The latest issue of Scribble was waiting for me when I got in this evening – and it feels like quite a bumper issue, with seventeen short stories, and two articles. (And a very attractive cover design.)
One of the best aspects of this magazine is the feedback from readers – and in this issue, editor David Howarth, mentions that he’s had to allocate an extra page to accommodate all the reader comments submitted.
I’m a big fan of Scribble – not only because it’s a great platform for short story writers (both those new to writing, and the more experienced), but because David takes the time to give feedback on unsuccessful submissions. It’s also very good value at £15 for an annual subscription (which includes free story submissions and competition entries).
You can find out more about Scribble and subscribe here. The annual short story competition is this year on the theme of “fear”. Max 3,000 words. Closing date 1st November 2016 – so plenty of time to plan your entry! ;0)
I was lucky enough to receive a subscription to Popshot magazine for Christmas, and I’ve been really impressed so far. Popshot is devoted to literary fiction and poetry, but if you’ve seen an issue, you’ll know it’s beautifully designed and illustrated so there are also submission opportunities if you are a budding artist.
There have been 15 issues released so far (subscribers get three issues a year – I’ve had “The Curious Issue” and “The Adventure Issue”) and submissions are now open for their 16th issue, on the theme of “hope”. For more info, click here. You have until 24th July to submit.
If you’re interested in submitting, you can also get an online edition (including a free preview) but I have to say, the print magazine is so gorgeous (and reasonably priced – £6 for an individual issue, £10 for a year’s subscription) that I still think a real, tangible copy is the best!
The Autumn issue of Park Publications’ Scribble magazine is out now – encompassing a wide range of genres, styles and themes. Editor David Howarth is keen to publish stories on any subject as long as there’s an intriguing plot and believable, engaging characters so this is a good market for slightly more quirky stories that might be not be suitable for the mainstream magazines. Payment is in vouchers which can be used towards future entry fees or an annual subscription, but the three best stories (as voted for by the subscribers) receive a cash prize. Far more important though is the opportunity to receive feedback from real readers via the letters page which is always extensive.
My plug for this great little magazine is not wholly altruistic, I have to admit – this issue contains one of my stories ‘Penny For the Guy’ – a rather tongue in cheek autumnal tale!
To find out more about writing for Scribble or to subscribe, visit http://www.parkpublications.co.uk
Oh, and if you do subscribe – don’t forget to vote! Your feedback is invaluable.
If you’re interested in writing short stories, it follows you should read a lot of short stories, to explore what other people in your chosen genre are doing, and if nothing else, to see what you’re up against.
As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, I love that technology has given short stories a boost. The proliferation of online publishers such as http://alfiedog.com and mobile apps such as http://www.etherbooks.com/ (allowing short fiction to be downloaded directly to your phone) means a resurgence in our love for the short story.
But let us not forget the hard copy magazines out there. They’re having a tough time of it recently. David Howarth at Park Publications took the decision last year to bring two of his three magazines, Debut and Countryside Tales, to an end – now he is putting all his energies into Scribble, and let’s hope this means the continuation of a great small press outlet for new fiction.
Jo Derrick from The Yellow Room fears for her magazine’s long-term future in hard copy. She says, “Due to the ever rising costs of printing and postage, I don’t think The Yellow Room will survive as a print magazine. I think I will either go to e-magazine publishing whereby subscribers have to pay to view all the content or keep it web-based. A very difficult decision and sad news, but that’s the way of the world in 2013, I guess.”
So if you want to keep these outlets open, the message is, subscribe now. To order a copy of the latest issue of The Yellow Room, visit the webpage http://www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/Latest_Issue.html – let’s do our best to keep another small press fiction magazine alive. 🙂
As you may have gathered, I quite like the proliferation of e-zines, fiction download sites and so forth which are springing up on the internet. OK, the pay is usually poor (or non-existent), and the quality not always top-notch, but they do provide another short story market of sorts to help supplement the dwindling paper-based outlets.
The latest I’ve come across (thanks to http://womagwriter.blogspot.co.uk/ – an excellent source of market news) is http://alfiedog.com/. They provide short story downloads for a very small fee – approx half of which goes to the writer in royalties. They seem to cover most genres (including children’s stories) between 500-15,000 words, and there’s a facility for readers to give a star rating to each story. I don’t know how many downloads they actually sell (some of the stories have a rating – so someone has downloaded them), but I’m sure time will tell. They’ve just accepted one of my children’s stories, and I have to say, the submission, approval and contract process was the smoothest and quickest I’ve ever encountered (we’re talking hours/days rather than weeks/months!).
So, if (as I would) you’d prefer to see your work out there and available to purchase, rather than stuffed in a drawer gathering dust, alfiedog.com might be worth a look.