Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stymie Magazine, A New Place To "Putt" Your Stories

A new publication is emerging from out of nowhere. It is simply called Stymie Magazine. I’m not sure what it is all about yet, but I know it involves golfing.

Hold on a second here. Don’t click off just yet. Hear me out. I’m not big on golf. I’m like most everyone else here, just wondering how Tiger Woods is doing, but all things should get a fair chance, right? That includes this up and coming E-zine, Founded by Erik Smetana.

Like I said, I know little about this publication, so we are all in for a treat as we tee it off with Mr. Smetana. So, let’s get down to business.

Hole 1, Par 4: Mr. Smetana, first off, tell us a little about you.

Let's see if I can do this without referring to myself in the third person. In short I am a writer, having seriously taken it up about four years ago. Since then I have been amazingly fortunate to see some of my stories published in genre magazines, nonfiction venues and in literary journals. Another area I have been lucky in was finding a great community of writers on the web with whom I have had the chance to build friendships and professional relationships. Some of those relationships have landed me editing gigs in the past with several lit zines and more recently assisting in the editing of two anthologies for Cutting Block Press.

Outside of writing I work in the corporate world as an HR executive, am married to an amazing woman (we just had our fourth wedding anniversary) and have a fascination with all things golf -- an affliction if you will since the age of 14.

Hole 7, Par 5: Why did you decide to start up a publication involving Golf?

Like I said above, I love golf. Since picking up an old rusty set of irons my freshman year of high school and subsequently getting my ego handed to me on a silver platter eighteen holes later, I have been hooked. After that first drumming by my high school buddies, I went on to develop a bit of game and nine months after that first outing I made my school's JV team. My senior year, I was captain of the golf team.

Through high school I worked at a golf course shagging range balls, cleaning carts, etc. During college I worked in pro shops of several different courses, interned with the PGA and even considered becoming a club professional before deciding to follow a different career path.

But regardless of what I do nine-to-five, I have continued to love the game. Over the years, I read various how-to books until I stumbled upon a novel titled Golf in the Kingdom. After that I wanted to read more golf related fiction and over time discovered the likes of J. Michael Veron, Turk Pipkin, David Feherty, Troon McAllister, John Coyne, John Updike, Roland Merullo and many others.

When I had finished with all the golf novels my local bookstore carried I became curious about what sort of short fiction was out there. I devoured Golf World's annual fiction issues and Otto Penzler's anthologies, but then the well ran dry. There didn't seem to be any market for golf related short fiction. And Stymie hopes to remedy that.

Hole 13, Par 3: What is Stymie Magazine?

Stymie Magazine is a lit journal of sorts. We hope to publish well-written fiction (including flash), poetry and creative nonfiction. The catch is that we only publish material related in some way to golf. But before anyone gets scared off by that, we are pretty broad in our expectations. A story appearing in our pixilated pages could be a straight golf story like something one of the authors I spoke about before might write. It could be a mystery like Roberta Isleib might pen. It could be about a guy who lives alone and talks to his appliances all day until he discovers a single golf tee lost in his couch cushion, after which he only talks to the tee -- doing its every evil bidding.

In short, we want stories (and poems) that strive to incorporate golf in some way. We love all genres -- literary, humor, science fiction, horror, and on and on.

Hole 17, Par 4: What are the types of things you are looking for as far as submissions are concerned?

We are open to just about anything so long as golf plays a part in some way. We prefer fiction and nonfiction under 3000 words and we have a soft spot for flash fiction. Stymie would love to get some golf poetry, maybe a haiku or two, but like our guidelines state: "We don't hate poetry, it's just that we have never read any really great golf poetry. If you think you are up to task, send it in. We might surprise you if you surprise us."

Hole 18, Par 5: Anything else we need to know?

There is so much more I could say, but I will keep it simple. Our website is located at Stymie Magazine

We have a great editorial team on board including the likes of Todd Banks and Kristi Stokes -- both of which come with wonderful experience. And maybe most importantly, Stymie Magazine is still in need of submissions for the premier issue, so please keep those stories and poems rolling in.

Sudden Death: One last question: What’s your handicap?

I'm going to have to sandbag you a bit on this one, let's just say I play to about a 15. Wink, wink.

Stymie Magazine, coming to an online golf course near you. Stay tuned and have your scorecards handy. Time for me to sign my card and get to the clubhouse.

I’m AJ and I’m out.

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