Once upon a time we (Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt) co-edited a 'zine called Flytrap. (Don't worry, if we get funded, we'll make a new, less mid-2000s-looking, website.) We went on hiatus five years ago, soon after our son was born, because we didn't have time to be editors and parents. But, hey, 5-year-olds practically raise themselves, so we've decided to leap back into the fast-paced world of tiny magazine publishing -- assuming you want to read eclectic and amazing short fiction (mostly SF/fantasy, but other stuff too), poetry, non-fiction, and art.
A bit of history: from 2003-2008, we published ten issues of Flytrap, and included stories, poems, and essays by writers like Barth Anderson, Christopher Barzak, Elizabeth Bear, Stephanie Burgis, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Alan DeNiro, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Daphne Gottlieb, M.K. Hobson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Jay Lake, Jen Larsen, Kristin Livdahl, Nick Mamatas, Melissa Marr, David Moles, Sarah Monette, Sarah Prineas, Jenn Reese, M. Rickert, Benjamin Rosenbaum, David J. Schwartz, Steve Rasnic Tem, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Jeff VanderMeer, Greg van Eekhout, Ray Vukcevich, Leslie What, and even more amazingly talented people, if such a thing can be believed.
We'd like to get back to our old twice-a-year publishing schedule, and are seeking sufficient funds to do our first issue, in spring 2014. This new incarnation will be a bit different from its pure micro-press predecessor, though. For one, we'll pay professional rates for our content. For another, we'll publish primarily in digital formats, with our print incarnation available only to Kickstarter backers, apart from a handful of extras we'll sell at conventions (though we'll offer a PDF in addition to epub and Kindle versions so everyone can glory in our layout skills).
Each issue will feature about half a dozen stories (more if some are short, fewer if we fall in love with a novella), a few pieces from a featured poet, and the revival of Nick Mamatas's scathing "Life Among the Obliterati" column. We'll also include our customary array of miscellaneous oddments and wonders: essays, photos, artwork, cartoons, reviews, and uncategorizable weirdnesses.
For our first issue we expect to include stories from a couple of old favorite contributors (including fiction from Melissa Marr and Greg van Eekhout!), but finding new voices is important to us too -- some of those famous people listed above were rather less famous when we published them -- so we'll be open to unsolicited submissions as well. We'll put up guidelines if we get funded, but we plan to pay 5 cents/word for fiction and competitive rates for fiction, non-fiction, and art.
In general, the more we get, the more we can do with the 'zine. If we exceed the initial goal we can pay more for art and poetry and non-fiction, and run more stories, and make a prettier product (full color cover for print? Perfect binding instead of staples? The possibilities are finite but quite large!). For some more concrete goals:
If we hit twice our goal, and break into the land of five figures? That will fund our second issue in Fall 2014, and spare you another of these fundraisers next year. In that case everyone who gives at least $10 will get the digital version of issue #2 as well.
If we get up beyond that, to $11,000 or more, we'll re-launch our chapbook series. In addition to annual holiday chapbooks featuring work by your humble co-editors, we also published short, illustrated collections by Jenn Reese and Greg van Eekhout. We would dearly love to start doing that sort of thing again, and if we make enough, we'll do another collection with a short fiction writer or poet. Anyone who donates at least $10 will get a digital version of that chapbook if we reach this stretch goal.
Risks and challenges
Magazines have lots of moving parts -- dealing with contributors, art, layout, printing, digital formatting, and so on -- any of which can potentially cause problems. But we have a lot of experience dealing with that sort of thing.
What are our qualifications? Well, we've done this before, and now that we're older and wiser, we can do it even better. But if you want more objective data: Tim Pratt is the editor of anthologies including Sympathy for the Devil and the forthcoming Rags & Bones (with Melissa Marr), has been poetry editor for a couple of magazines, and is a senior editor at Locus, the magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field. (He helps create the digital versions of Locus too, so he's got that skillset covered.) Heather Shaw was fiction and poetry editor of online magazine Fishnet, with many of her selections chosen for Year's Best anthologies, and she used to edit poetry for the online magazine Clean Sheets (and she's a Locus editor, too). We can make an awesome magazine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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