Havok Publishing

From the Hive Mind

Here at Havok, we’re fond of alliteration. Our membership is the Havok Horde. We match genres with days of the week. Our staff is called the Havok Hive. Today, we’re hearing from our worker bees (we do not call them drones). After three months, they know what they’re looking for in terms of story submissions:

A good Mystery Monday submission is not a “what the heck is going on?” story. Don’t confuse us. Give us a story with a great character – a detective or amateur sleuth – searching for something missing or an answer that defies explanation. Take us on a ride. If the ending is predictable, the prose must sing. If you can surprise us, so much the better. But make sure the story ends with an “a-ha moment.” ~Lisa Godfrees, editor

A compelling Techno Tuesday story is well told, makes us look at something in a new way, or speaks to our hearts. Not only does a sci-fi story have to fulfill all of those, but it also has to fit the genre. The sci-fi element can’t just be added but must contribute to the story and flesh it out. The story must hinge on the sci-fi or else what was the point of the aliens, tech, etc.? It must be a central part as well as reaching deep into life, humanity, and the world to make a great sci-fi story. ~Rae Harris, editor

The perfect Wacky Wednesday story makes us laugh from beginning to end. It it preposterous. It is playful. It is the mid-week grin we didn’t know we needed. ~Gen Gavel, editor

A Thriller Thursday story should have both intensity and heart. An ex-assassin hunting down their former boss to save their daughter’s life, or a hacker trying to rescue America from a grid shutdown – or trying to cause a grid shutdown – are both great examples. Make it so that the character has to fight hard to achieve their goal, with dire consequences looming over them if they don’t. Give us an exciting story we can’t stop reading. ~Savannah Grace, editor

A Fantasy Friday story must have fantastical elements, not merely medieval. Typical fantasy tropes are fine, but give them a unique spin. Astronauts finding elvish vampires on the dark side of the moon, to give an example. Immerse us in your world with vibrant description, intense danger or difficult problems to solve, and interesting characters. ~Andra Marquardt, editor

NOW TELL US: What is your favorite genre to read, and what do you look for in a good story?

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1 comment - Join the conversation


  • I feel like I’ve just been handed a cheat sheet, and I love it. :D It’s so cool to hear from the editors what they like to see in a story submission!

    My favorite genre to read is definitely fantasy. <3

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