Semiprozine Spotlight: Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine

Hugo season is upon us and nominations for the 2023 Hugo Awards have opened, so various Spotlight projects continue with a new Semiprozine Spotlight. For more about the Semiprozine Spotlight project, go here.

Today I am pleased to feature Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine and welcome editor J.W. Stebner to my blog.

A note to Hugo nominators: Hexagon Magazine is eligible for the 2023 semiprozine Hugo award.

Hexagon cover banner

Tell us about your magazine.

Hexagon SF Magazine is a quarterly speculative fiction literary magazine. The magazine publishes mainly fantasy and science fiction from international authors, with an emphasis on weird, wondrous, and whimsical stories. Since the magazine’s first issue in 2020, over 50 authors have been featured inside 12 issues. Hexagon continues to grow year after year thanks to the support of authors and readers from the short fiction community.

Who are the people behind your magazine?

Hexagon is a ship with only a single pilot. I do all of the reading, editing, graphic design, and promotion of the magazine from start to finish. I enjoy running the magazine alone as it simplifies organization, but I do occasionally wish that I had a team to help me with the tough decisions. But, at the end of the day, I get to be my own boss, choosing the stories I think work best and supporting authors with whom I enjoy working.

Why did you decide to start your magazine?

I decided to start the magazine out of a desire to acquire some editing experience as well as to improve my own writing. Once I created the magazine, I got the chance to connect with an entire community of editors, authors, and readers who were drawn to literary magazines because of a love of great writing and speculative fiction. After releasing the first few issues, I discovered that I really loved editing the magazine, and I decided to shift my focus from writing to editing. Since starting the magazine in 2020, I have edited 12 issues, as well as an anthology with Perennial Press. I have also had the privilege to work with incredible emerging editors as part of my MYRIAD Digital Zines project.

What format do you use for your magazine (print zine, PDF zine, e-mail zine, online zine, podcast, etc…) and why did you choose this format?

The magazine is published in PDF and ePUB formats. I wanted to choose a format which was available online and offline. Readers can download any issue of Hexagon onto their phone, tablet, or computer and read it anywhere they want. They are also great formats for those who wish to share the issues with friends who might be interested in reading the magazine.

Hexagon Magazine Issue Grid

Science fiction, fantasy and horror were born in the pulps and short fiction has long been the beating heart of the genre. However, the focus of attention is increasingly moving towards novels and series. So why do you think SFF short fiction is important and worthy of attention?

I think that the reason SFF short fiction is so important is that it is constantly evolving and keeping up with what is happening in the world. Short fiction can be written, edited, and published long before a novel outline is finished. There is something immediate and satisfying about short fiction that does not exist in longer works of SFF. A great short story can be devoured in a single sitting, giving the reader a complete narrative arc in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Whole worlds can be created, inhabited, and destroyed on a single bus ride. There’s something about that that always attracted me to short fiction.

One big problem for SFF magazines is monetarization. Readers are happy to consume short fiction, but they’re often unwilling to pay for it. What are your strategies for financing your magazine and paying your writers and staff?

I funded Hexagon out of pocket for the first six issues until the magazine had enough support through its Patreon to be self-sufficient. Now, subscribers get early access to issues, cover art reveals, and tables of contents, and can choose to sign up for the Writer Tier, which offers short fiction critiques and feedback. Hexagon has now published two subscriber-exclusive year end anthologies that collect everything published throughout the year as well as cover illustration concept art and author interviews. Subscribers also get access to the four MYRIAD Zines edited by emerging editors Kevin M. Casin, Anna Madden, Lyndsey Croal, and Jordan Hirsch.

All of these extra goodies are offered to those who support the magazine. Free fiction is fantastic, but if we want authors to be paid for their work, the money needs to come from somewhere!

Are there any other great magazines, podcasts, editors, stories, etc… you’d like to recommend?

To be honest, I wish I had 30 hours in a day to fit in all of the submission reading I do and to read all of the stories that other mags publish throughout the year. My typical strategy is to find an author I enjoy (usually after reading what they submit to the magazine), search up whatever they have published, and read it voraciously. This strategy takes me to all corners of the literary magazine community. If all else fails, I check out what Alex Brown Charles Payseur, or Maria Haskins have recommended. They have yet to steer me wrong.

Where can people find you?

You can read all issues of Hexagon for free at and you can follow us on Twitter @hexagonmagazine to stay up to date on news and announcements.

Thank you, J.W., for stopping by and answering my questions.

Check out Hexagon Magazine, cause it’s a great zine.


Do you run a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.


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