The Clarion Foundation (parent of Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop) has a wonderful blog. Douglas Cohen, an editor from Realms of Fantasy, recently wrote a guest post there talking about the view from Realms of Fantasy, from its long run in the industry, including its two recent revivals with new publishers. There is some great insight here for those who are submitting stories and poems (yes, they have started publishing poems). Here’s just a snippet, but the rest you can read on the Clarion blog.
1) Fantasy is a broad genre, and it’s yet to stop expanding. In addition to writers, editors are playing a crucial role in defining what fantasy is. I’ve read a number of stories in our pages that I consider science fiction. Obviously Shawna felt otherwise, or at least saw enough fantasy-related elements to justify publishing these tales in RoF. Too often, I hear about authors rejecting themselves from certain markets because their stories are “not a good fit.” Now, if you’re writing a hard science fiction piece in the vein of Gregory Benford or Isaac Asimov, it’s true that your story most likely isn’t right for us. But if there is an element that could be considered fantastical in your sf story, who knows? We just might buy it. Did you know John Joseph Adam’s recent dystopian sf reprint anthology has a story from RoF in there? Did you know we published a story with robots that were clearly inspired by Transformers? Did you know we had a story about molecule memory that was reprinted in Rich Horton’s Science Fiction, Best of the Year, 2008? I could go on. The point—and this is something to keep in mind for all markets—is that it’s not your job to reject your stories for our magazines. It sounds like a basic thing, but too often I see authors—including experienced ones—overanalyzing their prospective writing markets. This is not a phenomenon unique to RoF. It’s good to know your markets, because that might help you land a sale sooner rather than later. But don’t be the editor for them. I can’t stress this enough. When in doubt, submit. Let us decide what’s right for the magazine. The worst that happens is that we say no. To borrow (and probably mangle) a phrase from John W. Campbell: “How dare you reject your story for my magazine?”
2) Shawna and I have different tastes. Yes, there is definite overlap, and these similarities (and the differences for that matter) are why we work well together. But I hear too many authors saying things like, “Realms of Fantasy is not a market for sword & sorcery.” Ahem. I love sword & sorcery. I also unquestionably enjoy this sub-genre more than Shawna does, meaning I’m likelier to enjoy an S&S tale than she is. But since I’ve been with the magazine, we’re publishing more in this area than we ever have before. Not an overwhelming amount, but definitely more. The point is that magazines change over time. Too many people stop reading a certain venue for whatever reason, and five or ten years later, when they’re telling you their problems with this magazine, what they’re saying is no longer relevant. Again, I see this happen with experienced writers too, so I feel I should mention it here. So not only should you never reject yourself, but it’s also a terrible idea letting others do your market research for you. Sharing ideas is fine, but make sure your friends are up to date on what they’re saying. If the information is coming secondhand, make sure it’s coming from a reliable source.
There are eight more points Mr. Cohen makes–equally insightful. It behooves you (I like ‘behooves’) to run over there and check them out. Happy submitting.
Mr. Cohen also makes a strong point about Clarion graduates supplying the magazine with quality stuff. See that top name on the February cover of Realms of Fantasy—Desirina Boskovich? One of my Clarion buddies. Awesome, Desirina!
A reminder to all those thinking about submitting your short fiction (limit 7500 words) to Tesseracts 14, the latest in the series of anthologies featuring Canadian science fiction and fantasy. It doesn’t have to be about Canada, or about the north. Basically they are anthologies of Canadian writing. (Okay, and a few stray Americans or other Nationalities who have immigrated to the fair shores of Canada)
Personally, Brian Hades, publisher of this series, would love to see greater representation of Canada in the anthology. So, the Yukon needs to put out! Haha. Seriously, if you have fiction that strays just outside the everyday reality, consider submitting to Tesseracts 14. Let’s wow Brian with Yukon writers!
More information at my previous post here: Tesseracts 14 Open for Submissions
It’s official: Realms of Fantasy is back, and expecting a ton of submissions. I don’t think we should disappoint them.
Note, Canadian authors: though you still have to submit hardcopy, if you supply your email, they will answer you via email. They don’t want to work with IRCs and who does? So, this saves us time too.
Editorial guidelines from their link:
Realms of Fantasy, a bimonthly magazine, is a professional market for the best in fantastic short fiction. Stories should be no longer than 10,000 words, and can address any area in the realms of fantasy: heroic, contemporary, traditional, feminist, dark, light, and the ever-popular “unclassifiable.” What we do not want to see is standard SF (this means no alien worlds, no hard-edged technology, no FTL drives, etc.) Additionally, ROF is not a market for poetry. What we do want to see is the very best in the field–Realms of Fantasy is a highly competitive market.
For stories under 7,500 words, rates begin at 6 cents per word for new writers and move upward as a writer gains recognition. For stories over 7,500 words, the rates break at 7,500 to 4 cents a word. Thus, a 10,000-word story by a newcomer would pay $550. Again, for established writers, the rates will be proportionally higher.
All submissions must be typed in a 12 pt. serif font such as Courier or Times Roman, double-spaced, and accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope large enough to hold your manuscript. Manuscripts not typed and double-spaced will not be considered. Manuscripts without return postage will not be returned. If you wish us to discard the ms. and reply only by letter, you need only enclose a letter-size (#10) envelope and mark your ms. DISPOSABLE. Your name, address, email address and phone number should appear on the first page of the text, not on a cover sheet, as cover sheets can easily get separated from the rest of the ms.
International authors must still submit hardcopies of their stories but we will respond via email rather than regular mail, assuming that you do not require your ms. to be returned to you. We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions. Response time is ordinarily 8 to 12 weeks. We regret that the majority of our responses must be in the form of pretyped letters. This in no way reflects on your work, only on our time and work load.
Thank you for your interest in Realms of Fantasy, and we look forward to seeing your work in our pages.
Editorial Address: Realms of Fantasy P.O. Box 527 Rumson, NJ 07760
Now, go give them what they want! Good Yukon Stories, or stories from Yukon authors.
“Moon Over Tokyo Through Leaves in the Fall” found a home at Fantasy magazine, an online fantasy webzine. It’s a great webzine and I know it will be a good home for the story. They really treat their contributors well. They spotlight authors with interviews, and the website layout is very professional. It’s a solid venue for all types of fantasy and magic realism stories.
The story I submitted had to do with wine-making, hence the picture. This is from Solar Ikon’s Flickr collection. The story won’t be on the website for awhile, but it’s nice to have the acceptance. May the new year bring us all ….Acceptance. Cheers!
For guidelines to Fantasy magazine
Another great market for Science Fiction writers, especially those dabbling in near future fiction. Check out the full Guidelines here. Here’s an excerpt of what they’re looking for.
Futurismic seeks contemporary, near future science fiction for online publication. We’re looking for innovative, exciting stories that use the tools of speculative fiction to examine contemporary issues and take a look at what’s just around the corner.
Whether by established professionals or promising newcomers, we would like to see the very best in today’s SF, with an emphasis on work that truly connects with and illuminates the fast-paced, fascinating times we live in.
Stories should be compelling and well written, with a strong emphasis on characters confronting or embracing imminent cultural, social, technological, and scientific changes.
PLEASE NOTE: Near-future, Earth-based science fiction is our primary focus!
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
- Mundane SF
- Post-cyberpunk SF
- Satirical/gonzo futurism
- Realistic near future hard SF
WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR:
- Space opera
- Off-world SF
- Distant futures
- Time Travel
- Alternate History
Length: up to 15,000 words! and there’s a webform to submit with. No nasty stamps and paper problems. $200 flat rate for stories, 2-5 weeks to respond.
Click on the Guidelines link and read the rest if you are interested. Good luck!