Friday, December 9, 2022

Six Questions for Marie Ginga, Reprints Editor, Metastellar

 Metastellar publishes flash fiction (to 1,200 words), reviews (500-800 words), essays (500-1,000) words), excerpts(1,500-10,000 words), and reprints (flash to 1,200 words, short stories to 7,500 words) in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Read the complete guidelines here.

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

Marie Ginga: I screen for the basics first. Can the author fill out the form correctly? This should go without saying, but it doesn't. To me, it indicates how serious the author is.

Does the submission meet the criteria of speculative fiction? I read some great stories but they don't apply to our publication. I also read some great poems that are spec fic but again, it's not what we publish - at least for now.

The stories I read have already been published so most should be fairly tight. Some might not have been edited if they only appeared on an author's page. I don't do any major editing so be sure to get some feedback on your story before you send it in.

Is the submission well-written?  Is the story readable? Does the story move forward at a reasonable pace?

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

MG: I'm annoyed right off the bat when authors don't fill out all information on the forms. We ask these questions for a reason. I edit reprints. Your story has to have appeared at least once somewhere available to the public. There is a spot to provide the link. Don't make me go looking for it. Don't make the editor's life any harder than it has to be. Fill out all the questions. Send me an image for your story. Write a summary. It goes back to professionalism and how much you want me to reprint your story.

Another thing most likely to put me off is a story with no dialog. I don't want to read a 3,000-word narrative. Or even 1,000 words.

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

MG: It always comes back to Is it well written? I don't expect to like all the stories I read. I'm not much of a horror fan, for instance. A story submission has to be readable and tell a story. The opening paragraph needs to set the scene, give me something about the main character and make me curious. It's a short story so get to the point.

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

MG: I pass on these types of stories as well. I also pass on stories about graphic violence to women or other disenfranchised people. I usually pass on stories about a depressed character who kills themselves.

SQF: If you could have a meal with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?

MG: Joseph Campbell: The Power of the Myth, The Hero's Journey. These are the basics of a great tale no matter how long or short it is. And Joseph Campbell was a master of the subject.

Richard Bach: Jonathan Livingston Seagull was one of the first books I remember reading as a young adult. I still read it from time to time. I've read most of his other books as well. His stories changed my life, opened my mind a little bit more to life's mysteries, lit my imagination. I like to think my own stories (penned under Marie LeClaire) do the same. 

J.K. Rowlings: I'd like to chat with her about the struggles of an unknown author and the effects on her life of rocketing to fame.

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

MG:  don't always send rejection letters out. I have some stories on a back burner. They might be good stories but not great stories. I'll publish the better ones first. Or it might be that I get a slew of similar stories and I want to vary our publications. Or it might be something else. And some days I just don't have the heart to send out a rejection letter.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment