An Interview with Jason Sizemore of Apex Magazine

John Sizemore

Born the son of an unemployed coal miner in a tiny Kentucky Appalachian villa named Big Creek (population 400), Jason fought his way out of the hills to the big city of Lexington. He attended Transylvania University (real school with its own vampire) and received a degree in computer science. Since 2004, he has owned and operated Apex Publications. He is the editor of five anthologies, author of Irredeemable and For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, a three-time Hugo Award loser, an occasional writer, and usually can be found wandering the halls of hotel conventions seeking friends and free food.

Why did you start your publication?

In 2004, I turned 30 and was working a dead-end, boring job and desperately needed a creative outlet in my life. So I thought, “Why not start a small press? Why not produce a printed publication and sell them in Barnes & Noble?” Ah, the hubris of youth.

What is the most gratifying element of publishing the written word?

This might sound corny, but it’s the feeling of helping someone bringing their vision, their hard work, to the world. Nobody ever tires of that moment when you first see your book in your hands.

What are your happiest memories in your writing/publishing career?

Probably the first Hugo Award nomination I received back in 2012. It was a surreal moment where I felt like an imposter, yet the first moment when I thought “Perhaps you’re not half bad at this editing thing, Sizemore.”

How do you handle success and failure?

Heavy booze for both. I kid, of course. You have to draw inspiration and fuel from either/or. Take pride in your successes, use them as a springboard for advancing your career. Publishing is a difficult business and you need to wring opportunity out of everything. The same goes for failure. Never be afraid of owning up to mistakes. Always use them as personal teaching moments.

What is your advice to young and new writers?

Have patience. Overnight success is rare. A writing career is a gradual build-up of reader awareness and nurturing a fan collective until it is large enough to make a difference in your income.

Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)

I like both. No preference. Actually, I think I do more audiobooks than anything else.

If you have a publication or promotion…

I have two. Apex Book Company is a small press of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. We’ve published a number of well-regarded writers like Lavie Tidhar, Damien Angelica Walters, and Brian Keene. You can find our catalog at Apex Magazine is an award-winning print and digital zine of dark SF short fiction. You can read it free at



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