Friday, January 21, 2022

Six Questions for Hatteras Mange, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Diet Milk Magazine

Diet Milk Magazine publishes prose to 7,000 words, poetry, and art. “Neatly genred or genre-bending, classically styled or modern, we want your prettiest, most pungent dread.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Hatteras Mange: I started Diet Milk Magazine out of love for Gothic writing and art. It's a rich, entertaining genre and I wanted to give creators who love it as much as I do a place to share their work.

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

HM: What we most look for is

  1. entertaining concepts; 

  2. interesting use of/twists on classic tropes; and 

  3. a distinct style. In our opinion, these are the building blocks for any good piece. A solid plot with interesting characters, grounding in the genre, and a fresh voice or art style are musts for a submission to catch the team's eye.

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

HM: Submissions falling wildly outside the guidelines (exceeding allowed word count, etc.) are immediate turn offs. Our rules exist for a reason, and not following them shows either a lack of interest in the magazine or lack of respect for the work we do.

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

HM: We look for distinctive voices, interesting use of language, catchy characters, and immersive settings. We want to be sucked into the world your story or art is set in. Fresh takes on classic tropes and themes are also something we keep an eye out for. We love to see genre adaptations and updates!

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

HM: Erotica is a hard sell for us. Sex or erotic imagery is fine, but it should impact the plot and shouldn't be explicit. Plays, lengthy comics, and young audience stories (middle grade) would have to knock our collective socks off to be accepted.

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


Q: What do you want authors/artists to know about rejections?

A: While some rejections are made for hard and fast reasons (ex: falling outside acceptable word count length), most are subjective. A piece of writing or art being passed on by our team doesn't mean it isn't good. We're a small publication, and as such have to be extremely selective. We encourage anyone who receives a rejection to submit again in the future, and we mean it! We'll never get tired of seeing your name in our sub box.

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

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