Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Neil Gaiman on Impostor Syndrome

Ever get the feeling that you're not really all that good at whatever you do? That people who praise you are just being nice, or they don't really get you, and when they figure out how ordinary you are they'll be angry and start sneering?

I feel like that sometimes. I think most people who've found some success do. Neil Gaiman does, and he talks about it in a really excellent Tumblr post. Check it out.

Angie

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Writing Fantasy Heroes, ed. Jason M. Waltz

Writing Fantasy HeroesWriting Fantasy Heroes edited by Jason M. Waltz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a non-fiction anthology of writing advice from various fantasy authors:

"The Hero in Your Blood" by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
"The Heroic Will" by Cecelia Holland
"Taking a Stab at Writing Sword and Sorcery" by Ian C. Esslemont
"Writing Cinematic Fight Scenes" by Brandon Sanderson
"Watching from the Sidelines" by Cat Rambo
"Man Up: Making Your Hero an Adult" by Alex Bledsoe
"Two Sought Adventure" by Howard Andrew Jones
"Monsters -- Giving the Devils their Due" by C.L. Werner
"NPCs are People Too" by Jennifer Brozek
"Tropes of the Trade" by Ari Marmell
"So You Want to Fight a War" by Paul Kearney
"Shit Happens in the Creation of Story" by Glen Cook
"The Reluctant Hero" by Orson Scott Card

This is a decent book, and I learned a couple of things from it. I think my major disappointment was that it was focused more narrowly than I was expecting. When you say "fantasy heroes," I think of all kinds of protagonists in all kinds of fantasy. In actuality, in this book, most of the contributors interpreted "fantasy heroes" to mean hulking Conan types, the big, barbarian hero who swings a sword and hacks limbs off of bad guys. Okay, that's one kind of hero, but there are a lot of others, most of whom weren't addressed at all.

Orson Scott Card's chapter stepped away from the mighty-thewed barbarian, but even reading that one, I had the impression that it was only a small slice of what he had to say. His chapter was entitled "The Reluctant Hero," and that's where he focused, but he mentioned a couple of other sorts, and I came away with the feeling that I was missing a lot of info. (Much of which is included in Card's other writing books -- he gives great writing advice.)

Paul Kearney's chapter, "So You Want to Fight a War" was useful at the level of how to organize a war at the classic fantasy tech level, so although it wasn't about writing heroes per se, it was still one of my favorite chapters.

Cat Rambo's "Watching from the Sidelines" discusses how and why to write from the POV of a character who's not the one hacking and casting. It's an interesting viewpoint and let me see how that kind of "from the sidelines" POV could be effective in telling a story, so good stuff there.

If you write classic sword and sorcery type fantasy, there's a lot of good, useful stuff here. In general, though, I would wish that the editor had made sure that a broader selection of hero types were discussed. Either that, or made it more clear in the title and/or marketing blurb exactly where the general focus of the book was going to be. My star rating reflects more the marketing disconnect and the disappointment I felt with the narrow range of focus than with the quality of the book over all. For me, as a writer who writes different kinds of fantasy, it was decent but not great. I don't regret reading it; I just wish it had been labelled more clearly.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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. If you want to get an e-mail notification when the listing is posted, get the list a week early, or get a full listing of everything I've found (as opposed to the two months' worth I post here) a week early, you can support my Patreon.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets (if any) 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 guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

***

31 May 2017 -- Chiral Mad 4 -- ed. Lucy A. Snyder and Michael Bailey

While previous volumes of Chiral Mad focused more on psychological horror, with most stories having some sort of chiral aspect in plot or character development or structure, Chiral Mad 4 will be open to just about anything, as long as the story has some sort of dark or speculative element. The only required chirality is with the collaboration itself … multiple minds working as one, in other words, to create something entirely new. We want this anthology to be as diverse as humanly possible, and will be looking for stories that bend and blend genres, stories that experiment with structure, and most importantly, stories that are not dependent upon common tropes.

Unlike past Written Backwards projects, this fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed series of anthologies will be a completely collaborative effort of originality, collecting 4 short stories, 4 novelettes, 4 novellas, and 4 graphic adaptations (to celebrate this 4th book), all co-authored and/or co-created. And the anthology itself will also be co-edited!

The goal of Chiral Mad 4 is to help bring our creative community together, to make us stronger, to strengthen relationships already in place, and to help create new relationships entirely. It’s time for all of us to play nice, to get along, and to do what we do best: create somethings out of nothings… and we’re going to create these beautiful somethings together. Have a specific writer/artist you’ve always admired? Well, now’s your chance. Reach out. Ask! That’s all it takes to get started. Find a partner, or two, or three, and start collaborating! The more unique the collaboration, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. The more diverse the collaborations, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. Now, here’s the hard part: knowing whether or not someone is already collaborating… Email CM4@nettirw.com if you have any questions or concerns about this, or to simply email your submission.

While half the anthology will be filled with commissioned works (the book is nearly half-filled already, with a few of the early acceptances announced below), the rest of the anthology is open for submissions for a short period of time. The submission window for non-commissioned contributors closes May 31st, 2017. So get to it! This is a very short window of opportunity.

Acceptances for non-commissioned work will not be announced until after June 30th, 2017, so we ask that we hold onto your work exclusively until then, as each submission will be carefully considered and agreed upon by both editors of this anthology. No simultaneous submissions, please.

What are we looking for?

== 4 short stories (5,000 words max)
== 4 novelettes (10,000 words max)
== 4 novellas (20,000 words max)
== 4 graphic adaptations (1,500 words max, or 10 pages)

Payment will be $.06 per word, capped at the max word counts listed above, split evenly between contributors. Two contributors writing a 5,000-word short story, for example, would split $300, or $150 each. Contributors writing a 10,000-word novelette would evenly split $600. Contributors writing a 20,000-word novella would evenly split $1,200. Graphic adaptations will be determined by the publisher/creators prior to acceptance; these are unique collaborations and payments for such are not as simple to calculate. In fact, 3 of the 4 slots for graphic adaptations are already filled, so please query CM4@nettirw.com before submitting. And, as always, contributor copies of each edition are part of the deal. Written Backwards has worked with many illustrators and artists in the past, so if you have a script but not an illustrator/artist lined-up, please let us know and we can arrange one for your story if we fall in love with your script.

So, hopefully all of this gets you excited, gets you eager to reach out to others in our creative community. Chiral Mad 4 is the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. Please, be a part of it. Send your work to CM4@nettirw.com.

***

1 June 2017 -- Corporate Cthulhu -- Pickman's Press

Of all bureaucracies, corporations are the most powerful, seeming to have a life and will of their own. They're privately held with a multi-national reach, seemingly bottomless resources, and armies of lawyers jealously guarding their trade secrets. Anything and everything is justified by the bottom line. Who needs a Cthulhu Cult when you've got Cthulhu, Inc.?

Into this insidious world are thrust our heroes—the curious, the puzzled, and the frustrated. Defying authority, seeking answers they'd be better off not knowing, the secrets they discover threaten their sanity and their lives. Will they become the next whistleblower media hero? Or disappear, leaving nothing behind but an empty desk and whispered rumors in the break room? Remember: it's nothing personal—just business.

Corporate Cthulhu is a Lovecraftian horror anthology about the intersection of the Cthulhu Mythos and corporations or other large bureaucracies.

This is an OPEN call for submissions—anyone and everyone is free to submit a short story to the slush pile. Feel free to share this with other writers you think might be interested.

What We're Looking For

== Short stories up to 7000 words.

== Original, previously unpublished fiction.

== We're particularly interested in submissions from writers traditionally underrepresented in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. This includes racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with disabilities.

== Stories must include at least a passing connection to the Cthulhu Mythos and/or Lovecraft's other work. The stronger the connection, the more likely the story is to be accepted.

== Stories that make skillful use of Lovecraftian horror themes: insanity, helplessness and hopelessness, inherited guilt, old isolated locations, books of forbidden knowledge, ancient extraterrestrial influences on humanity, the risks of runaway science, civilization vs. barbarism, humanity's insignificance on the cosmic scale of space and time, unanswered questions about what lurks behind the curtain of reality, etc.

== Although we're expecting a lot of stories where management is a cult in disguise (and that's fine!), we encourage writers to think outside the box. Other elements of the business cycle include labor (a union strikes over a bizarre demand) and customers (how far will a struggling company go to meet their biggest customer's increasingly strange requests?).

== Although the primary focus is on corporate bureaucracies, ANY large private-sector bureaucracy is fair game. This could include (among others) charities, nonprofits, NGOs, private universities, for-profit hospitals, labor unions, large churches, fraternal organizations, youth groups, etc.

== Stories set in any time period during the modern industrial capitalist era (roughly 1800 on up). Query first for stories set in other time periods.

== Comedies, parodies, and/or satires are acceptable.

What We're NOT Looking For

== Romances or erotica.

== Stories under 2000 words or over 7000 words.

== Stories taking place in governmental or other public-sector bureaucracies. As much fun as it may be to have Cthulhu running the IRS, save those ideas for a later Political Cthulhu anthology.

Payment

If selected, authors will receive $0.03 cents per word for original, previously unpublished fiction. Original fiction strongly preferred; query first for reprints. In the unlikely event that we do accept a reprint, payment will be $0.01 cent per word. Publication is dependent on a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. There will be no kill fees.

Rights

Exclusive global English first print and digital rights for one year, and nonexclusive print and digital rights for term of copyright. All other rights are reserved to the author.

Submitting

Stories should follow the format laid out in the submission guidelines; if not, it may be automatically rejected. Submissions should be emailed to submissions@pickmanspress.com with the story included as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, and must be received no later than midnight, Central Standard Time, June 1st, 2017. The email subject should read [Submissions: Story Title by Author Name]. If accepted, minor edits and revisions may be requested. The Kickstarter campaign will begin after the stories have been selected.

***

30 June 2017 -- Welcome to Miskatonic University -- Broken Eye Books

Miskatonic University is still going strong in the Arkham Valley (and in various satellite campuses and research stations around the world). Resilient and forward thinking, few institutions can weather the times and adapt like good ol' MU. It's a strange brew of conservatively reaching into the past while progressively marching forward. And it's a hotbed for the weird and the wonderful!

So what might a modern MU look like? What might student life be like today? These tales combine college life and the cosmic weird. Of course, there's beer, sex, and parties; study groups and all-night cramming; campus activism and impassioned discourse; vital research and faculty struggling for tenure. But also, you know, gruesome and psychedelic cosmic weirdness.

What avenues of study has the university sanctioned either publicly or privately? Where are they getting so much funding? The university's been around the block and are at the bleeding edge of certain realms of research. Occult studies have seeped, seemingly innocuously, into various branches of nearly all academic departments and inform everything from quantum physics to computer science, sociology to modern American literature. Library studies is hands down the best, most advanced in the world, likely one of the most well funded of sectors at the institution with ever-evolving safeguards and best practices.

But there's bound to be lingering effects from all the occult activity, like "sensitive" people and locations with breaches to the "other side." People disappear all the time; sometimes they even come back. Entire wings are off limits to humans indefinitely. As a whole, this anthology is about the angst and drama of college life, the promise of big occult ideas, and the terror and dread (and headfirst exploration) of the unknown, of the forbidden. And some dark humor would not be misplaced.

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for the weird. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.)

== We want weird fiction set in a modern-day Miskatonic University. Stories should be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted views on race and gender.
== Subversive or experimental stories are welcome.
== No pastiches of previous eras.
== Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
== Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English.
== Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
== Only one submission per author.
== We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.

Submit your story in standard manuscript format as an attachment to submissions(at)brokeneyebooks(dot)com with a subject line of the following: [WTMU] "Your Story Title".

Submission window open from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. (We are working on streamlining our review process. We will start reading submissions in May after making headway into Ride the Star Wind edits. We cannot confirm receipt of your manuscript.) The published anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit.

Requests:

We're trying to present a living, breathing setting for MU. There's no requirement or even request for any coordination of story details. We just ask that you avoid the more world-ending (or even university-ending) plots. Sure, people will die, just as new faculty is hired and new students fill empty seats. Buildings will crumble or disappear into wormholes, but there is always new construction. Monsters will come and go, sometimes with fanfare and sometimes not; some even stick around as lab specimens, secret pets, lazing in the sewers, or disguised as faculty. But above all, Miskatonic University persists.

For this anthology, Miskatonic University is assumed to be a fully modern, multicultural hotbed of cutting edge occult and technological research. In this modern incarnation, we're assuming that it has fully embraced modern technology and norms and has both a faculty and student body thriving with personalities from all walks of life (no matter race, religion, gender, or anything [so it's not just a bunch of white dudes])--and it's been that way for at least decades. Of course, the institution will have its secrets and likely everyone there has their own agendas as well. So while there could certainly be your occasional reactionary character pining for the "old days," those characters are not the norm. Hope that helps!

Content & Style:

Rape: Avoid rape, especially that intended only to demonize villains or raise heroes to action. Avoid rape victims serving only as plot devices. And on the instances when rape is vital to a story, we need to see the victim's reactions, their journey after, the consequences. We prefer characters to have agency, not just be plot points and set pieces. If those considerations are unattainable in the writing, no rape. Also, no bestiality or child abuse.

Sex: Sex between consenting adults is perfectly welcome, regardless of gender, including with aliens and monsters. It doesn't need to be tasteful, just consensual (though we're not currently shopping for stories that are solely erotica). Incest, however, should be treated with the same considerations as rape (see above).

Hate: Vile, hate-filled (such as racist or sexist) characters/speech, that which could promote such hate, should not be reflective of the entire work. Any such characters should not be portrayed as narrators; such speech should not be adopted by the narrator. Such topics would be of interest to us if well navigated, as in LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom.

Style & Theme: We are happy to consider subversive themes, marginalized voices, and experimental styles.

Editorial: We will edit your work in collaboration with you and "in broad daylight" in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style and our experience. We are always open to discussion.

Current Tropes to Avoid: Forced Motherhood; Chosen One.

***

15 July 2017 -- Strange Beasties -- Third Flatiron

Slipstream. Are you itching to invent your own odd literary devices or creatures? Impress us, delight us, or scare us with the diversity of your fiendish creations. Creatures of the id don't necessarily have to be monsters, but they do need to be strange.

Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We want tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme.

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.

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.

***

31 July 2017 -- Chthonic: Weird Tales of Inner Earth -- Martian Migraine Press

Pelucidar. The Hollow Earth. DEROS, and the Shaver Mysteries. Blue-litten K'n-yan, red Yoth, and black, lightless N’kai. The Amigara Fault. Derinkuyu. Agartha. The world (and worlds) below. Inner earth, a near infinite space of vast, echoing potential … our (possible?) birthplace, and the place where we all return, either as corpses, or something other? … the churning, chaotic underworld, and true home of all that is weird, unconscious, and forbidden. Descend with us in this anthology of weird fiction; descend to the realms CHTHONIC.

We are looking for weird fiction that explores the mystique and terror of caverns, abyssal spaces, and subterranean worlds. As with previous MMP anthologies, we will be including a seed story from H. P. Lovecraft’s oeuvre (in this case, The Rats in the Walls, though many of his stories went underground). We want to see bizarre civilizations, mind-boggling physical and biological phenomena, horrific rituals, mad science and madder sorcery. We want to feel the tunnel floors beneath our feet shake with the passage of beasts, machines, and gods that have never seen the light of the sun; sentient oils, intelligent muck, living rock, molemen, formless spawn and Efts of the Prime, worms, Dholes, and ghastlier things. But CHTHONIC won’t be just a serving of pop culture “surface” material, if you’ll pardon the pun. We like to see stories with depth (oh god, another one, sorry!); emotional and psychological explorations of the internal spaces of the human mind and soul, as well as the ground below. Write us stories that induce crushing claustrophobia or open us wide to new dimensions of thought and being. If your story can do both, so much the better.

Final story count for the anthology will be determined based on quality and number of submissions. CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth will be released as a softcover paperback and as an electronic book in multiple formats.

Submission period closes JULY 31, 2017. The anthology will be released in early December of 2017.

Submitting

Please use Standard Manuscript format when submitting. That’s double spaced, left justified, Times New Roman or Courier or something at least readable, a header on the first page (at least) with your author info and word count and… well, you know the drill. RTF or DOC files preferred, but DOCx and text files also accepted. Obviously, you could send us something that’s not in Standard Manuscript format, but it will lower your chances of it being looked at seriously.

We will look at both original work and REPRINTS.

To submit a story to CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth send an e-mail (with the story file attached, not in the body of the email) to: submissions@martianmigrainepress.com, with subject line: "CHTHONIC, [title of your story] [your name]".

Length

For short fiction, we’d like to see anything from 1,500 to 7,000 words.

FLASH FICTION: got something under 1500 words? Send it in. However, the following still applies…

NO POETRY.

Payment

All accepted submissions will be paid .03CAD per word, via Paypal, as well as two contributor copies (paperback) of the anthology, and copies in all electronic formats (mobi, EPUB, and PDF). Authors are also entitled to electronic copies of three additional Martian Migraine Press titles of their choosing.

Replies and Queries

We will try to acknowledge receipt of your submission within a week of its arrival in our inbox. The submission period itself will close on July 31, 2017 and we should be responding to all submissions, yes or no, throughout the submission period and no later than August 2017. We do our best to ensure that all submissions are contacted and kept up-to-date, but sometimes items fall through cracks, so, if you haven’t heard from us by September 15 2017, please query.

***

31 July 2017 -- Sharp and Sugar Tooth -- Upper Rubber Boot Books

Announcing an open call for submissions for Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good, an anthology of dark, speculative fiction, edited by Octavia Cade and to be published by Upper Rubber Boot Books in late 2018 or early 2019.

Sharp & Sugar Tooth is looking for creepy, seductive stories about the dark side of culinary life. The emphasis should be on the preparation, or the consumption, of food—horrifying, mouth-watering stories that make us hungry despite ourselves.

Sharp & Sugar Tooth is part of Upper Rubber Boot’s in the Women Up To No Good anthology series, so subversive, diverse stories with protagonists who identify as girls/women are appreciated. We want these characters in the kitchen—and out of it—using their butcher knives and baking skills to create meals that are dark and lovely and empowering, because consumption has a dangerous and tempting taste…

Stories can be any variety of fantasy or science fiction, provided the element of horror is present. Strong language and sex is no problem, but we’re not interested in torture-porn of humans or animals (regardless of whether they end up on a plate).

== Word/page count: Up to 5,000 words/story.
== Payment: six cents per word.
== Publication history: Original stories only. Reprints may be submitted by invitation only.
== Multiple submissions: No.
== Simultaneous submissions: No.
== Deadline: 31 July 2017. All stories will be replied to by the end of August.
== To submit: Please send stories in standard manuscript format, attached in .doc or .rtf files, to octaviacade@hotmail.com with the subject line SUGAR TOOTH. Be sure to provide mailing address and a short bio.
== If the work is a translation, please also provide a statement from the rightsholder that you are authorized to translate and submit it (both author and translator will receive full payment).

Authors must identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity.

We encourage and welcome stories from voices underrepresented in speculative fiction, including (but not limited to) writers of color, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities, and writers in translation.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Becoming an Every Day Novelist by J. Daniel Sawyer

Becoming an Every Day NovelistBecoming an Every Day Novelist by J. Daniel Sawyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a few novels under my belt, but I'm always interested in what other writers have to say about the writing process. You never know when someone else is going to come up with some tricks, tips, or points of view that might come in handy, or make you think about something in a new way. And sometimes, even when you already knew something, hearing it restated can make you take another look at it, or just remind you of something you haven't thought about for a while.

There's a lot of that in Dan Sawyer's Becoming an Every Day Novelist.

The book is organized as 30 days' worth of advice, with the idea that you'll be writing a novel in 30 days. You might be doing NaNoWriMo, or you might be doing your own personal novel-in-a-month challenge, or maybe you just want some help getting your head down and developing the work habits and work pace that'll give you a shot at becoming a full time fiction writer. However you're coming at this, I think you'll find a lot of value in how Dan presents the material.

Each day's advice is tailored to where you probably are in your novel, if you're reading along as you write. There's info on how to get started, what elements you need (beginning with the "a character, in a setting, with a problem" approach), how to handle sections that are often problematic (getting through the middle, powering up to the climax, finding your ending), and discussions on how to carve out the time to write every day, what to do when life prevents you from writing for a while, and how to keep your writing habit from destroying various parts of your body.

[There are some minor glitches here and there, some spellcheckitis, and one really obvious formatting oops, but nothing that makes a line or paragraph hard to understand, which is what's really important. Not enough to deduct a star for.]

There was a lot here I was familiar with (Dan and I have some of the same mentors) but reading it was valuable anyway, and I expect to reread this at least once or twice. Good stuff -- highly recommended.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

About Audio

Dan Sawyer, a guy I know who's been doing audio for a long time -- from audiobooks to movie soundtracks -- did an interview with Joanna Penn on audiobook production, distribution and sales recently. I finally got around to reading it, and it's good stuff. (Joanna does a podcast, but she also posts a transcript, so you can listen or read, whichever you prefer.)

They talk about a lot of different audiobook-related subjects. Here's a chunk of one that made me sit up and think:

Your copyright on any work, and any work meaning finished form, applies to the finished form and everything contained in it, including derivative rights, transcription rights, everything else.

...

There's a lot of stuff that's been ferreted out by case law, but it all reinforces that principle. Things like audio rights are not a single right, they're a basket of rights that can be as multiferous as how you define that and what the market will bear. Currently, there's about 36 different kinds of audio rights that have proven market viability.

And you get those by adding on one axis the number of readers, on another axis the style of production, and on a third axis the level of abridgment, and on a fourth, the level of adaptation. Each of those has a couple of viable options in the current marketplace and you multiply them together, you get 36 potential forms of audiobook.

Even if you never plan to produce your own audiobooks, or directly hire someone to produce one for you, knowing about the rights involved is vital if you're signing contracts with, say, a traditional publisher that wants audio rights. There's a lot there, so if your publisher wants the whole kaboodle, make sure they're compensating you for it.

There's a lot of good stuff here. Read/hear the rest at Joanna Penn's blog.

Also, Dan wrote a book for folks who want to do their own audiobooks, or who want to know about what goes into it so they can be informed consumers when they hire someone to do an audiobook for them. It's called Making Tracks, and he just last month released an updated second edition. Check it out.

Angie

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Release -- No Humans Allowed

An anthology called No Humans Allowed, edited by John Helfers, has just released. I have a story in it called "The Scent of Murder." It's an SF mystery where an alien troubleshooter has a problem. The Terran captain of a trading ship has suffered a catastrophic fluid rupture and died while docked at an Yzantris station. Thinker of Useful Ideas Yazvoras is on a deadline to figure out who murdered the human before the Terran ambassador claims the crime scene and has it removed. The time limit is completely unreasonable, but aliens are often incomprehensible. And as the Yzantris say, the world is. No Humans Allowed is part of the Fiction River anthology series by WMG Publishing.

This one was a lot of fun to write for. John wanted stories where the protagonist wasn't human. They couldn't have been formerly human either, so no vampires or ghosts or zombies or anything like that. Writing from a non-human point of view is a challenge, and it can take some time to figure out what I want to do and get into the proper mindset, but once I have that, it's a blast to write. I hope you enjoy reading it. :)

* * *

Humans prove great fodder for fiction. But what about the universe of possibilities offered by the nonhuman protagonist? The eighteen daring humans of Fiction River’s latest volume explore just that. From a goblin who must choose whether to risk everything for love to a heroic rat adventuring at sea to sentient underpants (yes, underpants), these nonhuman tales demonstrate why Adventures Fantastic says: “If you haven’t checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There’s something for everyone.”

This volume contains….

“In the Beginnings” by Annie Reed
“At His Heels a Stone” by Lee Allred
“In the Empire of Underpants” by Robert T. Jeschonek
“The Sound of Salvation” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Goblin in Love” by Anthea Sharp
“Slime and Crime” by Michèle Laframboise
“Always Listening” by Louisa Swann
“Here I Will Dance” by Stefon Mears
“Rats at Sea” by Brenda Carre
“Sense and Sentientability” by Lisa Silverthorne
“When a Good Fox Goes to War” by Kim May
“The Game of Time” by Felicia Fredlund
“The Scent of Murder” by Angela Penrose
“Still-Waking Sleep” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Inhabiting Sweetie” by Dale Hartley Emery
“The Legend of Anlahn” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“Sheath Hopes” by Thea Hutcheson
“We, The Ocean” by Alexandra Brandt

PS -- "Empire of Underpants" is great! :D

Paperback on Amazon
E-book on Amazon
E-book on Kobo
Paperback on B&N
E-book on B&N

Saturday, April 29, 2017

SF Workshop

I spent last week at a science fiction workshop taught by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. It was freaking awesome, and if she offers it again (probably not for a couple of years) I strongly urge any writer who's into SF to dive in.

We started on 1 January, which is when Kris sent us a reading list:

Asimov's SF Magazine, the Jan/Feb and Mar/Apr issues
Women of Futures Past Anthology
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas 2016
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 1
Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation
Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016

There were some people in the class (out of fourteen students) who were writers but weren't familiar with SF, so one of the reasons for doing the reading was to get everyone on the same page about what SF is. A lot of people who try to use SF in their writing (like pretty much every single romance writer whose "futuristic romance" I've ever tried [sigh]) seem to think that if you watch Star Wars and Star Trek, there you go, you know all about SF and are ready to write it. Not so much. So reading all the anthologies and a couple issues of Asimov's gave us all some common ground. We took some time at each evening session to talk about one of the books/magazines, what we liked or didn't like, what surprised us. That also let us see how people's tastes differ.

A couple of weeks before the workshop, we got a story assignment. One of Kris's pet peeves with SF is aliens who are just humans with weird foreheads. (Glancing back at folks who think Star Trek will teach you everything you need to know about SF.) So she linked us to the Oregon Coast Aquarium's web site and asked us to write an SF story with a really alien alien, inspired by something on the Aquarium's site. I wanted to go way alien :) so I paid particular attention to the invertebrates. I read the description for the giant rock scallop, and noted how the baby scallops are free swimming, and move by clapping their shells together and spraying jets of water. Then when they grow up, they cement themselves to a rock and live there for the rest of their lives. Add in the moon snail, another mollusc, which has a tongue that can drill through shells and rocks. I got an image of a hollowed-out asteroid covered in scallops, and baby scallops flapping and jetting away into space. Everything else followed from there, and I ended up with a fun story that got great comments from Kris. It's currently out with a magazine editor. [crossed fingers]

We wrote three more stories while at the workshop -- we had one due every other day, starting when we turned in the Aquarium-alien story on Saturday -- plus we read everyone else's stories, plus we had other, smaller assignments. Plus if we messed up on the smaller assignments [ducks, raises hand] they came back covered in red comments, with "Redo" at the top. I ended up redoing three or four assignments.

It turns out I kind of suck at putting really concrete details in my work. This is important with most fiction, but particularly with SF, because the reader can't take anything for granted. If you're writing something contemporary, you might have your character enter a barn. Okay, we all know what a barn looks like. But do we really? There's the classic red barn, but some are white, some are brown, some are corrugated steel. Some are multi-story, with a hay loft like the classic barn in kids' books, but some are lower. Some are long and wide, some are compact. So if you just have your character walk into "a barn" with no details, the reader will visualize a barn, filling in those details for you. Maybe they'll match the details in your head, but probably not. So if you imagine a barn with a basement or other sub level, and mention it twelve pages later, the readers who didn't imagine a barn with a basement will be all, "Wait, what?!" Or if your barn has a main floor and some side areas, plus an equipment room, and a room with tools where stuff is repaired, but your reader was imagining just one big room, then again, they'll have a huge disconnect that'll throw them out of the story if your character starts going from room to room later on.

So if you just say "a barn" in your story, that's a fake detail.

And that's with a barn. Everyone knows what a barn is, even if the details can differ. What if your character boards a starship? Or a space station? Or is walking around on an alien planet? What does that look like? You have to be even more thorough about describing everything, using concrete sensory details, because the reader can't fill in details for you.

So for our first technique assignment, we had to describe an alien space station. We were to write five paragraphs, each one using details coming from only one sense. Here's what I wrote for the first two senses:

=====

Sight -- Alicia's first impression of the Nonapus station was that it was dark. Well, of course; sight was a minor sense for them. Nonapus stations weren't bright for the same reason Human stations ween't tasty. The water that filled the corridors and chambers was just slightly chilly, and full of tiny particulates that made it impossible to see, even with a light, much beyond the length of her arm.

Touch -- Most of the station walls were smooth. There were no floors or ceilings as such; the Nonapus have been starfaring for millenia, and the main difference between a wall and a floor or ceiling was gravity. The Nonapus expected everyone to hang on to or push off from whatever's handy, and avoid dangerous or delicate equipment as a matter of course. All controls required a firm push or pull or twist; brushing up against something was done casually while moving around, and was supposed to be perfectly safe.

=====

Not bad, huh? I was pretty pleased with them when I wrote them (in a frantic hurry, but anyway). Actually, they suck. :P This was my first non-story assignment, and it came back covered with big red "Fake!" notes all over it, and a red "Redo" at the top. A few days later, I redid it:

=====

Sight -- The only light inside the Nonapus station came from tiny, glowing white jellyfish that swam through the water, expanding and contracting in a rhythm that made it look like they were dancing, their legs rippling in time like ribbons in wind. The passageways were tubular, too narrow for a human to stand up in; it made Alicia feel cramped, and a little claustrophobic. Everything was shades of grey; there was no color anywhere, not even on her fellow refugees. They'd all been given clothes that could stand up to weeks in the water. The plain, stretchy coveralls were comfortable enough, but their uniform grey made them blend in with the walls, and the rest of the humans, as though they were all ghosts haunting the place.

Touch -- The walls were mostly smooth, some sort of soft plastic, with patches and strips of texture on them. used the way humans would use signs. Rough and smooth and sharp, with and against the grain of the ridges -- all the different textures meant something, and Alicia knew she'd have to learn them. Swimming through the ship, she brushed against the jellyfish, couldn't help it, because they streamed and clustered everywhere. These didn't sting, like the ones on the beach at home, so she could touch them if she wanted. Their little round bodies were slick, like they were coated in gel. Their legs -- or were they arms? -- slid through her fingers like limp, flat pasta, light and smooth and rippling.

=====

Much better. I got a lot more "Good" notes on that one. See how things are much more concrete, more grounded on sensory details?

I need to learn to do this in my stories. Right now, it's hard. It's not something I do automatically yet. When I'm writing, in creative mode, when story's just flowing, it doesn't automatically flow with concrete sensory details. If I think about it, and consciously put those details in as I write, I slip into critical mode, which makes the writing kind of suck. (It has great sensory details, though. :P )

"Creative Mode" and "Critical Mode" are concepts Kris and Dean use in all their writing workshops. I think I've talked about them before, but just for drill, writing in creative mode (or in creative voice, or with your creative brain) is writing the way your brain produces story. The focus is on the story, not the craftsmanship. Your creative brain (your storytelling brain) has been absorbing story since you were pre-verbal, when your parents told you stories, sang you songs with stories, let you watch TV and movies with stories. If you're forty, you've been absorbing story for about 39.8 years of that. :)

Critical mode is when your focus is on the mechanics. If you're thinking about spelling and grammar and punctuation, and about how the plot's going to go and whether your characterization is right and how to format your dialogue and whether your transitions work, you're in critical mode. This is your inner English teacher speaking. Your inner English teacher kind of sucks at storytelling; they're focused on all the fiddly details, and they tend to lose track of the story itself, which is what readers read for. Your critical brain has only been learning to write since you started to learn reading and writing skills, which for most of us was first grade. So your critical brain is about six years behind your creative brain when it comes to learning how to write.

Your creative voice is always a better storyteller than your critical voice.

I know we all worry about how our stories look at the line level, but seriously, if you're going to publish something, whether you go tradpub or indie, cleaning up all the little crap is what an editor is for. If your story is great, a copyeditor can clean up your spelling and grammar and fix your comma glitches. There you go -- clean story. If your story sucks, then even if your mechanics are absolutely a hundred percent perfect, the story is still going to suck. A fiction writer's focus should be on storytelling, in creative mode.

Of course, we want to absorb all the mechanics skills too. And we do. It takes a while, but if we work on it, eventually we'll load a new skill into the back of our brain. This is where the stuff that's become automatic goes. For example, you probably don't have to think about putting a period at the end of a declarative sentence, or getting your subjects and verbs to agree. Those are things you had to learn at some point, but then you got to know them well enough that they became automatic, and you don't have to think about them anymore. All your mechanics skills can be loaded into that same part of your brain, where they become automatic, as you work on them.

So I need to work on using concrete sensory details when I write. I'll probably do more exercises like the ones Kris gave us, and work on that until it's easy and automatic. It'll eventually show up in my creative-mode writing, without my having to stop and think about every damn word. :/ For right now, it's annoying, but I'll get it soon enough.

A lot of us in the class were having trouble with concrete details, so most of our small assignments through the week were focused on that skill. I got a lot better at it just in that week, and so did the others.

One of the things I learned last week was that I can write a truly amazing amount of fiction in one week. I was actually pouring it on from Friday through Friday, so eight days, but in that eight days I wrote 38,790 words of fiction -- four stories, two of them over 9K words, plus a bunch of bits and pieces of fiction in the smaller assignments. Just the stories totaled 30,893 words.

I've never done that before. I've written just over 20K words in a week, three times, since I've started keeping track. I've never come anywhere near 30K in a week before. O_O It's intensely frustrating. I've known for a while that I'm intensely deadline driven, and that it has to be a deadline set by someone else, with real-world consequences. Knowing that if I flake out on a story, I'll be walking into a room full of people I know, with no story to turn in? That provides an amazing amount of motivation to write like crazy, and finish a story. I can't do that for myself. I can't even do it for, say, an anthology I'd like to submit for. If I've promised a story to an editor, then that works -- having an editor get annoyed with me and have to scramble to find another writer to write something to fill the spot in the book I was supposed to fill is enough of a real-world consequence to get my writing in gear. But just, "Hey, that's a cool anthology, it closes next Friday, I'd like to write a story for it," isn't enough. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. :/ Very annoying. It's purely a mental block, but knowing that doesn't help.

It was bad enough before, knowing I can write 20K words in a week if I want to. Now I know I can write almost twice that if I'm properly motivated, which makes it that much more frustrating. Heck, I'd love to do 10K words a week. That's half a million words a year, even taking two weeks for vacation. :P

Coming up toward the end of last week, I planned to see if I could keep the momentum going. But around the middle of the workshop, Thursday or so, I started getting a bit of a tickle in my throat. Luckily it stayed at that very low level through the workshop, but as soon as I got home, I fell into bed, and when I woke up I had a raging cough, sore throat, and stuffed up nose. :( It's tough to think about writing, or much of anything else, when it's hard to breathe. I'm starting to feel more human, so we'll see how the writing goes next week.

If nothing else, I had an awesome April. :)

And seriously, Kris does a couple of genre workshops per year. If I had the money, I'd sign up for everything that's currently scheduled. (No, I don't get any kick-backs or discounts for reccing the workshops; I just think they rock.) She's teaching a Mystery workshop in September, and a Fantasy workshop next April. She's done Romance and Alternate History before. I think she did Thrillers once? I'd love to take all of them. Kris is a slave driver, but damn, it works!

Awesome workshop. Highly recommended.

Angie

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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. If you want to get an e-mail notification when the listing is posted, get the list a week early, or get a full listing of everything I've found (as opposed to the two months' worth I post here) a week early, you can support my Patreon.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets (if any) 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 guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

***

30 April 2017 -- SNAFU Judgement Day -- ed. Amanda J Spedding and Geoff Brown; Cohesion Press

Post-apocalyptic military horror.

The end of the world as we know it.

What we want: Invading space aliens, demonic invasion as in Doom, DNA-grafted dinosaurs taking over the planet, manmade viral infections that nearly wipe out humanity, or artificial intelligence like in Terminator… anything you can think of that would bring about the end of the world. And SOLDIERS!

Tell us about what happens during the worst of the fall of humanity or afterwards.

No zombies. That’s already taken care of.

Full action. Nothing less.

Hoo-rah!

Payment: AUD4c/word and one contributor copy in each format released.

Wordcount range: 2,000 – 10,000 words (query for shorter or longer)

No selections will be made until after the period closes.

Projected publication date: Late 2017

We will have some solicited authors alongside the open call, with the first being Jonathan Maberry.

Please follow these guidelines when submitting to us:

== Please put your full contact details on the first page of the manuscript top left, with word count top right.
== Standard submission format, with minimal document formatting.
== Courier or Times New Roman set at 12pt. Italics as they will appear. No underlining.
== Double spaced.
== Please don’t use TAB or space bar to indent lines. Use ‘styles’ only. If unsure or using a program that has no styles, DO NOT indent at all. That’s still cool.
== NO SPACE between paragraphs unless a line-break is required. ONE SPACE after full stops.
== Please put full contact details on the first page of the manuscript (yes, I said this twice… it’s important).
== Send your submission to Geoff Brown at submissions@cohesionpress.com as an attachment (.doc/.rtf only)
== In the subject line of your email, please put JudgementDay: [STORY TITLE] (Replace [STORY TITLE] with your actual story title. Yes, unfortunately I do need to state this)

NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS

NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS

NO REPRINTS

Please include a brief ‘hello, this is who I am’ in your email body as a cover letter.

Blank emails with attachments will be deleted.

For a guide to standard submission format, see: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

The only variations to this format are that italics MUST appear as they will be used – no underlining – and again, only one space after a full stop.
Anyone that fails to follow these guidelines will likely see their story shredded by zombie mutant creatures.

***

30 April 2017 -- Unidentified Funny Objects 6 -- ed. Alex Shvartsman

Unidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. Past headliners include George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, David Gerrold, Laura Resnick, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Kevin J. Anderson, etc.

For UFO6 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.

PAYMENT: $0.10 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. (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier over Times New Roman or some such).

SEND TO: Upload your stories via this submissions link.

Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send another story unless directly invited to do so.

Please do not respond to rejections. The email address associated with submissions is not monitored. If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us: ufopublishing at gmail dot com.

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights afterward. Preview sample contract.

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send any stories we already considered for a previous UFO volume or any other anthology edited by Alex Shvartsman. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.

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. The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume.

WHAT WE DON’T WANT:

These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.

***

1 May 2017 -- Blood in the Rain 4 -- ed. Cecilia DuValle and Mary Trepanier

For the vampire erotica anthology Blood in the Rain 3, available October 2017, we seek short stories of 2000–7000 words with both a vampire and an erotic element—anything from a sexy tease to hardcore porn (we lean toward porn!) We encourage stories nonstereotypically including people of color, people who are LGBTQIA, and people over 18.

Most of all, we want compelling characters having hot sex, with a story that draws us in. And a vampire. Make us horny!

We pay within 30 days of publication: $75 plus two contributor’s copies.

== Send your story as a .doc, or .docx file to submissions@bloodintherain.com, with SUBMISSION and the story title in your subject line (for example, SUBMISSION: My Sexy Vampire Story).

== Use traditional manuscript format for your story. If you don’t know what that is, see this handy guide. And for the love of the gods, proofread before sending.

== Give us a short cover note, ideally with an author bio.

== Let us know if your story’s a reprint. We might take the perfect reprint, but original work is preferred.

== Send as many submissions as you want, but we’re not likely to pick more than one story from any writer.

== We’re buying first North American serial rights, first North American audio publishing rights, first world online rights, and archival rights (that is, to potentially archive your story on our website).

***

14 May 2017 -- Sword and Sorceress 32 -- ed. Elisabeth Waters

[NOTE: Do Not Submit before 24 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 past volumes of Sword and Sorceress 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 don'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 submission. 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.

Reading period: Monday, April 24 to Sunday, May 14, 2017. 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.

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.

Cover Letter/e-mail: We don't actually need a cover letter, but our e-mail program does. This year it started putting any e-mail with no body in the spam folder. So...

Please do not explain or describe your story in the e-mail. If your story can't stand on its own, fix the story. The e-mail should be brief. For example:

Dear Miss Waters,

Attached is my story "The Dark Intruder" for consideration for Sword and Sorceress 32.


A bio and/or list of previous sales is optional at this point. If you put one in, it should be no longer than one short paragraph (up to 5 lines long).

Sincerely,

(Ms.) Marion Bradley


If your name could be either male or female, please indicate the gender, so we can address you properly when we reply.

Formatting and Submission:

Format with one-inch margins on all four sides of page.

Please do not use a header or footer.

Your legal 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 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 mzbworks at gmail dot com. The subject line should be "SS32, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS32, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter. Remember that a computer is sorting this, so follow the format exactly. Use commas, not slashes, hyphens, etc. Do not change SS32 to something similiar (e.g.: S&S 32). We do our best to find stories that have not been sorted properly, but we don't guarantee success.

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

Payment: 6 cents per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.

***

30 May 2017 [or until filled; see note at bottom] -- Dark Luminous Wings -- Pole to Pole Publishing

Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking short, original fiction for its upcoming anthology, Dark Luminous Wings, to be published October 2017. The volume draws inspiration from Richard Henry Stoddard’s poem, Mors et Vita, particularly stanza two:

Under the awful wings
Which brood over land and sea,
And whose shadows nor lift nor flee—
This is the order of things,
And hath been from of old:
First production,
And last destruction;
So the pendulum swings,
While cradles are rocked and bells are tolled.

Send us your stories about angels and demons, dragons and fairies, airplanes and ornathopters—and more. Let your imaginations soar, but let your stories be found in the darkest of places.

Stories should be 3,000-5,000 words (firm). Wings—of some sort—must be central to the theme of the story.

Hard Sells:

Profane and vulgar language. Because we market to both adult and YA readers, if you use an F-Bomb, and we accept your story, we’ll probably ask you to change it.

First person and Present Tense. We’ve published both: when the stories were very, very good. We want to let you know up front that we’re going to reject this most of the time. It’s just not our preference.

Excessive Gore and/or violence. Blood and guts are fine—as long as they’re part of the story and not the story itself.

Sex. See above about marketing to a wider audience.

Edition and Rights:

Dark Luminous Wings will be published in electronic and trade paperback in English. We are asking for exclusive, worldwide rights to your work for both electronic and print for six months only, and a non-exclusive right to keep your story in the anthology after that.

Payment: Payment is 2¢ per word, paid at publication, via PayPal only.

If you do not have a PayPal account, please do not submit your work.

Authors will also receive one copy of both the electronic and paperback versions of the anthology. (Authors can buy additional books at a discount.)

Bonus Royalties Multiplier:

If the anthology earns out, that is, recoups all up-front costs to produce within the first year, authors will also receive a royalty-share payment based on word-length of their story, at one-year from the date of publication.

What We Don’t Want:

No rape, torture, etc. of children. No animal abuse. No stories with characters from a copyrighted world that belongs to someone else.

No reprints.

No Poetry.

Submission Procedures:

Submit stories through the Submittable.

Formatting:

All stories should be in standard manuscript form and in rich text format (.rtf) only.

No tabs. Please format the document with a first line indent.

Curly quotes, please—no straight quotes.

Only one story from each author will be considered.

If you’re not sure if your story is suitable, don’t query; just go ahead and submit, and let our editors decide.

Deadline: May 30, 2017, or until filled. Be aware that our 2016 anthology filled before the deadline, so don’t wait until the last minute to submit.

***

31 May 2017 -- Chiral Mad 4 -- ed. Lucy A. Snyder and Michael Bailey

While previous volumes of Chiral Mad focused more on psychological horror, with most stories having some sort of chiral aspect in plot or character development or structure, Chiral Mad 4 will be open to just about anything, as long as the story has some sort of dark or speculative element. The only required chirality is with the collaboration itself … multiple minds working as one, in other words, to create something entirely new. We want this anthology to be as diverse as humanly possible, and will be looking for stories that bend and blend genres, stories that experiment with structure, and most importantly, stories that are not dependent upon common tropes.

Unlike past Written Backwards projects, this fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed series of anthologies will be a completely collaborative effort of originality, collecting 4 short stories, 4 novelettes, 4 novellas, and 4 graphic adaptations (to celebrate this 4th book), all co-authored and/or co-created. And the anthology itself will also be co-edited!

The goal of Chiral Mad 4 is to help bring our creative community together, to make us stronger, to strengthen relationships already in place, and to help create new relationships entirely. It’s time for all of us to play nice, to get along, and to do what we do best: create somethings out of nothings… and we’re going to create these beautiful somethings together. Have a specific writer/artist you’ve always admired? Well, now’s your chance. Reach out. Ask! That’s all it takes to get started. Find a partner, or two, or three, and start collaborating! The more unique the collaboration, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. The more diverse the collaborations, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. Now, here’s the hard part: knowing whether or not someone is already collaborating… Email CM4@nettirw.com if you have any questions or concerns about this, or to simply email your submission.

While half the anthology will be filled with commissioned works (the book is nearly half-filled already, with a few of the early acceptances announced below), the rest of the anthology is open for submissions for a short period of time. The submission window for non-commissioned contributors closes May 31st, 2017. So get to it! This is a very short window of opportunity.

Acceptances for non-commissioned work will not be announced until after June 30th, 2017, so we ask that we hold onto your work exclusively until then, as each submission will be carefully considered and agreed upon by both editors of this anthology. No simultaneous submissions, please.

What are we looking for?

== 4 short stories (5,000 words max)
== 4 novelettes (10,000 words max)
== 4 novellas (20,000 words max)
== 4 graphic adaptations (1,500 words max, or 10 pages)

Payment will be $.06 per word, capped at the max word counts listed above, split evenly between contributors. Two contributors writing a 5,000-word short story, for example, would split $300, or $150 each. Contributors writing a 10,000-word novelette would evenly split $600. Contributors writing a 20,000-word novella would evenly split $1,200. Graphic adaptations will be determined by the publisher/creators prior to acceptance; these are unique collaborations and payments for such are not as simple to calculate. In fact, 3 of the 4 slots for graphic adaptations are already filled, so please query CM4@nettirw.com before submitting. And, as always, contributor copies of each edition are part of the deal. Written Backwards has worked with many illustrators and artists in the past, so if you have a script but not an illustrator/artist lined-up, please let us know and we can arrange one for your story if we fall in love with your script.

So, hopefully all of this gets you excited, gets you eager to reach out to others in our creative community. Chiral Mad 4 is the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. Please, be a part of it. Send your work to CM4@nettirw.com.

***

1 June 2017 -- Corporate Cthulhu -- Pickman's Press

Of all bureaucracies, corporations are the most powerful, seeming to have a life and will of their own. They're privately held with a multi-national reach, seemingly bottomless resources, and armies of lawyers jealously guarding their trade secrets. Anything and everything is justified by the bottom line. Who needs a Cthulhu Cult when you've got Cthulhu, Inc.?

Into this insidious world are thrust our heroes—the curious, the puzzled, and the frustrated. Defying authority, seeking answers they'd be better off not knowing, the secrets they discover threaten their sanity and their lives. Will they become the next whistleblower media hero? Or disappear, leaving nothing behind but an empty desk and whispered rumors in the break room? Remember: it's nothing personal—just business.

Corporate Cthulhu is a Lovecraftian horror anthology about the intersection of the Cthulhu Mythos and corporations or other large bureaucracies.

This is an OPEN call for submissions—anyone and everyone is free to submit a short story to the slush pile. Feel free to share this with other writers you think might be interested.

What We're Looking For

== Short stories up to 7000 words.

== Original, previously unpublished fiction.

== We're particularly interested in submissions from writers traditionally underrepresented in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. This includes racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with disabilities.

== Stories must include at least a passing connection to the Cthulhu Mythos and/or Lovecraft's other work. The stronger the connection, the more likely the story is to be accepted.

== Stories that make skillful use of Lovecraftian horror themes: insanity, helplessness and hopelessness, inherited guilt, old isolated locations, books of forbidden knowledge, ancient extraterrestrial influences on humanity, the risks of runaway science, civilization vs. barbarism, humanity's insignificance on the cosmic scale of space and time, unanswered questions about what lurks behind the curtain of reality, etc.

== Although we're expecting a lot of stories where management is a cult in disguise (and that's fine!), we encourage writers to think outside the box. Other elements of the business cycle include labor (a union strikes over a bizarre demand) and customers (how far will a struggling company go to meet their biggest customer's increasingly strange requests?).

== Although the primary focus is on corporate bureaucracies, ANY large private-sector bureaucracy is fair game. This could include (among others) charities, nonprofits, NGOs, private universities, for-profit hospitals, labor unions, large churches, fraternal organizations, youth groups, etc.

== Stories set in any time period during the modern industrial capitalist era (roughly 1800 on up). Query first for stories set in other time periods.

== Comedies, parodies, and/or satires are acceptable.

What We're NOT Looking For

== Romances or erotica.

== Stories under 2000 words or over 7000 words.

== Stories taking place in governmental or other public-sector bureaucracies. As much fun as it may be to have Cthulhu running the IRS, save those ideas for a later Political Cthulhu anthology.

Payment

If selected, authors will receive $0.03 cents per word for original, previously unpublished fiction. Original fiction strongly preferred; query first for reprints. In the unlikely event that we do accept a reprint, payment will be $0.01 cent per word. Publication is dependent on a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. There will be no kill fees.

Rights

Exclusive global English first print and digital rights for one year, and nonexclusive print and digital rights for term of copyright. All other rights are reserved to the author.

Submitting

Stories should follow the format laid out in the submission guidelines; if not, it may be automatically rejected. Submissions should be emailed to submissions@pickmanspress.com with the story included as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, and must be received no later than midnight, Central Standard Time, June 1st, 2017. The email subject should read [Submissions: Story Title by Author Name]. If accepted, minor edits and revisions may be requested. The Kickstarter campaign will begin after the stories have been selected.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Patreon Follow-Up

I've figured out how I want to schedule anthology posts, juggling posts here along with the various Patreon levels, two of which get posts a week early. I did the April post yesterday and put it up on my Patreon account, for folks getting the regular listing a week early, and folks getting my full listing, which also goes up a week early. Nobody's signed up for those levels yet, but if anyone does, they're there. :)

I have the post for here on the blog ready to go in drafts, and I'll release it on the 15th. Changing the lock on the April Patreon post from $3 to $1 will let those supporters see it. (I did a test, and $1 supporters do get an e-mail when a $3 post has its lock changed, so that works, yay.)

It's interesting (and sometimes frustrating) to actually dive into a completely new system and figure out how it works, what doesn't work the way I thought it would, and what the most efficient workflow will be each month.

One thing I didn't know when I started this is that Patreon won't accept HTML code in its posts. :/ At all. The completely unhelpful Help topic discussing this says it's because they haven't been able to get HTML to work in their mobile apps. Which isn't my problem, and doesn't make me any happier with this.

I hand code my posts here -- I've been online since before HTML was a thing, and while I'm not any kind of a wizard at it, the sort of coding that's useful for a basic blog post is pretty automatic for me -- and I just assumed I could do a copy/paste to put things onto Patreon. Well, not so much. [headdesk]

Patreon has its own system for formatting posts and inserting links, and once you see how it works, it's very easy to use. Which doesn't change the fact that it took me about an hour and a half to convert my post (keeping in mind that I was doing my full file, not just the two months' worth I post each month) and get everything looking more or less the way I wanted. It wasn't hard, (yay, HTML!) there was just a lot of it. :P

Since I'm still posting on my blogs, I can't just convert over to Patreon's system; I have to maintain two formats for the listings. I'm hoping that, now that I've reformatted my whole file, maintaining two differently formatted files in parallel won't be such a hassle. I usually find a few new markets per month, depending on the season, so I won't have to redo the whole thing again. I'll just double format each new entry and insert it into its master file. Hopefully that'll work. [crossed fingers] I keep my files in Word documents, and in the past I've had trouble saving something to Word, then re-opening the file and posting it into a different system. Not often, but occasionally, something will go Sproing! at that point and it's time to start headdesking again. Hopefully that won't happen this time. [more crossed fingers]

After a night's sleep, I'm feeling a bit better about this. I'm sure I'll figure out a decent workflow, although I won't know until next month. We'll see.

I do think my problem is probably particular to me. What I'm putting up on Patreon is pretty unusual; most other creators whose pages I've browsed are offering art, music, video, that sort of thing. The writers are (unlike me) generally focusing on their fiction creation, and they post downloadable files of stories, or short videos, podcasts or blog posts talking about their creating, their experiences, their characters and worlds, answering questions, etc. Also cat pictures. [wry smile] Writing right into the Patreon form isn't difficult; I'm probably one of very few people trying to paste huge swathes of HTMLed text into Patreon, so I doubt anyone's working behind the scenes to make HTML work on that system.

At any rate, it does seem to be working. Onward....

Angie

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Patreon

Okay, I got a bunch of responses to my question about a Patreon last month, mostly in e-mail, and all of them were positive. So I've set up a Patreon page, yay. :)

Now that I've poked with the system a bit and seen how things actually work, I've made some changes in how I've set it up, versus what I came up with when I was thinking with my keyboard before.

First, I've set it up for a monthly donation, rather than per work. I originally wanted it to be per work, so if I missed a month (which I've only done twice in the eight years [wow, eight years, really?!?] that I've been doing the anthology listings) it wouldn't be a huge deal and no one would get charged. But Patreon won't let you do a "paid" post that only charges a subset of your patrons -- I don't know why not, but there you go.

So, I want to offer an option to get my whole list (which means all the anthologies I know about at the time, rather than just the two months' worth I post here) as a premium reward. But there's no way to only charge the $5/month people for that one, while only charging the $1-3/month people for the shorter listing. If I posted them both, it'd charge everyone twice a month, and that wouldn't work. Charging everyone once a month seems to be the way to go; I'll do my best to maintain my low rate of missed months.

Also, I originally thought about doing PDFs of the listing to e-mail people, as a sort of slightly fancier way of distributing things. But half the usefulness of the listings, now that I've thought more about it, comes from the links to the editor/publishers' web sites. They very often have more info than I include in the listings, and I always recommend a writer click through and check out the site before submitting something. That's tough to do from a PDF. Scratch that idea.

So I'll be posting the listings to my Patreon page, and patrons will get an automatic e-mail.

If you use the listings, if you find them helpful, any support would be appreciated. If you can't afford to contribute right now, that's fine; I totally get that times are tough for a lot of people. And I'll still be posting the listings here; I'm not cutting off anyone who can't afford to support my Patreon.

Here we go -- let's see how this works. :)

Thanks!

Angie

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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 (if any) 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 guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

NOTE: Problem Daughters has been cancelled.

***

31 March 2017 -- This Side of the Divide -- Baobab Press

Baobab Press and the University of Nevada, Reno MFA Program in Creative Writing are partnering to publish This Side of the Divide, an anthology of short fiction by emerging and established authors exploring the United States West.

This exciting project will speak to the West’s newness, vastness, sense of territoriality and transience, spanning from untouched wilderness to hyper-urban settings. We’re seeking fresh, original views of the western U.S. Our aim is to capture this region’s unique essence in all of its cultural and geographic diversity.

All submissions will be reviewed, and accepted works will be edited by a committee of readers from Baobab Press and the UNR MFA Program in Creative Writing. Selected writers will receive a complimentary copy of the book and a payment of $100. Submitted stories should be around 3,000 to 5,000 words, and will need to be submitted for review no later than March 31st, 2017. Please send your story and a brief cover letter to divide@baobabpress.com.

***

31 March 2017 -- A Fool for You -- Less Than Three Press

A Fool for You — LGBTQIA — Clowns. Pick pockets. Magicians. Jesters. Witches. Demons. Even gods. Tales of Tricksters abound in every culture, sometimes as fools, sometimes as sly schemers too smart for anyone’s good. They are often known as shape shifters and gender fluid—and they are always up to something. Sometimes for good, sometimes for evil, sometimes simply to see what happens…

Less Than Three Press invites you to submit stories of tricksters and all the mischief they can manage—and what happens when they meet their match.

THE DETAILS:
== Put SUBMISSIONS: A FOOL FOR YOU in the subject line.
== Stories should be at least 10,000 words and should not exceed approx 20,000 words in length.
== Stories must revolve around the theme of tricksters.
== Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end.
== Any sub-genre is gladly accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.
== All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.

A Fool For You is a general release anthology, which means authors will receive a flat payment of $200.00 once LT3 has a signed contract. Authors will receive one copy each of the ebook formats LT3 produces and two copies of the paperback compilation.
Stories should be complete before submitting, and as edited as possible — do not submit a first draft. They can be submitted in any format (doc, docx, rtf, odt, etc) preferably single spaced in an easy to read font (Times, Calibri, Arial) with no special formatting (no elaborate section separation, special fonts, etc). Additional formatting guidelines can be found here.

Questions should be directed to the Editor in Chief, Samantha M. Derr, at derrs@lessthanthreepress.com (or you can ping her on twitter @rykaine). Submissions should be sent to submissions@lessthanthreepress.com.

***

31 March 2017 -- Utter Fabrication -- Mad Scientist Journal

We will be creating an anthology titled Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures. It will be a collection of fictional stories about haunted houses and other weird places. For this anthology, our pay will be 2¢/word.

We are particularly looking for stories from authors who are underrepresented in fiction: people of color, LGBTQ, non-Western religions and cultures.

Each story is written from the perspective of someone who has encountered this strange location. Like our regular magazine, this narrator will also have a bio. Be certain that your story meets these requirements:

== 1st person
== 500-8000 words in length
== Focuses on a strange building or place
== Not a reprint

Here are some ideas that we pitched when we made our Kickstarter, but this is meant to be inspirational and not definitive.

== Haunted houses, obviously.
== Space stations poised at the edge of an anomaly.
== Towns missing people for no clear reason.
== Espresso stands that travel through time.
== Malls that function as dimensional crossroads.
== A cursed painting in an otherwise empty field.
== Unusual sculptures that seem to come from out of this world.
== Structures or ruins left behind by indigenous peoples. (But please don’t stoop to "Indian burial ground" or similar tropes. Seriously, don’t be that person.)

DO NOT send us poetry or screenplays.

Submissions should be in Standard Manuscript Format and sent via Submittable between March 1 and March 31. As with our regular submissions, we are asking for exclusive first worldwide electronic and print rights for one year. Multiple submissions are okay, simultaneous submissions are not.

***

1 April 2017 -- Would But Time Await -- ed. S.J. Bagley; Orford Parish Books

[NOTE: The guidelines say "until April," without giving an actual date. I'm listing this as 1 April, but be aware this is a guess on my part. Also, note that these folks want a query first and won't read manuscripts unless they get a query ahead of time. So query first, and while you're asking, find out when they actually want the story by.]

In 2017, Orford Parish Books will be releasing WOULD BUT TIME AWAIT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND FOLK HORROR (edited by s.j. bagley, editor [and interrogator] of THINKING HORROR: A JOURNAL OF HORROR PHILOSOPHY.)

Please read and the guidelines before submitting a query and direct all queries to heksenhaus@gmail.com with the subject header ‘FOLK HORROR QUERY.’

(All stories sent without a prior query will be deleted, unread.) [Bolding mine.]

WHAT WE DEFINE AS FOLK HORROR AND WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR.

For the purposes of this project, we are defining folk horror as horror literature in which the present (which can be a year/decade of the author’s choosing) collides with the history, folklore, traditions, and psychogeography of a region and where that collision has a significant impact on the present (as defined in the work.)

We are looking for work that uses the physical, historical, and social landscapes of New England as a focal point (rather than a story that could be set anywhere else but just happens to be set in New England.)

There is a long and rich history of horrific and strange folklore in New England but that doesn’t mean a writer needs to restrict themselves to it and writers are perfectly welcome to invent their own folklore, traditions, and fictional New England locations.

We should also stress that, while Folk Horror has largely been a rural construct, we by no means consider a rural location to be necessary to any working definition of the term.

A few examples of what we consider Folk Horror in literature:

[Click through for an extensive list of examples.]

WHO CAN SUBMIT.

We are open to submissions from writers from every global region and every walk of life and, while each story needs to focus (in some manner) on the geographic region of New England (which consists of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) we certainly don’t require that every author needs to be from that region.

We expect and encourage diversity in regard to the voices involved in this project.

DEADLINES AND SCHEDULE.

Submissions will be open until April 2017, at which point we will no longer be accepting submissions or queries.

Publication date is summer 2017 (with a more firm date to come.)

PAYMENT.

We will be paying a flat rate of $75USD upon acceptance for first rights in print and digital.

STORY CRITERIA.

Length: 2,000-10,000 words.

Each story MUST either be set in New England or contain elements of New England folklore and history.

Each story MUST be folk horror (which we fully and happily acknowledge as being a broad and diverse term but we are defining as stated above.)

No reprints.

No simultaneous submissions.

SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE SUBMITTING:

New England is an ethnically diverse region of the United States with a long (and often sordid) history so please keep the contemporary effects of that history in mind when submitting and avoid work that portrays the indigenous people and tribes of New England in a racist, bigoted, or stereotypical sense and please avoid stereotypes of the poor, and economically disenfranchised, all races, genders, sexes, sexualities, (dis)abilities, faiths, and anything that targets marginalized people.

In general, we are looking to avoid depictions of sexual violence (unless written with extreme care, an actual point beyond the simple violence of it, and, above all, empathy toward victims of sexual violence.)

***

15 April 2017 -- Cat's Breakfast -- Third Flatiron

Science fiction/satire. Now at the 10th anniversary of his death, Wikipedia says Kurt Vonnegut was famous for his "gallows humor." E.E. King put it another way, citing his "sideways, humorous, skeptical view." We want this anthology to pay tribute to the imagination and inspiration of the ineffable Mr. Vonnegut.

Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We want tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme.

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.

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.

***

30 April 2017 -- SNAFU Judgement Day -- ed. Amanda J Spedding and Geoff Brown; Cohesion Press

Post-apocalyptic military horror.

The end of the world as we know it.

What we want: Invading space aliens, demonic invasion as in Doom, DNA-grafted dinosaurs taking over the planet, manmade viral infections that nearly wipe out humanity, or artificial intelligence like in Terminator… anything you can think of that would bring about the end of the world. And SOLDIERS!

Tell us about what happens during the worst of the fall of humanity or afterwards.

No zombies. That’s already taken care of.

Full action. Nothing less.

Hoo-rah!

Payment: AUD4c/word and one contributor copy in each format released.

Wordcount range: 2,000 – 10,000 words (query for shorter or longer)

No selections will be made until after the period closes.

Projected publication date: Late 2017

We will have some solicited authors alongside the open call, with the first being Jonathan Maberry.

Please follow these guidelines when submitting to us:

== Please put your full contact details on the first page of the manuscript top left, with word count top right.
== Standard submission format, with minimal document formatting.
== Courier or Times New Roman set at 12pt. Italics as they will appear. No underlining.
== Double spaced.
== Please don’t use TAB or space bar to indent lines. Use ‘styles’ only. If unsure or using a program that has no styles, DO NOT indent at all. That’s still cool.
== NO SPACE between paragraphs unless a line-break is required. ONE SPACE after full stops.
== Please put full contact details on the first page of the manuscript (yes, I said this twice… it’s important).
== Send your submission to Geoff Brown at submissions@cohesionpress.com as an attachment (.doc/.rtf only)
== In the subject line of your email, please put JudgementDay: [STORY TITLE] (Replace [STORY TITLE] with your actual story title. Yes, unfortunately I do need to state this)

NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS

NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS

NO REPRINTS

Please include a brief ‘hello, this is who I am’ in your email body as a cover letter.

Blank emails with attachments will be deleted.

For a guide to standard submission format, see: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

The only variations to this format are that italics MUST appear as they will be used – no underlining – and again, only one space after a full stop.
Anyone that fails to follow these guidelines will likely see their story shredded by zombie mutant creatures.

***

30 April 2017 -- Unidentified Funny Objects 6 -- ed. Alex Shvartsman

Unidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. Past headliners include George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, David Gerrold, Laura Resnick, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Kevin J. Anderson, etc.

For UFO6 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2017

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.

PAYMENT: $0.10 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. (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier over Times New Roman or some such).

SEND TO: Upload your stories via this submissions link.

Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send another story unless directly invited to do so.

Please do not respond to rejections. The email address associated with submissions is not monitored. If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us: ufopublishing at gmail dot com.

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights afterward. Preview sample contract.

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send any stories we already considered for a previous UFO volume or any other anthology edited by Alex Shvartsman. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.

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. The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume.

WHAT WE DON’T WANT:

These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.

***

1 May 2017 -- Blood in the Rain 4 -- ed. Cecilia DuValle and Mary Trepanier

For the vampire erotica anthology Blood in the Rain 3, available October 2017, we seek short stories of 2000–7000 words with both a vampire and an erotic element—anything from a sexy tease to hardcore porn (we lean toward porn!) We encourage stories nonstereotypically including people of color, people who are LGBTQIA, and people over 18.

Most of all, we want compelling characters having hot sex, with a story that draws us in. And a vampire. Make us horny!

We pay within 30 days of publication: $75 plus two contributor’s copies.

== Send your story as a .doc, or .docx file to submissions@bloodintherain.com, with SUBMISSION and the story title in your subject line (for example, SUBMISSION: My Sexy Vampire Story).

== Use traditional manuscript format for your story. If you don’t know what that is, see this handy guide. And for the love of the gods, proofread before sending.

== Give us a short cover note, ideally with an author bio.

== Let us know if your story’s a reprint. We might take the perfect reprint, but original work is preferred.

== Send as many submissions as you want, but we’re not likely to pick more than one story from any writer.

== We’re buying first North American serial rights, first North American audio publishing rights, first world online rights, and archival rights (that is, to potentially archive your story on our website).

***

14 May 2017 -- Sword and Sorceress 32 -- ed. Elisabeth Waters

[NOTE: Do Not Submit before 24 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 past volumes of Sword and Sorceress 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 don'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 submission. 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.

Reading period: Monday, April 24 to Sunday, May 14, 2017. 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.

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.

Cover Letter/e-mail: We don't actually need a cover letter, but our e-mail program does. This year it started putting any e-mail with no body in the spam folder. So...

Please do not explain or describe your story in the e-mail. If your story can't stand on its own, fix the story. The e-mail should be brief. For example:

Dear Miss Waters,

Attached is my story "The Dark Intruder" for consideration for Sword and Sorceress 32.


A bio and/or list of previous sales is optional at this point. If you put one in, it should be no longer than one short paragraph (up to 5 lines long).

Sincerely,

(Ms.) Marion Bradley


If your name could be either male or female, please indicate the gender, so we can address you properly when we reply.

Formatting and Submission:

Format with one-inch margins on all four sides of page.

Please do not use a header or footer.

Your legal 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 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 mzbworks at gmail dot com. The subject line should be "SS32, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS32, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter. Remember that a computer is sorting this, so follow the format exactly. Use commas, not slashes, hyphens, etc. Do not change SS32 to something similiar (e.g.: S&S 32). We do our best to find stories that have not been sorted properly, but we don't guarantee success.

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

Payment: 6 cents per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.

***

31 May 2017 -- Chiral Mad 4 -- ed. Lucy A. Snyder and Michael Bailey

While previous volumes of Chiral Mad focused more on psychological horror, with most stories having some sort of chiral aspect in plot or character development or structure, Chiral Mad 4 will be open to just about anything, as long as the story has some sort of dark or speculative element. The only required chirality is with the collaboration itself … multiple minds working as one, in other words, to create something entirely new. We want this anthology to be as diverse as humanly possible, and will be looking for stories that bend and blend genres, stories that experiment with structure, and most importantly, stories that are not dependent upon common tropes.

Unlike past Written Backwards projects, this fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed series of anthologies will be a completely collaborative effort of originality, collecting 4 short stories, 4 novelettes, 4 novellas, and 4 graphic adaptations (to celebrate this 4th book), all co-authored and/or co-created. And the anthology itself will also be co-edited!

The goal of Chiral Mad 4 is to help bring our creative community together, to make us stronger, to strengthen relationships already in place, and to help create new relationships entirely. It’s time for all of us to play nice, to get along, and to do what we do best: create somethings out of nothings… and we’re going to create these beautiful somethings together. Have a specific writer/artist you’ve always admired? Well, now’s your chance. Reach out. Ask! That’s all it takes to get started. Find a partner, or two, or three, and start collaborating! The more unique the collaboration, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. The more diverse the collaborations, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. Now, here’s the hard part: knowing whether or not someone is already collaborating… Email CM4@nettirw.com if you have any questions or concerns about this, or to simply email your submission.

While half the anthology will be filled with commissioned works (the book is nearly half-filled already, with a few of the early acceptances announced below), the rest of the anthology is open for submissions for a short period of time. The submission window for non-commissioned contributors closes May 31st, 2017. So get to it! This is a very short window of opportunity.

Acceptances for non-commissioned work will not be announced until after June 30th, 2017, so we ask that we hold onto your work exclusively until then, as each submission will be carefully considered and agreed upon by both editors of this anthology. No simultaneous submissions, please.

What are we looking for?

== 4 short stories (5,000 words max)
== 4 novelettes (10,000 words max)
== 4 novellas (20,000 words max)
== 4 graphic adaptations (1,500 words max, or 10 pages)

Payment will be $.06 per word, capped at the max word counts listed above, split evenly between contributors. Two contributors writing a 5,000-word short story, for example, would split $300, or $150 each. Contributors writing a 10,000-word novelette would evenly split $600. Contributors writing a 20,000-word novella would evenly split $1,200. Graphic adaptations will be determined by the publisher/creators prior to acceptance; these are unique collaborations and payments for such are not as simple to calculate. In fact, 3 of the 4 slots for graphic adaptations are already filled, so please query CM4@nettirw.com before submitting. And, as always, contributor copies of each edition are part of the deal. Written Backwards has worked with many illustrators and artists in the past, so if you have a script but not an illustrator/artist lined-up, please let us know and we can arrange one for your story if we fall in love with your script.

So, hopefully all of this gets you excited, gets you eager to reach out to others in our creative community. Chiral Mad 4 is the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. Please, be a part of it. Send your work to CM4@nettirw.com.

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This is Angie again.
If you've gotten this far, I assume you're a writer who thinks this monthly listing is useful.

I've been doing this for quite a few years now, and I spend some hours each month searching the web and putting this listing together. That's time I could spend writing. I feel good about doing this as a community service, but there are definitely times when I'm busy with other projects, don't have time to write for an anthology, and wouldn't have bothered going searching if it weren't for doing this post every month.

I've had a few people poke me about giving folks a way to donate a few bucks. I'm pondering the thought, and decided to see what you folks, the ones who actually use the listing, think.

What I'm considering is a Patreon. Let me think with my keyboard for a few....

First, this listing will go up here on my blog for free for as long as I keep doing it. If you can't afford to chip in, that's fine, I won't cut you off. But I've thought of a couple of incentives I could offer for people who are willing and able to pay a bit.

Payment would be per posting, not per month. So if I miss a month (which I've done, once when I was in the middle of moving, and once during a December when I was doing holiday stuff and just zoned on it :P ) no one will be charged.

For $1 per month, I'll e-mail you a PDF copy of that month's listing, so you don't have to remember to come here looking for it.

For $2 per month, I'll e-mail you a PDF copy of that month's listing a week before it goes up on my blogs.

For $5 per month, I'll e-mail you a PDF of my entire on-deck listing, a week before the regular post goes up on my blogs. That's all the anthologies I know about at that point. I only post about two months' worth at a time, but I always have more on deck. This level would give you everything I've got, which gives you a lot of time to come up with story ideas and fit a project into your schedule, for projects I find early, and I find some way early. Right now waiting on deck I have two anthos with deadlines in July, one in September, one in December, and one in January.

What do you think? Would anyone sign up?

If you don't want to comment here, e-mail me at angiepen at gmail dot com.

And heck, even if you can't afford to contribute anything but you think this listing is useful, comment or e-mail me anyway, whenever. Especially if you got something published in an anthology you found here -- I love when folks let me know about that. :)

Thanks for your time, and best of luck with all your submissions,

Angie