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Crime and Suspense (Mystery)

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Old 11-02-2006, 05:53 PM
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Default Crime and Suspense (Mystery)

Crime and Suspense

Submission Guidelines

Look HERE for information about the new contents of Crime and Suspense beginning in 2007!

Send all submissions for publication to submissions@crimeandsuspense.com. Include a cover letter, but send your story as an attachment. Make sure you include your name and please be patient. We try to get back to you ASAP but sometimes things just don’t work that way. Be sure to mark SUBMISSION in the subject line to avoid our SPAM filters.

Read ALL the submission guidelines before submitting. Your submission of work tacitly indicates that you have read and agree with all guidelines and conditions contained herein.

You also understand that submissions sent in that are not formatted properly will be trashed without consideration. The editors do not have time to reformat everyone's submissions, and anyway, if the author can't be bothered to follow the submission guidelines, why should the editor be bothered to read the story?

NOTE: the Themes for July 2006 through December 2006 are found here.

In General...

1. All submissions should come to submissions@crimeandsuspense.com. Include a cover letter and make your story an attachment to the email (see cover letter example and details about attachments below).
2. We are interested in reviews, articles about writing, short stories and flash fiction. Beginning in January 2007, we will also publish serial stories.
3. If you want to write an article instead of a story, it needs to focus on writing, crime, suspense or mystery fiction, or authors in these genres. Best bet: query us about it first, before you write it.
4. Hard-boiled detective stuff is fine. So are cozy mysteries. Eerie, suspenseful stories are great. But don't waste your time sending us a story that is nothing but bang-bang, shoot-em-up, where the blood runs off of the page/screen. And don't send anything with explicit sex in it. Waste of your time, and ours.
5. In your cover letter, tell us a little bit about yourself. We really REALLY do want to know this, so don't skip it, or your entire email will disappear into the electronic wastebasket without being read. The ideal cover letter will look something like this:

Dear Editor,

I would like to submit my story for your consideration. I am a 36-year-old day laborer from Atlanta, Georgia, and my personal passion is baking. My story is entitled "The Dough Also Rises", and is set in East McKeesport, Maine.

Story summary: In my story, a pastry chef gets caught up in a web of intrigue surrounding a poisoned loaf of pumpernickel and a catered party for an African potentate. The pastry chef discovers the poisoned pumpernickel just in time to save the potentate, but the police blame the chef for the poisoning. He exposes the sous chef as the true culprit, and narrowly avoids being filleted. The story is about 6,600 words.

I have had fiction published in "Atlanta Phoenix" and "Maine Events", as well as on several public restroom walls.

Thank you for your time.


Justin Thyme

6. For goodness sake, check your work for grammar, spelling, usage, etc. Probably if we like your work, we will ask you to tweak it a little anyway, but you will increase your chances of having it published if you send it to us looking as good as possible. And if you are not willing to do edits when asked by the Editor, please don't even submit to us.
7. Formatting:
* Don't indent your paragraphs. Just put a return at the end of each paragraph. NO EXTRA LINES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS.
* Use standard punctuation, just as you would if you were writing a story for anyone else.
* If you want something italicized, then send it that way. The same goes for boldfaced text.
8. Submissions sent in the body of the email will NOT be accepted. (We have had major issues with submissions sent in the body of email.) Send your work as an attachment, and please follow these rules:
* Attachments accepted as MS Word 2000, MS Word-97, OpenOffice .ODT or RTF files.
* Use Times new Roman or Arial font. Documents in "Hexia Bulgarian Script Nuevo" or the like will be laughed at, then tossed in the electronic wastebasket.
* Don't bother with headers or footers. We're reading these online, and don't need them.

9. If we publish your story, article or review, we require serial exclusivity with it for ONE MONTH. After that, you can publish it anywhere you like, but please let us know if it gets published elsewhere. In other words, you retain copyright to your individual story. You give us exclusive rights of publication for one month after it first appears.
10. We also have the non-exclusive right to electronically archive your story or article indefinitely, as well as non-exclusive anthology rights for one year after its publication date. After one year, you can ask for all rights to your story and they will be gladly given, and if necessary, the story removed from our archives.
11. If we reject your story outright, sorry. It means it is not right for us, but it still may be right for someone else. If we ask you to make changes, and you don't want to make the changes, that's your prerogative. It's also our prerogative not to publish it.
12. If we have to make any sort of changes other than minor edits (spelling, misplaced commas, etc.), we'll check with you first.
13. Grammar and usage. Until very recently, the editors have been doing a great deal of corrective copyediting. We don't have time to do that (we have day jobs to buy the bread, bologna and generic soda pop we survive on.) So, if your story isn't pretty darn close to fully correct, we'll be sending it back to you for rewrites. You get two shots are rewriting, provided there is enough time before the story is needed.
14. As a rule, the deadline for each month's issue is the 15th of the month prior. So, to go into the June issue, you need to have your story in be May 15th at the latest.
15. Appropriate language. "Street language" denoting sexual acts (such as "f**k" and the like) or words which crudely denote the sexual organs (you know what they are), blatant description of sexual activity and blood/gore/slaughter for the sake of its shock value are not appropriate, and will not be tolerated. If you can't figure out a way to make your story keep the reader's attention without these things, maybe you should beef up your vocabulary or become a little more creative. (Added May 27, 2006. Does not apply to stories accepted before this date.)

Articles Specs—articles may be about writing in general, writing of crime, suspense or mystery fiction in particular or interviews with authors in the genre. In general, keep the length from 200-300 words. Inquire before investing the time in writing the article!

Flash Fiction Specs—Correct genre, obviously and the tightest writing you can manage. The length should be from 250 words to 1499 words.

Short Story Specs—obviously the genre must be correct, although if you can create a cross-genre piece that works, we're interested in seeing it. (Sci-fi with a futuristic detective, horror with a crime or supernatural detective, etc.) The length should be from 1500 words to 4500 words. And follow good fiction guidelines: have a good story arc, characters the reader will care about, a satisfying denouement and above all it must be believable. Tom Clancy said it best: "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."

Serial Story Specs—Minimum of four chapters, maximum of six. Each chapter must have from 1500 to 2000 words. Cliffhangers or at least interest sustainers at the end of each chapter. Excellent story arc, characters the reader can care about (either love or hate), and a satisfying denouement. All other restrictions regarding profanity, sex, etc. apply here as they do with the regular stories. Crime and Suspense will have exclusive print and online rights to the serial work for one year after the first installment runs in the ezine.

As of January 1, 2007, we will be paying a nominal fee for serial stories, but at this time we cannot pay for anything else. We regret this (REALLY!!), but you will get some great exposure.

Also, since only subscribers get to see the most recent issue of the ezine, you need to subscribe to have something published. It's free, anyway, so no worries. Go to the bottom of this page to subscribe.

Please read the information below very carefully!

Writings submitted and accepted by Crime and Suspense may be published immediately or held until a later date for publication. All writings accepted will be published first in the Crime and Suspense ezine and then archived on the Crime and Suspense website for public viewing. During the period of time of publication in the ezine (one month), the author agrees that Crime and Suspense shall have exclusive electronic rights of publication.

By submitting your work to Crime and Suspense for publication, you agree to the following:


You certify that you are the writer/artist of the work being submitted to Crime and Suspense.

You understand that the work being submitted is not to be accessible through any other electronic medium for the month of its publication in the Crime and Suspense ezine.

You also agree that Crime and Suspense may archive your work after initial publication.

You retain all rights to your work except exclusive electronic publication rights for the month of publication, non-exclusive indefinite archival rights and non-exclusive anthology rights for one year after publication.

You retain the copyright throughout the process.

If your work should appear elsewhere after having been selected for publication, it will be noted that it has appeared in the Crime and Suspense ezine, located at http://www.crimeandsuspense.com.

Crime and Suspense (http://www.crimeandsuspense.com) reserves the right to reject any article, story, poetry or prose for any reason. Submission of your work indicates that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions outlined here.


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