SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Gathering Storm Magazine: We started this literary project because it was a niche that needed to be filled. All sorts of amazing magazines are out there that have their own concept, from writing the first sentence to submissions with less than 100 words. We were sitting around one day and thought, “What about stories based on old sayings we’ve heard all our lives. Surely these maxims mean something different to everyone.” We also wanted to breathe life back into some material that we haven’t seen included in a literary magazine in a while, such as some interactive fiction (also remembered as “choose your own adventure”), amazing art that has some unique differences, etc. By and large, we wanted something that readers can actually sit around and enjoy during their day and engage with.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
- We want to laugh out loud, gasp, turn on the light, or raise our eyebrows within the first two sentences…
- Hold us there…
- Then let us take our next breath at the very end.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
GSM: There are only two significant ways that usually get an immediate rejection: You didn’t read our Submission Guidelines and you didn’t follow any of the themes for that issue. If you fail to follow instructions and just submit blindly, then that tells us you don’t want to be bothered with details on how to be successful with us. Following our instructions, like most literary magazines puts you on the Golden Path To Oz where everything is in color, your wishes sometimes come true, and you inspire future generations to take your lead and write amazing stories. If you don’t listen to Glenda the Good Witch, then you are sent back to Kansas in the midst of a tornado where the end is swift.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
GSM: If the story is utterly amazing but just didn’t quite hit the mark for some reason, I will personally send you a rejection note and explain why (or ask you to resubmit in the next round of themes). After a year of being a lead editor in two different publications, and sifting through over 1000 submissions, I have sent 10 personal rejection letters.
SQF: If Gathering Storm Magazine had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Our theme song is a collection of inspiring tunes created by Two Steps From Hell. Pick one and tell us what divine journey it takes you on.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
GSM: I can’t think of one :)
Thank you, Michael and Cinda. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.