2019 In The Rearview

2019 In The Rearview

From the desk of the LampLight editor:

2019 wasn’t a good year here. I’m not going to go into the details and sad stories, but I am going to apologize that it affected LampLight, but for the readers who were waiting for the issue, and the writers whose submissions were horribly delayed.

For the readers: The September issue came out in November. We are pushing the December issue to January, both to give a little breathing room and to ensure all the stories will be eligible for ‘…of the year’ type awards. After that, we will be back on schedule.

Issue 8.1 is amazing, by the way. I hope you enjoy it.

For the writers: all the submissions from March-May of 2019 have been read, and responded to. Please check your inboxes or Submittable account for replies. Again, I am sorry this took so long.

I made the decision once I got behind to still take the time and diligence with each submission as I normally would, rather than try to cut corners to finish faster.

For those who submitted in October – December of 2019, I’m getting to your submissions now, and the response time should be much better this go-round.

We’ll have five issues of LampLight in 2020. We will have some great classics, starting with version of Frankenstein that shows the differences between the 1818 and 1831 editions. We are going to publish some poetry, that I am particularly excited about. And that’s just the beginning.

2020, here we come.

On Open Submission

There had been a discussion about editors and invite-only anthologies and about whether they were “real” editors.

First off, that’s a little silly; of course they are real editors. The question seemed to relate workload with professionalism, which is not a good way to think about it.

But the discussion evoked thoughts in me about ‘invite’ v ‘open call.’

I’ve done both—and do both for LampLight, and while there is an energy to the invite, I feel the strength and future of the genre lies in the open call.

Most of the people who have been published in LampLight, I didn’t know who they were before they submitted. I wouldn’t have been able to find their stories any other way.

The issue with invite only is that you are pulling from a known pool. “Only publish your friends…” was the criticism, and while that is not the case—it is the case. The bubble you live in as an editor only reaches so far. Your reach, your knowledge, is limited.

Now this is not saying “Nepotism!” or questioning the quality of these anthologies. But I would challenge those editors to make sure their reach, their invite, stretches further with each go.

The future is in the open invite. Literally. The future of the genre, of writing itself, is out there, unknown, sending stories, trying to get a break, wanting to be read, to be seen.

Post-Post-Horror

Apparently LampLight has been post-horror for five years now… you’re welcome.

Snark aside, I think this article by Douglas Winter, will offer more insight into how this discussion even started.

Remember, outside of the small press / con scene, horror exists as a different animal. People wrote it off about the time the 7th Friday the 13th movie came out, and have imagined it has remained, unchanged, since then.

Even though that kind of story never represented the genre as a whole, in either film or page.

This is the exact reason I started LampLight. It is the exact audience I am hoping to reach. People who love this stuff, but don’t think it even exists. People who marketing uses ‘thriller’ or ‘suspense’ to reach, and the writers use the word ‘horror’ to describe.

Quiet horror. Post horror. Dark fiction. Dark fantasy. Supernatural thriller. Marketing words. And no, marketing words do not define the genre… but they can define the audience, and there in lies the post-horror discussion.