Monday, February 29, 2016

The Mummy Story Cupboard

I love the weird and unusual news stories that pop up on Yahoo.  If this one doesn't set your writer senses spinning I'm guessing nothing will :)  I'm very glad I wasn't the one to discover this "salty" mummy, but the story cupboard is slowly filling up with ideas like pirates, giant spiders, and an angry crew.

Semi-Colonic Irrigation - Anthology Call

"Semi-Colonic Irrigation" has posted a call for submissions of both fiction and non-fiction for a charity anthology.  Your pieces should be no longer than 5,000 words and the theme is depression and mental health.  All proceeds will go to a mental health charity.  The deadline is April 30 and payment is 10cents a word.  They will accept reprints but there's no pay for them.  The anthology will be funded through a Kickstarter fundraiser but will still go forward even if the fundraiser fails.  You can find the details here.

Hat tip to

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Writespace - Anthology Call

Submissions opened today for the second Writespace anthology titiled "In Media Res:  Stories From the In-Between". "We are looking for stories about characters who are thrown into or stuck between different cultures, communities, families, races, genders, self-images, dimensions, continents, etc. We want the gray area—the uncomfortable, the undefined. Give us characters in the middle of it all: middle children, mediators, people in the middle of their lives, in the middle of a mess—“in-between.” ".  Stories must be under 2000 words and can be in any genre so long as they keep to the theme.  The deadline is April 28 and payment is $15.  You can find the guidelines here.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yellow Mama - New Issue

The February issue of Yellow Mama has hit the virtual streets and it's free to read.  Check it out.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Black Orchid Novella Award - Open for Submissions

Just a reminder that The Black Orchid Novella Award sponsored by The Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine is open for submissions until May 31.  They're looking for novellas of 15,000 to 20,000 words in length that have the "feel" of the Nero Wolfe stories.  The contest is judged blind and the winner receives $1,000 and publication in AHMM.  You can find the details here.

A Scandal in Gomorrah: Queering Sherlock Holmes - Anthology Call

And from the lovely Michael Bracken we have an anthology call for "A Scandal in Gomorrah:  Queering Sherlock Holmes".  Editor Matthew Bright is looking for stories of 2000 to 6000 that feature Holmes in a gay world both in the Victorian era and the present.  He explains what he's looking for much better in the guidelines.  Payment here is 3cents a word for original stories and 1cent a word for reprints.  The deadline is January 1, 2017.  You can find the details here.

Untied Shoelaces of the Mind - Open for Submissions

It's been a very dry week market wise but today we've got the reopening for submissions of the online zine "Untied Shoelaces of the Mind".  They publish all the genres but tend toward a PG market.  Payment here is 3cents a word for the first 1000 words with a cap of $30 per piece.  They prefer stories that are less than 2000 words.  You can find the details here, just scroll down the page.  This market has been in business for quite a few years so there's plenty of stories available to read so you can get a feel for what they're looking for. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Friday Fiction - New Market

Friday Fiction is a new market for gritty crime fiction.  They want stories up to 2500 words and flash fiction to 1000 words.  This is a non-paying market but the upside is they accept reprints.  If your story is selected for a year end print anthology you will receive a copy as payment.  You can find the details here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe

Here's a lovely piece on Georgia O'Keeffe over at Brain Pickings.  While she's an acclaimed artist so much of what she says can apply to writing.  And yes, I'm a fan of her work, it's always so full of life and such amazing colors.  I feel wonderful just looking at her paintings.

Survivor - Anthology Call

"Survivor" is an anthology call looking for Sci-fi/Fantasy stories of everyday trauma survival - "how relatively ordinary characters survive and thrive, given the traumatic experiences they've had".  Stories can be up to 10,000 words but they prefer 4,000 to 8,000 words.  The deadline is May 1 and payment is 3cents a word.  You can find the details here.

Hat tip to Paperback Writer.

The Shell Game - Non-fiction Anthology Call

"The Shell Game" is seeking non-fiction "hermit crab" essays of 750 to 8,000 words for a new anthology.  They want creative non-fiction where writers borrow ready made forms such as a recipe, a police report, an obituary, or a pack of cards to tell the story.  And yes, the guidelines have links to some examples of what they're looking for.  The anthology will be published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Submissions are through Submittable.  The deadline is June 1 and payment is $100, plus two copies, plus a $100 coupon for UPN Books.  You can find the details here..

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Strange California - Anthology Call

Strange California is looking for short stories of 1000 to 6,000 words that explore the myths and weirdness of California both past and present.  You are welcome to mix and match the genres to suit your story.  Submissions are through Submittable and open on March 1.  Payment will be 6cents a word and will be funded through Kickstarter.  The publisher will be Falstaff Books.  You can find the details here.  Be sure to read through the entire guidelines as there is a great deal of information. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tayen Lane Publishing - Anthology Call

Tayen Lane Publishing has opened submissions for an anthology titled "Procyon Science Fiction Anthology".  They're looking for science fiction stories up to 7000 words.  There's no particular theme and they're open to all the sub-genres.  The deadline is March 31 and payment is $100 plus copies.  You can find the details here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Strange Horizons - Open for "Queer Planet" Special Issue

Strange Horizons has opened submissions for a special issue titled "Queer Planet".  And yes, they give a complete guide of exactly the types of stories they're looking for.  Story length is up to 10,000 words.  The deadline is April 10 and payment is 8cents a word.  They have an on site submission system that shuts down when they reach their daily maximum number of stories so be patient and get your story in early in the day :).

UPDATE:  And that was planet not plant - I think my brain nodded off while I was typing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Writing in Wonderland - Anthology Calls

While searching for markets to post I came across the blog Writing in Wonderland where author Sylvia Ney has posted up a long list of anthology calls with deadlines in February and March.  Thanks, Sylvia!! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Manslaughter Review - New Issue

The First Issue of Manslaughter Review has gone live.  You can check it out here.  It's free to read but I couldn't figure out how to open it myself.

Coffin Hop Press - Sci-fi Noir Anthology Call

Coffin Hop Press has posted a call for an untitled Sci-fi Noir anthology.  They want stories of 4000 to 8000 words that combine Noir with Science Fiction.  You must query first with a story proposal by March 31 with the story due by May 30.  There is payment but they will discuss it only after your proposal is accepted.  You can find the details here.

Blood in the Rain II - Anthology Call

"Blood in the Rain II" is once again seeking short stories of 2000 to 7000 words featuring vampires and erotica.  The deadline for this anthology is May 1 and payment is $75.  They prefer original work but are open to reprints.  Also they'd lean more towards authors from the Northwest but are open to all authors.  You can find the details here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tayen Lane Press - Literary Anthology Call

Tayen Lane Press has posted an anthology call for "Articulated".  They're looking for literary stories up to 5000 words.  The deadline is March 31 and payment is $100 plus copies.  You can find the details here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Comet Press - Call for Year's Best Hardcore Horror 2016

If you write horror and get published during this year (2016) you might consider sending your story to Comet Press for their "Year's Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 2".  They're looking for both short stories and novelettes.  The deadline is December 31.  There's no mention of payment so you'll need to query that if you decide to submit.  You can find the details here.

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie has posted up her February list of anthology calls.  Thanks, Angie!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Creating Place

Place.  I really hate trying to figure out how to bring a place alive in my stories.  I like for them to feel like they could happen anywhere and especially in the reader's backyard.  This happened for me recently in the book "The Last Kind Words" by Tim Piccirilli.

I could so picture this story taking place in my neighborhood and then he'd mention that the characters were on Long Island.  Now, for me, Long Island is that fancy place I see on TV in shows like Castle or Royal Pains, so I was immediately thrown out of the story.  Of course the writing is so good that I'm pulled back in but that little pull got me thinking about place in a story.

Some writers can do place beautifully like James Lee Burke who gives you all five senses full of place.  Other authors think they need to drop you onto specific streets and then take you on a traffic detour.  I live in PA where a detour around here is ten to twenty miles long.  I don't want to hear complaints about driving over and up two blocks.

Thinking about these two different ways of creating place in a story made me wonder if a sense of place is more important than actually being in a specific place like Chicago or New York.  And do I really want place to be "character" in my story?  I love the way that Southern writers give you that sense of the South without using actual city maps.  I can taste the food, feel the sun on my face, and actually understand how Southern characters think and believe.  To me that's the best way to put place in a story.

I read a great example today in Joe E. Lansdale's short story "Deadman's Road".  He brings his little slice of Texas horror alive in two sentences.

"The road was narrow and of red clay.  It stretched far ahead like a band of blood, turned sharply to the right around a wooded curve where it was as dark as the bottom of Jonah's whale."

How I wish I could write like that.  But getting back to place - what authors satisfy your craving for place.  Do you need the city streets or does simply having a feel for a place make a story work for you?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Michief Corner Collections - Anthology Call

Mischief Corner Collections is a gay press seeking submissions for an anthology titled "Behind the Uniform".  The uniform can be military, fireman, park ranger, or policeman.  They're looking for genre stories with a strong romantic element and gay protagonists.  Stories should be 10,000 to 18,000 words.  The deadline is March 1 (short notice).  There is payment but it's specific so that's something you'll have to query.  You can find the details here.

They also have a winter holiday anthology titled "This Wish Tonight" which is currently open.  Just scroll down the page for the details.

Thanks to Michael Bracken for sending the link!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blink-Ink - Call for Submissions

Blink-Ink has opened submissions for issue #23 with the theme "The Mystery Train".  They're looking for 50 word stories.  The deadline is March 15.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find the call here, for the guidelines click on submit at the top of the page.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Bit of Musing

Do you ever wonder how important titles are?  Last night my fifteen year old grandson and I were watching "Cowboys and Aliens" and he said he'd never watched it before because the title sounded stupid.  I said how bad could it be with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in it?  Which got the "who?" reaction.  I came back with James Bond and Hans Solo.  Oh yeah, it's a really good movie, Grandma.  So, it makes you wonder what's more important, the characters or the title?

Shock Totem - Submissions Open for Novel and Novella

Shock Totem has opened to novel and novella submissions until May 31.  They like dark here so your noir stories that border on horror will work.  Novella should be 17,500 to 40,000 words.  Payment is a 50% royalty split on net profits.  Submissions are through Submittable.  You can find the detailed guidelines here.

Uncanny - Open for Submissions

Uncanny online zine has opened submissions for speculative fiction of 750 to 6000 words.  There was no deadline listed but it would probably be best to get a story in soon rather than later.  Payment here is 8cents a word.  You can find the details here.

Onyx Neon Press - Call for Sci-fi Submissions

Onyx Neon Shorts is currently open for sci-fi submissions under 30,000 words with a preference placed on stories that focus on space.  There's no deadline listed and payment is a percentage of the royalties.  You can check out the guidelines here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Crime Syndicate Magazine - Open for Submissions

Crime Syndicate Magazine has opened submissions for issue #2.  They're looking for crime stories of 2500 to 5000 words.  The deadline is March 23 and payment is $25.  The guest editor for this issue is Canadian writer Dietrich Kalteis.  You can find the submission details here.  Submissions are through Submittable.  Be sure to click on the news button at the top of page to find out more about the guest editor and changes that are coming to the magazine for 2016.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cast of Wonders - Call for Submissions

Cast of Wonders is a podcast market looking for speculative fiction for a YA audience of 12 to 17 years of age.  They need flash under 1500 words and short stories of 1500 to 6000 words.  Payment is 6cents a word for all original work, $100 for short story reprints, and $20 for flash reprints.  Submissions are through Submittable.  You can find the guidelines on their site here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Nightscript - Anthology Call

Nightscript is an annual anthology currently seeking "subtle and darksome horror" stories of 2000 to 7000 words.  The deadline is February 28 and payment is $30.  You can find the details here.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores - Opens for Submissions Tomorrow

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores will open submissions for their second issue tomorrow February 7 and remain open for two weeks until February 21.  This is a sci-fi/fantasy site and they are open to stories of 1000 words and up.  Payment here is 6cents a word and 2cents a word for reprints and non-fiction work such as reviews.  You can find the details here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Re: Fiction - New Non-fiction Market for Writers

For those of you with a lot of writing experience there's a new market called "Re: Fiction" that is looking for how to articles about writing.  They're also looking for editors to do writing critiques of short stories.  The pay here is $50 per article and $25 per critique.  You can find the details here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2015 Agatha Award Nominees

And the 2015 Agatha Award Nominees have been announced.  Congrats to all the nominees and what great fun to see so many familiar names in both the novel and short story categories!!

Publishing...and Other Forms of Insanity - List of Paying Markets for February

Over at Publishing...and Other Forms of Insanity Erica Verillo has posted her February list of  paying submission calls.  Thanks, Erica!

Pulp Literature - Open for Submissions

Pulp Literature has opened for submissions until February 29 but they are now charging a $10CAD (approximately $7 US) fee to submit.  They are open to all genres.  Payment is 7cents a word up to 7,000 words, payment for longer stories is less per word.  You can find the details here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jay Henge Publishing - Anthology Calls

Jay Henge Publishing has posted an anthology call for "Intrepid Horizons".  They are seeking stories from flash to novella length about "bravery on the horizons of the this universe or the next".  The deadline is to be decided and payment is $3 per 1000 words.  They also have two other calls that are listed as coming soon with the titles "Unearthly Sleuths" and "Mummies, Monsters, and Mutations".  There are no payment specifics for these two.  You can check out the calls here, just scroll down the page.

Kraken Press - Open for Submissions

Kraken Press has opened for submissions of novels and novellas.  They are also open for short story collections but you have to query first for those.  While they lean toward horror they are also a good fit for noir crime fiction.  Payment isn't listed so you'll need to query about that.  You can find the submission details on their Submittable page.