I have written about the types of stories we expect to publishin tbnl Magazine before – and have mentioned that a likely overall theme for the first issue is Inaugural now I have some more specifics about what we are seeking for the first issue and some specific details to, I hope, inspire friends old and new to submit stories (or in some cases as detailed below proposals for stories).
First the main thing to keep in mind is that tbnl Magazine is not a blog or an online only magazine, what we are seeking first and foremost are stories – fiction or non-fiction – which are intened to be read and thought about – which likely took time to write and will take some real time and thought to read.
Not that stories should be obscure or obtuse – but rather that they should be focused with care taken on both the content and the form. Shorthand or simplifications such as linking to Wikipedia or writing as part of an ongoing and linked discussion (as I did in the first paragraph of this post for example) do not work as well in print. Print demands a more self-contained work, one which stands alone – while also engaging with the world and prior works (more the case for non-fiction than fiction though much of fiction contains echos and allusions to works which have come before)
Second, we are looking for original stories, stories which cannot be found elsewhere (at least prior to publication in tbnl Magazine, all authors will retain the right to sell their stories in other forms or to publish the stories to the web, including under a cc license). This does not mean that in the case of non-fiction we require only original research, indeed new stories which build upon prior coverage and study of an area are quite welcome – especially where the longer timeframe of tbnl Magazine allows for a different and new focus to a story.
By “longer focus” what I mean is to keep in mind that every issue of tbnl Magazine is intended to remain in print for at least 2-3 years and very likely to remain in print indefinitely (and as I wrote earlier this morning our intention is to pay rates which include ongoing royalties) so we are seeking stories which are written in a timeless fashion. Not stories covering a news event just or about to happen, but stories which are analytical or which could be read and engaged with years after they are written. The features of a more typical magazine versus the news or reviews.
We also welcome fiction from any genre (or no specific or clear genre) though I do have a bias towards Science Fiction and Fantasy (followed by Mystery) and will ocnsider stories which are part of an ongoing universe, though everything we publish should be complete and self-contained. We do not expect to publish stories of greater than 8000 words very often and almost never anything over 10,000 words.
So what are we looking for? What should you my readers and friends be thinking about submitting?
- Stories of your passions – explain in a clear and relatively consise way an interest you have pursued for years, your passions, the thing which you have been a “geek” about for years, the interest you perhaps rarely share with others or conversely share too often. At the BIL conference this past weekend the closing speaker spoke on the classes she has taught for the past eight years on giving blow jobs. While we probably would illustrate that particular story with care and tact, we are open to stories covering a very wide range of topics – especially when they are written with passion as well as expertise (or the knowledge of your lack of expertise and the story of how you are learning).
- If you are blogger a story you need to tell but your blog is not the place to do it. Probably a story you have hinted at on the blog or which a series of blog posts have referenced and discussed but which is better as a single, timeless, written with more care story. If your blog is often writen with an eye to that day’s traffic and DIGG/Techmeme and other rankings, tbnl Magazine is a chance for you to expand upon topics and stories in greater depth and with a longer time horizon. Remember, however, that tbnl Magazine is intended for lovers of great stories – we will include stories from many genres and on many topics – sports, fashion, sex, economics, business, technology, food, design, history and much more are all welcome.
- Specifically for Issue #1 stories about a start, an Inaugural. Think back to important personal firsts or look back at a first in a field you care deeply about – wither a business or a sport, politics or gaming. Again we are open to a very wide range of topics – for the first issue we want to start with an exploration of many starts (as well as other creative interpretations of the term Inaugural.
So please, be creative and surprise us.
On a technical note in general we prefer to receive the full story as a submission instead of a story proposal, though we are open to proposals for longer non-fiction stories. That said, we will likely only accept such stories from authors whom we have strong reasons to assume will be able to deliver the story on time and both well written and well edited. Very likely we may accept proposed stories for Issues #2 and following (especially once we settle on overall themes for those issues) but are less likely to accept a proposal for the Issue #1 as we are looking to publish that Issue as quickly as possible.
Watch this blog for more details and announcements in the coming days and weeks.