20 July 2021

Welcome, Bonnie!

Starting with the awesome August 2021 issue of Electric Spec we have a new Associate Editor, Bonnie Ramthun!

Bonnie Ramthun is a Colorado mom, wife, and novelist. Her novels for adults include the detective Eileen Reed mystery series of Ground Zero, Earthquake Games, and The Thirteenth Skull. Her middle grade mystery series includes The White Gates, Roscoe, and Haunted Waters. The White Gates, published by Random House, was a Junior Library Guild Premiere selection and a finalist for the Missouri Truman Award. She is a former chapter president of Mystery Writers of America, a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and a former war gamer for the Department of Defense.

Welcome, Bonnie!

13 July 2021

misc feedback

The deadline for the awesome August 2021 issue of Electric Spec is July 15, 2021! Get those stories in!
We are very busy with all the hundreds of stories in slush. Thanks for sending us your story!

Here's some miscellaneous feedback for authors:

  • Do follow standard formatting conventions. Weird fonts, giant or tiny text sizes, extra spacing after paragraphs, and other odd stuff makes editors cranky.
  • If you email us to withdraw your story, please try to include the date you sent the original submission.
  • Don't bother summarizing your story in the cover letter. If I can't tell what the story is from reading it, a summary isn't going to help.
  • Don't list dozens or hundreds of credits in your cover letter. If you want to include credits, just pick the top three or so. If you aren't sure what the 'top' means, go ahead and include the most recent.
  • Don't tell us if you're unpublished in the cover letter. It's not an advertisement.
  • I like to see title, genre, word-count and author contact info in the cover letter. If you want to include a bio--keep it short. We will request an updated bio from authors upon acceptance.
  • We don't send email acknowledgements of story receipt (It caused too many problems.). But we won't keep you in suspense longer than four months. Every once in a while we get an email that an author has been waiting to hear from us for six months or more... No. Sorry, your story got lost in cyberspace.
  • Authors who submit at the beginning of the submission period may do better than authors who submit at the last minute. Most editors try to keep ahead of slush. But, somehow, the end of the period always ends up being hectic. Thus, the beginning of the submission period is more relaxed. A more relaxed editor is more likely to take more time with your story.
I better get back to it...
Good luck!

06 July 2021

Story Feedback 3

Only a few days left to submit for the awesome August 2021 issue. Get your stories in by midnight on July 15, 2021!
In our continuing discussion of feedback for authors...

Don't include gratuitious sex and/or violence. We especially don't like child rape or murder. Rape or murder of anyone is a tough sell, to be frank. Killing off characters in a short story and having the reader care is difficult. Often, there isn't enough page space to make the reader feel empathy for the victim.
That's why we prefer spooky or eerie macabre fiction rather than gory horror.

Don't offend the editors. This means, in your story, you shouldn't blatantly insult editors. Or authors. Or, anyone, for that matter. This idea holds for the cover letter as well.

Closely related to this is: don't include extreme politics or conspiracy theories in your story. I'm sorry to say, we had a story recently that included denial of the Holocaust as a major story element. Hard pass--exceptionally hard pass. In fact, we asked that author not to send us any more stories.

To end on a positive note: Do send us the story only you could write. We love personal, unique tales. What are you expert in? Passionate about? Who or what do you love? Write us a story about it!

Good luck!