New event! The SNAP JUDGMENT Rapid-Fire Critique Panel2 min read

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Apex Magazine is excited to present a new rapid-fire live streaming critique series, SNAP JUDGMENT!

Every three months, industry professionals Jason Sizemore, Lesley Conner, and one special guest will offer live feedback on the first page (up to 250 words) of genre short stories or novels submitted by our backers.

Our first Snap Judgment event will be Sunday, July 25, at 1pm CDT (2pm EDT, 11am PDT, 6pm UTC). We are pleased to announce that our host and narrator for the inaugural event is Andrea Johnson, and with special guest editor Mike Allen, publisher and editor of Mythic Delirium Books and the popular Clockwork Phoenix series of anthologies!


Our host will read the submissions aloud to the panel. The excerpts are presented without any identifying information to the panelists and viewers. If at any point our panelists feel they would stop reading and reject the piece, they raise their hand. If all three hands are raised, our narrator stops reading.

Each panelist then gives their feedback on the 250-word opening: what works, what doesn’t, and what could be done to improve it. Don’t expect our panelists to be a mean group, but do expect them to be honest and truthful when it comes to assessing the work.


The event is available for anyone to watch. We’ll be streaming it live via two outlets:

· Apex Magazine Patreon (will be live day of event):

· Apex Magazine YouTube:


Submissions are limited to our backers (Patreon supporters, magazine subscribers, and Kickstarter backers). Submissions should be the first 250 words (approximately) of your novel or short story to be critiqued to [email protected].

Please send no more than 250 words of the opening, plus the title, genre, and either your backer/subscriber email address or receipt of your subscription/support. In case of sentences running over 250, please cut down to keep it below 250 words. All entries will be read anonymously and our panelists will not be given any identifying information before, during, or after the event. 

Submissions close Friday, July 23.

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Host & Narrator – Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson has been participating in Apex shenanigans since 2014.  She blogs about science fiction and fantasy books, cooking, life in the Midwest, and other random things at her blog, The Little Red Reviewer (, and tweets about the same topics at @redhead5318.

Special Guest – Mike Allen

Mike Allen received a delightful surprise last month when he learned that his latest book, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident: Stories, had been chosen as a finalist for the 2020 Shirley Jackson Award for best single-author collection. This marks his second Shirley Jackson nomination—the first, in 2014, was for his debut collection of horror tales, Unseaming. Mike wears many hats: as editor and publisher of Mythic Delirium Books, he’s twice been a nominee for the World Fantasy Award, and he’s a three-time winner of the Rhysling Award for speculative poetry. His other books include dark fantasy novel The Black Fire Concerto, weird science fiction collection The Spider Tapestries, and poetry collections Strange Wisdoms of the Dead and Hungry Constellations. He’s had new short stories and poetry appear in Lackington’s magazine and The Deadlands. You can follow his exploits as an editor at, as a writer at, and as both on Twitter at @mythicdelirium.

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