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Eleven hours in, forty-nine isn’t that bad. I’m even OK with this being the last time I’ll have a birthday in the forties. Last year, I spent my birthday at the Hugo Awards in London with my dad (which I was very pleased to be able to share with him). This year, I’m happily at home with my family.

No presents necessary, but if you feel compelled to do something, buy yourself a subscription to Clarkesworld and/or Forever or make a pledge on Patreon. If I only accomplish one thing this year, I’d like it to be the ability to quit my day job and become a full-time editor. Each of those helps in some way.

Submissions by Month

Presented without comment:

cw-submissions-by-month

My 2015 Worldcon Schedule

I’ll be attending Sasquan (this year’s Worldcon) this August. Here’s my schedule:

Does SF/F Need Young Adult Magazines?
Thursday 15:00 – 15:45, Bays 111C (CC)
Deby Fredericks (M), Neil Clarke, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Jessica Rising
Anime and computer games are a huge trend among youth world-wide, but many of these potential readers are less in tune with “printed” science fiction and fantasy. How do we tap into this community of young fans to share with them the depth and breadth of SF/F short stories? Moreover, is there a viable market for a digital or print teen magazine? What would it take to get one going? And what are the potential benefits and pitfalls of putting one together for younger readers? Join parents, teens and editors to discuss the ins and outs of a YA SF/S magazine for the next generation of fans.

Literary Beer – Neil Clarke
Thursday 17:00 – 17:45, Exhibit Hall C – Literary Beer (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Beer available for sale at the bar, snacks available in the snack bar in Hall D.

Stroll with the Stars
Friday 09:00 – 09:45, Breezeway/Statue (CC)
A gentle morning stroll with some of your favorite authors, artists and editors. Meeting each morning at 9AM in the Breezeway between the INB Theater and the Convention Center (check your map), and returning in time for 10AM programming.

Autographing – Neil Clarke, William Dietz, Rhiannon Held, Mary Soon Lee, John Picacio, Charles Stross, Jo Walton
Friday 12:00 – 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

The Range of the Small Press
Saturday 10:00 – 10:45, Conference Theater 110 (CC)
Jennifer Brozek (M), Neil Clarke, Brad Foster, Rebecca Moesta, Kristine Rusch
Small presses publish more than just limited editions of books. We have small press magazines, art, even audio books. People who manage different types of small presses will discuss some of the similarities and some of the differences in their publishing worlds.

The Future of Short Fiction: Online Magazines Today
Saturday 14:00 – 14:45, Bays 111B (CC)
Scott H. Andrews, Anaea Lay, Mike Resnick, John Joseph Adams, Neil Clarke
10 years ago reading original fiction online was limited to the occasoinal author’s web site. Now, online magazines are a major force — maybe THE major force — in publshing short fiction. The panel looks at what and why?

I’ll also be attending the Chesley Awards (Thursday 7pm) and the Hugo Awards (Saturday evening). 

July issues of Clarkesworld and Forever

The July issues of Clarkesworld and Forever are now available!

cover cw_106_800

The complete table of contents can be found by clicking on the covers. If you enjoy them, please consider becoming a subscriber.

[Clarkesworld subscription information / Forever subscription information]

My 2015 Readercon Schedule

Readercon is coming! Here’s my schedule:

Friday July 11

2:00 PM    F    The Future of Speculative Magazines, Part 3.
Scott Andrews (leader), John Benson, Leah Bobet, Neil Clarke, Ellen Datlow.
At Readercon 20, there were two very well-attended panels that looked at the future of magazines: “The Future of Speculative Fiction Magazines, Part 1: Print Magazines,” and “Part 2: Online Magazines.” Six years later, we return to this issue to discover what worked, what didn’t, whether magazines are any better off, and what the near future might hold.

Saturday July 12

12:00 PM    F    Insider Tips and Tough Truths of the Publishing Business.
Neil Clarke, David G. Hartwell, Brett Savory, Gordon Van Gelder, Sheila Williams.
SF/F publishing can seem intimidating and shadowy from the outside. This panel of experienced professionals in the field—authors, editors, agents, and others—will shed light on some of those dark corners and share insider secrets and other key information about the current state of the industry.

I’ll also be in the Dealer’s room at the Clarkesworld table selling magazines and running my annual fire sale on old inventory from my long-closed bookstore.

First Rights

Earlier today, I engaged in a Twitter conversation about first rights for short stories/novelettes/novellas. Over the course of the conversation, it became clear that it would be nice to have a single page I could link to from the submissions guidelines of the various projects I’m involved in.

There was some debate on this topic, so I will start by saying that I am not the final authority on this issue for anything but the magazines and anthologies I’m editing. This includes The Best Science Fiction of the Year, in which case my definition will overrule that of the editor of the publications I select stories from.

FIRST RIGHTS

In over-simplified terms this means the person/publisher that gets to publish the story first. If there are restrictions (First English Language, First Electronic, etc) then it is the first to publish to that particular subset. NOTE: Obviously unrestricted first rights are no longer available the moment a subset of those rights are sold.

These days, there are many ways to publish a story. It’s not always as clear-cut as appearing in a book or magazine. You have to think of publishing as distribution. There are some obvious situations that make it clear that the story has been published:

  • appearance in a book or magazine (print, audio, or digital formats)
  • money has changed hands (barter too) in exchange for a copy of the work
  • anyone using Google or another internet search tool can find the text of the story

Here are a few examples of situations where a story has been published:

  • it appears in a book, magazine, pamphlet, postcard, etc. (self-publishing and school journals included) that is freely available or sold
  • it appears on your website for visitors to read (no matter what size your audience is)
  • it appears on a publicly available website (like Wattpad or a forum, even one with membership restrictions)
  • it is distributed as a Patreon or Kickstarter reward (money has changed hands, no different than selling an ebook)

Here are a few example of situations that don’t count as publication:

  • story is read aloud at a convention (unless that is recorded and distributed)
  • story appears on private site that exists for the purpose of providing feedback on a story (only editors and writers participating, covers various private critique groups)
  • story is shared in a classroom or given to teacher as part of a class
  • story is entered into a contest (wins or loses) but is not shared to anyone outside the judges (this is just like a slush pile, a business process)
  • story is purchased by a magazine, but the magazine folds before the story is distributed to readers (in this situation the rights should revert to the author and they can sell them to someone else or use them on their own)
  • a copy of the story is placed on your mom’s refrigerator

REPRINTS

Stories that have already been published can be sold or published again as reprints. (The original publisher may have a fixed period of exclusivity on the story that prevent you from selling reprint rights before a certain date. Some even limit where it can be reprinted. Pay attention to your contracts.)

Publishers looking for first rights or original stories are, by definition, excluding reprints.

When a story is reprinted, the first publication is usually credited (Originally appeared in XXX, edited by YYY, YEAR) so make sure you include that information with any submissions that are open to reprints.

Please ask questions in the comments. I will update the document as additional examples are brought to my attention.