Authors who submitted a story for the awesome August issue should have heard back from us or will very shortly. We're in the process of sending out congrats and contracts to 'yes' authors. I emailed all the folks who had stories in hold-for-voting that we did not go with. If you were in hold-for-voting, your story is publishable, so take heart! Sadly, we can only pick five stories out of the many excellent stories we receive. :( Of course, we are accepting submissions for the neat November 2016 issue.
We had a spirited discussion of what makes a good story. At Electric Spec we do like original stories. Thus, if you're going to send us a vampire story, for example, it better be a fresh take on vampire stories. Some stories, including vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, robots have been done a lot. Make sure you know what the common stories are and do something different.
We like endings in stories. This means there should be some kind of emotional resolution for the reader.
Formatting gimmick stories are tough to pull off in a fresh way. By this, I mean a story told in a way not using regular prose, for example, using only emojis, limericks, tweets or emails. Keep in mind the author's main job is evoking a response in the reader. You don't want the reader to respond to the formatting.
Don't explain your story in the end. If the reader can't understand what happened with an explanation the author didn't do his/her job. If we did understand what happened an explanation is tedious and repetitious.
We're not big fans of fictionalizing horrific dictators/despots like Hitler or similar and making them heroes. Tough sell.
We are excited about the fun stories coming up in the stupendous September issue! I'll tell you more about them here this month. :)
One thing we can now reveal is we will be featuring an excerpt from Grayson Towler's middle grade fantasy The Dragon Waking. Huzzah!