least one-inch margins. Author's name and contact information should appear at the top of each page. Minimum length is 25 words, 500 words maximum. Do not submit more than five stories at a time. We don't accept submissions through email. And we can no longer accept simultaneous submissions.  If work has been previously published, please specify title, volume, issue, and/or date of
the publication or web site where it originally appeared.

PET PEEVE or editorial encumbrances:
Please, no hate mail!  Quick Fiction is run by an all-volunteer staff (of 2, currently) that participates in the process of producing a journal simply for the love of literature and of books!

SLUSH-INATOR -- getting a writer's work OUT OF THE SLUSH PILE:
At last count, we receive 1,000 stories for each 50 (or so) page issue. I personally give careful attention to every story we receive.  My system for evaluating manuscripts is to read each story and separate the submissions into a "no" pile and a "maybe" pile.  A "maybe" has a concise prose style, no significant typographical or grammatical errors, has either a great title, first line, or last line, and somehow seems distinctive either in it's narrative approach, voice, or content. I'd say that nearly half of what we receive falls into the "maybe" category. With Adam's and our editorial intern's help, I spend the rest of my selection process seeking out the most authentic stories and voices.  Stories that seem to be faithful to a personally experienced truth (of the writer or of the narrator) are very attractive to me.  Yet, it's very difficult to describe one's own sensibility as a reader.  And, of course, all of our decisions are made by consensus.  But this at least gives you a sense of where I'm coming from.

 

DIGGING DEEPER: You said, "Stories that seem to be faithful to a personally experienced truth (of the writer or of the narrator) are very attractive to me." Would you elaborate on that?

 

Jennifer: I think it all relates to the stories being distinctive and authentic. I like reading and sharing stories that illuminate something I didn't know before, or could never experience except through reading.  It's safe to say that nearly all of the stories in the journal satisfied that desire for me. I really think that the best way for writers to get a handle on my sensibility as an editor is to read the journal.

 

SOME RECENT _QUICK FICTION_:

In issue seven, titled “Love and Marriage,” we find Mark Yakich’s “Confections.” Mark illustrated famous literary couples, pairing them famous quotes upon life and love.

In issue six, Kate Hill Cantrill’s “We Threw These at Each Other” presents a visionary child who interrupts the humdrum life of a neighbor.

In issue five, Mark Yakich’s “Dnieper” explores a childhood recollection of powerlessness near the rumblings of the famous European river, Dnieper.

In issue four, Wayne Sullin’s “A Visit of Affliction” recounts a young girl learning about hidden truths behind her grandparents’ marriage.


NITTY GRITTY:
Authors receive two contributor copies of the issue their work appears in, and a 20 percent discount on additional purchased copies. Generally, the Press obtains First North American Serial and/or Electronic Rights. All rights revert back to the author upon publication. Actual rights obtained are specific to individual agreements with each author.