Fantasy Scroll Magazine Launched

Recently my friend and fellow writer, Iulian Ionescu, took the bold step of starting up a new genre magazine.  Called Fantasy Scroll Mag, it will feature Scifi, Fantasy and Horror stories and will be published quarterly

I decided I had to ask Iulian about this project and he agreed to publicly answer some questions;

* What possessed you to start a magazine?

Possessed is the right word, but I believe I’ve been possessed ever since I have decided to become a writer, in a good way, at least. But to answer the question, I believe there are two parts to this. On one hand, I’ve been a first time writer a while back. I had one story and one chapter of a novel and I was clueless as to what to do, but most of all, I was intimidated and afraid. I think most beginning authors go through that phase, so my magazine’s goal was to be open to new writers and help them boost their writing career. On the other hand, I have always wanted to be a part of the publishing world. The entire industry is evolving, becoming more digital every day, and I’m a bona fide geek – I want to be a part of it.

issue-000-cover* What are your aspirations for the magazine?

I think the long-term goal for the magazine is to become a professional publication. By that I mean to have a good circulation and readership, and be able to pay writers pro-rates. I know that everything is turning digital, but I still hold a little glimpse of a hope that perhaps I will still be able to create a print version of the magazine. I grew up holding magazines in my hands and I don’t think I am over that yet. Kindle is cool, but printed paper is loaded with some kind of emotion. I might be too late in the game, but I can still hold that as a possible goal for now.

* What are your short-term goals for the magazine?

The shortest goal is to put the first issue out there. Since it will be the first one, it will also be a test for the process itself, so it is a major milestone. The one year goal is to keep up and release the 4 issues planned, and perhaps one ‘best of’ anthology at the end of the year. These are all attainable, I am sure, but they will require a lot of discipline and dedication on my part and anyone else who’d be willing to work with me on this project.

* Do you have a plan for handling the slush pile?

I have created a good process where stories go through a pipeline and get graded, sorted and tagged along the way. I am using first-readers to get an initial opinion. Although I wish I never have to reject a story, the truth is that a rejection becomes clear pretty early in the story, so it doesn’t take a very long time. It becomes more tedious when you find stories that are not exactly rejections, but they are not 100% acceptances either. With those, I will try to work with the writer and see if we can make the story turn into an acceptance.

* What is the most important element you’re looking for in a story?

I am a fast reader living in a fast world, and most readers share the same fate. So, I need a strong start. The story my-face-2_biggermust hook me right away and make me want to read more. If the story is draggy, if it has too much backstory or unnecessary introspective narrative, I won’t even get to the meat of things. So, make sure your story has a strong start.

Similarly, I want a good ending. I hate when the ending lets me unsatisfied. Make sure all plot threads are closed, make sure the ending makes sense and doesn’t cheat me.

All I can add in conclusion is Good Luck, Iulian.  I hope you achieve all your goals.  The magazine is now open for submissions. Go here to read the submission guidelines.