Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Mini-Rant

Over the years I've read many pieces by editors whose number one complaint was writers who didn't spell their names right in the cover letter.  Editors wanted you to know and respect what they did.  What happened to those editors?  Yes, I know, Submittable has changed that a lot.

Today, with new zines and e-publishers popping up daily, you can't even find the names of the people in charge and I have to wonder why.  Are you embarrassed that you're starting up a business?  Or perhaps you're not serious about what you're doing and this way no one can point fingers if you fail?

From the writers' point of view the no name editor is not acceptable, or shouldn't be.  We're trusting you with our work and we want to know who we're dealing with.  No, we don't care what you had for breakfast, or if your wife is cheating on you.  What we want to know is simple.  Your name and your intentions.  Just like a marriage we want to know what we can expect from you in a working relationship.

A simple about page is all you need on your website.  Tell us a little about yourself, basically your experience.  What makes you capable of running a new zine or publishing company.  Tell us what makes you trustworthy, because we have to trust you with our work.  It's just common courtesy.  After all you expect us to give you a bio so you know who you're dealing with.

So please, let us know who we're working with, it makes the decision about submitting work to your venue so much easier.  And at least we'd know who to address our cover letter to besides "Hey You".

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Garrote - New Online Crime Zine

The Garrote Magazine is a new quarterly crime market getting set to launch on April 1.  They're looking for crime/noir/hard-boiled/femme fatale short stories up to 5000 words.  This is a non-paying market and you must query first.

They're also running a screenplay contest.  And they're looking for novel and short story collections, but they're only going to publish two a year.  Payment will be a shared royalty.

There's no listing of who the editor and publisher is/are but I sent a request for that information and will update when I get it.

UPDATE:  May 23, 2013  There's still no issue up and no word about who the editor is.

Monday, February 25, 2013

World Weaver Press - Anthology Call

There's a month left to submit a story for World Weaver Press' anthology, Far Orbit:  Speculative Space Adventures.  They're looking for "modern space adventures crafted in the Grand Tradition", up to 10,000 words.  Payment is 1cent a word with a March 31 deadline.  Included in the guidelines is a link to what exactly the editor is looking for.

David Barnett - Publisher Interview

There's an interesting interview over at Hell Notes with publisher David Barnett.  He talks about starting up Necro Publications and Bedlam Press.

Beat to a Pulp's Newest Release

Hardboiled 2 is now available for your Kindles.  Click on over and check out that cool cover and great lineup of authors.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Writer's Success Stories - Non-fiction Anthology Call

This is a non-fiction call for essays about writing successes.  The deadline is May 31 for 500 to 1500 words.  Payment is $50.  You can find all the details here

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Spam Story Cupboard

I just love checking the spam file in my email account.  You just never know what's going to tickle your funny bone or stir up a story.  And no, I don't open the emails, just reading the subject line is good enough.  This morning the sender was "Secret Wife Affairs" and the subject line was "Why Wait Have an Affair With a Cheating Wife Today".  If you're looking to write a story that involves Internet crime, fantasy, or erotica this could be the place to start.  There are story ideas everywhere - you just have to be open to the possibilities.

Genre-Shift - An essay by Russel D. McLean

Russel D. McLean has a wonderful essay over at the Do Some Damage blog about genre bending.  I love exploring different genres but those pieces usually have a hard time finding a home.  You can read the piece here.

Horror Tree - Submission Calls

Horror Tree is a great source for finding markets.  They usually have a mix of paying and non-paying markets.  Checking the site this morning I found that there are submission calls for three paying online markets.  Drabble Cast 3cents a word for 500 to 4000 words, Wily Writers 5cents a word for 1000 to 4000 words, and Penumbra 5cents a word up to 3500 words. You can find all the details and links at Horror Tree.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Knew This Was Coming

And, of course, we have the short story nay-sayers.

Hat tip to Bill Crider!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Black Treacle - First Issue is Live and Free

Black Treacle's first issue has gone live.  You can read it online or get a free download here.  They're also open to submissions of Horror, Dark Fantasy, or Spec-Fiction short stories for their next issue.  This is a paying market.

Glitter and Mayhem - Call for Submissions

Glitter and Mayhem, the speculative nightclub anthology has hit its Kickstarter goal and is open for submissions.  The payment is 5cents a word for stories up to 6000 words with a March 15 deadline.  You can find all the submission details here

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caledonia Dreamin' - Anthology Call

You don't have to be Scottish to write for this anthology, but you do need to be familiar with Scotland and its language as the stories they're looking for must revolve around that concept.  And they're looking for strange stories of 1000 to 2000 words.  Payment is a token fee of 15 to 20 English pounds.  Chris Kelso and Hal Duncan are the editors, EibonVale Press is the publisher.  You can find the details here
You'll also find links to sites that will help with the language in the guidelines RTF or PDF files.

Hat tip to Horror Tree!

Heroes and Heartbreakers - Romance Market

If you're a romance writer Heroes and Heartbreakers might interest you.  They're looking for romance stories of 10,000 to 15,000 words in various romance sub-genres.  Payment is $1000 against a 25% royalty.  You must query first.  You can find all the details here

Pure Southern by James Robert Smith - A Short Story

I just love when a story surprises me!  "Pure Southern" by James Robert Smith does just that.  It's the story of a WWII soldier, his love of killing, his attempt to make a life for himself, and a brush with the mob.  Then with the last paragraph the story is turned on its head.  Great writing and storytelling.  You can read it here

Monday, February 18, 2013

Port Cities Review - Call for Submissions

Port Cities Review is a new online zine that's just published its first issue.  They're looking for short stories and articles "that capture the flavor of great port cities around the world".  Articles must be 800 to 1000 words - payment is $50.  Shorts of 1000 to 3500 words will be paid in the same range.  They explain that a 3500 word story will be serialized in three installments and be paid $150.  You can find the submission details here.

I'm not sure why the submission guidelines are on Facebook instead of at the zine site.

The Short Story has been Acknowledged

Gee Whiz!  Aren't we lucky?  The New York Times says short stories are selling

Bryan Thomas Schmidt - Editor Interview

Write 1 Sub 1 has an interview up with editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt.  I especially liked his answer to the question about the difference between acceptance and rejections.  It clearly shows that rejection isn't necessarily about the story but whether it's a possible fit within the magazine.

Hat tip to Sci-fi Signal

Cowboy Heat - Call for Submissions (Erotica)

Editor, Deliah Devon has posted a call for submissions to an erotica romance anthology titled "Cowboy Heat" for Cleis Press.  The deadline is March 1 for shorts of 1500 to 4500 words.  Payment is $50.  You can find all the details here

A big thank you to Katherine Tomlinson who sent me the link!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie has posted her monthly anthology calls!  Be sure to drop on over.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Crime Filled Valentine's Day to You

If you're looking for a dark and bloody crime filled Valentine's Day head on over to a Twist of Noir and read the Valentine's Day stories that editor Christopher Grant has posted for your reading pleasure!

Thanks to Albert Tucher for the reminder!!

How to be Prolific - Essay by David Farland

From Michael Bracken, one of the most prolific writers I know, comes this link to an essay by David Farland on "How to be Prolific".

Thanks, Michael!!

Jersey Devil Press - Novella Contest

Jersey Devil Press has announced its second annual novella contest.  They're looking for stories of 15,000 words to 25,000 words with a speculative element.  The deadline is March 31.  There is only one winner this year and that story will be published in the June issue.  No fees and no prize money.  But hey, if you've got a story that's been cooking in your brain, give it a shot.  What have you got to lose except the contest?  And the best part of losing is that you'll have a story to shop to other markets.  Details here

Writing Advice

Excellent essay by Ari Marmell called "Things They Don't Tell You When You're Learning to Write".

Crossed Genres - Anthology Call

Crossed Genres Publishing has issued a call for submissions for a new anthology titled "Fierce Family".  They're looking for speculative stories about Quiltbag families.  The deadline is May 31 for stories of 2000 to 8000 words.  Payment is $20 plus copies.  You can find all the details here

While you're there don't forget to check out their magazine, CG Magazine 2.0.  Each issue has a theme and a reading period for stories of 1000 to 6000 words and payment is 5cents a word. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fox Spirt - Call for Submissions

The small UK Press, Fox Spirit, has issued a call for short stories for their "Fox Pockets" line.  There are various themes with the first being "piracy" with a March 14 deadline.  Stories can be up to 2000 words but they will consider longer stories up to 4000 words.  Payment is shared royalties (at least that's what it says at the top of the submissions page but you might want to check to be sure).  There's also a call for their Dark Fiction Magazine but there's no mention of pay.  You'll find the calls here and the submission details here.  Scroll down the page.

Thanks to Katherine Tomlinson for the link!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crime Factory - New Issue

Crime Factory 12 has hit the streets.  It's available in print, Kindle, or a free online copy.  Check out the details here

Scarlett River Press - Gone?

Scarlett River Press seems to have gone off the grid for whatever reason.  I really hate when a press or zine shuts down and doesn't leave behind any reasons or messages for those who have submitted to them.  It's a simple courtesy for those who have supported your efforts.

UPDATE:  2/14/13  They have an up to date Twitter account here with a link to a facebook page if you're looking for more information.

UPDATE: 2/16/13  Their website is back up!

UPDATE:  6/18/13  Their website seems to have disappeared again but their Twitter is still current if you have questions.

UPDATE: 7/9/13  The anthology Rigorous Mortis:  A Mortician's Tale is up and for sale on Amazon. 
Just a note for writers with stories in this anthology, in case you haven't been notified.

UPDATE:  7/9/13  Allen Jacoby is also one of the publisher/editors here.  I found his blog and you'll find an email address there if you want to contact him.

UPDATE:  7/9/13  Duotrope has declared Scarlett River Press dead.

UPDATE:  7/10/13  I received this email from Jo-Ann  Russell.

 Greetings Sandra, how are you?
I have read your blog and the comments, and I completely understand where everyone is coming from. SRP fully intends to keep all commitments. I had intended to have the press change hands, however that did not go as planned. Rather than let the press die I have chosen to stay on board and carry on. During this process, I have lost most of my editors and therefore I am trying to secure new ones in the hopes of getting up to date with all the works past due. The website is currently down but will be back up soon.

I have been in similar positions like my writers from time to time, and I know how awful the feeling is.
Be well.

Jo-Anne Russell 

UPDATE:  July 18, 2013  Well, the site is back up but it seems to be in Latin.

Mystery and Horror LLC - New Anthology Press

As usually happens in the vast world of the ether, one press closes - another opens.  The new press is Mystery and Horror LLC and is owned and operated by Sarah Glen and Gwen Mayo.  At the present time they are only publishing anthologies and have posted two calls.  One for humorous paranormal stories and the other for mystery stories set during Halloween.  1500 to 5000 words with no deadlines posted at this time.  More details to come as they get settled in.  They've also set up a poll to see if writers would prefer payment of $5 or a copy of the book as payment.  You'll find the poll on their blog link at the top of the page.  Good luck with your new enterprise, ladies!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pill Hill Press Has Closed

I'd been wondering why there were no new calls over at Pill Hill Press of late and thanks to a note and a link from Albert Tucher the news comes that they've closed.  Here's the details

The Awards Season

There's a great post over at the blog, "At the Scene of the Crime" about the current award nominees.  I know I've been pretty unimpressed by most of the short story nominees because they are all about two magazines and a handful of annual crime anthologies.  I was most disappointed in the Edgar's list as the bulk of the nominees was from their own anthology which seemed a bit self-promoting to me, especially since the anthology call was only open to their own members.

While the awards recognition is a nice ego boost for authors, the same names year after year becomes a bit annoying.  The novel awards are often bestowed on the current flavor of the year or the steadfast book a year bestseller.  And the short story awards are usually bestowed on a novel writer.

This isn't sour grapes on my part as I don't put my own stories in the awards hat, even for the Derringer Awards where each member of the SMFS is allowed to nominate two stories, which are inevitably their own.  I just wish that more award groups would take a better look at all the wonderful short stories that are published each year.  The past several years there have been some great anthologies epublished that were never even looked at, not to mention the great number of online stories that are never even considered because, OMG, the writer didn't get paid.  The award nominations for short stories is not an even playing field and probably never will be, which is a very sad thought.


Friday, February 8, 2013 - More Stories!!

Always good to hear the news that an online market is going to publish more short stories. is going to be publishing a new story every Wednesday in 2013.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tony Hillerman Prize - Novel Contest

For those of you who write mysteries with an emphasis on the solution you might be interested in the Tony Hillerman Prize contest sponsored by St. Martin's Press and Word Harvest.  They're seeking novels of at least 60,000 words with a Southwest setting.  The deadline is June 1.  IF a winner is selected they will receive a $10,000 advance and a standard publishing contract from St. Martins.  I didn't see any mention of a fee to enter but you have to send away for the details and entry form.  You can find the call here

Hat tip to Cindi Meyer's blog.

On Writing

There is writing advice scattered about on every corner of the Internet, most of the time it's the same old same old.  But occasionally there comes a list of tips that really hits the mark and tickles the funny bone at the same time.  Here's "Will Ludwigsen's Foul-Mouthed Writer's Checklist"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I'm always surprised by some of things I run across when searching for markets.  Take this morning, I found a new press looking for short stories to fill several anthologies.  As I read one of the calls I discovered that the post was riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.  Okay, not so good, but Duotrope says this is a paying market.  And this is where I decided NOT to send potential submitters.  Payment is based on the time the publisher/editor has to spend editing.  Please!  If he's not editing his own work how well is he going to edit yours? 

Payment shouldn't be based on how many hours the editor has to spend doing his job.  And just because he likes your story idea but wants a total rewrite to make it an entirely different story, you shouldn't be penalized, especially if you sent in a clean manuscript.  Respect yourself and your work.  Dealing with someone who believes his job is more important than yours isn't part of the job description.  Yes, editors are important, they help you make sure the story is the best it can be, but not to the point that you're penalized for his workload.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shock Totem - Call for Submissions

Shock Totem has opened up their reading period for their sixth issue.  They pay 5cents a word up to $250 and 2cents a word for reprints.  You can find all the details here

Hell Notes has a review of their latest issue here

Kerlak Publishing - Anthology Call

Kerlak Publishing does up a short story anthology every year.  In the past they've been mostly Steampunk but this year's call is for an anthology called "Luna's Children:  Tales of the Werewolf".  Story can be in any genre.  The deadline is June 15 for shorts of 3000 to 9000 words.  Payment is $20.  You can find all the submission details here

Poisoned Pen Press - Discover Mystery Contest

This is the second year for the Poisoned Pen Press Discover Mystery Contest.  They're looking to discover new mystery novelists, so if you have a polished novel and $20 here's your opportunity.  The deadline is March 30 for novels of 60,000 to 90,000 words.  The winner receives $1000 and publishing contract.  You can check out all the details here

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday Musing

I've been doing a lot of thinking this past week about money.  It started when I read John Scalzi's post where he states that he became a writer to get rich.  Yeah, okay, I expect we all have that "get rich writing" thought somewhere in the back of our heads as we pound away at the keyboard.  And truth be told, Mr. Scalzi makes some very good points in his essay.  The thing is most writers don't get rich.  If they're very lucky, they can make a decent living that keeps a roof over their head and food on table.

And there's the rub to getting rich.  That damn luck.  Not everyone gets that four leaf clover tossed their way no matter how talented or persistent they are.  I think that successful writers do beginning writers a disservice when they talk about getting rich without explaining the luck that goes along with all the work.  Now, Mr. Scalzi did mention luck twice in his essay, but it was nearly buried in all the money talk.  An even bigger disservice is done by writing publications like Writer's Digest and others who stress how much money a writer is given for their first novel.  Don't believe me, how much money did Stephen King get for "Carrie"?  Yeah, there's not a writer out there who doesn't know the answer to that question.

When I was growing up we were taught that there were three things we should work hard for.  Food.  Shelter.  Clothing.  And in that order.  Everything else was gravy so long as the  basic needs of the human body were met.  Sure we dreamed of being rich, of living in a big house and wearing shoes that were pretty instead of sturdy.  But in real life we don't always get what we want or deserve, no matter how hard we work.  Telling everyone who puts their fingers to a keyboard that they can achieve fame and fortune is folly.  Life's a crap shoot and not everyone gets to hit the jackpot, but that doesn't keep us from dreaming and working hard to at least make a living with the work we love.

ADDED ON:  Brian Lindenmuth pointed me in the direction of an excellent post by Brian Keene that sets down the truth and all its dirty of what it's like to be a full time writer.  You can read it here