Snap Judgment Episode 73 min read


Apex Magazine
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Apex Magazine is excited to present SNAP JUDGMENT Episode 7 of our rapid-fire, live-streaming critique series. 

Every quarter, industry professionals Jason Sizemore, Lesley Conner, and a special guest offer live feedback on the first page (up to 250 words) of genre short stories or novels. These first pages are read aloud by our talented host and narrator, Aly Grauer.

We are pleased to announce that our special guest editor for this event is author and editor Nick Mamatas! 

Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including I Am Providence and The Second Shooter. His short fiction has appeared or will soon appear in Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov’s Science Fiction,, McSweeney’s, and many other venues. Much of it was recently collected in The People’s Republic of Everything. Nick is also an anthologist; his latest book is Wonder and Glory Forever: Awe-Inspiring Lovecraftian Fiction. 

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Snap Judgment # 7 will be livestreamed on Friday, June 30 at 1pm ET (10 am PT, 12 pm CT, 6 pm UTC).  


Our host reads the title, genre, and text of the submission 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 the 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) until the final week before close. It should be only the first 250 words (approximately) of your novel or short story. To submit…

  1. Please make the subject of your email “Snap Judgment Episode 7” and the title of your story. 
  2. In the body of your email, include the title of your story again, the genre, and whether it’s a short story, novella, or novel, etc. 
  3. Copy-paste your first 250 words directly below that.
  4. Please include either your backer/subscriber email address or receipt of your subscription/support (not required if submitting in the last week open period)
  5. 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 are open to subscribers and patrons from May 03 – midnight May 31, and to the general public from May 23 – midnight May 31.


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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