Aoife’s Kiss

GUIDELINES:  AOIFE’S KISS

Hello, and welcome to the new new guidelines for Aoife’s Kiss.

Before we get started, a couple of helpful points.  First, “Aoife” is pronounced “EE-fah.”  It’s Irish for “Eve.”  Just so you know . . .

And second:  at the bottom of these guidelines you will find some advice for writers.  We strongly urge you to READ & HEED this advice.  We turn down over 80% of the submissions we receive.  Almost all of those rejected submissions violate one or more of the principles in that advice.  Read and heed, folks.

Aoife’s Kiss is a quarterly magazine, published in March, June, September, and December.  It is a perfect-bound magazine, 8 1/2 by 11.

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Aoife’s Kiss publishes short stories, poetry, art/illustrations, and articles [including book and movie reviews] in the following genres:  science fiction and fantasy, including some dark fantasy.  These genres include several subgenres, among them sword & sorcery, steampunk, slipstream, interstitial, and cyberpunk.  The point to remember here is that, for us, if it falls into the Big Three, we want to see it.  We are not overly concerned about specific subgenres.

Note:  Previously, we published horror as well as science fiction and fantasy.  This is no longer the case.  Aoife’s Kiss has been phasing out horror over the past couple issues, and by the September 2011 issue we expect to be generally horror-free.  That’s not to say that we will not publish horror.  We will–just not in Aoife’s Kiss.  [Cover of Darkness has become our primary horror and dark fantasy publication–see separate guidelines].

Aoife’s Kiss considers original short stories of lengths between 2,000 – 10,000 words [if your story is longer, please query].  Payment is $15 per story, this rate taking effect with the December 2011 issue.  Aoife’s Kiss also considers original flash fiction [less than 1300 words], for which the payment is $4.00 per story.

Aoife’s Kiss considers original poetry of up to 100 lines [if your poem is longer, please query].  Payment is $5.00 per poem, with the exception that payment for minimalist forms such as scifaiku, haibun, tanka, fibonacci, etc., conforms to the payment guidelines for Scifaikuest magazine [generally, $1.00 per poem, $2.00 for joined ku and haibun].

Note:  Aoife’s Kiss also considers reprints of short stories or poems, provided these do not exceed the word or line limits.  Payment for reprints is $5 per story and $3 per poem.  Generally, we will publish no more than two reprints per issue, and we will not reprint material suitable for Scifaikuest.

Aoife’s Kiss considers original color art for the magazine cover.  Payment for the art selected for the cover of the magazine is $20.

Aoife’s Kiss considers original art in black-and-white for interior art and, on occasion, color art for the back cover.  Payment is $6 per piece.

Aoife’s Kiss considers articles related to science, science fiction, fantasy, sword & sorcery, mythology, folklore, and the history of any of these.  Preferred length is under 2000 words, but that is not firm.  If in doubt, submit it.  Payment is $10.00 for original articles, $3.00 for reprints.  Probably we will publish no more than one outside article in each edition.

Aoife’s Kiss considers reviews of movies and books related to the genres we publish, and interviews of writers, publishers, etc.  Preferred length is under 2000 words.  Payment is $7.00 for original reviews; we will not consider reprints.  Probably we will publish no more than one outside review in each edition.

All payments will be made within 30 days publication.  Payment includes one contributor’s copy of the magazine.

How to submit your work:

In the upper left corner of the first page of your work, I want to see the name to which you wish the check made out to, the address to which the check is to be mailed, and your e-mail address.  In the upper right hand corner of the first page of your work, I want to see the approximate word count.

Ten lines below your e-mail address, and centered in the page, I want to see the title of your work and your byline [note that the name in the byline does not necessarily have to be the name in the upper left hand corner].  Four lines below your name, I want to see the beginning of your work.

Indent paragraphs five full spaces [you may instead use a 0.25″ tab].  Double-space the lines.  If you use italics, then use italics.  However, if you submit in plain text format, use asterisks * before and after words and phrases to denote italics.  Please use Times New Roman or Courier New font, preferably 12point.

Submit your work as an RTF or Word attachment, or pasted as text in the body of the e-mail.  In the subject line of your e-mail, put Submission Aoife – and the title of your work in the subject line.

Submit your art as a JPEG attachment.  Type Art Aoife – and the title of your piece in the subject line.

Submit your poem as text pasted into the body of the e-mail.  If you desire italics for words and phrases, place an asterisk * before and after the words to be italicized.

In your e-mail, say hello, and provide your contact information.  This is the same information that appears in the upper left corner of the first page of your submission.  If your submission is accepted, I will request a bio and send you a contract.

Send your e-mail submission to:  ak@samsdot.com.

Aoife’s Kiss makes every effort to respond within 2 months.  Please do not query until after 3 months.

Other helpful advice:

If you want your work to be published in Aoife’s Kiss, please pay close attention to the advice below–and yes, we know you’ve seen much of this before, but you’d be surprised how many writers either neglect these things, or just don’t think we mean it [such writers number among those who have a really tough time getting published in a paying market].

1.  Do proofread your work, and eliminate mistakes of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax.

2.  Do practice word management.  Use the right word, and only as many words as necessary.

3.  Plot does matter.  Without a plot, a story is history–in more ways than one.  A plot, simply put, is the answer to the question:  How do I get from the conflict to the resolution?  Answer that question before you write the story, and let the answer guide your pen/keyboard/magic marker.

4.  Do make your characters live through your words, for characters carry your story.  A good story is not about an event or a circumstance or a moral question, but about how your protagonists and antagonists respond to the stimuli of the event or circumstance or moral question.  In a proper story, your protagonist will change in some way as a result of the circumstances or events.  If your protagonist does not change, you have not written a story.

a.  Corollary:  we receive a lot of submissions in which someone is abused as a child and therefore misbehaves as an adult.  This sort of blaming is reductionist and not very useful.  We as humans have and make choices, regardless of our traumas.  We want stories with an eye to the future, not to the past.  In other words, humans are complex, and should not be limited by reductionist motivations.

5.  Do NOT preach.  If you absolutely must make a moral point, or a statement about the state of society, politics, or religion, do so with a subtle velvet hammer…or compose an essay.  Yes, we agree, the world is in a sorry state…so what else is new?  Send us a story, not a sermon.

6.  We do not object to colorful language….IF it has a purpose in the story.  You cannot shock us…but you can annoy me with unnecessary florid language.

7.  Do NOT send simultaneous submissions.  Do NOT send multiple submissions.  One submission at a time, please.

8.  DO tell us if your submission has been published previously, and where and when, so that we may accredit the proper sites.

9.  Set off direct address with commas.  Thus, “Hello, Harry, how are you?”  “Harry” is used in direct address, and therefore is set off by commas.  Put another way, there is a huge difference between “Let’s eat, grandmother,” and “Let’s eat grandmother.”  Commas are important.  Editors do not have time to insert them into direct address for you.  That’s your job.