The Horror Tree Presents… An Interview with Eric J Guignard

Selene: Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thanks for agreeing to an interview. Tell us a bit about yourself.

 

Eric: Thank you so much for your time and for allowing me to be a small part of The Horror Tree!

 

A bit about me, via my usual bio: I’m a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where I also run the small press, Dark Moon Books. By day job, I’m a technical writer and college professor, and before that I worked in mortgage banking. I’m married, with a young son and daughter. Plus I’ve a dog, cats, desert tortoise, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles. I’ve survived 42 years on this Earth, although I feel half that age mentally. I’ve travelled quite a bit, but I’ve lived in the same 25-mile radius in Southern California my entire life. I’m a pretty normal suburban White dude (third-generation Swiss-American), mostly passive, mostly introverted, pretty easy-going. I can jump rope all day long. I founded a hackysack club, that’s long gone under. My wife and I grew up together. I feel more comfortable in a dive bar than a fancy club. Outside other life responsibilities, I enjoy hiking and I study entomology (insects) and genealogy (family history); I woodwork in my garage; model miniatures; and read, read, read!

 

Selene: How long have you been writing, and what about the horror genre draws you?

 

Eric: I’ve been writing fiction driven by the goal of publication since February, 2011. However, I’ve been writing and drawing stories ever since I was a child. I just did it then for my own interest, or for friends. I stopped in college, in order to pursue business and serious-minded life necessities… which, of course, I now regret. I don’t regret the pursuit of those things, but rather having given up writing for so many years. I only jumped into as a potential career after the realization struck me that I was missing out on something I was passionate about!

 

And part II to your question, regarding the horror genre: I’ve just always found horror to be “exciting.” It gets my heart pumping, adrenaline rushing, etc. I enjoy literary thrills of all kinds, whether the ghosts and monsters of horror, or the shoot-em-up conquest of military conquest; the excitement and wanderlust of adventure tales, or the far-flung speculative legends or fables from any era or land. They all inspire me in different ways!

 

Selene: Your bio mentions all of your literary influences. Was there ever an “a-ha” moment, when you decided you wanted to be a genre writer, or did it come about in some other way?

 

Eric: All my life I’ve been drawn to creation, whether writing, drawing, painting, building, acting, designing. I’m sure it must have been infuriating to my parents, I could never decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I still don’t. One day I think I should be a businessman, the next day a cowboy. I fulfill my responsibilities, but otherwise I’m lost adrift in my own whims and imagination. Suffice it to say, I’ve always just wanted to have a creative profession, but to balance that with success and wealth, which, naturally, I have yet to find!

 

Selene: Is there a person or people who have really influenced your writing decisions?

 

Eric: I can’t say that any one author has had the most influence. I first read Stephen King in elementary school, and then his subsequent novels through my formative years, along with the horror standards of the late ’80s and early ’90s, like Dean Koontz and Anne Rice, so those were my first introductions to horror reading. I grew to like short stories more though, and comics, and I read across genres, so I can say there are a number of authors who have impacted me in different ways, whether by their plot twists, or humor, or relatable characters, or rich prose, etc.

 

Those authors I currently adore and consider influences and inspirations include Cormac McCarthy, George Orwell, Stephen Graham Jones, Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Morton, Kaaron Warren, Dennis Lehane, Seanan McGuire, Joe R. Lansdale, Nisi Shawl, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Neil Gaiman, Robert McCammon, Mark Bowden, O. Henry, James Ellroy, Steve Rasnic Tem, Helen Marshall, John Steinbeck, Weston Ochse, John Langan, and many others…

 

Selene: We’ll get to your own writing in a moment, but first I’d like to talk about your work as an editor, which is how I’m familiar with your work. Tell us about this, and Dark Moon Books.

 

Eric: I find editing is easier for me than writing, although writing brings more satisfaction. Writing is emotionally exhausting, whereas editing I can do all day long. And I’m always thrilled with the chance to connect and work with other writers while editing. But I love so much to type “The End” at the end of a writing piece—it’s a wonderful, fulfilling sense. Both are different journeys to a creative destination.

 

And regarding Dark Moon Books—I bought it from its original founder last year, and completely rebranded it. I dropped all of its previous titles and started it over from the ground up. DMB was founded by Stan Swanson in 2011, and he was a mentor and friend who was one of the first people to buy my work, so Dark Moon Books since has just held a sweet, soft spot in my heart. I started off in the indie horror world knowing no one, and I blindly wrote to publisher after publisher asking them to work with me to publish my first anthology, Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations, and he was the only one willing. Anyway, as of a couple years ago, he’d stopped doing anything with the press, as he had some other life issues, and hackers had taken over the site. I didn’t want to see the name die, so I bought it out, built out a new secure site and image, and set a goal for it to be a short story venue, primarily for anthologies and my own oddball projects which can’t get signed elsewhere. My mission statement is for “Dark Moon Books to publish unusual and invigorating dark fiction for readers around the world.” I run my anthologies and Primers through there now, and hope to do more, but finances dictate most of those decisions.

 

Selene: Writing (and reading) and editing are sort of a chicken-and-egg cycle. Readers love stories and become writers and then editors, and so on. Do you find your editing work has improved your writing, and vice versa? I found when reading slush that my writing improved, through exposure to the editorial process and a feel for what makes a good story.

 

Eric: Oh yes, like, 1,000%!! I started editing because I wanted to improve as a writer, and it’s helped immensely. I recommend it to anyone wishing to improve their writing. By reading slush I saw what everyone else was writing about, the same tropes and styles, and immediately knew to write something going the other direction. By an aggregate of stories, I would find flaws in writing that I would then recognize in myself. And I found it’s true that you can accurately judge a story based on the opening paragraph, and in most cases the opening sentence. From editing, I gained experience in story development, author communications, layout, promotions and so on. I now look at projects from the multiple eyes of “Editor,” “Marketer,” “Distributor,” “Publisher,” and it’s made me a better person.

 

Additionally, my day job of Technical Writing can get dull at times, but it’s also definitely improved my fiction writing, by articulating stories in concise language, with focus on impact, brevity, and an understanding of audiences.

 

 

Selene: You’ve got a new anthology out this week, Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror. How did this come about?

 

Eric: Funny that I can remember the moment so clearly, and that the moment was so bland. I was working remotely for my job, and I took a break and lay down on my bed, and out of nowhere I thought, “Man, I should create a horror anthology about rockabilly.” Totally random! I used to be a big rockabilly music and culture fan, and there was some great cross-over punk and gothic tunes, bands like the HorrorPops, Tiger Army, Nekromantix, and others, especially bands with Psychobilly tastes. And I used to collect Tiki Head statues and Fez caps, vintage pin-up artwork, stuff I don’t have any longer since having children. Anyway, such is kismet.

 

Selene: I was looking through your author listings on Amazon, and you have a vast range of work, from 100 word drabbles to novels, to what even appears to be a scholarly paper. You also work as a tech writer. What’s your favourite thing to write?

 

Eric: My main profession is as a Technical Writer, and I used to work in advertising and wrote copy write at that time. I’ve written for marketing, and academia, and also non-fiction of various subjects. Persuasive writing, content writing, descriptive writing, ghost writing, you name it. And each of these types of writing has different styles and nuances. But my favorite thing to write? Fiction short stories, of course!!! Totally, totally, totally!!

 

Selene: Another odd question. I read in your interview with The Horror Writers’ Association that you had taken a break from writing, then got back into it through genealogy. What interests you about genealogy, and how does it influence your work?

 

Eric: True, genealogy was a great connector back into fiction writing for me (and the following anecdote is a long-winded and off-track response to such). I have an obsession with family history stories, and had been writing articles for periodicals, and history books for family members on the subject. I’d been laid off the year prior (this about 2010) due to the mortgage market collapse, and so I was trying to publish more broadly on history articles (old pay-per-click models), and was chatting with a friend of my wife’s (whom I’d known in high school) about writing for income, as she’d recently started blogging for profit, and she remembered the fiction stories I used to write in years past. I told her that I was jealous and wished I could be a writer, and she said, “Well, what’s stopping you? Why don’t you write again?”

 

It was that simple… I really wondered then, why had I given up something I’d loved so long ago, for a failed mortgage career? It inspired me then to do something I was passionate about, rather than trying to rebuild a business life of which I’d never felt particularly adroit at. Which all goes to the age-old trade-off: Once I had money though was cheerless, and now I’m broke and happy (or at least having a sense of purpose)!

 

Selene: I’ve only managed to read a few of your stories, but I noticed a couple of things about your characters, namely strong protagonists, and a feeling for even minor characters as real people (even the ones who are aliens or robots!). How do you approach writing your characters?

 

Eric: First, read more of my stories (really, please!), haha. And thank you for the kind compliment. I don’t think that I have any formula for writing a character, it’s rather more of a litmus test. If I start to write someone, and they immediately feel “flat” or without purpose, I dispose of them and start over. I usually think of people in terms of flaws (myself included), and that carries over to characters. Everyone has emotional issues, disappointments, fears, curious or morbid ways, and that often drives what I write in the realms of dark and weird fiction.

 

Selene: Your plots are also pretty complex, even in your shortest stories. Where do you get your ideas, and are you a “pantser” or a “plotter,” so to speak?

 

Eric: OMG, I had to Google, “What is a Pantser?” But now that I know what it means, yes, a Pantser is I (most of the time)! I do always begin just by “writing as I go,” but if the story becomes complicated or I get burned out, or stuck, then I turn to plotting or outlining to figure the proper direction.

 

And ideas come, literally and figuratively, from everywhere: Dreams (both night and day), global news and current affairs, conversations with people, personal observations of the world, and playing the “What If?” game.

 

Selene: Your settings also vary wildly from story to story. I’ve read about a small town in PA and the “event horizon” of a black hole, and intimate settings such as an office or a bedroom after dark. How do you develop your story settings, and do you “write what you know” or try to imagine different places?

 

Eric: I always try to imagine different places, and enjoy researching different settings, even if they’re commonplace locales—reading what other people have written of geographic areas helps me imagine them in different ways. I don’t think I’ve ever written two stories in the same place, now that you mention it… It hasn’t been a conscious decision either, so considering that, I guess it’s just part of the creative process in that I want to “learn” about new ideas and places. I’m constantly surfing news and social media for interesting items that I store away in a Notes document. (So thanks, Selene, for prodding me to self-analyze something new about myself!)

 

Selene: I saw Facebook post from you the other day, outlining all the things you have on your plate right now. It can seem overwhelming. How do you juggle so many projects, and manage your time?

 

Eric: Probably not as well as I should! I constantly fear that I spread myself too thin, and that because I’ve involved myself in different activities and obligations, I don’t put truly sufficient time and attention into any of them. I work from home, which is really the only way I could possibly multi-task what I do, in that with flexible scheduling I can push things around at all hours of the night. I work full time as a corporate Technical Writer, plus two more part time gigs (including adjunct teaching in the University California system). I prioritize work and playing with my children: I coach AYSO Soccer and Little League baseball, and I’m Den Leader of my son’s Cub Scout Pack. Things like that are where I find meaning in life, along with my creative endeavors—I work on book projects whenever I have time. I don’t watch TV, I don’t socialize, I just read, write, and edit!

 

Selene: What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out, either in writing or editing?

 

Eric: Be confident to fail. Read broadly. Experiment. What I tell others, and what I repeat to myself like a mantra, is simply: “Keep writing, and remember that every rejection is an opportunity for improvement!”

 

Selene: Thank you again for answering my questions. Do you have anything else you’d like to talk about here?

 

Eric: Thank you, again, for your time, Selene. The only final things I like to say are to plug my latest works!

 

My most recent writing work is my debut collection, That Which Grows Wild: 16 Tales of Dark Fiction (Cemetery Dance Publications; July, 2018)

 

Quick synopsis: Equal parts of whimsy and weird, horror and heartbreak, That Which Grows Wild, by award-winning author Eric J. Guignard, collects sixteen short stories that traverses the darker side of the fantastic.

 

My latest published editing work is my anthology, A World of Horror, which is a showcase of international short fiction authors. (Dark Moon Books; September, 2018)

 

Quick synopsis: A World of Horror is an anthology of all new dark and speculative fiction stories written by authors from around the globe.

 

My next anthology to come out next month is, Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror. (Dark Moon Books; January, 2019)

 

Quick synopsis: A 1950s-themed anthology of 18 all-new rockabilly, pulp, and horror tales, with fast cars, rowdy characters, and revved-up classic movie monsters.

 

Additionally, I’ve created an ongoing series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction, titled: EXPLORING DARK SHORT FICTION, of which I’m estimating to release an average of 2—3 volumes per year (Vol. 1: Steve Rasnic Tem; Vol. II: Kaaron Warren; Vol. III: Nisi Shawl; Vol. IV: Jeffrey Ford; Vol. V: Han Song; Vol. VI: Ramsey Campbell).

 

Volume 3, for Nisi Shawl, will be landing in a few weeks!

 

And finally, I’m in process of shopping my first novel (publishers and agents, take note!), which I finished writing last year: Crossbuck ’Bo.

 

Quick synopsis: A Depression-era hobo rides the rails and learns the underlying Hobo Code is a secret language that leads into the world of shared memories, where whoever is remembered strongest can change history and alter the lives of the living.

 

If you would like to find out more about Eric and his writing endeavours, check out the links below.

 

Author website: www.ericjguignard.com

 

Dark Moon Books website: www.darkmoonbooks.com

 

Author Blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com

 

Author Twitter: @ericjguignard

 

Dark Moon Books Twitter: @DarkMoonBooks

 

Dark Moon Books Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkMoonBooks2/

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3410564.Eric_J_Guignard

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiTNKU2P1Ixuq22kEfjump4IG1Q06tV1v

 

Taking Submissions: Contrary Spring 2019 Issue

Deadline: March 1st, 2018
Payment: $20

“Turning words into art is unnatural. It begins with a contrary attitude. It says, I am unhappy with the way things are and desire to make things different. Rather than represent the world, I will make something wildly and savagely new. I will defy logic. I will invest in new perceptions. I will combine and recombine and fabricate and juggle until something that I have never experienced is experienced. The process is alchemical. The process is violent. It goes to the heart of creativity. It disrupts and shatters. It is splendid with provocation. It is an aggression against banality. It is sharp and loud like a janitor scraping frost from a window. The hectic bounce of steam on a street after a truck roars by. The anarchy of waters, the comedy of the face, dangerous feelings vented from a cage of skin.” ~ John Olson

Poetry — We believe poetry is contrary by nature, always defying, always tonguing the tang of novelty. We look especially for plurality of meaning, for dual reverberation of beauty and concern. Contrary’s poetry in particular often mimics the effects of fiction or commentary. We find ourselves enamored of prose poems because they are naturally contrary toward form – they tug on the forces of exposition or narrative – but prose poems remain the minority of all the poetic forms we publish. Please consider that Contrary receives vast amounts of poetry and that we can publish only a small percentage of that work. Please submit no more than three poems per issue. Our poetry editor is Shaindel Beers.

Fiction — We ask our fiction writers to imagine their readers navigating a story with one finger poised over a mouse button. Can your story stay that finger to the end? We have published long stories on the belief that they succeed, but we feel more comfortable with the concise. We favor fiction that is contrary in any number of ways, but our fiction typically defies traditional story form. A story may bring us to closure, for example, without ever delivering an ending. It may be as poetic as any poem. Our fiction editor is Frances Badgett.

Lyrical commentary/creative non-fiction —“Commentary” is our word for the stuff that others define negatively as non-fiction, nominally as essay, or naively as truth. We favor commentary that delivers a message less through exposition than through artistry. The commentary we select is often lyrical, narrative, or poetic. Examples from our pages include “Plum Island” by Andrew Coburn, “Ascension” by Kevin Heath, and “A Spring Sunday” by Heywood Broun. Our commentary editor is Jeff McMahon.


Terms of Submission

PLEASE NOTE: Because of Contrary’s 15th Anniversary issue in Autumn 2018, current submissions are being considered for the Winter 2019 issue. Acceptances will be delivered in December.

Our deadline, response, and publication cycle – Contrary receives submissions throughout the year and publishes four issues per year, with the change of seasons. In Spring our deadline is March 1, and the issue appears on or about April 1. Following that cycle, our deadline for Summer is June 1, Autumn is Sept. 1, Winter is Dec. 1. We begin each issue from scratch, with completely new submissions. If your submission is accepted, you will hear from us. If not, you can always verify that it was not accepted by viewing the issue for which you submitted. We do not send rejection letters.

Rights – Upon acceptance, Contrary acquires: 1) worldwide rights to publish in any or all versions of Contrary and other Contrary-affiliated media, including domestic and foreign, whether in the English language or translated into a foreign language, including any successor, similar or replacement versions thereof; 2) exclusive worldwide rights for a period of 90 days from the date of Contrary’s first publication of the work; 3. non-exclusive perpetual rights to republish, store, syndicate or distribute the work or portions of the work in any language and in any country, and 4) the right to use your name and likeness in a fair and dignified manner and to publish information about you in connection with the advertising and promotion of Contrary and of the Work. 5) When exclusive rights expire after three months, the author is free to seek republication elsewhere, but Contrary must be credited in all subsequent publications. 6) All rights granted by this agreement are granted in perpetuity and applicable in all media including, but not limited to, all electronic media, internet, wireless or mobile platforms whether now known or hereafter created.

Payment – For original commentary, fiction, and poetry, Contrary Magazine pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of the number of works or nature of the submission, if invoiced within six months. Reviews and Contrary Blog posts are unpaid. Author must email us an invoice within six months of acceptance for the payment to be processed. If no invoice is received within six months of acceptance, author forfeits payment, and all rights remain in force. Upon receipt of invoice, payments will be made through Paypal.

Simultaneous submissions – We accept simultaneous submissions, but you must inform us when submissions are simultaneous, and you must withdraw your submission immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere (you may resubmit any parts of your submission that remain unpublished). A submission constitutes an agreement to publish in Contrary under the guidelines on this page. Accepted works go into production immediately and may not be withdrawn under any circumstances.

Mailing List — When you submit your work you will be automatically subscribed to the mailing list we use to communicate with our contributors. We use it to call for submissions no more than four times each year. You may unsubscribe at any time or otherwise manage your subscription at our list host.

Before submitting, you may wish to consult our Manuscript Suggestions.

Via: Contrary Magazine.

Video Refresh: The Waiting Game

This is a quick video refresh of our previous article ‘Setting Self Doubt on Fire: The Waiting Game’. We almost all have to wait to hear back on the stories and novels we submit to publishers and Nicole Simms is sharing a few hints at what you can do to pass the time that doesn’t include losing your sanity! If you’d like a few ideas on the topic, please be sure to click on the direct link to the article below!

After watching the video, please like, share, and subscribe to our channel!

This is a new format that we’re playing around with for articles, interviews, and potentially Trembling With Fear. Please let us know if this is something that you’d like to see more of!

You can read the full interview here: https://horrortree.com/setting-self-doubt-fire-waiting-game/.

Taking Submissions: Great Weather For Media

Deadline: January 15th, 2019
Payment: One contributor copy, plus $10 for writers based in USA. To help towards shipping costs, international writers receive one copy.

unpredictable, fearless, glistening, innovative… GREAT

great weather for MEDIA seeks poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction for our annual print anthology.

  • Submissions are open from October 15th through January 15th every year. Need a reminder? Sign up to our monthly newsletter.
  • Our focus is on the edgy, fearless, and experimental but we do not have a set theme for our anthologies. We highly recommend reading one of our previous collections to get a feel for the type of work we are interested in. Our latest anthology is Suitcase of Chrysanthemums. We are based in New York City and welcome submissions from both national and international writers.
  • 1-4 poems of any length. If you are submitting more than one poem, include them all in a single document. Do not submit multiple poems in separate files. Single-spaced please, or how it should appear on the printed page. Start each poem on a new page.
  • 1 prose/creative nonfiction piece, 2 if under 500 words. Maximum word count: 2,500. Prose should be in English.
  • Multiple submissions (in the same genre) are not accepted and will not be read. Please wait until you receive a response from us before submitting again.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine – just notify us with your good news immediately. If you wish to withdraw part of your submission, please log in to your Submittable account to add a note to your submission activity and list the title no longer available for consideration. If you wish to withdraw your entire submission, log in and update your Submittable account – instructions here.
  • Please don’t send revisions. You can always add a note to your submissions if there is something you need to let us know about.
  • Payment: One contributor copy, plus $10 for writers based in USA. To help towards shipping costs, international writers receive one copy.
  • We aim to respond in 1-4 months. If you have not heard from us after four months, please email [email protected]
  • Copyright: great weather for MEDIA holds first serial rights for material that we publish. The copyright automatically reverts to the author upon publication. All work may be permanently archived online. We ask that great weather for MEDIA be acknowledged in any subsequent publication of the work.
  • We look forward to reading your work!
  • Finally, please take a look at our books. Small presses love readers and all support is much appreciated!

Via: Great Weather For Media’s Submittable.

Ongoing Submissions: The Master’s Review

Payment: 10 cents per word up to $200

Submissions for our New Voices category are open year round. New Voices is open to any new and emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length. You must not have a novel forthcoming at the time of submission. Published short-story collections do not count as a novel-length work and those authors are free to submit. New Voices are published online only and will feature a number of stories from new authors each month.

We are pleased to announce we now offer payment to New Voices authors. $0.10/word up to $200. We are thrilled to be paying for published pieces but will be highly selective in our choices for publication.

  • New Voices submissions are open to new and emerging writers only (no novel-length published work forthcoming at the time of submission).
  • We accept fiction and narrative non-fiction. We do accept a variety of genres and styles, our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft. We want to be wowed. Bend genres, experiment with structure, and write your heart out. But please, send us polished work. Our aim is to showcase writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. Send us only your best.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions but please notify us if your work is picked up elsewhere.
  • All submissions must be less than 7,000 words.
  • We do accept multiple submissions.
  • Please include a cover letter with your publication history

Via: The Master’s Review Submittable.

Taking Submissions: Blood Bath Literary Zine Issue 2: DEMONS

Deadline: February 14th, 2019
Payment: £20 per 1,000 words for prose, £20 per 15 lines for poetry

Following the success of issue one, Blood Bath opens submissions of short fiction, poetry and visual art for its second issue: DEMONS

Agents of tangible evil, or paranoid ideas nestled inside our brains, DEMONS influence, divide and ruin us.

Internal or external, real or imagined, DEMONS haunt the corporeal and fictional plane, and just like the saints in heaven, there’s a specific Demon for every purpose. We’re open to references to academic demonology theories or newly invented creations; try your best to surprise or intrigue us. The reading team are avid horror fans and dying to be exposed to a new kind of terror.

Demons also represent an aversion to institution; they are heathens, unclean spirits. Perverted angels or cursed mortals, transformed during satanic ritual or born in hell, we are open to all interpretations. Demons from outside traditional Western Christianity depictions are enthusiastically welcomed.

WE LOVE:

The quickest and best way to find out what we love is to buy a copy of our first issue, BODIES. Print and EPUB copies are available in our shop. Supporting small publishers helps them to continue existing!

As always, we are particularly interested in experimental and subversive forms, as well as contribution from women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people living at the intersection of these identities.

Last call for submissions produced an overwhelmingly white response; this issue we are looking for work specifically from people of colour, in particular trans and non-binary POC and women of colour.

Horror has always been political, and BB is specifically searching for socially aware genre stories.

Speaking of genre, we are open to any and all; science fiction, fantasy, erotica…but it also must contain an element of horror.
(more…)

Taking Submissions: AGNI Online

Deadline: May 31st, 2019
Payment: $10 per printed (or printed-out) page for accepted prose, and $20 per page for accepted poetry, up to a maximum of $150., 2 copies of print magazine if accepted into a print copy

We look for writing that catches experience before the crusts of habit form—poetry and prose that resist ideas about what a certain kind of writing “should do.” We seek out writers who tell their truths in their own words and convince us as we read that we’ve found something no one else could have written.

When to submit

AGNI welcomes manuscripts between September 1st and May 31st. Submissions mailed in June, July, or August will be returned unread, provided sufficient return postage is included.

Things to know when submitting

  • Nearly everything we publish is unsolicited.
  • We encourage submissions from writers of all identities, living anywhere, published and unpublished.
  • We will not consider writing that has already been published in English, whether in a book, magazine, newspaper, or on an app, a website, a social media feed, or a publicly accessible online community.
  • We consider only work written in English or translated into English.
  • We have no word limits, though space is at a premium and length sometimes affects our decisions.
  • We do not publish genre romance, horror, mystery, or science fiction; however, we are open to writing that borrows elements from any of these.
  • We will consider excerpts if they read as if they were meant to stand alone.
  • We are interested in personal essays, think-pieces, memoir, prose poems, formal poems, blank verse, free verse, short stories, and short shorts; we do not publish academic essays or purely journalistic writing.
  • Though we rely on student interns for many things, they are not involved in considering submissions. All manuscripts are read by masthead editors.
  • Our blog features posts by writers who have appeared previously in AGNI or AGNI Online.
  • You can familiarize yourself with the magazine by ordering a recent print issue or by perusing the writing that appears here. This site includes selected pieces from our decades of print issues and everything we’ve published at AGNI Online since its inauguration in 2002.

Some requests

  • Please send only one story, one essay, or up to five poems, and please wait for our reply before sending more. As soon as we respond, you can feel free to submit again during a reading period.
  • Please double-space your document and include page numbers.
  • Please do not submit revisions of work we’ve already considered.
  • If you submit on paper and want us to reply by mail, please enclose a stamped, addressed envelope (SAE). If the envelope is large enough and you include sufficient postage, we will return the manuscript; otherwise, it will be recycled. If you’d like to be notified by email only, please include your email address and skip the SAE.
  • Do not email your work; we do not read or consider emailed submissions.
  • Feel free to submit the same work to other magazines simultaneously. If your entire submission is accepted elsewhere, please log in to your online account and withdraw using the link there—or, if you’ve submitted by mail, or if only a portion of your submission has been taken elsewhere, please contact us with a quick withdrawal note.
  • Do not mail your work to us in the months of June, July, or August. The online portal is also closed during those months.
  • Do not send us your only copy; we cannot accept responsibility for your manuscript.
  • Please do not contact us about your submission until four months have passed. We work hard to respond within two, but we’re not always able. After four months, please contact us right away if you have not received a reply.

WHERE to send:

If you’d rather not submit through our free online portal, please address your envelope to the Fiction Editor, Poetry Editor, or Nonfiction Editor and mail to:

AGNI Magazine
Boston University
236 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

Regular post is fine. There is no advantage to sending a more expensive way.

Purchasing rights

All submissions are considered for both print and online publication.

We buy first worldwide serial rights and pay $10 per printed (or printed-out) page for accepted prose, and $20 per page for accepted poetry, up to a maximum of $150. We also give a year’s subscription to AGNI. In the case of print publication, each contributor receives two copies of the issue their work appears in, and we send up to four additional copies to friends or family.

Blog publication, which is limited to writers who have previously appeared in AGNI or AGNI Online, is unpaid.

Via: AGNI Online.

Taking Submissions: Penny Fiction 2019

Deadline: January 31st, 2019
Payment: $3

Haunted Waters Press seeks exceptionally small works of flash fiction to be showcased in Penny Fiction, a regular feature of the literary journal, From the Depths. Stories will also appear in the Penny Fiction Poster Collection. Tell us a story in exactly 19 words—no more, no less. Extra points will be awarded for those writers who adhere to the guidelines. Not really. There are no points. Just read the guidelines below and impress Penny with your ability to follow instructions.

WORKS CONSIDERED
We seek flash fiction stories told in exactly 19 words—no more, no less.
Original fiction only. No poetry, taglines, or jokes.
Please include a title for each story submitted.
One active Penny Fiction submission per author, per reading period.
Multiple stories per submission encouraged.
One is fine. Four is cool. Twenty is borderline obnoxious…we like obnoxious!
No previously published works.
Need inspiration? Follow Penny Fiction on Facebook for tips and prompts.

THE DREADED COVER LETTER
Include one interesting fact about yourself in 13 words or less.
Undertakers and cat herders earn extra points.
If we do not find you interesting, we reserve the right to make you appear more interesting.
No long lists of previously published works. No cut ‘n paste author bios.
Confused? Check out The Lovely Penny bios from any past issue.

COMPENSATION
$3.00 per published piece.
(That’s a professional rate of .15 cents per word— enough for a hot cup of coffee to sip on while you pen your next brilliant work of incredibly short fiction!)

THE DETAILS
Free to submit.
Accepting submissions in the months of December/January, March/April, June/July
Limited to 200 submissions per month. Submit early!
Notifications to be sent as decisions are made or within 60 days of closing.
Please review full guidelines prior to submitting,

Thank you. We look forward to reading your work.

Via: Haunted Waters Press Submittable.

Ongoing Submissions: Future Science Fiction Digest

Payment: ten cents per word
Note: ONLY Translated Works Or English As A Second Language Authors Need Apply

We’re currently open to fiction submissions ONLY in the following categories:

  • Translated fiction. Author or authorized translator may submit fiction of 500-10,000 words that has been previously published in source language but not in English.
  • Fiction written by authors for whom English is not their first language and who reside outside of primarily English-speaking countries. If you’re not entirely certain whether you qualify for this call, feel free to query.

Please include the author’s primary language/country of residence and/or original publication info for translations in the cover letter. Submissions that do not include this information will not be read.

We’re currently CLOSED to other unsolicited fiction submissions, but will eventually open to those as well. Please do not query regarding this; we will post an update here when a general reading window opens.

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Taking Submissions: The Literary Hatchet

Deadline: March 1st, 2018
Payment: FICTION, SHORT STORIES: 500-6,000 words — $10

The Literary Hatchet is a journal devoted to provocative fiction, poetry and prose. We are interested in well-written but digestible works in any genre (except erotica).

We will consider previously published material but prefer original works.

We accept short fiction, flash fiction, first-person narratives, speculative fiction, short stories, poetry, photography, art, cartoons, and illustrations.

We’re interested in new angles on old ideas, or topics that don’t get covered frequently. We like to showcase articles that don’t just sum up some issue but make us think and make us want to read further.

The above is not exhaustive. If you don’t have an immediate idea for a piece, but you’d really like to write for us, let us know and be prepared to show us work you’ve done. We can always think of subjects!


WHAT WE DON’T WANT

We do not accept erotica, either as articles or images
We do not accept articles or images with excessive crude language or outlandish sexual humor
We cannot consider partial or incomplete stories or essays
We do not accept Haiku poetry, unless as a part of a collection of five or more


GUIDELINES BY TYPE OF SUBMISSIONSHORT STORIES:

We accept short stories from 500-6,000 words in length. Feel free to contact us with inquiries about the type of stories we might be interested in if you are in doubt. We appreciate the well-written work, and acceptance is determined by whether the piece grabs the editor and holds their interest. We consider works of general fiction as well as horror, dark subjects, detective fiction, and stories about monsters, either real or imaginary.

POETRY:
We are looking for high-quality extraordinary poems (both serious and humorous) that explore the darkness that resides in each of us. Personal pieces that offer a self-reflection are acceptable.

ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, CARTOONS, AND ILLUSTRATIONS:
All submitted art and illustrations must be in 300 dpi, JPG or GIF formats and no larger than 1200 X 1200 pixels.

INTERVIEWS:
If you would like to interview someone our readers would find interesting (including, but not limited to, authors, celebrities, relatives of Borden case members, experts in a related field of study), you can submit your idea to us for approval.


COMPENSATION, RIGHTS, AND LENGTH

RIGHTS: By submission of your work, you are agreeing to The Hatchet and its publisher PearTree Press holding exclusive first-printing world rights for a period of 6 months. While your piece is online, it may not appear anywhere else on the Internet, in print, or sold for profit. Rights revert back to the writer/artist at the end of 6 months.

We ask, but do not require, that you then give us non-exclusive electronic rights to include your work in our archives after it is rotated off the issue. You have the right to remove your article from the archives at any point after 6 months.

COMPENSATION AND LENGTH REQUIREMENTS: We pay compensation for almost all work accepted for publication. Payment is made upon publication. Checks are sent by mail. Foreign contributors can choose to be paid by check (US dollars), PayPal or Amazon Gift Card.

FICTION, SHORT STORIES:

  • 500-6,000 words — $10

INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS:

  • compensation is paid to the person conducting the interview — $5

POETRY:

  • we prefer poetry under 100 lines — $5

ART/ILLUSTRATIONS:

  • in JPG or GIF format only — $5

FIRST PERSON STORIES:

  • 250-750 words — $1

HOW TO SUBMIT

We buy exclusive first-printing world rights for 6 months.

Submissions must be made via Submittable.com

Electronic submissions should be as an attached MSWord or AppleWorks file. Do not include the text of your submission within the email.

Multiple submissions are accepted.

No simultaneous submissions accepted.


RESPONSE TIME

Average response time is about 30 days. If you don’t hear from us in 30 days, please query.


EDITING POLICY

We prefer not to edit heavily. If we like your idea, but feel that your article needs significant editing, we’ll send it back to you with lots of suggestions and recommendations. We will correct all typos, grammatical errors, and adjust punctuation to our house style. If we make any substantial changes we will contact you first for approval well in advance of publication.

If we cannot contact you or you do not return our emails, we will assume that you have withdrawn your submission. Feel free to resubmit it at a later date.

We prefer poetry under 100 lines. Please don’t send us poetry unless you have thoroughly proofread it. Accepted submissions may be edited for clarity or to correct minor errors. Poetry submissions which do not meet minimum standards for correct spelling will be rejected.

HOW TO CONTACT US

SUBMISSIONS: Submissions must be made via this link: Submittable.com

or write us at

PearTree Press
328 French Street
Suite #2
Fall River, MA 02720

The Literary Hatchet is open for submissions and we financially compensate our authors and artists for their works.

You can submit more than one work per issue, but please send each submission individually.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES:
March 1 (publication date April/May)
July 1 (publication date August/September)
November 1 (publication date December/January)

Via: The Literary Hatchet.

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