Writing for Children's Magazines
An Ezine

   Interview with Stinkwaves Editors Nichole and Tevin Hansen 



We are so fortunate to have TEVIN and NICHOLE HANSEN with us to share some information about Stinkwaves magazine.

Welcome, Nichole and Tevin! Would you please begin by sharing a little about yourselves with us and telling us why and how you started Stinkwaves?

We are both indie authors. After spending close to a decade going the traditional route—querying agents, polishing those crucial first five manuscript pages, playing the waiting game—we decided to join the indie author revolution and self-publish. And we haven't looked back.

The idea for Stinkwaves started more than 6 years ago. Back in 2009, I did a mass mailing of a short story I'd written. The one lit-mag that didn't send me a form rejection was called Barbaric Yawp, a lit-mag out of New York. After subscribing to them for a couple of years, tearing through each new issue as soon as it arrived in the mail, and also learning about and reading several other lit-mags (Glimmer Train, Cricket, Crow Toes Quarterly), I finally asked the question: Why can't we create something like this? Answer: we can.

What do you love most about your editor job? What do you find challenging about it?

The best part of being an editor is opening the email and finding the perfect submission, especially when an issue could use just one more story/poem/illustration short.

We also really enjoy making good stories great! Our contributors are always receptive to what suggestions we have, or allowing us to make changes or edits if we feel the story needs it. However, we always ask permission (via email) if the suggested changes to the author's original story are acceptable. (Everyone has been very gracious.)

The only hard part is telling people we cannot use their story or poem, either because their submission was too long for our publication, or just isn't a good fit for our magazine. Lately we've had some truly terrific stories sent to us that were not a good fit. We've seen a rise in submissions for "coming of age" stories that would be a perfect fit for more serious-minded lit-mags, but we try to keep our subject matter more in line with fans of YA action/adventure, fairytale and folklore, or just plain fun stories.

For those who might not be familiar with Stinkwaves, tell us a bit about it. What sets Stinkwaves apart as a magazine?

A lot literary magazines tend to be more on the serious (and long-winded) side. The stories are usually terrific and well-written, but require a fair amount of effort to get through. Honestly, after a long hard day, sometimes my brain cannot handle a 40-page story about an opossum crossing the road. I just want to go to bed and read a fairytale, or a one page flash fiction story, or maybe a handful of short poems.

That is where Stinkwaves comes in. We provide the reader with 70-90 pages of good old fashioned reading fun. We keep things PG-13, so Stinkwaves is something that most of the family can read and enjoy.

Please tell us what you particularly look for in a submission, the sorts of things that get you excited.

Again, we keep things PG-13, so the first thing we do when we read a submission is to make sure that the language and content are appropriate. We also look for pieces that pack a lot of excitement into a few words. Flash fiction is difficult to write, but when done well, it's our favorite.

We do two issues a year. Our spring issue tends to include mostly whimsical fairytales, folktales, and silly stories and poetry. Our fall issue is devoted to all things Halloween—spooky stories, usually some aliens or zombies, and lots of creepy poetry and artwork.

We are also ALWAYS excited about artwork because it always seems to be something that we are short on.

What things turn you off to a submission? Any pet peeves?

Not once have we had a submission that turned us off. Yes, there are always stories that we decide won't fit for our lit-mag, but we thank those contributors for submitting to Stinkwaves, and then offer a few suggestions about other lit-mags that publish stories/poetry like theirs. Thankfully, everyone has respected our submission guidelines and stayed well within those boundaries.

Any tips for writers or illustrators who might want to break into Stinkwaves? Suggestions that will increase their chances of acceptance?

Read the guidelines and edit your work. The biggest reasons that we don't accept submissions are that they aren't a good fit, they are too long, or they just need to be cleaned up. Typos, missing punctuation, and bad grammar are things that should be fixed before you submit your work.

Any other information about Stinkwaves you'd like to share with us?

We are always open for submissions, and promise to get back to you as soon as possible.
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see the latest Stinkwaves news.


Thank you so much, Tevin and Nicole, for taking the time to share with us this helpful information and for creating such a fun, interesting ezine.

For you writers who are now inspired to submit something to this wonderful publication, submission guidelines are here.

Writing for Children's Magazines, September 2015


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