“You are creating through your choices, even now. Choose wisely.”
― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason
I apologize up front for posting such a stream of consciousness entry.
I’ve been slowly going through the submissions for about two weeks now. I’ve honestly been overwhelmed and awed.
Overwhelmed by the massive response, we’ve received around 300 subs so far.
Awed by the outstanding quality of the majority of the stories that I’ve read so far.
The quality of the writing and the stories has been so high that there has only been a small handful of tales that I could quickly dismiss after reading only a page or two.
Every other submission has required and deserved a full reading. This makes for slow going.
I’m hoping to have everything read by the end of April (Knock on wood.)
To keep on top of thing, I plan on sending out the first round of rejections this weekend.
I’ve never done this before and realize from my own experiences as a writer how painful a rejection can be. I’m not looking forward to this one bit.
This biggest challenge will be the winnowing process at the end.
I already have more outstanding material on hand than we can use this issue.
And God only knows how much wonderful material will be on hand 5 weeks from now.
The plan is to have as wide a range of voices, styles, and genres as possible.
So there will be only so much room each for Dark Fantasy, Traditional Horror, Literary Horror, Straight Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy, Bizarro, Weird SF, Poetry ect.
I want that the reader to be surprised by each story that they read. I want them to wonder “what comes next?”
And most importantly, I want each story, regardless of type, to be an extremely enjoyable and satisfying experience.
Hopefully the reader will, after finishing each tale, think to themselves “That was a good story!”
With this in mind, I look at each submission and ask myself one simple question.
Did it satisfy?
And I pray that it pays off since so much is riding on this first issue.
Because as difficult as it is, I’m being a real bastard as far as selecting goes.
As much as the magazine depends on its writers, it’s the reader who has to be convinced and won over at the end of the day.
So in the end, my greatest responsibility is to them.