Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clarification: Reading Period and Email Address Changes

Apparently the definitions of “flash” and “short-short” stories are more slippery than I thought. To answer these and other questions that have come in in the past few days:  

STUPEFYING STORIES magazine and the STUPEFYING STORIES PRESENTS anthology series are now CLOSED to unsolicited submissions until March 31, 2015, so that we can give our full attention to book production. We will be OPEN to new submissions from April 1, 2015, through September 30, 2015, and then CLOSED again from October 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

STUPEFYING STORIES SHOWCASE, our webzine, remains OPEN to new submissions, but at this time we are considering only flash and short-short stories—that is, only stories of 2,000 words in length or less—for SHOWCASE.

While SHOWCASE shares the same main submissions address (submissions {at} rampantloonmedia {dot} com) as the rest of the STUPEFYING STORIES line, to fast-track your submission for SHOWCASE only, please send it to submissions {at} stupefyingstoriesshowcase {dot} com. One story at a time, please, and while we will consider simultaneous submissions, exclusive submissions jump to the front of the line.

STRAEON has a completely separate submissions queue and editorial process. STRAEON is now OPEN to new submissions, and while STRAEON will consider more than one story at a time by the same author, STRAEON will not consider simultaneous submissions. To submit to STRAEON, address your email to M. David Blake, Editor, at submissions {at} vintageseason {dot} com.

Monday, January 5, 2015

IMPORTANT: Reading Period Changes

To kick off 2015, we're announcing some important changes in how we're handling submissions.

The complicated reading period schedule we tried to use in 2014 didn't work. In order to clear time in our schedule to concentrate on book production, STUPEFYING STORIES magazine and the STUPEFYING STORIES PRESENTS anthology series are now CLOSED to unsolicited submissions until March 31, 2015. We will resume reading new submissions from April 1 through September 30, and then be closed again from October 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016. Six months on; six months off. This should be more manageable.

Beginning today, our companion webzine, SHOWCASE, gets its own submissions queue: submissions {at} stupefyingstoriesshowcase {dot} com. SHOWCASE remains OPEN to new submissions, but—and this is important—submissions sent to this email address will be considering only for publication in SHOWCASE, and we will consider only flash- and short-short fiction. We're also experimenting with an "express" process for this queue, so instead of our usual confirmation-of-receipt and tracking numbers and all that, expect either an acceptance or a form rejection within a week.

STRAEON is now OPEN for new submissions—but there are some changes for 2015. To quote the editor, M. David Blake:
These aren't "stupefying" stories. They are not "amazing," "astounding," or "mystifying" either, but they are the best I could find, pure and sim—no, that's not right either. There isn't anything "simple" about these stories, nor do they come with any guarantee of purity.
You see, STRAEON isn't restricted to "safe," or "nice" stories. Some may leave cuts, or bruises, and as a whole this series probably needs a trigger warning.

Having said that, a few readers will finish and wonder why I'd say anything so daft. Other anthologies have already envisioned terrain more dangerous than any we may encounter, and the small patches of undisturbed ground that remain are remarkably tough.

Here's a secret, as old as the world itself: You can break more ground with water and wind than with a sledgehammer. Acid helps too, of course.

Stories are like water, and wind... and yes, like acid. They flow between us, and around us, and occasionally even through us. Every now and then a little ground shifts. How could it not?

We want to be there when the ground shifts.
NOTE #1: STRAEON's word count limit is now from 3,300 to 22,000 words. While I have nothing against short-short and borderline-flash fiction, it isn't right for STRAEON. Do not send me any stories shorter than 3,300 words.
NOTE #2: At present, STRAEON is preempted by work on the 2015 Campbellian Anthology. I'll get back to work on STRAEON after the Campbellian antho is released in mid-January.   
Send submissions to submissions {at} vintageseason {dot} com.