Market Report: Betwixt Magazine

June 2, 2013

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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Market Report: Neverland’s Library

April 25, 2013

This is the first installment of a new irregular column on my blog where I will highlight promising new short fiction markets that are open or soon opening to submissions

Neverland’s Library – A Crowdfunded Fantasy Anthology

Click here for detailed Guidelines

Submission period: March 5 through June 30, 2013

Genres: Fantasy

Length: 2000-8000 words (somewhat flexible)

Pay rate: $0.03/word  + copy

Rights: First rights, 6 month exclusivity after release

Estimated response time: 2 weeks

Editors: Roger Bellini and Rebecca Lovatt

Rebecca and Roger are both fantasy book reviews who blog at the Arched Doorway and A Daily Dose of R&R respectively. Their goal in creating this anthology is twofold – to introduce new readers to the genre of fantasy, and to support a worthy cause. The theme for this book, as defined by the editors, is “the rediscovery of the fantastic.”

In addition to the open submission call, some of the authors invited to contribute to this book include Mark Lawrence, William Meikle, and Marie Brennan. The introduction will be written by Tad Williams.

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Why rediscovery of the fantastic? What made you select this theme to build the anthology around?

Originally we chose the theme of rediscovery because we wanted people who might have thought they were too old for fantasy. It’s a chance for them to rediscover that passion they once had for imaginative works. We then stuck with it because it worked perfectly with the non-profit organization we wanted to partner with for the project.


What sort of stories are you looking to collect for this project? Are there any genre restrictions? Would you consider urban fantasy, horror, or slipstream, if the story fits the theme of rediscovery?
We’re looking for stories in the fantasy genre, and sub-genres that fit within the perimeters of our theme, which we’ve left very open to individual interpretation. While we’ve opened this to all sub-genres, we’re both more of traditional fantasy fans and that can tend to show up sometimes in our selections. However, occasionally there’s a story that stretches the bounds of what we thought the anthology would entail and we’re compelled to accept it because it’s just “that good!” A great example of this is a Lovecraftian story we recently accepted from a name that you’ll soon be familiar with, Peter Rawlik.

That’s just one example. So in conclusion, we’ll consider horror, urban fantasy, steampunk. We’re very open. If your story is good enough to make us stop and take notice, then we’ll be glad to consider it for inclusion.

What are you seeing too much of in the slush? Have any trends surprised you (in a good way or bad)?

Stories regarding or containing dragons seem to be the most common. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is nice to see a change every now and then. Many of these stories contain a lot of similar elements and can be repetitive at times.

As for things that have surprised us…  I’d have to say it’s the lack of stories submitted with female leads. I’m not an advocate for the necessity of the genders being balanced perfectly, but I would definitely love to read a few more well written stories featuring characters that female readers can relate with.
Will you be looking to include humorous stories into NL? What sort of humor works/doesn’t work for your editorial tastes?
In this particular anthology, we are not including humorous stories. However, we’ve not ruled out potentially doing a future volume featuring that type of story.

Roger: I personally enjoy a very dry sarcastic humor. I’d liken my tastes to that which you might see in Indie comedy films such as “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Rebecca: Is this some kind of joke? I find nothing funny. Literally, ever. I am not amused.

What is the First Book charity and how are you hoping to support it via this project?
First Book is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce illiteracy by providing educational texts and books for children of low-income families who may not have access to them otherwise.

We’re hoping to support them through Neverland’s Library in a couple of ways. First, through raising awareness about who they are and what their organization’s goal is. Second, we’ll be splitting all profits from this anthology 50/50 between First Book and the funding of future installments. After having raised enough for the next installments, we’ll then begin donating the entirety of the profits to First Book.
Our goal in this project was never to make a personal profit. We’ll not be personally receiving a dime from this, and that’s the way we want it to be.  Our newest update goes into a bit more detail about First Book.

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Like so many quality projects this day, Neverland’s Library relies on the generosity of its readers to help get this project off the ground. They recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. Please back their project by following the link below. You’ll be supporting both a creative writing endeavor and a worthy charity.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/neverland-s-library-anthology

If you’re launching a new speculative fiction magazine or anthology that is open to submissions and is paying at least semi-pro rates, and wish to be interviewed on this blog, please feel free to contact me.