Writing for the King

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Well, for King’s River Life, that is. Lori Ham’s magazine is a gem for mystery lovers. She not only publishes mystery short fiction, in her pages the wonderful Kevin Tipple and others review books, and offer an abundance of other information on the mystery genre.

The pages of this magazine also include reviews of some local California events, but her give-aways are open to all readers–so many mysteries, so little time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of my short stories appear on her virtual pages. She often requests stories geared to holidays–I found that to be a great way to break in.  Ham is great to work with and respects writers of all stripes–experienced, emerging, beginners.

Here are her responses to my questions:

Please tell us a bit about the history of your magazine and about the magazine’s goals present day? Particularly, can you define how your magazine differs from other crime magazines out there?

Our first issue came out May 29, 2010. I had been let go from my job with the local newspaper due to an issue with my editor-long story. I decided to start a magazine where I published all the things she had told me no one would read-it’s changed a lot from then. We celebrate 8 years this month. One way ours differs is because while half of each issue is mystery-reviews, interviews, author guest posts, TV reviews, mystery short stories-the other half is animal rescue, local entertainment, and other local color. As to goals-we just want to keep sharing great mystery content with our readers!

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

We will consider all mystery short stories of any sub genres-nothing too graphic though. Prefer lengths between 1000-3000 words, but will take flash fiction and up to around 5000 words. We also look for a lot of holiday related mystery short stories each year-soon we will be taking submissions forJuly 4th mystery short stories.

I just love a story that is clever with great characters.

We don’t pay, but the writer gets a byline and a mini bio where they can promote anything they like-their blog, their latest book, whatever. And we do take reprints.

What is an instant turn-off in a submission?

Graphic sex, bad writing, unoriginal.

What are some of your favorite journals/magazines?

I spend most of my reading time reading books to review though I do have a subscription to the NY Times. I used to read a lot of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock, and I used to devour the Writer’s Digest.

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

Our submission email is krlmagazine@gmail[dot]com. I always make a mention in our mystery Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/krlmysterygroup/. And I mention our calls on a lot of yahoo lists.

Is there anything else you would like to say to writers who are considering submitting to you?

Check us out-see what we are publishing and go for it kingsriverlife.com. We are ALWAYS looking for mystery short stories-holiday and just general. Right now we have something new and exciting starting up the end of this month-a mystery podcast called Mysteryrat’s Maze Mystery Podcast. We are going to be having actors from our area (we live near Fresno) reading mystery short stories and some mystery novel first chapters. We are mostly looking for around 2000 words-but we are in the process of feeling this all out so we are open to other lengths. Same submission contact info as the regular short stories. If you would like to sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the podcast you can do so at https://tinyletter.com/kingsriverlife.

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