Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Six Questions for Matt & Kristi, Editors, GlassFire Magazine

GlassFire Magazine publishes fiction and non-fiction to 3000 words, poetry and artwork. We are a paying market—$5/poem or piece of art and $10/prose. Read the complete guidelines here.  

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?

1. Well-written stories/poetry. This is pretty obvious, but it’s the most important thing.
2. Uniqueness. A story or poem that doesn't sound like something we've read 500,000 times. 
3. A well supported ending. If the story doesn't support the ending, it comes out of nowhere and doesn't provide a satisfactory conclusion. We shouldn't finish reading the story and say “where did that come from?”

SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a submission?

  1. Spelling errors. Please use spell check. 
  2. Easily confused words—there/their/they're, where/were, etc. Proofread your story. Make sure the names of your characters and places are spelled the same way throughout the story (especially in fantasy/science fiction stories).
  3. Stories that change format halfway through—be consistent with font, size, spacing, etc. unless it's used to indicate a point-of-view shift, etc.
  4. Again, proofread and spell check your story before submitting it.

SQF: Will you publish a submission an author posted on a personal blog? 

GFM: Yes—we accept previously published submissions.  We figure a large number of readers will never see a person's personal blog, so why not publish it?

SQF: What do you want authors to know about the submissions you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

GFM: Please do not respond with a rude comment or try to persuade us to accept your piece. A lot of it comes down to personal taste—a piece may be amazing, but if it doesn't really click with us, we might pass on it. There’s no need to tell us how the rejected piece has been published in several other places and that we obviously have poor tastes. 

If we give you comments, it means your piece went through at least two rounds of consideration.  However, if we pass, please don't respond and ask how you can change the piece to get it accepted. Feel free to rework it and submit it later, but don't resubmit the piece as-is. If we passed on it once, we will pass on it again if it hasn’t been changed in any way. 

That said, if a writer wants to discuss the suggestions we’ve made, we’re certainly happy to do so. We do our best to comment on as many submissions as we can and hope our comments help the author.

SQF: What magazines do you read most often?

GFM: Cemetery Dance, Crazyhorse, Rattle, Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF) 

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

GFM: What are our turn-offs?
  1. Rhyming poetry. Occasionally there's a good one, but most of them are not.
  2. Stories with sudden death at the end, especially when it comes out of nowhere.
  3. Plagiarized stories.  Just don’t do it.
  4. Fan fiction.  

Thank you, Matt and Kristi. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 10/11--Six Questions for Rick Taubold, Editor-in-Chief, Fabula Argentea

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