Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Black Hole that is Facebook Advertising

In case anyone's still using Facebook to market their work, Colleen Doran -- comic writer and artist, who writes some great business posts when she's not busy making a living -- talks about why paying Facebook to try to reach more people is an expensive waste. Buying ads to get more "likes" actually makes it harder for your real fans to see what you post. The more you spend to get more likes on your page, the fewer real fans see each post. Facebook won't fix this because they're making money on it.

Check out Colleen's post and watch the video by Veritasium, explaining an experiment they did and the conclusions drawn. Every time I see something like this, I'm that much happier I've never bothered with Facebook.

Angie

Friday, April 11, 2014

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

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30 April 2014 -- Spindles -- ed. Raechel Henderson; Eggplant Literary Productions

Spindles word limit = 5,000

Payment = 5 cents per word; 2.5 cents per word for reprints

Rights bought: First World English-language Rights

Multiple submissions welcome

No simultaneous submissions

Stories should follow the standard fairy tale structure, but can be placed in any time period. We’ll only be publishing one version of each story (so one Cinderella, on Snow White, etc.) so authors are encouraged to submit as many different stories as they want. We are looking for fairy tales from all over the world; not just Grimm and Anderson.

Please send fiction submissions to submissions@eggplantproductions.com.

Send submissions in the body of the e-mail. No attachments!

[NOTE: there are lots of great questions and answers on the comments under the guidelines post, so click through and read if you're thinking of subbing here.]

***

30 April 2014 -- Triangulation: Parch -- PARSEC Ink

Submissions Close: April 30, 2014 — or until filled

Theme: "PARCH"

Word Count: We will consider fiction up to 10,000 words. There is no minimum word count.

Topics: We are interested in publishing a wide variety of entertaining and literate speculative fiction stories, so the more space a story would take, the more it will need to impress us. We publish science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction.

Compensation: We pay 1.5 cents per word plus a $100 Editors’ Choice award to each of three stories that most effectively and ambitiously incorporate the theme. Authors will also receive an e-book version of the anthology and wholesale pricing for printed copies (typically 50% of cover price).

Rights: We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.

Submissions: Our focus is on original stories. Please do not send previously published stories, even if they’ve only been published on your blog. Please, no simultaneous submissions (wait for a response from us before submitting elsewhere). We do not publish poetry. Sorry. No hand-written manuscripts. We gotta draw the line somewhere.

We love creative interpretations of our themes. Don’t ask us what it means – tell us what it means with a story that convinces us you’re right.

We will run mature content if we like the story and if the mature content is integral to the story. So make sure there’s an actual story in that mature content.

No fanfic, even if it’s of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain.

No thinly-disguised transcripts of role playing sessions, no settings obviously based on D&D or other such games. Don’t get us wrong, we love to game ourselves, which means our imaginations are probably cluttered with elves and dwarves and orcs and the like as it is.

How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. It’s free.

Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. There’s disagreement on some of the exact details of the "standard". We’re not testing you to see if you can follow each and every niggling detail, we just want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.

We accept manuscripts in the following formats:

== .doc or .docx (MS Word)
== .rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)
== .odt (OpenDocument Text — format used by the OpenOffice.org suite)

If you absolutely, positively cannot submit electronically, please send the manuscript (with either a SASE or a return email address) to:

Triangulation 2014
312 N Beaver St.
New Castle PA 16101

Feedback: We are (in)famous for our feedback on submitted stories. We work with writers to improve accepted stories, as well. The results have been strong reviews from places like Tangent Online, and a reputation for consistent quality.

Response: Expect to hear back from us within a month. Please report your response times at Duotrope’s Digest.

Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or even related to the editorial staff, are permitted to submit to the Triangulation anthology. That doesn’t mean we’ll automatically publish them; just that we’re willing to look at their work. (We’re not worried about nepotism; if our friends' writing sucks, we tell them.)

General Information:

We have no interest in getting more specific about the term "speculative fiction." Science fiction, horror, fantasy, magic realism, alternate history, whatever. If there’s a speculative element vital to your story, we’ll gladly give it a read. We do prefer traditional narrative to experimental technique. Our intent is to provide a strong story experience for our readership.

We publish both new and established writers; the level of experience for the authors gracing our pages has ranged from "first time in print" to "Hugo winner" and "Nebula winner". The majority of our stories usually wind up being from American authors, but we’ve had a number of international contributions; we’re happy to consider work from anywhere in the world, as long as it’s written in English.

Who We Are:

Triangulation is an annual short fiction anthology produced by PARSEC Ink, the publishing wing of the PARSEC science-fiction association in Pittsburgh, PA. We publish science fiction, fantasy, horror, and any other speculative fiction that catches the editors’ fancy. Every year since 2003 (save for a brief hiatus in 2006 when we changed over to an international format) we have a new theme. We pay for the work we select and issues are available online at places like Amazon.com. We are a small press but we work hard to produce a quality product.

Triangulation shares an informal relationship with Parsec’s annual short story contest. Note, though, that the Parsec contest and the Triangulation Anthology are two completely different publications and have different requirements and submission guidelines, including eligibility and word length.

***

15 May 2014 -- The One Who Got Away: Erotic Romance for Women -- ed. Kristina Wright; Cleis Press

Payment: $50 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
E-mail: onewhoanthology@gmail.com

The theme for this collection is about lost love, second chances, reunion stories and lovers reunited through chance or determination. Does love and lust stand the test of time? In this anthology it does! Whether it’s bumping into each other on the street or reconnecting on Facebook, these lovers find that the memories are still sweet and a shared history makes for some very erotic reconnections.

According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. In erotic romance, the sexual component is critical to the development of the romantic relationship. To get an idea of what I’m looking for, I strongly recommend reading my previous erotic romance anthologies.

The collection will be primarily heterosexual with a female audience in mind. However, stories may include bisexual or lesbian encounters as well as polyandrous relationships or group encounters. I have a preference for realistic stories with contemporary settings for this series, but any time period will be considered. No incest, nonconsensual sex, bestiality or underage characters, please.

Please be sure to follow all of the submission guidelines: I will consider up to two stories per author. Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. Please do not send me a story that is being considered elsewhere. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Send your submission to onewhoanthology@gmail.com with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address. The deadline is May 15, but earlier submissions are very much appreciated.

Payment will be $50 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their work and Cleis Press has final approval over the stories selected for the book. Authors will be notified upon approval of the manuscript from the publisher. If you have not received a response by October 1, please feel free to query me.

***

16 May 2014 -- Sword and Sorceress 29 -- ed. Elisabeth Waters

[NOTE: DO NOT SUBMIT BEFORE 19 APRIL.]

Stories should be the type generally referred to as "sword and sorcery" and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about. See previous Sword and Sorceress volumes for examples. We do not want stories with explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or profanity. We are NOT a market for poetry. We are willing to consider stories set in modern times (urban fantasy), but we won't buy more than one or two of those for the anthology. We always want something short and funny for the last story.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

With regard to multiple submissions, do not submit more than one story at a time. If we've rejected your first one, you may send one more, as long as it's before the deadline. We have occasionally bought someone's second sumbmission. We have never bought a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth submission. If you send us two stories, and we don't hold either of them, wait until next year to try again. Please do not re-submit stories we have already rejected (including stories rejected in previous years).

If you have not previously sold to Sword & Sorceress, please read What is a Short Story? and Why Did my Story Get Rejected? before submitting to us.

Please do not explain or describe your story in the e-mail (cover letter). If your story can't stand on its own, fix the story.

Reading period: Saturday, April 19 to Friday, May 16, 2014. Stories received before or after this period will be deleted unread.

Response time is expected to follow MZB's traditional standards: you should hear within a week if we're holding your story for the final line-up or rejecting it.

Deadline: May 16, 2014.

Length: up to 9,000 words, with preference given to shorter stories. The longer a story is, the better it has to be. Long stories should be submitted early in the reading period.

Formatting and Submission:

Format with one-inch margins on all four sides of page.
Please do not use a header or footer.

Your name, full mailing address, and email address must be in the upper left corner, single spaced.
Skip two lines, center the text, then put the title, with your name (or byline) on the next line. We're not going to be as rigid as MZB was about pen names, but we expect them to be reasonable, rather than cute.

The rest of the manuscript should be single-spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented 1/2 inch.
If you need to indicate a break, put "#" on a line by itself, centered.
Do not underline; use italics instead. Do not use bold face. We prefer Courier New font, size 12.

Word count will be determined by our word processor; that way it will be the same for everyone.

Save your document as an .rtf file (rich text format or interchange format, depending on what your computer calls it). E-mail as it as an attachment to . The subject line should be "SS29, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS29, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter.

Rights purchased: first rights, non-exclusive eBook and audio book rights.

Payment: 5 cents per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.

***

31 May 2014 -- Torn Pages -- Weird Bard Press

== Word Count: 1000-5000.
== Multiple submissions: wait to hear back on your first submission before sending another.
== Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know and update us if the story is accepted elsewhere.
== No reprints.
== Poetry and Nonfiction: please query first.
== Everyone will hear from us no later than July 1st, but our goal will be a 1 month response time (or at least an update if your story is under consideration.)

Pay Rates & Rights

We pay 2¢ per word for fiction. Authors will also receive an electronic ARC of the anthology.

Weird Bard Press takes First World English Rights. Works sent to us should not have been published elsewhere.

We will use a traditional copyright, but authors may choose any Creative Commons license for their individual story if prefered.

Genres/Themes

There are no genre limitations associated with Torn Pages. Mainstream and genre stories alike are welcome.

Read this article for background on what led to the anthology. Stories that fit Torn Pages will take that article and situations like it as their prompt.

Updated 02/09/14:

Given the title, Torn Pages, the ideal submission will deal in issues such as religion in the science classroom, censorship, historical revisionism, chilling effect, book (media) burning, net neutrality, or Orwellian concepts like Newspeak and Thoughtcrime. Watching the recent Nye/Ham debate we were reminded of Burrough's assertion that language is a virus. Think books. Think classroom. Think logical fallacies, partisan politics, and education standards in the balance.

Acceptable as well are stories related to a real-life wrong so great or insidious that the issue must be told, though it may not relate directly to books or the classroom, such as abuses of political or social power. Pussy Riot, Occupy, or Anonymous may be good starting points, but refrain from propaganda for or against any one of these.

Inherent in this project is an interest in stories from under-represented points of view, be they ethnic, gender, cultural, sexual orientation, or others we have not considered. The person who comes from what they perceive as a mundane background may have an equally important story to tell.

There is a cultural upheaval we wish to see reflected in these stories. In our article, it is a struggle of the secular and the religious, the individual against senseless power structures, and finally censorship and altered history (and, perhaps, a struggle of value systems related to issues of sexuality...) but your story may address totally different issues. Issues we may not know about right now. Awesome. We're keeping the guidelines intentionally vague.

These stories may skew more political than some markets normally prefer, but no matter if we agree or disagree with your politics, stories right for this project will not be partisan soap boxes. It's a difficult line to walk. The best stories will be those that bridge between the different points of view in the given story. We are all human and we all believe that we are the good guys.

Feel free to tell us more about the issue or cite sources in your cover letter. Stories will be accepted on their merit alone.

Diversity statement:

Queer, POC, strong female main characters, disabled characters, and other under-represented points of view are welcome and encouraged.

What we don't want (and other considerations):

This is not an erotica market. Sexual situations and themes are fine. This is not a YA market either, but we hope the final product is suitable for high-school age consumption. Profanity will not lead to rejection, but if accepted, we may edit those words. We'll work closely with you if this is the case.

Violence is fine. Excessive gore is not. Stories that portray abuse in graphic detail are not welcome. For example, the main character is a bad guy who does bad things for most of the story, until, in the final act, he gets what is coming to him. Don't send us that story.

Stories based on familiar genre tropes are hard sells. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.

Format:

Standard manuscript format. Word, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, Rich Text are all fine. Send to us as attachments in your email. We are not sticklers, but do avoid odd fonts, colors, or creative formatting that makes reading or editing your text difficult.

Reading Period:

We open to submissions on March 1st and will remain open through May 31st, or until filled so don’t wait. Submissions received outside of the reading period will be deleted.

Email submissions to: editors(at)weirdbard[dot]com

Please include in your subject line:

Fiction Submission: Story Title

or some similar indication of your email contents.

Questions may be directed to the same address.

***

31 May 2014 -- Aphrodite Terra -- ed. Ian Sales; Wippleshield Books

[Note that this is an extension -- see here for the note about that -- and the actual extension note says "the end of May." I'm assuming that means 31 May, but if you're going down to the wire, you might want to write Mr. Sales and confirm.]

My plan is to publish a series of mini-anthologies, each themed around a planetary body and containing around 20,000 to 25,000 words. But I’m not really interested in science fiction per se. I want fiction which lives at the point where the borders of science fiction and space fiction meet literary fiction.

To put it bluntly, if you think your story is a good match for a science fiction magazine, it may not be for me. I’m looking for stories that are realistic, but that doesn’t mean they have to be science/space fiction. However, the planet Venus has to feature in there somewhere. Your story could be about the first attempt to land on Venus, or life in a habitat on the surface. It might describe a present-day group of engineers and scientists controlling a probe on the surface of Venus; or perhaps a journalist discovering evidence of a past secret mission to the planet. There are plenty of tales that can be told about Venus. Surprise me. I’m big on realism, so I’ll be looking for that. And good literary prose too.

Send your stories to editor@whippleshieldbooks.com. Put APHRODITE TERRA SUBMISSION in the email subject. You don’t have to include a cover letter – I’m interested in the story, not in what you’ve had published elsewhere. Attach your story as a .rtf or .doc. Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words. I’m not bothered about standard manuscript format, single-spaced Times New Roman works fine for me. I’m okay with simultaneous submissions, but let me know if someone else takes the story. I’m not keen on multiple submissions. Payment is 3p per word. The submission period closes on 31 May 2014, [see note above]. Since I’m only looking for four or five stories, I plan to be very picky. This may require me to hang onto stories until the end of the submission period, but I’ll let you know if that’s the case. I’m buying First English Language Serial Rights, and copyright will remain with the authors. Payment will be on story acceptance.

I’ll be posting submission stats to this blog, much as I did with Rocket Science. If I see too many of a particular type of story, I’ll mention that too. Keep an eye on this blog as it could give you an idea of what I’m after, and what might stand you a better chance of acceptance.

Aphrodite Terra will be published as a paperback and ebook.

***

1 June 2014 -- Diabolic Tales IV: The Psychology of Death -- Diabolic Publications

Submissions will open for Diabolic Tales IV -- The Psychology of Death starting on November 1, 2013 and will close on June 1, 2014. We want the most deranged scary stories you have ever written about death. We are looking for original stories only in which some facet of death derived by the mind of the killer is the main focus, it needs to be physical, sociological, psychological. All stories must be strong and realistic, with believable characters. No brutality or overt blood and gore. We want to be afraid, really afraid.

== All stories must be in doc., docx., or .rtf format.
== All stories must be a minimum of 2500 words but not more than 5000 words.
== Please use 12 point font, Times New Roman and double space your text. 1 inch margins on all sides.

In the body of your submission in the left hand top corner, include your contact information (Real Name or official pen name, not your online name), the word count of the work you are submitting and contact information, please include a cover letter with a brief biography and any publishing history you feel we might want to know about. Make certain to use an email address that you have access to at all times as correspondences from us come through email only!

You will receive an email if your story has been accepted or rejected as soon as a decision has been made.

NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS, NO REPRINTS! WE ONLY ACCEPT SUBMISSIONS THROUGH SUBMITTABLE.

When you are ready, please submit your material here: http://diabolicpublications.submittable.com/submit

PAY: Is made through Paypal only, if you don't have a paypal account please get one.

We require a written and signed agreement which will be sent with an acceptance email.

Fiction: US$.05/word, payable upon publication. Plus, one copy of the edition in which the work appears.

RIGHTS: Exclusive First World English Rights for print, and First Electronic Rights for two years from date of publication. Rights are then no longer exclusive and revert back to the author after the two year period.

***

15 June 2014 -- Fifty Shades of Green -- ed. Elisabeth Kinsey; Greenwoman Publishing

Fifty Shades of Green will be a collection of sexy gardening-themed stories, to be published by Greenwoman Publishing this summer.

The idea came about when talking with friends about the success of that . . . other book. I thought it would be hilarious to turn the story around--make the woman the billionaire, the man the virgin college student who is required to be the "submissive." Since we are gardeners, those thoughts morphed into ideas about making the billionaire a gardener. We began coming up with ideas for humorous scenarios in the garden: salacious acts of bondage with the garden hose, whippings conducted with switches from favorite flowering shrubs,requiring the "submissive" to perform nude weeding, for hours, on hands and knees. The possibilities were endless! Those scenarios morphed into ideas for not just one story, but a variety of stories that were not all BDSM oriented--just some funny, or strange, or amazing gardening-themed stories with one connecting theme--sex.

Fifty Shades of Green is what we came up with. It's going to be our feminist/gardener/literary answer to that . . . other book. And it is going to be hotter than the hottest pepper on the Scoville index of heat. And smart, not smutty. Well, maybe a little smutty.

GUIDELINES & PAYMENT

We are looking for high quality, original stories for our latest project, Fifty Shades of Green. Please see our FIfty Shades of Green Page for information on the book and a few examples of stories that we have in the works. We are looking for stories that are fully-developed, with well-fashioned plots and highly memorable characters. The stories will all include sexuality, but this is secondary to an entertaining, engaging story. All stories must have some element of gardening.

This anthology will be published in the summer of 2014 in both print and digital formats. Some stories will also be published singly and digitally as well as in the collection.

Payment will be $100 per story, paid upon acceptance. We buy first North American rights, in both digital and print, for a publishing duration of 5 years.

We are currently accepting stories from 1,000-5,000 words in the following genres, all of which MUST have a gardening twist: Romantic comedy, paranormal, gay, historical, futuristic/si-fi, fantasy, BDSM, action/adventure, ménage, time travel, thriller/suspense, urban fantasy, steampunk.

A complete manuscript is required at submission from all authors.

We do not accept any work that includes sexual taboos (incest, bestiality, necrophilia, etc.), sex between/with minors, rape or other violent or forced acts, or acts involving urine/feces. If you have questions on whether a subject is acceptable, ask first. We will try to answer emails within 72 hours.

FORMATTING GUIDELINES

== Use 12 pt. font in either Times New Roman or Courier New.
== Please use one inch margins, indent paragraphs, and use double spacing
== Attach the manuscript to your email. We accept Word files only. (No other format will be opened.)
== Include in the body of your email a brief bio including any past publications and a few lines describing your story.
== Include your name and the story name on each manuscript page. Include your name in file name.
== Include full name, pen name (if applicable), mailing address, and phone number in email.

Please submit full story as a Word attachment to: editor@gardenshorts.com

Failure to properly format your manuscript will result in an automatic rejection.

***

15 June 2014 -- Pillow Talk: Erotic Romance for Women -- ed. Kristina Wright; Cleis Press

Payment: $50 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
E-mail: pillowtalkanthology@gmail.com

Between-the-sheets love and lust, from morning romps before work to stolen afternoon delights and midnight fantasies fulfilled. Stories of lovers in bed and all the delicious things that happen behind closed doors. Think sexy, playful, edgy and erotic and you will know what Pillow Talk is all about.

According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. In erotic romance, the sexual component is critical to the development of the romantic relationship. To get an idea of what I’m looking for, I strongly recommend reading my previous erotic romance anthologies.

The collection will be primarily heterosexual with a female audience in mind. However, stories may include bisexual or lesbian encounters as well as polyandrous relationships or group encounters. I have a preference for realistic stories with contemporary settings for this series, but any time period will be considered. No incest, nonconsensual sex, bestiality or underage characters, please.

Please be sure to follow all of the submission guidelines: I will consider up to two stories per author. Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. Please do not send me a story that is being considered elsewhere. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Send your submission to pillowtalkanthology@gmail.com with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address. The deadline is June 15, but earlier submissions are very much appreciated.

Payment will be $50 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their work and Cleis Press has final approval over the stories selected for the book. Authors will be notified upon approval of the manuscript from the publisher. If you have not received a response by November 1, please feel free to query me.

***

30 June 2014 -- The Sea Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia -- Rosarium Publishing

THE SEA IS OURS is an anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk. We are looking for steampunk stories that are set in Southeast Asia (SEA), or secondary worlds that evoke Southeast Asia, with Southeast Asian protagonists, in any of the countries that make up the region: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. We are seeking historically and technologically-innovative stories.

Steampunk, for the purposes of this anthology, is defined as an aesthetic that combines technofantasy, anachronism, retro-futurism, an alternate history/world, and the evocation of an incipient industrial revolution. How does the steampunk aesthetic look, feel, sound, smell, or taste like in these regions? What kind of technologies would grow in resource-rich SEAsia? What do our historical figures, our Parameswaras, Trung sisters, Lapu-Lapus, do in such a world?

Submissions are encouraged to explore various levels and kinds of technologies, not just steam technology. Locals myths can also find their way into these stories; what does the mix of technology and fantasy look like in such worlds? We welcome exploration of all kinds of stories: from the extraordinary to the everyday. What changes does accelerated technology create for the local landscape and societies? If historical events are given a steampunk twist, how do their outcomes change, or stay the same?

FORMATTING GUIDELINES:
== Send all submissions and queries to sea.steampunk@gmail.com
in RTF, DOC, or DOCX.
== Submissions should have SEA-STEAM: [story title] in the subject line.
== Please do not attach a cover letter; cover letters are the text of your email.
== Word count: between 2,500 and 9,000 words long.
== Fonts: size 12; Courier or Times New Roman.
== No cover page; name, email address, and word count on the first page; name/story title/page in headers.

We will contact all submitters within four weeks of submissions closing.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

== Stories should be in English, but we take a broad view of English, which includes dialect, accents, local slang, and non-English words that express nuances that standard English can't.
== Characters should be embedded in their settings. We should not be able to transplant the specifics of their story easily, even if they are based on common science fiction/fantasy archetypes.
== Local takes on actual historical events are highly encouraged, although not necessary in alternate world settings. Mention in your submission email the specific event you are referencing.
== Stories featuring queer characters, characters with disabilities, non-normative relationships, and other such non-mainstream narratives are welcome.

***

UNTIL FILLED -- Thresholds -- Dreadful Cafe ** First Posted December 2013

We cross boundaries every day - the door to a room, a crack in a sidewalk, the border of a city.

The stories in Thresholds will take the reader to another time, into the dark, into the arms of a lover, to another world, or to the dark recesses of the mind.

Are you ready?

Sometimes strange, always original, the stories we publish are of the highest production standards, from thrilling premise all the way to professional editing.

We are now soliciting query letters (fiction) and samples (art) for Thresholds, our second anthology of art and fiction. All genres are eligible, but preference is given to works that cross more than one and which reflect the flavor and theme described above.

For FICTION:

Manuscripts must be between 1,000 and 25,000 words and not previously published by anyone but the author. Self-published works are accepted and encouraged!

Please refer to our Submission Guidelines.

Upon acceptance of your completed manuscript, Dreadful Cafe pays for non-exclusive, unlimited, 5-year publishing rights on the following schedule:

== Short Stories (1,000-7,000 words) — $125
== Novelettes (7,001-13,000 words) — $250
== Novellas (13,001-25,000 words) — Negotiable

Estimated Publication: Third Quarter of 2014

[Click through for more info.]

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review of Captive Magic

Cryselle reviewed Captive Magic had some nice things to say:

The story seems to start off a bit slowly, but it’s an introduction to the world if you’re starting here, and a slow burn of Manny and Breck developing interest in each other and context for their skills. Their families variously encourage or discourage them. Real life problems are more important than constant smexing, which is a refreshing change from a lot of mm. These guys can stay on task and they can stay on task together, once they come to trust each other enough to be clear on what’s going on. No insta-anything here, they have to work for each smidgen of trust.

One recurring idea in this universe is that humans aren’t the biggest, baddest magic-wielders around—smarts, negotiation, and guile make for more intriguing reading anyway. While magic isn’t hidden in this world, sometimes a talent doesn’t want to admit what he can do, and sometimes mere talent isn’t enough to solve a problem.

The sister and the niece are especially charming characters, Manny and Breck each have a teen girl to love, cherish, and be exasperated by. The rest of their families felt real enough to invite to dinner. Not all the action takes place in our plane, and the other dimensional setting was strange and unique.

I'm glad she enjoyed it. :) Read the whole thing at Cryselle's Bookshelf.

Angie

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Workshop and Sales and Business

So the first chunk of the year was pretty hectic, and I'm just getting back to normal. I wrote six stories in six weeks starting in early January, for Dean and Kris's anthology workshop. The way this works is, there are six professional editors, each editing an anthology that'll be brought out as part of the Fiction River line. Writers who've signed up get guidelines (book title, length requirements, theme, sometimes more info depending on the editor) and deadlines. The deadlines were one per week for six weeks, each Sunday, midnight Pacific time, no late subs accepted, no excuses, period. A lot more students got all six stories in than any of the instructors expected, although considering how Dean pounds the pulpit of getting your butt in the seat and your hands on the keyboard and doing the work, about how writing faster means spending more time writing not just typing faster, of how to make it as a pro you need a good work ethic (see previous about spending more time writing), I'm not sure why they were surprised. :) Personally, I was kind of afraid to sub fewer than six stories and then show my face at the workshop, so I didn't. Anyway.

The workshop was pretty awesome, although hectic. We all read all the subbed stories, which totalled about 250. So between writing for six weeks, then frantically reading up to and through most of the workshop, I did very little else for the first two months and change of this year. Once we were all settled in Lincoln City and got rolling, the way it worked was that the editors sat up at the front of the room, with the students in rows, sort of like a college classroom, but with rectangular two-person tables instead of those awful little desk-chair things. Lots of laptops and notebooks for taking notes.

We did one book per day. All the editors commented on each story, with the editor who was actually editing the book going last. Other editors either pretended they were editing that particular anthology, or in Kris's case she pretended she was still editing F&SF, and in Dean's case he pretended he was still editing Pulphouse Magazine. They went through the stories one at a time, each editor saying whether they read all the way through and why or why not, whether the story hit any of their reader cookies or anti-cookies[1], and whether they'd buy it. The final (actual) editor did the same, but if they said "Buy" they actually were making an offer. Or sometimes they held a story to the end, then looked over all the held stories and made final buy/no-buy decisions while building their TOC on the white board in front of the class. That's always fun to watch, and instructive.

The point of having all the editors talking about all the stories is to show us that editors disagree. I think we all know this on an intellectual level, but still, there's a strong tendency in Writerland to assume that because a story gets a form rejection right off the bat, the story must suck. Some writers send a story out once or twice and never again, convinced it's garbage because it didn't get bought right away, or because it only got form rejections. (Kris, a bestselling writer, an award winner in multiple genres, got three form rejections just that week. Which is a pretty rude thing for an editor to do to a name writer, but still, it happens to everyone.)

Actually seeing the editors not only disagreeing but actively arguing with one another makes quite an impact, though. Three editors tried to convince Dean to buy the story I'd written for his book. They failed, but they all (including Dean) were pretty sure I'd sell it somewhere else. (It's sitting in an SF magazine editor's queue as I type.) Three editors tried to convince Kris to buy the story I wrote for her book. They failed, but again, everyone agreed it'd probably sell. (And it's sitting in a mystery magazine editor's queue.) People were still needling Dean about the story of mine that he'd passed up days later. Kris said they'd talked about it at home while they were reading submissions, but she couldn't convince him, and neither could all three professional editors when they ganged up on him in class.

Now, all this was a wonderful balm for my disappointment at not making this or that sale, but the point is that three professional editors would have bought that story if they were the one editing that particular anthology. We all know that different editors produce different anthologies, that two editors doing similar books with the same or similar themes will put together books that feel different, have a different theme or a different point of view, and therefore a different list of stories. We all know that. But seeing it playing out in front of you, sometimes with raised voices or pointed jokes or annoyed scowls or incredulous expressions? That makes you feel it, not just know it, and I think that after watching the editors arguing over stories one is less likely to think, Yeah, I know a lot of stories just had to find the right editor after fifty submissions, but MY story sucks.

Watching an editor narrow their holds down to the final roster is instructive as well. I imagine most of us have had the experience of being told in a rejection letter, "I had enough great stories for four books, but unfortunately I can only publish one," or something similar. It's easy to think, Yeah, but my story wasn't quite great enough, or maybe, The editor's just being nice, letting me down easy. But actually watching an editor agonize over the decisions makes it clear that this is hard. One of the editors, I thought she was about to start crying a number of times, and particularly when she was letting down people whose held stories didn't quite make it.

One difference I noticed from last year was that there weren't as many invites. Last year each book was at least half full by the time the workshop convened. Name writers were invited to submit, presumably to get some names on the covers that'd help sell the books. (How to Save the World, the book I sold a story to, has David Gerrold and Laura Resnick on the cover, among others.) That makes sense; anthologies are a tough sell anyway, and it's clear why Kris and Dean, as the series editors and owners of the publishing company behind Fiction River, would want to give their new anthology series the best launch possible. I was expecting the same thing this year, actually, but there were very few invites this time.

Which isn't to say there won't be any "names" in the books. Aside from Kris and Dean, who write stories for all the anthologies, Lisa Silverthorne and Ron Collins are regulars at the anthology workshop; their names regularly appear on the covers of SF magazines. And I spent the workshop week sitting next to Cat Rambo. (I managed not to ever fangirl her, because I am not a complete dork one hundred percent of the time. [cough]) But they reported that the series is doing better than they'd expected, reviews have been good, and they're gearing up for more publicity and some experimentation.

One of the experiments came about during one of the aforementioned sessions of agonizing over the final buy list on a book. There were three more stories Kevin Anderson, who's editing Pulse Pounders -- basically a collection of short thriller type stories -- wanted to buy, but he didn't have the budget. Mark LeFevre, the Kobo Writing Life guy, was also attending the workshop. He cornered Kevin, Kris and Dean during a break and made an offer on behalf of Kobo to help fund the three extra stories for a special expanded Kobo edition of the book. There'll be an expanded edition of Kris's book too, Past Crimes, a collection of historical mysteries. He was actually willing to do Kobo special editions of all the books, but Kris and Dean want to start slowly, with the two books that they think have the widest audience. The reasoning is that because this is something new, they want to give it the best chance to succeed. If they do special editions of all the books and some don't sell well, it might be taken as a failure of the expanded edition concept, rather than just the individual books selling slowly. They want to give the concept the best chance to succeed, so it can become a thing that other editors/publishers and other e-book vendors would consider doing.

Another new thing is that they're filling and scheduling books a lot farther out, so that they can get ARCs done and available in time to send them out to the major review sites the requisite 5-8 months in advance. For that reason, the two books I sold stories to won't be out until 2015.

Oh, right, I sold a couple of stories. :) John Helfers, who bought my story for How to Save the World last year, is editing a book called Recycled Pulp this year. It's a cool idea -- he created a bunch of ultra-pulpy sounding titles, and we had to write modern, non-pulpy stories that fit the titles. Each writer who wanted to sub for that book sent in three numbers between 1 and 250, and we got back three of the titles off the list. We could write to whichever title we wanted. My story is called "The Crypt of the Metal Ghouls," and it was a lot of fun to write.

Kerrie Hughes is editing Alchemy and Steam, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Kerrie really likes alchemy -- it's one of her reader cookies -- and she wanted stories that were a blend of alchemy and steampunk. I wrote a story called "The Rites of Zosimos," with plot points based on some actual concepts a Greek alchemist named Zosimos of Panopolis wrote about. She liked it a lot and it'll be fun working with her. And I think I might get a series out of the setting/characters. [ponder]

Alchemy and Steam is scheduled for April of 2015, and Recycled Pulp is scheduled for December of 2015.

And I might have some work lined up for later this year -- more info 1) when/if it happens, and 2) when I can talk about it. There's awesome networking at these workshops, though.

Random notes from the workshop discussions, both during the week around stories and on the last day when we did break-out sessions with experts in various areas:

Kris told some stories about crazy-ass things writers do to get an editor's attention. Everyone's heard the story of the guy who sent his manuscript in a pizza box, with a pizza in it, right? With a note saying something like, "Thought you'd enjoy a snack while you read...?" I heard that online back in the 80s. Well, Kris had a better one. When she was editing F&SF, she'd head down to the Post Office regularly to pick up bins of mail, and she got a note to go pick something up at the window. The Postmaster came up holding an envelope dangling at arm's length. The envelope was black and covered with actual (not fake) cobwebs, and had actual dead spiders glued to it. O_O The Postmaster asked her, "Do you want this?" Kris sort of stared at it and said, "No." Postmaster said, "Good," and went to throw it away. Seriously, who thinks that kind of thing is a good idea?

Writers are usually wrong about what genre their story is. If you have something out in submission or indie pubbed that's not selling, and you're pretty sure it's a good, well-written story, that might be why. Have a few people read it cold, then ask them what genre they think it is. You might be sending it to the wrong editors, or have it tagged as the wrong genre/subgenre at the vendor sites. Genre is a marketing tool, so if you mess that up, everything else about your marketing of that story collapses.

Ever notice how SF in books and magazines is such a tiny genre compared with SF in movies and TV shows? SF is huge everywhere except in the books and magazines where it begain. Originally, SF stories all had basically the same endings -- science triumphed and the good guys always won. Then in the seventies, SF sort of collectively decided to go all literary, and a story could have pretty much any ending, including negative or depressing or bleak ones. Genre readers like knowing approximately how the story is going to end, though, so SF has lost a lot of readers, both people deciding they didn't like the new stuff and leaving, and older readers dying without being replaced by new readers. (I can confirm that the attendees at SF conventions centered on book/magazine fiction are greying; I'm probably on the low end of average age at most of those cons, and I'm 50. Whereas media SF conventions and comic book conventions are full of kids in their teens and twenties.) Literary fans expect their endings to be variable, so they read literary and like it. Most SF fans, though, expect science to triumph and the good guys to win, and since the seventies, fewer stories delivered that. So most SF fans watch the movies and TV shows but don't read the books or magazines. Most fans of book/magazine SF don't consider the TV/movie fans to be "real" SF fans, but come on, seriously? [sigh] There are still stories with that kind of ending, but you're not guaranteed to find one if you pick an SF book at random off the shelf. In trying to be literary, SF is slowly strangling itself. (I've heard discussions on the convention side that in a generation or two, the traditional, fan-run convention for people who read SF will vanish as its attendees -- and the people running the conventions -- age and die. Same thing, from the readers' perspective instead of the writers'.) The take-away from this discussion, IMO, is that if you want to build a good fan base with your SF, and attract younger readers, write stories where science triumphs and the good guys win. Or if that's not what you're into, that's fine but be aware that your reader pool is shrinking.

Genre is moving toward being an author name rather than a traditional genre category. (Dean is pulling all his different genres, written under a pile of pseuds, most of whom nobody knows are him, back under his Dean Wesley Smith name.) You can make this work, especially going indie, but it'll take longer to build your reader base if you're writing all over the genre map. Although in reality, if you do want to write across various genres, it's going to take you a while anyway. It takes a certain number of books/stories -- individual titles -- to hit a tipping point where your discoverability starts fueling itself. This number, which seems to be between 25 and 50, depending on a lot of factors including luck, is per genre/name. So if you write SF/F, romance and thrillers, for example, it'll take 25-50 titles in each genre to get your sales and visibility in that genre to take off, if you're publishing under three names. It's looking like publishing three different genres all under one name doesn't change that very much; a lot of readers still read only one genre, although that's slowly changing.

(Related story -- I was talking to a writer friend who knew a third writer who was complaining that his career hadn't taken off, his sales were abysmal, he needed an agent because he had to have the career help. [sigh] I poked around and saw that he had three pen names, each with one book published. [headdesk] Well, no wonder he hadn't taken off! Three books under one name would still make him a newbie and almost invisible so far as the readers are concerned. The way he's been doing it, though, from the POV of the readers he's three newbie writers, each of whom has only one book out. No wonder readers hadn't noticed him. Same thing, though -- visibility is about volume, about having enough titles out there that readers have a chance of tripping over one and then finding the rest.)

Speaking about short fiction, once an editor starts buying your stuff, show some loyalty to that editor. If you sell an SF story to a magazine, send that magazine all your SF stories first, give that editor first refusal on your stuff. Particularly if you're writing a series, always send new stories in that series to the same editor who's been buying the series. Offering a series story first to someone else, a different magazine or an anthology, is rude and unprofessional.

When you set up your business account for your writing income (you did that, right? especially if you're indie pubbing?) refuse overdraft protection. If someone hacks your account and overdraws it by a few thousand, the bank will be happy to give them that money, then not only charge you that amount but also the overdraft fee.

Be careful about (book) contracts from British publishers, which are reportedly even worse than book contracts from American publishers.

John saw a contract which said that if the copyright laws changed in any way in the future, you automatically agree to it, in perpetuity. It's unenforcable, but would still be a pain to deal with.

Some setting details are what Kris calls phony setting. So frex., if you say your characters are in "a renovated church," each reader is going to have a different image in their head, which are all probably going to be different from the image in your head. Actually describe the setting so the picture in the reader's head is at least close to the one in your own. That prevents sudden jolts later on when you refer to something that doesn't at all match what the reader was imagining.

The Cricket magazines (which pay wonderfully well) have a horrible contract, but if you tell them you can't sign it, they'll send you the good one.

Hard fantasy is like hard SF, but the fantasy is the tech -- it's explained, works consistently, and has the nuts-and-bolts feel that hard SF has, if the world actually worked on magic. (I actually write a lot of hard fantasy and didn't know it. :) )

We talked some about how Audible was lowering its royalty from 50% to 40%. Dean says that's a good thing because their business model is sustainable now. Also, they're dropping the dollar per sale that they paid directly to the writers -- circumventing the publisher -- whenever an audiobook was sold. They did that to force the publishers to clean up their accounting. A writer who got $X whenever they sold X audiobooks knew that they'd better see X audiobook sales on their royalty statement from their publisher. I wish the e-book vendors would/could do something similar and force the publishers to clean up their e-book accounting the same way.

We talked some about manuscript formatting, and how italics has replaced underlining in modern manuscript formats. Although if a market still demands paper submissions, assume they're also old-fashioned in their formatting, and use underlines.

The choice to quit the day job and go completely freelance is usually made at a point of crisis -- a lost job, frex. -- rather than because a reasoned decision has been made. Start thinking about what you'd do and how you'd do it. What if you lose your job next month? And can't find another one in a month or two or six? Do you know how to gear up to get your writing paying more of the bills, or any of the bills? Having some idea of what to do and how to do it if you have to transition over to full time writing Right Now will make a horribly stressful life roll a little easier.

If/when you do go full time, cut expenses as much as you can. Protect your writing time; that's what pays the bills. If you're selling regularly, a cleaning lady can be a good investment. If you make $30/hour or $50/hour on your writing, it's totally worth it to pay someone $15-$20/hour to wash dishes and vacuum and do laundry. Also mowing the lawn, pruning the trees, cleaning the pool, whatever. Protect the writing, and spend that protected time writing.

Don't let the publishing overrun the writing; one suggestion is to set aside one day per week for doing your publishing work, formatting and covers and uploading and updating the accounting. The rest of the time, write. New words of fiction. Research isn't writing, outlining isn't writing, editing isn't writing. Marketing/promo is most definitely not writing. (One of the worst things you can do is write and publish one book and then spend the next year on marketing and promo. Don't do that. Write the next book. And the next and the next.)

One way to protect your writing time is to stay organized. Checklists are good. So are systems you can implement over and over again. Have a long-term plan so you know what you want to accomplish (including non-writing tasks, like learning to do covers, learning to format POD paperbacks, setting up and starting to collect sign-ups for a newsletter, learn/implement a more comprehensive business accounting system, take a class -- larger one-time goals you want to hit) and in what order you want to do them. That way, when you find you have time/money for a larger task, you can look on your list and see what's next, rather than have to dither around, doing "research" and making the decision over again every time it comes up. Your goals and ordered list can change, if there's a reason, but making that list in the first place is part of your long-term planning.

Have similar plans month-to-month. List deadlines for any trad-pub books or stories you're doing, plus goals for finishing writing on Book C, formatting on Book B, a cover for book A and uploading it to vendors P, Q and R. Monthly goals should be realistic, based on how much time and/or money you have to spend, but treating it like a business with goals and deadlines makes it that much more likely things will get done. (No, I'm not this organized yet myself.)

Schedule time to learn stuff. There's a lot to learn if you're going freelance, especially if you're indie pubbing. The learning is going to take time, so plan that into your schedule. Protect the writing, but make learning something that'll help your business a strong second priority.

You need at least 15-20 titles up, per pseudonym, before it's worthwhile to do any marketing. (Yes, there's a pattern here.)

Whew. That's just hilights from what I wrote down in a notes file. There was a lot more, and I absolutely got my money's worth. I felt the same last year when I only sold one story, and the year before when I sold none. This is an awesome workshop, and Dean is taking sign-ups for next year right now. The workshops on the coast are invitation only, but you can write to Dean and ask for an invitation. Explain your experience and your goals, and why you want to attend. I had no pro-level sales when I wrote and asked for an invite, and I got into the anthology workshop that year. It's doable, and it's absolutely worthwhile.

Angie, getting back into the groove

[1] A reader cookie is something you just love to see in a piece of fiction. If you're really into Cthulu stories, then that's a reader cookie for you. If you love stories about soldiers, or cyberpunk, or grumpy protagonists, those are reader cookies. Something you seriously dislike, bad enough that it might prevent you from enjoying a story, might even prevent you from reading the story, is an anti-cookie. If you really hate stories with a child protag, or a lot of car-mechanic-jargon-babble, or spiders, then that's an anti-cookie. Sending an editor a story full of that individual's anti-cookies means the story will probably be rejected, no matter how good it might otherwise be. Unless it's absolutely stupendously fabulous in every other way.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

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31 March 2014 -- XIII -- Resurrection House

RESURRECTION HOUSE is seeking science fiction, fantasy, horror, and creative non-fiction for a loosely themed anthology to be released in the winter of 2015. Stories should be between 1,000 and 7,000 words, and pay will be 5 cents/word. Reprints are not out of the question, but will be handled on an individual basis. Deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2014.

Stories should be sent as email attachments in either .RTF or .DOC format to xiiisub@resurrectionhouse.com with the word “XIII” somewhere in the subject line.

When Mark Teppo, the founder of Resurrection House, acquired Underland Press, he wanted to start numbering the titles that would be released under the new imprint. Before doing so, he wishes to acknowledge and celebrate What Was and What Will Be. “Thirteen” is the first month of a new yearly cycle, wherein the old skins have been shed and the newborns are still learning to walk. “One” and “Three” make “Four,” which is the number of completion, of coming home, and of realizing the form that has been in process for some time. Nothing is true; everything is possible. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. The thirteenth Tarot card is Death, and he is the symbol of transformation and rebirth.

This is the genesis and root of XIII.

Some broad examples of transformative stories are Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Matt Wagner’s Grendel comic series, and David Lynch’s Lost Highway as well as his Fire, Walk With Me. Also consider the plight of Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Innana’s descent into the Underworld, and the stories of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, and Attis.

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31 March 2014 -- Start a Revolution -- ed. Michael Matheson; Exile Editions

The Central Idea:

From green revolutions to anarchist uprisings. From social compacts to social justice movements. Stories that push boundaries and identities. That invoke a rebellious voice. That cry out for tolerance, community, and change.

QUILTBAG stories are about diversity in identity. Sometimes that means focusing on finding oneself. But the movement is so much wider. Identity is communal. Identity is global. And this anthology looks to tell those larger stories. Stories about revolution, rebellion, and reshaping the world, all told from QUILTBAG perspectives.

Stories about quiet revolutions and very public ones. Personal revolutions and global movements.

Some revolutions succeed. Others fail. But in the end it’s the striving for change that matters.

Show us that striving.

Fight the power. Start a revolution.

Summary:

== Length: 2k-10k (under 7.5k preferred)
== Payment: .05/word (and contributor’s copy)
== Rights: First English-Language Rights & Non-exclusive Anthology Rights (Print and eBook)
== Genre: All speculative
== Original fiction only. No reprints.
== Submit To: adarkandterriblebeauty [at] gmail [dot] com
== Subject Line: Start a Revolution: [Story Title], [Last Name]
== Format: Standard Manuscript Format
== File Format: .doc, .docx, or .rtf only
== Cover Letter: Yes. See below.
== Reading Period: Jan. 1, 2014 – Mar. 31, 2014
== All Responses By: Apr. 30, 2014
== Scheduled Release: Spring 2015

Please, no simultaneous submissions. The only exception to this is that you are allowed to submit a story to both Start a Revolution and the $15,000 Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Competition (open until March 10, 2014) sponsored by Exile Quarterly/Exile Editions (see http://www.theexilewriters.com/poetry-and-fiction-competitions/).

You may send multiple submissions over the course of the reading period, but submit only one story at a time. I’ll be rejecting stories over the course of the reading period, so if you receive a rejection before the deadline you may submit another piece.

Also, despite the fact that I’m comfortable with alternate and integrated narrative formats for short fiction, I’m not taking poetry or plays. Short fiction only, please.

Re Cover Letters: Include your name, story title, word count, contact info, a brief bio, and state your nationality (so I can keep track of the 90% Canadian authored content requirement).

Also Re Cover Letters (Optional): One of the things the Ontario Arts Council asks on their grant forms is a set of volunteered information, specifically about self-definition and identity. It helps them figure out what communities and groups they’re already reaching and aiding, and who they need to do more outreach to better aid. And if people are willing, I would like to do something similar here. Specifically, I’d like to compile and share a map of the submissions, if you will. (Both a map for all submissions, and a comparative map for selected stories.) So, please feel free to also note in your cover letter if you consider, or define, yourself as any of the following: an Aboriginal writer, culturally diverse writer, Francophone writer, and/or new generation writer. (Definitions for same below.) Anyone submitting is also welcome to note their gender (be it binary, multiple, undefined, or a lack thereof) and you can also include if you self-define along the lines of QUILTBAG, fluid, pansexual, or otherwise.

And let me reiterate: all of that volunteered information is entirely optional. And if given, it is going to be shared in a strictly anonymous fashion, and only for the purposes of the submissions mapping.

Lastly, if I’ve already read a story of yours elsewhere (say, at Apex), please don’t send it for this call unless I specifically ask to see it. And if you have questions relating to the anthology, please ask them in the Comments.

[NOTE: There's more info on the guidelines page; definitely click through and read.]

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31 March 2014 -- Unidentified Funny Objects 3 -- ed. Alex Shvartsman

WHAT WE WANT:

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.

Most submissions we’ve received in the past are rejected because they aren’t particularly funny. For this anthology we’re looking for humor, not just lighthearted, optimistic stories. Ask yourself if your story might make the reader laugh out loud, and submit if the answer is yes.

The best way to learn what we like is to read a previous volume volume. You can buy it here and also read the online stories for free.

LENGTH: 500-6000 words.

PAYMENT: $0.05 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request a check.

FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier to Times New Roman or some such), except please remove your name and any other identifying information from the manuscript as all submissions are read “blind”.

SEND TO: E-mail submissions as an attachment to: ufoeditors @ gmail dot com

Format the subject line as follows: Submission: by (Approx. Length)

Example: Submission: You Bet by Alex Shvartsman (2000 words)

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send us any story we already considered for a previous UFO volume. We will respond to all subs within 30 days. If you don’t hear by then please check your spam folder, then query at the same e-mail address with the word QUERY in the subject of the e-mail.

If your story is rejected before April 1 you may send another, but we will only consider up to two submissions per author. (To clarify, send the second ONLY after the first one is rejected). If your second submission is rejected, we will ask you to wait until next year, when we’re reading for UFO4.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: March 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print across different publishing platforms afterward. Preview sample contract.

[NOTE: Click through for info on their selection process, and a FAQ.]

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31 March 2014 -- Women Destroy Fantasy -- ed. Cat Rambo; Lightspeed Magazine (special issue)

WOMEN DESTROY FANTASY! will be a special one-off, guest-edited by former Fantasy Magazine editor Cat Rambo. The issue will contain 8 pieces of fiction (twice the size of a regular issue of an issue of Fantasy back before it was merged into Lightspeed), consisting of 4 original stories and 4 reprints. Cat Rambo will select all 4 of the original stories, and long-time editor of the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, Terri Windling, will select the 4 fantasy reprints. Everything submitted to the Women Destroy Fantasy! issue will also be considered for publication in Lightspeed.

== Who can submit stories for consideration for the special issue? Women.

== How do you define “woman”? A woman is any human being who identifies as one, to whatever degree that they do so.

== What can women submit? Fantasy short stories, 1500-7500 words. Dark fantasy (which normally would be OK to submit to Nightmare, should go here instead for this issue).

== When is the submissions period? Submissions open March 15, 2014, and will close at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern on March 31, 2014.

== What rights will you be buying? Please see the Lightspeed standard contract templates (originals | reprints) for details; this issue will use that same contract template.

== Pay rate? 8 cents/word.

== Response time? Up to 45 days

== Note: Stories submitted to the Women Destroy Fantasy! special issue will also be considered regular issues of Lightspeed as well, if they are not selected for the special issue.

== When will the issue be published? October 2014.

== How do I submit? Submit via the following submissions portal: submissions.johnjosephadams.com/women-destroy-fantasy

== What the heck is this about? What do you mean by "destroy"? Read this and just substitute "fantasy" any time it says "science fiction" (more or less).

Some additional thoughts from guest editor Cat Rambo:

== I want fantasy that showcases the amazing emotional range of the genre and the spectrum of forms it can take.

== I’ll want at least one tearjerker and one humorous piece.

== I’ll want something that draws on fairytale or myth, but which does so in an amazing, interesting, and fresh way, and I’m hoping to find something that feels urban fantasy-ish as well, also in a fresh and interesting way.

== Fantasy that often hits well with me: superheroes, non-cutesy talking animals, linguistic-related, the weird.
== I like language: make yours wonderful, but never at the cost of the story.

== Your character should make me care about their fate (and for this issue, probably a female protagonist is, quite frankly, probably going to be a better fit).

== I’ll want at least one piece with an utterly amazing landscape, that immerses me in a fantasy world that delights my heart.

== Diversity does matter to me. It doesn’t trump quality, but when you’re going to be up against the very best, score your points where you can.

== I don’t want retellings of D&D adventures. Or pirates. I really don’t like pirates and I’m not particularly fond of zombies. Typos are another big turn-off: proofread your work.

== This is not a time to go for the low-hanging fruit or play it safe. I have four, count ‘em, four slots. Send me something — but make it the very best you have, something that is unique to your voice, something that you and only you could write.

***

3 April 2014 -- Streets of Shadows -- ed. Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon; Alliteration Ink

Life on the streets was tough...before things started getting weird.

This project is getting initial funding via Kickstarter.

You think you're safe. What a joke.

You don't think about the places you pass every day. The side streets. The alleys. Under bridges. The shadows.

All you'd have to do is take a step to the side.

Then you'd know.

Life on the streets ain't easy. It takes someone tough like me to survive. Danger lurks in the shadows. Yeah, there's muggers and gangs. Sometimes you get zombies, vampires, and ghouls. And if you're real unlucky, you run into the scary stuff.

Whether it's the dirty streets of Detroit, the paved-over cobblestones of London, or the patched asphalt of your hometown, people like me are all that stand between death and your door.

Our world isn't made up of parks and malls. Our world is the streets, covered in shadows.

These are our stories.

From the editorial team that brought you Dark Faith comes Streets of Shadows, a collection of urban fantasy crime noir. These original tales of the dark and magical side of the urban landscape will be published by Alliteration Ink in late summer 2014.

ATTACHED AUTHORS

Currently attached authors include Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kevin J. Anderson, Tim Lebbon, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Massey, Tom Piccirilli, and Lucy A. Snyder.

THE EDITORS

Maurice Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas, and articles. His dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, including Asimov's SF, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, Black Static, and Weird Tales Magazine. He is the co-editor of the Dark Faith anthology series (Apex Books) and the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot Books). He has been a teaching artist for over five years, teaching creative writing to elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as adults. Visit his site at www.MauriceBroaddus.com.

Jerry Gordon is the Bram Stoker nominated co-editor of the Dark Faith and Last Rites anthologies. His fiction has appeared in Apex Magazine, Shroud, and The Midnight Diner. You can find him blurring genre lines at www.jerrygordon.net and saying inappropriate things on Twitter @jerrylgordon.

OPEN SUBMISSIONS

We're looking for stories with depth that push the boundaries of their genres. Stories that make you think, that comment on the human condition and the social order. Stories that are rich in their language use. Stories that entertain and thrill. Stories between 2000 and 4000 words for which we'll pay 6 cents per word.

Submissions will be accepted from 3/3/2014 until 4/3/2014. Unsolicited stories received outside this time frame will be deleted unread.

Please include a cover letter with your submission and only one story at a time. No reprints. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted as long as you tell us up front (and immediately withdraw the story if you sell somewhere else).

All submissions must be emailed as an RTF file to Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon at streetsofshadows AT gmail dot com.

***

15 April 2014 -- Intelligence -- Third Flatiron Anthologies

Stories could include AIs, the Singularity, military/industrial/political intelligence, nonhuman/uplifted or hybrid/human species, extreme thinking (ESP/telekinesis), ethical hacking.

Third Flatiron Publishing is an e-publishing venture based in Boulder, Colorado. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed online anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We’re looking for tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios.

Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something illuminating to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, mild horror, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Inquire if longer.

Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We want to showcase some of the best new shorts available today.

Click through to the "Submissions" tab for preferred formats, etc.

For each anthology, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the "Shouts and Murmurs" feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.

Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the digital rights to the story. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, we will pay a flat rate of 5 cents per word, in return for the permission to podcast or give the story away as a free sample portion of the anthology.

Third Flatiron will price and market your story to various e-publishing venues. We will format the story for the most popular electronic readers and platforms. You agree that we may distribute a sample (portion of the story) to potential customers.

For non-U.S. submissions, we prefer to pay via PayPal, if you have such an account.

Authors selected for publication will also be entitled to one free online copy of the anthology.

***

30 April 2014 -- Spindles -- ed. Raechel Henderson; Eggplant Literary Productions

Spindles word limit = 5,000

Payment = 5 cents per word; 2.5 cents per word for reprints

Rights bought: First World English-language Rights

Multiple submissions welcome

No simultaneous submissions

Stories should follow the standard fairy tale structure, but can be placed in any time period. We’ll only be publishing one version of each story (so one Cinderella, on Snow White, etc.) so authors are encouraged to submit as many different stories as they want. We are looking for fairy tales from all over the world; not just Grimm and Anderson.

Please send fiction submissions to submissions@eggplantproductions.com.

Send submissions in the body of the e-mail. No attachments!

[NOTE: there are lots of great questions and answers on the comments under the guidelines post, so click through and read if you're thinking of subbing here.]

***

30 April 2014 -- Triangulation: Parch -- PARSEC Ink

Submissions Close: April 30, 2014 — or until filled

Theme: "PARCH"

Word Count: We will consider fiction up to 10,000 words. There is no minimum word count.

Topics: We are interested in publishing a wide variety of entertaining and literate speculative fiction stories, so the more space a story would take, the more it will need to impress us. We publish science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction.

Compensation: We pay 1.5 cents per word plus a $100 Editors’ Choice award to each of three stories that most effectively and ambitiously incorporate the theme. Authors will also receive an e-book version of the anthology and wholesale pricing for printed copies (typically 50% of cover price).

Rights: We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.

Submissions: Our focus is on original stories. Please do not send previously published stories, even if they’ve only been published on your blog. Please, no simultaneous submissions (wait for a response from us before submitting elsewhere). We do not publish poetry. Sorry. No hand-written manuscripts. We gotta draw the line somewhere.

We love creative interpretations of our themes. Don’t ask us what it means – tell us what it means with a story that convinces us you’re right.

We will run mature content if we like the story and if the mature content is integral to the story. So make sure there’s an actual story in that mature content.

No fanfic, even if it’s of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain.

No thinly-disguised transcripts of role playing sessions, no settings obviously based on D&D or other such games. Don’t get us wrong, we love to game ourselves, which means our imaginations are probably cluttered with elves and dwarves and orcs and the like as it is.

How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. It’s free.

Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. There’s disagreement on some of the exact details of the "standard". We’re not testing you to see if you can follow each and every niggling detail, we just want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.

We accept manuscripts in the following formats:

== .doc or .docx (MS Word)
== .rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)
== .odt (OpenDocument Text — format used by the OpenOffice.org suite)

If you absolutely, positively cannot submit electronically, please send the manuscript (with either a SASE or a return email address) to:

Triangulation 2014
312 N Beaver St.
New Castle PA 16101

Feedback: We are (in)famous for our feedback on submitted stories. We work with writers to improve accepted stories, as well. The results have been strong reviews from places like Tangent Online, and a reputation for consistent quality.

Response: Expect to hear back from us within a month. Please report your response times at Duotrope’s Digest.

Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or even related to the editorial staff, are permitted to submit to the Triangulation anthology. That doesn’t mean we’ll automatically publish them; just that we’re willing to look at their work. (We’re not worried about nepotism; if our friends' writing sucks, we tell them.)

General Information:

We have no interest in getting more specific about the term "speculative fiction." Science fiction, horror, fantasy, magic realism, alternate history, whatever. If there’s a speculative element vital to your story, we’ll gladly give it a read. We do prefer traditional narrative to experimental technique. Our intent is to provide a strong story experience for our readership.

We publish both new and established writers; the level of experience for the authors gracing our pages has ranged from "first time in print" to "Hugo winner" and "Nebula winner". The majority of our stories usually wind up being from American authors, but we’ve had a number of international contributions; we’re happy to consider work from anywhere in the world, as long as it’s written in English.

Who We Are:

Triangulation is an annual short fiction anthology produced by PARSEC Ink, the publishing wing of the PARSEC science-fiction association in Pittsburgh, PA. We publish science fiction, fantasy, horror, and any other speculative fiction that catches the editors’ fancy. Every year since 2003 (save for a brief hiatus in 2006 when we changed over to an international format) we have a new theme. We pay for the work we select and issues are available online at places like Amazon.com. We are a small press but we work hard to produce a quality product.

Triangulation shares an informal relationship with Parsec’s annual short story contest. Note, though, that the Parsec contest and the Triangulation Anthology are two completely different publications and have different requirements and submission guidelines, including eligibility and word length.

***

16 May 2014 -- Sword and Sorceress 29 -- ed. Elisabeth Waters

[NOTE: DO NOT SUBMIT BEFORE 19 APRIL.]

Stories should be the type generally referred to as "sword and sorcery" and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about. See previous Sword and Sorceress volumes for examples. We do not want stories with explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or profanity. We are NOT a market for poetry. We are willing to consider stories set in modern times (urban fantasy), but we won't buy more than one or two of those for the anthology. We always want something short and funny for the last story.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

With regard to multiple submissions, do not submit more than one story at a time. If we've rejected your first one, you may send one more, as long as it's before the deadline. We have occasionally bought someone's second sumbmission. We have never bought a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth submission. If you send us two stories, and we don't hold either of them, wait until next year to try again. Please do not re-submit stories we have already rejected (including stories rejected in previous years).

If you have not previously sold to Sword & Sorceress, please read What is a Short Story? and Why Did my Story Get Rejected? before submitting to us.

Please do not explain or describe your story in the e-mail (cover letter). If your story can't stand on its own, fix the story.

Reading period: Saturday, April 19 to Friday, May 16, 2014. Stories received before or after this period will be deleted unread.

Response time is expected to follow MZB's traditional standards: you should hear within a week if we're holding your story for the final line-up or rejecting it.

Deadline: May 16, 2014.

Length: up to 9,000 words, with preference given to shorter stories. The longer a story is, the better it has to be. Long stories should be submitted early in the reading period.

Formatting and Submission:

Format with one-inch margins on all four sides of page.
Please do not use a header or footer.

Your name, full mailing address, and email address must be in the upper left corner, single spaced.
Skip two lines, center the text, then put the title, with your name (or byline) on the next line. We're not going to be as rigid as MZB was about pen names, but we expect them to be reasonable, rather than cute.

The rest of the manuscript should be single-spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented 1/2 inch.
If you need to indicate a break, put "#" on a line by itself, centered.
Do not underline; use italics instead. Do not use bold face. We prefer Courier New font, size 12.

Word count will be determined by our word processor; that way it will be the same for everyone.

Save your document as an .rtf file (rich text format or interchange format, depending on what your computer calls it). E-mail as it as an attachment to . The subject line should be "SS29, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS29, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter.

Rights purchased: first rights, non-exclusive eBook and audio book rights.

Payment: 5 cents per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.

***

31 May 2014 -- Torn Pages -- Weird Bard Press

== Word Count: 1000-5000.
== Multiple submissions: wait to hear back on your first submission before sending another.
== Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know and update us if the story is accepted elsewhere.
== No reprints.
== Poetry and Nonfiction: please query first.
== Everyone will hear from us no later than July 1st, but our goal will be a 1 month response time (or at least an update if your story is under consideration.)

Pay Rates & Rights

We pay 2¢ per word for fiction. Authors will also receive an electronic ARC of the anthology.

Weird Bard Press takes First World English Rights. Works sent to us should not have been published elsewhere.

We will use a traditional copyright, but authors may choose any Creative Commons license for their individual story if prefered.

Genres/Themes

There are no genre limitations associated with Torn Pages. Mainstream and genre stories alike are welcome.

Read this article for background on what led to the anthology. Stories that fit Torn Pages will take that article and situations like it as their prompt.

Updated 02/09/14:

Given the title, Torn Pages, the ideal submission will deal in issues such as religion in the science classroom, censorship, historical revisionism, chilling effect, book (media) burning, net neutrality, or Orwellian concepts like Newspeak and Thoughtcrime. Watching the recent Nye/Ham debate we were reminded of Burrough's assertion that language is a virus. Think books. Think classroom. Think logical fallacies, partisan politics, and education standards in the balance.

Acceptable as well are stories related to a real-life wrong so great or insidious that the issue must be told, though it may not relate directly to books or the classroom, such as abuses of political or social power. Pussy Riot, Occupy, or Anonymous may be good starting points, but refrain from propaganda for or against any one of these.

Inherent in this project is an interest in stories from under-represented points of view, be they ethnic, gender, cultural, sexual orientation, or others we have not considered. The person who comes from what they perceive as a mundane background may have an equally important story to tell.

There is a cultural upheaval we wish to see reflected in these stories. In our article, it is a struggle of the secular and the religious, the individual against senseless power structures, and finally censorship and altered history (and, perhaps, a struggle of value systems related to issues of sexuality...) but your story may address totally different issues. Issues we may not know about right now. Awesome. We're keeping the guidelines intentionally vague.

These stories may skew more political than some markets normally prefer, but no matter if we agree or disagree with your politics, stories right for this project will not be partisan soap boxes. It's a difficult line to walk. The best stories will be those that bridge between the different points of view in the given story. We are all human and we all believe that we are the good guys.

Feel free to tell us more about the issue or cite sources in your cover letter. Stories will be accepted on their merit alone.

Diversity statement:

Queer, POC, strong female main characters, disabled characters, and other under-represented points of view are welcome and encouraged.

What we don't want (and other considerations):

This is not an erotica market. Sexual situations and themes are fine. This is not a YA market either, but we hope the final product is suitable for high-school age consumption. Profanity will not lead to rejection, but if accepted, we may edit those words. We'll work closely with you if this is the case.

Violence is fine. Excessive gore is not. Stories that portray abuse in graphic detail are not welcome. For example, the main character is a bad guy who does bad things for most of the story, until, in the final act, he gets what is coming to him. Don't send us that story.

Stories based on familiar genre tropes are hard sells. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.

Format:

Standard manuscript format. Word, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, Rich Text are all fine. Send to us as attachments in your email. We are not sticklers, but do avoid odd fonts, colors, or creative formatting that makes reading or editing your text difficult.

Reading Period:

We open to submissions on March 1st and will remain open through May 31st, or until filled so don’t wait. Submissions received outside of the reading period will be deleted.

Email submissions to: editors(at)weirdbard[dot]com

Please include in your subject line:

Fiction Submission: Story Title

or some similar indication of your email contents.

Questions may be directed to the same address.

***

1 June 2014 -- Diabolic Tales IV: The Psychology of Death -- Diabolic Publications

Submissions will open for Diabolic Tales IV -- The Psychology of Death starting on November 1, 2013 and will close on June 1, 2014. We want the most deranged scary stories you have ever written about death. We are looking for original stories only in which some facet of death derived by the mind of the killer is the main focus, it needs to be physical, sociological, psychological. All stories must be strong and realistic, with believable characters. No brutality or overt blood and gore. We want to be afraid, really afraid.

== All stories must be in doc., docx., or .rtf format.
== All stories must be a minimum of 2500 words but not more than 5000 words.
== Please use 12 point font, Times New Roman and double space your text. 1 inch margins on all sides.

In the body of your submission in the left hand top corner, include your contact information (Real Name or official pen name, not your online name), the word count of the work you are submitting and contact information, please include a cover letter with a brief biography and any publishing history you feel we might want to know about. Make certain to use an email address that you have access to at all times as correspondences from us come through email only!

You will receive an email if your story has been accepted or rejected as soon as a decision has been made.

NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS, NO REPRINTS! WE ONLY ACCEPT SUBMISSIONS THROUGH SUBMITTABLE.

When you are ready, please submit your material here: http://diabolicpublications.submittable.com/submit

PAY: Is made through Paypal only, if you don't have a paypal account please get one.

We require a written and signed agreement which will be sent with an acceptance email.

Fiction: US$.05/word, payable upon publication. Plus, one copy of the edition in which the work appears.

RIGHTS: Exclusive First World English Rights for print, and First Electronic Rights for two years from date of publication. Rights are then no longer exclusive and revert back to the author after the two year period.

***

UNTIL FILLED -- Thresholds -- Dreadful Cafe ** First Posted December 2013

We cross boundaries every day - the door to a room, a crack in a sidewalk, the border of a city.

The stories in Thresholds will take the reader to another time, into the dark, into the arms of a lover, to another world, or to the dark recesses of the mind.

Are you ready?

Sometimes strange, always original, the stories we publish are of the highest production standards, from thrilling premise all the way to professional editing.

We are now soliciting query letters (fiction) and samples (art) for Thresholds, our second anthology of art and fiction. All genres are eligible, but preference is given to works that cross more than one and which reflect the flavor and theme described above.

For FICTION:

Manuscripts must be between 1,000 and 25,000 words and not previously published by anyone but the author. Self-published works are accepted and encouraged!

Please refer to our Submission Guidelines.

Upon acceptance of your completed manuscript, Dreadful Cafe pays for non-exclusive, unlimited, 5-year publishing rights on the following schedule:

== Short Stories (1,000-7,000 words) — $125
== Novelettes (7,001-13,000 words) — $250
== Novellas (13,001-25,000 words) — Negotiable

Estimated Publication: Third Quarter of 2014

[Click through for more info.]