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.
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 must 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.