"Crimson Streets is looking for fiction with a focus on action and atmosphere over characterization. Stories can fall into the adventure, aviation, detective/mystery, fantasy, hard-boiled, gangster, horror/occult, masked vigilante, noir, railroad, romance/spicy, and war genres.” The editors prefer fiction in the 800 to 6,000 word range. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Janet Carden: My husband (who is the Publisher) was looking for something creative to work on and had an idea about an online publication that would publish short noir/pulp stories. I have been a big Ellery Queen fan so I easily got caught up in the idea. We really just wanted to provide a place for novice writers or not “well established” writers to publish their pulp fiction stories. I'm happy to say that we’ve been doing that and gotten a lot of praise from writers and readers for providing that venue.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
JC: I look for pacing, action and having a “pulp” feel. Our ideal story is less than 6000 words. That’s a small amount of space in which to draw in the reader, so pacing and action are essential. We are a pulp/noir zine; so obviously stories need to have a pulp feel. We do offer stories from many genres (adventure, horror, masked vigilante, and gangland among them) but it’s all written in a pulp style.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
JC: If a person doesn’t even introduce themselves in their submission email, that’s an immediate turn off. Once I start reading if there is an inference of non-consensual sex or gratuitous gore I will stop reading and reject the submission.
SQF: If Crimson Streets had a theme song, what would it be and why?
JC: Roger’s answer is “The Peter Gunn Theme” he said, “…because Peter Gunn Theme!” lol. As for me, I honestly couldn’t say.
SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis?
JC: I’ve got to be honest again and say that I don’t have a lot of time to read other magazines or zines. Both Roger and I work full time and Crimson Streets is a part time “off hours” gig. Between those two things and all the other mundane life events, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for pleasure reading. I do enjoy some graphic novels from time to time.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
JC: I think a great question would be “what’s the thing you most enjoy OR dislike about working on your publication?” My answer is that I really enjoy getting to read such a vast array of interesting stories in my job as Editor. There have been so many stories that I have instantly “fallen” for because of how well written they are and how they leave me with that “Wow!” feeling.
Thank you, Janet and Roger. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.