Q) What is POLAR BOREALIS Magazine?
A semi-pro SF fiction zine devoted to inspiring and promoting beginning Canadian SF writers. It will pay all contributors, albeit at rates lower than SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) standards, hence semi-pro status.
Polar Borealis will be free to anyone who wishes to download it or receive it via E-mail subscription. At no time will any reader be charged in any way. Polar Borealis is 100% free, and in that sense is of amateur status. The only reason it can also be classified as semi-pro is the fact that all contributors will be paid.
Q) How often will it be published?
Three to four times a year is the goal.
In 2016: Issues #1 to #3 published.
In 2017: Only one issue (#4) published.
In 2018: Four issues (#5 to #8) published.
In 2019: One issue (#9) to date. Three more planned for the year.
Q) Who can submit?
Any Canadian (must be Canadian – because aimed at helping Canadians seeking first sale) short story writer, poet, or artist. (Or “foreign” writer resident in Canada living and working in Canada.)
Q) Will you consider stories by authors not yet published?
ABSOLUTELY! I want to publish at least one or two per issue, maybe more. But it would also be nice to publish stories from experienced professionals to serve as inspirational examples of what to aspire to. People submitting MS. should indicate whether they’ve never been published or mention a couple of things already published so that I will know what’s what.
Q) Do you have open/closed submission periods or deadlines?
The tendency to build-up a backlog of stories I’ve accepted means I am only open to submissions occasionally, usually for a month at a time. .
Q) Are you currently accepting submissions??
No. I was open in April but am now closed again. I will probably reopen in the month of November to acquire material for issues to be published next year.
First nine issues are published.
Issue ten, content already set, is scheduled for publication in May, 2019. I hope to publish an eleventh issue sometime in the late summer of 2019.
Q) How do I submit during the next submissions window?
Send word document (not a PDF) to < R. Graeme > and be sure to include “PB Sub” in the E-mail heading.
Also be sure to include the following information:
Are you still waiting for your first sale?
Or have you already been published?
Your mailing address.
A brief biography (one or two paragraphs).
Q) What format do you require?
A word doc. in either Courier or Times Roman font size 12, black print on white page, double spaced, beginning of paragraphs indented, ragged justification, your name and title on each page in the header, each page numbered, and your name, address and contact info on the title page. In other words, the standard, traditional, classic format.
Q) How long do you take to respond to submissions?
I usually acknowledge receipt within 24 hours and a decision within a week of the close of the submission period.
Q) Do you ask for changes or rewrites?
Sometimes, if I think it will improve the story and make it easier to read. It is up to the author to decide whether or not to follow my suggestions. Any changes or rewrites will be conducted in a spirit of collaboration and consultation. Nothing will be published till both Publisher and the Author agree it is mutually acceptable to do so.
Q) What are the pay rates?
Short stories: $10 for one thousand words or less. One cent a word for stories 1,000 words to 3,000 words in length. Not interested in any story over three thousand words. Can fudge a bit, say 3,126 words for example, but the maximum I will pay is $30.
Poem (regardless of length): $10
Cover art (black & white or colour). Science Fiction theme preferred: $40.
Interior art (B&W line illustration) to illustrate a given story: $20.
Interior art (B&W line illustration) fillo: $5.
Q) When do people get paid?
Shortly after the contract is signed and before publication.
Q) How do people get paid?
PayPal, cheque, or, my preference, by Interac e-transfer.
Q) What kind of rights involved?
I buy either “First Publication English Language World Serial Online (PDF) Internet Rights” for a work not previously published, or “Reprint English Language World Serial Online (PDF) Internet Rights” for a work previously published.
When it is your work’s first publication, the contract asks you not to resell it until one week after it is published in POLAR BOREALIS. Then you are free to resell it as a reprint anywhere, anytime, to anyone.
When you have sold me a reprint, the contract guarantees you the right to sell it again anywhere, anytime, to anyone—even BEFORE it is published in POLAR BOREALIS.
Q) What does a typical issue consist of?
Cover art, masthead page, table of contents, editorial page, 6 poems, 7 stories, and a bunch of short bios on the contributors. Approximately 44 pages of stuff.
Q) How will it be distributed?
Hosted on this website in PDF format available for free download, or emailed in PDF format to readers who request a copy.
Q) Won’t that limit distribution?
Sure, but I won’t be denying myself income. There isn’t any. Besides, I figure word of mouth will eventually attract a decent number of readers. Currently Polar Borealis is being downloaded and read in 60 countries.
Q) What do you get out of this?
Not a deluge of kudos or praise, that’s for sure. Not counting on it, anyway. Doing it for the sheer fun of it. I know some people may find that hard to comprehend. All I can say is wait till you are retired. Then you’ll better be able to understand.
Q) Why did you choose the title “POLAR BOREALIS” for your fiction magazine?
A fresh, invigorating wind sweeping down from the North Pole. I figure that’s a good analogy for our collective state of mind and being.