Friday, April 29, 2011
And I found a flash market looking for horror/dark fiction under 1000 words called "Bosley Gravel's Cavalcade of Terror". http://dreadfullittlepress.com/cavalcade This is a 4theluv market but they do pay $5 for the featured stories. And you will find the email for submissions at the word about rights link. They want to make sure you understand your rights before submitting.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Big Daddy Thug, Todd Robinson, has started blogging. You can find him here http://thesoundandthefurious.blogspot.com
From Michael Bracken comes a link to one of the most enlightening interviews I've read in along time. Laura Miller interviews editor, Robert Gottlieb. http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/story/index.html?story=/books/laura_miller/2011/04/26/robert_gottlieb_interview
From Brian Lindenmuth comes this amusing bit of analogies that you don't want to use in your writing endeavors. http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/04/he-was-as-dull-and-uninspired-as-i-dont-know-what.html
Jeremiah Tolbert has an essay up called, "Having Something to Say", and the discussion in the comments has some great advice for writers. Nice to know we're not swimming alone in that pool of writer's doubt. http://www.jeremiahtolbert.com/2011/04/having-something-to-say/
A new issue of Plots with Guns has hit the virtual streets http://www.plotswithguns.com
And who says there's no market for anthologies? http://hellnotes.com/in-honor-of-ray-bradbury
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
"Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries" by Steve Hockensmith reviewed by Elizabeth White. http://www.elizabethawhite.com/2011/04/26/dear-mr-holmes-seven-holmes-on-the-range-mysteries-by-steve-hockensmith/
Over at Hell Notes they have a review of issue three of Shock Totem. http://hellnotes.com/shock-totem-3-book-review
"Murder Manhattan Style" by Warren Bull is reviewed by Sarah Hilary over at The Short Review http://www.theshortreview.com/reviews/WarrenBullMurderManhattanStyle.htm
The Short Review is a great site for finding new anthologies/collections in all the genres. I have a link to the right, but haven't visited in a while. It's good to see so many getting published.
This one by Paul Weimer over at SF Signal seems to have set it off. http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2011/04/roll-perception-plus-awareness-an-introduction/
Yesterday I read Paul Kemp's essay on how he became a writer due to his gaming http://paulskemp.com/blog/how-i-got-started-as-a-writer-in-brief/
And this morning I read Deborah Ross' essay which tends to blast the idea that roll playing helps writers. http://blog.bookviewcafe.com/2011/04/26/why-you-wont-catch-me-at-the-dice/
As near I can tell in the comments of Ms. Ross' post is that male writers seem to embrace the gaming curve in their writing while the female writers tend to dismiss it. But like I said, I've never done the gaming thing so I have no clue, just found the discussion interesting and thought you might as well. What I do know is that when I'm writing, the story usually evolves much smoother if I can actually put myself in the character's shoes and allow them tell the story.
Any thoughts from our gamers out there? Have they helped or hindered your writing? Just curious from a writer's perspective.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The site will be host to blogs, interview, reviews and pretty much everything mystery from cozy to noir. A few of the bloggers include Joseph Finder, Charles Adair, Scott Parker, Terri Farley Moran, and Laura K. Curtis.
And for our writers there will be short fiction! This is a paying market for crime shorts of 6000 to 15,000 words. Pay is $1000 against 25%royalty. You can find all the details at http://www.criminalelement.com/page/submissions
And the second part of Claude Lalumiere's interview is up over at Black Gate http://www.blackgate.com/2011/04/24/an-interview-with-claude-lalumiere-part-two
Their May issue is up with shorts from notable authors, Joe R. Lansdale and Ardath Mayhar, among others. If you click on the zines link at the top of the page you'll find a long list of markets for shorts, poetry, and flash fiction.
You'll find the submission guidelines here http://www.thehorrorzine.com/Submission%20Guidelines.html They're looking for shorts of 1600 to 5000 words but no flash at this time. Story types listed are horror, mystery, suspense and sci-fi.
Monday, April 25, 2011
And yes, I have the urge to write that piece out much longer because those brothers intrigue me.
For a woman of my age, the soaps impacted your life whether you watched or not. I remember everything stopping in our house for that one hour a day that my mother watched her show. Staying at my Aunt's we traveled from house to house every day during the week as one of the ladies in her circle of friends hosted coffee and a soap, usually "As the World Turns". When I married and had kids, those soaps helped me keep my sanity. With no car and the nearest neighbor five miles away they were the only adult voices I heard all day long. I didn't stop watching them until in the late eighties when there were more commercials than show and there were too many characters vying for the time. Trying to follow the story lines got very frustrating.
Robin's post also reminded me that the very first book about writing that I found was "Writing for the Soaps" by Jean Rouverol. I picked this book up for $3 on the discount table at K-Mart. While I didn't plan on writing for the soaps there was plenty of good advice between the pages for a short story writer and back then I was desperate for any help I could find.
Here's a few quotes from the book that I found circled, underlined, and highlighted as I flipped through the pages yesterday.
"Writing means turning the worst moments of your life into fiction."
"It is the expectation of surprise that keeps the audience coming back"
"And though the need for suspense is always a given there can be no real suspense if we don't care about the people we're watching. Above all, we need to care."
All of which can be easily translated from watchers to readers.
The soaps themselves taught me about dialogue. I was usually in the kitchen and couldn't see the TV but my ears were always tuned to the voices, listening to the story unfold through those lines of dialogue. You only had to see the show when everything got quiet because you knew someone was either kissing or getting killed depending on the music. :) And probably why my stories depend so heavily on dialogue instead of description.
How about you? Any good soap stories to share?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Ahhh, the eternal beating up of ourselves with what we should be http://internspills.blogspot.com/2011/04/frightful-confession.html
And from Paul Brazill we have a short essay on writing flash http://www.creativetimes.co.uk/articles/the-short-story-gets-flash
Friday, April 22, 2011
And found "Google Baby", an entire page full of ideas for sci-fi, fantasy, and crime stories. There are story cupboards everywhere, folks, you just have learn to explore the possibilities.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
For Midwestern Gothic http://midwestgothic.com This is a non-paying market open for subs up to 10,000 words for their second issue. They are looking to showcase Midwestern writers and noir type stories here. Deadline is May 13.
There's also a contest with the same deadline. No fee, stories to 2500 words and the prize is publication in issue two. The prompt is a picture of a fairgrounds. They'll also be publishing some of their contest entries on their website.
Which brought me to wondering about how many characters do you really need in a story? For flash, the rule of thumb is two, maybe three tops. And yes, I've seen it done with more and it worked but I've also seen it fall flat on its face. Shorts, depending on length, you can probably get away with three to five.
Now some novels are populated to the point of being an entire city while others keep the character numbers well under a dozen. What's your preference when reading? Do you like a lot of characters or do you get lost trying to keep track of them.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Looking around the site I found that they publish a quarterly print magazine and a monthly online zine. There are different word counts for each. Details at http://burntbridge.net/submissions
The fall print issue theme is Gridion. Which means they're looking for shorts dealing with football. Subs open on April 30 to July 31 for this one.
For the print issues they're also looking for novellas and the pay is $50 for these. I didn't find any mention of payment for the rest of the stories in the zines.
Also listed as a rolling call is "Biloxi". For this anthology they're looking for noir/gothic stories set in Biloxi.
One thing - they lean more toward the literary than genre but they also want stories that work from the genres of noir, westerns, and gothic to name a few. There are links to the online zine so you can get a feel for what they're looking for.
Speaking of the Conversations series, a former interviewee, Claude Lalumiere, is being interviewed over at Black Gate. Nice to see short story writers getting attention. You can read the first half of the interview here http://www.blackgate.com/2011/04/17/an-interview-with-claude-lalumiere-part-one/ The second half will be posted next week.
From Brian Lindenmuth we have a link to an essay about rewriting scenes. Theres some great tips here http://internspills.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-reasons-you-should-rewrite-that.html
And finally my question. Are there any living mystery/crime female short story writers out there with a body of work that compares to, say, Edward D. Hoch? I know Joyce Carol Oates is considered a mystery writer but she's more often than not lumped into the literary genre. I know of quite a few female writers online but I'm searching for an older female writer known for her mystery short story work.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I was thrilled to see so many crime zines and writers I know on the list:
Crimefactory: Dennis Tafoya
Plots with Guns: David James Keaton and Matthew McBride
Spinetingler: Hilary Davidson
Thuglit: Joe Deir, Christopher E. Long and Kieran Shea
Also nice to see BV Lawson's story "Violin Karma" from Rose and Thorn Journal on the list.
And Jersey Devil Press had three: Chloe Caldwell, Hilary Gan, and Mike Sweeny
Congratulations to everyone!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
"Chilling Tales: In words, alas, drown I" is the title for this horror anthology which opens for subs on May 1 and closes July 30. The word count is up to 7500 but they prefer 5500 or less. Payment is $50 to $150 depending on length. Details at http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/chillingtales2/chillingtales2.html
The second call is "Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper" and open to all writers. They're looking for shorts about dancing with death in the dark fantasy/spec-fic genres. Up to 5000 words, payment is 2 to 3cents per word. You have to query with a synopsis first by June 1 and deadline for stories is November 15. You can find all the details at http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/dansemacabre/dansemacabre.html
From Cindi Meyers Market Letter blog there's a call for short stories with a cooking/food theme. Top word count is 5000 with an April 30 deadline. Pay is $25 plus three copies. At the site if you click on the contest link you'll find a non-fee contest with the same theme but a top word count of 1500 words. First prize is $25 and publication on The Ramsfield Press site. You can find all the details at http://www.ramsfieldpress.com/call-for-short-stories.html
For those of you considering a submission to Innsmouth Free Press' "Futue Lovecraft" anthology there is an interview with the editors at DL Snell's blog. http://www.dlsnell.com/2011/04/future-lovecraft-antho.html You'll also find links to the submission guidelines at this link.
And April 30 is the deadline for Black Heart Magazine's noir issue edited by Jimmy Callaway. This is non-paying for flash pieces up to 800 words. http://blackheartmagazine.com/submission-guidelines/
Pink Narcissus Press has three anthology calls. This is a royalty paying market. The working titles are: Slashfest, A Stranger Comes to Town, and WTF?. Closing dates and word counts vary with each anthology. You can find all the details at http://pinknarc.com
Rymfire eBooks is looking for horror stories for a variety of anthologies. The word count is 2500-7500, and pay is $3 per story plus royalties. They're also looking for novellas of 25,000 to 65,000 words. The pay for these is $25 plus royalties. May 15 is the deadline for "Extreme Undead: Undead of Winter". They also have a series called "State of Horror". The current call is for stories set in Georgia with a May 31 deadline. Other states are Massachusetts, California Nevada and North Carolina, opening and closing dates are listed here http://rymfireebooks.com/submissions.html
This last call, Digital Science Fiction, bills itself as a monthly anthology series. They're looking for sci-fi stories of 3500 to 7500 words and the pay is 5cents a word. They use Submishmash for their submission process. You can find the details at http://digitalsciencefiction.com
Saturday, April 16, 2011
You're probably wondering why I said that, aren't you? Well, it was a blog post about e-publishing I read yesterday and reading through the comments of that post today all I can think is that new writers are still chasing the secret handshake that can get their foot through the million dollar door. It has nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with making the BIG bucks.
There are no secret passwords or handshakes. Everything turns on skill and luck, even in e-pubbing. Each writer has to decide what is best for them. Some will choose to epublish, other will go the traditional route. For me, I'd like to go the traditional route because I don't have the computer skills or the money needed to take the e-pub route. Every writer has to take the path that best suits their needs and situation. You can't just say someone is stupid for not following your advice when you don't know their situation.
The Internet is full of people and their opinions. You've just read mine. As a writer you have to sift through all the opinions and options out there to find what will work for you. And only you know what is best for you, not Joe Smoe, who doesn't even know your name.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
But here at the Corner we're Snoopy Dancing for the short story nominees:
Mike Carey – "Second Wind" (THE NEW DEAD, St. Martin's)
Michael Connelly – "Blue on Black" (The Strand Magazine)
Richard Helms – "The God for Vengeance Cry" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine)
Harley Jane Kozak – "Madeeda" (Crimes By Midnight)
Nicolas Kaufman – "Chasing the Dragon" (ChiZine Magazine)
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins – Long Time Dead (The Strand Magazine)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Juliette Wade has an interesting conversation going on her blog about the natural length of stories. http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2011/04/short-stories-vs-novels-natural-length.html
And if you've ever felt guilty because you haven't read all the classics in your chosen genre (jumping up and down waving my hand) Sandra McDonald's essay at Locus Magazine will ease your guilt. http://www.locusmag.com/Roundtable/2011/04/sandra-mcdonald-bring-me-the-unaware/
Monday, April 11, 2011
Hat tip to Brian Lindenmuth for the link!
Paul Brazill dropped this link to a great piece by Chris Rhatigan about flash fiction in the comments of a recent post. If you didn't happen to see it, here's the link http://www.fullofcrow.com/onthewing/2011/04/flash-fiction-unlimited/
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The thing with a writer's process, as near as I can tell, is that every story is different. Some are inspired by overheard conversations, some a sentence we might read, others a news story, and even some drift into our dreams. And that's just the idea.
After that comes the actually writing where sometimes a story leaks from our brain like a broken water pipe, coming faster than we can type and other times it feels like a dozen monkeys are tap dancing on the keyboard. Sometimes the story we're writing takes a turn into territory we never expected, other times we can follow a train of thought straight through to the end without ever veering off course.
In the end writing isn't actually a process where you can go from A to B to C and you wind up with a perfect story. It's a melding together of an idea, the spilling of words, and whole of lot of editing and rewriting until you've got something that's polished and ready to hit the market place.
Reading about someone else's process is fine, just know that what works for one writer won't necessarily work for another because everyone's imagination and work ethic is different. Each story will have it's own road to travel, and the writer will have follow that road to find the story. What the writer brings to a story is their own unique view of the world and that's why no two stories about, say a father and son, will ever be the same. They'll be similar in that they're a father and son story, but different because of what the writer knows about that relationship from their perspective.
So, what has all this prattling been about? Write your own stories and don't worry about how the other guy writes. Just be yourself.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
When Gerald So asked me to be part of The Lineup 4 blog tour, I said yes, even though I don't do reviews. In my opinion crime poetry gets almost as much disrespect as crime flash which is a shame because the poetry in The Lineup is exquisitely written bites of human nature that should be required reading for everyone who writes in the mystery/crime genre.
And without further ado, here is my review:
“We shouldn’t worship suffering: the world’s a spinning rack where suffering indicates all goes well, we’re alive and not curled up in the black hushhush….”
“What Wild-Eyed Murderer”
That line from Mr. Meinke’s poem pretty well sums up the poetry in The Lineup 4. There is no worshipping of the suffering that is forced upon the victims in these poems. From the first line of “Creation” by John Stickney to the last line of Germaine Welch’s “Houston Oil Man Missing” we walk through “the black hushhush” and come out on the other side gulping for air.
From the heartbreaking visuals of “Finding Opal” by Mary Agnes Dalrymple, to the jaw dropping realization of what you’ve just witnessed in “In Oaxaca, 2006” by Kieran Shea and the final twist of pain in “The Shadow Man Visits a Babysitter” by Jeanne Dickey, you’re caught and forced to look at the unthinkable.
Each poet in this fine collection holds your hand as you pass through the wreckage of human lives. The beauty of their words forcing you to bear witness to the aftershock of horrific crimes you’d rather not see. But in your heart you know that you must bear witness, for to do otherwise would be obscene.
If you'd like to read the complete text of Peter Meinke's, "What Wild-Eyed Murderer" you can go here http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19098
The Lineup 5 is open for submissions until July 31. You can check out the details at their site http://poemsoncrime.blogspot.com
And to order your copy of The Lineup 4 or even one of the first three go to http://stores.lulu.com/geraldso where you can purchase either print or pdf copies.
Friday, April 8, 2011
The Writer and White Cat has their website up http://www.whitecatpublications.com and they're open for subs for their June issue. Pay here is 5cents a word for stories up to 2500 words and a flat rate of $25 for flash to 1000 words. Just click on guidelines at the top of the page for details.
Thrillers, Killers 'n Thrillers has also opened for subs. http://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.com
And just a reminder that Beat to a Pulp will opening up for submissions on May 1, just three short weeks from now so check out their guidelines and get writing. http://www.beattoapulp.com
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Years ago I read an essay by Harlan Ellison about how he purposely misheard what people were saying and turned those misheard sentences into short stories. His example of Necco Wafers turning into Necro Waiters has stuck with me over the years and whenever I mishear anything, I file it away for future use.
Thanks to a SMFS member who contacted me off-list, here is the link to a portion of that essay. You'll have to scroll up the page to the title "Where I Shall Dwell in the Next World" to read what Ellison has to say about getting his ideas in this way and you'll also find his story "Necro Waiters" http://books.google.com/books?id=V8GcnH431EMC&pg=PA181&lpg=PA181&dq=necro+waiters&source=bl&ots=-l89AnEZYE&sig=pxum30R4UzGlxUfl6Hl4fEBbvmg&hl=en&ei=I9WdTa2WHtG20QG5z_m9BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=necro%20waiters&f=false
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Anyhoo. I did find a helpful site for all you newbies out there called TeacherWriter http://teacherwriter.net On this site you'll find market postings, weekly prompts and all sorts of writing tips. Very helpful site.
And "Best Fiction" has started posting stories on their new site along with some delicious art work. Go have a look here http://bestfiction.org
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
And there's a contest over at Chris Ratigan's blog to rename that infamous brand stealing book. Stop on over and drop a suggestion in the comments. http://death-by-killing.blogspot.com
PS: Don't suggest Pulp Tones or you'll be hung for title rustling.
PPS: Yes, I'm snarkey this morning! :)
Monday, April 4, 2011
You'll find a long list of markets looking for submissions here http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2011/04/sub-ops-ten.html They're mostly sci-fi and horror and most of them are paying markets.
For all you newbies looking for places to learn about writing I ran across Cool Plums Weblog which has been posting writing lessons since 2008. http://coolplums.wordpress.com
Sunday, April 3, 2011
The new site is under construction here http://shotgunhoney.blogspot.com
This is a non-paying market.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The April issue of All Due Respect has gone live with an excellent short story by Nigel Bird called "Hoodwinked". http://www.all-due-respect.blogspot.com
The Thrilling Detective is celebrating it's thirteenth year on the web. http://www.thrillingdetective.com/
A new issue of Thieves Jargon is up http://www.thievesjargon.com
And the newest issue of Pulp Metal has gone live where you'll find a piece of flash by yours truly along with some other very fine writers. http://pulpmetalmagazine.wordpress.com
Friday, April 1, 2011
Michael Bracken sent me a very cool link to Kurt Vonnegut's take on drama (it also explains the romance genre!) You can find it here http://sivers.org/drama
When I first decided to make the focus of this blog about short stories, hardly anyone out here was talking shorts. Now there's all kinds of sites and one of them is Chris Ratigan's "Death by Killing" blog where he reviews shorts and points readers towards stories they might have missed. He's just revamped his site and it looks great! He's also opened his blog for fellow reviewers. If you've got a short review, let him know. The more people we have talking shorts, the fewer we'll have screaming the short story is dead :) which we all know it ain't!!
You can find his invitation here http://death-by-killing.blogspot.com/2011/03/dbk-wants-your-reviews.html
“Left Behind” by Carol Crigger from the anthology Roundup! Great Stories of the West (La Frontera Publishing
“This Old Star” by Wayne Dundee from the anthology Bad Cop…No Donut (Padwolf Publishing)
“Two-Bit Kill” by C. Courtney Joyner from the anthology Law of the Gun (Kensington) .
“Scourge of the Spoils” by Matthew P. Mayo from the anthology Steampunk’d (Daw Books, Inc)
"Catch a Killer by the Toe" by Pete Peterson published by Untreed Reads
For the rest of the Peacemaker nominees go here http://westernfictioneers.blogspot.com/2011/03/western-fictioneers-2010-peacemaker.html