Hello there crime fiction fans, Crime Syndicate Editor-in-Chief Michael Pool here, with an update for you on some progressions and changes coming to Crime Syndicate Magazine in 2016!
As you know, we’re a brand new magazine (and a paying market) whose chief mission is to support crime fiction writers and help spread crime fiction short stories to a wider audience. We initially pulled the magazine together in a span of less than sixty days, concept to print, which was one hell of a whirlwind. I’m very happy with how the first issue came out, thanks to our Guest Editor Eric Beetner’s help, and I’m super excited for the next one.
That said, since things have slowed down after releasing Issue One (and dealing with the release of two of my own books as well at the beginning of the year), I’ve had some time to brainstorm and readjust how best to pursue our mission as a magazine. I’ve always considered short fiction magazines to be the place where emerging writers cut their teeth, and where established writers reconnect with audiences and share what they’ve been working on. And while magazines are a great way to spread and support short fiction, they’re not the only way to accomplish that goal. Which leads me to the point of this post.
Crime Syndicate was initially conceptualized as a quarterly magazine; that is, four issues per year. I’ve decided to make a tweak to that schedule, in hopes of furthering our mission to create greater paid markets for short crime fiction. The result of that tweak is you can expect to see three, instead of four, issues per year of Crime Syndicate. The advantage of this new schedule will be that our publisher (and full disclosure, my company, which is focused exclusively on publishing short fiction), Short Stack Books, will be releasing one themed anthology each year to replace that fourth issue.
This will present us with the opportunity to reach an additional level of audience for the magazine and expand our focus on publishing short fiction. Plus, we’ve got some fantastic anthology themes in mind that are gonna be fun as hell for writers and readers, and I just couldn’t sit on those any longer when we’re in a position to act on them.
The added bonus is this: This move will actually lead to a higher total volume of short crime fiction publishing. The reason for this is that we plan to make each of the three issues longer so that they contain the same amount of fiction that four issues would have, in addition to the new themed anthologies. Crime Syndicate Issue One had eight fantastic short stories in it. Expect Issue Two and all subsequent issues to have more like 10-12 stories in them.
I couldn’t be more excited for Issue Two, and I can pretty much guarantee that people are going to love the theme for our first anthology later this year as well. Bear in mind that the anthologies will mostly be filled with invited authors (some of whom will have appeared in the magazine, others maybe not), but we will also open up to submissions to fill 20% of the story slots in the anthologies.
Needless to say, 2016 is going to be a great year for short crime fiction, if we have anything to say about it.
While I’ve got you here, I also wanted to mention that we are in the process of revamping our book reviews, which is why you haven’t seen one in a few weeks. The reason for this is that I noticed the reviews felt like they were too much about what books I like, and that felt contrary to the spirit of our Guest Editor focus and goal. I want the magazine to be about the books and writing that other writers like too, and with that in mind I’ll be bringing a few trusted contemporaries on board to handle some of the book reviews, moving forward.
It’s shaping up to be a GREAT year, so stay tuned for more details. Issue Two drops in May, then Issue Three in September. Expect the first themed anthology somewhere around November 2016! As always, thanks for your support, we look forward to reading your writing when submissions open up for Issue Two in February!