Revised: 6 April 2014
From Eric Flint:
If anyone is interested in submitting stories or articles for possible future issues of the Grantville Gazette, you are welcome to do so. But you must follow a certain procedure:
- All stories and articles must first be posted in a conference in Baen’s Bar set aside for the purpose, called “1632 Slush.” Do not send them to either me or the editor, Paula Goodlett, because we won’t read them. Don’t send them to the editorial board members; they won’t read them either.
- There are no exceptions, including for professional authors. Established professional authors have submitted to the Gazette through Baen’s Bar.
- Prior to writing a story and posting it you may send the Gazette Editorial Board a short sketch of your proposed story or article, to make sure that nothing in it conflicts with “established canon” before you start expending the time and effort to write it. Indeed, I encourage you to do so. But keep it SHORT. (By which I mean no more than 500 words.) You can email the sketch to the Editorial Board at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once you have posted it, your story/article will then be subjected to discussion and commentary by participants in the 1632 discussion forum. In essence, it will get chewed on by what amounts to a very large, virtual writers’ group.
- You do not need to wait until you’ve finished the story to start posting it in “1632 Slush.” In fact, it’s a good idea not to wait, because you will often find that problems can be spotted early in the game, before you’ve put all the work into completing the piece.
- While this is happening, the Grantville Gazette Editorial Board and the editor, Paula Goodlett, will be keeping an eye on the discussion. Paula will buy stories from those which seem to her to best fit the magazine.
- In writing up your story, please follow the guidelines laid out in the Manuscript Guidelines and 1632 Style Sheet at 1632.org.
I insist that people follow this procedure, for one simple reason:
By now, the setting for the 1632 series and “established canon” in this series is very extensive, with (by April of 2014):
- Fifteen novels in print ( 1632, 1633, 1634: The Baltic War, 1634: The Galileo Affair, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, 1635: The Canon Law, 1635: The Dreeson Incident, 1635: The Eastern Front, 1636: The Saxon Uprising, 1636: The Kremlin Games, 1635: The Papal Stakes, 1636: The Devil’s Opera, 1636: Seas of Fortune, and out as an e-arc 1636: Lieutenant Cantrell in the West Indies)
- Five major anthologies in print ( Ring of Fire, 1634: The Ram Rebellion and Ring of Fire II, 1635:The Tangled Web, and Ring of Fire III)
- Fifty-three issues (so far) of The Grantville Gazette, either in electronic or paper editions.
All told, the above represents somewhere around seven million words in print.
To make the situation still more complex, the series is set in the actual seventeenth century and so a reasonable knowledge of the history of the period is needed.
We have found from experience that if a writer, no matter how well-established, tries to write a story without first taking the time to become familiar with the setting, they will almost invariably write something which we simply can’t accept. Not, at least, without a major and extensive rewrite.
In short, the procedure outlined above will save you a lot of wasted time and effort.
One point in particular: I have gotten extremely hard nosed about the way in which people use American characters in their stories (so-called “up-timers”). That’s because I began discovering that my small and realistically portrayed coal mining town of 3,500 people was being willy-nilly transformed into a “town” with a population of something like 20,000 people-half of whom were Navy SEALs who just happened to be in town at the Ring of Fire, half of whom were rocket scientists (ibid), half of whom were brain surgeons (ibid), half of whom had a personal library the size of the Library of Congress, half of whom . . .
Not to mention the F-16s which “just happened” to be flying through the area, the Army convoys (ibid), the trains full of vital industrial supplies (ibid), the FBI agents in hot pursuit of master criminals (ibid), the . . .
NOT A CHANCE.
If you want to use an up-time character, you must use one of the authorized characters. Those are the characters created by Virginia DeMarce using genealogical software and embodied in what is called “the grid.” And, even then, you are restricted to using characters whom some other writer has not already laid claim to, unless the time frames and story ideas don’t clash.
You can Click Here to download the latest version of the grid.
Please do not send a query out of idle curiosity. Only do so if you are planning to write a story. The Grid-Master is busy too.
You will be paid for any story or article which is published in the Grantville Gazette. The existing rates are five cents a word for any story or article, which will change to six cents a word on 1 July 2014.