Not One of Us

Even though the regular website about Not One of Us is temporarily down, I want to make clear that the magazine itself is still operating. Not One of Us is a hardcopy publication, so the problem with the website is merely an inconvenience. I continue to read new submissions, and the magazine’s publication schedule is unchanged.

To submit a story or poem(s), attach the manuscript as a Word or rtf file (not pdf) to an email message addressed to: wombatjb@comcast.net or john@not-one-of-us.pub

All the vital information – guidelines, how to submit, and how subscribe – are below on this page.

***GUIDELINES

Not One of Us is about people (or things) out of place in their surroundings, outsiders, social misfits, aliens in the SF sense—anyone excluded from society for whatever the reason. We’d like Not One of Us to consider the problem of “otherness” from every possible fictional angle: horror, SF, fantasy, noir, slipstream, Western, mainstream, whatever.

The editorial philosophy of the magazine reflects my own personal taste in genre fiction. To me the scariest and most deeply moving horror stories are not about monsters or about good vs. evil, but rather about the reader’s own fears and discomforts. Similarly, for Not One of Us, fantasy isn’t about pseudo-medieval worlds, science fiction isn’t about space opera or funny-sounding names, Westerns are not about gunfights. In our magazine, it’s all about the characters.

We crave characters (human or otherwise) who are different and who act the way they do out of plausible (if occasionally insane) motives. All the wondrous settings and complex plots in the world will fail to convince me if at the center of the tale there isn’t a protagonist with whom I can somehow empathize. I don’t have to like that character: heaven knows we’ve had some pretty nasty protagonists, and empathy is not the same as excuse-making. But I want to get some insight into the character, and vicariously into myself. Also, I like stories, and characters, with edge.

Themes to avoid: vampires, alcoholic villains without any understanding of their motives, tales about writers, sword and sorcery, deals with the devil, and revenge stories that have no other point, especially if the punishment far exceeds the crime.

Because we’re a digest-sized (5.5 x 8.5 inch, 32-page) publication, we prefer stories of 5000 words or less. While we’re willing to read stories up to 6000 words long, they are a harder sell because of the size limitation of our format. We prefer poems of 40 lines or less, although we’re willing to read longer poems. Just not ones of epic length.

We assume first serial rights, with rights reverting to the author/poet upon publication. Payment is ¼¢ per word ($5 minimum), payable upon publication, plus one contributor’s copy for stories; $5 plus one copy for poems.

Artwork takes the form of story illustrations plus theme-related front and back covers. Typical payment ranges from $8 to $15. Query with samples.

***SUBMISSIONS

Send all submissions and inquiries by email to: wombatjb@comcast.net or john@not-one-of-us.pub. For submissions, we prefer Word or RTF attachments (do not send submissions in PDF), but it’s OK to embed submissions. Please send only one story or up to three poems at a time.

All hardcopy correspondence should be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.

John Benson, Editor
12 Curtis Road
Natick, MA 01760

***SUBSCRIPTIONS

A single current issue of Not One of Us costs US$3.50 plus postage and handling ($1.00 for US, $1.25 for Canada, $2.50 for the rest of the world). Four-issue subscriptions are US$16.00 postpaid for the US, $17.50 for Canada, $22.50 elsewhere.

My PayPal address is wombatjb@comcast.net. Or you can send a check in US dollars payable to John Benson (not to Not One of Us), 12 Curtis Road, Natick, MA 01760 USA.

Here’s the table of contents of our current issue, Not One of Us #73.

Here’s the table of contents of The Best of No One of Us, a collection of fifteen stories representing some of the very best fiction published during our first twenty years.