Market Report: Betwixt Magazine

Click here for detailed guidelines.

Genres: Speculative fiction

Length: 1000 to 30,0000 (4000-7000 preferred)

Pay rate: $0.02/word up to $150

Rights: First worldwide English-language serial, electronic, and print rights. 3 months exclusivity from the date of publication.

Editor: Joy Crelin

Betwixt is a new magazine, open to all kinds of speculative fiction, which is launching its premier issue this fall.  Ms. Crelin was kind enough to answer additional questions about her publication:

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Will Betwixt stories be published for the readers to enjoy on the web for free, or will they be behind a pay wall?

Stories will be free to read online, but ebook and print-on-demand issues will also be available for purchase.

How large do you anticipate each quarterly issue to be? How many stories and/or words?

We’re officially planning to include four stories in each issue, but we may go up to five or six if some of the stories are particularly short.

What niche/role do you hope for Betwixt to fill among the speculative fiction markets? How would you describe an ideal Betwixt submission?

I envision Betwixt as a magazine that publishes a little bit of everything, is always eclectic but never wishy-washy, and introduces readers to genres, styles, and themes they never knew they liked.

The ideal Betwixt submission is well written, thought provoking, and entertaining. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a story, not simply a showcase for a particular character, setting, piece of technology, alien species, system of magic, political ideology, or what have you. Those things are all great, but they don’t constitute a story on their own.

Your guidelines are quite welcoming of various genres. Are there any themes, styles, or tropes that you do *not* want to see, or that are “hard sells” for you?

I’m reluctant to say that I definitely don’t want to see something, because if a writer can take tropes or themes I’m sick of and make them into something fresh and compelling, I want that story! That said, there are a few kinds of stories that are hard sells for me. I’m unlikely to buy horror stories that don’t have any fantastic or otherworldly elements, stories with child protagonists, or stories that rely heavily on flashbacks–unless they’re absolutely killer. Apocalyptic/postapocalyptic, zombie, and fairytale-influenced stories are relatively common, so submissions will need to have something special in order to stand out. I’m also generally not interested in stories that take place within fandom or the publishing industry.
Oh, and I don’t take kindly to stories that are racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise terrible, but that really ought to go without saying.

How about humor? Will you publish lighter, or outright humorous stories? What sort of humor works or doesn’t work for your tastes?

I love humorous stories and would be delighted to publish some in Betwixt. As both an editor and a reader, I don’t have the energy to be serious all the time—it’s exhausting! However, humorous stories will probably be another hard sell, simply because humor is extraordinarily subjective, and I’m picky. Writers interested in submitting to Betwixt should avoid puns and “random” humor, but otherwise, try me!

What prompted your decision not to consider flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) for publication in Betwixt?

Honestly, flash fiction just isn’t my area of expertise.

What is your internal process? Do you have slush readers or are you reading and considering submissions on your own?

I have a first reader who helps me log and sort submissions, but I make all the final decisions and send out rejection and acceptance emails myself.

Why did you decide to launch a new magazine? Do you or the members of your team have any previous previous editorial experience or publishing credits?

I had several reasons for starting Betwixt, some better than others. I suppose the simplest reason is that I love speculative fiction and want to play a more active role in and contribute more to the field.

I’ve been editing in one way or another since 2007. I joined Circlet Press in 2009 and have edited several anthologies of erotic speculative fiction, most recently the forthcoming Wired Hard 5, as well as various single-author works and other odds and ends. At my day job, I edit proprietary nonfiction content for an educational/reference publisher. I also freelance from time to time and previously served as a convention intern for the science fiction and horror magazine New Genre.

The first issue launches in October. What is the deadline to submit for those who hope to have their accepted stories appear in this issue?

That really depends on the submissions I receive. If I get four excellent stories tomorrow, then I’ll accept them for issue 1 and move on to accepting stories for issue 2. If it takes me a while to fill the issue, though, then there will be more time to submit. I’m tentatively planning to close to submissions for the month of September, so I suppose we could consider that a deadline.

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