"Ragazine.CC, the online magazine of art, information & entertainment, accepts submissions of fiction, poetry, photography, reviews, interviews, art, travel stories, creative nonfiction/memoir, informed political commentary (no rants), current events, dance/short video, entertainment, cartoons & illustrations, Letters to the Editor, and more. Obviously, we’re eclectic, and naturally, we’re looking for the highest quality work we can find." Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?
- Novelty. Where have we seen this before? If we haven't seen it before, the chances are much better it will be well received and perhaps even published.
- Well written, tight, convincing.
- Subjects that matter. Not just remembering mom's apple pie, but giving the reader a taste. Not just seeing a race riot, but to come away bleeding.
SQF: When reading a story, what clues tell you the story was written by a novice author?
MF: Lame metaphors, unskinned peaches. Telling, not showing. Lack of reflection. Why is a particular element part of the story? What meaning does it have? Why is it there? If the writer doesn't address these questions, they haven't given it enough thought, or they don't have the writing experience (vs life experience) to get it across.
SQF: What other common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?
MF: Really bad leads. If you're going to take me to the rapids, then launch the boat on steel waters with a cutting edge. Lots of 'I's, even though I use them all the time.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a story?
MF: Sometimes. Usually if it's 'close', or if I want it to be good and can see the writer struggling but not quite there. If there's no chance, just a polite, thanks but not for us.
SQF: What do you consider to be the primary responsibilities of an editor?
MF: Provide the reader with the best selection of material we can find, whether from an emerging writer or poet, a recognized professional or a dedicated amateur. We want people to come to Ragazine knowing they won't be disappointed. That they'll be able to find something that shakes them out of their daily routine and gives them pleasure in finding it, no matter what "It" is. To give the contributor a platform that imparts the knowledge his/her work was worth the effort, and that the effort has been recognized.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
MF: Do you get paid?
No. So far it's a labor of love that's given us many children. I guess you could call them love children, because me and Ragazine, see, we ain’t married.
Thank you, Mike. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 6/21--Michelle Elvy, Founding Editor, with Sian Williams, Editor, Flash Frontier