Thursday, January 24, 2008

Doorways Magazine


  • Zine: Doorways
  • Editor(s): Mort Castle
  • Pay rate: 5¢ / word + copy
  • Response Time: 30 days (or longer during busy season)
  • Description (from the editor): Fiction that runs 500 - 3,500 words. Paranormal, supernatural, contemporary fantasy, new fabulist, magic realism, shock suspense, sci-horror, character oriented. (More in guidelines.)
  • Submission Guidelines:
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.


1) What authors do you enjoy and what is it about their writing that captivates you?
Anthony Doerr, Tim Pratt, Steve Savile, Philip Roth, John Updike, William Styron, Charles D’Ambrosio, David Morrell, James Lee Burke, James Ellroy... and there are so many more.

What they have in common: a) an absolute command of craft; b) willingness to take risks; c) unwillingness to dumb down for any “market” or so-called “target audience.”

2) What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
I’m a fan of good writing, period. We deal with supernatural and horror, the surreal and the strange, contemporary or historical fantasy.

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Nothing exotic about the Taj Mahal—to the guy who lives across the street. I’m open to anything, I guess, though I hold high stories set in 15th century Ukrainian fishing villages.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Sorry, this is a meaningless question. The pacing must suit the story. Or, as jazz guys have it, “Not too slow, not too fast. Not half slow, not half fast.”

5) What type of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Holden Caulfield. Pip. Sophie and Nathan and Stingo, from Sophie’s Choice. Any character who comes to life. And of course that means if your character is pure contrivance, a walking stiff with a couple of “character quirks,” I don’t want to read about him—and won’t.

6) Horror and violence can be blatant or suggestive. Which one do you prefer and why?
Let it suit the story. Jack Ketchum comes to mind, bloody when he has to be and subtle as Charles Grant when that’s called for.

7) In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
Medical tests.

8) What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
a) Mechanical goofs will sink you quick; b) “all plot / no character” narratives; c) shotgunning us stuff that was obviously written for another market—and got rejected.

9) What are your top three pet peeves as an editor?
a) Mechanical goofs will sink you quick; b) “all plot / no character” narratives; c) shotgunning us stuff that was obviously written for another market—and got rejected.

10) What quality are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
What quality? High quality. Get it? Ain’t I a caution, ain’t I a stitch?

Seriously, if it’s gone beyond “good” to become “memorable,” it could find a welcome at DOORWAYS.

11) Any last advice for submitters to this market?
This can be an open doorway for those who are striving to create the best.

For more scoops, go to

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

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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