In the three years since our creation we've shown ourselves to be a pro-active (some might say Quixotic) fan group that tries to give Star Trek fans a voice, within the fan community and without. Part of that mandate for action has been our magazine, Hailing Frequencies Open, which through a long, monthly print run of nearly two years, steered by my predecessor Richard Anderson, we delivered a quality news magazine for members. Over the past year though our focus has changed, primarily with the winding down and eventual closing of the Save Enterprise Campaign, and what has taken it's place is an organisation that strives to provide a friendly forum for Star Trek fans to make the most of their fandom, regardless of whether they are into collectables, conventions, gaming or fan productions.
As a sign of that re-direction, we are rebooting our flagship publication in a new format - as a fanzine.
There is no firm definition of what a fanzine is or what format it should take. It can be a "clubzine", basically a newsletter focused on news about a club's membership, a "perzine" featuring the work of one person or a "prozine" or "semi-prozine" bordering on the world of the professional media. There is even a subset known as "Trekzines" which are traditionally mini anthologies of fan fiction! The one thing that all fanzines have in common though is that they are a very personal expression of the people putting them together and as the incumbent editor for the rebirth of HFO it is my privilege to be able to deliver something a little different for our membership.
The crux of what I want to do is to give TrekUnited membership a publication that is written *for* them rather than *by* and *about* them. I see the scope of our 'zine as entertainment, information and commentary drawn from the whole of Star Trek fandom rather than just TrekUnited. As regards format, I've always been a fan of the Analog model: 60% Fiction, 20% Fact/Commentary, 5% Housekeeping (letters of comment & reviews) and 15% Advertising (see below). I see this publication as a fan production in that it is a meeting of the energy and creativity of the common man and the love of their craft shown by respected professionals. I feel that it should reflect the "Infinite Diversity" of Star Trek fans (and isn't everyone a Trek fan deep down?) and that it should provide a fan experience for both those who wish to be involved in it's creation and those who simply want to enjoy reading it.
So what exactly am I pitching here?
- A Christmas fanzine, Deadline Dec 1st, with leeway through to late December, to start ... last week!
- Named Hailing Frequencies Open, to keep continuity with the previous magazine, it will continue in 2009 as a quarterly publication
- Publication will be as a TrekUnited news item - a paragraph on the front page linked to a full-page item.
- It will be available for free download as a pdf, suitable for printing on A4 & US Letter paper at home or by a 'Print On Demand' firm.
- It will be available for browsing on Issuu and on the Scribd network
- We will be investigating the possibility of an eBook version in text only, Mobipocket and PalmReader (for the iPhone)
- As a fan production there can be no paid or sponsored advertising other than plugs for fellow non-profit fan organisations and groups.
- Graphics will be original where possible with a specially commissioned colour cover and artwork to accompany the fiction.
Initially I am aiming my content at 36-56 pages of...
- 3-4 short stories / flash fiction of 2-3 pages each
- 2 longer stories of 6-8 pages each
- 2-3 science fact articles
- 1-2 page article from TrekUnited management on our future direction
- 2-3 pages of book reviews: fact as well as fiction
- 2-3 pages of Letters of Comment focussing on the state of Star Trek
The Christmas edition of Hailing Frequencies Open will be TrekUnited's contribution towards the fanzine day of the 2008 Twelve Trek Days of Christmas, which premiered last year across a number of Trek organisations and fan groups.
What am I looking for exactly and how can you submit material?
- Short stories / flash fiction of 750-1000 words
- Longer stories of 2000-3000 words
- Science fact articles of 1500-2000 words
- Book reviews (fact as well as fiction) 500-750 words
- Letters of Comment focussing on the state of Star Trek
- The criteria I will be judging submissions on will be style and originality for the fiction and non-fiction (some seasonal, Christmas content will be appreciated), book reviews will be judged on content (current releases will be favoured), Letters of Comment will be judged on wit and commentary as well as your standing in the Trek fan community - let's face it, a letter from J.J.Abrams will be published before one from the C.O. of the Good Ship Lollipop RPG. LOC's could be edited for length on agreement with the author.
- Drafts are expected to be already edited for spelling and grammar, gross examples of badly edited articles will be returned.
- The TrekUnited Styleguide will be sent on application to anyone who wants specific instructions on spelling, grammar and formatting.
- Submissions must be in English but "The Queen's English" spelling and grammar will be respected from international authors, eg. English, Australian, etc.
- Fan fiction will be labelled with copyright disclaimers however your byline and any contact or biographical information (within reason) will be published to support your moral right to be identified as the author of the piece. Copyright of original work resides with the author, TrekUnited makes no claim on the ownership of your work.
- New material will generally be given preference over previously published work but a well written seasonal classic could get through.
- The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas is family-friendly so we must ask that the impact of your content be no more than moderate - M according to Australian classifications.<http://www.classification.gov.au/special.html?n=276&p=134>
- The deadline for the fanzine is Dec 1st with half of December for leeway. There will be a "second string" of existing material from our archives to fill in for material that does not get in on schedule.
- Not only will it be publicised on the TrekUnited website, it will gain extensive visibility as part of the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas.
- Send submissions, comments or queries to me at email@example.com
TrekUnited Publishing will be pitching heavily for submissions from people and organisations outside of TrekUnited, however I cannot stress strongly enough that submissions from TrekUnited members are encouraged and we will do everything we can to help you set up a winning submission without discriminating against outside submissions.
I hope you'll consider contributing towards this project, both as a general example of how Star Trek fans can can give during the season of good will and as a positive, grass-roots project by Star Trek fans in an increasingly negative world.
Feel free to contact me on my email address or join the discussion on the subject on this forum.
Kirok of L'Stok