The Whitelist

I’m getting a bit frustrated with the practices of some small press and small magazines. It’s all very well for an author to submit to such a venue, but an author trying to sell fiction can do without venues that take aaaaages to respond, publish material without contract, don’t edit and publish stories without proofreading, don’t pay the promised pittance, or in the case of small press, are inflexible and want authors to sign away rights the press will never use.

However, concentrating on such issues would sound like whingery. There are sites devoted this this kind of stuff.

I like small press. I like the personal nature of it, the idea that one of those other authors you’re sharing a magazine with may well be the next big thing in a few years’ time. Small press and small magazines are full of promise. However, when you go to sites like Duotrope or Ralan, there are just so many small magazines and small presses. Where to submit? Who are the good guys? So enter the whitelist (as in: the opposite of a blacklist), where people can send in their good experiences. Send your nominations in the comment section and I’ll append them to this page.

The Whitelist of Speculative Fiction small magazines and small presses

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (nominated by Michael Merriam)
great product, editors who actually edit, and pay per their guidelines
Bards & Sages Quarterly (nominated by Michael Merriam)
great product, editors who actually edit, and pay per their guidelines
Crossed Genres (nominated by Chris)
Response time is quick, and the editors are lovely toward writers. Their content is posted online but they also give author copies of the zine in various ebook formats and offer discounts on copies of their print edition.
Cyberwizard Productions (Nominated by Gustavo Bondoni)
Gustavo says: They are neat and thorough, always clear as to what they need and what you get from them.
Every Day Fiction (nominated by John Gibbs)
John says: Not high-paying, but they have great stories and pay on time.
M-Brane-SF (nominated by Patty Jansen)
Publish: ezine, Science Fiction. Fast turnaround, prompt contract, payment, and author copies.
Semaphore (nominated by Patty Jansen)
Publish: PDF zine, SF and fantasy. Fast turnaround, prompt contract, payment, and author copies.
Space and Time magazine (nominated by Merrilee Faber)
Merrilee says: The two editors there that I have had dealings with (Gerard and Hildy) are both friendly and professional. Hildy was very patient with the difficulties of getting a contract from the USA to the sticks. Definitely worth your time, and they publish great stories too 🙂
Sybil’s Garage (nominated by Simon Petrie)
Simon says: Anthology markets generally seem to send out galley proofs (at least, this is true of all the antho markets I’ve sold to), but it tends to be a rarer practice with magazines, which is a pity. Sybil’s Garage deserves a mention as a magazine which does send out galleys (and which does lots else right), even if it is–ahem–now referring to itself as an ‘anthology series’.
Tales of the Unanticipated (nominated by Michael Merriam)
great product, editors who actually edit, and pay per their guidelines, although Michael says they can be slow, but provide great feedback.
Stephen Dedman adds: They pay 1.5cUS/word, but only buy North American rights, and so will re-publish stories from Australian publications. They give great feedback, from multiple editors, with acceptances and rejections. The only drawback is that they have a very short reading period every year, so keep checking the website to see when they’re open for subs.
Three Crow Press (nominated by Michael Merriam)
Ticonderoga Publications (nominated by Patty Jansen)
Publish: mainly anthologies. Great design, good editing, doing all the right things with regards to contracts and payments.

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16 comments on “The Whitelist

  1. Thanks for mentioning M-Brane SF. Since I have little to offer as far as payment, I try to get the other things right.

    From my own recent experience as a writer, I’d nominate for this list Crossed Genres. Response time is quick, and the editors are lovely toward writers. Their content is posted online but they also give author copies of the zine in various ebook formats and offer discounts on copies of their print edition.

    • You may not have a lot to offer as payment, to me, the payment is worth less than the principle. I use small press payments to buy subscriptions, because it in an incentive for me to keep submitting to small presses.
      There is something inherently wrong with offering a token payment and then not paying it upon publication.

  2. I’d like to give a shout out to Space and Time magazine. The two editors there that I have had dealings with (Gerard and Hildy) are both friendly and professional. Hildy was very patient with the difficulties of getting a contract from the USA to the sticks. Definitely worth your time, and they publish great stories too 🙂

  3. I am honoured to be on this list! And you may be assured that I will continue to be too afraid of Doing It Wrong* not to continue in the same vein (and continue trying to improve – have managed to cut down response times a fair bit recently, about which I’m particularly pleased.)

    *Apparently two Duotrope users have been waiting hundreds of days for a pending response, and I don’t know who they are! D: D: I wish they would send me an irate email or two …

    • Glad to be of service! I think that sometimes people forget to enter their replies in Duotrope, because I can see other magazines with horrific response times that are obviously bogus.
      My longest-running submission with a magazine stands at 417 days today. It’s genuine 😉

  4. Thanks to you and Gustavo for the nod out to Cyberwizard Productions. We’re trying very hard to change a few things in the publishing industry – starting with making sure we respond to initial queries promptly, set a clear expectation for when we’ll send back an acceptance/decline/request for revision (and meet it) all the way to ensuring that our authors are involved (at least as much as they want to be) in all aspects of the publication of their book or their story in our magazine Abandoned Towers.

  5. I’d like to add Tales of the Unanticipated, http://www.totu-ink.com/guidelines.phtml . They pay 1.5cUS/word, but only buy North American rights, and so will re-publish stories from Australian publications. They give great feedback, from multiple editors, with acceptances and rejections. The only drawback is that they have a very short reading period every year, so keep checking the website to see when they’re open for subs.

    • that is why I’ve posted this list in a separate tab, rather than as a regular blog post. But I will continue to remind people of this page every now and then

    • Should I?
      I intended the list for small, amateur-level publications up to semipro at the very most. Cosmos is a pro-level magazine and as such, I think they defeat the purpose of this list. Moreover, I don’t think there is any question that pro-level magazines will edit your work and honour their contracts. The fact that some small magazines have lousy practices, and that it’s hard for a writer to determine which ones will do the right thing, was the reason why I started the list.

  6. Hi Patty!

    Great list. I’m a bit biased for Three Crow press since I have a story up there at the moment. 🙂

    Killer Krill From Outer Space

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