SNAP JUDGMENT–Episode 33 min read


Apex Magazine
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Apex Magazine is excited to present SNAP JUDGMENT—Episode 3 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.

Snap Judgment episode 3 will be livestreamed on Sunday January 23rd, at 1pm CDT (2pm ET, 11am PT, 7pm UTC).

We are pleased to announce that our host and narrator for this event is Alyson Grauer and our special guest editor is Arley Sorg!


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 that, 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.
  • 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” and the title of your story.
  • Send your submission to [email protected].

In case of a last sentence making you run over wordcount, please cut the entire 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 Wednesday, January 19.


Host & Narrator – Alyson Grauer

Alyson Grauer is an author, actor, and podcaster based out of Chicago and currently serves as host and producer of the Apex Magazine Podcast. Her first novel, On the Isle of Sound and Wonder, is a steampunk Shakespeare retelling. Her short fiction has appeared in Apparition Lit, Cast of Wonders, and several indie anthologies. Her audio production work can be heard on such podcasts as Skyjacks: Courier’s Call, The Write Mindset, Warda, and the One Shot Podcast Secret Archive. She’s also known for performing at renaissance faires and world-class theme parks. Find her at or on Twitter & Instagram @dreamstobecome.

Special Guest – Arley Sorg

Arley Sorg is co-editor-in-chief of Fantasy Magazine (with Christie Yant) and a 2021 World Fantasy Award finalist. He is also senior editor at Locus Magazine, where he’s been on staff since 2014. He joined the Lightspeed family in 2014 to work on the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue, starting as a slush reader. He eventually worked his way up to associate editor at both Lightspeed and Nightmare. He also reviews books for Locus and Lightspeed, is an interviewer for Clarkesworld Magazine, and a columnist for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Arley grew up in England, Hawaii, and Colorado, and studied Asian Religions at Pitzer College. He lives in Oakland and, in non-pandemic times, likes to write in local coffee shops. He is a 2014 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate.

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