I, Gatekeeper

For years (not nearly enough years) I’ve been writing fiction, well aware that my early attempts would suck (and well should those attempts suck). I knew that there would come a time when I was happy enough with my mad skillz to attempt to get by the “gatekeepers”. Those are the editors and publishers that work to ensure that their magazines and other products contained only that which they though was of sufficient caliber to be published under their name. Little did I know that there would come a time when I would be a gate keeper myself.

That’s right, for those that don’t know, I am part of a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit team of writers and podcasters (*) who have set forth to make our own publishing company. Flying Island Press is our baby and it’s first foray into the e-zine world is called Flagship. There’s more to Flagship than just an e-zine though. We’re also going to be podcasting the content that we purchase. Yes, that’s right, purchase.

Flagship is a paying market and it’s also going to be For Sale. I know, I know, I’ve talked about the power of free on this blog before and I think there’s a place for it, but there’s also a place for paid publications and for you the audience to pay for quality content.

Since you, the reader, will be asked to pay for this mag, we at Flying Island Press will make you a promise. We’re not just taking any stories that cross our desk. There will be an editorial process. I will be one of the slush reader for the ‘zine and I will be hard on everyone that comes my way. So, in essence, I will be a gatekeeper.

This is an interesting place to be in, let me tell you. I’ll have to say no. It’s hard to hear no. I’ve been in a position to say no and I can tell you that’s hard too. Hopefully seeing all the prose that gets sent our way will test and teach me as a writer and as an editor. I anticipate that we’ll get plenty of awesome stuff and some of that just won’t be what we’re looking for. Let’s face it though, we’re also going to get plenty of poorly written stuff. And I’ll get to see it all.

I hope that as time allows I can do for some what some have done for me. Sure I’ll have to use the “Sorry, but this just isn’t what we’re looking for right now.” But I also hope that I can spare a few words of encouragement and tips for improving the work of the people I see. Only time will tell as to how much of that I’ll be able to do.

Of course that’s all assuming you guys get off you duffs and get writing!!!

So go to Flying Island Press, check out our submission guidelines (a little loose at the moment but we’re working on tightening them), and get your stories in.

(*) Crack team consists of –

Jeffrey “Dark Lord” Hite
Zach “Mad Poet” Ricks
Philip “Norval Joe” Carroll
Jean-Philip “J-P” Losier (I’m gonna call J-P the Ragin’ Cajun even though I don’t think he rages or he’s from LA)
Scott “In Search of a Nickname” Roche (I’d link to myself but I think that’s illegal in NC.)

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