Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New horizons for authors of short fiction. Option #1.

Magazine name:  Zoetrope All Story

Website:   www.all-story.com

Country:  USA

Publishing details:   Zoetrope: All-Story is a quarterly literary publication founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997 to explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film.  Circulation: 20,000.  Issues per year: 4. Manuscripts per issue: 6-8.

Types of stories wanted:   Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction

Page length and payment:   First serial rights and 1 year film option.  Pays $1000. They consider unsolicited submissions of short stories and one-act plays no longer than 7,000 words. Excerpts from larger works, screenplays, treatments, and poetry will be returned unread. They do not accept artwork or design submissions.

What I like:  You can read partials of contracted stories in their back issues to get an idea of what they like. They read and respond to every submission. The odds of being accepted are about the same as with WW using the figures from both magazines’ submission-to-stories-published ratio.  All story receives 12,000 submissions a year and prints 30(ish) stories a year.  WW receives 36,000 submissions a years and prints 104(ish) stories a year.

They invite writers to take advantage of the Virtual Studio, a free online writers' workshop sponsored by All-Story and its publisher, Francis Ford Coppola.  Zoetrope: All-Story was a winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction.

What I don’t like:   Nothing.

Submission Guidelines

They are a staff of two, assisted by a small team of brilliant and generous volunteers, who are collectively dedicated to reading and responding to the 12,000 submissions All-Story receives annually. To aid them in this commitment, writers should submit only one story at a time and no more than two stories a year.

Before submitting, non-subscribers should read several issues of the magazine to determine if their works fit with All-Story. Electronic versions of the magazine are available to read, in part, at the website; and print versions are available for purchase by single-issue order and subscription.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, and first serial rights and a one-year film option are required.  They do not accept unsolicited revisions nor respond to writers who don't include an SASE.

Response time:  5 months.

How to submit:  
All-Story does not accept submissions via e-mail. Send stories with cover letter and SASE to:

Zoetrope: All-Story
Attn: Fiction Editor
916 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94133

More info:  

From Michael Ray, Editor of Zoetrope.

What is the likelihood of a lesser-known writer being published in Zoetrope?

“Our sole ambition is to publish the best writing possible, as we judge it; and in achieving that ambition, we do not consider a writer's resume, or lack thereof. In truth, magazines make their reputations by presenting work by never-before-published writers who then go on to illustrious careers. So the new writer with talent is the ultimate draw for most magazines. That's a fairly long way of saying that the unknown writer faces exactly the same chances of publication as the famous one.”

What would you like to see more of in submissions to Zoetrope?

“Humor--we see few stories that attempt to be funny, and even fewer that are successful.”

What would you like to see less of?

“Poetry, political screeds, memoir, film treatments, lunatic rantings--only as we don't publish those forms.”


Chris said...

I've seen this one listed before and for some reason always thought it was a sci-fi mag, so didn't check it out. Thanks for the info, Jody, sounds more interesting than I thought. I'll read a few of the samples on the link.

Mary Jo said...

Do you see how much they pay! I looked at the Contest rules and it seemed that the submission address and other important information was cut off in mid-sentence. Maybe I can find it elsewhere?

I do think this is a good direction for your blog, Jody. Are all markets for only literary stories? I have a fondness for popular fiction.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo. Well, I had to go look up the difference between literary and popular fiction. Here's what I found: "While literary fiction aims to hold up a mirror to the human condition, popular fiction aims to entertain, to thrill, to comfort."

I think a good story under either umbrella could sell to Zoetrope All-Story. And they are seeking stories with a dash of humor. I guess it's all how you slant your story.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo. They have their own submission button on their website for contests. Here's what I found on their site, which I got by clicking on the blue words in my blog posting:


Guest Judge: Adam Johnson, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

First prize: $1,000
Second prize: $500
Third prize: $250

The three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by William Morris Endeavor; ICM; Regal Literary; Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency; Markson Thoma Literary Agency; Inkwell Management; Sterling Lord Literistic; Aitken Alexander Associates; Barer Literary; the Gernert Company; and the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency.

Important Dates:
Entries must be complete by October 1, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PDT. Results will be announced at the website December 15 and in the Spring 2016 issue of Zoetrope: All-Story; and the winning story will be published as a special online supplement to that Spring 2016 issue.

Complete Guidelines:
We accept all genres of literary fiction. Entries must be: unpublished; strictly 5,000 words or fewer; and accompanied by an entry fee of $20 per story. There are no formatting restrictions; please ensure only that the story is legible. Please omit all personal information from the manuscript itself (ie, name, address, e-mail address, phone number), as all stories are read blindly.

We welcome multiple entries ($20/story), simultaneous submissions, and entrants from outside the U.S. We will e-mail contest updates and results to anyone who provides an active e-mail address. Entrants retain all rights to their stories. Once a story is submitted, we cannot accept an updated draft. (However, an entrant is welcome to submit an updated

Please e-mail us at contests@all-story.com with further questions. Thank you for your interest, and good luck!

(And then they had a submit box to click on.)

Mary Jo said...

Thanks, Jody. I did read all that before from your blog. You do see where there is nothing more after the word "updated", so any mailing address, or other information seems to be left out. I will check further.

Stories that "reflect the human condition" are always full of such angst. If that is what they are constantly reading, no wonder they are looking for a little humor to lighten things up.

Tamara said...

One difference you might notice in the literary journals and magazines such as WW and other popular women's is that sex and obscenities are allowed--not gratuitous--but as part of the stories. Zoetrope is one of the first I submit my fiction (other than WW) to because they pay so well. I've been rejected by the best, I like to say.:)

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara. Good for you! Sort of. At least you're in the game, gurl.

What kind of word length do you generally send them?

Tamara said...

The ones I've had published in literary journals have been "At Death's Door" -- 3,842 words -- and "The End of the World" -- 1,928 words. Both were published in Serving House Journal (alas, no pay). The others: Phoebe twice, years ago, one a story that I don't have a word count for but was 4 1/2 journal pages and an article about women keeping their names when they marry, 5 journal pages. Phoebe is published by New York State University Women's Studies Department and also doesn't pay. The one that paid me was The Pedestal, an online magazine. They ran my essay on my sleep disorder, "Per Chance to Dream" and paid me $129.00 for 2,600 words. I was their featured nonfiction writer in March 2004 and then they discontinued nonfiction (hope I didn't inspire that):). I usually begin my fiction with The New Yorker (fat chance I know but worth a try) then I work my way down to the lesser and lesser paying ones. At the top after TNY are Zoetrope, Glimmer Train, The Paris Review and some of the university pubs that pay. I have been rejected in them but some have said "send us something else some time"; that's what you call a good rejection I guess.

Chris said...

That's the way to do it, Tamara. Keep on trying and hopefully one will bite.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara. You write longer than I do. I have trouble getting up to 1500 words. I also have trouble ending the mysteries that are not you-solve-its. I'm sort of at a loss as to how to handle it. There must be a simple way to turn the 'solution' into a last paragraph of some sort... ?

Anybody got something for me?

Mary Jo said...

It seems to me the hero detective, or Angela Lansbury or somebody points a finger at the criminal and says, "You did it and this is how I know." Or, "Book 'im, Danno."

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo. I guess I should find some old Mystery She Wrote episodes and watch them... thanks.

Mary Jo said...

I think they are on the Hallmark channel, Jody. Kinda dated, but I still love Angela.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo. I found her. I set my DVR. At the very least I'll get some characters and story line ideas... :)

As an added bonus, my mother lives with me now and she LOVES Jessica. It'll be something to keep mom busy while I'm working.