Friday, March 16, 2018

Six Questions Tacoma Tomilson, Managing Editor, Apparition Lit

Apparition Lit publishes short fiction, poetry and artwork in the speculative fiction genres. In addition, the editors hold a monthly flash fiction contest. Issues are themed. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Tacoma Tomilso: After talking for ages about starting our own magazine, we decided that 2017 was the time to commit to the challenge. We wanted to pay people for their hard work and to celebrate creators. We also wanted to carve out our own little corner of the Internet, where we could celebrate works that we enjoy.

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

TT: Since our issues are themed, we first look for submissions that match that theme. Secondly, we keep our eyes open for submissions that do something new or unexpected with the theme. We like to be surprised. And lastly, we like our fiction to move us in some way. For example, our first issue featured stories that gave us goosebumps or made our eyes water.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

TT: Submissions that do not follow our guidelines. It’s easy to identify when writers ignored our guidelines, as they often miss the fact that each issue has a theme. We also don’t accept simultaneous submissions, since our submission windows are small, and we typically respond in under a week with a rejection or a hold notice.

SQF: What do you look for in the opening paragraph/stanza of a submission?

TT: We look for an element that immediately catches our attention, some central question that we want answered. We recognize that this can be difficult to do, but we want to be immediately hooked. Often times, a story starts with information that the writer needed, rather than the reader.

SQF: Many editors list erotica, or sex for sex sake, as hard sells. What are hard sells for your publication?

TT: Our hard sells are listed in our submission guidelines. Hard sells include: gratuitous and graphic violence or rape, along with extreme, purposeless violence toward animals. We do not publish erotica or thinly-veiled fan fiction.

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

TT: I think a good question to ask is “What stories do you see again and again in the slush pile?” We often receive stories where the main character is misogynistic and/or hateful toward women and other people, yet we are meant to feel sorry for them. At Apparition Lit, we want to empathize with the main character.

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

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