Sunday, October 28, 2007

A New Slice Of Life For Short Stories

Once upon a time, in a world hungry for stories and a publishing industry eager to gobble them up, there were many, many magazines and newspapers which offered writers a chance to showcase their short stories. A great many writers did get their start this way. Asimov, O'Henry, I.B. Singer, Jack London come to mind just to mention a few. The magazines were plentiful and the stories or novella's were just what the public wanted.

Somewhere along the line the tastes of the public changed. When dealing in fiction "more was better". The Novel became the sine qua non of the fiction publication industry. The plethora of magazines devoted to short stories became smaller and smaller. Of course, the big bad wolves dressed up as Marketing experts told us that it simply was market forces at work as the magazines closed their doors one after the other. To be sure the more devoted magazines to the art of the short story remained, and the redaction of the market proved only the better for them. But for the writer of short stories, especially the new, untested writer, found it more and more difficult to get a short story published in a legitimate market.

Then came the Internet, where one might think the short story market could flourish, giving short story writers exposure to the world at large. That promise as well has not panned out, due to a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the slow movement to read a book or story not in a print format.

Lately, there seems to be some (not a great deal) but some movement back to the short story print magazine "anthology". The newest entry into the market is Slice Magazine and it seems the editors here are getting it right.

So for you short story writers here is some basic information but I strongly suggest you go take a look at the Slice Magazine website, which by the way, is done very well with clear format and clear divisions for information. They also seem to have "themes" for each edition but these as well are a bit fluid. As they write:
We are currently accepting material for our March, 2008 issue. The theme for article submissions is "Heroes," and, as always, all other submissions are open-ended.
The editors over at slice (former book editors), describe their magazine as follows:
Slice is a new literary magazine created to provide a forum for dynamic conversations between emerging and established authors. Slice is the brainchild of two book editors who have had a firsthand view of how difficult it is for new authors to break into the world of publishing. Our mission is to pave a space for these writers who may not have a platform but show the kind of talent that could be the substance of great works in the future. We are equally dedicated to celebrating established writers, whose work moves beyond the boundaries of writing to not only redefine literature, but to inspire new voices to grow. Slice magazine's first issue will be available in print September, 2007.
That sounds exciting and positive for those who really would like to break into print. And now what do they accept?
Slice magazine welcomes short fiction, nonfiction, and novellas for serialization. For novellas, please submit the first three chapters, along with a synopsis. We're looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share--basically any work that really knocks our socks off. At the moment, we're not particularly drawn to experimental or heavy-handed genre fiction. However, we may have issues in the future with themes that lend themselves to such writing. Check out the description of our most current issue to see if your writing fits. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as we're notified immediately if the work is selection for publication elsewhere. All submissions should be previously unpublished. All submissions must be submitted electronically, in the body of an email. We cannot consider submissions as attachments. Be sure to include detailed contact information. Please allow two to three months for us to reply to your submission. While we are currently unable to pay for published material, we hope to reward our writers by creating a wide audience of readers who are just as passionate about literature as we are.

Please send your submissions to
All great especially the SS part. But do not get too excited just yet. The one drawback is the publishing schedule.
Slice is a print magazine published twice a year in March and September. Our first issue will be available September, 2007.
Alas! I would assume that the editors are still testing the market demand. Twice a year will mean that Slice Magazine will be deluged with submissions and thus the competition is that much greater. It would be great to see a reputable magazine publication, publish 12 times a year and join the ranks of The Paris Review, Harpers, Atlantic and the rest of the crew, not to mention the awe-inspiring dream of hitting the New Yorker pages with a short story.

Well, there it is. Sounds good, the drawback being the publishing schedule. But who knows? If it works and they get enough advertising dollars, maybe they will expand the publication schedule. For now it seems a good bet if you have patience. Go take a look at Slice Magazine. Who knows? Maybe a new slice of life is waiting for you.

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind

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