In the Magazine Trenches

July and August mark the summer reading period for Tales of the Talisman Magazine. I’m reading for the spring and summer 2013 issues. Spring 2013 will be a special Steampunk issue. Summer 2013 will begin volume IX of the magazine and a return to the science fiction, fantasy, horror “potpourri” format.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with the quality of submissions. Sure there have been some that have been easy to turn away, but I’ve had several that have been hard to let go and I already know I have more difficult decisions in the offing.

One thing that’s been interesting this reading period is that our spring 2012 Steampunk issue of the magazine has been one of the bestselling issues in recent years. However, I’ve received a much larger number of submissions for the general science fiction, fantasy, and horror issue. I find myself wondering if this represents something of a disconnect between the stories writers are interested in telling and those readers are interested in hearing. Whether that’s true or not, it does mean that if you have a Steampunk story, this is a great time to send it in!

Each reading period, a few authors find a way to make me scratch my head in wonder. Most common are simply authors who ignore the magazine guidelines. If you ignore the guidelines, don’t be surprised if you are rejected. Less common are people who seem to violate good common sense when submitting. For example, every now and then an author will submit a work in response to a rejection—with all the rejected works in the body of the message below it! Please, if you’re going to submit a story, it will look much more professional if you send it in a brand new email. Also, there’s no need to tell me in the cover letter that I’ve rejected you some number of times before. I really don’t care. What I care about is whether the current story in my hands is one of the best for the issue I’m buying for!

In addition to reading for upcoming issues, I’m also working as fast as I can to get the summer 2012 issue of Tales of the Talisman off to the printer. I fear I’m behind schedule and I apologize. However, I am nearly finished and hope to have it out to print within the week. If you like dreaming of possible futures, this upcoming science fiction issue will be a treat.

If you’d like to learn more about Tales of the Talisman magazine—perhaps pick up a copy or submit a story, please visit our website at

Also, you can “like” Tales of the Talisman magazine on Facebook at


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