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 200+ 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. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Hearts of Tabat, the sequel to her first novel, Beasts of Tabat. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
This entry was posted in editing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.