Category Archives: notice

Important Notice by the Publisher

It is with great regret that I am announcing the closure of SQ Mag. This final notice has been a difficult decision to make. Our October 2017 notice was an attempt at finding a way forward, but unfortunately we could not get to that compromised point.

SQ Mag, at first called SQ Magazine, was the brainchild of the founding members of IFWG Publishing, and then transferred to IFWG Publishing Australia in 2012, in the digital format that we saw over the ensuing five years. Throughout its life under IFWG Publishing Australia it was edited with great skill and passion by Sophie Yorkston.

SQ Mag was created to add to the inadequate number of quality publications that were devoted to helping writers (particularly underrepresented writers) get a leg up in the marketplace, in part by trying our best to attract excellent ‘named’ authors to capture readership. It was never meant to be a major money spinner, and I (and we, the publishing house) believe it did the job wonderfully and sustainably. We have an amazing list of authors published in our 31 editions and quite a few were only starting when they published with us. Recognisable names that we bought stories from include Laird Barron, Allan Baxter, Tang Fei, Jay Lake, Ken Liu, Gary McMahon, Emma Newman,Cat Rambo, Mike Resnick, Deborah Sheldon, Angela Slatter, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, and Sean Williams, to name a few. We are proud of this, and our book reviews and articles, and the many awards that a number of our stories had won.

The two IFWG book imprints based in Melbourne Australia have grown considerably, and the taking on of different geographic distributors (and the continued transition to other distributors) has consumed our time and resources considerably. We can’t give SQ Mag the focus it deserves nor can we invest finances into the project like we did in the past. It has come to the point that running SQ Mag was just too much for us.

Sophie has been a bastion of strength and durability for the ezine, and we relied heavily on her for the entire life of the ezine – and it was not surprising that after all of this time and the way life changes that it became unmanageable for her. We nearly handed the reins of editorship to another capable editor, but the burden of running a magazine on the goodwill of those who make it has become too much. So SQ Mag retires having had one, amazing (and award-winning) editor.

We will leave SQ Mag ‘live’ on the Internet for as long as we can, providing readers free access to an excellent collection of adult speculative short fiction. We will continue to keep the first four volumes of Star Quake: the Best of SQ Mag in print and digital formats, and you never know, we may one day publish a ‘Best of’ for the period that the past anthologies didn’t cover. Either way, we would encourage you to buy the Star Quake titles as it is the sure way to make sure you have access to the best of SQ Mag forever.

We would like to especially thank the readers and contributors to SQ Mag over the years, and sincere apologies to authors who may have submitted at the cusp of our long hiatus leading to this decision. We did enjoy the ride and we hope you have as well.

Gerry Huntman
Managing Director, SQ Mag Pty Ltd
trading as IFWG Publishing Australia

Notice: Structural Changes to SQ Mag

Some of you may have noticed a hiatus of activity over recent months – this is unfortunate but unavoidable. Between changed circumstances for the editor, growth that we are not wholly set up for, and distraction for IFWG Publishing Australia (SQ Mag’s parent publisher), the day-to-day management has languished.

We are regathering our resources and realised, during this process, that we need to make changes to ensure we can continue to provide quality fiction and related articles, and of a standard everyone is now expecting.

Consequently, the following changes will take place immediately:

  1. SQ Mag will now be published 3 times a year – February, June and October. For this year, we will publish one edition on 30 November.
  2. We have closed the pipeline to all submissions, but we will be reopening them soon, once we catch our breath with all the changes listed in this notice.
  3. We will continue to have a themed edition – the next themed edition will be announced soon.
  4. Each edition will consist of 8 or 9 short fiction pieces, representing each of the recognised ‘genres’ of speculative fiction: horror, fantasy and science fiction, and up to 4 pieces of non-fiction, often book reviews, but not limited to them. We will continue to pay US1c per word for unsolicited fiction with no ceiling (other than the word ceiling for submissions), until further notice. Our intention is to grow this some time in the future.
  5. We will no longer be seeking stories longer than 7,500 words (possibly with a small flexibility), and we will not be seeking stories intended for serialisation (although we may solicit longer pieces). Those currently under consideration will still be considered but will be the last unsolicited.
  6. We will no longer be running the Story Quest Short Story Contest.
  7. We will continue to solicit established authors for pieces to be published in the ezine, as part of our belief that this will help attract readers who can discover our less-known authors’ pieces.
  8. We will be restructuring our staffing arrangements, looking to fill associate editor positions and likely more first readers.

Again, more will be revealed at a later date.

We apologise for the inactivity and some of the changes that will disappoint some of you, but our intention is always focused on sustainability and applicability of our ezine.

Gerry Huntman
Managing Director, IFWG Publishing Australia
Publisher, SQ Mag

SQ Mag’s Future

At the end of December, SQ Mag’s publisher Gerry Huntman and I had a long discussion about SQ Mag and the direction to take in 2017.

We have some exciting changes coming to SQ Mag to tell you all about.

In this new year, SQ Mag will become a quarterly publication. We will publish 8 stories each edition. But best of all, we are now paying 1 cent per word, at a minimum of US $15 and a maximum of $75 (stories up to and over 7,500 words). We will apply this retroactively to the stories currently under consideration at SQ Mag.

Our new publication schedule will begin in February/March. We intend to retain our May edition for a special themed call out, although there is a small chance it will move to the following edition.

The entire team here at SQ Mag would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement of our ezine so far. We look forward to your continued involvement as we move forward into this wonderful new era.

News: Shadows Award Trophy

We have just received the trophy for last year’s Shadows Award for Best Collected Work: 2014. What a magnificent beast! It’s with the publisher at the moment, but it rightly goes to Sophie Yorkston, Editor-in-Chief of SQ Mag. It was Edition 14 (May 2014) – the Australiana issue, that wowed the judges, where they said:

Sophie Yorkston’s edited work showcases some of the best dark writing coming out of Australia today. Many of the stories are powerful and haunting, all of them are original. SQ #14 gives us a collection that is unified by its Australian voices and at the same time wonderfully diverse. It’s threaded with nonfiction pieces that have a firm grip on the pulse of Australian genre writing.

Well done to Sophie again! She will be handed the trophy very soon, after the publisher gloats for a while.

Also thanks to the Australian Horror Writers Association for creating such an impressive trophy.

thumb_IMG_0885_1024thumb_IMG_0887_1024thumb_IMG_0888_1024thumb_IMG_0889_1024The Publisher, Gerry Huntman, gloating.

Announcement: Winners of the Story Quest Short Story Contest #7

SQ Mag and IFWG Publishing Australia are pleased to announce the winners of the 7th Annual Story Quest Short Story Contest, with the theme, Unlikely Partnerships.

This year the number of entries fell compared to the last few, with perhaps the reason tied to a difficult theme topic (we didn’t think it was, though). Nevertheless, the winners and finalist provided quality stories and we very much look forward to publishing them in the new year.

The results are:

‘Papaya Leaf Falling to the Surface of a Puddle Reflecting Streetlights’ by Jamie Killen (winner)
‘Kai’ by Ellen Denton (2nd Place)
‘A Hero for His People’ by Jason Lairamore (3rd Place – tie)
‘Beaver Resplendent’ by Sally Basmajian (3rd Place – tie)
‘An Almost Tidy Case’ by Meghean Major (finalist)

Note that this is the very first time we accepted a tied result – we have two third place awards. It was simply too hard to split them.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Angela Slatter for accepting a late notice guest judge position – her assistance was invaluable.

News: SQ Mag wins Australian Shadows Award

It is with great pride that we announce that SQ Mag 14, the Australiana Edition, won the Best Edited Work of 2014 category in the Australian Shadows Awards. The Australian Shadows Awards has been operating for many years now, and is (obviously) specialised in acknowledging excellence in dark fiction. They know their stuff, and understand what horror and dark fantasy is. For these reasons, and many others, we are chuffed indeed.

Deservedly, this award goes specifically to Sophie Yorkston, the Editor-In-Chief, who put the whole edition together.

Special mention should be given to the authors: Angela Rega, Alan Baxter, Mitchell Edgeworth, Kaaren Warren, Rhoads Brazos (whose story was included in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror Volume 7), Sean Williams, S. G. Larner, and Michelle Jager (a finalist for best short story in the same awards). Also, Geoff Brown and Tehani Wessely, for their excellent articles on the state of play of speculative fiction in Australia, Mysti Parker and Damien Smith for their book reviews, and finally, but not least, Jeffery Doherty for his amazing cover art.

SQ May 2014 cover with text

The Judges’ comments are flattering:

Sophie Yorkston’s edited work showcases some of the best dark writing coming out of Australia today. Many of the stories are powerful and haunting, all of them are original. SQ #14 gives us a collection that is unified by its Australian voices and at the same time wonderfully diverse. It’s threaded with nonfiction pieces that have a firm grip on the pulse of Australian genre writing.

News: Tread Upon The Brittle Shell by Rhoads Brazos in TOC Year’s Best Horror Vol 7

We are very happy to announce that Rhoads Brazos’ story, ‘Tread Upon The Brittle Shell‘, which appeared in our Australiana Edition, SQ Mag #14 (1 May 2014), has been selected for inclusion in the Year’s Best Horror Volume 7, edited by Ellen Datlow.

This is a great milestone for us, as well as a nod to Sophie Yorkston’s editing skills.

Well done to Rhoads, Sophie, and all the other contributors to the anthology!

News: 2014 Story Quest Short Story Contest

We are happy to announce the winners and finalists of the 2014 Story Quest Short Story Contest, which was themed for the first time – ‘Punkin’ the Train’. In this contest authors had to submit stories of 3k or less which included trains or train stations in a significant way, and which were written in one of the ***punk sub-genre styles, such as steampunk and dieselpunk.

The winners are:

1st Place (US$100 prize and published in SQ Mag): The Carbonite’s Daughter by Deryn Pittar (New Zealand)
2nd Place (US$50 prize and published in SQ Mag): Like Clockwork by Tim Major (United Kingdom)
3rd Place(US$25 prize and published in SQ Mag): Robert Fairweather And The Wrong Ticket by Mark Rookyard (United Kingdom) Read the rest of this entry

News: Star Quake 1 short listed for Australian Shadows Awards

We are pleased indeed that our first ‘best of’ anthology of SQ Mag’s fiction has been nominated for the Australian Shadows Awards. The publisher, IFWG Publishing Australia, is Melbourne based, as is the editor, Sophie Yorkston. A large percentage of the short stories were horror and dark fantasy in content. The great cover was by Australian, Jeffery Doherty (who also illustrated a few other of our editions). Well done to the team, and congratulations to Sophie Yorkston. You’re a champ!


Notice: Retrofit of SQ Mag has been completed

Dear Readers and Writers

It took a lot of work, but we are happy to announce that all thirteen of our editions are now fully published in this, our new platform. We apologise for any inconvenience the delays have caused, and especially to anyone who had created past links to particular stories or articles. This is a much more robust platform and we do not expect to have to move again.

Gerry Huntman
Publisher, SQ Mag