Monday, August 31, 2015

On Becoming a Professional Writer

I ran across this post over at Horror Tree and thought it might be of interest.  We're often told to submit to the highest paying markets first then work our way down to the lower paying ones.  Annie Neugebauer gives you some good reasons for working this way in the short story market place.  This was originally posted at the HWA site but I linked here because it's easier to read.  The computer screen is tough on old eyes :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cleaning House

I've been away from the computer for the last few days though I've still ran a few searches and checked the usual suspects for market leads when time allowed.  But the markets are either finding more clever places to hide or they're just not there.  Perhaps after Labor Day. 

If you're looking for a good way to find story ideas try cleaning out your mother's house.  We've been at it for the last three days and we're still not done.  I don't think she ever threw anything away, but I know for a fact that they cleaned out their house about twenty years ago because a great deal of it wound up at my house.  Mostly my childhood treasures and a few things my mother passed along to me. 

There is so much stuff to go through and decide if we want to keep it, let the house cleaners take it, or just toss it.  We've been finding such random things as a coffee can full of those plastic bread bag ties to letters from back in the fifties, not to mention a few personal items that brought a blush to my sister's face.  And I don't know how it wound up on the living room floor but that's where I found my mother's thimble.  I never saw her use a needle and thread without that thimble on her finger.

There are so many memories and random discoveries about my parent's life together that the stories just keep crowding into my brain.  Hopefully one day I'll be able to write them down both as fiction and stories for my grandchildren so they can know about their grandparents and the large family that we all grew up in.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Farstrider Magazine - New Market

This is a short notice posting as submissions close on August 31.  Farstrider magazine is an online zine that is looking to launch its first issue in January.  Right now they're planning on publishing three issues a year.  They are looking for fantasy (this is wide open on all the sub-genres of fantasy) stories of 1000 to 4000 words.  Payment is 3cents a word.  You can find the details here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Black Beacon Books - Charity Anthology Call

Australian publisher Black Beacon Books has posted an anthology call for "Shelter from the Storm:  An Anthology of Spine-tingling Stories".  This is a charity anthology to help the homeless so there is no payment.  They're looking for stories of 3000 to 25,000 words in any genre that begin with a traveler caught in a storm and seeking shelter.  The stories must be spine-tingling.  While they prefer original stories they will consider reprints.  Submissions will close when the anthology is filled.  You can find the details here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Timeless Tales - Submission Call

There's a short deadline on this one.  Timeless Tales is looking for short stories up to 2000 words but prefer under 1500 words that are a retelling of their current fairy tale or myth theme.  For the next issue the theme is Baba Yaga and the deadline is September 4.  Payment is a flat rate of $15.  You can find the details here.

Your Own Backyard Story Cupboard

I've become a soccer grandma this past week.  Yep, I've been hauling my grandson and his friend back and forth to practice.  While waiting for practice to end I get to read and write, sometimes sitting on a large rock at the edge of the field, other times in my car where the seat is more comfortable.  But the best thing about being there, other than spending time with my grandson, is thinking about how to place a murder or any type of crime in this setting.

That's the best thing about being a short story writer, you can place a crime in any setting.  You don't have to think city and dark streets.  You can actually think sunshine and soccer fields.  Over the past months I've thought about how easy it is to find different and interesting settings for short stories.  You have funeral homes and cemeteries.  Or how about the grocery store?  Perhaps a stone quarry or a gravel pit.  A family reunion where you suddenly discover the unsavory past of one of your relatives.  Or how about a nature walk?  Perhaps a lake or river setting.  Or maybe while scattering your husband's ashes you discover a bullet mixed in the remains.  Of course he died of natural causes, but when had he been shot and what kind of a dark past has he been hiding from you?  Will that past come after you or will you find  it?

So stop and take a look around you.  Where would you find the perfect place to commit a murder in your back yard?  And yes, the back yard works if you have a good friend and a back hoe to help bury the body. :)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shock Totem - Open for Novella and Novel Submissions

Shock Totem has reopened for novel and novella submissions until November 30.  They're looking for stories in the genres of spec-fiction, horror, mystery, and suspense.  Novellas should be 17,500 to 40,000 words and novels over 40,000 words.  Payment is a 50/50 royalty split.  You can find the details here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Publishing...and Other Forms of Insanity - A Market Resource

Publishing...and Other Forms of Insanity looks to be a pretty good resource for writers.  There are listings for markets, writing conferences, agents, and various other things that can help a writer with their career.  You can check it out here.

Ginger Goat Publishing - Call for Story Pitches

Ginger Goat Publishing has posted a call for short story pitches for an anthology about anti-villains.  The editor wants you to give him your definition of an anti-villain along with a sample of your writing and a pitch  for your story.  He's looking for stories in a variety of genres included under the speculative fiction umbrella.  Stories for the anthology should be 800 to 2500 words and payment will be 5cents a word.  This project will be KickStarter funded.  The deadline for pitches is August 31.  You can find the details here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Dark City - Update

I was checking out The Dark City magazine site again and discovered that under the current issue tab they have added that they want stories set in the Western United States.  This isn't stated in their guidelines but it would be best to use the setting they're asking for.  This is a mystery/crime market that pays $25. 

Zombies Need Brains LLC - Anthology Calls

Zombies Need Brains LLC has a fully funded KickStarter in place and opened submissions for two anthologies.  They are accepting stories up to 7500 words for "Alien Artifacts" and "Were-".  The first wants stories that feature the finding of an alien artifact and how it affects the world and the second wants stories about were creatures that are not a werewolf.  The deadline is October 3 and payment is a 6cent a word advance.  You can find the details here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

End of Summer Market Blues

The markets seem to be slacking off for a bit - at least the paying ones.  I've ran across a couple but they don't open until October so I've noted them on my calendar and will post when they're open.  I'll keep looking, but there probably won't be much until after Labor Day as I expect everyone is having their last of summer flings.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Angie's Desk - Anthology Markets

Angie has posted her August anthology markets list.  Thanks, Angie!

Undiscovered Authors

Norman A. Fox.  Never heard of him?  Neither had I until I picked up one of his novels at the local book sale.  I enjoyed "Rope the Wind" so much that I decided to look up the author.  Mr. Fox actually has a website online and I was very much surprised to learn that he'd written over 200 short stories, thirty-one novels, and had movies made from four of  his novels starring actors like Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, and Jimmy Stewart.

I always find it strange that such successful authors are very rarely remembered by later generations.  Makes you wonder why writers try so hard to become famous.  Fame is so very fleeting and in the end it's the work that should make us feel successful not all the pats on the back about how great and wonderful a writer you are.  Just musing here.  Have any of you stumbled on a writer with a large body of work that you'd never heard of but found their words well worth the reading?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hunting for Hemingway in Yellowstone Country

Kind of an interesting piece about Hemingway.  Interesting to see what inspired some of his work.

Alliteration Ink - Anthology Call

Alliteration Ink Publishing has posted a new anthology call for "No Shit, There I Was".  They're looking for speculative fiction stories of 2000 to 7000 words that start with the first line "No shit, there I was."  You can use it either as dialogue or prose.  Also the speculative aspect of the story must be integral to the plot.  The deadline is January 6, 2016.  Payment will be 6cents a word but payment will be dependent upon a successful KickStarter fund raiser.  The anthology will go forward if it fails but the pay schedule will change.  You can find the details here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Writing Short Fiction for Fun and Profit Workshop

The South Bay Writers will be presenting a one day workshop in San Jose, California on Saturday, November 14 featuring short story writer Michael Bracken.  You can find the details and a link to the registration form here.

Piedmont Laureate Program - Looking for Mystery Writers

If you're a resident of the Piedmont area of North Carolina (including Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties) and a mystery writer with a respectable body of work (including short stories and novels) you might want to check out the Piedmont Laureate Program.  They're looking for one mystery writer to be laureate for one year in which you'll do reading and teach classes.  For this you'll receive a stipend of $5500.  The deadline for submitting applications is September 30.  You'll find the information here, you have to click on the link for the pdf file.  It seems like a good way to get your name and work out there for folks to see.

World Weaver Press - Anthology Call

Tomorrow, August 15th, World Weaver Press opens submissions to their anthology "Sirens".  They're looking for speculative fiction stories up to 7500 words that feature mythical or reimagined sirens.  The deadline for this call is November 15.  Payment is $10.  You can find the details here, just scroll down the page.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

For Your Listening Pleasure

For those of you who enjoy listening to your stories the Open Culture site has five hours of Edgar Allan Poe stories read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone available on their site and links to where you can find more.  Check it out here.

Hat tip to SF Signal

Cheapjack Pulp - New Market

Cheapjack Pulp is a fairly new quarterly online zine.  They publish in both ebook format and online.  They are looking for stories in the genres of sci-fi/fantasy, dark fantasy, romance, western, adventure, detective, and horror.  The deadline for the December issue is November 1.  Payment is 25cent per 100 words.  There are already stories up on the site for you to read so you can get a feel for what they are publishing.  You can find the submission details here but when you submit go to the more button at the top of the page and click on the contact and submit link.

Punks Write Poems Press - Anthology Calls

Punks Write Poems Press has posted two anthology calls for short stories.  Both have a deadline of December 15 for stories of 2000 to 10000 words and payment is $15.  The first is "Melee" which is looking for medieval fantasy and the second is "Don't Open till Doomsday which is looking for science fiction stories.  You can find the details here, just scroll down the page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Silent Screams - Anthology Call

Editor Josh Strnad has posted an anthology call for "Silent Screams:  An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction".  He's looking for horror stories of 1000 to 10,000 words that "either focus on the plight of specific silent victims of our modern world or that play with the idea of silence in general".  This is a charity anthology that will benefit The Salvation Army but the writers will paid 1cent a word for their stories.  The deadline is October 31.  You can find the details here.

Fright Mare - Anthology Call - Women Writers Only

Editor Billie Sue Mosiman has posted an anthology call for "Fright Mare:  Women Write Horror".  She's looking for horror stories of 3000 to 10,000 words from women writers only.  The deadline is October 31 (or when full) and payment is $30.  You can find the details here.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The WW II Plane Crash Story Cupboard

You just never know what is going to spark your imagination.  Tonight I read an article about the wreck of a US WW II fighter plane being unearthed in Germany.  The site had been marked with a monument so it wasn't like nobody knew the plane went down which makes waiting all these year to exhume both the plane and the body of the French pilot intriguing.

But then the wheels started turning.  A French pilot in a US plane?  It's always possible but what if that wasn't who was supposed to be flying?  What happened to the American pilot?  Did he run away?  Was he killed for the plane?  So now you have a mystery.

But what if the pilot's ghost is pissed off for being left buried in enemy ground.  Does he unleash his anger on the Germans who unearthed him?  When he died they were the enemy.  So now you have a ghost story.

But what if there was no pilot in the plane?  A young boy saw the crash happen, there were no parachutes.  Could the pilot have been time lifted out of the plane?  Does he come back to the site?  Is he the one who dug it up?  Or what if he was pulled out of the plane by an underground civilization?  Does digging up the plane open up a doorway into this other world?  Now you've got sci-fi and fantasy.

And that's your story cupboard.  A few simple what if questions added to a simple news article.  Your imagination can take you anywhere if you let it.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Geeky Press - Anthology Call

The Geeky Press has posted an anthology call for "Bad Jobs and Bullshit".  They're looking for essays, poetry, and short stories about the shittiest jobs imaginable.  Stories should be 1000 to 5000 words in length.  The deadline is February 1, 2016 and payment is a royalty split.  You can find the details here.

Martian Migraine Press - Anthology Call

Canadian publisher Martian Migraine Press has posted a call for their fourth anthology "Cthulhusattva:  Lovecraftian Tales of the Black Gnosis".  They're looking for stories of 1500 to 7000 words about "those who go seeking the dark enlightenment of their own free will".  And yes, the guidelines are much for explicit in their details.  The deadline December 15 and payment is .03CAN.  You can find all the details here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pulp Literature - Submissions Opening Monday

Pulp Literature will be opening a short submission widow on Monday, August 10th and it will run until the 24th.  They accept all genres.  They pay 7cents a word for stories up to 7,000 words, 5cents for stories of 7,000 to 10,000 words, and 31/2cents for over 10,000 words.  Be aware that they only publish one longer story per issue so your best bet would probably be a shorter story.  You can find the details here.

Dark Passages Publishing - New Crime Novella Market

One bites the dust and another takes it's place.  Dark Passages Publishing is a new crime market looking for novellas of 15,000 to 35,000 words.  Submissions are read blind.  There is no mention of payment so that's something you'll have to query if you're interested in this market.  You can find the details here.

Crazy Cozy Stories - Closed Down

Back in May I listed a new mystery market called Crazy Cozy Stories.  And as the markets are apt to do at times this one has disappeared into the ether along with its sister site.  Too bad, it would have been nice to have a good market for cozy mysteries.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Far Horizons - Anthology Calls

UK publisher Far Horizons has two open anthology calls.  Both are looking for flash up to 1000 words and short stories of 2000 to 5000 words.  There's no deadline listed so probably "until filled".  Payment is a royalty split.  The first anthology is "Forever Hungry" which is looking for zombie stories and the second is "Fantastically Horney" which is looking for erotica.  You can find the details here.

Shattered Prism - New Market

Shattered Prism is a speculative fiction magazine that publishes twice a year.  The reading period opens for the November issue the second week of August which should be the 9th or 10th.  They're looking for stories of 1500 to 5500 words.  Payment is 6cents a word for original stories and 2cents a word for reprints.  You can find the details here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Myriad Carnival - Anthology Call

This call will be a long shot for most of you because there are only two slots left to fill but if you can get a spot you'll be in some great company.  "The Myriad Carnival" anthology is looking for "queer, weird and dark" stories themed around carnivals.  The carnival is a shared world named the Myriad Carnival but all the characters are the writer's own.  This anthology is also LGBT themed.  Stories should be 2000 to 6000 words and the deadline is August 31.  Payment is $40.  You can find the details here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Free Esquire Stories

Did you know that Esquire will send you one of their classic short stories each week this summmer for free?  I found out quite by accident when I was looking for a short story called "Towel Season" by Ron Carlson that Steve Weddle mentioned on his Twitter feed.  In order to read the story you have to sign up for a free subscription.  Great story, by the way.  There are stories by Daniel Woodrell and Flannery O'Connor and many others there.  You can check it out here.

Crossed Genres Magazine - Open for Submissions

Crossed Genres Magazine is open for submissions until August 31 with this month's theme being "Pronouns and Genders".  Stories should be 1000 to 6000 words, payment is 6cents a word.  You can find the details here.  They also have a list of themes that will take them into 2016 if you want a head start on your stories.

Nightmare Magazine - Open for Submissions

Nightmare Magazine is currently open for submissions in the genres of horror and dark fantasy.  Stories should be 1500 to 7500 words but they prefer under 5000.  Payment is 6cents a word or original stories and 1cent a word for reprints.  You can check out the guidelines here.  Their newest issue is also available for sale or you can read it online during the next two months.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Abyss and Apex Magazines - Open for Submissions

If you have a speculative fiction story tucked away in your files you might want to pull it out and polish it up.  Abyss and Apex magazines are open for submissions but only for seven days.  August 1 to August 8.  Payment is 6cents a word for stories up to 1250 words and a flat rate of $75 for longer stories.  You can find the details here.

The Liz McMullen Show - Anthology Call

The Liz McMullen Show has posted an anthology call for "LOL Laughing Out Loud: A Lizzie's Bedtime Stories Humor Anthology".  They're looking for humorous essays (2000 to 4000 words) and short stories (3000 to 4000 words).  The deadline is January 31,2016.  Payment is $50.  You can find the details here.

Full Quiver Press - Anthology Call

Full Quiver Publishing is a Catholic publisher that has posted an anthology call for "Image and Likeness:  Short Literature Reflective of the Theology of the Body".  They're looking for short stories up 7500 words and poetry that is "reflective of St Paul II's Theology of the Body".  Payment will be per word, but the final amount hasn't been set yet.  The deadline is November 1 for publication in 2016.  You can find the details here, there is an online form at the bottom of the page.

Just For Fun

Writer's Block - Six Famous Authors tell you how to work through it :)  I particularly liked #4.

UPDATE:  Just realized I forgot the link - doh.  Here you go.

Hat tip to SF Signal!