Hailing Frequencies Open: Personal Logs No2
Welcome back to the days when fans shared their fan experience in 'zines with that personal touch, short stories that carried something of themselves in them. Whilst you'll see little of Mary Sue here, you will see Star Trek stories that have been hand-chosen to reflect the passion that we all share for The Roddenberry Dream - across all eras, based on canon and non-canon, featuring the characters we have come to love and new, original ones springing from the hearts and minds of their authors into the world of Star Trek!
However, there are some rules to the game.
We will not accept stories or graphics that have a rating stronger than R. NC-17 rated material and PWP (Porn without Plot) will not be acceptable under any circumstances. More leeway is allowed for stories rated G, PG or PG-13 versus R. The definitions that we use are those of the Motion Picture Association of America, MPAA, and descriptions of their ratings system can be found online at (http://www.mpaa.org/...ch-rating-means ). It is the author's responsibility to submit their work with correct grammar and spelling.
There can be ambiguity, and reasonable minds can differ, when it comes to ratings. Our decision as to ratings is final, but we will accept your feedback and suggestions. We will make every effort to review all submissions in full and decide on a case by case basis. A certain number of swear words, for example, will not automatically invoke a rating, and changing the number of swear words will not automatically alter a rating.
It has to be Star Trek. It's what we are all about! Any era, series or season, canon or original characters. Non-canon or alternate universe stories are ok but crossovers will need a strong pitch for their inclusion
Our focus is on people. We call it Personal Logs for two reasons: firstly because fan fiction is a very personal interaction between the author and their passion and secondly because we are interested in people. What we want are personal dramas played out against the backdrop of the the Star Trek universe and what that might tell us about the human condition. What we don't want is space opera where the cardboard cutout characters play second-fiddle to bigger and uglier villains, more violent battles and whizz-bang technobabble.
There has to be closure. We want our reader's experience to be enjoyable and fulfilling, they need to feel good walking away from it, and for that they need closure of some sort in the stories. "Bottle stories" are best, serials are ok but over no more than three issues. Whilst we actively invite stories that might introduce a reader to an author's other work, as we have with Madison Bruffy's Nova Trek stories, what we don't want are cliff-hangers that are "to be continued" or pieces that need a knowledge of that wider work to be understood.
It must be good fiction. Characters need to have a motivation for their actions (especially canon characters) and without it the works stop being fan fiction and become fan fantasy. Because this is Personal Logs, it is a given that some stories will deal with interpersonal relationships. Gratuitous scenes of sex and violence are just that – gratuitous – and have no place in Personal Logs. But affection, romance, moderate physical contact and generally described violence are often a large part of good storytelling and are encouraged.
Good characterizations are always welcome, regardless of the characters' sexuality. But the writer will need to make a strong case for any radical departures from canon. This is true, not only of canon characters' sexuality and relationships, but also their behavior, personalities, appearances, etc. Turning Scotty into an Eskimo is going to require a lot of explanation and altered backstory – possibly too much for Personal Logs. The hill is steep but not impossible.
Fiction. Ideally each issue should have...
- One major work, up to novella size 17,500 words
- two short stories under 7500 words.
- At least four flash fiction between 300 – 1000 words
Poetry. Traditional or modern
Cover Artwork. The issue will only have colour artwork on the front and back cover and the inside front and back cover. We are looking for a colour artwork for the cover specially made for us and in return we will give you the inside back cover to display a collage of your Star Trek artwork with a bio and website URL prominently displayed – this is a fanzine, so no professionals unfortunately.
Interior artwork. Ideally I want a title page graphic for every story. This can be pencil, ink, wash, artistic photoshopping...
Comics and cartoons. As large as 6 - 10 pages or a single panel cartoon. Probably even more welcome as they create visual appeal.
It is the author's responsibility to submit their work with correct grammar and spelling.
Submissions: What do we want from you?
Text - A word processor file copy of your story in either MSWord or OpenOffice .doc format that is formatted the way you want it to appear and that has been edited for style, spelling and grammar.
Graphics – I will send a cover page template to artists to design their cover art for full bleed and an internal page template for page illustration art. Refer to last issue for Personal Logs for examples of previous artwork.
Email submissions to the editor
What will we deliver in return?
Your story in an issue of Personal Logs, which will be presented as a pdf file lodged online on Issuu for browsing and download.
I will be making every effort to get a title page illustration for every story, mostly by artists on Deviant Art. The fanzines will be on Facebook and twitter plus a variety of Star Trek forums, such as Trek United, Trek BBS, fan production forums like the ST Phase II, ST Hidden Frontiers and ST Intrepid forums and fan fiction forums ranging from alt.startrek.creative to <insert your forum here!>
I should perhaps stress that your work always remains your own. Its fan fiction so you can't own the copyright except for the original characters you create. However one thing that I am strong on is that you can always exercise your moral right to be identified as the creator of the work.
As editor and publisher all I ask is that you do not publish your work elsewhere for one month prior and one month after the publishing date of the fanzine. If there are extenuating circumstances - a competition, a gift for a friend - talk to me. Underneath this hard exterior beats the heart of a push-over for a sob-story!
All graphics and files will be made available to you, and if you want to involve your self in the publishing of the 'zine I will make every effort to explain what and why I do what I do so that you can get a start creating your own pdf 'zines if you desire.
Looking forward to hearing from you! My thanks to Jespah for her major input on this.
Kirok of L'Stok
Publisher, TrekUnited Publishing