Saturday, July 31, 2010

Battle Scars

Best damn advice I've read about those rejection slips yet!

I had visions of Braveheart racing through my brain when I read this - you can write or die peacefully in your bed wishing you'd been brave enough to wield that keyboard into battle.

Oh yeah, it's Chuck Wendig, so the usual language cautions apply :)

Crimefactory News

Issue #4 of Crimefactory has hit the virtual streets with shorts by Allan Guthrie, Scott Wolven, Graham Powell and others. Along with the shorts you'll find the usual reviews and interviews.

Crimefactory is also holding a contest. The theme is "Sad Janitor", with a maximum word count of 1500 and the deadline is August 20. You can find all the details at

Friday, July 30, 2010

Courtesy of Brian

With thanks to Brian Lindenmuth, we have a trio of interesting blog essays today.

The first is by Rachael Gardner about "Managing Expectations" It's always easy to blame others when things don't go as expected but then, what in life ever goes as planned?

Conjugate Visits is a new blog to me and it's filled with posts about editing. This one shows how this editor would have edited the first page of Steig Larsson's "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", which would have been a much easier read with a bit of editing to pare it down ( my opinion ).

And it's always interesting to read writing advice, even if we don't use everything that comes our way.

Over at the Book View Cafe, Phyllis Radford, takes a look at short vs long from her own perspective of trying to write short stories.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Yes, I'm writing two posts today because this one doesn't have any links but it might start a nice discussion.

I read an essay last night called "Stepping Into the Shadows" by Charles L. Grant. He was writing about dark fantasy and how to create tension. It's a very cool example.

"Consider a thunderstorm. Watching the sky darken, watching the clouds move in, listening to the thunder working over the horizon, seeing the lightning flare over the tops of far trees--all this creates tension. The air changes, the wind changes, the light changes. You can feel a storm. You know it's coming your way. And there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

That's tension, and that's what you want to inflict the reader with. That's what you have to create if you want the reader to feel that chill.

If all hell breaks loose right away, from the opening paragraph, from the opening scene, what's left? Not much, because sooner or later the reader gets used to it; and once that happens, the storm loses all its power."

This goes against everything we're being told about writing stories. That first rule that says you have to jump straight into the action, that you can't let the reader take a breath, that you have to keep pounding away to keep the reader involved. And yet, what Mr. Grant says makes perfect sense, and not just for horror or fantasy, but for everything you write. Every story needs tension, but wouldn't building that tension gradually be better for the story than just jumping from one tense scene to the next?

A Bit of Everything

This is one of those posts where there's a little bit of everything. First up is a link that the lovely Michael Bracken emailed me yesterday, which piggy-backs nicely with Jim Hines essay from yesterday.

Shroud magazine is getting ready to launch their online edition called Shroud DE. You can get a free copy delivered straight to your inbox by signing up their newsletter. They're also looking for column, art, photography, or poetry ideas for the new zine, and they're asking potential contributors to send them a pitch. Oh, and there's payment involved! You can find all the details at

For fans of Bill Pronzini's Nameless character, there's a new interview with Bill up at the Big Adios where he talks about his new book and Nameless.

There's a great essay, by Will Hindmarch, over at Ecstatic Days about writing fight scenes. While his examples are about fighting with swords, the basic mechanics will work for any type of fight scene. He's included a list of authors to read and many of those suggested authors who write great fight scenes come from the mystery genre. You'll find the essay here

I'm thinking that maybe the zine, Storyglossia, has closed their doors permanently. The last issue was posted in February which is when they closed to submissions, plus their blog hasn't been updated since December. Anyone know for sure?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Writing Life

Sometimes we writers just need to know that we're not alone, we're not the only ones in this crazy business getting the crap beat out of us, via reviews, critiques and rejections, as we try to climb the writing ladder. Jim C. Hines has an excellent essay about "Taking the Hit" on his blog that puts all the pain into perspective.

There's a great country song I listen to that has a grown man writing a letter to his younger self, sorry the title and artist escapes me at the moment, so when Brian Lindenmuth sent me this link to a writer who's written a letter to his younger self, I chuckled and just kept nodding my head yes to all the great advice. And wouldn't it be nice if we could write our younger selves a letter? I wonder what we'd tell ourselves.

The song is "Letter to Me" by Brad Paisley.

Over at there's a great essay by L.A. Banks. The title says the piece is about writing paranormals, but in reality it's a humorous look at the writing life and I found myself laughing my butt off as I read the piece. For your morning chuckles

Flash Fiction Chronicles is a great blog with loads of good writing advice. I have a link to it over there on the left. One of the essays that caught my eye today was by Jacqueline Vick, and it's about "Growing a Novel from Short Stories"
At the bottom of the essay, she's also included three markets for novella length fiction.

And last, The Literary Hatchet is open for submissions until September 1 for their October issue. They're looking for dark stories in the horror, mystery/crime and suspense/thriller genres. This is a twice a year pdf publication. They're looking for shorts of 500 to 3000 words, the payment is $15. They're also looking for artwork, poetry, and humor pieces. You can find all the details at
The subtitle for this zine is Lizzie Borden's journal of murder, mystery and Victorian history, so that will give a pretty good idea of what they're looking for. Plus, they've been publishing since 2004 so there's plenty of back issues to check out. Also if you click on the extras link at the top of the page you will find a link to a looong list of horror magazines.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Anthology Calls

I found a few anthology calls this morning that might be of interest. I will admit that this first one I'm posting because I immediately thought of Paul Brazill who is British and living in Poland but then I realized that many of you are living in countries not your own. "Writers Abroad" is open to writers living abroad. They're looking for stories up to 2500 words on any aspect of the Expat life, also flash to 500 words. The anthology will be published in November to coincide with short story week in the UK. I couldn't find any mention of payment. You can find all the details at

Rogue Blades has three anthology calls listed on their site. They're looking for heroic adventure fiction with a New Xtreme edge.

The first call is for "Assassins" with a November 30 deadline but they will close when filled though with a promise to stay open until October 1. They're looking for stories of 2500 to 5500 words with payment of $30 plus 2 copies. To submit you send only the first 500 words, then they'll let you know if they want to see more.

The second call is a competition called "Discovery" with a September 1 deadline. You must use the title and the posted picture to create your story. Be aware that there is a $10 fee and if they don't get 30 entries, the competition will be canceled.

The third is called "Heroicologies". I didn't see any payment listed and they seem to be looking for reprints not original stories plus they say there will be no editing for this one.

I have to admit that the last two calls (from Rogue Blades, not to be confused with the next two) don't impress me much. If you're interested in any of these, be sure to proceed with the same caution as you would approach any market. Always remember that all markets are not created equal.

E-book publisher Samhain Publishing has a call out for a Springtime "Just Romance" anthology to be published in 2011. They're looking for novellas from 20,000 to 25,000 words with a November 1 deadline. This is a royalty paying market. And the romance doesn't have to be strictly boy/girl. Be aware that Samhain is an erotica market but this call is NOT for erotica. You can find all the details at

The last call is from the Gulf Coast Writers Association. They're looking for stories up to 3000 words set in the South. The pay is $25 or 2 copies. You can find all the details at This will be their third anthology. The deadline for this one is September 1.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Blessings

The Internet is alive with so many blogs and websites that when someone sends me a link like this one, I'm so very grateful. With many thanks to Michael Bracken, I give you a talk by author, Chimananda Adichie.

If the flash player doesn't work for you, mine didn't, to the right of the screen is an Interactive Transcript that you can click on and read. And whether you listen or read, the talk is an amazing look at both life and writing. We are not one story, we are many.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Musings from the Storm

Another storm walloped its way through our area again last night. We had strong winds and heavy downpours, the usual thunderstorm, but on the other side of the mountain, they got hit with tornado-like winds. A mobile home was shredded, trees snapped off, power lines down, and several roof tops headed for Oz. And this was just a mere five miles cross country from where we live. You just never know.

Much of writing is like that. You can have two writers working side by side, with similar styles and stories and one writer will hit it big while the other just labors on with only small successes. And that's what writing is, putting the words down, going from story to story, always striving for a better story. We live in hope of connecting with a publishing deal, but for the majority of writers, it's the small successes that keep us going. And the love of the story that keeps us writing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Christmas and Zombies

With thanks to Michael Bracken for the link, we have Christmas and zombies. An anthology entitled "The Undead That Saved Christmas" is being put together to raise money for the Hugs Foster Family Agency which provide gifts for kids at Christmas time. The deadline is August 20 for zombie stories of 3000 to 10,000 words. You can find all the details at

While I was at that site I went scrolling through some of the other posts and found another call for submissions from May December Publications. They have calls for several zombie anthologies. One is for women only and another for gentlemen only plus, if I'm remembering right, two others. You can check them out at The only pay is a copy of the anthology if your story is accepted.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Potpourri of Links

One of the hardest things for a writer is to find their own voice, to find the stories that belong to them. While Rochita Loenen-Ruiz's essay is about the Philippines and Filipino sci-fi, his take on finding the stories within us holds true for everyone.

Angela Slatter has the best thought about author platforms I've read in a while. You need product to sell before you need the platform to sell it from.

With a hat tip to Charles Tan, I found this post filled with Australian markets, and yes, some of the calls are also looking for writers from the international community. You can check out the links here

I don't know how many of you click on the links over there on the left, but for you newbie writers or someone who's just stuck and needs a little advice you might try Robert Gregory Brown's site, Casting the Bones. He has loads of essays about everything a writer needs to know about writing from getting the words down to getting published.

Since finding Richard S. Wheeler's blog, I've become a regular visitor. I love that's he's been in the writing game for so long and is willing to share his thoughts and views. Today I read an essay about Montana's Literary life and had a peek into the world of James Crumley and his influence on the writers he met. Mr. Wheeler has also been pondering the difference between literary and popular fiction through a variety of posts but "It's Still a Mystery" seems to have nailed the difference pretty well. Drop on over and read through some of his posts, you'll be the richer for it.

And just a bit of a brag. I'm in an e-book!! A very cool first for me. Jason Evans has published a book filled with the winners of the past twelve Clarity of Night contest winners. My story is "Civic Duty" which won third place in the Midnight Road contest. You can download the book for free at this link And not just for my story - the book is filled with excellent flash pieces!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Post Conspiracy Notes

Do you ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you? The last few days have felt that way for me. We've had a rolling line of thunderstorms going through the area, with more expected today, which require the unplugging of the computer so it doesn't blow up. Then yesterday I spent an hour trying to get my printer back to working. Did you know that pushing cancel doesn't cancel anything? The darn thing kept printing over and over as many times as I'd pushed the print button on the computer. It finally ran out of print commands and it's back to working properly (and, of course, I've got my fingers crossed about this!) But, I'm still here and today, at least for now, the sun's shining and maybe I'll get caught up with my emails and posts and maybe get a story written.

End of whining. I've got a few links for you this morning.

Jersey Devil Press has closed to submissions until August 1. They're just taking a vacation, not closing shop, thankfully.

Did you know that the Rose and Thorn Journal took genre submissions? This is a non-paying market but the zine looks great and while they're a literary zine, they publish in all the genres. They're looking for stories up to 3000 words. You can find all the details at

Looking through the Aurora Wolf site, I discovered that while they publish sci-fi and fantasy, they're also looking for private detective stories. So, if your PI is a werewolf or maybe a sorcerer, you're covered. The truth is, you don't have to look in the usual places to find markets for your mystery stories. And experimenting with mixing genres is good for the writing muscles.

I know that many of you are putting together collections of shorts for Kindle and some of the other reader device sites so I thought this essay, "What Sells an Anthology" might be of interest. Nancy Fulda takes a look at cover art and what might catch the reader's eye.

And lastly, J.D. Rhoades has started an interesting discussion over at Murderati this morning about story telling vs writing well. Should be interesting.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Market Notes

Just a reminder that today is the start of the Clarity of Night flash contest. Submissions of 250 words will be accepted until July 28. The rules for posting stories have changed this year, so be sure to read through the guidelines. You can find all the details at

And there's only two days left to get your entry into Spinetingler's revenge contest as their deadline is July 21.

A new e-publisher has been passing along calls on the SMFS board. Untreed Reads is looking for Steampunk stories of over 5000 words for one anthology and Thanksgiving stories for the other. This is a royalty paying market. You can find the details and a list of other calls here and their home page is This looks like it could turn into a great market for short stories. They're also looking for single author sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy submissions.

There's not a lot going on market wise, I guess everyone is on vacation.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Musings

I was looking out my window wondering what to write when I spotted a turkey buzzard circling on the wind. Such a heavy, ugly bird, but put him on an updraft and he's as regal as an eagle. I see them often, drifting on the air currents, flying high above us, but I also see them along the road picking at roadkill. They're not very impressive then, but that's their job in this world.

Writing is rather like that at times. When the words are flowing and the story makes us laugh or cry we're taking flight, flying above all the carrion that weights us down in life. Then there are the days when the words get stuck or sound stupid or the story is just such a mess that we want to quit. Instead we hit the delete key, ridding the world of our literary roadkill, then we sit back and try again.

All of life is like that, full of those roadkill moments that give the splendiferous moments the ability to help us soar. We need them both to fully appreciate what we have in life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Congratulations, Spinetingler!!!

A huge congratulations to Spinetingler!! The online zine has just made the approved publications list for the Mystery Writers of America which makes their short stories eligible for Edgar Award nominations. Hooray!! You can find the announcement here

It's just been in the past year that the online zines have made this list. Other online publications that are approved include The Back Alley, Necrotic Tissue, and SnipLits. Hooray!!

Writing Tips and Markets

I know, I know, I skipped a day. The muse was calling and how can you turn your back on such a beautiful voice? But I've got all sorts of goodies for you today, from writing tips to markets.

BV Lawson has posted a bunch of links about writing, publishing and marketing over at her great In Reference to Murder blog

In the last post I mentioned a screenwriting contest and the lovely Brian Lindenmuth sent me this link to a screenwriting tip site about writing unlikeable leads. But we both had a problem with the site, in that you can't find the other posts. I clicked on the My Blog link and clicked back to the site from there but the site automatically redirects you to the current tip.

And if you're in need of a few chuckles to start off your weekend give this site a try My thanks to Michael Bracken for this one!!

And a few markets:

First up is a flash market called Short Fast and Deadly This is a non-paying market looking for shorts of 420 characters or less. Now I don't twitter or facebook so I have a question. I expect that characters refers to letters and punctuation marks but does it also count the spaces?

Aurora Wolf is an online sci-fi zine that is putting together a Fairy Tale anthology. They're looking for short stories from 2000 to 6000 words with an October 1st deadline. They want new fairy tales or stories that put a new spin on the old ones. The pay is $15 plus a copy. You can find the details here Just scroll down for the anthology details. They're also open to shorts for the zine, the pay here is $5 per story.

M-Brane Press is launching a new zine called Fantastique Unfettered. They're looking for short stories up to 5000 words with 4000 to 5000 being their sweet spot. they're paying $33 for stories appearing in first issue due in the Winter of 2010. They're looking for all the sub-genres of sci-fi except for the hard science stories, as they mention they have another market for that type of story. You can find all the submission details at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This and That

This one is for Patti since she asked a few posts back about why everyone was so fascinated with vampires. The essay by Jeaniene Frost is called "Why Women Find Vampires Hot" And no, plastic fangs and a black cape won't cut it, guys. ;-)

The Johnny Boggs interview is up over at Book Life Now has their July call for submissions pages up One thing I noticed about this anthology call for stories about animals that was listed is that there is no mention of pay but there doesn't seem to be a publisher attached as it states on the site that there's only a possibility of publication. And if I read the about page right this is a teenage girl putting this together, so please proceed with caution if you decide to participate in this project.

And Anthologies Online has posted their July calls also. Among the anthologies there are also various contests including one for a screen writing contest. Lots of interesting calls over there this month.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Westerns and Formatting

I stop by the site, Book Life Now, about once a week because they always have great posts about writing. Posts here are published on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and usually keep to a weekly theme. This week's theme is Westerns. If you're interested in writing Westerns the first post is here Then drop on by during the week for advice from other Western writers like James Reasoner, Johnny Boggs, Max McCoy and many more.

One of the things you have to know as a writer is how to format your story for submission. And yes, the formats vary from publication to publication especially for online zines. Most writers are directed to William Shunn's excellent site for a detailed example. Today, I discovered that Mr. Shunn has a blog, or a flog as he calls it, where he answers questions from writers about formatting. There's lots of excellent information on the site for both beginners and more experienced writers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Whitman's Sampler of Links

I found an assortment of interesting links around the blog world today, at least they interested me, and hopefully, you too.

With a hat tip to the ever informative Charles Tan, I found this link to an essay by John Ottinger III about Christian Fantasy. While I'd never considered that fantasy might have a Christian bend, it doesn't surprise me. If you take a stroll through the Bible you'll find the Valley of Bones where the dead rise up from the ground, a man who walks into a fiery furnace and comes out unscathed, not to mention burning bushes, plagues and assorted masses of vermin unleashed on the enemy.

That essay is published in the current issue of Resident Aliens, a zine that is looking for spiritually infused spec-fiction. They're looking for flash of 900 - 1500 words, shorts from 1500 to 6000, and serial novellas up to 20,000 words. The pay is $5 story.

Pari Taichert has started a discussion about writing rules over at Murderati this morning that could prove interesting by day's end.

If you've got some Thanksgiving, Christmas or Halloween stories gathering dust in your files you might check out the guidelines over at Sniplits Through the end of August they're accepting holiday stories, new or reprints. And August is the opening month for mystery/crime submissions, so mark that date on your calendar all you mystery writers out there.

And over at the Clarity of Night, Jason Evans has announced his 13th flash fiction contest with the top prize for a 250 word flash of $100. Drop on over and check out the picture that will inspire your story. The contest opens to submissions on July 19th. With buried treasure as a theme there's apt to be all kinds of great stories to read in every genre under the sun.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and enjoy the good things that life tosses your way. The sun is shining after a bit of rain yesterday and the air has cooled back down to breathable. All week I just wanted to flop in the shade with the cats while the thermometer skyrocketed into the nineties. I know you guys down south deal with those temperatures most of the summer, but hey, I'm up north - in the mountains. We do fans, not air conditioners!

This morning I finished a short story for the Spinetingler contest. Checked the word count and found that I had coasted right on by the word limit of 1450. Tomorrow, I'll be polishing it up and looking for a market. It's a pretty cool revenge story, if I do say so myself. I'm tempted to send it off to AHMM but I don't think there's enough mystery in it to work for that market. And of course, there's always the double whammy of when I think it's a great story, it never finds a home syndrome. Yes, I'm chanting the mantra, write-submit, write-submit, write-submit. But hey, this is the second story I finished this week and the other one is already out there.

Oh yes, I made one of my fluffy pineapple cheesecake desserts yesterday - that always make me happy.

And now I feel like a silly little girl! I accidentally posted this to the SMFS blog! Hopefully nobody will have seen it before I realized what I did and deleted it. Shhh! Don't tell anyone. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Market Notes

Things have been a little hectic today, so this post is coming a bit later in the day than usual.

Over at, Caridad Pineiro has an essay on why paranormals are becoming so successful in the market place.

Southern Grit is still looking for stories for their first issue. They're looking at primarily literary stories but will look at genre stories also. This is a non-paying market for 1500 to 6000 word stories.

July 21 is fast approaching and it's the deadline for Spinetingler's revenge contest. You can find the details here

Found a newish market over at Duotrope called Darker. They're looking for dark speculative fiction up to 5000 words for their Sept/Oct issue. The pay is $5 per story with the top story receiving $25. The July/Aug issue is up now so you can get a better idea of the sort of story they're looking for.

There's also a pair of interviews up that might be of interest.

The first is with Anthology Builder editor, Nancy Fulda. Anthology Builder accepts only reprints and pays royalties.

And 10Flash editor, KC Ball, is interviewed.
10Flash is a paying quarterly flash market with themes for each issue and be sure to note the new submission dates.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tidbits and a Question

Jason Sanford is the most recent writer to post about the general uproar over small press publisher, Night Shade Books. What I found interesting about his post is that it's not a slam against the publisher but an interesting look at the information we genre writers don't share for fear of loosing outlets for our work in both novel and short story markets. And let's face it, there's just as many short story markets taking advantage of writers as there are novel publishers. But we tend not to speak up for fear of being boycotted by other markets in the same genre.

Mr. Sanford, in another post, also pointed out Tin House Publishing's new submission policy. Yep, in order to submit to either the zine or their publishing house you have to include a receipt from a local book store showing that you've purchased a book. Sounds nice, but as Mr. Sanford pointed out, not everyone has a local bookstore and a great many people are purchasing and reading books with all those new devices.

Elizabeth Zelvin has a great post over at Poe's Deadly Daughters today about writing short stories. She's new to the form and gives her take on how to write a short story.

And here are some new zine issues out on the virtual streets

The July issue of The Gumshoe Review

Pine Tree Mysteries is back with their new issue and explains that their disappearing act was due to a server problem.

And the July issue of Thieves Jargon

And a question - Is there some unwritten rule that all Apocalypse stories have to include either zombies, vampires or cannibalism? And does the dress code always have to include Mohawk hairstyles, tattoos and scantily dressed women? Just curious.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Horror Contest

With a hat tip to Chuck Wendig we have the World Horror Convention/Black Static short story contest. There is no charge for the contest except to be a member. There's a link on the page to join, but it doesn't seem to be working at the moment. Anyhoo, the submission period for the contest is August 31 to October 31 for horror stories of 500 to 4000 words. The winner will be published in the convention's souvenir book and in Black Static Magazine which will pay the winner 5cents a word for their story. You can find all the details for the contest at And if anyone knows the secrets of joining, please drop a note in the comments. For those who are already members - get writing!

Assorted Linkage

I've mentioned before that Duotrope publishes interviews with editors on their site and thought this interview with Thieves Jargon editor, Dan Sannell, might be of interest to those of you who stop by here. It's always nice to know where an editor's taste in stories lies.

For those of you who write Fantasy and Horror, editor Paula Guran has put out a call for submissions for the 2011 edition of The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. The deadline is April 1, 2011. This is a call for reprints of stories published in 2010. From reading the call, it looks like she wants the stories submitted by editors and publishers, she'd also like to be made aware of online zines. You can find the entire call with all the details here

The writing world can be a cutthroat place to be and not just on the publishing end of the equation. Some writers have been known to take jabs at other writers and try to sabotage their careers and even beginning writers need to be careful of "helpful" advice from their writing groups. There are a great many wonderful writers who genuinely lend a helping hand to beginners and pros alike, but there are always a few who put the lie to that. This wonderful essay at the Book View Cafe puts this into perspective for writers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Market Notes

Just a couple of late day market notes for everyone.

Beat to a Pulp has closed to submissions until September 15.

Scalped has disappeared into the ether without a word. I've been checking almost daily to see if they'd opened to submissions yet, but apparently they're shutting down.

And Pine Tree Mysteries has popped back up! Don't know why the disappearing act, but I'm glad they're back, hopefully to stay.

***This is a late addition. Shroud Publishing has announced that in August they'll start doing monthly digital issues of Shroud magazine to compliment the quarterly print magazine. You can read the details here Their submission period is still open until July 31 and stories submitted will be considered for the digital issues. This is a paying market. $10 for flash, $25 for shorts to 5000 words.

The Future of Publishing?

Well, this look at the future of the publishing industry was just too good not to share. You just have to love a sci-fi writer's take on our changing industry. And it sure beats all the doom and gloom articles that I've been reading of late.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chimera, Anyone?

One of my favorite stops around the blog world is Dr. DP Lyle's, Writer's Forensics Blog. He's starting a new series of Q&A posts with cool questions that writers send his way. Today's post is about Chimeras. Could make an interesting story no matter what genre you're writing in.

Rambling Post 4th Links

I hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July holiday and for those of you not in the States, I hope you had a great weekend. I lost my Internet server yesterday afternoon so I didn't get a post up. And yes, I'm rambling a bit here today as my mind is lost to a pair of stories I've been piecing together in my head and jotting down notes for before I start tapping away at the keyboard, and one flash story that's finished and in need of a market. And in the spirit of my rambling mind here are a few links that are all over the place.

Chuck Wendig has an interesting post on his blog this morning about art vs craft.

Patti Abbott has started a discussion about genre fiction vs literary fiction that's quite interesting.

A few posts back I mentioned a new zine called Basement Stories. If you're considering submitting to this market you might drop on over to DL Snells Market Scoops blog for an interview with the editors to find out what they're looking for.

And for a great round-up links, drop on over to David Cranmer's blog. He's got links to Alec Cizak's new zine "All Due Respect", links to the new Western Fictioneers Organization, an entertaining interview with Bill Crider over at Gutter Books and that's just naming a few.

Oh yes, and Paul Brazill dropped me an email to say that Pulp Metal is now publishing short stories as they come instead of publishing quarterly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Linkage

First up this morning are two market notes.

Issue 5 of 10Flash has gone live. and they've also changed their submission guidelines. Editor, KC Ball, has listed the themes for the next three issue and posted the dates for submitting to each of those themes. This will give you a lot of lead time for writing your stories, just remember to mark the dates on your calendar. Here's the new details and themes This is a paying market and accepts flash stories up to 1000 words in various genres.

And Necrotic Tissue has opened for submissions as of July 1 through the 31st. This is also a paying market. I'm making a correction here as I remembered the payments wrong. 100 word stories are paid 5cents. Short stories up to 5000 words are paid a penny plus a contributor's copy and the best story chosen by the editor will receive 5cents a word with a $250 cap. This is basically a horror market but they accept other genres so long as they include dark horror at the core of the story.

And I found this essay by Mark Charan about combining mystery and fantasy very interesting.

I think too many writers build fences around their stories by trying to stay within the confides of a certain genre. Be brave, explore your options, unless, of course, you're writing for a specific market. By pushing beyond the boundaries of your chosen genre you'll be able to find more markets to place your work. Don't believe me? Think about this. You can place your Western in outer space and you've got a sci-fi market. Make your PI a vampire and you can find a horror or spec-fiction market for your work. The list goes on and on. How about you? What's the weirdest story combination you've come up with and did you have trouble placing it with the twisted themes?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Violence and Branding

Back a few posts ago, I ranted on about people complaining about violence against animals in fiction, so when I stumbled across this essay by Chaz Brenchley over at the Book View Cafe I decided to post a link. While the essay deals with violence in fantasy, the discussion in the comments that follow can just as easily be applied to any genre that you write in. And no, there's no violence against animals discussed, at least not the last time I read the post.

Deborah Elliott-Upton has an interesting post over at Criminal Brief this morning that deals with authors and their web sites. The essay is entitled "It's Not All About Me?" and takes a look at why your site, or your blog, shouldn't be all about the me-me-me of being a writer. I know that when I drift around the blog world, I look for blogs that have interesting topics. The ones that are only about the author, their Amazon ranking, and their reviews are a pass for me. Besides, I'm more apt to purchase a book recommended to me by a reader than by the author, because every one knows that a writer believes everything they write is great. ;-)

Market Tidbits

The new issue of Mysterical E has hit the virtual streets today and, if you haven't already heard, the all fiction issue 3.5 of Crimefactory is out there for your reading pleasure. You'll find the urls to the left. Lots of familiar names and great stories in both issues.

Crimespree has opened for fiction submissions today until the end of the month. Click on the contact link for submission details.

I ran across a couple of new markets over at Duotrope that might be of interest.

First is Basement Stories. Their first issue is closed to submissions and will be published on July 15, but as of today they're open to submissions for their second issue. They're basically looking for sci-fi/fantasy stories, but will consider other genres, under 6000 words. The pay is a penny a word. They also take reprints and publish poetry, non-fiction, and comics. To get a feel for what they want in a story, check out their about page link which gives you a good look into the types of stories they want. They also have a blog that keeps you updated on their progress and gives you a feel for how serious these folks are about the new zine.

The second is a horror market called The Dark Fiction Spotlight They are accepting stories in all the sub-genres of horror with a word count of 2000 to 6000 words. The submission period is July 1 to September 1 for the October issue. This is a paying market but only for the top three stories based on voting by the readers. The pay is $50, $25 and $15. They are also open to poetry and flash up to 666 words. The top flash story receiving $10.