I am so excited to have Ben Erlichman, Executive editor, of Splickety Magazine as my guest today. This energenic young man impressed me when I meet him at the Write To Publish Conference. It was encouraging to discover his publication as another outlet for fiction writers. Welcome, Ben, let’s start with telling my readers a little about how you got started as a writer.
In 7th grade I saw the movie Congo on TV. It was so bad that I wrote a parody of it that was set in Australia and featured murderous kangaroos instead of gorillas. So began my writing career. Since then I’ve written five action/adventure books (not yet published) and founded Splickety Magazine, your source for quick fic with kick.
What inspired you to produce Splickety magazine?
I created Splickety because I saw a need in the market for poignant flash fiction that is easily accessible to readers. I also wanted to make sure that readers with limited time could still read if they wanted. A flash fiction magazine seemed like the obvious answer.
Short stories are the stepping stone for novel writing. Why is it that there are so few outlets for short stories?
I don’t think our culture values short stories as much because they don’t have as much time to interact and get to know the characters. Perhaps that’s symptomatic of the writing quality (or occasional lack thereof) in short fiction, but I think there is huge opportunity for growth in the short fiction market if it’s done well. That’s what Splickety is trying to do: produce a high quality flash fiction publication.
Share your goals for the magazine’s growth.
Splickety put out three issues in 2012. I’d like to see us get up to four issues this year, and then eventually as high as 6 or 8 annually. On the financial side, I’d like us to become a self-sustaining business staffed by volunteers until we get big enough to start paying our editors as employees. I’d also like to improve what we pay our authors for submissions.
How can my readers subscribe to your magazine?
The best and easiest way is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click on the “Subscribe” tab on our website, www.splicketymagazine.com, but it will basically tell you to email us at that address. It also lists our prices for subscriptions.
What are you looking for in submissions?
Believe it or not, a lot goes into a good flash fiction story. As far as submission guidelines go, you can find those on our website under the “submission guidelines” tab. For content, we accept any genre but don’t like stories that are too overtly Christian and definitely not gratuitous in the other direction either. Good flash fiction stories have the same elements as good novels: characters, character development, plot, structure, tension, conflict, etc. Great flash fiction stories combine these things well.
Once a manuscript is submitted what happens next?
After we receive a submission, we store it in a folder until we’re ready to acquire for the next issue. Once that time comes, we read the submission. If we like it enough to publish it, we send the author a simple contract so we can publish the story. After we get the contract back, Andrew Winch, our Senior Editor, edits each story and has the author make necessary changes and edits.
When he gets the stories back, we proofread them as a team to check for typos or other errors, and then we send them to layout. Arpit Mehta, our Art Director, organizes the stories so they all fit in the magazine with ads and other content. After a final read-through to make sure everything works out and looks good, we publish the magazine on MagCloud.com and enable sales for both digital and print copies.
What are your goals for the magazine’s future?
I’d like to see Splickety magazine in bookstores, in big box retailers, and on iPads, Kindles, and other tablets nationwide. It’s a lofty dream but at least somewhat accomplishable if we stick with it.
Will the story length guideline ever grow beyond 1000 words?
If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that Splickety will always feature stories of 1,000 words or less. It’s what makes us unique and different from almost every other publication out there. The only exception we ever make on this is for our featured authors, whose “star-power” is always worth a few extra words if they need them.
Each edition has a contribution from a well-known author. Who is on the list for 2013?
This year will be a great one. We have best-selling authors Susan May Warren, Eva Marie Everson, James L. Rubart, and DiAnn Mills scheduled for 2013. I’m excited to see how this affects our growth.
Ben, thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to visit Writer’s Patchwork, I pray God bless your endeavor. Let’s close this interview with a short bio.
I live in Glendale, Wisconsin with my beautiful wife Ashley and our young son Liam. Aside from running Splickety and writing, I maintain a day job and serve as youth pastor for my church. In my free time I like to sword-fight, play sports, play video games, and I manage to find a variety of other ways to get myself in trouble on a regular basis. You can befriend me at www.facebook.com/ben.erlichman.
I want to encourage everyone to check out Splickety Magazine. It’s perfect for quick reads in waiting rooms and lunch breaks. And for fiction writers this is a good place to submit those flash fiction stories that have hanging out on the fringes of your mind taunting you, distracting your from your WIP.
Do any of you read or write flash fiction? What do you like about it?
Don’t forget to use the subscribe button to the right to follow me.
Ben Erlichman, Splickety Magazine,Flash Fiction, Submission Guidelines, Interview,Short Stories