IMPORTANT NOTE TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: POLAR BOREALIS MAGAZINE IS NOT A COMMERCIAL ENTITY OR A BUSINESS.
POLAR BOREALIS Magazine is a non-profit semi-professional SF fiction magazine which costs nothing and is free to anyone who wants to read it. No income is derived from distribution of this online non-profit magazine, nor is any income derived from any ads contained within its pages. All ads are placed at no charge to the advertiser. Polar Borealis Magazine is strictly a private hobby publication.
NEVERTHELESS POLAR BOREALIS IS A PAYING MARKET FOR CANADIAN AUTHORS AND ARTISTS, albeit for sums less than SFWA standards, which is why POLAR BOREALIS is deemed “semi-professional” rather than “professional” by definition. All contributors are normally paid shortly after signing their contract and before publication.
So, if you want to read the latest issue, simply go to Current/Back Issues, click on it, and open the appropriate file. Download if you like. It’s free.
Since it is not easy to cover costs on a fixed pension income, I have started a “GoFundMe Campaign” asking anyone interested in supporting this magazine to donate small amounts to help with costs. All, and I mean ALL the money received will go directly to pay the authors, poets and artists contributing to the zine. Any and all help appreciated.
You are welcome to donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/jwj3dzgc
Cheers! R. Graeme Cameron
P.S. Check out Duotrope at < http://duotrope.com > for listings of this magazine and other writers markets.
Quick note on Fiction Pay Rate:
Duotrope lists my poetry rate as semi-professional because $10 CA exceeds $5 minimum US.
However, Duotrope lists my fiction rate as “Token Payment” because I pay less than 1 cent a word US. True. But I pay 1 cent a word in Canadian funds, and publish only Canadian authors, so the 1 cent a word does indeed = 1 cent, just not in American funds. So, speaking for myself, I still regard Polar Borealis as semi-professional, at least within a Canadian context.
Apart from my delusional thinking, please understand that a “Token Payment” sale (by American calculation) is still a legitimate and genuine sale, albeit not up to SFWA standard.
I highly recommend Duotrope as a superb listing service of potential markets for writers. As a publisher, I’ve found them lightning fast in responding to update information. You can’t go wrong with Duotrope.
Another excellent source is < http://ralan.com/ >
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE (followed by “About the Publisher”):
I was having lunch with Lynda Williams, Publisher of Reality Skimming Press, when she remarked there weren’t enough paying markets in Canada for beginning writers.
In fact there aren’t any at all, in the sense that it is not enough for a beginning writer to submit a competent, well written, commercially acceptable story, because that’s what the pros do, and the pros already have an established readership which makes them more useful to an editor. Beginners won’t be published merely by being good enough; to have any chance at all they need to be better than the average pro, exceptional in fact, a real standout. And this few writers are, let alone beginning writers.
So here and there across the land, in basements and attics and garages, not to mention writers workshops, there are myriad writers at work whose ideas and enthusiasm and maturing skills make their stories well worth publishing. They just can’t compete with the pros. Competition between pros is intense. A beginner doesn’t stand a chance.
As a beginning writer for well-nigh half a century, never published, I feel your pain. What can be done about it? Is there a solution?
Polar Borealis is my answer. An online paying market magazine where, yes, pros will be published, but when beginners submit they will only compete against each other and not against the pros because I will reserve a minimum of three story ‘slots’ per issue for previously unpublished authors.
Polar Borealis is an odd beast. I have no financial stake at risk since the zine generates zero income, which means I can publish off-beat, off-the-wall material as I please regardless of their presumed commercial acceptability and appeal. This gives me, as editor, tremendous freedom.
Polar Borealis reflects my personal, rather idiosyncratic tastes in the genre. freedom. My intention is to give beginning writers, poets, and artists a chance to get published in a paying market. If I like it, I’ll publish it.
Cheers! The Graeme
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:
I was born in Barrie, Ontario, in 1951. Lived in Ottawa as a child and Toronto as a teenager. Moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1968 and have lived in the Vancouver Area Lower Mainland Region ever since. Important milestones in my life are:
First SF TV series watched: — ‘Tom Corbett Space Cadet.’
First SF Books read: — 8 volumes of ‘Tom Corbett Space Cadet.’
First SF Book purchased: — ‘The Red Planet’ by Russ Winterbotham.
First SF Film viewed: — ‘The Angry Red Planet.’
First SF Comic Book Purchased: — ‘Magnus Robot Fighter.’
First SF Model built: — ‘Flying Saucer’ by Lindberg Models.
First Satellite seen with me own eyeballs: — Sputnik.
First Astronaut met: — Gus Grissom.
First SF Author met: — Ursula K. LeGuin.
First SF Convention: — Triple Fan Fair, Toronto.
First SF Convention on ConCom: — VCON 1.
First SF Convention Chaired: — VCON 25.
First SF Convention Program Book edited: — VCON 36.
First SF fanzine read: — ‘Spockanalia’ issue #2.
First Fanzine edited: — ‘BCSFAzine’ issue #193.
First SF Fanzine published: — ‘Entropy Blues’ issue #1.
First SF Press established: — ‘BCSFA Press.’
First SF Fan Fund won: — ‘The Canadian Unity Fan Fund.’
First SF Award received: — ‘Aurora.’
First SF Award I presented: — ‘Elron.’
First SF Award Society I founded: — ‘The Canadian Fanzine Fanac Awards Society.’
First SF project developed: — The ‘Canadian Fancyclopedia.’
First SF Website established: — ‘The Canadian SF Fanzine Archive.’
First professional SF magazine column: — ‘The Club House’ in ‘Amazing Stories.’
First SF fanzine devoted to genre book reviews: — OBIR Magazine.
First Semi-professional SF Fiction magazine published: — ‘Polar Borealis.’
First SF Genre TV Star seen naked live on stage: — Diana Rigg of ‘The Avengers.’
Well, so much for my resume. Truth is, I’m not “all work and no play,” if only because I’ve always known that no sane person can survive life without hobbies. I’ve actually had quite a few hobbies over the years, such as: acquiring a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, driving a forklift, shipping goods, intimidating Citizens from behind the counter at Canada Customs, and all kinds other fun stuff. Since I retired in 2010 I’ve given up hobbies and gotten dead serious and done nothing but work every waking hour, joining the ‘Amazing Stories’ Blogger Team for example, and with ‘OBIR’ and ‘Polar Borealis’ Magazines as my latest jobs. Just a crazy workaholic I guess. Till the day I die.
Read R. Graeme’s Posts In Amazing Stories Online Magazine.