Regarding submissions - if you have submitted a story to Byzarium and are wondering whether or not it's still under consideration: at this point in time, and in the foreseeable future, I will not have time to read through the slush pile. Please feel free to resubmit stories to other publications. If you would like to resubmit when we reopen for business, that's quite all right.
OK, I figured it's about time to make an update on Byzarium's status. I'm sorry it's taken awhile to get this update out, but I wanted to make sure that I'd thought through my decisions, and that they were the right ones for me to make.
First off - I want to give a shout out to all the people who stepped forward with condolences and advice. It's very much appreciated!!! Now then...
I've decided NOT to delete the site. My husband and I had a long talk about it, and we've agreed that the cost of maintaining the site is negligible. As of this time (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!) we can afford to keep the site online. In the event something happens and we CAN'T afford the site anymore, I will make an announcement and run a fund-raiser before deciding to take the site off-line.
Second - All of the archives are currently open, and likely to stay that way. I'm removing the subscription aspect of the site. If I'm not going to be updating the site for awhile, I'd like for writers to be able to have their work accessible to readers. Please note -- if you have a story published on Byzarium and FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER you need to request that we take it down, don't hesitate! Please just let me know, and I'll happily oblige you. At the end of the day the story belongs to no one but yourself, and if you've managed to sell a reprint, I'm nothing but pleased for you. I'd probably even be willing to link to the publication it appears in.
Third - the real issue with Byzarium is the time involved for me. Both Barbara and I are getting more and more wrapped up in our own writing. It's getting harder and harder to make the time to go through the slush pile. At least for myself, there are several projects that I anticipate will eat into my personal time significantly (though not in a bad way, of course) in the near future. So, right now, I'm planning on taking a 6-8 month hiatus from the site. At the end of that hiatus, I have two thoughts I'm knocking around.
1) Open the site back up for submissions, with the understanding that I will probably have to take a regular hiatus every year.
2) Take on additional editor(s). I'm actually getting advice from people regarding this possibility, as I'm not quite sure how to go around officially looking for someone. Up until now, it's mostly been very informal, "Hey, how would you like to..." among friends.
These are my thoughts as of this time, and what I'm tentatively leaning towards doing. Whichever of these plans I ultimately go with, I would like to continue editing Byzarium. I've met a lot of fabulous writers while editing the site, and I've learned a lot about the whole process of writing. It's just difficult achieving a do-able balance between my dayjob/personal creative projects and the site.
Earning His Wings, by Andrew Kaye. An uncle's account of his young nephew's first hunting trip.
People of the Wind, by Andy Bolt. A delightfully surreal cross-genre piece.
Rise and Fall, by Elizabeth Hopkinson. Flash fiction inspired by Kiriko Moth's piece Floodwaters.
I'm putting the finishing touches on the February 2009 issue. It'll go live on Monday, the first. We will also re-open to accepting stories on the first. I've also found a great picture for the Flash Fiction contest!
Ok, at this point, if you've submitted a story to Byzarium anywhere between September and now, and you have not gotten a response, it means you are on the SHORT LIST.
I'll be making final decisions regarding those stories this weekend. You should get a reply no later than Monday.
I apologize for how long it's taken me to get through all this, but the Marvel Cards just took it out of me.
I'm really excited about this month's batch. I loved Fists of Felt. What can I say? I have a total weakness for puppets! I practically tripped over my own feet saying yes to that one, and to Puppet Strings, which succeeded in getting me completely worked up. I always love a really good self-centered villian! My trusty co-editor fell in love with Never on a Birthday and plucked it from the slush pile. All in all, I think we managed to wrangle a good batch of solidly entertaining reads this month.
The October issue is online! I'm really proud of the selection of stories we've got for you this month, and I hope you enjoy them! We've also got a new image for the Flash Fiction Contest: Floodwaters, also by Kiriko-Moth.
Happy Pre-Halloween, everyone!
The bite-sized September issue of Byzarium is here! This month, we have two stories to bring you:
The Mistman, by Michael John Grist. I liked this story because it feels like an old-timey fairy tale: disturbing as fuck and more than happy to crawl into your back-brain and set up residence there. A welcome prelude to the creep-fest that will be the October issue.
An Occurrence at Oakpost Sundries, by Jacob P. Silvia. This was actually initially submitted as a Bad-Fic contest submission. This entry had a little something extra to it, however, that convinced me it needed to be bumped up to a regular submission. And it has zombies. I am a sucker for well written zombies.
Again, I hope you enjoy both these stories. I certainly did.
In other news...
We got a TON of entries last month for the flash fiction contest -- thanks again to Kiriko-Moth for allowing us to showcase such beautiful artwork. It was very hard to select just one story, but Barbara and I finally got it narrowed down. The winning submission will appear in the October issue.
A new flash fiction contest image will be posted Monday, September 15, and I hope you find it equally inspiring. Thanks again to everyone who submitted such great stories. You did not make our jobs as editors easy ones, I assure you!