Saturday, December 29, 2012

Science Fiction Press - Call for Submissions

Science Fiction Press has posted a call for submissions of sci-fi short stories of 2000 to 5000 words.  This is a new market set to launch in March.  They will be publishing quarterly ebooks and paperback editions.  Payment is a $50 advance against royalties.  You can find all the details here

A big thank you to Katherine Tomlinson for the link!!

UPDATE: declared this a dead market on May 2, 2013.

Black Treacle - Call for Submissions

My apologies for lack of posts here but the flu nailed both my husband and myself and we've been pretty much out of circulation for the past two weeks.  I haven't even turned the computer on because my brain felt like slush and everything just blurred if I looked at it too long.  Things will probably be a bit slow as I get caught up but here's a market for your consideration.

Canadian ezine, Black Treacle is looking to launch it's first issue in February.  They have opened for submissions of dark fantasy, horror, and spec fiction stories of 1500 to 5000 words.  Payment is $15CAD.  You can find all the details here

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Revelation - Call for Submissions

Fourth Horseman Press has opened submissions for their annual print magazine, "Revelation".  They're looking for short stories up to 8000 words in any genre as long as there's an apocalyptic element in the story.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find the details here

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Prime Books - New Digital Imprint Call for Submissions

Prime Books has just announced their new digital imprint, Masque Books.  They're looking for novels and novellas in the sci-fi/fantasy genres.  They're looking to launch in 2013 with twelve new titles the first month and six a month after that.  Those that due well in digital could go on into a print edition.  You can find the submission guidelines here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Criminal Justice Anthology - Non-fiction Call for Submissions

This is a non-fiction call for essays by people "working in a wide variety of criminal justice careers" (including the military aspect).  What they refer to as the 3 c's - cops, courts, and corrections.  They need 5000 to 7000 words with a February 20, 2013 deadline.  This book is being compiled to help students decide if a job in the criminal justice system might be for them.  There's no mention of payment.  You can find all the details here

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cemetery Dance Magazine - Call for Submissions

Cemetery Dance has opened submissions for their magazine.  Stories up to 5000 words payment is $250.  They'll close as soon as they fill their 2013 slots.

This is the first time in over two years that they've opened submissions so if you've got something polished up and ready to go, don't hesitate.

Hat tip to Hell Notes!

Anonymous-9 - Cool Review

How cool is this  Nice to see a writer who built a novel out of her most famous short story get reviewed in a place like Hell Notes!!  Talk about crossing the genre lines.  Congrats, Anon-9 (Elaine)!!!

Yellow Mama - New Issue

The December issue of Yellow Mama has hit the streets and if that cover doesn't scare you to death, jump in and enjoy the stories!  And they've also opened for submissions.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Look at Self-Publishing

Short story writer, Jamie Todd Rubin, has an interesting post on why he prefers not to self-publish his work.  Lots of good points

Hat tip to Charles Tan for the link.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Writing Post-Apocalypse

I found this post by Shannon Lawrance over at the Pikes Peak Writers' blog very interesting with lots of tips about how to write post-apocalyptic stories.

World Weaver Press - Anthology Call

World Weaver Press has issued an open call for submissions to "Far Orbit:  Speculative Space Adventures".  They're looking for stories up to 10,000 words about "modern space adventures crafted in the Grand Tradition".  Payment is 1cent a word.  The submission period is January 1,2013 to March 31, 2013.  You can find all the details here

The Nelligan Prize - Contest

For those of you who enjoy entering contests we have The Nelligan Prize.  This short story contest is sponsored by Colorado State University.  There is no theme or word count but stories can be no longer than fifty pages.  The submission period is January 1, 2013 to March 14, 2013.  The entry fee is $15 for snail mail entries and $17 through their online Submittable link.  First prize is $2000 and publication in the Colorado Review.  All entries will be considered for publication.  You can find all the details here

Crossed Out Magazine - Call for Submissions

For those of you who write stories with a more literary bend Crossed Out Magazine is seeking submissions for their fourth issue.  Stories can be no longer than 2000 words, payment is $20.  The deadline is May 1, 2013.  There are three issues online for you to read so you can get a feel for what they're looking for.  You can find the submission details here

Friday, December 14, 2012 - New Guidelines

If you write speculative fiction you should know that has updated their submission guidelines.  They're an excellent market seeking fiction of under 12,000 words but will look at work up to 17,500.  Payment is 25cents a word for the first 5000, 15cents a word for the next 5000, and 10cents a word after that.  Take note that their response time can be up to a year or more, so if you're in a  hurry to get published this isn't your market.  You can find all the details here

Hat tip to Cindi Myers Market News for the info!!

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie's list of anthology calls for December is up

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Prints Press - Open Novella Call

Australian publisher Dark Prints Press has an open call for novella submissions.  They're particularly interested in dark crime, mystery, and thriller submissions at this time.  The reading period is short with the deadline of December 21.  Their next reading period for novellas is June.  The word count is 15,000 to 40,000 words.  For ebooks the payment is  an AUD$75 advance and 30% of royalties.  Print is $100 AUD advance and 20% of royalties.  You can check out the press here

UPDATE:  February 9, 2015  This market has disappeared into the ether.

The Big Adios - New Western Zine

Shotgun Honey editor, Ron Earl Phillips, has announced the launch of a new Western zine called "The Big Adios" in February.  They are looking for traditional Westerns of 1200 words and serial stories up to 3600 words.  They will be running one story per week.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find all the submission details here  The website is still under construction.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Male/Female Submission Process

A few days ago I mentioned a blog post that riffed off a WSJ  article about women using male pseudonyms to get better sales for their books.  Since then io9 has referenced the article and one of the topics that has come up in the comments was the fact that people are reading more male authors than female. 

All of this reminded me of a recent posting on the Clarkes World blog about their slush pile.  They broke it down by gender and genre, with male authors submissions double, or more, in most cases than female submissions.  I've often wondered if this were a regular occurrence for most magazines.  I spoke once with Anthony Neil Smith, editor of Plots With Guns at the time, and he told me at that time they received more submissions from male than female authors also.

When you're outnumbered more than two to one in the slush piles the odds are that more male writers are going to grab those open slots.  So maybe it's not just about prejudice against a female author, but the overwhelming number of submissions by male writers putting the odds in their favor.

So, any other editors out there finding that same ratio of submissions or is this simply something that goes on more in the sci-fi genre?  Curious minds want to know.

Western Noir

It's a rare thing to hear noir and Westerns used in tandem by noir aficionados, so when I caught the title of Woody Haut's blog post, "Noir on Horseback" I decided to drop on over and have a read.  He takes a look at Arnold Hano's, writing as Gil Dodge, novel "Flint" which is based on Jim Thompson's "Savage Night".  You can read the post here

And yes, there's been an upswing in Western Noir that I'm really enjoying and having fun writing now and again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cemetery Dance - New ebook Line

Cemetery Dance Publications has opened submissions for their new ebook line.  They're looking for novellas, novels, and short story collections in a variety of genres.  There's no mention of payment, but considering the publishing house I expect there will be payment of some sort.  You can check out Cemetery Dance here

Their full guidelines can be found at Submittable

Hat tip to for the link!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fearful Symmetries: An Anthology of Horror

This will be an anthology to keep in mind if they get their full KickStarter funding.  Awesome editor, publisher, and lineup of authors plus an open call for the not-so-well-known writers at some later date.  Check it out here

The Male Writer Myth?

I really don't know whether to laugh or cry about this one

Who knew that I'd sell more stories if my name were Sam Seamans?

Hat tip to Charles Tan for the link!

Plan B Magazine - Call for Submissions

Editor, Darusha Wehm, posted a call for submissions to her new online zine, "Plan B", on the SMFS board yesterday.  She's looking for straight up mystery stories that range from the cozy to hard boiled.  She's not looking for flash and you'll have up to 5000 words for your story.

The new zine is set to launch in March and if their crowd funding project is successful payment will be 1cent a word up to $50.  If they can't raise the money for the start-up you'll have the option to withdraw the story or allow them to post without payment.  They're also looking for artwork for their quarterly anthologies.  You can check them out here

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Comet Press - Call for Novella Submissions

Comet Press has opened to novella submissions for their ebook line.  They're looking for work in the following genres - Horror, Dark Crime, Fantasy, and Dark Erotica.  15,000 to 40,000 words. Payment is in royalties.  You can find all the details here

Insomnia Press - Call for Submissions

Insomnia Press has issued a call for submission for their February 2013 issue.  They're looking for dark fiction with the theme "As I Die Lying".  Flash fiction and short stories up to 3000 words in any genre so long as the story is dark.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find the details here

UPDATE:  August 8, 2013  Duotrope has declared this market dead and the site has disappeared into the ether.

Song Story Press - Anthology Calls

Song Story Press has four anthology calls listed for a variety of genres.  The catch, each story must be based loosely on a song that's listed.  The deadline is March 1, 2013 for all of them.  Payment is shared royalties.  You can find the details here

The 40 Below Project - Canadian Anthology Call

This is a call for writers who live in and around Edmonton, Canada.  The 40 Below Project is an anthology of inspired by winters in Edmonton.  They're looking for poetry, short stories to 3000 words, non-fiction, and artwork.  Deadline is December 31.  Payment is an honorarium.  You can find all the details here

Paperback Writer - Open Markets

The blog, Paperback Writer, has a weekly Sunday listing of ten open markets.  You can check out this week's ten here

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Packing Cold Heat

Newest way to dispose of a weapon.

Room - Special Crime Issue Call for Submissions

This is a call for female authors only.

Canadian literary magazine, Room, is seeking submissions to a special crime issue.  They're seeking poetry, fiction (to 3500 words), and creative non-fiction by female writers.  Payment ranges from $50 for 2 pages up to $120 for 6+ pages.  While they specify female writers, I'm not sure if they only accept work from Canadian contributors or not.  You can find the call here with further details in the submission guidelines.

Death Penalty Anthology - Call for Submissions

I'm not sure how many prison inmates drop by the Corner but this anthology call seemed like it should be passed along.  Called the "Death Penalty Anthology" they're looking for poetry, essays, photographs, and short stories up to 2000 words from prison inmates.  The deadline is February 15, 2013.  There's no mention of payment.  If you're a former inmate, as some crime writers are, you could check and see if you're eligible to submit.  Details here

Fox Spirt Publishing - YA Novel Call

Fox Spirit Publishing is an invitation only e-publisher, but they do post open calls on occasion.  Their current open call is for YA genre fiction novels of 30,000 to 60,000 words.  The deadline is December 31.  Read their guidelines carefully as they want a query first but only for a novel that is complete.  Payment is a profit share.  You can find the details here

Crimefactory - Submissions are Open

Crimefactory has opened for submissions

Friday, December 7, 2012

J. Taylor Publishing - YA Anthology Call

J. Taylor Publishing has issued a call for submissions to their newest anthology, "One More Day".  This is a YA anthology asking the question "What is today never ended?" with you supplying a surprising restart of time.  And yes, they explain it better on their site :)  5000 to 10,000 words with a March 6, 2013 deadline.  There's no mention of payment but Duotrope lists royalty payments.  You can find all the details here

Misfit Quarterly - Call for Submissions

Misfit Quarterly is open for submission to their second issue.  They're looking for shorts to 2000 words, non-fiction, and artwork.  The basic theme behind Misfit Quarterly is freedom - living your life your way.  You can find more details here and check out their manifesto.  Payment is $100.

Bradley Publishing - Open Calls

Bradley Publishing is open to submissions in a variety of genres with word count ranges of 20,000 to 120,000 words.  Payment is 45% royalties on net sales from their site and 50% from third party sites.  They're currently looking for Romance/erotica, Paranormal YA, Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Horror, and Action/Adventure.  You can find all the details here

Their anthology calls are closed at the moment.

Plasma Spyglass Press - Open Novella Call

Plasma Spyglass Press has opened to both novel and novella submissions.  Plasma Spyglass is a sci-fi/fantasy press and they request that you query first before submitting you manuscript.  They also publish a quarterly e-mag called Plasma Frequency that pays 1cent a word for stories.  There are no open anthology calls at this time.  You can check them out here

eTopia Press

eTopia Press is a romance/erotica publisher looking for work in all the genres.  For some of their calls they pay an advance against royalties for all the rest it's just royalty payments.  They're looking for work of at least 50,000 words at this time but there will be a call for novella length fiction in 2013.  You can find more details of what they're looking for here  With more details at their submission guidelines link.

The Albee Agency - Warning

This warning has been making the rounds after several authors were surprised to discover that they'd supplied blurbs in support of this site.  Watch your backs out there!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Short Story Talking

I love when people start talking about short stories and yesterday over at LitReactor  Richard Thomas
got the ball rolling with his list of the ten best short stories.  More were added by other people in the comments then  John Horner Jacobs  posted a list on his blog, followed by  Jane Hammons with Steve Weddle posting his there in the comments.

UPDATE:  Steve has revised his list and posted it over at Do Some Damage

Now these are all great lists and I've read many of the stories but these seem to be all "Literary" lists.  So, I thought I'd throw out a bit of a genre list.  These are stories that I've read and enjoyed over the years, ones that have stuck with me even if they aren't considered classic shorts.  In no particular order:

1.  The Payoff by Stanley Ellin
2.  A Jury of her Peers by Susan Glaspell
3.  Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl
4.  Murder at the Automat by Cornell Woolrich
5.  A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner  And yes, I know it's considered literary but it's a crime story at heart.
6.  One Dollar's Worth by O. Henry  No short story list is complete without an O Henry story.  This is one of his lesser known stories but well worth the read.
7.  Warrior's Farewell by Edward D. Hoch  Another short story writer who should be on everyone's list and Warrior's Farewell is one of his darkest.
8.  Red Wind by Raymond Chandler
9.  Don't Look Behind You by Fredric Brown
10.  The Cage by Ray Russell

I'd also like to add Richard Matheson's I Am Legend though its 160 pages falls into novella territory.  Everyone should be reading Matheson.

So, that's my list.  Feel free to add your list in the comments.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cameron Ashley - Editor Interview

There's an interview with Crimefactory editor and publisher, Cameron Ashley here.  Currently they're open for non-fiction articles and will open for fiction in January.

Hat tip to Kieran Shea for the link.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SnipLits - Closing

Just had word from publisher, Anne Stuessy, that SnipLits is closing up shop as of December 15.

A Pair of Erotica Anthologies - Call for Submissions

Mitzi Szereto has posted two calls for submissions for erotica anthologies to be published by Cleis Press.  Both have word counts of 3000 to 6500 words with payment of $50 to $70 per story.

1.  Love Lust and Zombies - deadline February 10, 2013
2.  Darker Edge of Desire - deadline April 1, 2013

You can find the guidelines for both here

PSTDARKNESS - e-mag call for submissions

PSTDARKNESS is an bi-annual e-mag looking for dark stories that push the boundaries.  They're currently open to submissions for Vol. 4 to be published in the Fall of 2013.  Stories can be any length up to 3500 words with payment a flat $25 per story.  You can check out their guidelines here

Strange Critters - Anthology Call

Via we have a call for submissions for the anthology "Strange Critters:  Unusual Creatures of Appalachia".  Frank Lanerd is the editor and Woodland Press will publish this trade paperback anthology.  Payment is 5cents a word for stories up to 2500 words.  Deadline is June 30, 2013.  You can find all the details here

Publications Adventure - New Mystery Imprint

Publications Adventure is actively seeking mystery novels set in the outdoors ala Nevada Barr and C. J. Box.  Their focus has been outdoor guides and non-fiction but they're looking to expand with a new mystery line.  You can check them out here

Why You're Not a NaNo Loser

Wonderful piece by Kat Howard on what it takes to be a writer

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rob Lopresti - 2012 Black Orchid Novella Award Winner

Just heard via SMFS that friend of the blog, Rob Lopresti, has won the 2012 Black Orchid Novella Award.
Congratulations and a big round of Snoopy dances for Rob!!!

For those of you who'd like to learn more about this novella contest you can check it out here
The deadline for the 2013 contest is May 31, 2013.

Nightfalls - Charity Anthology Now Available

Back in June, Katherine Tomlinson invited me to be a part of a charity anthology that she was putting together.  The theme was to tell a story about the night before the end of the world.  How it's ending was up to the author which left the genres wide open.  Of course, I said yes.  And then the doubts and fears set in.

My first idea was to write about vampires or immortals.  I mean they're still going to be alive when the world ends.  What are they going to do on that night?  Do they spend the time figuring out a way to die or save the world?  But the more I played with the idea, the less it appealed to me.

About this time I noticed the picture on my calendar of a sunset world shimmering in a purple haze.  The purple reminded me of Jimi Hendricks' song "Purple Haze".  The lyrics suited an end of the world theme especially, "You've got me blowin, blowin my mind.  Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?"

So now I've got a teaser of an idea.  Back to the picture.  There's mountains and a lake and a rock that looks like a turtle.  Hmmm.  Turtles?  Yeah my fantasy brain kicked in and hey those turtles could fly.  Of course now I needed a few enemies to fight and The Doors song "Riders on the Storm" beckoned.  "There's a killer on the road - His brain is squirmin' like a toad [...] If ya give this man a ride - Sweet memory will die".  Okay, I'm on a roll?  Maybe.  One more song.  "American Pie" by Don Mclean.  Perfect end of the world song.

Dozens of pages of notes.  Song lyrics bouncing around in my head.  Half a million false starts.  A missed deadline.  A firm kick in the butt.  A "Once upon a time" beginning and the story was down on the page.  Tons of editing and rewriting.  And "The Memory Keeper" was finally done.

The character of Marie is based on my Aunt Marie who has always been the "magic lady" in my life.

You'll find the story in "Nightfalls:  Notes From the End of the World"

And not just my story, you'll find work by Patti Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Barb Goffman, Kaye George, and Chris Rhatigan to name just a few of the twenty-seven authors who are included in this anthology. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012


There's a new notice up over at Duotrope.  Starting January 1, 2013 only subscribers will be able to use the search features on the site.  The subscription fee will be $5 per month or $50 per year.  You can read the details here

Friday, November 30, 2012

Scape - YA Zine

I don't come across many YA zines online, so when I saw Scape listed on Duotrope I thought I'd take a look.  This is a well done zine with artwork and stories that will appeal to adults as well as their targeted audience.  While they're closed to short story submissions right now, they will reopen in February of 2013.  They are looking for short stories up to 8000 words with payment of 1cent a word, poetry, which is still open, pays $25 and artwork which also pays $25.  All submissions must have a speculative component but the sub-genres are flexible.  There's also an interesting article about YA fiction in general on the front page
You can check out the zine here

Steven Montano - Cross Genre Writing

Over at the Fantasy Book Critic's blog there's an excellent post by Steven Montano about cross genre writing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jersey Devil Press - Call for Submissions

The writing world seems bent on throwing Lovecraft submission calls my way (perhaps I should actually read the man someday!)  Over at Jersey Devil Press they've issued a call for submissions to a special issue titled "Write Lovecraft like Neil Gaiman".  They want 3000 to 7000 words with May 1, 2013 deadline.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find all the details here

Noir Lessons

Ray Banks has a great essay over at the Mysterious Press blog about five noir lessons you can find in the work of novelist, Charles Williams.  You can read it here

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

William Renehan - Publisher Interview

Over at Hell Notes there's an interview with small press publisher William Renehan.  Dark Hall Press is open for submissions of horror novels, novellas, and short story collections.  You can check them out here  There's mention of an anthology for next year but there are no guidelines or open call up yet.

Short Story Opening Lines

Philip Athans has an interesting essay on his site about "How Not to Open a Short Story".  While his examples are for sci-fi short stories, they apply to any genre you're writing in.

Hat tip to Charles Tan for the link.

Wily Writers - Call for Submissions

Wily Writers Audible Fiction has posted their theme and deadline schedule for 2013 and opened for submissions for the theme of Body Horror with a deadline of January 31, 2013.  They accept stories in various genres but they must have a speculative fiction element to them.  They publish two stories a month in both online print and podcast formats.  Payment is 5cents a word.  You can find all the details here

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lovecraft Ezine

For fans of Lovecraft there's a ezine out there that might interest you.  Called the Lovecraft Ezine it's full of all things Lovecraft and it's also a paying market.  They're looking for stories that follow the themes of Lovecraft.  Payment is $50 for stories over 3000 words and $25 for stories under 3000, this includes poetry and flash fiction.  You can check it out here

Friday, November 23, 2012 - New Market

Duotrope has posted up a few new markets today.  Of interest here is ActionHorror.  They're looking for action horror stories of 100 to 5000 words.  You can weave in any other genre that works for you so long as there's plenty of action and horror involved.  They're also open to reprints.  This is a non-paying market.

Femme Noir Part 2

Alexandra Sokoloff is continuing her discussion of Femme Noir over at Murderati today.  There's some great comments being posted.

I fixed the url - for some reason it was changed.

Elbow Deep

Looking for a morning chuckle?  Check out Keith Rawson's story over at Shotgun Honey 

Black Friday

You know there's something tragically wrong when a country's two most celebrated holidays are Black Friday and Super Bowl Sunday.

Black Friday thoughts anyone?  And no, I'm not shopping today.

Crime Wave Press - Publisher Interview

Over at the Six Questions For... blog there's an interview with publisher, Tom Vater, of Crime Wave Press.  This Hong Kong based press publishes crime novels from and about Asia.  You can read the interview here

While you're there be sure to check out Jim Harrington's excellent blog.  It's a great source for finding out what editors and publishers are looking for.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

John Joseph Adams - Interview

There's a great interview with anthology editor, John Joseph Adams, over at Suvudu  I always find it interesting to see how anthology editors pull together stories.  This one is particularly interesting because they're talking about a reprint anthology.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oh Sandy! - Charity Anthology Call for Submissions

Editor, Lynn Beighley, has issued a call for humorous stories, both fiction and non-fiction, about experiencing a disaster, surviving a hurricane, or living in New Jersey.  All proceeds will go to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Up to 3000 words with a December 31 deadline.  You can find all the details here

Thanks to Thomas Pluck for the information!!

Criminal Minds

You've got to admire the way a criminal mind thinks  And you know if a writer made that situation up, they'd be laughed right off the page.

Our Amazon Overlords

I'm pretty sure that Amazon has no f**king idea what they're doing.  Nothing like diving into publishing feet first then trying to peddle backwards without a clue 

And just when I thought Amazon was going to be the next big thing for short stories.

Hat tip to Steve Weddle's Twitter feed.

Femme Noir

Alexandra Sokoloff takes a look at Femme Noir

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Belladonna Publishing - Anthology Call

Belladonna Publishing is a new publisher of both print and ebooks.  They've issued a call for their first anthology called "Black Apples".  They're looking for Gothic fairytales here.  3000 to 10,000 words to be published in 2013 in both print and ebook form.  Payment is $120 plus royalties on ebook sales.  The deadline is January 15, 2013.  You can find the details here

They're also open to Young Adult novels of 50,000 to 80,000 words in the various spec-fiction genres.  No mention of their payment for novels.

And there's going to be a call for "Wicked Belles" at a later date that will be a comics anthology.

Hat tip to!

Jersey Devil Press - Call for Speculative Poetry

Jersey Devil Press seems to have made it through the ravages of Sandy fairly intact.  And they've issued a call for submissions for a special poetry issue to be published next year.  They've also promised two more special calls that will announced at a later date.  Oh, and the poetry must have a speculative fiction edge to it.  You can read the guidelines at their site 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Steve Berman - Anthology Calls

I've posted this link to editor, Steve Berman's site before, but he's added a few more anthology calls that stretch into 2014 publication dates.  All are paying anthologies but the word counts vary.  You can check them out here

Fishing by Dyer Wilk

A most excellent story over at Shotgun Honey today.  "Fishing" by Dyer Wilk tackles a harsh subject without exploiting it.  Also surprising is how he managed to keep the violence off the page and still twist your stomach in knots.  Well done, Dyer!!  You can read the story here

Market Update

I've been slowly working through the links over there on the right, deleting dead sites and posting new ones.  With ezines there always seems to be a balancing effect.  One closes - a new one opens, the life of zines.  Sad to say at this point, but I believe that Comets & Criminals seems to have bit the dust.  Submissions closed back in the Spring and there's been no new content since July on their website.  Their Twitter and Facebook sites have also gone silent.

If I had one wish in regards to zines closing it would be that the people in charge would step up and post a statement that they're closing.  Instead, we get sites disappearing or just nothing.  At least C&C posted that they're closed to submissions, some sites don't even do that.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sirens Call Publications - Anthology Call

Sirens Call Publications has issued a call for submissions to their anthology, "Slaughter House:  The Serial Killer Edition".  Yep, they're looking for stories that get into the head of a serial killer.  They do have limitations on what is acceptable for this anthology, so read the guidelines carefully.  4000 to 10,000 words with a deadline of January 15, 2013.  Payment is shared royalties as near as I can figure.  This information is stated in their about section.  You can find details about the call here  and more details in their guidelines section.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Still Moments Publishing - Anthology Calls

Still Moments Publishing is a Romance Press that publishes romance stories in all the genres.  At the moment they have three anthology calls listed for publication in 2013.  Stories must be 5000 to 15000 words and payment is shared royalties as these will all be published as e-books.  The deadlines vary for each.  You can find all the details here

And here are your titles and themes:

Double Click - online dating
Crossing Paths - time travel
Operation Classified - hero/heroine must be a member of the military, a police officer, or fire fighter, etc.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nightfalls - Coming Soon

I'm so pleased to be a part of this project and look at the group of writers who have contributed - excellent company to be in.


An interesting look at the horror genre.  I had to chuckle when he said that vampires didn't scare us anymore because it made me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the Twilight Saga.  Ain't nothing scary there. :)  Even zombies aren't as scary as they used to be, they've just become an obstacle that people have to overcome to live their lives.  As a child I was scared to death by the wolf man, mummies, and other assorted creatures like The Blob.  For years I couldn't watch anything with gorillas or apes because I'd have nightmares.  Now, it's the simple everyday things that scare me more.  The things that people do to each other.  What scares you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whispers From the Abyss - Anthology Call

For those of you who love HP Lovecraft, 01 Publishing has an anthology call for you.  "Whispers From the Abyss" is looking for HP Lovecraft inspired flash fiction up to 2500 words.  The deadline is May 30, 2013 with payment of 1cent a word.  This anthology will be released as a Kindle book.  You can find all the details here

And a big thank you to Katherine Tomlinson for link!!!

A Winter's Enchantment - Anthology Call

World Weaver Press has posted a call for anthology/novella submissions.  They need six romance novellas with a winter theme for "A Winter's Enchantment".  20,000 to 45,000 words, payment is shared royalties.  The window for submitting is December 1st to the 31st with publication in 2013.  They also have a call for ghost stories that will open next year if you need a good lead time.  You can find all the details here

Rabbit Valley Comic Shop - Anthology Calls

I ran across Rabbit Valley Comic Shop doing a search for anthology calls.  While they're open to comic, novel, and novella submissions, their publishing guidelines seem a little sketchy to me.  They did have five anthology calls listed for their 2013 run.  All stories have to be anthropomorphic animal based writings and each call has a different theme.  So if you're into furry this could be for you.  Payment here $100 per story with another possible $100 if they decide to publish digitally the following year.  You can find all the details and check out the site here

I found this call on a site called Flayrah that loves the furry if you need to do some research

When a Story Fails

What throws you out of a story?  For me, it's finding that a dead person is telling the story.  I suppose this stems from an a piece of advice offered by a horror editor.  He asked a simple question, "How can a dead person tell (write) a story?"  Maybe if you know up front that your narrator is dead it doesn't feel quite so gimmicky.  You know that ending, "Oh, by the way, I'm dead."

So what brought me to this topic?  I just finished reading "Peace Like a River" and two chapters from the end I read this "Here my terrestrial witness fails.".  I wanted to throw the book up against the wall  All the while I'd been reading and the kid telling the story was dead...or was he?  Of course the ending fit with the theme of the book but by then I didn't really care.  The author hadn't played fair.

I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a book.  Not only was the narrator dead, but there were so many loose ends left that I wanted to scream.  I'd heard so many good things about this book that I truly wanted to love it, but the final three chapters just killed the book for me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Character vs Gimmick

Wonderful post by Philip Athans about character vs gimmick in short stories.

Hat tip to Charles Tan's excellent blog

Call for Flash Submissions

UK based site The Flaneur is seeking flash submissions for a new Kindle ebook.  There is no theme or word limits.  The deadline is November 30.  There's no mention of payment.  You can check it out here

Thanks go out to Michael Bracken for the link!!

Noir Nation

Noir Nation has posted that they will open submissions for the next issue on January 1, 2013.  You should note that payment has changed from $100 to $25 per story and there will be a change in how they pay.  You can check out all the details here 

The First Line - First Lines and Deadlines for 2013

The First Line has posted their first lines and deadlines for 2013.  They accept stories of 300 to 3000 words in all genres.  Payment is $30 per story.  You can check them out here

Description Tips

Excellent piece by Susan J. Morris on writing meaningful description into your story here  It's my major weakness when writing so I always check out how other writers use description in their stories.

Chrome Baby - New Zine

Don't know why but this new zine appealed to me, perhaps the name?  Chrome Baby is set to launch in January.  They're looking for short stories in the sci-fi genre of 50 to 5000 words.  Payment is $5.  You can find all the details here

Monday, November 12, 2012

White Cat Publications - 4 New Magazines

Always good to see new magazines starting up.  Over at White Cat Publications they've opened submissions to FOUR new print publications.  Up to 5000 words with payment of 3cents a word for all of them.  You'll find links to each publication's guidelines on the home page.  The zines are:

Nightfall - dark fiction
Blue Shift - sci-fi
Conjurings - fantasy
Dark Intent - mystery

Good to see a pair of new mystery/crime markets opening up!

Penumbra emag - 2013 Themes and Deadlines

Penumbra emag is a spec-fiction zine that has themes for each issue.  They've posted their themes and reading periods for 2013.  There are some very cool themes that should get your creative juices flowing.  They want short stories of 500 to 3500 words and payment is 5cents a word.  Please note that each theme has a specific reading period.  You can find  all the details here

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Big Click - New Issue

The November/December issue of The Big Click has hit the electronic streets.

Crossed Genres - Submission Calls

Crossed Genres always has a variety of calls on their site.  First is their magazine, CG Magazine 2.0, which has themes.  November's theme is myth with a November 30 deadline (other themes are listed for the year).  1000 to 6000 words with payment of 5cents a word.  Second is an anthology call.  OOMPH: a little super goes a long way, is looking for superheroes with just a little power.  The deadline here is January 31, 2013 for 2000 to 8000 words with a flat payment of $20 a story.  And if you write novels in the sci-fi/fantasy genre they're looking for manuscripts of 50,000 to 100,000 words.  Payment is a $250 advance plus royalties.  You can find details and submission links here

Permuted Press - Novel Submissions Call

Permuted Press has issued an open call for novel submissions.  Your manuscript must be over 60,000 words in the genres of horror, supernatural, and sci-fi.  They're also open to non-tradition mystery/thrillers.  Their specialty is post-apocalyptic fiction.  Publication won't be until 2014 if your novel is accepted.  This press has been in business since 2004.  You can find all the details of what they want and don't want here

Saturday, November 10, 2012

50 Shades of Decay - Anthology Call

Okay, so this one tickled my funny bone and I've been playing around with a story about how to get laid during a zombie Apocalypse, yeah, strictly humor with my Iggy and Bubba characters.  Anyhoo...Angelic Knight Press is looking for submissions to their "50 Shades of Decay" anthology.  They need stories of one to two thousand words of zombie erotica.  Payment is shared royalties.  You can find the details here  just scroll down the page.

The Red Penny Papers - New Issue

The Fall issue of The Red Penny Papers is now available  While they are closed to submissions at the moment, they are a paying market so it doesn't hurt to make yourself familiar with what they like in the way of stories.  Besides, the more you support the zines, the longer they hang around.

Dark Markets - Anthology Calls

I stopped by this morning and found four new anthology calls and, surprise, they're all paying markets.  You can check them out here  And if Dark Markets isn't a regular stop for those of you who write dark fiction, it should be.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sad News

Sad to say that online zine, Bust Down the Doors and Eat All the Chickens has closed its doors.  The site is still up so you can head on over and read some of the great fiction they've published over the years.

Last Resort

After last night's episode of "Last Resort" I do believe that this series would have made a better mini-series or TV movie than episodic TV.  From the beginning I wondered how they could take this through more than one season, I mean how long can one submarine crew hold off the entire United States military?  Huge suspension of belief there.  Then last night's wildly weird episode that jumped back and forth in time until you didn't know what was true and what wasn't.  Truth be told, we gave up at the half way mark and it's doubtful that we'll tune back in.

All of this has me thinking about storytelling.  Most writers are so hell-bent on writing a novel, or in the case of TV, writing a series that they don't pay attention to what their story should actually be.  I've read any number of novels that would have made better short stories or novellas than the overstuffed novel that was produced.  Yes, it's tougher to sell the shorter versions, but it can be done.

Which begs the question - Why do so many writers choose to sabotage their story rather than stick to the form that best suits the story?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cosmic Crime Stories - Call for Submissions

Samsdot Publishing has been around for a long time and has over a dozen zines and anthologies that they publish every year.  They've opened submissions for Cosmic Crime Stories which I thought might be of interest to some of you.  They're looking for crime stories of 3000 to 10,000 words set in space.  Payment is $20.  This is a bi-annual publication that is published on January 1 and July 1.

Needle - New Issue

The new Needle is here !!!  Go get yourself a copy of noir wonderful!

Helpful Twitters

If you're on Twitter, Lee Lofland over at the Graveyard Shift has a list of twenty-five Twitter accounts that you can follow to help you get published.

Well, I've just discovered that Mozilla doesn't let me post links the way I used to, but I have figured out how to put them up like everyone else :)

Letting Go

Have you ever noticed that when you finally let go of something a solution presents itself?  I had resigned myself to the idea that I'd have to purchase a new computer when my son suggested that I try a different browser.  Enter Mozilla Firefox and here I am again.  I never realized how slow my Internet Explorer actually was.  So, here I am back again thanks to a new browser.

And you know that writing is the same way, the letting go part, I mean.  I found that if I'm stuck on a story it's best to just close the file and let it rest for a while.  Going back with fresh eyes makes all the difference in the world when you're writing.  There's something very freeing in letting go. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


My computer seems to have taken a wierd nosedive so the posts here will be few and far between.  I can get online but it takes about half an hour for a site to come up and Yahoo (where my email is) is impossible.  Not sure when I'll be back - hopefully soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gore Stories - New Market

For those of you who love the old pulp horror stories this new zine might be right up your alley.  Gore Stores is looking for stories of 4000 to 6000 words that are "gory, blood and guts horror" with "a sense of suspense, fear, sensationalism, and /or humor."  Payment is $250 plus royalties on ebook sales.  And if they like your work you might be tapped to do work for hire.  They're looking at a January 2013 launch date.  You can find all the details here

UPDATE:  February 7, 2013  Looks like this one has bit the dust - the website is no more.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Burnt Bridge - Submissions Open

Online ezine Burnt Bridge has reopened to submissions.  They're looking for dark stories up to 3000 words.  Payment is $20.  You can find all the details here

Abomination - e-pub zine

Abomination is a quarterly e-pub zine looking for stories in the horror, sci-fi, and dark fantasy genres.  They're new this year and are working on their fourth issue.  Stories must be 1000 to 7500 words and payment is 1cent a word.  You can find all the details here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The State of the Short Story - essay

Friend of the blog, Michael S. Chong, emailed this link to Publishers Weekly where there's a lovely essay about short stories

Of course, when I went back after lunch to check out a few facts before posting the site seemed to be having some difficulties.  Probably from the storm.  But I decided to post the link anyway so it doesn't get lost in my email.  And perhaps some of you will have better luck getting through.  My computer doesn't always play nice.

Thank you, Michael!!

Horror Without Victims - Anthology Call

Megazanthus Press has opened their reading period for a new anthology called "Horror Without Victims".  2000 to 10,000 words with a May 30, 2013 deadline.  This is a British press so payment is in pounds 0.01 per word.  Each story must reflect the title of the anthology.  D.F. Lewis is the editor/publisher.  You can find all the details here

Horror Factory - New Issue

From the gentlemen over at Crime Factory comes Horror Factory.  You can get a copy for your Kindle or download a free pdf here  They've got quite a lineup for your reading pleasure!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pulp Modern - Call for Western Shorts

While Pulp Modern  has closed to submissions, editor, Alec Cizak is still looking for Western shorts.

Loving Shorts

Apex publisher, Jason Sizemore talks about his love for genre short stories.

Anthology Calls

Editor, Steve Berman has eight anthology calls listed on his site.  Four are for publisher Prime Books and Four for erotica publisher, Lethe Press.  All are paying markets with varying pay rates.  You can find all the calls here

Hat tip to Charles Tan.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I've never truly understood the zombie phenomenon that's slowly overtaking the current fad of vampire stories in the horror genre.  They both deal with the undead but vampires are romanticized while zombies are just plain horrifying.  This essay by Stant Litore really gets down to the bones of what zombie fiction can be and gave me a whole new perspective on the topic.  You can read the essay here

And a side note.  If I suddenly disappear for the next few days, don't be alarmed, it's just the "Frankenstorm" riding roughshod over PA. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Darker Edge of Desire - Anthology Call

This call popped up over at CrimeSpace.  "The Darker Edge of Desire" is looking for Gothic erotica.  3000 to 6000 words with payment of $50 to $75 per story.  Mitzi Szereto is the editor and Cleis Press the publisher.  You can find all the details here

Always the Fine Print

I just ran across a call for stories for an anthology called "Grimm & Grimmer".  Since I love reimagined fairytales the call really interested me until I read this part of the guidelines:

"Previously published stories will NOT be considered for this anthology, and while authors will retain copyright we expect all new characters created for this anthology to be placed within the public domain."

If your character goes into the public domain that means anyone in the world can write a story using your characters and make money off of it without paying you for the privilege.  Be careful out there, writers, and always read the fine print.

This call came from new e-publisher, Fringe Works.  They had another call posted and this statement wasn't included in that call.  Since fairytales are a really hot commodity of late I have to wonder why this demand was included in the guidelines.

Watch your backs out there, my friends. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Out of the Gutter 8 - Anthology Call/Contest

Out of the Gutter 8 is open for submissions.  They're running a contest also for stories to be included in the new anthology.  The deadline for both is November 21.  You'll find the details for both here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Contest Linkage

And since the links seem to be in a contest mood today there is a site online that will link you up with all sorts of writing contests.

Narrative Magazine - Contest

Narrative Magazine  has opened submissions to their Fall 2012 Story contest.  This is a very high end literary magazine and there is a $22 fee to enter that allows you three months complimentary access to the Narrative Backstage section of their online zine.  The deadline for this contest is November 30.  You will find all the details here

Prizes here are 1st - $2500, 2nd - $1000, 3rd - $500, and 10 finalists will each receive $100.

A big thank you to Steve Weedle for the link!!

The 2013 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest

The 2013 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest has opened for submissions.  They want sci-fi stories up to 8000 words.  There is no fee to enter and there are prizes.  You can find all the details here

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie's monthly list of anthology markets is up.

Box Fire Press - Anthology Call

Box Fire Press has issued a call for submissions to their newest sci-fi/fantasy anthology.  The story must include this reference "a violet figurine, somehow in someway, near a fireplace".  300 to 10,000 words with a November 31 deadline.  There is no mention of payment.  You can find the details here.

You can check out Box Fire Press here

This link also came via Michael Bracken.  Thanks, Michael!!

Pro Se Press - Anthology Calls

If you love writing novelette length pulp stories ( 10,000 to 15,000 words ) Pro Se Press has issued an open call for ten new anthologies in a variety of genres.  The calls are listed on Sean Taylor's blog with all the details except payment.

You can check out Pro Se Press here

A big thank you to Michael Bracken for the link!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

For Canadian Writers - Tesseracts 17 - Anthology Call

Canadian publisher, Edge, has opened submissions for their annual anthology. Tesseracts 17:  Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast is open to Canadian authors only.  They're looking for spec-fiction short stories up to 5000 words.  Payment is a minimum of $50 for up to 1500 words and a max of $150 for stories of 5000 words.  They're also looking for poetry with a flat payment of $20.  You can find all the details here

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm a Guest Blogger Over at Pulp Curry

Fellow Snubnose Press author, Andrew Nette invited me to do a guest post on his blog, Pulp Curry.  Of course I said yes and rattled on about short stories, online zines, and marketing.  Many thanks to Andrew for a chance to spout off about my favorite topics.

Funny thing, when I was writing that post I suddenly realized just how much things have changed on the zine front since I first started submitting over a decade ago.  The zines have come a long way in a short time.

One Buck Horror - E-pub Zine

One of the best things about is the random markets that come up on their home page.  Today it was One Buck Horror.  This is an ebook zine publisher who's looking for horror stories up to 3000 words and pays 5cents a word.  You can find all the details here

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who'd Have Thought?

As a crime writer are you tired of the same old stories?  Well, now you can put a new spin on your counterfeiting story with this  Of course, a month or so ago there was a large shipment of maple syrup stolen, and I was surprised to see a follow up story that the repackaged syrup was tracked down by Canadian police officials.  I can hear it now.

"What case are you working  on?" 

"The maple syrup theft ring."

"That's a sticky case."


"The ketchup counterfeiting ring."

"Have you checked out the Hamburgler?"

Is food going to be the next big thing in crime fiction?  Nah...not sexy enough :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Joe Lansdale - Interview

Great interview with Joe Lansdale over at My Bookish Ways.

Pulp Line - Submission Call

UK e-publisher, Anachron Press, has just opened submissions for Pulp Line.  They're looking for novellas of 15,000 to 30,000 words in a variety of genres with payment a 50/50 split of royalties.  You can find all the details here

A big thank you to Michael Bracken for the link!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Technology and kids.  While I feel for the parents, there's a lot of stories that can be mined from something like this.  From sci-fi to crime to even fantasy, the runaway kid scenario is one of the foundations of storytelling.  Hopefully the young people will return home unharmed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hazardous Press - Anthology Call

Hazardous Press has a call for submissions to an anthology titled "Horrific History".  They're looking for "tales that show us the true horrific story behind historical events", like zombies in the Civil War or Vampires in Renaissance Italy.  Payment is in royalties and the deadline is December 31.  2000 to 10,000 words.  If you scroll down the page you'll find a call for short story collections that fall in line with what the press publishes.  Deadline for this is November 1.  You can find all the details here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Full Dark City Press - More Info

I'm still getting hits from people looking for more information about Full Dark City Press so here's a link to what they're looking for in the submissions department.  And one suggestion to the publisher - a link to your blog on the press website would be helpful for writers who want to know more about you.  Not a criticism, just a suggestion.

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - market source has posted up several new zine markets since the beginning of the month.  You'll find both paying and non-paying markets listed.

New Orleans by Gaslight - Anthology Call

The deadline for "New Orleans by Gaslight" is October 31 so this is short notice for those who'd like to submit.  The editors are looking for steampunk stories set in a fictional Victorian New Orleans.  No word count limitations but they're not especially looking for flash or novella length.  This is a non-paying market.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Asbury Pulp - New Market

For those of you who love and write pulp fiction we have Asbury Pulp.  They're looking for short stories in all the pulp genres.  400 to 1250 words but the sweet spot is 600 to 1000.  This is a non-paying market for web content, but if your story is selected for a "best of" print edition you will be contacted with a purchase price.  You can find all the details here

A Mini Rant

Okay, what is it with magazine editors?  Whenever they list their favorite reads you get a list like this one.

"We will consider short stories that can be classified broadly as belonging to the Horror, Science Fiction or Fantasy genres. Expand our horizons, challenge or fine-tune convention. We love well-done genre blending and bending, too, like John W. Campbell, Jr.’s “Who Goes There?,” H.P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains of Madness,” Philip K. Dick’s “The King of the Elves,” and C.S. Lewis’s “Space” trilogy. Other authors whose work we enjoy include Jorge Luis Borges, Harlan Ellison, R.E. Howard, Shirley Jackson, M.R. James, Brian McNaughton, Clifford D. Simak, Clark Ashton Smith, and J.R.R. Tolkien."

The truth is, if a writer submitted a story written like Tolkien they'd find a rejection slip in their inbox.  Why do they do this?  Is it to impress writers with what they've read?  Are there no new writers that they admire?  If we all wrote in the same style and type of story that was written a century ago we'd never find a market.  Yes, the work of the masters is great, but please, update your reading list.

Sword and Mythos - Anthology Call

Innsmouth Free Press has announced their latest anthology call.  With "Sword and Mythos" they're looking for sword and sorcery stories up to 5000 words.  Payment is 5cents a word.  Submission dates are January 15, 2013 to February 15, 2013 so you have plenty of time to work on a story.  You can find all the details and a list of ideas that they're open to here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brian White - Fireside Editor

Chuck Wendig is hosting Brian White, the editor of Fireside magazine, on his blog today.

Pushing Forward

Wonderful post about writing when life throws you a curve ball.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All Due Respect - Anthology Call

Editor, Chris Rhatigan, has announced that All Due Respect has reopened for submissions to both the zine and a new anthology to be published by Full Dark City Press.  1000 to 5000 words.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find more details here.

And you can find Full Dark City Press here  This new press is also open for novel submissions of 20,000 to 100,000 words.  There's no mention of payment, so you'll have to contact the publisher.

UPDATE:  I noticed that someone landed here searching for the editors at Full Dark City Press.  They are C.J. Edwards, Alec Cizak, and Chris Rhatigan.  You'll find a bit more info here

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Case Files - Call for Submissions

The Case Files is a new print magazine from Ephemera Publishing set to launch in January.  They're looking for all types of mystery stories from cozies to noir up to 2000 words.  The deadline for this first issue is December 1.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find all the details here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Roy Robbins - Publisher Interview

Over at the Horror Writers of America blog they've posted an interesting interview with Roy Robbins the owner/publisher of Bad Moon Books.  I was struck by the fact that he doesn't think a new author should self-publish but his reasoning is pretty sound.

Big Pulp - Submissions Open

Big Pulp is open to submissions for their "The Kennedy Curse" themed issue.  The deadline is January 31, 2013.  You'll find all the details here

Saturday, October 6, 2012

TKnC - Halloween Contest

Thrillers, Killers 'n Chillers ezine has just announced their Halloween Contest.  There is no theme, they're just looking for your best horror shorts up to 2000 words.  The deadline is October 22 and there's no fee to enter.  Prizes are publication for the top three stories and the winner walks away with some free ebooks.  You can find all the details here

Cabbage Musing on a Saturday Morning

A strange thing happened to me at the grocery store the other day.  I was headed down the dairy aisle when I was brought up short by a woman who was blocking the aisle.  She turned around, took one look at me, and asked what she needed to make cabbage rolls.

"Ah, cabbage, hamburger, rice, and tomatoes."

"Yes, tomatoes and rice.  I just went blank on the ingredients.  Thank you."

And off she went down the aisle in search of tomatoes and rice.

Now, I get strange requests at the grocery store all the time.  I've reached items on high shelves for a few, found items for men who seemed at a loss as to where that item they came for was located.  I must have one of those faces that says, 'yes, I can help you'.  But the cabbage roll ingredients stumped me.

Other than I live in a community where cabbage rolls, better know in the area as halupki, are a staple.  How did this woman know I could help her?  How could she take one look at me and know that I could reel off the ingredients like a Polish cook?  Other than myself, no one in my family has ever made cabbage rolls.

All of this got me thinking about characters.  It's easy in movies, when you see Bruce Willis in a film you know that he's going to save the world, or the girl.  But how do you get that across in your stories?  Is your character's actions and dialogue enough to do the job or do you have to paint a vivid description to get your point across?  Truth is, it's probably a combination of all three.

But then again, what a reader sees in their mind isn't always what the writer is seeing.  There has to be a point of trust between the two, a subtle knowledge that the character knows what he/she's doing.  The writer has to be true to the character he's written and the reader must trust that the writer isn't going to make the character do something stupid.  As a writer you must keep your character in character.  Just something to think about when you're writing.

And yes, I'm off to the kitchen to put together some cabbage rolls for the crock pot. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012


You know Halloween is just around the corner when scientists release the news that they've discovered vampire dinosaurs.

Of course, if your mind is like mine, you're looking at some way to include this cool "monster" into your latest Halloween story. :)

Bouchercon Awards

The first of the Bouchercon Awards have been announced.  Of interest here are the short story winners.  "Disarming" by Dana Cameron picked up the Macavity and Jeffrey Cohen's "The Gun also Rises" nabbed the Barry Award.  A big congrats and a round of Snoop Dances to all the winners and nominees!!  You can read the entire list of winners over at The Rap Sheet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

World Weaver Press - Anthology Call

World Weaver Press has posted a call for romance novellas with a speculative element tentatively titled "A Winter's Enchantment".  The submission period is December 1 to 31st.  20,000 to 30,000 words.  Payment is a percentage of royalties.  If you story is selected it will be published as part of an anthology and as a single ebook.  You can find all the particulars here

Clockwork Phoenix - Anthology Call

Clockwork Phoenix is an annual sci-fi/fantasy anthology.  This year's subtitle is tales of beauty and strangeness.  The deadline is December 14 with publication in 2013.  They would prefer stories under 5000 words but will accept up to 10,000.  Payment is 5cents a word.  You'll find more details of what they're looking for here

David Niall Wilson - Interview

There's a great interview over at Hell Notes with writer/e-publisher, David Niall Wilson, owner of Crossroad Press.

MicroHorror - Halloween Contest

It's that time again for MicroHorror's annual Halloween contest.  There's no entry fee.  You have up to 666 words to tell a horror story with this year's theme - ART.  And yes, there's prizes and publication.  You'll find all the details here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Out of the Gutter - Looking for Reviewers

Out of the Gutter online is looking for book and film reviewers.  No pay, but a chance to get your name out there and add a bit to your resume.  You can find all the details here

3&5 - Submission Call

This is a new sci-fi zine that's put out a call for submissions of literary fantasy and sci-fi ala Ursula K. LeGuin and Neil Gaiman.  1000 to 3000 words and payment is 5cents a word.  There's no launch date set at this time.  You can find the details here

UPDATE:  I've gotten quite a few hits from people looking for the editor of 3&5 so I checked out (and if you're searching for markets this is one of the best sources out there).  They have Ethan Fast listed as editor and the 1st issue is to launch in mid November.

UPDATE:  3/15/13 Ralan has declared this market dead.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pank - The Pulp Issue is Live

The pulp issue of Pank, edited by Court Merrigan, has gone live.  Read it here

Tales to Terrify - Submission Call

Tales to Terrify is a podcast site which has opened for submissions.  This is a non-paying market that is looking for reprints.  This site is part of StarShipSofa podcast group which includes Crime City Central.

Nightmare Magazine - First Issue

The first issue of Nightmare Magazine is now available.  They're set up in the same manner as The Big Click.  You can purchase the entire issue as an ebook or read it online over the course of the month.

Both Barrels - New Anthology

Online zine, Shotgun Honey, has launched their first anthology, "Both Barrels" today.  Check out all the details over on their site.

Get 'er Done

While I'm not a professional writer in the sense that I make money writing short stories, I do, more often than not, consider myself a professional writer.  Even still, there are days when I need a pep talk like this one.  Just get 'er done.

Science Fiction Trails - Submission Call

Science Fiction Trails is a print magazine that is published once a year.  They're looking for sci-fi stories of 1000 to 6000 words that are set in the wild west era of 1850 to 1900.  Payment is $20.  You'll find all the details here

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Write a Dick - free

Whether you're writing shorts or novels "How to Write a Dick" will guide you through the tricks of the trade of being a PI.  And it's free from October 2 to the 4th.  You can find all the details here

Tom Piccirilli

The mystery community is rallying around author, Tom Piccirilli, today as he has surgery for a brain tumor.  If you'd like to make a donation or purchase one of his books (his e-publisher is donating all proceeds to Tom) to help with his medical expenses you can check out this notice at LitReactor where you'll find all the links.

Alexandra Sokoloff - Nano Prep

If you're thinking about doing Nano in November you'll find Ms Sokoloff's blog extremely helpful in getting yourself ready for the challenge.  Right now she has a prep post up and if you scroll down the blog you'll find all sorts of great writing articles that's she's written on the right side.  There is a wealth of information for aspiring writers here

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crime Fiction?

I often wonder how many great novels readers in the crime genre miss because they're tagged as literary or romance.  What got me thinking about this is a book I just finished called "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

Yes, it's considered both literary and romance, but at the center of the story is a murder.  And not just one murder, by the end of the book four of the main characters are dead with a trail of innocent bodies piling up along the way.  The characters in this book are straight out of a thirties era pulp novel.  We have a circus owner who will do anything to have the top rated circus including using a paranoid schizophrenic to do his dirty work.  The rest of the cast includes a young femme fatale who's married to that paranoid, a hero who has lost his parents, his home, and his future because of a car accident, a circus full of thugs and whores, plus a menagerie full of animals.  If it weren't for the feel good ending, this novel would be straight up noir.

With all these ingredients why didn't the crime community embrace this novel?  Was it the fact that the novel was billed as a romance?  Did the fact that a ninety-three year old man was the narrator turn them off?  What was it about this book that it didn't hit the crime fiction radar?  And are there other books out there that are fairly straight up crime but still don't get noticed by mystery readers? - New Market Source

While searching for some new anthology calls I stumbled across a new market source called which lists open market calls.

Noir at the Bar 2 - Available for Purchase

The second volume of Noir at the Bar is now live.  Read all about here then go get yourself a copy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fogged Clarity - ezine

This link to a zine called Fogged Clarity, came from Katherine Tomlinson.  It's more a literary zine than genre but the site is beautifully done with a mixture of poetry, short stories, music, and photographs.  This is a non-paying market unless your work is selected for their once a year print issue.  You can check it out here.

Perihelion - New Sci-fi Ezine

Perihelion is a new sci-fi zine that's looking to launch their first issue on November 12.  They're looking for hard sci-fi shorts of 1000 to 7000 words with payment of 1cent a word up to $75.  They're paying the same for articles.  For those of you who write reviews they're paying a flat fee of $10 for 400 word reviews.  You can find all the details here

Off the Record 2 - Charity Anthology Now Available

Off the Record 2 is now available for purchase.  All proceeds go toward child literacy programs in both the US and UK.  You will find all the details and links here

Help support a worthy cause.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bourbon Penn - ezine

This looks like an interesting zine and I love their name - Bourbon Penn.  They're looking for short stories in various genres of 2000 to 5000 words.  Payment is 1cent a word.  You can find all the details on their site.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some Short Reading Material

eFiction Magazine has published their first Noir issue.
Hat tip to Paul Brazill for the link!

Patti Abbott's flash fiction challenge "Joe, Jr." went live today.  You'll find links to all the stories here  I just plain drew a blank on this one, and believe it not, it's the first of Patti's challenges I've missed.

But you'll find a story of mine over at Crime City Central's podcast  It's very cool to hear someone else read your story to you.  In this case it's Veronica Giguere reading "In God's Own Time".  One of the stories from my Snubnose Press collection Cold Rifts.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Okay, could someone please explain to me the draw of Hemingway.  I just finished reading a Nick Adams short story called "The Killers" and absolutely nothing happens.  I mean two killers walk into a diner, they tie up the cook and Nick in the kitchen, and have the owner turn all the customers away while they're waiting for their target.  And nobody fights back.  Not one customer who's turned away suspects anything wrong.  And when the man they're sent to kill doesn't show up - nothing, they just leave the diner without any violence or threats.

Maybe it's because I just finished reading "Blossom" by Andrew Vachss and started "The Body Lovers" by Mickey Spillane.  The pages of both books are full of action, great descriptions and wonderful dialogue.  Things that don't exist in "The Killers".

So what is it about Hemingway that I'm missing?  Is it wrong to not be impressed by one of great American writers?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Superhero Review

If you're on the fence about grabbing a copy of Beat to a Pulp: Superhero, check out this very cool review.

Yeah, I'm Snoopy Dancin' around the room :) 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Noir Exploring

I dropped by Woody Haut's Blog today to check out what Mr. Haut called Hippie Noir then clicked on a post titled What is Noir and found a piece of noir poetry.

From there I clicked on a site called Figments of Noir that has some very beautiful photographs, scraps of poetry, pieces of movies, and noir quotes.

Always fun seeing noir through other people's eyes.


The other day Michael Bracken emailed this link to me.  As I read the article this morning it reminded me of the plagiarism case from last year where a writer pieced together his manuscript from multiple books by famous authors in the spy genre.  In an Internet world where you can cut paste any sentence you need, this is probably going to happen more and more in both fiction and non-fiction.  And it's very troubling.

Many thanks for the link, Michael!!

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie has posted her monthly anthology calls.  One that might appeal to readers here is an anthology called "Queering Edgar Allan Poe" (near the bottom of the list).  Though this is a call from erotica press, Lethe, the story doesn't have to be erotic, they only ask that you "think Gothic and gay".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dread Time Stories - Anthology Call

Alter Press has issued a call for short stories that put a "splatterific bent" on your old fairy tales.  The ebook anthology is called Dread Times Stories.  4000 to 8000 words, a flat payment of $10, with a December 31 deadline.  You'll find all the details here

Charles Beckman - Interview

David Cranmer has an excellent interview on his blog with old time pulp writer, Charles Beckman, Jr.

Blood Bound Books - Submission Calls

Horror Publisher, Blood Bound Books, has an open submission call for novellas, novelettes, and novels.  10,000 to 80,000 words.  The deadline is October 31.

Then on November 1 they open for submissions to the third volume in their popular anthology series "Night Terrors".  The deadline for this call is January 1, 2013.

You'll find the details for both calls here

Noir Nation - New Issue

Issue 2 of Noir Nation has launched.  You can check out the lineup and see some of the beautiful artwork here

Or you can just jump on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy.

Legends of the Buckeye State - Anthology Call

Editor, S. Clayton Rhodes, is seeking submissions for an anthology called "Legends of the Buckeye State".  Woodlawn Press is the publisher for this anthology of horror or dark stories based on the myths and legends within the state of Ohio.  Up to 2500 words with a November 30 deadline.  Payment is 5cents a word.  You can find all the details here

I found this call over at Horror Tree which is a great source for both anthology and zine calls for submissions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grim Corps - New Ezine

Grim Corps is a new zine looking to get off the ground with a Kickstarter pledge drive (still deciding how I feel about this Kickstarter business).  Anyhoo, they're looking for dark short stories in a variety of genres for their first issue.  Payment will be 1 to 4cents a word depending on how well their pledge drive works.  If you click on their about link you'll find that they're also looking for an assistant editor.  You can check them out here.

An Introduction to Fantasy

Over at LitReactor Rajan Khanna has put together a list of fantasy writers and zines that will be of great help to anyone interested in writing in the fantasy genre.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Old Pulp Masters Speak

Brian Lindenmuth emailed this link yesterday about the ten commandents of detective fiction which takes a look at how some of the pulp masters thought detective fiction should be.

I have a link to the right to VanDine's 20 rules for detective fiction but there's also a link there to Lester Dent's Pulp Master Plot which lays out how Dent wrote pulp stories.  His piece is on a site called Dirty 30s! and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll find links to all sorts of pulpy goodness from the 1930's.  It's a great place to start your research if you're looking to set a story in the thirties.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Writing Shorts

Libby Hellman gives us six reason to write short stories over at the Top Suspense blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crossed Genres - Anthology Call

Yes, it's one of those days when the market links keep tumbling in  - which makes it a great day!  This time it's an anthology for "Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way".  They're looking for stories where your superhero has limited powers to save the day.  2000 to 8000 words, payment is a flat $20, and the deadline is January 15, 2013.  You can find the details here

And be sure to check out the site because Crossed Genres also publishes a magazine (with themes) and has other anthology calls still open.

Washington City Paper - Call for Fiction Submissions

The Washington City Paper is preparing for a fiction issue in 2013 and they've put out a call for stories set in the DC area.  What kind of stories?  Well, they've suggested that you take a look at DC Noir 2 for inspiration.  The deadline is November 1, 2012 and there is payment but they say how much.  You can find all the details here

And another thank you to Katherine for the link!!

Dark Galaxy Press - Anthology Call

Dark Galaxy Press is a new e-publisher.  They have put out an anthology call for "Body Snatchers and Chest Bursters:  An Anthology of Sci-Fi Horror".  They want stories up to 3000 words with "horror that has a scientific explanation".  Payment is 5cents a word.  You'll find all the details here.

A big thank you to Katherine Tomlinson for the link.  And guess what?  She found the call on Craig's List.

UPDATE:  May 29, 2013  Looks like this isn't going anywhere.  Nothing has been posted on the site since October of 2012.

On Editors

From  Michael Bracken we have a link to another editor weighing in on how to submit to an open call anthology.

A Question

How important is an Amazon author's page to your Kindle sales?  I don't join a lot of sites on the Internet because I've seen people's email addresses snatched then used for spamming, so I hesitated about signing up for a page.  Plus I'm not sure if I trust Amazon all that much not to use my info for nefarious purposes like constantly sending me spam which B&N does since I used a gift card there.

Pros and con, anyone?  I'm probably not the only one wondering about this. :) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2013 Nelson Algren Award - No Fee Contest

Every year the Chicago Tribune sponsors the the Nelson Algren Award for short stories that best reflect the writings of Algren.  The contest is open to US citizens only.  There is no fee to enter.  The deadline is February 1, 2013 for stories of up to 8000 words.  There is one grand prize of $3500, four finalist receive $1000 each, and $500 to goes to each of five runners-up.  You can find all the details here,0,5633846.story

Big Pulp - Special Themed Issue

Big Pulp has opened to submissions for a special themed issue, "The Kennedy Curse".  There's no deadline listed but their reading periods are usually a month long.  Payment is 1cent a word up to 2500 words.  Stories can be longer but payment stops at the $25 mark.  Stories can be in any pulp genre.  You will find all the details here

Untreed Reads - Anthology Call

I found this call via Hellnotes.  Untreed Reads has posted a call for submissions for a new anthology titled "Year's End".  They're looking for horror shorts of 1500 to 5000 words that center around New Year's Eve.  The deadline is October 15, payment is shared royalties.  You find all the details here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Harper Voyager - Open Novel Call

Harper Voyager is hosting an open call for novel submissions for their spec-fiction e-book line.  The submission period is October 1 to the 14th.  70,000 to 120,000 words.  You can find all the details here

Near to the Knuckle - Anthology Call

Online ezine Near to the Knuckle is looking for dark, gritty stories of 1000 to 3000 words for a new e-anthology to help support their zine.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find the details here

Hat tip to BV Lawson over at the In Reference to Murder blog.

Wild Moon Press - Anthology Calls

Wild Moon Press is an imprint of erotica publisher Storm Moon Press and they have four anthology calls listed.  They're looking for erotic stories in various genres.  Word counts vary but the pay is $50 per story plus royalties.  The calls are listed here

UPDATE:  September 24, 2013  This press seems to have gone off the grid.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Editor Interview - Eddie Vega

If you haven't discovered the Six Questions For blog you're missing out on a great resource for finding out what editors are looking for.  This morning you'll find an interview with Eddie Vega, editor of Noir Nation.

On Editing

A great look at the hazardous editing process that brings an anthology to life.!/2012/09/a-guest-post-by-richard-salter.html

Looks like has gotten things under control after being hacked yesterday  Happy to see that both Noir Nation and Beat to a Pulp are back up.

What I can't understand is why hackers feel the need to do things like that.  What earthly reason is there to destroy other people's work?  It's rather like going out and shooting someone just because you can.  There's nothing good or noble in the act.  With such mad computer skills they could be building something beautiful instead of tearing things down.  But what do I know?  I'm just old lady who fumbles around with a keyboard.