Created in 2011, Shotgun Honey challenged writers to tell a story in 700 words or less. Specifically, those stories that lived in the crime, hardboiled, and noir genres. As ambitious as the word count, the webzine creator Kent Gowran, and his co-editors, Sabrina Ogden and Ron Earl Phillips, aimed to serve three stories a week to Shotgun Honey’s consumptive readers. That pace was maintained through the first year, and Shotgun Honey has since published over a 1000 stories from nearly 600 authors from around the world.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Shotgun Honey is an inclusive market, and one that wants to share stories from all voices. Our genre is one that has defined boundaries, but crime affects everyone and its stories don’t have to be just of the criminals. Our challenge is 700 words with the foundation of a complete story: beginning, middle, and end. How those detailed those need to be depend on the story. The real challenge is to tell a story that is not pastiche, weighed down with tropes and clichés. We are all inspired by authors and storytellers we read and hear, but take that inspiration to tell your own story.
You bring the words, we provide the Gauntlet.
In that first year, we unknowingly created the “Gauntlet.” A team of three readers from different backgrounds who had to come to a consensus on what stories to publish. Shotgun Honey has maintained a team of volunteers, chosen from exceptional contributors to the webzine itself. They have and continue to be an invaluable resource in not only selecting stories, but in passing along criticism to all who submit.
A little longer than 700 words.
We publish books too. Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels anthology was published in 2012, and by 2014 Federales by Chris Irvin became Shotgun Honey’s first novella released in paperback and e-book. Since then Shotgun Honey has published various novellas, short novels, and short story collections independently and distributed as an imprint Down & Out Books.