RARA-AVIS: Black Mask guidelines

From: Ray Skirsky ( rskirsky@qualcomm.com)
Date: 01 May 2002

At 06:20 PM 5/1/2002 -0400, Anthony Dauer wrote:

>I thought someone posted the guidelines to the original Black Mask or
>another hardboiled mag once and it had in it that the writing was
>supposed to be geared towards male readers (paraphrased of course). I
>tried to find it searching the archive, but never got the right keyword
>to hit it. Good for trivial interest.

I don't have the guidelines, but I do have the "Writer's Market" for 1937. It lists the following for Black Mask:

    BLACK MASK, 515 Madison Ave., New York City. Uses exciting action, detective
    stories with an unusual angle, but they must be convincing and have real human
    character, good logical motivation, unusual plotting and rapid action. A little woman
    interest is permissible, but it must be kept subordinate. Best lengths are 3,000 to
    6,000 words for shorts; 15,000 words for novelettes. Pays good rates on acceptance.

I forebear comment on the observation that the little woman must be kept subordinate :-).


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