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I'm better known as an editor than a writer, which is kind of ironic since I became an editor in order to promote my writing.

This is ALLEGORY.
(www.allegoryezine.com)

Published tri-annually by yours truly, for the past ten-plus years, it's been a venue for science fiction, fantasy and horror from around the world.

We've published hundreds of stories and articles - and we've paid for each and every one of them (except those authored by myself or a member of my staff).

Allegory doesn't pay much, as every dime comes entirely out of my pocket,

but we do have a blurb in the Writer's Digest Novel and Short Story Market and publication in ALLEGORY does count toward membership in a variety of author organizations, including the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).

And we also get around 300,000 hits a year.

How did it all begin?  Well, I'm glad you asked.

The Past

The year is 1998 and I got it into my head to create an online magazine.  I knew absolutely nothing about how to accomplish this, of course, and my wife Helene rolled her eyes when I told her of my intention.  I would go on some writer's bulletin boards (yeah, this is way before Facebook), and advertise my intention. Of course, I wouldn't be able to pay any submitting authors, but I was sure my fellow writers would understand my fiscal limitations and support what I hoped would prove to be a mutually beneficial effort.

I was wrong.

Ever been "flamed"?  I have.  The very notion that an "editor" like myself would ask "serious writers" to offer up work without the promise of compensation - well, let's just say it didn't sit well with some folks.  Bascially, I was told where I could stick my online magazine; the metaphor was both offensive and wholly impractical.

So, I retreated and regrouped.  After some deliberation and discussions with my better half, I/we decided to would offer payment for stories, albeit a token one.  When I went back to the boards and announced this change, the news seemed to douse the torches of the mob, to my great relief.

Thus, PERIDOT BOOKS was born.

The name, as I've explained on countless occasions, came about because I already had such a domain, a leftover from an earlier aborted attempt to launch an online rare book business (another hare-brained scheme).  Now, obiviously, the e-zine wasn't about "books", per se.  Nevertheless, my limited budget convinced me to christen my new endeavor with this admittedly pre-owned moniker.

I barely received enough submissions to fill the first issue.  The second issue was better and the third better still.  PERIDOT BOOKS ran for several years, gradually building its reputation and, overall, doing quite well for itself.  It wasn't until about four years ago, however, when I changed the name to ALLEGORY, that the site really took off.

The Present

I now have a staff consisting of three assistant editors, two associate editors, and one proofreader, all of whom work tirelessly (and without compensation) to help me release this e-zine out into the wild every January, May and September 1st.  There are no words to express my gratitude to these good folks for their efforts.

You see, we now get between three to five hundred submissions per issue, so I quite literally couldn't do it without them!

Each issue of Allegory also features the artwork of Dan Skinner of Cerberus.  His work is imaginative, detailed and often quite edgy.  This particular piece is entitled "The Orbs", and appears as the cover for Volume 11 (Volume 38 since the inception of PERIDOT BOOKS) of ALLEGORY.

Each issue also include links to resources and organization helpful to writers, as well as a bulletin board for the posting of publication news and other writing-related tidbits.

Each issue of ALLEGORY also includes one of my own short stories, as well as any other works that any staff member might feel inclined to contribute.  All staff submissions, including my own, are unpaid.

We remain one of the premier online publications, a venerable old man in rather young publishing arena.

The Future

Who knows?  I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Might I suggest you visit the site (www.allegoryezine.com) and find out for yourself?


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