Friday, August 31, 2012

The Gorilla Story Cupboard

This news article just tickled my funny bone, but better yet, it tossed a few ideas into the old story cupboard.  I mean, who steals a 400 pound gorilla statue?  And why steal it just to shoot it full of holes?  And look at that gorilla, doesn't he look, well, pissed.  With a swish of fantasy he could have attacked the thieves.  Ah, the stories he could tell if we could only get him to talk.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Western Press Books - Anthology Call

Western Press Books has a call for poems, short stories, and creative non-fiction with the theme of the contemporary cowboy.  This is a non-paying (except for a copy) literary market.  The deadline is February 20, 2013.  You can find all the details here

On Shorts

Interesting look at short stories by Ian Mond who admits to being burned out on short stories after reading them for eighteen months straight.

I know a bit of how he feels since I've been participating in the ShortStory365 project this year.  I'm woefully behind in posting to the site, but not in reading the stories.  I usually read at least one short a day and sometimes several but I don't always post about the stories because they don't seem worthy of asking someone else to read them.

And it's not just other writer's short stories, but my own.  I was in the middle of writing a story about a month ago and I sat back and asked myself what the hell am I doing?  I've written this story many times over.  If I'm bored with it, won't my readers be ho-humming the story, too?  Which has me asking myself, how do you make a story memorable?  How far can you push the envelope of genre and still hang on to your readers?  Do you have to switch genres to keep your writing fresh?

How about you?  Do you feel like you're just writing the same thing over and over?  Do you worry that your work is just okay?  Do you think that's good enough or do you want something more from your stories?  Or is it that most of us aren't getting paid and good enough is fine for give-away work? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Malfeasance Occasional - new e-pub zine

The Malfeasance Occasional is a new e-pub zine created by the good people over at the Criminal Element site.  They will be publishing three times a year with a theme for each issue.  The first theme is "Girl Trouble" and they will open for subs on September 28 to October 10.  Payment is $350 for one year's exclusive rights.  You'll find all the details here

Joe and Edgar

Joe Lansdale gives a moving tribute to Poe over at Mulholland Books this morning.


Great post by GT Almasi on facing the fear so many of us feel when we sit down to write.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Burning Man Festival

And doesn't this look like fun!  What a great place to set a story.  Flash challenge, Patti?

The Mothman Cometh

If you're writing a Mothman story or trying to create some unusual looking characters for that sci-fi/fantasy you're working on here's a good place to start.  There's some really great looking creatures out there.

Cormac McCarthy - Papers

Jeez, who knew Cormac McCarthy had a society and his own conference?  Anyhoo, they have a call for papers about his novel "All the Pretty Horses" and other McCarthy related topics, some of which will be collected into an anthology after the conference.

Writers Afrika - market source

In searching for new markets this morning I ran across the Writers Afrika site.  Set up to help African writers with markets and workshops, it also has markets listed that are open to other writers around the world.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Eye of the Beholder

I love art.  Maybe because I can't draw myself I'm always awed by those who can create beauty with their hands.  While clicking on links tonight I discovered Francois Robert's "Stop the Violence" gallery of work.  The artwork is created with human bones then photographed.  The work is both awesome in its beauty and terrifying in the message it delivers.  You can click through the images at the link.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Just for Fun

I love the imagination that went into creating this site.  And be sure to click on Dating Tips for the Dead - it's a hoot.  The chat room is another good click, especially if you like talking to the dead. :)  Believe it or not, they have a Twitter account, too!

Oh the lovely ideas for some fun short stories that this page conjures up, especially in the Romance genre.

Hat tip to Brian Lindenmuth for the link!

Coming Soon

How cool is this?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jersey Devil Press

The first and second place winners of Jersey Devil Press' 2012 novella contest have been announced and published in their August issue which is now live.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Liar's Story Cupboard

There's some interesting possibilities in this article for short stories.  While lies and lying work well in the framework of crime stories, especially to cover your ass after the crime, they could also be a good jumping off place for getting a crime story started.  Lies can create suspicion and motivation for your characters

Of course, crime isn't the only genre where a lie could be the start of a great story.  Big lies, little lies, cover up lies, any old lie at all could work.  Sending your protag off in the wrong direction, or looking for an artifact that doesn't exist.  Thinking a small white lie will ease the tension of a situation, like we're running out of fuel and about to crash on an uninhabited planet.  And lies could certainly wreck havoc in a romance story.

To get your story started, just tell the biggest fib you can think of and go from there.

Horror Factory

Just a reminder that there are only 10 days left to get a story into Crimefactory's special "Horror Factory" issue.

RIP Phyllis Diller

Two of the leaders of the feminist movement passed away this past week.  Most people have heard of Helen Gurley Brown.  For me, her idea of of the movement was having it all as long as the sex was good.  And her magazine, Cosmopolitan, was just an off-shoot of Playboy, exploiting women under the guise of feminism.

Now, Phyllis Diller was a true pioneer.  She was the first female stand up comedian to make it big.  She went were no woman had gone before and she did it without using sex to get there.  With her frazzled looking hair, the non-form fitting dresses, that wonderful barking laugh, the cigarette in that long elegant holder, and her hands and arms encased in long black evening gloves she poked fun at the "beautiful people".  She was one of us, and we loved her for it.

She proved that women didn't have to be beautiful or sexy to make their mark on the world.  All we needed was a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at ourselves.  She opened the doors for the women who came after her like Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr.  It's still not easy for women to step out into what's considered a man's world but Phyllis Diller showed us what could be done with grace and a raucous laugh. 


Shimmer is open for submissions.  This is a speculative fiction zine that has just upped their rates to 5cents a word.  You can find their guidelines here

Hat tip to Katherine Tomlinson!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Woman's World

Woman's World is one of the better paying markets for short mystery stories and one of the hardest to break into.  They have no online presence and still only accept snail mail submissions.  John Floyd has a great success rate with this print magazine and has posted some tips for cracking this market here.

Writing Beyond the Idea

Carrie Cuinn has an excellent post on her blog about finding an idea and taking it beyond the bounds of storytelling.  This one hit home for me because I have this great idea for a story but I'm having trouble finding my way into the story and wondering if it'll actually work.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dirty Noir

Looks like the zine "Dirty Noir" has bit the dust.  The site has vanished into the ether.  Not surprising since there's been nothing posted or updated since last December.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Finding Markets

Most of you come here looking for markets for your short stories.  Truth is, I'm only one source and I don't have every market that's available out there.  Which also means that places like Duotrope and Ralan don't have everything either.  Though they do have a much wider selection as I basically search for crime markets, anthologies, and flash markets.

Take this morning, I did a search through Yahoo using "anthology calls 2013" and found the four markets that I listed below.  None of which were listed on Duotrope.  There were also plenty of other markets in that search for poetry, non-fiction, and loads of erotica markets.  The comic anthology was just one listed for art work. 

There are thousands of markets out there, both paying and non-paying.  If you're a writer looking to place your stories, don't trust just one source, use every available source you can find.  Including using Yahoo and Google to do searches.  If you have a story for a specific genre you can narrow your search by using something like "calls for Western anthologies".  If you use a date like 2013 it helps get you to the current calls so you don't have to wade through calls from years ago.

And no, I didn't come up with the search idea on my own.  It was passed along through SMFS by Michael Bracken.  It's always good to listen to those who have been in the trenches for a long time.  They know all of the tricks to finding new markets.

Seventh Star Press - Anthology Calls

Seventh Star Press has two open anthology calls.  Payment is a percentage of royalties. 

The first call is "Perfect Flaw: Dystopian Stories" which is looking for spec-fiction stories in any genre.  deadline is January 8, 2013.

"Thunder on the Battle Field" is looking for sword and sorcery stories with a January 31, 2013 deadline.

You can find all the details for both anthologies here

FableCroft Press - Anthology Call

Australian press, FableCroft, has an anthology call for submissions for Australian writers only.  The theme is "One Small Step".  2000 to 12,000 words with a September 30 deadline.  Payment is $75 AUD.

Indie Ladies Comic Anthology - Female Comic Creators

I don't usually link to comic book calls but I thought this one was quite interesting in that it's compiling comic from female creators.  This is their second anthology.  Here's their call with the links below.

We are seeking submissions from female comic creators for the second annual volume of an independent comic anthology. Submissions in all genres from women of all walks of life are welcome. Submissions from writer/artist teams are gladly accepted.

Submission specs: Minimum 1, maximum 12 (8.5x11") pages of visual narrative (comics). All submissions must be sent electronically to

Files must be 300-600 dpi and in jpg, tiff, riff or pdf formats. We accept full color, grayscale, and black & white submissions. If your file is too large for one email you can email the pages 1 page at a time.

A short bio, 30-25 words, about the creator(s) is also requested.

Payment will be 2 copies of the 2013 anthology. Additional copies will be available to contributors at print cost for their individual resale purposes. The anthology will premiere at the 2013 Small Press Alternative Expot (SPACE) in Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, please see our online F.A.Q. at

No Boundaries Press - Anthology Calls

No Boundaries Press is an ebook publisher that pays royalties.  Right now, they have four anthology calls open for submissions all with different deadlines and word counts.  You'll have to scroll down to the third call to find the open ones, which are, #3 Twelve Days of Christmas, #4 St. Patricks Day, #5 The Bad Guys, and #6 Primal Lusts.  You can find all the details here

Friday, August 17, 2012

On Writing

Over at Mysterious Matters there's a great essay about unreliable narrators, giving us both the pros and cons of using them in our work.

On Writing

Over at Mulholland Books, Michael Koryta has a very thoughtful essay on how real life crimes can affect our writing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elektrik Milk Bath - Anthology Calls

Elektrik Milk Bath Press has two anthology calls listed.  The first is a charity anthology called "Zombies for a Cure".  The deadline for stories up to 5000 words is September 5.  The second call is for Urban Fantasy stories of 1000 to 5000 words.  Deadline is October 31, payment is $30.  You can find the details for both calls here

Market News

Thanks to a comment from friend of the blog, Manuel Royal, we have a new link over there on the right in the Market Sources section called Aswiebe's Market List  You can never have too many sources for finding new markets for your work.

Also, if you haven't been over at lately, you should know that they've revamped their site this week.  Still works the same, just looks prettier.

The Hyacinth Noir - new ezine

Okay, I'm a sucker for any zine with noir in the title so I had to check this out.  The Hyacinth Noir bills itself as "a celebration of queer paganism".  They're looking to launch their first issue, Samhain, on October 31.  The basic theme is death and reincarnation.  They want flash stories under 1000 words and shorts up to 3000 words.  The deadline for this issue is October 15.  This is a non-paying market.

Just For Fun

The winners of the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.  For those who don't know, this contest is for the best worst first sentence.  There's some real doozies!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anthology Calls

Angie has posted her monthly anthology markets list.

The Novella Project

The Novella Project is an ebook publisher of novellas of 20,000 to 35,000 words.  They publish only one story each quarter of the year.  The site doesn't mention genre so I expect they're looking for more literary work.  Payment is $100 advance on the first 100 downloads.  After that royalties will be paid quarterly at the rate of $1 per download.  They want exclusive rights for two years, non-exclusive after that.  You can find the details here

UPDATE: 1/6/13  The Novella Project closed up shop.

Chamberton Publishing - YA Anthology Call

Chamberton Publishing has a call for YA stories with the common thread of hope and encouragement.  Stories can be in any genre.  500 to 7000 words, payment is $50 for stories to 2500 words, 2501 to 5000 words $75, and $100 for stories of 5001 to 7000 words.  Deadline is September 1.  Details here

Yellow Mama

The August issue of Yellow Mama has hit the virtual streets and they're also open for submissions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Storm Moon Press - Erotica Anthology Calls

Storm Moon Press has a dozen anthology calls listed with deadlines stretching into 2013.  These are all for erotica short stories of 10,000 to 20,000 words.  Various genres.  Payment is $75 to $150 per story depending on word count and, if I read it right, a percentage of royalties.  You can find all the details here

On Writing

There's a great essay by Kaolin Fire about finding your way into a story over at the Ink Punk's blog.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weird Noir - Anthology Call

If you like to mix your noir with fantasy and supernatural this anthology might interest you.  It's call "Weird Noir" and they're looking for stories of 4000 to 10,000 words.  Payment is $10 advance against the royalties.  Submissions close when filled.  You can find all the details here.

Dagan Books - Novella Call

Dagan Books is starting a line of speculative fiction novellas to be published in 2013.  17,500 to 40,000 words.  Payment will be 50% of the net profits for the individual novellas.  Later they plan to collect the stories together in an anthology and pay each author a percentage of the profits.  You can find all the details here  Their homepage goes into greater detail about the profit sharing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Off the Record - Charity Anthology

The second "Off the Record" charity anthology is open for submissions.  This time the stories must use movie titles to start off their stories.  The three listed are "Memento", "Ghost", and "American Beauty".  Stories can be in any genre with a word count of 750 to 2500.  Deadline September 1.  You'll find all the details here

Saturday Musing

The movie "Rock Star" was on today which got me thinking about childhood dreams.  We all grow up dreaming about what we want to be or do with our lives, but it struck me that boys and girls have way different dreams.

In general, boys dream of being, yeah, rock stars, or sports stars, or firemen, or policemen.  Girls, on the other hand, dream of being wives and mothers, or writers, or owning a small diner or coffee shop, or....You see, the thing is women don't seem to dream big.  I wonder why that is?

Do we intentionally seek out the quiet/safe things in life?  Or is it something we're taught to expect out of life, the small dreams that never cast us in the spotlight. 

Of course, not everyone who dreams big achieves that height of superstar status that they're looking for, men or women.  Life is what it is and we all learn to live with the hand life deals us.  But sometimes, I just wish that I'd dreamed way bigger than I did.

Iron Cauldron Books - Anthology Calls

Iron Cauldron Books has been in business since 2007.  They are a small press that publishes work in the horror genre in both print and ebook formats.  They have three anthology calls listed and payment is a percentage of royalties.

1.  Circus/Carnival Horror - 2000 to 4000 words, October 1 deadline
2.  Steampunk Horror - 2000 to 4000 words, December 1 deadline
3.  Near Death Experience - non-fiction 2000 to 4000 words, January 1, 2013 deadline

They also publish novellas, short story collections and novels.  Their homepage is here  Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on For Writers to find the details - the deadlines were on their submishmash page.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Editor Speaks Up

Apex submissions editor, Sigrid Ellis, explains what she's looking for in a story submission.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

On Writing

Ellery Queen editor, Janet Hutchings, has a great post up on the EQ blog about editing.  The essay is filled with great writing advice.

Hat tip to Michael Bracken for the link.

Atomic Age Ctulhu - Anthology Call

Found this call via Horror Tree.  "Atomic Age Cthulhu" is looking for shorts of 3000 to 7000 words that combine the happy 50's sitcom "reality" with the cold dread of cosmic horror.  The deadline is October 1.  Payment is 3cents a word.  You can find all the details here

The anthology is being published by Chaosium, which is a publisher of both games and books.  You can check them out here

Post Mortem Press

Post Mortem Press has an open call for novel submissions for their 2013 lineup.

Geek Love - Anthology Call

Okay, if you're into erotica and sci-fi, this anthology call will be right up your alley.  "Geek Love" is looking for stories of 100 to 6000 words that combine erotica with the world of Geek.  Deadline is September 15.  Payment is 3cents a word for stories and $150 a page for artwork.  You can find all the details here

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Editors and Editing

Nigel Bird has a great piece over on his blog about the editing process that went into the Pulp Ink 2 anthology.  I always love to see a glimpse into how editors work.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just Curious

I ran across an interesting anthology call over at Duotrope this morning.  Interesting because they were looking for short stories about dragons and they wanted to cover all the genres which sounded like fun.  I was all set to post the link when I discovered that they wanted rights to the story for four years.  That seems like a long time to hold rights (both print and electronic) to a short story that's being published in an anthology.  Anybody else seen contracts like this?


Sanitarium is a new horror zine being launched by Eye Trauma Press.  They're looking for horror stories up to 5000 words and real life ghost stories of 1000 words.  This is a non-paying market.

Inner Sins

Inner Sins is a new online zine looking for dark fiction.  Flash to 1000 words and shorts to 5000 words.  This is a non-paying market.  The site is up and looks pretty impressive.  You'll find their guidelines here

Monday, August 6, 2012


Fireside magazine has opened for submissions.  Closing date is September 3 for stories in any genre so long as there's great storytelling involved.  2000 to 4000 words with payment of 12.5cents a word which is funded through their Kickstarter program.  This is a print magazine.  You can find all the details here

Audience Approval

Sandra Ruttan has a thought provoking post over at Do Some Damage about holding your story together so the audience will continue reading.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shock Totem

Print magazine, Shock Totem has opened for submissions to their next issue.  Deadline is November 30 for short up to 5000 words.  Payment is 5cents a word with a $250 cap.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The First Line

The First Line has opened submissions for their Winter issue.  The deadline is November 1.  This is a paying market.  Here's the first line that you have to build your story on:

"Sometimes, when it's quiet, I can remember what my life was like before moving to Cedar Springs."

You can find all the details here

Advice from Richard Parks

At this link Mr. Parks talks about how to use that critique you don't agree with.

And this post is, at its heart, about storytelling vs good writing.  Basically writing with your audience in mind.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Question

Can a believable thriller be written in short story form?  I've been working on a short story for about a year now.  It's grown from a flash to nearly five thousand words.  I wanted the story to be fast paced and take place over a twenty four hour period.  But the editor I submitted it to said everything happened too fast.

I've found places where I can make changes by stretching out the timeline and filling in more back story.  But, this will create a much longer story than I intended, and will push it into the region of a novelette which, of course, raises the problem of finding a market for such a story.

Anyone else out there have this problem when attempting to write a thriller?  I would think that the breakneck speed of a thriller would work well in short form but it doesn't seem to be the case, at least with my story.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Melange Books

Melange Books is a royalty paying e-publisher which has several calls listed for short work here  This press publishes both erotica and romance.

They also have a YA imprint called Fire & Ice that has a call out for "Horse Stories" of 10,000 to 20,000 words and novellas of 40,000 to 60,000 words.  You can find more information here

Pulp Modern

Pulp Modern editor, Alec Cizak, has announced that they're open to submissions for their Autumn issue.  You'll also find other news about the zine here  Guidelines for submitting are here

How Much?

Interesting piece on how much information we need to tell a story.  And I love the title of the essay, "we can't all be the goddamn Batman".