ASIM pre-slush workshop – update

Get your entries ready. We will announce how and where to submit them soon.

Important rules. Please read all of them:

– Your story must be Science Fiction or Fantasy

– Short stories only, no novels

– Please enter only the first 300 words. If 300 words leaves you with half a sentence, finish that sentence, but please, no more.

The work in question MUST be yours, must be finished and must not have been published. We may ask to see the rest of the story.

– All entries should be anonymous, like our slush.

Submitting will be through an anonymous entry on another blog at Livejournal, address to be announced later. Please make sure your name doesn’t appear anywhere on your entry. If you have a Livejournal account, log out, and post anonymous. I will not respond to any posts, so at any one time, you’ll only be able to see your own entry.

I will then post each entry on this blog, with editor’s comments. We will do our utmost best to give comments that give writers something to work with. While the nature of most comments will inevitably be ‘negative’, since like all magazines, we reject the vast majority of slush, we will tell you where the story could be improved and how you could possibly do this. Please remember it’s only one opinion.

This workshop is designed with new writers in mind, and by that I mean writers who have not been published in the magazine, or similar semipro magazines, before. I hope it will give writers insight into the slush process at our magazine. The comments on each entry are not law, because other editors and other magazine may well think differently. For ideas about our preferences, may I suggest your read the ‘slush minion’s diary’ posts on this blog (see tags on right).

How many entries we can take depends on how many we get. First in, best dressed.

This workshop will go live when the PDF version of issue 50 is available for purchase. It is a service provided for free by the magazine’s editors, but we’ll never discourage anyone from buying a PDF issue, or a subscription. After all, the best way to get a feel for what a magazine accepts is to read a couple of issues.

Some writerly news and updates

A lot of people have been checking back for information on the ASIM slush workshop. It will definitely go ahead. I’m working out details, which will be announced when issue 50 has gone to print. We’re currently working hard to make that happen. Also, people have asked me if they have to be a subscriber to submit. No, you don’t, but there will be special offers, so why shouldn’t you subscribe or pick up a PDF issue?

I am in the process of preparing a collection of published stories for release as ebook. Some of the stories may be familiar to you. Others have been published in overseas pirnt venues or online magazines that have since folded. Here is the table of contents:

Highway (Infinitas Newsletter)
Bigger Fish (Fantastic Wonder Stories)
Black Dragon (The Edge of Propinquity)
Mass Extinction (Antipodean SF)
Legal Aliens (Semaphore SF)
Little Boy Lost (Midnight Echo)
The Ten Days of Madness (Antipodean SF)
From the Parrot’s Mouth (Beyond Centauri)
Metal Dragon (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine)
Never on a Birthday (Byzarium)
Out of Here (MBrane SF)
Raven’s Call (Realms)
Taking Back the Words (Ticon4)
The Only One He Ever Feared (Fly In Amber)
The Weed Eaters (The Fat Man at the End of the World)
Straight through the Heart (ZineWest)
To Look at the Sky (Semaphore SF)
The Invisible Fleas of the Galaxy (MBrane SF)

Last but not least, I will have a story in the Tales for Canterbury anthology to raise money for the earthquake victims of Christchurch, New Zealand. List of contributors here.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine pre-slushing workshop!

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is turning fifty—fifty issues, that is.

Over the past forty-nine issues, since 2002, we’ve published many authors who are ‘big names’ in SFF, sometimes, but not always, before they became big names. Think Aliette de Bodard, think Jay Lake. Think Sean Williams, Simon Brown, Sean McMullen, Felicity Pulman. We’ve also published many writers who had never published before.

As a way to celebrate our publishing milestone, and to promote our image as a magazine that publishes new and upcoming writers, this blog will feature an online pre-slushing session in early March.

The concept is this:

ASIM has a three-stage submission process. First, a submitted story goes out to a reader. If the reader thinks the story is OK, two more slush readers will read it. If the story passes those readings, it will go into the slush pool. At this stage our editors go fishing. But successfully getting through all these stages is still quite hard.

This pre-slushing project gives new writers the opportunity to get feedback before submitting officially to the magazine, thus giving you a better shot at success, at ASIM or elsewhere.

For any stories submitted that week, providing the stories meet the guidelines for the magazine (that is: they are speculative fiction), writers will receive feedback from our editors on the first page (300 words) of the story, and if the story passes the first round, the entire story.

First page critiques will be posted on this blog so that other writers can glean some information from it, too. The title of your story and your name will not be posted (so that our slush readers will not be influenced), just the first 300 words with commentary.

There are no further obligations on either part. Having submitted here won’t mean that you have to submit the story to ASIM, so you can take the comments, edit the story and send it off to our submissions address, or the submissions address of any other magazine for that matter.

Also, having submitted here won’t guarantee publication in the magazine, but it will give you an opportunity to get feedback from people who actually buy stories.

This will be a fundraising effort, so if you don’t already subscribe, you will be strongly ‘encouraged’ to buy, for a few lousy dollars, a special three-issue e-subscription to the magazine for which you get three e-issues with great fiction.

Interested? Follow me or @ASIMtweets on Twitter, or watch this space. Exact dates and more details will be announced later.