Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Nicholas Solovioff painted this cover for a 1955 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The popularity of the Ellery Queen radio and TV series increased interest in the magazine.
|Categories||detective fiction, mystery fiction|
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine is an American digest size fiction magazine specializing in crime fiction, particularly detective fiction, and mystery fiction. Launched in fall 1941 by Mercury Press, EQMM is named after the fictitious author Ellery Queen, who wrote novels and short stories about a fictional detective named Ellery Queen.
Ellery Queen was the pseudonym of the team of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, who had been writing under the name since 1929. EQMM was created to provide a market for mystery fiction above the common run of pulp crime magazines of the day. Dannay served as the magazine's editor-in-chief (although still under the name Ellery Queen) from its creation until his death in 1982, when managing editor Eleanor Sullivan succeeded to the post. Following her death in 1991, Janet Hutchings became editor of EQMM.
In Bloody Murder, Julian Symons offered this description of the publication:
It is... a compendium of every possible kind of crime story. Some of the kinds are more important than others, not all of the stories are masterpieces, and some will madden anybody who has a fixed idea of what the crime short story should be like. Yet the value of the magazine far transcends any criticisms that may be made of it. No doubt short stories would have been written if EQMM had never existed, but they would have been much less various in style and interest, and almost certainly much poorer in quality.
Because of its high editorial standards, EQMM was one of a relative handful of fiction magazines to survive the decline in short-fiction publications from the 1950s to the 1970s. It is now the longest-running mystery fiction magazine in existence. Throughout its history it has actively encouraged new writers, and today, when most major publications will only accept submissions through literary agents, EQMM still accepts submissions over the transom (that is, unsolicited submissions through the mail). Unsolicited online submissions are now also accepted through an online submission manager as long as they follow the writers' guidelines. The magazine's "Department of First Stories" has introduced hundreds of new writers, many of whom became regular contributors.
EQMM regularly publishes short fiction from established mystery novelists such as Jeffery Deaver, Michael Gilbert, Peter Lovesey, John Lutz, Ruth Rendell, and Janwillem van de Wetering. It has also published both new and classic stories from authors not generally considered mystery writers, including such diverse names as A. A. Milne, Stephen King, W. Somerset Maugham, P. G. Wodehouse, Joyce Carol Oates, Theodore Sturgeon and Phyllis Diller.
EQMM regularly publishes two nonfiction sections: The Jury Box contains book reviews by Steve Steinbock and Blog Bytes contains reviews and updates of crime and mystery short fiction blogs by Bill Crider. Twice a year, former Jury Box columnist Jon Breen contributes a guest column.
EQMM sponsors the annual Readers Choice Award, voted upon by readers.
EQMM has always depended heavily on series characters and stories, such as the "Black Widowers" tales of Isaac Asimov, the "Rumpole of the Bailey" stories of John Mortimer, or the "Ganelon" stories of James Powell. Foremost among series authors was the late Edward D. Hoch, who created at least a dozen independent series for EQMM since his first story appeared in 1962. From May 1973 to May 2007, he had at least one original story in every issue of EQMM, a string that reached an unparalleled 34 years; in that same period he also had about 50 stories in EQMM's sister publication, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- 1941-1981, Frederic Dannay
- 1982-1991, Eleanor Sullivan
- 1991-present, Janet Hutchings
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine is published by Dell Magazines, Penny Publications, New York. Peter Kanter is the publisher. The magazine shares offices with other Dell magazines, including Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- EQMM Readers Choice Awards, annual, voted upon by readers
- Ellery Queen Award, annual, honors writing teams
- EQMM Contest for short stories, 1946–57, 1962
In popular fiction
Stephen King's novella "Secret Window, Secret Garden", published in Four Past Midnight (1990), is about a baffling controversy of a mystery regarding publication of a mystery tale in a popular mystery publication that forms the center of the plot. That publication is Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.