Snap Judgment Episode 4 Special Guest and Submissions3 min read


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Apex Magazine is excited to present SNAP JUDGMENTEpisode 4 of our rapid-fire, live-streaming critique series. 

Every quarter, 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 Ep. 4 will be livestreamed on Tuesday May 31, at 1pm CT (2pm ET, 11am PT, 6pm UTC)

We are pleased to announce that our special guest editor for this event is award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor Sheree Renée Thomas!

 And our host is author, actor, and podcaster Alyson Grauer!


Our host reads the submissions aloud (without identifying the author). If at any point our panelists feel they would stop reading and reject the piece from their slush pile, they raise their hand. If all three hands are raised, our narrator stops reading.

Each panelist then gives their feedback on the opening: what works for them, 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 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.)
  • 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 Episode 4” and include the title of your story. 
  • Send your submission to [email protected]

In case of a final sentence taking your submission over 250 words, please cut the last line. All entries will be read anonymously and our panelists will not be given any identifying information before, during, or after the event. 

Submissions close midnight Tuesday, May 24.


Special Guest Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and Mississippi Delta conjure. Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 2020) is her first all prose collection. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press July 2016), longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and honored with a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct January 2011). She edited the World Fantasy-winning groundbreaking black speculative fiction anthologies, Dark Matter (2000 and 2004) and is the first to introduce W.E.B. Du Bois’s science fiction short stories.  Her work is widely anthologized and appears in The Big Book of Modern Fantasy edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Vintage, 2020). She is the Associate Editor of the historic Black arts literary journal, Obsidian: Literature & the Arts in the African Diaspora, founded in 1975 and is the Editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949. She also writes book reviews for Asimov’s. She was recently honored as a 2020 World Fantasy Award Finalist in the Special Award – Professional category for contributions to the genre and is the Co-Host of the 2021 Hugo Awards Ceremony at Discon III in Washington, DC with Malka Older. Sheree is the Guest of Honor of Wiscon 45 and a Special Guest of Boskone 58. She is a Marvel writer and contributor to the groundbreaking anthology, Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda edited by Jesse J. Holland. She lives in her hometown, Memphis, Tennessee near a mighty river and a pyramid.

Host & Narrator – Alyson Grauer

Alyson Grauer is an author, actor, and podcaster based out of Chicago. Her first novel, On the Isle of Sound and Wonder, is a steampunk Shakespeare retelling and 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.

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