Friday, December 7, 2018

Six Questions for Ammar Habib, Editor, Thriller Magazine

Thriller Magazine publishes short stories to 5,000 words, flash fiction, poetry to 40 lines and artwork. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Ammar Habib: Hi Jim! Thank you for the interview opportunity. The goal of Thriller Magazine is to showcase some established and rising voices of the thriller genre. Our hope is to be a publication that gives new authors a place to show their work alongside more well-known names. We publish short stories, flash fiction, art, and the occasional review/interview. I believe one thing missing in the publishing world are enough opportunities for newer authors. As a bestselling/award-winning author myself, I had a lot of difficulty publishing my earlier works when I started my writing career a few years ago. Therefore, I wanted to create a publication that gave newer authors a fair shot, and I think that is the biggest difference maker with Thriller Magazine.

We publish a variety of sub-genres under the thriller genre. For our first issue (which was published earlier this month), we had a western thriller, a detective story, a superhero thriller, a horror thriller, and a murder thriller. So there is no one type of story that we favor. We enjoy works that have a strong voice and have some sort of emotional impact, even if that emotion is hollow. We want to feel ourselves in the shoes of the protagonist!

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

AB: It’s tough to narrow it down to a top three, but I would say 1) an engaging story that is a page-turner, 2) a story that is emotionally charged and invokes some type of emotional response from the reader, and 3) a story that is well-edited and is not riddled with minor grammatical errors or typos.

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

AB: I think there are several. The biggest one is a rude submission. Another turn off is when an author has obviously not read the submission guidelines. One thing I’ve learned from being both an author and editor is that when there are two stories of equal quality and merit, the publication offer will always go to the author that is the easiest to work with. So those are some things to keep in mind when submitting work to different places!

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

AB: The main things I look for is something that really hooks in the reader and something that immediately sets the tone of the piece.

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

AB: I’m not a major fan of the things you just listed. Another hard sell is violence towards children or just something violent for the sake of being violent (the same goes for foul language). I’m not against seeing those things, but it needs to be something that can fit into the story.

SQF: If authors or publishers are interested in being interviewed or having their book reviewed in your upcoming issue, how can they contact you?

AB: We love to interview authors and review books! If any author or publisher is interested in being interviewed or having their novel reviewed, please contact us at

Thank you for the great interview.

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

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