Women Destroying Fantasy: What I’ll Be Looking For

Picture of western cowgirls

I've got a weak spot for weird Western stories as well, but the fact that I've read a lot of them means that the bar is set pretty high for that in my head.

I was just at a Kristine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith workshop where people were using the idea of reader “cookies” and “anti-cookies”, things that delight or turn-off a specific editor, increasing or decreasing the appeal of a story when they’re considering it.

So I’ll be open to submissions from March 15 through March 31 for the Women Destroying Fantasy issue. Here are some of my wants and a couple of things that will turn me off.

  • I want fantasy that showcases the amazing emotional range of the genre and the spectrum of forms it can take.
  • I’ll want at least one tearjerker and one humorous piece.
  • I’ll want something that draws on fairytale or myth, but which does so in an amazing, interesting, and fresh way, and I’m hoping to find something that feels urban fantasy-ish as well, also in a fresh and interesting way.
  • Fantasy that often hits well with me: superheroes, non-cutesy talking animals, linguistic-related, the weird.
  • I like language: make yours wonderful, but never at the cost of the story.
  • Your character should make me care about their fate (and for this issue, probably a female protagonist is, quite frankly, probably going to be a better fit).
  • I’ll want at least one piece with an utterly amazing landscape, that immerses me in a fantasy world that delights my heart.
  • Diversity does matter to me. It doesn’t trump quality, but when you’re going to be up against the very best, score your points where you can.

I don’t want retellings of D&D adventures. Or pirates. I really don’t like pirates (got exposed to an awful lot of fantasy pirate stories while at Fantasy Magazine) and I’m not particularly fond of zombies. Typos are another big turn-off: proofread your work.

This is not a time to go for the low-hanging fruit or play it safe. I have four, count ‘em, four slots. Send me something — but make it the very best you have, something that is unique to your voice, something that you and only you could write.

Facebook Twitter Email

Related Posts:

About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 100+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012.
This entry was posted in 2014, editing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Pingback: More Info on Women Destroy Fantasy « Angela Benedetti

  • Maria Alexander

    Dear Cat: I once sent a light fantasy to Fantasy that you said was very close, but the setup was a little too long. I’ve since trimmed the setup. Can I submit it to WDF?

    • Cat Rambo

      Sure!

      • Maria Alexander

        Wonderful! Thanks. :)

  • http://riewriter.com Rie Sheridan Rose

    Sounds amazing, Cat. I will definitely be giving this one a go if I can find a killer idea. :)

  • Rebecca Ann Jordan

    Thanks so much for putting such specific guidelines. Looking forward to sending you a piece for this awesome anthology.

  • JJ Roth

    This sounds awesome, Cat. I’m sure it will be a terrific issue and I’ll look forward to reading it. All of my finished stuff is out at other venues at the moment but if I can get my latest done in time, I’ll send it along.