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ROF Fiction: Update

  • Aug. 10th, 2009 at 5:55 PM

I haven't provided a fiction update for RoF in a while.  Given that every few days I receive another email from someone wondering when we'll be reopening to submissions, I suppose I should post something, if for no other reason than to spare myself the necessity of answering a few more of these emails down the road.

Unfortunately,  there is no new news to report at this time.  It's still going to be at least a few months before we reopen to submissions.  So if you've been holding onto something that you want to send us because you're hoping we'll open in a little while, please be advised you're still in for a considerable wait. 

I'm sure this is frustrating to some and head-scratching to others.  After all, Warren bought the magazine in early March.  Since then, he's brought back me and Shawna, the nonfiction department has been cranking along, as has the art department, and I've replied to all the submissions on my end that were stuck in limbo when Sovereign Media pulled the plug on RoF back in January.  Our first issue back was June 30th, and we're not that far from the next issue going to press.  We've even accepted a few fiction pieces that were stuck in limbo.

So given all this, you might be wondering what's taking so long.  Well, first of all, it's publishing.  Publishing can be rather slow, alas.  RoF is not the exception to the rule.  Second, the last issue Sovereign put out only contained four stories, which is less than what RoF normally publishes.  Third, our publishing schedule had to skip an issue before coming back.  Fourth, the first issue back also only contained four stories (though more overall wordage than the last issue that Sovereign put out).  

Factors 2-4 created a slight logjam in terms of what we have in inventory.  But honestly, there's much more to it than this.  When Warren took over the magazine, there were a number of stories that Shawna had accepted, but which hadn't been paid for by Sovereign.  Warren chose to honor everything that had been accepted so it might eventually be published in RoF, so that increased how much fiction we had in inventory.  At the same time, as publisher he wanted and wants to have a certain amount of fiction in inventory.  And right now, all these additional acceptances puts us well ahead of the targeted amount.  Come our next issue, we will be publishing more fiction, both in terms of the amount of stories and in terms of raw word counts.  That helps (and we're going to do our best to publish at least five stories each issue going forward) but even so, we'll still be overstocked after the next issue comes out.

Couple this with the fact that there are still some poor authors whose stories are with Shawna after being stuck in limbo when Sovereign pulled the plug, and, well, it just doesn't make sense to open up to submissions yet.  Now, yes, we did do one buying round about a month ago on some other stories that were stuck in limbo, but this was for the benefit of the art department.  The nonfiction department is once again cranking along, the fiction department is overstocked, but the art department's inventory was precariously thin when Warren took over.  So we needed to build our inventory and get lots of stuff in the pipeline in order to get this department caught up.  Given what we still have from Sovereign, how much has rolled in since Warren handed me the keys to the car, and that more illustrations are currently scheduled to be coming in all the way through November, this department is now indeed caught up.

But the fiction department remains overstocked.  Nothing will change that but publishing more fiction in more issues.  How many issues?  I can't say.  Remember, Shawna still has some limbo stories in her possession.  How much Shawna chooses to take from this final batch should have a direct bearing on when we eventually reopen to submissions.

And as to you poor souls with fiction still stuck in limbo, I communicated with Shawna about this today.  Based on what she told me, it sounds like the finish line is in sight.  Stick with us a little longer.  We're sorry for the wait, really.  I hope everything above helps explain why you've been waiting as long as you have.

Anyway, that's about as much as I can share without revealing the inner workings of Realms of Fantasy.  Hopefully this sheds some light on the situation.  Again, once we're open to submissions, I will announce it here the first chance I get.  Promise.


ckastens wrote:
Aug. 10th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Doug! The update is very much appreciated.
slweippert wrote:
Aug. 10th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. I do have a little story I'd like to eventually send to your slush pile, so posts like this are appreciated. Even if they are mostly "nothing's changed." ;)

Thanks for your hard work bringing RoF back from extinction.
melissajm wrote:
Aug. 11th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update.
vylar_kaftan wrote:
Aug. 11th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm curious how many stories are in limbo. Do you have a guess? 20, 50, 100, 300...?
douglascohen wrote:
Aug. 11th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
I don't how many she's replied to, so at the worst at this point? 30+


Douglas Cohen

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