Monday, August 13, 2007

Every Day Fiction

THE MARKET
  • Magazine: Every Day Fiction
  • Editor(s): Jordan Lapp, Camille Gooderham Campbell
  • Pay rate: $1 + a link
  • Description (from the editors): Every Day Fiction is looking for very short (flash) fiction, of 1000 words or less. There’s no such thing as too short-- if you can tell a story in 50 words, have at it! All fiction genres are acceptable, and stories that don’t fit neatly into any genre are welcome too. While personal experiences and other non-fiction can be great sources of inspiration, please turn them into fiction for us, or send them elsewhere. (More in guidelines)
  • Submission Guidelines: www.everydayfiction.com
NOTE: Horror author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.

THE SCOOP
1) What authors do you enjoy and what is it about their writing that intrigues you?
Stephen King is the obvious answer. I love his characters; they suck you into a story and don't let go until the end. I'm a bigger fan of his short stuff than his novels. I like Clive Barker because of his psychological horror, which I frankly find much scarier than some Splatterpunk authors.

2) What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
Horror, obviously, so long as it doesn't descend into a blood fest. I'm a big sci-fi fan, and I read high fantasy as well. I'd be really interested in the kind of urban fantasy that Neil Gaiman writes. We never get enough horror or fantasy, but we accept all genres. That said, we like to balance genres in our magazine, so if you write horror or fantasy you have a good shot of getting in.

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
It's difficult to set up a really elaborate world within the 1,000 word limit we impose. If you can give us exotic in that space, that's a definite plus, but don't sacrifice the story to do so.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
In Flash, slow buildup will kill you. We've got fiction by Nick Ozment that clocks in at 100 words and is scary as heck. Do that, and you're in. Unfortunately, we see quite a lot of introduction--heavy stories that then have rushed or awkward endings to stay under the word count; it never works. You've got to grab us and get right into the story.

5) What type of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
We don't want to throw anything out there because we are completely open. Genre tropes will be a tough sell. Make us live and breathe your characters.

6) Horror and violence can be blatant a la Romero, or suggestive a la Hitchcock. Which one do you prefer and why?
Hitchcock for sure. The reader/viewer's imagination can do so much more than the most graphic description/depiction. It's my feeling that Romero's latest flicks have almost descended into the absurb. I want to be scared, not grossed out. Hey, Romero! They're not the same thing!

7) In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
The unknown. Our imaginations can conjure up demons that are far more fearsome than any natural occurrence, but bring those into the light of day and they evaporate.

8) What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
  1. Gore--anything that might put lunchtime readers off their meals will not work for us.
  2. Reliance on action instead of good characterization--we like action, but not at the expense of other story elements.
  3. Tropes--while it's possible to bring something new to an old standard, we tend to read these types of stories very critically and they are not often accepted.

9) What are your top three pet peeves as an editor?
Managing Editor's peeves:

  1. We give feedback with every response, when it would be much easier to simply send out a form letter. When a writer argues with our response or takes exception to our opinions, it makes us want to switch to form letters, and that annoys the heck out of us.
  2. Simultaneous submissions. We've already had a case where we e-mailed an author to pick up his piece (3 days after we'd received it) and it was already sold to another market, despite the fact that you have to agree not to simultaneously submit when you send your story to us. We didn't blacklist him because he was very apologetic, but he's got one strike against him.
  3. Writers complaining that you can't write a good story in under 1,000 words. Tell that to our 50+ contributors. We've got some pieces that are simply brilliant at under 100 words.

Slush Editor's peeves:

  1. Lack of attention filling out the submission form. It's a pretty straightforward form. In particular, obvious pseudonyms in the "name" field and uploads with file types that we don't accept just make extra work for me. Not bothering to give us a bio just makes the author look unprofessional, and opting not to fill in address or phone number fields says that you don't trust us with your information.
  2. Please proofread your work! Nothing puts me off quite as much as a story full of typos and missing or misplaced punctuation; it makes me feel like the author didn't bother to check the story over before sending it. It's not quite an automatic rejection, but it sure puts the story at the bottom of the pile.
  3. People who don't read the submission guidelines are wasting their time. We are not going to accept a story over 1,000 words, for example, no matter how brilliant it is, and since we accept multiple submissions up to three, sending four or five at a time is just annoying. The guidelines are there for a reason.

10) What quality are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
In flash, you must get us to feel ONE emotion. Make us feel something in as short a space as possible. Laugh, cry, tremble in fear--hit us in the gut with your prose.

11) Any last advice for submitters to this market?
Part of your payment at EDF is a link right at the end of your story to whatever online location you'd like. This has the potential to drive a bunch of traffic your way. Use it. Establish a web presence.


D.L. Snell is an Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, a graduate of Pacific University's Creative Writing program, and an editor for Permuted Press. Snell's first novel, ROSES OF BLOOD ON BARBWIRE VINES, pits vampires against mutating zombies in a post-apocalyptic setting. David Moody, author of the Autumn series, calls it "violent and visceral...beautiful and erotic," and Jonathan Maberry, author of Ghost Road Blues, says, "[I]t has all the ingredients needed to satisfy even the most jaded fan of horror fiction." For more information and to read sample chapters, visit Exit66.net.

This article may be freely reprinted in any e-zine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as all links and this message remain intact, as well as Snell's byline and bio. The formatting may be adjusted to fit the venue, but the content of the article must not be altered without written permission from D.L. Snell.

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