Aug 9, 2017 | news

Here are the stories we bought in April, along with some statistics on race and ethnicity

For a week this April, we were open to short-story submissions of up to 4,000 words. We received 850 submissions and accepted 8, an acceptance rate of 0.94 percent.

This was our second submissions period in which we asked submitters to take a quick, anonymous, 100% voluntary survey in which we asked people’s race and ethnicity. (You can read the results of the first survey here).

This is part of our effort in the wake of our first #BlackSpecFic report to get a better understanding of who is submitting to Fireside, so we can continue working on our mission of inclusivity. (Our second #BlackSpecFic report just wrapped up last week.)

Of the 850 submitters, 735 responded to the survey, or about 86 percent, the same response rate as the first survey. While this is not a scientific survey and we cannot verify the responses, we’re very happy that so many people continue to participate, as we feel it gives us a solid look at who is submitting to Fireside.

Also as before, there were only a few jackass responses, including “Decline to state. Please stop perpetuating myths of ethnicity by acknowleding them. Other than isozyme variants in a few genes here and there, this concept should be gone within about seven generations of global travel” and someone who said that they were white but thought it was helpful to add that they had non-white daughters in law and once lived near a Native American reservation. Three dipshits filled in “Human” as their race.


Here are the results of the survey in a graphic. (People could select multiple options, and they could also fill in a text box under other):


And in plain text:

  • Black 59 (8.0%)
  • Hispanic/Latinx 32 (4.4%)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander 54 (7.3%)
  • First Peoples/Native American/Native Canadian 19 (2.6%)
  • White 569 (77.4 %)

Categories that received more than one fill-in vote included: 4 Indian, 4 African, 3 Arab, and 3 Middle Eastern.

If you’re interested in digging in deeper, the full spreadsheet of responses can be found here This is only our second data point. We’ll be collecting the same information on all of our submissions periods for the foreseeable future, and we’ll continue to post the results.

And now! Here are the stories we bought from April:

Hehua, by Millie Ho

Millie Ho’s short stories appear in Lightspeed Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and others. Her poems appear in PRISM international, Strange Horizons, and Uncanny Magazine. She was a finalist for the 2019 Rhysling Awards. Find her at online at

River Boy, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo

Innocent Chizaram Ilo lives in Nigeria but dreams about inhabiting strange places and bodies — this is why he writes. He studies undergraduate economics but prefers writing stories anytime of the day to analyzing clunky graphs. He draws strong influences from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Petina Gappah and Yiyun Li. He once wore fake glasses to up his nerd-game. It didn’t work.

Flow, by Marissa Lingen

Marissa Lingen is a freelance writer of science fiction and fantasy living in the Minneapolis suburbs with two large men and one small dog. She hikes when she can, bakes when she can’t, thinks way too much about soil rehabilitation, and worries about as much as you’d think, all things considered.

Rab the Giant versus the Witch of the Waterfall, by Brian M. Milton

Brian M. Milton is a short, tweed bound writer living in the wilds south of Glasgow. He splits his time between running away from bees, writing up daft ideas and trying to work for a living. He is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle and has many bruises to show for their robust critiquing methods. He has also been published in anthologies such as Thirty Years of Rain and Caledonia Dreamin’ as well as the magazine KZine and can be found shouting at things on the internet as @munchkinstein

Caesura, by Hayley Stone

Hayley Stone is a writer, editor, and poet from California. Her debut sci-fi novel, Machinations, was chosen as an Amazon Best Sci-fi & Fantasy Book of the Year for 2016. “Caesura” is her first short fiction sale. When not reading or writing, Hayley studies history, falls in love with video game characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. Find her at and on Twitter @hayley_stone.

On Good Friday the Raven Washes Its Young, by Bogi Takács

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish author currently living in the US as a resident alien. Eir work has been published in venues like Clarkesworld, Apex and Strange Horizons, among others. You can find em on Twitter and Instagram as @bogiperson, or see what happens when Bogi Reads the World.

Reaching Beyond, by Evelyn Wong

It’s taken Evelyn a circuitous time to arrive at her actual purpose in life — writing stories. A reformed brand marketer, she now spends her time experiencing everything life has to offer, weaving them into her stories. Evelyn participated in a Bulgarian artist residency in May and will continue with others throughout Europe for the rest of this year.

© 2017 Brian J. White

About the author

Brian J. White

Brian started Fireside Fiction Company in 2012 as an experiment in crowdfunding and paying speculative fiction writers well above the accepted professional rate at the time. It worked! Thanks, have a great day!

Brian has been informed he has to write more in his bio. Fine! Brian took that experiment through five Kickstarters (and did not die!) and into a subscription model. During his tenure, Fireside published 150 stories, five novels, and one novella, and also published the first #BlackSpecFic report, which examined the massive under-representation of Black short-story writers in the field, prompting conversation, reflection, and change in the speculative fiction community. It remains one of the most important things he has worked on in his adult life. Brian was a 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist in the Special Award, Non-Professional category for Fireside, and Fireside has been nominated for multiple Hugo Awards.

Facing the burnout that is all too common among people who work at small presses, Brian stepped down as editor and publisher in 2017 to regroup and recharge mentally. He returned as interim editorial director in 2020 and resumed full ownership of the company in June 2021 with a great team you can read about below.

In the wider world, Brian is a former journalist who worked as an editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville from 2006–2010 and at the Boston Globe from 2010–2018, where he was part of the staff that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2014 for the newspaper’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2014. He still lives around Boston, where he works as an editor for a private company and takes photographs, paints miniatures, and spends time with his amazing wife and various cats.