Monday, February 23, 2009

An Editor's Quote on Beginnings

“One of the things that’s death for a manuscript is when I start reading it and there’s nothing in the first paragraphs that I care about.” -- Susan Marie Groppl, editor-in-chief, Strange Horizons, in "Speculative Fiction Editors Roundtable," published in the 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.
I’ve mentioned previously my affiliation with Flash Me Magazine. This e-zine is published quarterly and the editors read -- and comment on -- approximately 100 submissions per month, or 400 per quarter. Of these, six to ten are selected per issue (about two to three percent). That’s a big time commitment for the editors. In my case, if a story doesn’t grab my attention in the first couple of paragraphs, if I don’t care about the protagonist or his situation -- or worse, don’t know this information yet -- I tend to reject it. Perhaps if more authors got the chance to be editors, they’d understand the importance of the openings of their stories.

The magazine accepts stories up to 1000 words in all genres from writers of all skill levels. I suggest you read a few stories and the guidelines then give us a try. You've got nothing to lose, and you may find the feedback helpful in improving your writing skills. By the way, the submissions are read blind. The only time the editors know who the authors are is after a story is accepted for publication.

1 comment:

AVR said...

Thank you for sharing this. I think I will look into it. I agree with you that you have to be "hooked" in order to continue reading.