You might have heard of second-album syndrome. It’s when a musician puts so much effort into their debut that they’re spent, out of ideas and left cobbling together a mishmash of songs for their second album that can never live up to the hype of the first. Of course, literary magazines can, and sometimes do, face the same issues.
Working on the second issue of Tangled Web Magazine was always going to be a little nerve-wracking. Would we get the number and quality of submissions we had the first time round? Did the first issue live up to our (admittedly modest) hype? Had we identified a niche or just created something for ourselves?
Well, we shouldn’t have worried. The stories that made their way to our desk blew us away, and there were so many we had to knock back simply because they weren’t a good fit. As our first reader said, ‘you’re getting some fantastic submissions’.
From those fantastic submissions, we selected seven. Established authors share these pages with exciting, up-and-coming writers. Stories of violent crimes appear alongside thought-provoking speculative fiction. And our usual book reviews slide in beside an insightful spotlight interview. There’s also one story that is truly chilling. I mean, hairs raised on your arms, shudder down your spine, glance around the room kind of creepy. You might want to read it with the lights turned up.
Issue 2 hit a few bumps along the road, with our initial pre-Christmas release date being pushed back to January. I’m looking at you winter flu. But while the wait for our second issue was longer than expected, I think you’ll find it was well worth it.
There’s also some news about Tangled Web Magazine nestled in these pages. As a sneak preview, we’ve switched up our business model and from now on, all issues will be free to read for everyone. But more on that later.
As ever, take care and best wishes for 2023!