is on its way to real

By Holly Lisle

If you’ve been following my writing diary for long, or if you’ve been with the Writing Updates for a while, you know about the fact that I’ve wanted to do an online fiction e-zine that would break out new writers, offer published writers a new venue, that would print absolutely kick-ass short, medium, and long fiction,

…and run at a profit, paying writers, editors, and me enough to make it worth all our whiles…and doing so on a monthly basis.

Take your time and read these, because I’m going to save myself a BUNCH of writing time by referring to them instead of rewriting everydamnthing over. I’ll wait. šŸ˜€


Good. The problem with both of those models is that fiction doesn’t sell very well at ALL on the internet. But fiction is what fiction writers want to write, and what a lot of readers want to read, if the price is right.

At 1:10 this morning, I woke up knowing how to do it. I haven’t been to sleep since, so pleaseplease forgive typos and any slight incoherencies. I’m fried.

But excited.

First thing I did this morning was buy the domain. It’s

Next, here’s how it works.

Seasons, as per Idea Number Two. Number of stories in each season:

  • 1 60,000-word story
  • 2 30,000-word stories
  • 3 20,000-word stories
  • 6 10,000-word stories

That’s 12 complete stories, 160,000 words of cliff-hanging, nail-biting fiction, special ezine features like surveys, letters to the editor, and six months of fun.

The Basic Readers Level

At the Basic Readers Readers, readers will pay 7.99 per season. For that, they’ll get the ezine, plus they’ll be able to bribe their favorite authors with a direct $2/min PayPal bribe to write more, as well. Authors can decide whether they want to be bribed or not. If you want to be bribed, you can set the amount of the bribe that will convince you to work on the next story—and readers will be able to track how close you are to being successfully bribed.

The Per-Issue Back-Stage Pass

At any time, a reader who gets curious about all the special features (which will of course be advertised in the e-zine) will be able to pick up the Back-Stage Pass for that issue. The Back-Stage Pass will include:

  • MP3 interviews with episode authors,
  • MP3 Q&As with the Season editor,
  • my own detailed writing commentary on the Feature Story and why it worked from query letter through story end (maybe with video—I’m discovering that I like video),
  • author working notes and drafts for included stories or segments,
  • maybe editor commentary on how other accepted stories were chosen,
  • and more cool stuff as we think of it. Price for a single episode Back-Stage Pass? 19.95— BUT…

The Per-Season Back-Stage Pass

The prospective single-pass buyer will have the option to upgrade to a full Season Back-Stage Pass. The full season will offer all the stuff above for the entire season, at discount… a $97 one-time payment, or monthly payments equaling the same amount for the season, instead of $119.70.

But the Season Back-Stage Pass will also offer:

  • The Writers & Editors Green Room, a private, restricted bulletin board where writers and editors can discuss the art and science of writing fiction,
  • The Slush Reader Training Program—a free video training course by me on how to read slush (and not incidentally, how to discover some seriously crappy writing you’ve committed in your own work, and access to the private First Call board, where all position openings will be posted before going public, where special Theme Seasons will be announced first, and where folks can get try-outs as slush readers—the slush readers who get the most stories accepted by percent recommended at Rebel Tales will get the chance to pitch their own Theme Seasons, and if I accept their Theme, they’ll act as editor on their season.

My first Rebel Tales project will be Holly Lisle’s Rebel Fantasy and SF.

I am, however, considering Holly Lisle’s Rebel Suspense, and possibly Holly Lisle’s Rebel Romance.

I will offer subject-related in-zine and on-page advertising. I’ll have to figure out how still, and in what formats.

And there may be some sort of affiliate program… but I’m still thinking very hard about that, because I want the writers and editors to be well-paid for their work.

Margaret is working on the software part of this now. This is going to happen. Soon.


What do you think?

If you want to get in on this, sign up on the mailing list at And PLEASE read the part about me not accepting applications yet. I’m not. At all. I have to write all the guidelines, get the contract stuff worked out, and everything else. Right now, I just need to know that you’re interested, and have a way to contact you when I start getting things finished.

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