SUBMIT TO THREAT QUALITY!
So, you’re interested in writing for Threat Quality Press. Excellent. You will soon be famous, and, subsequent to that, possibly even rich. These are positive conditions, I am sure you will enjoy them.
We are looking for pieces of a length between 1250 and 1700 words, or else pieces that can easily and conveniently be broken down into 1250 to 1700 word sections.
To write for Threat Quality, you need to follow two rules:
1. Nothing stupid.
2. No porn.
Naturally you’re thinking, “Isn’t ’stupid’ a subjective term?” Yes, as are all standards of measuring literature. We’ll be using my and Holland’s standards in this case. It’ll help if you start with using correct grammar and spelling; Holland will throw your work away in frustration if he sees more than three split infinitives, which isn’t so bad; excessive dangling participles will cause me to explode like a fiery volcano, suffocating the city of Philadelphia in a wave of red-hot lava. So: grammar.
There’s no other good way to describe what we’re looking for; we like things that are interesting, and we’ll run anything that piques our interest. We gravitate towards genre work: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, comic books, superheroes, magical realism, surrealism, magical surrealism, surreal magicalism. We like both fiction and non-fiction–articles, for example, dealing with the philosophical underpinnings of Superman, reviews of movies or books or comic books that are pretty cool (or hilariously bad), and humorous essays on a variety of subjects.
We’ll also run realistic (er, more realistic, I guess) short stories, and articles about religion, philosophy, advertising, &c. that don’t have anything to do with Superman. We are likely to shy away from political articles for two reasons: first, because we’ll have a hard time making them timely, and second, because articles like that attract morons the way shit attracts horrible plague-carrying blowflies.
Now, rule two: No Porn. This is a serious rule. Don’t send me any porn. “How,” you’re wondering, “do I know if I wrote porn? Maybe it’s just regular literature with an erotic scene.” Okay: you know the part in your story where Harry and Draco have buttsex in the back of Ron’s flying Buick? You wrote porn.
Generally, the rule is this: think of the scene where whoever it is furiously humps whoever else it is. Now, take that scene out of your story. Is there anything else compelling about it? Any reason I would be interested in the things that AREN’T sex? This is actually a good guideline for everything you write–if there’s a scene with two giant robots fighting, and the whole rest of the story is basically just a set-up for two robots to fight, then you’ve written robot porn. Don’t send that to me.
Seriously. Don’t send me any porn.
Is there any money?
No, not yet. You get paid as much as Holland and I do. We have long-term plans to monetize Threat Quality in the future; once we do, we’ll be engaging in an innovative profit-sharing model with Threat Quality writers, ensuring that you’ll still get paid as much as we do (actually, probably a little more). It’s still not likely to be much.
So, why should I do it?
Well, you will get a number of subsidiary benefits. First of all, people will know who you are and will be reading your stories, which couldn’t hurt you in your career as a writer. You’ll be a beneficiary of our own marketing plans, and our new [REDACTED--INITIATIVE SECRET UNTIL SEPTEMBER] plan, which is going to be pretty cool.
ALSO: once you’ve given us three or so pieces to run, if you want to self-publish a piece of your work–a novel, essays, poetry, I don’t care–we’ll be happy to share our storefront with you. To be clear: we will NOT take a commission on any of your work. You do your stuff, we’ll list it here, people will buy it.
The way that you build an audience is through consistency–but consistency is hard when you’re just one person, you’re just starting out, and you don’t have any money. You can’t write a short story every day. (Probably; I mean, I could. If I wanted.) So, by joining forces with us, and with other authors who are trying to find their feet, you can reap the rewards of all of our efforts to maintain our audience–people will read TQP every day, whether or not you’ve got a post up. When you DO have something, here is where they’ll find it.
What about cross-posting?
Oh. Hm. Sure, yeah, that’s fine. You post your story on your own blog, too, but put a link to Threat Quality indicating that it’s been cross-posted. I’ll even give you a little graphic for it. Here, just copy and paste this sucker:
Cross-posted at: <a href=”http://www.threatquality.com”> <img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2627/3784662607_1358cfc562_o.jpg” width=”100″ height=”91″ alt=”Cross Posted at TQP” /> </a>
What about my serialized novel?
We don’t have a problem with this in theory, but remember that the more you’ve written, the more of it has to be good. Also remember that it may be a hundred years before we finish it and get back to you.
I’ve written this porn I’d like to send.
I come to Threat Quality to read things by Chris Braak. Why would I want to read things written by OTHER PEOPLE?
Good question. Excellent question. Well, you wouldn’t, obviously, no one would. But it’s important that we should improve ourselves in all respects, and this includes reading things that we’d ordinarily ignore.
Let’s say I write a story that runs here, but then I sell a short story collection to a real publisher, and they don’t want to print anything available for free on the internet. What happens then?
We’ll take it down. I’ll tell you what, not only will we take it down, but we’ll put in a little notice that says something like, “This story is no longer available online, but it IS available in XYZ Publisher’s collection…” bleh bleh bleh. Like that.
Okay, so, how do I send you something?
Here we go: send an e-mail to threatquality at gmail dot com. In the subject line put [SUBMISSION], then put the name of your piece, then whether it is Fiction, Essay, Review, or Humor. In the body of the text, put two or three lines about yourself (including your NAME), and a link to your personal website or whatever.
Put the entire text of the article in the e-mail; do NOT send attachments.
If you’re doing some kind of serialized novel thing, then just put the first 1250-1700 words; if we like it, we’ll ask for more.
So, I think that’s it. Go forth, write, submit, be part of the invincible THREAT QUALITY ARMY! ZOMG!WTF!!!11!1