Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Call for Writers at Kobold Quarterly

Editor of new roleplaying magazine, Kobold Quarterly, Wolfgang Baur, held a question and answer session in Second Life at the weekend.

The meeting, attended by guests from the roleplaying, sci-fi and mainstream media was held at Third Life Styles, the Home of Third Life Books in the region of Beraudes.

The periodical, which was launched to fill the void left by the late Dragon magazine, caters for the Dungeons & Dragons game and is available in both PDF download and in a paper edition.

Its editor is a veteran of the roleplaying industry and edited Dungeon Magazine when it was owned by TSR Inc. He later worked for Wizards of the Coast. Other projects include Open Design, whose adventure scenarios are created with input from patrons who receive exclusive finished works in return for modest financial support.

Wolfgang said: "Kobold Quarterly is a magazine aimed at fantasy roleplayers, in particular D&D and tabletop gamers. There's also room for alternate history, real-world medieval facts and myths, and similar material. Most of it, though, is aimed at playable material for any reader's homebrewed fantasy setting. Naturally, I need writers and artists and, oh yes, subscribers."

"Every magazine needs its regulars, and you might be among the early adopters for KQ. One of the realities of the markets is that they're always changing. Since Kobold Quarterly is new, it's a lot easier to impress the editor than it would be in a couple years. So, if you are interested in the writing end of things, I'd encourage you to step up to the query letters early."

In answer to a query about whether or not the magazine would accept fiction, he said:

"Right now, I am not looking at a separate fiction slush pile. I'm taking nonfiction, game articles, and eventually adventure scenarios. Length [for nonfiction and game articles] should be from 1,500 to 3,000 words, unless you query something else in advance."

The magazine is also to publish roleplaying scenarios at about 8,000 words in length.

"The first of those will happen late this year," he said.

"The easiest way to impress an editor is to put everything in place before the editor has to ask That is, an exciting pitch, or a new spin on a topic that the readership loves. This shows you know the audience. Then, assuming your query is approved, delivering at the requested length and on time.

"I'm always shocked at the number of queries I accept that never come back with a completed article. And even more shocked that writers regularly leave basic things like their name and address off a manuscript."

When asked if a good knowledge of the Dungeons & Dragons game was required, Wolfgang answered:

"It would definitely help, but I'm also taking articles that do a broader view of fantasy and myth. Nonfiction summaries of a particular element (say, castles or sieges) would be great.

"Actually, because D&D is currently shifting to a new edition (ships in June), now's a good time to pitch something that ISN'T specific to the rules."

On magazine art, he said: "I'm always looking for artists, though I say that with some hesitation. The magazine is too small for an art director, so.... Let's just say my bandwidth for art is limited."

"Previous editions of the magazine are available from koboldquarterly.com There's PDF versions and print as well. Ok, the print is largely sold out. The PDFs are still out there for readers overseas (whose mailing costs would be prohibitive) and for those who just don't want paper. I've found [PDFs] a great way to get the issue out in full color, long before the paper version could support that."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Willie, I watched a prog on tv about "Second Life". I bet it is fun when you like stuff like that. Of course the tv prog showed the bad side of getting too involved with it. One woman spent 14 hours a day with her "bloke" and eventually they got to bed "vertually". Trouble is, she neglected her hubbie and kids and the marraige went down the pan. She had arranged to meet the real bloke behind the vertual one, he of course let her down. One other couple did meet up and got married. I did titter though as they both looked far different from the characters they made up. I would love to dream of being so pretty and meeting a so handsome bloke myself one day. Have fun XX Joan