Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Online Magazines

There has been a lot of talk lately about the future of genre magazines, specifically in relation to online magazines.  I just read Erin Hoffman’s rather interesting ideas on what she would do with an online magazine.  I’ve been wanting to kick things up a bit more with Clarkesworld Magazine and she’s given me a lot of food for thought.  I’m not considering the financial models presented as I’m quite happy with our own, but the aspect of doing more community-building is something I’d like to see happen.  It’s time to start taking greater advantage of the medium that I’m working with instead of simply mirroring the print forefathers.  We took a tiny step forward last month by allowing comments on non-fiction, but there is so much more to do. 

Over the next few days, I plan to expand on some of the suggestions (from this and other sources) and how they could specifically relate to Clarkesworld.  Did one of her thoughts resonate well with you or is there something else you’d like to add?  I’d love to hear it and now is the perfect time to speak up.


Goodbye my old friend


Which is More Green?


  1. Off topic

    Hey, a friend of an acquiantance is an artist and I took a look at his website at:

    His name is Justin Adams. There were a few pieces there that I thought might work for your magazine. The artist is new and is trying to break into the cover art market. I think he needs a bigger portfolio, but in the meantime . . .

    The one I thought would really work for the magazine would be the tree (with steel in the background) in the bottom right of the “paint” section.

    Let me know what you think!

    • Re: Off topic

      Definitely someone I have to keep an eye on. Does he have more work that hasn’t been added to his site?

  2. One of the things Clarkeworld has going for it is you :). Specifically, among other things, your critiques, which are quite famous within my small circle of LJ friends.

    The thing is, is that they are also educational–you gave me one that caused a change for the better, so I would love to see more of that sort of thing. Maybe take a manuscript a month or so, and, with the author’s permission, critique the story. I would think this could cause a lot of buzz, especially if you allowed discussion of the critique. There already is rumor-buzz, so you could capitalize on it.

    I like challenges, and of course, small prizes. It would also be fun to try bringing in Project Runway and see how we “stylists” would revise a story or some such. 😀

    Hm, I’m thinking of how the different tones in Clarkesworld (and you) could be pushed for making the site more personable, you see? A business plan is all well and good, yay for business plans, but I think that the thing about community that she talked about is really spot on.

    I don’t know how you could foster a comfortable forum, though; even your blog replies sometimes get, um…but, still, maybe that would be fine, too. There’s certainly room for all sorts of things 🙂

    • Ah, you must be referring to Nick’s personalized rejections. Hadn’t thought about going the writer’s resource route, but it has possibilities and I should bounce the concept of Nick to see what he thinks about it.

      I’d likely be the one running the online community aspect of things. If I’ve posted things that fit into the “um” category, I’d be surprised, but would work on it.

      • Yup, after I posted, I thought, wait! These are not the same people, whoops! I’m a goof.

        And blogs and forums are different, too, so, there you go. But you know what, it’s all going to be fine and I’m very curious to see all the fun things you come up with 🙂

        • 🙂 It’s ok. One of the things I’ve realized in the last few months is that I have to work on coming out of the woodwork since people often forget the magazine has three people working on it.

  3. I like books, and I tend to like hardbacks better than paperbacks, so I bought the hardback version of the anthology. That said, I liked her suggestion about a “tip jar” of some kind, not in an attempt to alter your current financial model, but on top of it. I really enjoyed Ken Schole’s story this past issue and would have tipped $1 his way for it, and I could say the same for many other stories you’ve published. If I tip $0.50-$1.00 to the barista, depending on whether they make a coffee or just get a cup down from a shelf, I’d be willing to do the same for a story…

    • Scholes. Dammit.

    • Actually there is a donate link at the bottom of each story and another in the menu. Sounds like I need to work on making that a bit more obvious.

      • Ah, now I see it. Hmm. I feel guilty saying it, but as with many websites, the moment I was done with the text that interested me, I moved on. Maybe something to draw the eye more than just plain text… A Paypal button?

        • 🙂 I’ve already started working on something that will be more visually obvious. I’m hoping to have it done sometime tomorrow.

          • Cool beans.

            I’ve never really been into “supporting” artists per se in the past, but in recent years I’ve gotten a little more behind the idea. This isn’t to say I’m going to stop using the library or frequenting used bookstores, but if we all made a token ($1) gesture in the direction of work we liked, I think it would be a good thing. That’s one of those ways that the electronic format does win out over paper. I’m about 500% more likely to click a button to support a mag when I like a story than I am to send a check for $1 through the mail to an artist/author/publisher whose work I like.

  4. Hi Neil. 🙂 Thanks very much for the comments and trackbacks, I’m pleased any of it could be useful. I left a reply on Homeless Moon, but thought I’d drop you a line here as well since the discussion transferred — if you’d like to talk about this stuff via email, please feel encouraged to drop me a line… it’s pretty much what I do for a living, which means that I might have more ideas for you (the blog post was pretty off-the-cuff in terms of social networking), but since it’s a profession I can talk about it far past the interest of the general public, so I try to rein myself in. 😉 erin at homelessmoon dot com will get to me.

    I think it’s terrific that you guys are exploring in this direction, though, and again, happy to help in any way I can.

    • Actually, that email box seems to be having issues — working on getting them resolved, but until then, my gmail is erin.n.hoffman . 🙂

    • Thanks! I didn’t think it would be right for me to move your discussion in the direction of a specific magazine, so I moved the Clarkesworld-specific part here.

      I’ll definitely be in touch and look forward to hearing what else you’d suggest.

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