This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared on August 25, 2021.
Because I currently live in a rural area, I have decided to experiment with opening another magazine: Rural Fiction Magazine. The idea came to me while I was driving to the pharmacy in the nearby (about 17 miles from my residence) town of Dumas.
While I enjoy immensely working with The Chamber Magazine, it does have a disadvantage or two. The primary disadvantage is that the local populace does not seem to be made up of the type of people that are drawn to dark fiction. But then, can you name a community that is drawn to dark fiction? To me, they seem more the type of people who would be drawn to mainstream or literary fiction, particularly that with a bent toward farm life, agriculture, hunting, etc.
Yes, I am living in the Bible belt. The nearby (five miles from my residence) town of Gillett has a population of 700 and five rather nice churches. I don’t expect a lot of horror and thriller fans live there.
Then it struck me that maybe I should try to start a magazine centered around farm life.
I grew up in a rural area in Kentucky, so I have the background for it. I am not a big farming enthusiast however. My family had small farms as sidelines back in the day to bolster the income from their standard, 40 hours/week, blue collar jobs.
Besides working with my dad and occasionally relatives in their gardens and fields, I have little experience in farming. The closest I ever came to being a farmer is when my folks wanted me to join the Future Farmers of America when I was in the sixth grade and I had to write a very boring paper on soil and erosion in order to meet the requirements. I never went to any meetings or gatherings.
Then it occurred to me that the stories in the magazine wouldn’t have to be about farming per se, but the rural life and the beauty and drama it holds. After all, all stories are first about people then about the genre. People living in rural areas have the same dramas, love stories, hopes, dreams, nightmares, and complex relationships the rest of the world does. So, the magazine would ultimately be about the same plots, but with different settings.
Later, I did a quick search of Google to see what extant magazines deal with fiction set on farms. I found nothing “farm fiction” per se. Then I had another idea and set for “rural” and “fiction”. Apparently, there is such a genre as “rural fiction”, but there doesn’t seem (at least in my quick, superficial scan) a magazine with a title anything like “rural fiction” or even specializing in it, though short rural fiction pops up here and there in various magazines. There seems to be a niche open.
Thus, I have a name for my new project: Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM).
I took a WordPress website that I had that wasn’t going anywhere and changed it rather quickly and completely into Rural Fiction Magazine. I developed a quick business plan and put up a submissions page. I am now hoping and waiting for the first submission. I am also developing a marketing and publicity plan.
Hopefully, I will be able to drum up some community support for RFM and maybe draw in a few community dollars in the form of advertising when that time comes. For now, the only sources of cash flow from this magazine I have at the moment are in the Gifts page and a few affiliate links. I hope to expand on this soon and find other ways to fund this endeavor.
Bottom line: Rural Fiction Magazine is up and running though without any stories or poems. Hopefully, they will come soon as I expand my marketing campaign.
If you dabble in writing mainstream/literary stories and poems (or of any genre) that have a rural setting or concern rural themes, please consider submitting them to RFM. Currently, RFM is not accepting stories of over 5,000 words. There is no pay, but the author does retain all rights. Guidelines are on the website.