Monday, 21 December 2009

On Semi-Pros

I found a rather interesting article on semi-pro writers here. I think I caught the tail-end of some big internet flap, and Jennifer Marie Brissett's post here is in response to that. Not having read the rest of the war (Nick Mamatas has, so he'll know more about this than me), I'm just going to comment on this part of the dialogue.

As far as I see it, semi-prozines and the writers who are involved with them are indeed important in the richness of SF/F/H. That's why I think genre fiction is so much livelier than mainstream fiction. People do have an arena to experiment. No one might read it (or very few might read it), but it gives you a space for peer review. It also allows you to see your writing published and therefore gives you encouragement. Of course, not all semi-pro (or hobby) writers should be encouraged, but how can we expect new writers to improve if they never get practice or criticism?

Plus there's also a grey area between some pro and semi-pro magazines. Interzone, which many in the UK consider pro, is otherwise considered semi-pro by the SFWA. Similarly, Weird Tales, which pays 3c/word, last time I checked. The criteria are hazy, at least, in the eyes of readers.

Anyway, any thoughts on this are welcome.

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