Fireside Magazine was my very first fiction sale. That story was Children of Rouwen, published just a few weeks ago. It was overshadowed by the bigger release from a couple of weeks earlier, though, because Fireside Fiction was also my first (and so far my only) novel sale. That book is of course Revision.
Working with Fireside has always been a joy, even aside from that giddy halo of finding a publisher who believes in me; their processes are kind and collaborative in all the best ways. I've written about that elsewhere. These are good people, trying to do good things in the world.
And not just from where I sit, either. I'm not the only creator Fireside has done business with -- of course not. Fireside has brought us stories from celebrated writers like Daniel José Older, Elizabeth Bear, Chuck Wendig; early-career writers, like me and Sunil Patel; not to mention a never-ending stream of exceptional art from Galen Dara. Go on, look at the archives and see what they've been doing. It's wonderful.
One of Fireside's founding principles is fair pay for writers. As such, Fireside pays a whopping 12.5 cents per word for short fiction. That's twice what qualifies as a "professional rate" in this day and age.
And now Fireside needs me -- and you -- to keep the party going. This is the last few days of Fireside's funding drive. After years of stressful and funded-at-the-last-minute Kickstarters, Fireside is trying to shift over to Patreon and subscriptions to keep the lights on.
On July 15 (that's Wednesday), they're going to have to take a good, hard look at the money coming in, and figure out what to do about a budget shortfall. It might mean lighter magazines, and so fewer stories for readers and less opportunity for writers, I don't know. It might mean Fireside starts slowly winding down, and a force for diversity and higher pay for fiction fades into the West.
Please, please, we can't let that happen. They need $21,000 to produce a full year of stories and art all-out. That works out to $1750 a month, and that funds a whopping 10,000 words of fiction, plus art and production costs. But as I write this, Fireside is only funded to about $8600 for the year -- that's less than halfway there.
If you've read Fireside and thought the work was good, now is the time to step in with your couple of bucks. If you haven't, go ahead and do some reading back issues; I think you'll find Fireside is worth saving.
I'm putting my money where my mouth is, too. I'm a Fireside supporter on Patreon, and I've supported prior years on Kickstarter. You can contribute through Patreon too, or buy a subscription for three months, six months, a year. Join me in keeping this thing going, and maintaining a precedent where writers get paid in cash, not glory. It helps raise the bar for everyone else -- and you'll get some fantastic reading out of it, too.