Save the Semiprozine

As many of you already know, there is a movement among some in our community to abolish the Best Semiprozine Hugo. In the course of their discussions, some disparaging remarks have been made against semiprozines. By and large, I consider their statements about the worth and health of the semiprozine field uninformed and even a little insulting at times. To help address this, I have invited several people involved with semiprozines to join me in providing content for a new blog at semiprozine.org.

Our goal is to be both educational and informational. We’ll be featuring specific venues, providing current news, and offering some of our opinions on the state of the field as well as the Best Semiprozine Hugo. If all goes well, we hope to continue this site as a central source of news from/about semiprozines, even past the current Hugo issues… win or lose.

If you run a semiprozine that we have not yet listed in our directory, please let me know. I’d be more than happy to add you to the list and have you participate in whatever way you are comfortable with. We’re nothing without our authors and other contributors, so if any of you would like to contribute to the discussion, that would be great too.
 

13 thoughts on “Save the Semiprozine

  1. splinister says:

    Cheryl Morgan mentioned this initiative at P-Con in Dublin at the weekend and I thought it was a fantastic idea.

    Congratulations on taking this on. It’s a brilliant idea to highlight all the various semiprozines that are bringing excellent work to their readers.

    I’ll be delighted to promote it.

    • cherylmmorgan says:

      SFWA eligibility is to do with the rates paid to the author, not the earnings of the editor. You can pay full professional rates for stories and still be editing the magazine in your spare time and not making any money yourself from it.

      Or, to put it another way, the Hugo for semiprozine goes to the editor, not the contributors.

  2. cogitationitis says:

    Semiprozine is a category that’s been seriously broken for a long time. I wouldn’t mind a fanzine and magazine category, but semipro is just silly. And it’s been won, year after year, by the same magazine–one who used to win fanzine all the time, until semipro was invented to let all the other fanzines have a chance. Now, I agree that Langford has something of a stranglehold on fanzine/fan writer–he always seems to win one or bith–but at least he’s not the only winner in either category, year after year.

    With circulation dropping, I think it’s time for the semiprozines to compete with the big guys–mostly Asimov’s and Analog are all that’s left. Do you think you can handle that?

    • wyrmadmin says:

      Who said the category was perfect? We just don’t think the best solution is to blast it from the face of the earth.

      You might think it is fair to toss us in with the major publications (that earn enough to pay their staff a living wage), but we do not. It would be no different than eliminating fanzine and making them compete in our category. Just plain wrong.

      Like it or not, there is a healthy middle ground between fanzine and pro. Most of us hope to be pro someday and some of us have made the leap up from fanzine. The category may have been made because of Locus, but in the time since, it has grown to include many.

      All we’re asking is that people keep an open mind and give us a chance to prove that there is a quality and diversity in semiprozine that is worth keeping the category for. Save it now and tweak it a bit after. (There desperately needs to be a definition of professional.)

      If your problem is with Locus, well, you should at least know you’re kicking other good publications (and people) too.

      • cogitationitis says:

        My problem isn’t, specifically, Locus per se, but the fact that nobody but Locus ever seems to win. If it were always Ansible winning the fanzine category for nearly 2 decades running, I think the WSFS electorate would say that category was broken.

        Of course, the best way to change things isn’t by websites: it’s to show up at the WSFS business meeting (usually 10am-noon, Friday and Saturday of Worldcon) and vote. All you need is an attending membership to Anticipation.

        • wyrmadmin says:

          My experience says the best way to change things is through education. That’s why we have a website.

          I fully intend to be there for the vote and will be encouraging others to do the same.

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