I enjoy writing humor. Many of my stories are the kind of fluffy, light fare that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And I run out of markets to submit them to all too quickly.
“There aren’t enough humor markets” is the complaint commonly heard at conventions, on writing forums, and any other place where two or more writers happen to be at the time. There are great magazines that accept humorous stories, but when you compare their number to those looking to publish dark fantasy or horror, it isn’t close. I’ve grumbled about this enough times myself, until I realized that I can actually do something about it. And thus, an anthology of humor SF/F was born.
One of my goals in setting up this project was to avoid some of the frustrating issues that plague many of the fledgling markets. To that end, I’m doing the following:
* Full disclosure. My credentials, staff list, rights sought and all other details are spelled out in the submissions guidelines. I will post regular updates here and on my Twitter account (@AShvartsman)
* High quality cover, professional typesetting and copy-editing. I want the final product to look as good as anything released by one of the big New York publishers.
* Treat the writers right. I’m paying $0.05 per word, and I’m paying it on acceptance so the authors don’t have to wait until winter to get their money. I’ll strive to respond to submissions and queries quickly and keep authors abreast of what’s going on with their stories as they advance — or don’t — through three rounds of consideration (explained in the guidelines). Each contributor will get both an e-copy and a physical printed copy of the book upon release.
Thank you for the many awesome title suggestions. Ultimately I went with “Unidentified Funny Objects,” courtesy of Nathaniel Lee. Things have been progressing nicely. Submission guidelines are posted and I’m getting ready to read your stories. In fact, I’ve been reading submissions already. I reached out to a number of excellent authors directly asking them to submit something. I also opened submissions early to members of SFWA and Codex Writers and have been reading furiously for over a week.
Sending out rejections is the worst part of the job. Having to reject friends, colleagues, people with whom I’ve been commiserating about other markets’ rejections and response times is especially brutal. But I’ve been doing it. So far I managed to get back to almost everyone within 24 hours with either a rejection or a note advancing their story to the second round. I also managed to provide at least some feedback with most rejections — a luxury I may not be able to afford once the general submissions open and the volume increases exponentially. But it’s all been worth it because of the stories I’m not rejecting.
There are several stories that I like a lot and am strongly considering for inclusion. I asked those authors for permission to hold on to their stories until the end of the submission period, to see if I can fit them into the Table of Contents.
There are also a couple of stories I absolutely loved and know I want to buy, right away. I’ll be sending those authors acceptance letters and contracts soon, and will be announcing their names here soon.