1. Teladan

    Teladan Active Member

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    Traditional Fantasy Magazines

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Teladan, Jun 18, 2020.

    Hello. I've just had a look at a long list of UK magazines and only two of these relate to fantasy. Is anyone aware of print/online magazines which might be a fit for short stories in a mythic/faerie story/fantasy/ethereal vein? I found the British Fantasy Society, but it seems they're only looking for longer stories in the range of up to 5k words. This is fine, however the work I'm currently considering is only 1.2k. Perhaps they will consider short stories since 5k is the limit and not the target?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum

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    Last I checked (which was probably in the 90's at some point) Fantasy & Science Fiction was still being published. I believe technically it has a 'the magazine of' tacked onto the beginning, but that doesn't show on the cover, only when you open it and see the contents page. That's always been one of the greats.
     
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  3. Teladan

    Teladan Active Member

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    Thanks. I've sent my recent story to BFS Horizons and Fantasy & Science Fiction. They seem like good options. I'm wary of submitting to too many publications though as I read from another kind forum user that one should be discerning. Can I ask what is a normal range? Also, strange to say, I'm not even quite sure what happens if a story is accepted in terms of technical details. Do you have to make others aware of this?
     
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Teladan -- Range for what? I would like to help, but I'm not sure what you're asking there. As far as what happens when a story is accepted... The publisher will send you a contract to sign. In my experience the contract comes before any editing. Then you will work with an editor. All the editors I have worked with have really found ways to strengthen a story. Nothing is done or changed without your approval, but I suggest embracing the edits and suggestions. Most of these guys really know what they're doing. I feel very lucky and grateful when I have an editor in my corner. There is usually quite a bit of back and forth. I would say you can expect to spend about to months in this stage of the process. Then comes the wait. The last story I had published came out a year after it was accepted. That was the longest I've waited, but it's not uncommon. You will be paid upon publication. They will mail you a check with contributor copies when it is published. And then YAY!!! Celebrate.

    I don't think you have to go out of your way to try and find readers. The good publications already have readers and subscribers, but it doesn't hurt to tell your friends and family. I post my stuff on social media, but I'm not sure it really does much in terms of boosting readership. Still, it surely doesn't hurt.
     
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  5. Teladan

    Teladan Active Member

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    Sorry, I should have specified further. A number for the amount of publishers most people send to for a given story. In other words, how much is too much? I'm not sure how it works if two or more accept (very unlikely I know), but I assume you just chose the the one you think suits best? And that's very interesting about the editor's role. I'll be honest and say I didn't consider that an editor would even have a place in magazine fiction. I thought this was only for larger endeavours. They also want to make the best impression for their publication as well, so I suppose it makes sense. Thanks again for all your input.
     
  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Make sure the places you submit allow simultaneous submissions. Then it is totally up to you how many places you want to try, but you always go with the first taker. Always. You should say in your cover letter whether or not it is a simultaneous submission. And if your story is accepted somewhere, you immediately withdraw it from the other places. That's another reason why it's good to start at the top with the publications you most want.

    Sometimes I'll send a story out to just one place and wait to see what they think. It's rare for me to do this, but there are certain places that don't allow or don't like simultaneous submissions. Most of the time I try to have a story out at five or so places at a time. But I look at it a little differently. There are say 25 publications I would love to get in. I want to have a story on submission at all those places as much as possible. When they reject something, I want to have something new to try them again.

    Sure, I'll keep trying with those stories. I had one story that was rejected over 100 times before it sold. But I can always write new stories. And that's an important part of all this.
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm assuming you read these magazines (or at least some of them) that you're submitting to? I suspect that's part of the research you need to do, if you want to target your submissions. Make sure your story 'fits' what they publish.

    Reading what these magazines contain gives you an idea of what sells to them, and you might be able to tweak your stories to 'fit.' If you just keep swamping a list of publications with blind submissions, without knowing what these specific publishers are actually looking for, I reckon you're wasting your time AND theirs.

    I have a good friend who used to work as a 'reader' for a publishing house. She said it was amazing how many people submitted material that was palpably not what their publications contained. It was good stuff, but no....
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A lot of places have at least some stories on their website. Some of them don't. Funny how the ones that don't seem to be my favorites. But knowing the publications does give you a huge advantage like @jannert said.

    Not that long ago one of my favorites recently put out a call for stories on a certain topic. Things like this and themed issues can be easier to break in, so they say. It makes sense, though, given there will probably be less submissions than they get normally. Anyway, I banged out a story and really worked it. But then, when I thought it was done and ready to send, I realized there were things not in line with the rest of the fiction I've read in this publication.

    For example, I have never seen a swear word in their fiction. Other places, sure, but never in the pages of this place. That doesn't mean they've never done it, but I've never seen it and I used to have a subscription so I've read a good amount of their fiction. I honestly don't know if that would be a deal breaker, but I reworked those section so they wouldn't sound watered down but still got the same thing across without the profanity.

    I then completely reworked a side character, basically made them the opposite type of character. It just didn't make sense to have such a villain in the piece when the stories they publish have characters a bit more complex than just straight bad. I made the character more of a sweetheart which was good for the story because it did add complexity, and, though, the character now seemed a certain way it still worked when it came to their role in the story. in fact it worked better than I could have imagined.

    The jury is still out on that submission, but I know the kind of fiction they publish pretty well. Maybe I could have made these changes on my own, but honestly, I wouldn't have even thought of them unless I was really thinking about where I wanted to submit this story.

    If my story is rejected, I'm not going to change anything back. It really is a better story now. I think just reading a lot of the published fiction in today's great places helps our stories in general. It can make us think about our use of language and character, plot, endings. Reading is the best thing a writer can do to improve, in my opinion. If you can subscribe to a few of your top picks, it could pay off big time. The internet is great, but I think the best stories still seem to be in print. Not always, but this is just my observation.

    I think I mentioned there are 25 or so places I really want in. Well, for each of those 25 places, I could tell you something that sets them apart from the others. That doesn't mean a story couldn't work for more than one publication. But knowing what they want and look for does give you a better shot at hitting the target.
     
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  9. Aceldama

    Aceldama Senior Member

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    I'm sure you've come across several of these list in your research but this still might help you. A lot seem to be more focused on poetry but I saw a few that looked promising in terms of being interested in fantasy fiction.

    https://www.neonbooks.org.uk/big-list-literary-magazines

    You must've really believed in that story. I know you said before that poetry really isn't your forte but have you heard of conduit magazine? If so whats your opinion of them?
     
  10. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    That was one of my earlier good stories. I had thought it was better than it was or at least closer to the level of acceptance. I workshopped it in my MFA program after it was rejected a bunch. Yeah, I guess we could call it a lively discussion that happened. There weren't too many tears. But I'm okay with reworking my stuff. I can cut and add anything. I've found that I'm really good at following directions. It's just sometimes, as the writer, we don't know exactly what to do. The piece would have never sold if I kept sending out my first version. I'm not sure how many times I updated that story or why I kept submitting it. There are many things I've written since and retired from my submission roster. Actually, this story was on its last round of submissions. It ended up in a good place and a phenomenal issue. When I got my contributor copies in the mail, I read the whole issue at once. Everything was so good I wondered how I got to be in such good company. But I tend to feel that way when I actually see one of my stories in print.

    I'm not familiar with the magazine you mention, but if you're looking for a good place for poetry, check out Rattle. I believed they recently reopened submissions. I'm not sure the pay off the top of my head, but they are a great wonderful publication. Just spend some time reading their stuff. They also have audio for some poems which I really like that we get to hear some of the poets reading their work. The poems they publish have a very current feel and maybe a sense of urgency. I think like they do a great job at making poetry feel important (because it is).

    Sorry, I know this is a quite off topic. But I think anyone who is submitting should at some point reevaluate their work if it's not selling. Some stories and poems will never sell. They could be our favorites or the best thing we think we've ever written. I'm not likely to touch a piece for awhile once it goes on submission. I'm not likely to revisit something prior to 20 or maybe more rejections. I'm not sending out first drafts. What I send out I feel represents the best I can be at this point. And probably the more we can really work something before it goes on submission the better. On the other hand, maybe sometimes it takes 100 tries. ;)
     
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  11. Aceldama

    Aceldama Senior Member

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    Which magazine was that story accepted into?
    _
    I've heard of rattle. I've been working on collecting together the better poems I've written and revised. Was gonna start sending some out. I sent some to thrush and they got rejected but honeslty some of the poems they published sucked imo. I'll look into rattle.
     
  12. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't name my publications on the forum. This is sort of the place I can vent and ask stupid questions if need be. I don't want to link my professional stuff to the forum, though, some members sworn to secrecy know. ;) But it's a really big deal. It's a place probably every writing teacher I had has submitted to at some point. Publishing that story did lead to more opportunities for me as a writer. It's also one of the best credits I can think of to have in a cover letter. But success is short lived no matter how great.

    I think Rattle is putting out some good poetry. If you need help finding more places to submit poetry, you can DM me and I'll try to help. Also, if you're becoming a submitter, join us on the rejection thread. I started it years ago when I thought I would never get published. If you feel like reading over years of my failure (with some success :)) and have time on your hands, it's all there. Along the way others have joined in and we've got regulars now. Instead of getting down on rejections, we celebrate our efforts and encourage each other. You don't have to go all the way back and read everything. Just join in if you want.
     
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  13. Aceldama

    Aceldama Senior Member

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    I probably will take you up on that DM.

    I've read some posts in there. Was sort of moved some by your plight. Happy that you did get published. Will probably join in when I've done some submitting and have something to offer.
     
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  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I wish you a lot of luck. I truly believe there is room at the top for everyone and that it's important for writers to help and build each other up. Submitting can be scary. Rejection can be heartbreaking. It's a big thing to submit your work. I still get nervous when I actually have to hit that submit button. Just know poetry is one of the hardest sells there is, but from your other thread it sounds like you are going at this the right way and continuing to grow and expand on your talents. I'm just saying don't get discouraged and most important don't stop writing new poems or really working on the ones you have. What we can and will write is always going to be better than what we have write. I say that all the time because it's a piece of writing advice I got that I often need to call on to push me through. Again, good luck.
     
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