Support Polar Borealis SF Magazine
When I was a teenager I decided I wanted to be a Science Fiction Writer. Fifty years later I’m a curmudgeonly pensioner who never sold a darn thing, not one novel, not one story. Del Rey books rejected one of my novels with the comment “We don’t like your main character and we don’t think anyone else will either.”
As a life-long beginning writer I know your pain. Always dreaming of that first sale. That’s why I’m starting up POLAR BOREALIS, a Canadian SF&F fiction magazine actively encouraging beginning Canadian writers to submit short stories (3,000 words or less) and/or poems. The magazine will be free to anyone who wants to download it, yet all contributors will be paid on acceptance (if I can get the money) at one cent a word for short stories and $10 per poem.
Sell to me and you’ve got your first paid sale! Semi-professional sale that is. My rates won’t match SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) standards, but even a semi-pro sale is a genuine first sale.
What does it take to sell to me? Dunno. I can’t even remember the rules of grammar. Been faking it for years. But I know what I like. If I like your submission, I’ll buy it. Simple as that.
Why am I doing this? Because I’ve been a fan of science fiction since I was a kid reading the “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” books. Because this will be my retirement hobby. And mainly, because it’s going to be fun!
I figure each issue will require about $500 to pay contributors. Every time I pull in that much I’ll be able to publish another issue. Every dime goes to contributors. The zine itself will earn nothing. Free to anyone who wants to read it. Even the ads inside will be placed free of charge. I want as many readers as possible to enjoy the stories and poems within and I’m guessing “free” is an attractive price. It is your generosity that will keep it free, keep it celebrating and promoting Canadian SF&F writers and artists.
If you like the idea of helping writers new to the genre get their first sale, not to mention funding an old phart’s crazy hobby, please donate whenever you feel like it. The more issues I can publish, the greater the number of beginning writers who can get their first break. Sound like a great idea? I like to think so.
POLAR BOREALIS #1, 2 & 3 have been published. You can read read them here:
under the heading "Current/Back Issues." Download them for free!
If I can raise $1,500 I can pay the contributors for the first three or four issues, then keep on going indefinitely with further funding campaigns. If you like SF lit, you'll love POLAR BOREALIS. Nothing to do with my talent (or lack thereof) but to do with the talent of fresh new writers with exciting ideas. It's going to be good.
Thanking you in advance for your generosity to beginning writers in the Canadian SpecFicLit scene,
Cheers! R. Graeme Cameron
His generous donation, now that I am no longer able to contribute my own money, will not only guarantee at least another three issues but will also allow me to add one or two longer stories per "ensmalled" issue.
Thank you, Robert. Your donation allows me to carry on providing a viable market to beginning & emerging Canadian SF&F writers. Much appreciated!
Truth is, any donation, large or small, extends the longevity of Polar Borealis. To all who donate, past, present, and future, goes my heartfelt gratitude!
I have all the material I need for issue # 3 which I intend to publish in December.
Apart from layout and editing, it's just a matter of sending out contracts to the contributors, followed by payments. I have funds to pay about half of the writers and artists and would certainly appreciate any additional donations. I'd like to be able to pay ALL the contributors prior to publication.
Needless to say, any "surplus" funding would go toward the special "horror" issue (#4) projected to be published in April of next year. Already have enough material for that issue too!
For those unfamiliar with Polar Borealis, you can download the first two issues for free at:
< polarborealis.ca >
By the way, even though I pay my contributors, anyone who wants to read it does so free of charge. I know, world's worst business plan, funded by my pension and my donations, but it's my way of promoting beginning Canadian SF&F writers. A heck of a hobby in my opinion. Great fun.
Thanks for your suggestion, but I want to keep things as simple as possible for the time being. Besides, my contract specifically delineates my website as the one online site the "Work" will be available. Should, after a year of display, the author or artist request that it be deleted from my site (so as not to compete with reprint sales) I will be able to do that without worry the Work is still available elsewhere. A property rights control issue on the part of the copyright owner (the artist/author). All part of my plan to serve their best interests. Cheers!
Any reason not to also put it up for sale at online bookstores for those willing to pay for issues?