Spotlight on Far Off Places
Featured Genres: Poetry, drama, prose
Base of operations: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Length Requirements: Poetry: up to 40 lines. Prose and drama: up to 3000 words.
Submission Window: Normally 2 months long, see website
Contributor Compensation: A complimentary digital copy of the magazine, and a drink, should we have the good fortune to meet you!
Publication Schedule: Three times a year
Formats published: Digital, iOS Newsstand and podcast. We’re looking to expand into print.
Why they started their journal: Partly to create a stage for emerging writers to strut their stuff, both traditional and experimental, but also to reach, enchant and grip readers who wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a literary magazine, which is why we publish across different media. We wanted to create a magazine in which equal care was given to the content and the design: we believe in bedtime stories and beautiful craftsmanship, where choice of font and paper type is an artistic decision.
Also because we were tipsy with elderflower wine and drunk on literature.
What they are looking for: We call ourselves a magazine of written whimsy – we love the curious and unexpected. That doesn’t mean that pieces have to be lighthearted – we like the poignant as much as the playful – but they should come at their subject from an unexpected angle.
We’re also fans of very short poetry and prose (although we like longer things too!) – so if you write stories that are just a couple of sentences long, do send them our way!
Each issue is based around a theme, and we ask for submissions related to that theme, however tangentially.
What they are tired of seeing: Hmm… Pieces which clearly haven’t been proofread – the odd grammatical mistake is fine, but a complete and utter disregard for the fine tradition of the full stop is not.
Poetry with a very heavy and clunky rhythm and rhyme. We love sonnets and their siblings when they’re written well, but poetry in a very strict form can tend to feel unnatural – feel free to play with the form.
Short stories set in Paris just for the sake of it. Cliches about Paris are, well, cliched anyway, but given that half of our editorial team has lived in Paris, we’re particularly sensitive to this one. If you are setting your piece in Paris, make sure that the setting is relevant, and not just intended to give your piece a romantic je ne sais quoi.
Tips for writers: Do always proofread your pieces – otherwise it looks like you haven’t put time and care into them. If spelling or grammar’s not your strong point, ask a friend to proofread for you.
Try to read the magazines that you submit to so as to get a flavour for their style, as well as to learn about what other emerging writers are doing. A lot of magazines (including Far Off Places) offer free tasters of some of their issues. You could also club together with a writing/reading friend to share the cost and the pleasure. Mentioning in a submission email which issue you’ve read and what you liked about it will make our day (and win you brownie points!).
Additional Information: We try to create a supportive network for our authors (of whom we’re very fond): we try to promote projects that writers our involved in via our blog, podcast and social media, and we also organise readings and events for writers (alas, mainly based in Scotland – sorry, US writers!).
You can take a peek at our blog to see what we’re up to, and to check out our occasional theme-related writing prompts. And if you like bedtime stories, you’ll love our podcasts – a mixture of the writing from our magazine and ‘chocolate-filled waffle intros’, as one listener called it.
Oh, and we like cake. Really quite a lot.