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Taking Submissions: Phobos One: Zugzwang

August 31, 2013


Deadline: August 31st, 2013
Payment: five cents per word

“No good moves,” Bina says.
“They call that Zugzwang,” Landsman says. “‘Forced to move.’ It means Black would be better off if he could just pass.”
“But you aren’t allowed to pass, are you? You have to do something, don’t you?”
“Yes, you do,” Landsman says. “Even when you know it’s only going to lead to you getting checkmated.”
– Michael Chabon, from The Yiddish Policeman’s Union

“Zugzwang is like getting trapped on a safety island in the middle of a highway when a thunderstorm starts. You don’t want to move but you have to.”
– Arthur Bisquier, American chess Grandmaster

Mutually Assured Destruction. The Mexican Standoff. The babysitter hiding in the bedroom closet as the maniac mounts the steps. For our inaugural issue, “Zugzwang”, (tsoog-tsvung) we want work that drops protagonists into apparently impossible dilemmas and then shows us how their choices play out, for good or ill, and we’re paying pro rates (five cents per word) for your work.

We want short and flash fiction and poetry. We want horror, SF, fantasy, slipstream, adventure tales, noir exercises, bizarro experiments, boxing stories, and sea-yarns. We want well-written pulp fiction. Genre boundaries are unimportant. If your work attempts to astound, unsettle, thrill, baffle or completely terrify the reader, it probably qualifies.

We want huge twists, epic journeys, two-fisted adventures, maximum drama, and we want it accomplished in under 3,000 words.

We want writers unafraid to read their work before an audience, to record their stories for mass download, to be part of the process from typesetting to cover art to publication and beyond. This part is crucial; it takes more than a good story to be part of this, which is why we are strongly biased towards submissions from local writers. As such, if you’d prefer to “submit it and forget it”, please look elsewhere.

We’ll be accepting two short stories (1,000-3,000 words), two to four pieces of flash fiction (below 1,000 words), and a handful of poems. If you have a longer piece which would need to be broken into two or more parts across two or more issues, please contact us.

Submission Guidelines

Please read the following thoroughly! We’ve been receiving a lot of submissions that seem to be very poor fits for what we’re looking for, so in the interest of not wasting your time – or ours – please read through the following and then decide if you’d like to submit.

We will only be accepting work that fits with the set theme. Your work could be terrific, but if it’s a bad thematic match, we can’t use it for this issue.

With this in mind, here’s how you format your email submission:

1. Subject Line: Submission, (your story title & approximate word count), Zugzwang

2. Email Body: Please summarize in a few lines how your story fits the theme. Any submission that doesn’t include this will not be considered for the magazine, and will not be replied to.

If you have previously published work, please include a few lines referencing your successes. If you’re unpublished, that’s completely fine.

3. Story: Please attach the story or poem as an .rtf or .doc, 12 point font, double spaced. Please keep the formatting to a minimum; it’s very visually distracting, and a pain for us to undo.

4. Bio: At the bottom, please include a two or three sentence biography that will run after your story. This is your victory lap, so you can be as factual or ridiculous as you like.

Please send all submissions to hellophobos (at) gmail (dot) com.

[via: Phobos Magazine.]


August 31, 2013