The Human Adventure is Just Beginning! DreamForge Year 5 Kickstarter
The Human Adventure is Just Beginning!
DreamForge Year 5 Kickstarter
By Angelique Fawns
DreamForge is my favorite positive Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine. Not only do I belong to the DreamCasters writing group, but I am a member of their Patron and love the rewards in their Kickstarters! What better way to start the summer than with a new campaign? We have till Wednesday June 21st to help bring another year of fantastic stories and art into world. The goals this year are to:
- Add an extra anthology-sized Mega Issue with the theme “The Grand Uplift.”
- $500 Bonus for Best Story of the Year, voted by Readers.
- Setting a Stretch Goal of raising their pay rate to $0.08/word.
- Present more positive worlds to optimistic readers and with webinars and the DreamCaster writing group, help more hopeful writers find their voice and improve their fiction.
Scot Noel, editor and publisher of DreamForge gave me some insights on the magazine and campaign.
AF: How is DreamForge different from other magazines? What do you hope to accomplish in 2023?
SN: To start, DreamForge is full-color, full-sized 8.5 X 11inch print magazine with an illustration for every story. So, physically, it’s a handsome production that showcases the stories presented in each issue. The stories themselves vary widely across a range of science fiction and fantasy, often following a loose theme in each issue, like “Solar Imaginings & Sanctuaries” or “Connections & Liminal Encounters.” Overarching everything is the requirement that our stories contain positive and hopeful approaches, as the tagline of our magazine is “The Human Adventure is Just Beginning.”
DreamForge also has an online presence called DreamForge Anvil, where our stories, along with additional content on writing and articles on a hopeful future can be found and read for free, https://dreamforge.mywebportal.app/. We’re also community oriented, so we have our DreamCasters writing group for Patreon supporters. And last year we started The DreamForge Channel on YouTube so that we could do interviews and talk about a universe full of subjects.
In 2023-2024, our main goal is to keep publishing, because this is our 5th year! Additional goals include publishing more stories than last year, raising our pay rate to $0.08/word, offering a $500 bonus to the best story of the year as selected by readers, and publishing an anthology sized mega issue next year this time with 60,000 words of stories.
AF: Tell me about your inspiration for your mega issue, “The Grand Uplift?”
SN: Like everyone else, writers of speculative fiction tend to think of the trouble mankind causes and how pulling back and limiting ourselves or taking more conservative approaches might be the only answer. But as we go, totally unforeseen “Black Swan” events change the equation entirely. In my own lifetime, no one saw that computers would become ubiquitous- IBM used to authoritatively claim that only a small number of businesses would ever use them. Then they became handheld devices we called phones, and everyone has one, even in the poorest countries, and a world-wide Internet connected them, and GPS replaced maps, and spaceships can land on their tales, and AI can talk to us, and robot dogs roam construction sites taking all the measurements and tracking health & safety issues, and surgeons are trained in VR, and…
The list goes on. So, we want writers to think big. What unforeseen events are around the corner that change the equation for the better. What makes illegal drugs obsolete? What makes individual humans independent of relying on any government? What happens when all language barriers fall? How does society change when the phone in your hand can detect lies and threats but also friends and your perfect lover? Thing big. Why go to Mars if you can build a civilization around the sun and harvest all its power? That kind of big.
AF: I love the cover art envisioned for this issue. Can you tell me more about its conception?
SN: That’s a question for Jane, as she has all the graphic design skills and I’m not allowed to pick a font. But it did start with my idea. On the way back from attending the 39th Annual Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award, I sketched something awful on the plane as the idea for a challenging theme issue came to me. I wanted space ships lifting off Earth toward giant stations in orbit. Jane made it suitable for both science fiction and fantasy themes by creating a cityscape that combines modern and fantastical elements and including hot air balloons and dragons in the sky as well as spacecraft.
AF: I saw a novel manuscript review offered by Jane Lindskold! Can you expand on how you got this great reward, and what Jane will offer?
SN: Sorry to say this reward is already claimed. Jane Lindskold’s novel manuscript review, even though it is our most expensive pledge premium, usually goes quickly in the first few hours. What Jane does is take a printed version of the novel manuscript and write hand notes throughout based on her experience as to what problems she is seeing in the work. This could be anything from plot holes and illogical character actions to world building flaws and story structure issues. She’s done this for me years ago, long before DreamForge, and her experience and insights are invaluable. She sees right to the heart of the problems in the manuscript and concisely tells you what to fix. The rest is up to you.
AF: Finally, what do you recommend emerging writers work on if they want to sell to your magazine? What is your perfect story?
SN: That’s easy, the perfect story generates a powerful emotion in me when I read it, and I either end the tale with a big smile or in tears. Tears not necessarily because it is sad, but because something powerful and resonating happened, like an affirmation that the future is not lost, humans are not doomed, and the Human Adventure is Just Beginning.
Oh, and don’t:
- Start in Medias Res, especially if that means lots of explosions and chaos- don’t care.
- Bore me with expositions and explanations that you think are world-building.
- Misuse dialog as a way to make your point or an alternative way to exposit, instead of to reveal the mental state of the speaking character.
- Use unusual names, words, or ways or speaking that do not make your story more engaging, but do provide a speed bump or road block to smooth reading.
- DO keep the reader with the actions of the protagonist and engage us with their challenges and emotions as they face the problems you’ve set before them.
If you want to learn more about what DreamForge looks for in a story, one of the rewards of the Kickstarter is a webinar hosted by Scot Noel on Saturday, August 12 that examines what you need to know to submit to genre magazines, including plotting, characters, story structure, manuscripts, plus a whole bunch of story prompts!
- About the Author
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Angelique Fawns writes horror, fantasy, kids short stories, and freelance journalism. Her day job is producing promos and after hours she takes care of her farm full of goats, horses, chickens, and her family. She has no idea how she finds time to write. She currently has stories in Ellery Queen, DreamForge Anvil, and Third Flatiron’s Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses. You can follow her work and get writing tips and submission hints at http://fawns.ca/.