Another One Bites the Dust

Goodbye, Necrography.

Got an email today informing me of the demise of yet another small print 'zine. I'd submitted to them in the past, but ended up pulling my story because the lag time was far, far too long...

I'm not sure what the formula for a successful start-up is, 'cause I've obviously got no experience in that area, but I will say that as a writer I was kind of offended when they announced their last-ditch survival effort a few weeks ago:

Because of this, we're implementing a new submission policy. It's very simple. If you buy a copy of Necrography, then submit your work, we guarantee it will be read and reviewed with the utmost attention and you'll get a quick and personal response in a very timely manner. If, however, you submit to Necrography without buying a copy, we can't guarantee we'll respond to your submission or even read it in the first place. This submission policy will be in place when (and if) we re-open submissions again.
Now, I can appreciate a lack of money as much as the next starving artist, and I surely can imagine the pain of submissions that far outstrip advertising or subscription dollars, but this just didn't seem like a great idea to me. Sure enough, it pissed people off:

The move we made nearly a month ago, in regards to our tiered submissions triage, served only to anger a few of our writers and friends.
In any case, there has to be a better way. I find it sad that small print 'zines have such a low survival rate, but the fact is, the world is changing. Short fiction is becoming an online format, pure and simple. People don't buy magazines for stories much anymore - if they buy stories in print at all, they buy them in anthology format. That's just reality.

However, I think it is true that as writers and readers, we should support the 'zines we expect to stay alive long enough to publish us. Small press magazines have a long history of teaching wanna be's how to write professionally, and I think that's especially true for genre writers. So, maybe we do have an obligation to subscribe as well as submit.

Brandon Bell has an interesting post on the subject, and his idea is to subscribe to three 'zines, to lend his support to venues that support his career as a writer. I can get behind that, I think. Updates to follow.

05 October 2009


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