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Thirteen Magazine Interview

Posted on 12 July 2004. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Andrew Hannon, editor of Thirteen,a fiction magazine that specialises in horror.

Tell us all about Thirteen - how it started, what it is, why, who

Thirteen is an international mail order magazine based in London that specialises in horror. It publishes thirteen short stories an issue and thirteen issues a year (one a month, with two in October ; one is a Halloween special). Each issue, one writer wins £113 and the twelve other contributors receive a free copy of the magazine in which their story appears. I am the first to admit that the whole thirteen thing is gimmicky, even cheesey. But I like it; the idea beind the magazine was to provide writers from the horror genre with a regular outlet to showcase their work, and to provide horror fans with a continual supply of mainly brand new stories. The thirteen theme manages to fulfil these aims. Myself and my friend Andrew Levy, who is the sub-editor and the man responsible for the magazine's covers, founded the magazine. It started off as a website towards the end of last summer, inviting writers to submit their work. We don't know how, but submissions soon started pouring in, even though we hadn't done any advertising. I suppose there are a lot of people who type the words horror, submit and writing into search engines!

What kind of writing are you looking for?

We look for anything remotely horror related. We are lucky in the sense that we have quite a number of slots to fill each year, compared to, say, a quarterly magazine. It gives us the option of accepting experimental stories along with the more traditional ones. As it says on the website, we are after no particular type of story; writers are asked to submit horror stories, yes, but the interpretation of horror is entirely up to them.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Of the horror genre, my favourite writer is Richard Matheson (he wrote I Am Legend, Stir of Echoes and The Shrinking Man). Despite having lived in London all my life, I have never really got used to massive crowds. In a couple of his books his characters are completely isolated (I Am Legend is the story of the last human alive after the world is taken over by vampires) and you can probably deduce what the Shrinking Man is about. So I suppose I enjoy reading them because of the crowd not phobia, exactly, just strong dislike. For the same reason I like The Stand by Stephen King and a few of James Herbert's novels.

What excites you about a piece of writing - what keeps you interested?

I have to be boring and say a good writing style and a good idea. It's simple, but it's true. Expanding on this, I like to know there's a twist coming, but to not be able to guess it until it's delivered. A lot of our published writers have done this really well; Lee Betteridge, Matthew Batham, Thomas Gilbert and Leisa Parker, to name just a few.

And what turns you off ?

I had a teacher at school who got so sick of us all ending our stories with the first-person narrator dying or waking up to discover it was all a dream that he banned us from using those type of endings. I'm inclined to agree with him.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 19:48 on 12 July 2004  Report this post
A good interview, and its great to see a magazine so certain and upfront about representing horror.

As son as I can raise the dollar, I'm going to subscribe! And I'll be submitting plenty more in the future!


Inspiration at 21:55 on 12 July 2004  Report this post
I agree! There are not many magazines (that I have heard of) which supply horror writers with such a great opportunity for showing off their work to other like-minded people.

I'll be saving up too! And to copy you completely, (sorry, but I really do agree with everything you've said!)I too will be sending more of my work to them. They have given me my first opportunity. It's a magazine I'll NEVER forget!

I hope they do an anthology EVERY YEAR.

'Who is that standing behind you?'

Nik Perring at 13:23 on 13 July 2004  Report this post
Great interview. Honest and interesting. It's very refreshing to hear that someone actually encourages unsolicited mss! Nd also nice to hear that someone is as passionate about horror in all its forms as I am (we in the ww horror group are)
Think I'll be subscribing too.

Becca at 22:14 on 13 July 2004  Report this post
Amazing that Thirteen Magazine is able to respond in under a week to contributors when inundated with submissions as it must have been.

Dee at 06:58 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
Becca, I emailed Thoughtform to Thirteen at 22.21 on Monday night and had a reply from Andrew Hannon at 10.59 the next morning.

I wonder if thatís a record?


Account Closed at 10:54 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
I also heard back very quickly.

I do have some general questions, which hopefully can be answered here:

1) What is the readership of 'Thirteen'?

2) Is it only subscribable over the website, or does it also appear in shops?

3) Is the 'best story' decided by the readers, or the editorial staff?

Sorry if I seem a little pedantic, but I am curious.


P.S Thirteen - lucky for some...

Becca at 15:27 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
Good on you Dee, I sent them two stories on 19th June, and never heard a thing.
JB, I don't know anything about them. I got the impression it was a paper mag, and subscription. (Me quickly losing interest).

Becca at 20:12 on 17 July 2004  Report this post
I don't think your questions are pedantic at all JB. There's nothing more infuriating than not having the basic info you need as a writer. A very professional thing you can come across sometimes is when you send out a piece of work to someone by email, and you get an automatic email back saying they'd received it and when you can expect to hear back. That just happened to me today, what a relief it is. It makes up for stories that 'go into a black hole'.

wkd grl at 22:08 on 01 August 2004  Report this post
nice to see an interview on the subject of horror and nice to see a horror magazine replying to unsolicited material.

Becca at 06:36 on 03 August 2004  Report this post
Wkd girl,
They were asking for subs., so it wasn't unsolicited.

Jacko90 at 21:00 on 08 May 2007  Report this post
Can anyone tell me the website for this magazine? I've looked on google but the only relevant result / link that I can find doesn't work.

Becca at 12:59 on 09 May 2007  Report this post
Hi Jack,
I think this mag died ages ago. Try googling 'Duotrope' or 'Editors & Predators' and you should be able to find out if it's so. 'Ranlan' is another site that deals with dead mags, I think.

Nik Perring at 13:08 on 09 May 2007  Report this post
It is dead, sadly. They never recovered from when their offices were flooded which is a shame.


Becca at 16:57 on 09 May 2007  Report this post
Hi Nik,
I always thought that story slightly odd, I have to say, Lol!

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