IN THIS ISSUE:
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for Copyright Information
N.E. White and Trevor Morrison joined us as associate editors with this issue. Both have taken on the unenviable task of sifting through the digital "pile" of submissions that Allegory receives pretty much constantly.
Their work,especially as "newbees," has been exceptional. What we do isn't easy, folks, and it isn't always fun. And everyone at Allegory, including myself, does it on a strictly volunteer basis. So you really need to love it!
My deepest gratitude goes out to both of our new editors as well as, of course, my entire staff. It's no lie to say, without reservation, that I couldn't do it without you!
- Ty Drago
EDITOR'S SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
While we pretty much deal
with the written word, our resident proof-reader (and oldest volunteer)
was part of the radio world on November 26, and the MP3/podcast is
still available at the Performance Today site from American Public
Media. Kelly Ferjutz was a guest contestant on the Piano Puzzler portion
of the most listened-to classical music program in America. The link
should be good for several months yet.
by Ty Drago
We receive anywhere from 400 to 500 submissions per issue. We sift through them all carefully, narrowing them down to usually about twenty "maybes." Then Yours Truly spends about a week going through those "maybes" and trimming them down to the eight stories that are actually published in each issue.
So, if you do the math, you'll probably figure out that every submission has a base chance of 1 in 20 to 1 in 25 chance of making the "maybe" list, and an ultimate chance of 1 in 50 to 1 in 62.5 of actually making a sale. Those odds, while better than at some other publications (both print and online) can still seem daunting.
The best way to figure out what we want is by reading the ezine and reviewing our submission guidelines carefully. Your goal in this should be to understand the kind of stories that appeal to us and then to consider submitting work that fits that profile.
That's all well and good. But, while such an effort will certainly help you grasp what Allegory wants, it doesn't necessary speak to what Allegory doesn't want. So, with that in mind, here are some of the biggest Don't Do's, at least from my perspective.
1. DON'T send novels
Seriously, folks. We publish short stories and articles. Always have. Always will. We don't publish novel length fiction, ever. We aren't interested in serializing novel length fiction. We don't review novel length fiction; heck, we barely have the time to review the submissions we have already! As a novelist myself, I get what you're feeling and know how hard it is to break into this business. But please don't send us your novels.
2. DON'T submit by snail mail
Every issue, I get at least a few big envelopes in our post office box. Allegory doesn't accept regular mail submissions for the simple reason that, were we to accept one, somebody would have to transcribe it. We're volunteers, folks. Nobody at this ezine, including (and especially) me, makes a dime for our efforts. For this reason, we focus entirely on digital content going out and coming in.
Snail mail stories are sent back without having been read.
3. DON'T offer to do a rewrite
This is a frequent occurrence. An eager and well-meaning writer will offer to do a rewrite of a submission that has been rejected based on some inference taken from the editorial comments. Allegory (unlike a lot of publications) tries to offer at least minimal feedback on every submission. But this is not the same as requesting a rewrite.
Rewrite requests from us are rare, but they do happen. However, when they happen, there is no ambiguity. Trust me, you'll know it if we want to see the story again.
4. DON'T submit outside of our genres
Allegory publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. We don't publish mysteries, romances, general interest, or slice of life, unless there's a speculative slant. We don't publish essays, stream of consciousness, poetry of any kind, or political manifestos.
You know who you are! :)
Read our guidelines. Read our issues. Get to know us before you send us something. It will save you no end of grief.
5. Watch the vampires and Nazis.
This is more of a word of caution than a Don't Do. I'm not saying we've never published short stories with a vampire or Nazi theme. We have. I'm not saying we never will again. I'm simply saying that it's hard, really hard, to sink a new shaft into those thoroughly mined fictional veins, so to speak.
Vampires are fun and sexy. Nazi were (and are) horrific. Both would seem excellent avenues to explore from a storytelling perspective. But folks, if you can come up with something truly original to say about either subject, then I'd love to see it.
But I rarely do.
Well, that's about it. I hope these tips prove helpful.
Just bear in mind the amount of material that we receive and how important
it is to "stand out from the crowd." I know first-hand
It really can. Good luck to you all.
“You see that?” Des asked. He passed Caleb
the binoculars and wished that the question hadn’t made him sound
so small. Caleb took the binoculars and squinted southward.
As she dances before me, coming closer and then gliding
away, I reach out my silver gloved hand but she is just beyond my reach.
I feel a lump form in my throat and the trickle of a tear running down
my cheek. I want to rise to my feet, to approach her shyly, to offer
her my arm. I ache to join her in the dance, to twirl her around, to
find my own legs. But, like in most dreams, my legs are rooted in place
and I can only watch. Still, it brings me a hint of joy, the only joy
I’m ever likely to experience again.
I shuddered and slipped on my work gloves, running a
finger over the intricate pattern, tracing two circular sections the
size of silver dollars. The skin over the circles was smooth and clear,
like a windowpane.
We all have different fears growing up. Mine was of the old barn down the gravel road from my house. I had to walk that single-lane stretch of loose rocks and earth every morning because the school bus never turned onto it. Something kept me away from that barn each morning. I can’t say what. All I know is the sensation that crawled up my body each time I had to pass by it. I never got too close. Until the fall before I turned eleven. Because after the leaves got sick and fell from the trees, fate gave me no other choice.
don’t I just move the pieces myself?” the old man countered.
don’t I just move the pieces myself?” the old man countered.
Abigail’s fingers brush the chain before she realizes
that she is touching the body. A beautiful locket with a brocade embossing
hangs on the chain. She hefts the charm. Her eyes dart up and down the
beach, side to side where the beach lulls up to the grassy mainland.
She is still alone, with the dead woman. Trying not to touch, the cold,
wet skin, she pulls the chain from around the woman’s neck. Strands
of the dead woman's hair snag in the clasp.
Taste for Adventure"
“What? He just fell right into the trap? You didn’t
have to glamour him? No curses or hexes necessary?” The blonde
one squealed. “How did your familiar react?”
He never put her in the bed with him, because really, who would do such a thing? Every night, no matter when he faded into restless sleep, no matter where he left her the night before, she would find her way into the bed, her eyes pale and open, a pair of cold, green marbles. There was a time, in the early days, when he would actually slide the lids closed. It was an innocent enough thing, the desire to avoid her gaze, to refuse to see, but it was a futile gesture all the same. As soon as he turned away, they were open once more.
this issue we're doing things a little differently. Instead of short
Allegory deals with submissions in the way that, as far as I know, remains fairly unique in the publishing world. Each story is individually reviewed and, if considered publishable, is placed in our "Maybe" pile. At the end of each submission period, these "Maybes" are reviewed, and the best eight chosen to appear in the next issue. This final cut is made on the basis of issue balance, and does NOT reflect the overall quality of these stories.
That said, here - in no particular order - are the "Maybes" who just missed publication in Allegory. Each one is a fine tale that we would have been proud to publish. Remember these names, friends and fellows. You'll be hearing from them in the future. I guarantee it!
An Astronomical Collision by Daniel
Editor for Hire!!!
Allegory's own Kelly Ferjutz, who has lent her editorial talents to this ezine since its inception in 1998, is now offering her expertise to writers out there looking for professional editing services.
Kelly is a veteran editor, a published author in her own right, as well as a "blogsman".
Click HERE to discover more about Kelly's offered services.
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