Sybil’s Garage Guidelines Change

Seven Fingers Washes the OtherI’d like to bring to your attention a guidelines change for Sybil’s Garage No. 7, which begins its reading period on January 15th.

In a very short period of time, with only six issues, Sybil’s Garage has established itself as the little magazine that could.  We have received honorable mentions in several year’s best anthologies and have become one of the more respected small press magazines.  Because of editorial choices I’ve made in the past, many excellent stories we’ve published have not been traditionally plotted and have tended to be atmospheric and what some might label as slipstream.  We’re very proud of the stories published in the magazine so far and we wish to continue to publish atmospheric/slipstream stories such as the ones we have in the past, but in the upcoming issue we’d like to publish a few more traditionally plotted stories.

If you have any questions, please comment here, and I will respond as soon as possible.  Full guidelines can be found here.

4 Replies to “Sybil’s Garage Guidelines Change”

  1. Hey Matt,

    Hey Matt,

    There are five fingers and a pair of thumbs in that picture. That’s a HUGE hand!

    In terms of your stories, I think you guys do a great job. This is an excellent publication.

    By traditional plotting, what do you mean? Are you talking tropes (premature burial, haunted house, demonic possession) or archetypes (vampire, werewolf, zombie) or both?

    Just curious. I’m still prety traditional, so my occassional journeys into “slipstream” (not a fan of the word, really) feel forced.


  2. Dan, thank you for writing. No, we do not mean tropes or archetypes. Instead, we are looking for more stories with complete arcs. This website explains the elements of a story arc: We don’t wish to suggest this is the only way, or the best way, to write a story. But it is, perhaps, the one readers are most familiar with, and one method we’d like to see more of in our slush pile. Does that make sense?

  3. Good Morning Matt,

    That definitely makes sense. Thanks for the response, and that link is cool. Lots of good analysis there.

    I like the advice to read a magazine before submitting, and I do try to read as widely as I can in the genres I write in. I think, if I were editing a magazine, I’d include that sentence advising folks to read the magazine before submitting.

    That said, I have a hard time writing to an ethos. I can write to a theme, but that’s different. I’ve actually tried to consciously internalize a “feel” or “style” of certain magazines I admire. The results have been frustrating.

    I suppose I’m more of a grip-it and rip-it fellow, and most of the stuff I’ve written falls beneath a pretty traditional storytelling banner.

    I was actually thinking a little about this yesterday. Few writers write truly remarkable books. By remarkable, I mean books that change how people think.

    Instead, they trade on style and story, which is all well and good. My favorite writers are Ray Carver and Stephen King. King’s writen dozens of novels, but only a few are remarkable books (The Dead Zone and Wizard and Glass among them, I think). I keep buying his stuff, though, because I admire his style and he spins a great yarn.

    The Road, by McCarthy, is my favorite book of all time, though I don’t admire his style (the prose is beautiful in spots, but on the whole the nontraditional punctuation can grow thin). I love that book because of its remarkable messages of love and determination and responsibility.

    At any rate, thanks for the response, and sorry for the long post. I look forward to the next installment of Sybil’s Garage!

  4. Thank you, Dan. As a story writer myself, I find the best way for me is to simply tell a story, and later search out which market it might be good for. That probably doesn’t work for everyone, though.

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