A Call for Submissions
By Adam Mudman Bezecny
In the course of the last eighteen months serving as editor-in-chief at Odd Tales of Wonder, I've noticed a very particular trend which I suspect, based largely on hearsay and what my gut tells me, is somewhat common in small presses: it's mostly just white guys.
That's a contentious statement. Let me begin by saying that I have previously published female authors and authors of color, so it's far from a universal statement. It is meant as no insult to the authors I've published who have come from marginalized groups, because it was a privilege to have published your achievement; similarly, I mean no insult to the “white guys” I have published for reasons twofold. First, let no one think that they were a second choice to anyone—when it comes to my take on Odd Tales, you're in or you're out. And if you're in, it's because you legitimately knocked my socks off. Second, marginalization is so widespread in our society that maybe the “white guys” I've published still experience oppression in some area. I don't know the personal lives of most of my authors, so maybe some of them are gay or Jewish or disabled. Recognizing intersectionality is important and it's a personal priority of mine.
But it is rare that someone who isn't white or male submits. Including my own work ensures a trans woman voice, but only a slight number of the pieces I've seen have to do with oppression, and while that certainly isn't a requirement of submission, especially for a magazine with a name like Odd Tales of Wonder, I do look at the doomsday clock sometimes and brood. (The doomsday clock is the news. Look up a major headline, I can guarantee you it's probably something bringing us closer to some expression of total annihilation.) This magazine means a lot of things to me, but one of the most vital is that when I'm feeling down, Odd Tales is a key to salvation. Working with all the wonderful people who make it happen gives me hope in the way I want literature to give me hope. That the magazine isn't enough of a platform for marginalized voices is entirely my fault. I haven't done enough to reach out marginalized authors to submit to Odd Tales. Now, it is time to change that.
This is my official blast: if you write fiction and you are socially marginalized, consider Odd Tales to be a friendly market to submit to. Especially if you hate Trump. Odd Tales is a safe space, and I hope it can help improve the world. But I want your help, and I'm not just calling for it—I'm going to go out and look for it. There are online communities I can talk to, and literary scenes in my physical community. And yes, when it comes to submissions, I will prioritize marginalized voices—because that's what you've gotta do if you want those voices to not be marginalized anymore. I want to see what this little magazine can do when we all work together, with great gratitude for what we've done so far.