Welcome To Shots

WELCOME to SHOTS Magazine Online. This is where you can discover our history. From its fan-based beginings as an A5 magazine, through to glossy A4 and now as it's existance as an ezine. I hope you enjoy this site and your comments and suggestions are welcomed. If you want to link to this site please email me or get in touch at with the editor

The Magazine Shots was a British produced crime fiction magazine published by crime fiction readers and writers for crime & mystery enthusiasts. History: Established in June 1994 under the title A SHOT IN THE DARK when it produced a free publication given away at that year's Shot on the Page Convention in Nottingham. The collective then launched their A5 sized magazine three months later. The collective consisted of enthusiasts and writers. Agenda: The idea of the magazine was to provide a forum for crime/mystery enthusiasts to discuss their favourite books and a news medium for authors and publishers to publicise their crime fiction titles. It aimed to provide a critical platform from which the enthusiasts could examine the treatment of crime fiction within the publishing and bookselling industries.

Having evolved from the restrictions of football fanzine-type A5 size, it was produced as a glossy A4 magazine appearing three times a year (Spring, Summer and Winter). It remains a magazine for crime fiction readers, though we try to cater for the viewers of the big and small screen (although this is not an overwhelming section), as well as those who have travelled beyond the role of mere readers to being specialist collectors and students. To a large extent we retain a critical stance, and are prepared to shout loudly when we feel that novels, authors and readers are not getting a fair deal. We are not afraid to champion the underdog. We support and promote the smaller, independent publishers and presses. We are not an academic publication, a gang of enthusiastic crime & mystery lovers is a better description.


Listed below are the guidelines for would-be contributors.We are not adverse to take contributions sent in on spec. Writer's Guidelines Interviews, articles and commentary range between 2000 to 10,000 words. Book Reviews are encouraged and should run up to 300 words. All biographical information should be set out as its header eg A Deadly Brew, Susan Gregory (Little,Brown £16.99). The book's dénouement should not be given away. Any criticism made should be qualified. Reviewers are not paid but receive free books. Reviewers please send a sample of reviews and what type of crime/mysteries you like.

Short Stories

  1. If possible, e-mail short stories to Shots Fiction Dept at stories4shots@yahoo.co.uk or send them to Shots Fiction Dept, 189 Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 7JH. Please note, e-mail is the preferred option using Word or a rich text document. Photos and no subject line will not be opened because of the risk of viruses
  2. Always start with a good covering letter but don't give away the ending. We get several hundred submissions so convince us that your story is worth reading by writing a decent letter. Always date it and include your phone number and e-mail address (if applicable). A CV is not necessary but it's always useful to know if you've been published before or won any awards
  3. All stories sent by post should include an SAE or International Reply Coupons. Please note that any which do not will be automatically rejected and no reply sent
  4. Stories should be between 1,500-3,500 words long
  5. Shots deals in crime writing, we will only publish relevant short stories. Contemporary stories are the most popular with our readers so please don't try to be the latest Chandler or base your work in an obscure era or using famous characters such as James Bond or Sherlock Holmes. We want to relate to what we're reading and you stand a better chance of being published if we do
  6. Don't forget to have a good plot, strong pace and well-developed characters. Short stories are difficult to write as you have so much to say in a limited time look at previous examples in the magazine or website for ideas of what standard we expect
  7. Remember the basic rules of punctuation and grammar and use a dictionary -' nothing will make us stop reading faster than too many typos, lazy or just plain bad writing
  8. Don't forget to have clear paragraph breaks - it can be off-putting otherwise
  9. Number pages and, if sending by post, please use a paperclip to secure them
  10. All work must be typed on one side of the paper only. Or formatted as a doc or rtf file. Unfortunately, hand-written manuscripts cannot be considered
  11. Simultaneous submissions will not be considered. We will try to reply within a month of receiving your work so this should not be necessary
  12. Finally, whether we accept your work or not, thank you for considering writing for Shots and best of luck.

Any further information or to discuss proposed submissions please speak to the editor, Mike Stotter. Shots, Editorial Dept, 189 Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green,Essex IG8 7JH England or email: shotseditor@yahoo.co.uk

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