Snap Judgment Episode #22 min read

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Apex Magazine is excited to present SNAP JUDGMENT – The Halloween Edition, Episode 2 of our rapid-fire, live-streaming critique series. 

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

For this edition, to fit with our Halloween theme, we are looking for your first pages in the genres dark SF, dark fantasy, and horror!

Snap Judgment episode 2 will be livestreamed on Halloween!
October 31 at 1pm CDT (2pm EDT, 11am PDT, 6pm UTC)

We are pleased to announce that our host and narrator for this event is KT Bryski. Our special guest editor is Wendy Wagner, the editor-in-chief of Nightmare Magazine and the managing/senior editor of Lightspeed


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 (Note: The link will be live on the day of event and afterward. Prior to October 31st, it will take you to a 404 page.)
  • 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.
Submissions should be dark SF, dark fantasy, and horror genres.

  • In the body of your email, include the title and genre of your story, and copy-paste your first 250 words below that.
  • Please include either your backer/subscriber email address or receipt of your subscription/support 
  • In the subject line of your email, please write “Snap Judgment Halloween” and the title of your story. 
  • Send your submission to [email protected]

In case of sentences running over 250, please cut a line 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 Thursday, October 28.


Host & Narrator – KT Bryski

KT Bryski is a Canadian author and podcaster, with short fiction in Lightspeed, Nightmare, PodCastle, Augur, and more. She’s been a finalist for the Sunburst, Aurora, and Eugie Awards, and a Parsec Award winner. In addition to producing the Apex Magazine Podcast, she co-chairs the ephemera reading series. Find her on Twitter @ktbryski.

Special Guest – Wendy N. Wagner

Wendy N. Wagner is the editor-in-chief of Nightmare Magazine and the managing/senior editor of Lightspeed. Her short stories, essays, and poems run the gamut from horror to environmental literature. Her longer work includes the novella The Secret Skin, the horror novel The Deer Kings,  the Locus bestselling SF eco-thriller An Oath of Dogs,  and two novels for the Pathfinder role-playing game. She lives in Oregon with her very understanding family, two large cats, and a Muppet disguised as a dog.

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