Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Contests Anyone?

Ron Earl Phillips is running a contest/challenge over on his blog. http://between.ronearl.com/2010/08/the-needle-in-the-box-contest The winner receives a copy of the Summer issue of Needle magazine. Ron is looking for crime/noir stories up to 2000 words about receiving an unsolicited unmarked box. The deadline is September 10, details at the link.

Over at the Writer's Digest online site I discovered that they run a monthly no-fee flash contest called Your Story. http://www.writersdigest.com/YourStory/ They give you a writing prompt and you have 750 words. The deadline for the current contest is also September 10. There is an online form for submissions and there's prizes.

And at AskWendy.com there's five new contests listed including a hint fiction contest. You can find the listings here http://askwendy.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Links

Short story writer, Nigel Bird, has started a series of interviews on his blog, Sea Minor, called Dancing with Myself. Each "interviewee" asks and answers 10 questions they wish they were asked. There are two interviews up already one with Jon Jordan, editor of Crimespree, and the editor of Crimefactory, Keith Rawson. Nigel also has a list of upcoming interviews so be sure to check back on a regular basis. http://nigelpbird.blogspot.com/

Keith Rawson has a new Short Thoughts on Short Fiction column up at Spinetinger. This time out he's talking about anthologies. http://www.spinetinglermag.com/2010/08/28/short-thoughts-on-short-fiction-my-summer-anthologies/

Southern Grit has closed to submissions until September 15 for their December issue. The stories for the first issue have been selected and the zine will launch sometime in September. http://www.southerngrit.org/home for a list of the authors who will appear in the first issue.

Over at Fried Chicken and Coffee, editor, Rusty Barnes, takes a look at the poetry of James Dickey. Yeah, that James Dickey, the guy who wrote Deliverance was a poet. Go see for yourself. http://www.friedchickenandcoffee.com/2010/08/25/remembering-deliverance/

And a short story for your Sunday reading pleasure. "Gunpoint" by Fred Blosser http://www.beattoapulp.com/stor/2010/0829_fb_Gunpoint.cfm You've gotta love mercenaries, no matter what era they lived in. And a story steeped in legend, well, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Novellas

I found an interesting novella call over at Wicked East Press. https://sites.google.com/a/wickedeastpress.com/wicked-east-press/novella-g They're looking for novella collections by more than one author, no single author collections, with a central theme. They're open to novella submissions from September 1 to December 31 and they're expecting to publish two or three a year. This is a paying gig, but the pay will be negotiated with the submitting authors.

They also have 7 anthology calls listed on the site, but they only pay 1 copy to the authors and two of the calls are 4 the luv flash anthologies. https://sites.google.com/a/wickedeastpress.com/wicked-east-press/home

Found Treasure

I love finding a new site and clicking on links - you just never know what you'll find. This morning I found three new flash markets. They're non-paying as most online flash sites are but by the looks they've been publishing for quite a while and on a daily basis. And the sites are beautifully done.

First up is "Weird Year" http://www.weirdyear.com and they've got a pretty wide selection of genres from UFO stories to dark cross genre and everything in between. They're looking for flash up to 1000 words with a sweet spot of 500 to 800. You can find all the details at http://www.weirdyear.com/2009/09/submission-guidelines.html

"Yesteryear Fiction" is a fantasy site. They'll take shorts up to 4000 words but their sweet spot is 1000 words. http://www.yesteryearfiction.com/2009/10/submission-guidelines.html

"Daily Love" is looking for, you guessed it, love stories. No X-rated or blood and gore, they want romance. They will take stories to 4000 words but here again the sweet spot is 1000. http://www.dailylove.net/2010/03/submission-guidelines.html

I also found a site dedicated to shorts that have "passed the test of time". You'll find work by the likes of Thomas Hardy, Ambrose Bierce and H.P. Lovecraft. The site is called "Revitalit" http://revitaliterature.blogspot.com

Another Pair of Markets

Found two more paying print magazines from Astra Publications, who is also the publisher for the two I mentioned yesterday. Both of these will be publishing once a year also.

First is Pulp Fic Press http://pulpficpress.astrapublications.com/index.html These folks are looking for shorts up to 4000 words and they're covering all the genres from the old pulps. Sci-fi, fantasy, crime, adventure, romance and horror or any combination. The pay is 6cents a word with a $240 max. There's also a Free Pulp Section that you can submit to. There's no pay, only exposure if your story is accepted for online publication.

The second is the nth Dimension http://nthdimension.astrapublications.com/guidelines.htm They're looking for sci-fi stories that think outside the box. 500 to 7000 words and the pay is 5.5cents a word.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Markets

With a huge thank you to Naomi Johnson we have an anthology call from Michael Knost. http://michaelknost.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-anthology-guidelines.html His newest anthology is "The Mothman Files" to be published by Woodland Press. He needs fictional mothman stories up to 3000 words. The pay is 5 cents a word plus a copy. And you have plenty of time to research and work on this one, the deadline is July 1, 2011

****Patti was wondering what the Mothman was so I'm putting a link to an article that pretty much explains the original. Where you take your story is up to you. If you google Mothman you'll find all sorts of articles. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/723207/the_true_story_behind_the_mothman_of.html?cat=16

Over at Duotrope I found two new print magazines looking to launch. Desert Rose Fiction is looking for stories that "move" them. 1000 to 5000 words and the pay is 5cents a word with a $250 cap. They will be publishing once yearly so it will be more an anthology than a magazine at this point. You can find the details at http://desertrose.astrapublications.com/submissions.htm

The second is Atomic Chipmunk. They're looking for speculative fiction of 750 to 6000 words. The pay here is 6cents a word. This is a print publication. You can find the details at http://atomicchipmunk.astrapublications.com/guidelines.htm

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Critiques

One of the hardest things for new writers is the process of critiques. Sure, we want the advice on how to make a story better, but, well, there's that ego thing all writers have. Once those words have hit the page, we tend to believe that they're perfect. But the truth is, they're not. That's where critiques come in. And learning how to use a critique, or even how to critique another writer's work can be both agonizing and humbling. So it's a lucky thing that I ran across some links about the critting process this morning!

Chuck Wendig has an excellent rundown of both sides of the process of critting over on his blog, "Terrible Minds". http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2010/08/23/how-to-take-criticism

Nancy Fulda tells us how to use those crits here http://nancyfulda.livejournal.com/264189.html

And Angela Slatter gives us some advice from the editor's side of the desk http://angelaslatter.com/2010/08/24/the-frustration-of-the-long-distance-editor/

One thing that I've learned about the critting process is that you don't learn anything if everyone tells you your story is great.

Market Notes

I've got some market news for you today, but first I thought I'd have a mini-rant. This morning I found two flash anthology calls, e-book format, no pay. While it's great to have new markets, I don't understand with e-books why they're not paying at least royalties. Some of the POD presses are doing the same thing - no pay for flash pieces, not even a copy, which means they're planning on the authors buying copies to make a profit. These people are setting themselves up as "Publishing Companies", that means they're a business looking to make a profit. Money flows to the writer, folks! Okay, I'm done now.

Dagan Books http://daganbooks.com/ has two anthology calls up. The first has been up for a while but they're not making any decisions until after the closing date which is September 15, so you still have time for this one. "Cthulhurotica"is looking for Lovecraft inspired erotica, or as they put it, "where sex and madness meet". 1500 to 3000 words and the pay is a penny a word. There is an online submission form that you will find by clicking on Submissions:Fiction at the top of this page http://www.cthulhurotica.com/Submission_Guidelines.html

The second call is "In Situ" and they're looking for sci-fi archeology stories, at least that's how I'm reading it. This one doesn't open for submissions until October 1 to November 15. The pay isn't listed but I expect it will be the same as the other call. You can find out the details at http://daganbooks.com/current-projects

Panverse Publishing is looking for novellas of 17,500 to 40,000 words of sci-fi, fantasy, or alternate history stories for "Panverse 3" which will be published in September of 2011. The pay is $75 plus two copies. The call is open until filled. You can find all the details at http://www.panversepublishing.com/subs.htm

On the zine scene, Powder Burn Flash is back to posting stories, the first is one by Anonymous-9. The editor has also posted about some changes he'd like to make in regards to the zine which include trying to make the site MWA approved. http://www.powderburnflash.com/

Over at A Twist of Noir, editor, Christopher Grant, is also making some changes in the submissions guidelines by lowering the word count and seeking more flash pieces. You can read all the details here http://a-twist-of-noir.blogspot.com/2010/08/interlude-big-announcement.html

And a new market for flash. "Misfit Magazine" has just published its fourth issue so you can check out the stories to see what they mean by stories that don't fit anywhere else. They're looking for flash of 500 to 1000 words and the pay is $10. You can check out the zine here http://www.misfit-magazine.com/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ramblings

Sometimes when I open this page to write a blog post there are so many scattered ideas flitting around in my mind, that I'm not sure what to write about. At the moment I have two stories in progress, one is only partly written, the other is being revised from some crits and almost complete. The stories are total opposites, one a sort of coming of age story, the other a sci-fi story that I'm not quite sure what the central theme will ultimately be as the characters are still evolving.

The sci-fi story is a project I'm working on for an editor and my brain has been concocting scenes and either tucking them away for future use or tossing them in the waste can. I have pages of jotted notes, I've been learning about world building and reading sci-fi stories and essays. Immersing myself in the genre, so to speak. But what does a sci-fi story all boil down to? Is it about the science, the characters, or the scenery?

I recently read "Time Storm" by Gordon R. Dickson which is about, yes, a storm that changes time across the face of the earth. Each area the main character passes through has been affected in some way by the storm. He drives into the past and the future but ultimately he's searching for the center of the storm so he can stop it. Earth will never be the same, but if he can stop the storm, people can get on with their lives. Now, I'll admit that the hard science of the storm went way over my head, and I skimmed through most of that but what really kept me reading was the man's journey, not just to find the storm center, but in the end to find himself. And I guess that's what I look for in sci-fi, the "human" journey of discovery. It doesn't have to be dressed up in rocket ships and planets, it just needs to be a journey where the characters ultimately learn something, either about themselves or their world. The basis of all good stories, no matter the genre.

And yes, I'm rambly today and probably not making too much sense, so here's a pair of links to some essays I read this morning that explore the basics of sci-fi more intelligently. And while they are about sci-fi, the wisdom can be used for any genre. And the first one, by Gary Westfahl, is just as much about living with a writer as about writing.

http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2010/08/notes-from-a-mixed-marriage-or-the-lady-and-the-monster

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/08/why-science-fiction

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh, The Horror

Dropped by the darkmarkets.com site and found a pair of print horror magazines that are looking to launch this fall plus one of the publishers has a list of anthology calls. Non-paying, of course, sigh.

Dark Moon Digest is looking for horror shorts of 1500 to 5000 words. Reprints will be accepted, but be sure to check out the submission details for those. They are giving a copy of the magazine for the accepted stories. To the left on the home page there's a contest link where you'll find several contests in progress. One is free, with publication as the prize, the others charge a fee with cash prizes. You can find all the details at http://darkmoondigest.com/Welcome.htm

Last Rites Publishing is launching Last Rights Magazine in October. They're looking for flash of 200 to 500 words, shorts to 5000 and if you write reviews or have an idea for a column, drop them a line. On the front page I found four anthology calls listed with three more coming soon. The ones listed are:

An Experiment in Homicide
Disciples of Poe
Terror, Horror, Gore
Section 8: Tales from the Psychiatric Ward

You can find all the details at http://www.lastritespublishing.com/home.html

Slow Market Day

The pickings are pretty slim in the new markets department but I've run across a few that might be of interest.

First up is a non-paying Romance market. Moon Washed Kisses is looking for PG love stories up to 1500 words. Their first issue is up now and they're taking submissions for the second due out in January 2011. You can find all the details at http://moonwashedkisses.wordpress.com/

If you're looking to stretch your flash writing muscle, you might give Up the Staircase's new challenge a try. They're looking for flash pieces of 250 words based on one of the two pictures they have on the site. "The Temptation of St. Anthony" by Salvadore Dali and "Room at Arles" by van Gogh. The best pieces will be published in Issue #11. The deadline for submission is October 1. You can find all the details at http://www.upthestaircase.org/challenge.htm

Whortleberry Press http://whortleberrypress.com/ has two anthologies open for submissions. Both are looking for shorts to 4000 words with a PG rating. The pay is $10. One is a Valentine anthology with a December 1 deadline, the other is Strange Mysteries #3 with a February 1 deadline. You can find all the details at http://whortleberrypress.com/writersguidelines.html

And just for fun - the ladies of sci-fi have posted some cover art for "Boobieships & Titrockets". Seems they don't like being told they can't write sci-fi. http://januaryhat.livejournal.com/17108.html

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Flash Anthology

I liked the idea of an online anthology so I've collected together links to five flash stories that I've read and enjoyed lately. I've even given my anthology a name. You'll find the table of contents below.

Love of a Different Color

1. Moving On by Ben White
http://www.fictionaut.com/stories/ben-white/moving-on

2. What's a Father to Do? by Jim Harrington
http://theflashfictionoffensive.blogspot.com/2010/08/whats-father-to-do-by-jim-harrington.html

3. True Love by Fred Zackel
http://www.971menu.com/2008/01/zackel_fred_true_love.html

4. My Wife's Left Hand by Jenny Chu
http://themolotovcocktail.com/past-issues/vol-1-issue-11/lefthand

5. Crack Whore by David Hardin
http://www.thievesjargon.com/workview.php?work=1458

Not everyone will enjoy my choices, but then everyone has different tastes in stories. And that's the thing about anthologies isn't, it? You get to sample a little bit of everything. But the true joy comes in finding an author whose work you enjoy enough to seek out more of. If you'd like to put together an anthology on your blog, let me know, and I'll link to it. Maybe this is something we could turn into a weekly or monthly celebration of shorts. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What a Great Idea!

Over on his blog, Jason Sanford has posted links to his dream anthology of Sci-fi Strange. What a great idea! Wouldn't it be cool if everyone put together a dream anthology of their favorite online stories? http://www.jasonsanford.com/jason/2010/08/scifi-strange.html What a great way to spread the word about the wonderful short stories that are published online!! Virtual Anthologies, anyone?

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Fiction at Spinetingler

I'm a fan of Stephen D. Rogers' short stories. He always manages to surprise me and his new story over at Spinetingler is no exception. Head on over and read his newest, "PI, P.I." http://www.spinetinglermag.com/2010/08/20/fiction-pi-p-i-by-stephen-d-rogers/

A Pair of Anthologies

Snooping through Twitter posts I came across "The Zombie Feed" zine and lo and behold they've got a call for an anthology. There's no closing date, they'll accept submissions until filled. They're looking for shorts up to 7500 words and the book will be published by the Apex Book Company. The pay is a penny a word with a $75 cap. I found the pay details in their sample contract. You can find all the details here http://thezombiefeed.biz/submissions/

While Apex is a book publisher, they also publish Apex magazine which is a sci-fi print zine that takes short stories up to 7500 words and pays 5 cents a word and $10 for reprints. You can find their guidelines at http://www.apexbookcompany.com/submissions

Over at SMFS a call for submissions to Dark Things II: Cat Crimes was posted. This is a non-paying charity anthology with all profits going to the ASPCA. They're looking for short stories of 1500 to 7500 words with a cat being the culprit of the story. The submission period is September 1 to January 6. You can find all the details at http://blackcarpublishing.yolasite.com/dark-things-anthology.php

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If You're Wondering

why people write noir you really need to read this excellent essay by Tom Piccirilli.

http://www.mulhollandbooks.com/2010/08/19/dead-mower-dreams-and-the-weeds-of-boo-radley/

Story Links and an Interview

For those of you looking to find out more about Beat to a Pulp's editor/publisher, David Cranmer, and what the future holds for BTAP, head on over to Richard Prosch's blog, Meridian Bridge. The first two parts of an interview with David are up with more to come. http://meridianbridge.com/

Christopher Grant, editor of A Twist of Noir, is pretty pleased with himself, and well he should be. He's published a pair of stories from "Hard Boiled" editor and writer, Gary Lovisi. Check them out here http://a-twist-of-noir.blogspot.com/

I found a new flash site today called MicroLiterature. This is a non-paying market looking for stories up to 1000 words. http://www.microliterature.org/ While I was checking out the site I read a short story by John P. McCann called "Death Honk". It's one of those stories that when you've finished you're left wondering if you've just been conned or just read a brilliant piece of flash. While the story is over the top in some aspects - it really reflects life in general. Go have a read. http://www.microliterature.org/death-honk-by-john-p-mccann then drop back and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Question

When I first started this blog I wasn't sure where it would go or what it would even be about, but in those first few months I started posting links to online zines and markets for the mystery/crime genre. Over the last year or so, I've been kind of slipping away from that direction and posting markets to cover nearly all of the genres that publish short stories. Of course with most of the horror markets, crime can play a big factor or a smaller one in other genres. How your story unfolds is up to you and your characters, after all.

I've been finding that the more shorts I write, the more I'm experimenting in other genres, taking the stories to places that the mystery/crime genre tends to frown on. And I find this very exciting as I prefer that my stories not be bound by genre fences. Of course, that makes placing them a bit difficult - thus the pursuit of so many markets.

I guess, what I'm wondering is if you mind the postings of various genres? Does it get confusing having them all mixed together? Or maybe you'd prefer that just I stuck to what's suitable for the crime/mystery genre?

Market News

I have a link over there on the left to Poets & Writers online website. They run their classified ads from the print journal on the site which contains links to anthologies, magazines, contests, and a variety of other things of interest to writers. http://www.pw.org/classifieds

While scrolling through the classifieds I found "Fried Fiction". I'd forgotten about this market but I've added a link over to the left. This is a market for serial fiction in all the genres. There's quite a few stories up for your reading pleasure. The pay here is $25 for the first entry in your series only. This entry should be 1000 words or less, how long the serial continues is up to you. You can find more details and how to submit at http://www.friedfiction.com/

Over at Duotrope this morning I found a link to a new print zine called "Sword & Saga Magazine" This is a non-paying market for stories of 2000 to 6000 words, though they did mention credit, which I assume is toward the purchase of items from their press. But that's not all!

Sword & Saga Press also has an anthology call for a Sci-fi and Fantasy Cookbook which will include both recipes and short stories. The pay is $3 per recipe and $15 for shorts of 2000 to 7000 words. And there's an "End of the World" writing contest. The deadline is September 30 and there's cash prizes, but there is a $5 entry fee. You can find all the details at http://www.swordandsagapress.com/for-writers.html

Also Dark Recesses zine is open for submissions. http://www.darkrecesses.com/submissions They're looking for horror and dark fiction stories of 500 to 5000 words. And they're a paying market. $10 for flash, 1100 to 2500 words get $20 and over 2500 receive $30.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anthology Calls

I found a few anthology calls this morning, some I've mentioned before and the deadlines are approaching and a couple are new ones.

This first one is a short notice with a September 1 deadline from Festival of Frights publishing. The anthology is entitled "Zombie Uprising". The pay is 1 copy for 6000 to 25,000 words. You can find the details at http://fofpub.festivalsoffright.com/?p=70

Cutting Block Press has two anthology calls that I've mentioned before. They pay 1.5cents a word. One anthology has an October 31 deadline the other when filled. http://cuttingblock.net/submissions.html

"Bewere the Night" is still open for subs about were creatures. Reprints are paid 1cent a word and originals stories 5cents a word with a December deadline. The original call is here http://fishmonkey.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-anthology.html and the update is here http://fishmonkey.blogspot.com/2010/08/bewere-night-update.html

Wolf Singer Publications has an open call for "A Taste of Armageddon". They're looking for spec-fiction that explores the advancement of "clean" warfare techniques. 3000 to 5000 words with a November 30 deadline. The pay is $5 plus a share of 50% of the royalties. You can find all the details at http://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/OpenCalls.html

While I was searching for anthologies I stumbled across a new site for markets called Ask Wendy - The Query Queen. She has some good leads for short story writers. I'll be putting her link in the market resource column later. You can check the site out here http://askwendy.wordpress.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

Burma Shave

I love reading other people's blogs because you never know what you'll learn or what will get jogged in your memory. I dropped by Kevin Tipple's blog and he was talking about commercials for vans with TVs in them to occupy the kids on those long drives. He spoke of reading or looking out the window for amusement. My mind went directly to Burma Shave.

We had a four hour ride several times a year from Jersey to my grandparents home in PA (Thank god my father had the good sense to move back to PA! That ride was a killer, especially crammed in the back seat of the Henry J with my siblings.) One of our boredom relievers was the Burma Shave signs that decorated the roadsides. Wonderful, complete stories in the space of five signs. Here's a sample:

"If daisies
Are your
Favorite flower
Keep pushin' up those
Miles-per hour"

http://burma-shave.org/jingles

The Short of It

"When you get an idea, how do you know if it's a short story idea or a novel idea?"

I loved the answers to this question over at the Odyssey Workshop blog http://odysseyworkshop.livejournal.com/37874.html

Of course, I never have a problem with that! Every idea is a short story. :) How would you answer that question?

Over at Criminal Brief this morning, James Lincoln Warren writes about short story structure. There's also a link there to a podcast if you'd care to have a listen. http://criminalbrief.com/?p=13576

Jason Sandford answered a high school student's questions about Literary vs Genre over on his blog. http://www.jasonsanford.com/jason/2010/08/a-few-words-for-high-school-students-on-genre-and-literary-fiction.html Be sure to click on the links in the comments for more about this topic, especially the link to Hal Duncan's blog post where he answers the same questions. I especially enjoyed the comment by C. Nicholas Carlson who suggests that the pulp magazines were the basic reason for the division. Oh, I can't resist, here's the link http://notesfromthegeekshow.blogspot.com/2010/08/literarygenre-questions.html

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Trio of Markets

Just a few markets that came my way today:

From Paul Brazill we have an anthology called "Haunted". Editor Greg Miller is looking for shorts with a maximum word count of 5000 but would prefer 1500 to 3500 words. This will be published by Static Movement Press, but I couldn't find any payment mentioned. Reprints are also acceptable for this call. http://staticmovement.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=schedule&action=display&thread=103 This press has a large number of anthology calls listed. Just click on Home at the top of this page and you'll find all the links on the message board. There also doesn't seem to be a deadline for any of the anthologies that I saw, stories are accepted or rejected as they come in and once they're filled, they're done.

And Michael Bracken sent the links to a pair of romance markets. The first is a non-paying market called Romance Stories Magazine due to launch in September. They're looking for shorts and novellas up to 20,000 words http://romancestoriesmagazine.com/#/submission-g

The second is Shades of Romance. You'll need to scroll down the page to find the information about short stories. The pay is $25 for shorts of 50 to 1500 words and they accept stories in all the genres, so long as there's romance. But no erotica! You also need to query first for this market. You can find the details at http://www.sormag.com/guidelines.htm

Many thanks to both Paul and Michael for the market links!!!

Sunday Musings

Is it just me or does every writer thinks in terms of writing? Yesterday my husband and I went to a house warming party for a friend of ours who lost his home to fire back in February. Walking into the new house, you could the echos of emptiness. The house had no soul, no pictures on the walls, no dust bunnies under the bed. It was just a bland, unlived-in house, not yet a home. Rather like a blank screen waiting for the words of a new story.

But stories themselves can be bland like the house. The house smelled new, you could catch a faint wisp of paint, the scent of new curtains and furniture, but there was no smell of life in the house. You know, the scent of the guy's aftershave or a woman's perfume, the smell of chicken frying in the kitchen, or a whiff of air freshener, everyday smells that linger in the plasterboard walls of a house.

Our stories need to be filled with scents and sounds, descriptions of people, how they look and act. We need to let our readers run their fingers over the coarse fabric of the couch or the stranger's five o'clock shadow. They need to hear the crackle of wood burning in the fireplace or the blast of a shotgun filling the night air, silencing the crickets. If we use all the senses, the readers will be able to step into the story with our characters because it will be familiar, rather like a lived-in house.

No matter your genre, you have to build a story home that readers will enjoy visiting. Whether your story is as familiar as an old pair of sneakers or as strange as elves living in a mushroom house, be sure to throw out the welcome mat. Make it feel lived-in.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Back Alley

The Back Alley http://www.backalleywebzine.com/ has closed to submissions until further notice. Editor, Richard Helms, says that due to their new standing as an approved market by the Mystery Writers of America they are overwhelmed with subs and need to work their way through the slush pile. Ah...the lure of an Edgar nomination! And yes, that was probably uncalled for, but I find it amusing that writers who look down their noses at online zines are suddenly jumping on the bandwagon because they're approved by the MWA. Let's face it, the pay is the same as when this zine launched two years ago. Where were all of these writers then?

Yes, it's a pet peeve of mine that writers don't support the zines until there's something in it for them. Or am I looking at this all wrong?

And yes, I'm pleased that they've been approved because I've long held that some of the best writing can be found in the online zines, something writing organizations tend to ignore because the payment isn't there. Getting cash for words doesn't always produce the best story.

YA and XXX

Just a head's up that Newpages.com has listed the August calls for submissions. http://www.newpages.com/literary/submissions.htm

Among the list of calls is one for Canadian writers of YA fiction. This is for novel writers, not shorts, but I know there are a few of you who write YA fiction and its hard to find markets. Anyhoo the publishing company is Formac-Lorimer and here's what they're looking for http://www.formac.ca/formac-lorimer/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=153 Remember you must be a Canadian writer to submit here.

Also listed was Freaky Fountain Press who is looking for literary erotica with a dark edge. They don't mind cannibalism or sex with dead people, basically it seems to be horror erotica. They have a call out for two anthologies Http://www.freakyfountain.com/?page_id=26 They are an e-publisher and the pay is 25% of the net royalties. 2000 to 8000 words with a December 1 deadline. The titles are: "This is the Way the World Ends" and "Bad Romance". They also accept shorts for their monthly showcase of 1000 to 5000 words. The pay for these is a copy of an anthology of your choice and possible inclusion in an anthology at a later time. You'll find more details at the link. This seems to be a fairly new press, so take a few minutes to check out the site. Something you should do no matter where you submit!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And a Few Markets

Arkham Tales is looking for short stories up to 6000 words in the pulp, weird horror, supernatural and fantastic genres. The pay is a penny a word. http://arkhamtales.leucrotapress.com/?page_id=13 for more details. And D.L. Snell has an interview with Arkham Tales' editor, Nathan Shumate, here http://marketscoops.blogspot.com

A new anthology press has hit the ground running with calls for two new anthologies. The first is "Alien Horror" and the second is "Hard Boiled Horror" both are looking for short stories of 3000 to 5000 words. The pay is $25 plus a copy. You can find the details at http://grandmalpress.com/submissions.php

For you pulp writers out there we have Planetary Stories. These folks are looking for space adventure fiction in the pulp style, they also publish Pulp Spirit which is looking for detective and western stories along with other pulp genres. This is a non-paying market. You can find the guidelines here http://www.planetarystories.com/write12.htm You'll also find links to their issues on the home page, enough to satisfy your pulp cravings for a good long time. http://www.planetarystories.com

Needle Magazine - Summer Issue

The second of issue of Needle Magazine is out. The newest print issue contains an even dozen short stories from writers like Frank Bill, Sarah Weinman, Chris F. Holm, Ray Banks, and friend of the Corner, David Cranmer. It's available from lulu.com and you can order it here http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/needle-mag-summer-issue-2010/12192654

If you'd like a sample of the contents, you'll find a sneak peak of Chris Holm's short story over at the Needle Mag site http://needlemag.wordpress.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy Day Links

Whew! I'm finally catching my breath! It's been a busy couple of days around here. I've finished the first draft of a 3000 word story that I've been afraid to start. An editor gave me an outline of what he wanted but the story in my head decided not to follow the outline exactly. Since I couldn't get past the story in my head, I decided to write that one, luckily the editor liked the first draft and wasn't pissed that my story took a left turn in Albuquerque. And since the beans are ready in the garden, I've started picking and freezing them along with a few other veggies that are ready for the freezer. Busy days, but I've got links!

Deborah J. Ross has an interesting essay on writing over at the Book View Cafe. http://blog.bookviewcafe.com/2010/08/10/the-craft-of-writing-structure-shape-and-interest This quote caught my attention:

"In general, the more intense the drama, the slower the pace should be. This means drawing the moment out and digging deep."

Michael Bracken passed along a link about writing maladies. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/08/do-you-suffer-from-one-of-these-writing.html And yes, I suffered from more than one of these over the years!

I was eavesdropping (or is that eyedropping?) on Brian Lindenmuth's Twitter account and found links to a pair of blog posts about writing religion into science fiction. Some interesting points both in the posts and the comments. http://www.professorbeej.com/2010/08/religion-in-science-fiction.html is the first, the second is in response to the first link http://bit.ly/a5HvQf

Laura Shapiro takes a look at Shirley Jackson's work at Slate.com http://www.slate.com/id/2253850

And a market for those of you who write Historical or Alternate History shorts called, not surprisingly, Alt Hist. They're looking for short stories up to 10,000 words, along with reviews articles, and artwork. Submissions are through Submishmash. This will be both a print and e-pub magazine with royalty payments. http://althistfiction.com

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Loved This One...

so I thought I'd share. I mentioned the other day about Richard Wheeler editing his books for Kindle and how authors would love the chance to back and change what they'd written. But here's another look at that same coin and something I hadn't thought of. http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2010/08/08/on-reprint-collections-or-never-accept-a-raisin-danish-from-an-evil-monkey

Monday Linkage

For fans of Craig McDonald there's an interesting interview up at Mysterious Writers where he talks about his series characters. http://mysteriouspeople.blogspot.com/2010/08/visit-with-craig-mcdonald.html

Michael Bracken will be live on the web Wednesday, August 11, presenting "This Little Piggy Went to Market: How I've Sold More Than 800 Short Stories". He will be featured on Face Book by Janice Curran http://www.facebook.com/janice.curran You can find the time and other details at Michael's blog http://crimefictionwriter.blogspot.com/2010/08/this-little-piggy-went-to-market.html

I was at The Big Adios this morning and stumbled across a zine called "Slow Trains" http://www.slowtrains.com/index.shtml This is a non-paying market, but there's good stories and baseball. You can check out the guidelines at http://www.slowtrains.com/slowtrainssub.html I checked this market out because Mike Dennis said he had a story called "Whiskey Meets Rock and Roll" in the current issue, how could I resist. When we were talking about a story starting slow the other day, this one fits the bill. I love how Mike puts you right in the bar with all the tastes and smells and the story just unfolds. You can read it for yourself here http://www.slowtrains.com/vol9issue4/dennisvol9issue4.html

Zine-Scene

Over the weekend I found a new website that intrigued me. It's called Zine-Scene http://zine-scene.com/ I love their mission statement which reads: "The mission of Zine-Scene is to question the system that values print publication over electronic publication in the literary world today. Good literature is good literature, no matter the format!"

Along with author and online zine profiles, Zine-Scene will be launching their own zine called "The Reprint". They're looking for short stories up to 8000 words published in print magazines, but they must have been published at least twelve months ago. They have an online form for submissions. This is a non-paying market but if you've got a story gathering dust that needs new readers this could be your chance to get it out there. The web-site will go live with content on October 4 and the zine will launch on November 1st.

I emailed editor, Richard Mocarski, asking if this was strictly literary reprints or if genre were welcome at "The Reprint" also. Here's his response:

"Sandra,

Thanks for your interest!

I don't really like the term genre fiction. Good work is good work and I won't deny something just because it comes from a certain school. I stopped by your site and looked at your links and I can tell your on the same wave length as me (Pank, The Collagist, Fiction Daily, Storyglossia, etc) with leanings more toward the genre end. I will say that if I do publish something that is "genre" fiction, it will have to transcend the genre to be just good fiction. But, I believe all authors aspire to this.

So, in a nutshell, come one come all. I will say that at the end of the day, my tastes are going to show my familiarity with literary fiction, but I will not hesitate to make exceptions when they are needed (as an example, did you see Matt Bell's story in the last Conjunctions?).

Richard"

I tracked down the link to Matt Bell's story http://www.conjunctions.com/archives/c53-mb.htm This will give you an idea of the type of writing Mr. Mocarski is looking for.

As this site evolves, I expect it will become an excellent resource for finding markets and being able to see exactly what the editors of the featured zines are looking for. Good luck with your site, Mr. Mocarski!! It's great to have another short story source on the web.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Starting Slow

A few posts back I mentioned Charles Grant's essay on building tension in a story and now I've found another essay that talks about building your story slowly. Coming from a background of flash writing I'm finding that I'm enjoying laying out a little bit of background before jumping into the action when writing. For me, it adds a layer of beauty to the bones of a story. Here's the link to Alma Alexander's essay, "In Defense of Slow". http://storytellersunplugged.com/almaalexander/2010/07/30/in-defense-of-slow/

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Floor is Open

I haven't done this in a while, but something I read on a blog this afternoon triggered these questions.

For writers: How important are awards to you as a writer? Do you submit only to markets where your story will be eligible for some type of award, like the Derringers, Edgars, etc.?

For readers: As a reader, do you look for award winning stories and books to read? And are they your first choice when choosing between two stories/books?

I understand that as writers trying to climb the publishing ladder these awards can give you a boost, but can anyone point to an award they've won that's actually opened doors for them? And the doors can be speaking engagements, panels at cons, extra money in your paycheck.

I've reached the age where, yeah, awards would be proof to myself that I've gotten where I want to be, but I doubt that they'd boost my writing into a bigger arena. For those younger writers, I expect there might be a bigger boost from the attention because agents and publishing companies could see years of work to come their way. Just some thoughts that have been rolling around in my brain. How about you, any thoughts?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Few Anthology Markets

I haven't been finding very many anthology markets that are paying pro rates but quite a few that are low paying. Some pay in copies, some give no copies so you'll have to purchase a copy in which your work appears and some are even paying a token fee.

Michael Bracken reminded me that Pill Hill Press has listed a few more anthologies, he told me about Bloody Carnival http://www.pillhillpress.com/bloodycarnival.html which pays 1/4cent a word but no copies. This is also the fee for several other new anthologies, just click on open submissions to find a listing of their open calls.

The Library of the Living Dead has a forum board that includes listings from four of their presses. http://libraryofthelivingdead.lefora.com/ Each press has several calls for submissions listed, most are for zombie stories. Low paying.

Peculiar Pages Press has a call out for an anthology entitled "Monsters and Mormons". This is being done in association with the web site A Motley Vision. The link is for the press itself with a link there back to the website. http://b10mediaworx.com/peculiarpages/monsters-mormons-call-for-submissions You can find all the details at that link. They're looking for shorts to 17,500. poetry, plays, and graphic novels. The pay is one print copy and one e-book copy. If they sell enough to make a profit there will be royalties paid.

Innsmouth Free Press has listed a call for an anthology of Historical Lovecraft. Submissions open on September 1 for stories of 1000 to 10,000words. Pay is 1cent a word plus a print and ebook copy of the anthology. They're also taking reprints but check out the guidelines for what they want in reprints. http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/?p=7050 ***I forgot to mention that there is a $50CAD cap on the payment.

Anthologies Online has posted their August calls, there's three pages worth. http://www.anthologiesonline.com/ These are for fiction and non-fiction with a few contests and magazine calls included.

The Erotica Readers site has a few new calls listed along with their regular listings http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/G/Call_For_Submissions.htm

If you're a contest junky you'll find new listings over at Newpages.com, some have fees others are free. This is primarily a literary site listing. http://www.newpages.com/literary/contests.htm

The Twitfic forum has a couple of new markets listed http://twitfic.com/ They list both paying and non-paying markets. The newest, One Forty Fiction, is non-paying but isn't looking for just spec-fiction as most of the others. http://www.onefortyfiction.com/ They also have an online form for submissions.

For those of you who write dark fiction there's a new print magazine about to debut called Bete Noire. They're open to all the genres but they have reading periods, the next one will be open from September 1 to the 30th. Stories from 50 to 4000 words, payment is $10 or one copy. You can find the details here http://www.betenoiremagazine.com/submissionguidelines.htm

That should keep everyone busy for a few minutes! Happy hunting!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Short Links

Finding links that are helpful to short story writers isn't always easy. Most of what applies to novel writing can be applied to shorts, as long as you can compress it down to the requisite 3000 to 5000 words or less. This morning I found several links that are specific to short story writers and their concerns.

Chuck Wendig has started a great conversation about writing short fiction over on his blog, Terrible Minds. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2010/08/03/writing-short-fiction-an-uncertain-guide/

Over at Storytellers Unplugged, Carol Lanham has a post that explores rejection and when to rewrite a short story. http://storytellersunplugged.com/blog/2010/08/02/lets-go-fly-a-kite/

At the Book View Cafe there's an essay, with example, on how to write openings. While this example is for a novel, it's perfect advice for opening a short story. http://blog.bookviewcafe.com/2010/08/02/writing-nowadays-opening-patterns/

And over at Book Life Now they've started a new series focusing on zombies. They'll be interviewing eleven short story writers about writing zombie fiction. http://booklifenow.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And Finally, Links

Yes, this is my third post of the day and no, I'm not procrastinating, just getting side-tracked.

Back a while ago I mentioned the problem some writers were having with Night Shade Press, a small publisher that was growing faster than they could keep up. This essay by publisher, Alisa Krasnostein, from Twelfth Planet Press gives a great overview of what these small publishers need to do in order to operate their press as a business. And let's face it, a press is a business and should be treated as one from the very beginning when they open their doors. http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2010/08/02/10-important-things-ive-learned-about-indie-publishing/

Richard Wheeler has been formatting his published work to get it ready for publication as e-books. I've been enjoying his posts as he goes about rewriting these works. He readily admits that he's an over-writer and he shares how he's been cutting and changing his books for the new market. It makes for some very educational reading on how to edit your own work. http://www.richardswheeler.blogspot.com And I have to admit that I envy his chance to rewrite his work - its an author's dream to always make the story better.

And we have a new short story blog making an appearance on the web. Chris Rhatigan will be blogging about short stories over at Death by Killing http://death-by-killing.blogspot.com He says he'll be doing reviews, discussing short story writing, and linking to shorts on the web. Stop on by and say "hey!".

ThugLit

The final issue of ThugLit has hit the virtual streets, my friends. You'll find 8 brand spanking new stories by Joe Clifford, Mike Wilkerson, Garnett Elliot and others. Big Daddy Thug, Todd Robinson, says they're closing up shop, probably permanently, but the archive will remain for your reading pleasure. We here at the Corner salute all your hard work, Mr. Robinson, and thank you for the years of great reading and hard work that went into every issue of ThugLit. You will be missed! http://www.thuglit.com

Your Best Guess?

I always find the reading of guidelines interesting. Most times you can figure out more about the publisher/editor than about the magazine itself. But these guidelines, posted below, for a new publication have me stymied. (Except that the editor might be a bit anal.) What kind of stories are they looking for? I always believed that short stories have to have some kind of conflict to make a reader want to continue, but they seem to want no conflict whatsoever in their stories. The world doesn't wear rose-colored glasses and neither should our stories. So, does anyone have any idea of what exactly these people are looking for in a story? The guidelines seem to have eliminated every genre.


No profanity! No exceptions! If even one word of profanity is found, your story will not be considered for publication.

No sex, nudity, or other lascivious subject matter. No exceptions!

No violence! No exceptions!

No witchcraft, sorcery, magic, occult, supernatural or horror content. No exceptions!

No holiday or occasion stories whatsoever (ex. Christmas, Halloween, birthday, etc.). No exceptions!

Stories submitted must not promote hate, discrimination, illegal activity and the like. No exceptions!

No spelling, grammar or punctuation errors whatsoever. No exceptions! If even one is found, your story will not be published.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday Musings on a Monday Morning

This past Saturday was one of the monthly book sale days that I attend during the summer. I was quite surprised though, when the gentleman who runs the book sales for the historical society asked me if I ever get bored. The surprise must have shown on my face because he backtracked just a bit by saying that he noticed I've shown up for every sale and, after all, many of the books are the same.

I tried to explain how much I enjoy looking through the tables and shelves filled with books, told him about some of the treasures I'd found like "Sierra" by Richard Wheeler, whose blog I enjoy, but had never read one of his books. He remained unconvinced that a person wouldn't be bored to death looking at the same books month after month. And this man collects the book donations and spends weeks getting everything set up, adding new books for every sale. How can he not be thrilled by the books that show up on his tables?

For me, the book sales are a place to find writers I've heard about on the Internet, books that my library and WalMart doesn't carry, and authors who are no longer published. There are books to be found that were printed before I was born. I can see my life reflected in titles that I read as a child and a young adult. Walking through the aisles of books is pure bliss for me. How could I possibly be bored?

So how about you? Do you get bored walking through used book stores or even new ones? Do you go out of your way at a yard sale or flea market to look through boxes of books? Does your heart leap when you find a book that you didn't know you were looking for? Ah, just admit it, you love the search as much as I do. So, tell us about your latest find and where you found it.

My best find this weekend? "The Western Hall of Fame: An Anthology of Classic Western Stories Selected by the Western Writers of America". I didn't even look at the table of contents. I saw edited by Bill Pronzini and Martin H. Greenberg and knew I couldn't go wrong!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wheeee! They're Open for Submissions!

This being the first of August there are a slew of markets opening for submissions - Yeah!

Shock Totem http://www.shocktotem.com/guidelines.html They're looking for fiction to 5000 words, non-fiction, flash to 1000 words, and micro fiction of 200 words or less. Payment is 5cents a word for original work. Please note that they're using the new online submission manager Submishmash http://shocktotem.submishmash.com/Submit

The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers' GhostLight Magazine is open for subs of 500 to 5000 words from August 1 to the 31. They want horror, dark sci-fi or dark fantasy. Pay is $5 http://www.greatlakeshorror.com/ghostlightmagazine.html

**** This just in - Head Editor of Ghost Light, MontiLee Stormer, just stopped by! How cool is that?! She's let us know that the submissions are for their Halloween issue so she's looking forward to seeing lots of creepiness in your subs. Always great to know what the editor is looking for!

Jersey Devil Press has opened for both their online zine and their yearly anthology. Details at http://www.jerseydevilpress.com/

Flash magazine The Vestal Review is open from August to November. http://www.vestalreview.net/ Their top word count is 500 words with professional pay rates that vary with the length of the stories from 3 cents to 10 cents a word. Please note that they're also using submishmash as a submission manager.

The question about StoryGlossia has been answered. They're open and accepting stories from August 1 through the 31. Under 2500 words go into the September issue and longer stories will be published in the October issue. They, too, have a new online form for submissions. And the editor has hinted that he's in the mood for crime/noir stories. http://www.storyglossia.com/guidelines.html This is a non-paying market.

And Pear Noir! is open from August 1 to October 31 for work up to 3000 words. This is a print magazine and payment is one copy. You can find the details at http://www.pearnoir.com/submissions.htm

For a list of other zines that have opened this month check out Duotrope's list http://www.duotrope.com/recentupdates.aspx There's all types of markets open from sci-fi to erotica - wherever your stories take you, there's probably a market out there somewhere.