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.
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.
We have a goal, we want to get to 1,000 subscribers to LampLight magazine.
With this goal we will be able to acquire more great stories. We will be able to increase writer pay. With this goal, we will be sure that LampLight will be around for another 5 years.
Buy a Subscription, 10$ for One Year!
A subscription is convenient and saves money! For just 10$ a year you will get four great issues of LampLight emailed to you or direct to your Kindle. Ebooks will be available as epub, mobi and PDF.
And, as a bonus, get the current issue as well!
These are our subscriber goals:
- 500 – Additional story per issue. Submissions periods increased.
- 750 – Bonus issue of LampLight that will ONLY be available to subscribers. Payment cap removed.
- 1,000 – Increase writer payments to 6¢ per word for new fiction, 3¢ per word for reprints.
- 2000 – We switch to bi-monthly, releasing SIX issues a year of great fiction.
We want to be around for a long time, and to bring the best dark fiction right to your hands. Help us achieve that. Pick up a subscription, help spread the word.
Buy a Subscription
All of the funds from these purchases are going straight to us, no cut from Amazon or Kickstarter. All of these funds are going right back into LampLight magazine to pay writers and editors in our community. Subscriptions support both the magazine and the podcast.
Missed out on some of the older issues? We have two ebook bundles set up as well:
- Volume 3 – Featuring Yvonne Navarro, Mercedes Yardley, Nate Southard, Victorya Chase
- Volume 4 – Featuring Tim Waggoner, Gene O’Neill, Jonathan Janz
Check on the bundles in our ebook store!
For more information on our titles:
The Past issues of LampLight