De-Mystifying Mystery Weekly

This is a great market–hope this helps all of us understand it better–let me know if you find this information helpful!

Kerry Carter, the editor answered the blog questions and provided some helpful hints on how to better research the magazine.

Please tell us a bit about the history of your magazine and about the magazine’s goals present day?

Back in September of 2015, we wanted to create another market for authors to get their stories out there, but our motives weren’t entirely altruistic. It’s satisfying to have a creative outlet by curating stories, choosing covers and releasing a new issue each month. It’s also very exciting to read through submissions and discover new voices and talent.

We actually started as an email magazine (e-zine), sending out a free original mystery every week, hence the name Mystery Weekly Magazine. Less than a month later, we decided to roll up these weekly stories into a monthly Print-On-Demand (POD) issue on Amazon, adding a few extra stories as a bonus. Over the years, we sent out fewer and fewer free stories by email and focused on our monthly issue. Today we’re also distributed through various digital subscription channels such as Kindle Newsstand, and in schools and libraries via Flipster.

Our goal is to continue to increase our compensation to authors, which we’ve recently done on May 1st, and to continue to support the mystery fiction community through sponsorships and scholarships. We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the 2019 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, and hope to continue our Emerging Mystery Writer Scholarships.

What are you seeking in general and what especially delights you in a manuscript submission?

Generally, I’m looking for an original, compelling story. I especially like cross-genre submissions and humorous mysteries, and a satisfying or twist ending. I try to buy a diverse selection of stories to please as many readers’ tastes as possible. Every issue is a mixed bag from cozy to noir.

What is an instant turn-off in a submission?

It’s bewildering to me that so many writers disregard our clear submission requirements. Because we’re distributed in school libraries, we want to keep our rating to an equivalent of PG-13 or milder. Another turn-off is laziness; I can tell if a writer has put effort into their submission. Avoid simple spelling and grammar errors, weak words, and plot inconsistencies.

What are some of your favorite journals/magazines?

I’ve read all the top mystery magazines for years and years. Now I have so many of our own submissions to read that I have an ever-growing pile of magazines and books on my shelf, waiting for a long vacation.

How can writers contact you with questions and find out about submission calls?

We have a contact form on our site. Any question, big or small, is welcome! We often answer within minutes, or rarely it may take a day or two. If we’re planning a special issue such as our Sherlock Holmes, Western and humour issues, we’ll send out a call for submissions.

Is there anything else you would like to say to writers who are considering submitting to you? If you have any open submission calls.

We are always open for submissions. I’ll read your story from start to finish and take notes in case feedback is requested. Avoid cliché private eye stories, mariticide, and other overused themes. They would be a hard sell, regardless of how well they’re written.

We pay immediately upon acceptance, and typically you’ll see your story in print in the next monthly issue or two. We’ll also advertise your other works (novels) for free in our emails or magazine if requested, and support you in any way we can.

Finally, I recommend you read one of our current issues. If you’re on a budget, you can read us for free with a 30-day trial Kindle Newsstand Subscription, or via Flipster at your local library.

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