Friday, April 7, 2017

Six Questions for Roger and Janet Carden, Editors, Crimson Streets

"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.


  1. Janet and Roger, do you take simultaneous submissions? I have a story I think would fit in your magazine, but it's currently submitted to Crime Syndicate.

    1. Thanks for the question Joyce. If we accept a story, we are taking on the right to first publication of the story and it cannot be published elsewhere for 18 months from the date of first publication. In other words, if your story is accepted by Crime Syndicate we would not be able to accept it and vice-versa. Obviously if you submitted the story to us as well as the other publication and it was accepted by them before we had a chance to review and possibly accept it, you would be requested to notify us that you withdraw it from consideration. I hope this answers the question for you. Thanks for the interest!

  2. Great pulp stories and quality artwork set Crimson Streets apart.