Silvia Moreno-Garcia | POC Destroy Horror Opens April
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POC Destroy Horror Opens April

I am the original fiction editor for POC Destroy Horror, opening in April to submissions. Pay is 8 cents a word. Guidelines are up. POC artists should send their portfolio to the appropriate contact because the publisher will be looking for illustrations.

What I am looking for: strong, distinctive voices, featuring a variety of settings and time periods.

I dislike revenge fantasies (the ones where the writer’s ex-girlfriend is made to pay for dumping him, and I say “him” because every time I read one it was a he), rape fantasies, and violent fantasies. That doesn’t mean I haven’t read violent stuff but there’s a difference between the gross happenings in a story like “Kissing Carrion” by Gemma Files and tales that are meant as titillation. Or sometimes tit-illation, because writers think throwing me a boob can wash the sins of an awful piece of fiction.

I have a soft-spot for historical horror and I am not saying just Gothic explorations. Hence the variety of settings and time periods comment.

Lovecraft-inspired stories will be a hard sell because I just finished my thesis and it was on Lovecraft, so I’m kind of tired of reading that kind of tale right now. Weird fiction of other stripes is fine. I am not keen on zombies of the infectious variety, the ones that are more like the ones in Sugar Hill are fine. Any “traditional” monsters better be doing something special. That goes for wolfmen, vampires and the like. Lagahoos and chaneques will fare much better with me. I like folklore. I don’t like plots recycled from movies or TV shows. I’ve seen the movie.

I read fast. I tend to reject fast. I don’t do this because I’m a bad person who doesn’t care about your story. I do it because as a writer I know the most valuable thing I can do is give you a quick answer so you can send the story out again or rework it as you see fit. I don’t provide personalized feedback. My rejection is not a personal mark against your writing. If I reject you, try selling it again to another market. I recommend The Dark.

If you are wondering if you should bother sending something, waffling because it might not be right for me, you should probably send it. Do not self reject. I’ve had people send me movie scripts and once a man sent me a picture of him shirtless. So don’t worry, I’ve read a lot and chances are I’ve read a lot worse. Maybe you are pretty damn good.

I have met many great authors through the slush pile. Jacques L. Condor is a senior citizen and Abenaki writer who had never written a zombie story, I bought his story. It was later reprinted in Zombies: More Recent Dead. Daniel José Older, I published some of his early short fiction, he’s a successful novelist. He’s got nominations for stuff galore. Ditto Molly Tanzer, who seemed to be everywhere in 2015. Michael Wehunt, I published him for the first time, he’s gone on to be in Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. Etceteras.

The point being, I will read your story. So send it.