Saturday, March 6, 2021

My First Zoom Class

This last Thursday, I did my first Zoom meeting, speaking to a class full of college students who'd read my story "Staying Afloat." I was nervous, but excited, and felt kind of boingy about it. :) I didn't get much sleep the night before, with my mind racing with thoughts about what I was going to talk about, how I was going to explain things and in what order, how I'd answer questions, and how I'd explain the assignment I planned to give the students at the end.

I had no idea how this was going to work, on a practical level, which was where some of the stress was coming from. On the whole I felt positive about it, but any kind of stress, positive or negative, can mess with your sleep, so when I dragged my butt out of bed after like two or three hours' worth max, I made myself a mug of high-octane tea and went for it.

There was a last minute glitch that was kind of funny. I had the link to click on to get into the class "meeting," and planned to log in about ten minutes early. Good thing, because when I clicked on the link, it asked me for an access code. Umm, what?

Quick e-mail to the professors, and one of them got back to me in a minute or two saying to hang on, that he'd find it. Couple minutes later, I had the access code, yay! Apparently one of the students, who'd also logged in early, had found it. Dr. Matt said he'd get a million extra credit points, LOL! I'm assuming that if you have a regular meeting like a class, you put your code in once and then your computer or the Zoom system or whatever remembers it for you, so Dr. Matt didn't remember the code from back whenever the semester started. Day saved by a tech-savvy student. :)

 The presentation went great. Looking back, my brain is trying to convince me I spent at least half the time babbling incoherently, but going by the responses from both the students and the professors at the end, that part was apparently all in my head. I introduced myself very briefly, then talked about how I came to write "Staying Afloat."

Dr. Tamara had asked me to talk some about research, so I explained about the Anthology Workshop, what the guidelines were, and how I approached coming up with a story idea that fit the guidelines. A lot of the info I used in the story came out of my head, from a unit we did in sixth grade on the pre-Columbian Latin American civilizations, from my high school freshman science class, and from a college geology class. I explained what I Googled and what I was looking for, and how I used the info I found.

I talked about the writing itself, as well. Apparently a lot of the students are interested in fiction writing, and pretty much all the student questions, which were pretty much the second half of the two-hour class, were about different aspects of writing. So I talked about creative brain versus critical brain, and about how writing six stories teaches you a lot more than writing one story and rewriting it five times. And how "polishing" your story with a copy of S&W or CMS in one hand is a horribly bad idea for fiction writing.

Plus a bunch of other stuff. Nowhere near as much as I'd have liked to mention, but I tried to get in as much as I could in the time allowed, considering there were other things we had to do and only two hours to do it.

I talked about some business stuff too, although not too much, because we just didn't have time.

I got the obligatory question about writer's block, and I answered that as best as I could, explaining about writing block versus project block, and some methods I use to keep writing even if I'm blocked on a project, and a (very labor intensive) method I've used to unblock a project, although it's kind of a pain and I haven't done it often.

In all seriousness, I'd like to just be able to teach a class on this. Not that I'm the most successful or experienced writer in the world, and I'm still learning and always will be, but there's so incredibly much info I wish I had when I was twenty, and I'd love to be able to pass it on, you know?

Oh, and I was incredibly glad I'd grabbed my water bottle before sitting down. I'm not used to talking this much, and my mouth was drying out after like ten or fifteen minutes. We took a short break after an hour, and I refilled my bottle. Definitely got my hydration in that day.

I could only see a few photos of other meeting participants in the window, although there were supposed to be about eighteen of us there. I didn't want to mess with controls in the middle of class for fear of messing something up, so I never did see most of the students, but I did see some folks laughing at times when I'd hoped they would, and I saw people taking notes, occasionally lots of notes, so that felt good.

I'd made up a cheat sheet of things I wanted to talk about, so I could keep kind of on track and hit things in some kind of logical order, but I found that looking over at the cheat sheet -- even after having printed it out in 14 pt. type, for extra visibility -- was more disruptive than useful. I'll probably do it again next time, but now at least I know now to depend on it. Yay for lots of random experimentation and rehearsals -- aside from disrupting my sleep, I spent a lot of time subvocalizing explainations and such while walking back and forth, getting my steps. That meant I'd worked out how to explain a lot of things, with relevant examples and comparisons, in the week or more before the session, and even if I wasn't looking down at my cheat sheet very often, I found the info I wanted was usually in my head, so that worked out.

The assignment I gave them toward the end of class was to download a (fake) anthology guideline, and come up with an idea for a story they'd write to submit to that book. I asked for 300-500 words, just the basics -- who the character was, what they wanted, why they couldn't have it, and what they were going to do to try to get it anyway. Since the class is about climate change in media and literature, I made the anthology about a post-global-warming world, so I said I wanted to know how far in the future their story was set, and what the new normal looked like. I didn't necessarily want the protag to be trying to solve the climate change problem, but I wanted the changed climate to have a significant impact on the plot. I also pointed out that the first thing the protag tries to solve their big problem doesn't necessarily have to be the one that works, and probably shouldn't be the one that works, explaining try-fail cycles and how the improve a story.

One student had his assignment in the next day, Friday, with a very nice note thanking me for talking to the class and saying how much it meant to him. That was pretty awesome, and made me feel good. :) I gave them a deadline of Monday at noon, and I'll start reading and writing up comments then.

Oh, and I said I'd read and comment on up to two story ideas per student, although they were only required to do one. I remember when I was a new writer, one of the huge problems seemed to be coming up with story ideas. Newbie writers seem to think that the one good story idea they have right now is the only one they'll ever have, and that causes a host of other problems, so the point of the assignment was to give them practice coming up with story ideas. I also mentioned the Ursula LeGuin thing about how, when you're writing to a theme, every other writer will also think of your first idea, half the writers will think of your second idea, a few other writers will think of your third idea, and finally with maybe the fourth and probably the fifth, you'll think of some things the editor won't see from a bunch of other people. I've gotten two assignments so far, and they've each had only one story idea. I'm hoping at least a few students take advantage of the opportunity to get comments on more than one. [crossed fingers] 

The plan is to read and comment on each story idea individually, then write some comments that'll go to everyone on the whole mass. I'm expecting there to be some overlap. I told them that if I got the same idea from ten different people, I'd definitely let them all know. :) But the plan is to talk about how editors choose stories for a theme anthology, how subthemes can emerge as you choose which stories you want to publish, how everything has to fit together and how you can end up rejecting some great stories you really love because they don't fit with the other stories you're putting into the book. I've never edited an anthology myself, mind you, but I've watched editors do it in front of my many, many times, so I can at least pass on what I've learned. It's certainly helped me understand the inner workings of anthology submission and response. And now, when an anthology editor tells me, "I had enough good stories for four books, but I can only publish one, and I'm really sorry to reject this," I actually believe them. I'll admit I didn't before; I thought they were just being nice. [wry smile]

Anyway, this whole experience was pretty darned cool, and I have another gig for the fall, when Dr. Tamara and Dr. Matt are teaching this class again. Definitely looking forward to it. :D


PS: I'm filling this under "appearance," among other things, even though I never left home. Because plague times. Close enough. :)

Friday, December 25, 2020

Anthology Markets -- LAST Referral Post

The anthology posts are moving. Click here to find this month's post. 

Click here for the explanation of why the posts are moving.

Please update your links. This is the last time I'll be posting a referral here on this blog.

The standard two-months-and-a-bit posts are still free for anyone to use. I'm hosting them on Patreon from now on for reasons explained in the second link above, but you don't have to support my Patreon to see them.

Best of luck with your subs!


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Free Story -- The Way the Cookie Crumbles

 WMG Publishing is doing a Holiday Spectacular again this year, where they e-mail subscribers a free holiday story every day from Thanksgiving through New Year. My story is up today, and I'm offering it as a free read on my reader blog for one week.

You can still subscribe to the Holiday Spectacular, and they'll send you all the stories that've gone out so far. There's a lot of great stuff coming through -- highly recommended!

The Way the Cookie Crumbles will be up until the 29th, so check it out soon, and enjoy!


Friday, November 27, 2020

Anthology Markets -- Referral Post


The anthology posts are moving. Click here to find this month's post. 

Click here for the explanation of why the posts are moving.

Please update your links. I'll be posting referral links here only through the end of 2020.

The standard two-months-and-a-bit posts are still free for anyone to use. I'm hosting them on Patreon from now on for reasons explained in the second link above, but you don't have to support my Patreon to see them.

Best of luck with your subs!


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Anthology Market -- Referral Post

The anthology posts are moving. Click here to find this month's post. 

Click here for the explanation of why the posts are moving.

Please update your links. I'll be posting referral links here only through the end of 2020.

The standard two-months-and-a-bit posts are still free for anyone to use. I'm hosting them on Patreon from now on for reasons explained in the second link above, but you don't have to support my Patreon to see them.

Best of luck with your subs!


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Anthology Market -- Referral Post

The anthology posts are moving. Click here to find this month's post. 

Click here for the explanation of why the posts are moving.

Please update your links. I'll be posting referral links here only through the end of 2020.

The standard two-months-and-a-bit posts are still free for anyone to use. I'm hosting them on Patreon from now on for reasons explained in the second link above, but you don't have to support my Patreon to see them.

Best of luck with your subs!


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Anthology Markets -- Changes

 TL;DR: The anthology posts are moving. Click here to find this month's post.

First, my apologies for not posting anything in July. That was a tough month.

Second, when I came back to do the August post, I found that Blogger had made some changes in their user interface, which made it ridiculously difficult for me to do my anthology posts as I have in the past.

I use a combination of MS Word (as a staging area for antho announcements that will cycle into the monthly listing in the future, and back-up in case the online sites I use blow up), plus direct copy/paste from various web sites where antho guidelines are posted. I have to reformat pretty much everything when it hits here, some more and some less, depending on how flashy the original poster got with their HTML.

I started doing this in 2010, when a lot of systems still had a hard time with anything beyond basic coding. I've been online since the '80s, had been posting a lot on the web since the early '00s, and had gotten into the habit of using minimal HTML -- basically italics, bolding, and links. This made my posts readable to the greatest number of people. This has probably been overly conservative for a few years at least, but I'd settled into a routine, and it worked.

Blogger's change gives two modes of creating posts. You can type directly into a more WYSIWYG-like interface, or you can code full-up HTML, with paragraphs and breaks and the whole nine yards. If you don't put those in, the system puts them in for you, and in my admittedly brief experience, it sucks at figuring out where things go.

Particularly when I pasted things in from other sites, I got whacked-out formatting, often one huge monoblock of text, which meant I had to go through line-by-line, comparing what I had in the Blogger interface with what was on the original site, adding code to space things out properly. And if I passed the post through Word first, it ended up with a bunch of junk code in it (screens and screens of junk code, in multiple places) because Word does that, plus there were always more formatting glitches.

I actually went through and hand-corrected one antho announcement here on Blogger. It took almost half an hour, and it wasn't very long. :/

Multiply that by however many new books I find, then add in the hours I spend actually searching for new books, and this has become untenable. Aside from the aggravation of doing the fiddly, line-by-line work (with the overwhelming likelihood that I'm going to miss some glitches on a fairly regular basis) and I decided to change how I do this.

From now on, I'll be posting the Anthology Listings solely on Patreon. The normal listing for the month -- the two months and a bit that I've been posting here all along -- will be open on Patreon for anyone to read, as it's been for a while. I'll be posting announcements here, with a link to that month's post on Patreon, through the end of the year, but only through the end of the year.

If you have this site bookmarked, please change your bookmark to my Patreon account.

Note that I am NOT doing this to try to pressure more people into supporting my Patreon. Any writer who wants to use the listings is welcome to do so, and always has been. That's not changing. Since I have to format things for Patreon anyway, I'm consolidating to that site. Patreon's just hosting the open version of the listing. If you don't want to or can't afford to support the listing, that's fine. You're welcome to keep using it, and I wish you the best with your submissions.

Bottom line, with the changes Blogger made, I couldn't keep doing this the way I have been. Something had to give, and using Patreon as the sole host for the listing keeps the workload manageable for me, while also keeping the listing open to the public.

Thanks for your understanding. Please check out this month's listings.


Friday, June 19, 2020

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, with "Always Open" and "Until Filled" markets (if any) at the bottom.

Markets open only to writers in a limited demographic are marked with a [NOTE:] from me, in italics, right after the main header.

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 that Going Viral has closed to submissions.

NOTE that the deadline for Something Good to Eat is 21 August, not 22 August as previously posted. I don't know whether they changed or I typoed, but either way, be aware of the deadline if you were thinking of subbing.


30 June 20 -- And Lately, The Sun -- Calyx

Bushland is burning. Forecasts say the Arctic will be ice-free in the summers to come. Oceans are swelling with the run-off, and heaving with plastics and endocrine disruptors. Coral is dying, and the knock-on effects have barely begun.

Climate change is here. Now what are we going to do about it?

Do we need to help the environment change as fast as the climate? Release chemical mutagens into the ecosystem to drive natural selection at a hundred miles an hour so we can see what survives on the other side?

Is it time to reinvent our social, political, and economic systems from the top down – or the bottom up? Our current lifestyles could become as alien to the next generation as the Aztec civilisation now is to us. In a world of guerrilla-style eco warriors, or digitised barter economies, or robot socialism, or ageographical nation states, what will we preserve? Which threads will we weave forward?

Or could it be that a more gradual transformation of our destructive policies is the way to safety, taking each set of problems one box at a time? Our future could look much like our present, but with supercharged carbon sequestration, genetically modified bacteria safely breaking down plastics, and next-generation smart phones. How does it start? What drives it onward?

Or do we need to move backwards? Our answers may not lie in the new, but in the old. Perhaps our best future is a radical rebuilding of history, and all we need to decide on is whose.

And Lately, The Sun explores such ideas in a short story anthology slated for publication in November 2020. We are currently calling for submissions until midnight (GMT) on the 30th of June, 2020.

Word count: 2000-8000 words per story. Stories with word counts falling outside these limits will be considered, if exceptionally crafted.

Stories should be for readers of the English language. We are flexible in our use of English and invite a broad range of vernaculars. Be considerate of your audience but stay true to your world.

We encourage a diversity of authors, characters, and settings. We want to hear from and about all cultures, locations, genders, orientations and abilities.

Simultaneous submissions and multiple submissions are accepted, but please submit each story separately (one story per submission), and let us know immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. We accept previously unpublished works only (please do not submit material which has been published on personal websites).

What we're looking for:

We want to see stories which thoughtfully investigate potential futures under our changing climate.

Give us substantial characters, vivid worlds, shiny (and not-so-shiny) wonders. Let us see not only new technology, but how society works with it – how we think, how we relate, how we live under its influence. Show us how we'll obtain or produce our material needs. How we're born, how we'll grow, what will ail us, how we'll die.

Show us how we'll play and work. Who we are, and who we could be.

Please submit completed, polished work.

What we’re not looking for:

Stories designed to alarm people into taking notice of climate change. Your story must explore functional solutions, and not simply highlight problems. Show us a future with future in it.

Violence, sex, or gore, if present, must be integral to the story, and must not be the main point of the story.

Pitches are not accepted. Unedited work, or work littered with errors of spelling, punctuation, or grammar will not be accepted.

Stories should not rely on footnotes or glossaries. To a reasonable degree, please guide your reader by using context and structure. For everything else there's search engines.

We are not looking for essays. Please send us fiction only.

Formatting guidelines:

Standard manuscript format. Please remove all author information from the manuscript, including headers and footers.

Payment and rights:

We pay AUD$80 per accepted story as our standard rate. One story will receive an "editor's pick" payment of AUD$500. All authors will receive a contributor copy of the e-book. This buys us first world electronic rights, including HTML, PDF, plain text, and MP3 (audio) formats, and non-exclusive anthology rights. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal.

Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work according to the conditions offered is what you want to do.

The collection will be published in eco-friendly e-book format.

How to submit:

Submissions are accepted via email at

Please send your story as an email attachment. Make sure all author information is removed from the attachment. Attachments may be in .txt or .doc format.

The subject of the email should contain the title of your story and your name. The body of the email should contain your name and contact details, plus any relevant information about yourself, your previous publications, or experience or qualifications relating to the story.

You will receive an email confirming that your submission has been received.

Open for submissions until midnight (GMT) on 30th of June, 2020. Responses will be sent within one calendar month from the submission deadline.

We regret that we cannot give personal feedback on submissions.


30 June 20 -- Tales from OmniPark -- House Blackwood

Call For Submissions: weird fiction set in the strange world of OmniPark.

This anthology will feature stories from Brian Evenson, Gemma Files, Orrin Grey, Jesse Bullington, and other leading lights of the weird fiction community.

We are paying $100 for weird tales of 2,000 to 5,000 words, set in and around OmniPark.

You'll find much more background information on the OmniPark Wiki, which documents all the park's original Realms and attractions, as well as many of the personalities who shaped its development.

This is a weird fiction anthology. If you're unfamiliar with the weird fiction genre, we strongly recommend visiting its Wikipedia page and familiarizing yourself with the work of its most influential authors before submitting.

Send submissions as Word docs, formatted according to Shunn manuscript format, to:
tales from omnipark (remove spaces)

Only manuscripts submitted as Word docs, following Shunn format, will be considered.


30 June 20 -- The Muskeg Press coronavirus story collection -- Muskeg Press

Send us your stories, be they poetry or prose, to be published in a forthcoming compilation.

In 1348, the Black Plague hit Florence, Italy, and it would kill tens of thousands of the city's residents by the time the pandemic was over in 1351. Among those who lived in Florence at the time was Giovanni Boccacio, who would become famous for writing The Decameron. A collection of 100 short stories, The Decameron's main narrative tells the tale of seven young women and three young men who escape the plague by travelling to a countryside villa. There, they each tell one story each night for ten nights. The title "Decameron" combines the Greek words for "ten" and "day."

The stories themselves were not about the plague. The 10 characters wanted to escape its horrors mentally as well as figuratively. They told stories of love, of lust, greed, of the fickleness of fortune, of the power of the human will. These stories would inspire the likes of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Moliere, to name a few.

We're now living through a similar moment in time, as we each do our part in fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. At Muskeg Press, we look back and admire the attitude of Boccacio, who, in the midst of a terrible pestilence, wrote a great work of art that survives to the present day.

With that in mind, we are putting out a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for any author out there who would like to spend this time in self-isolation to write a story for a forthcoming publication of Muskeg Press. We'll select 10 stories from all the submissions, and publish them in a book around Christmastime of 2020. If your story is chosen for the book, we'll pay you $350.

Please note that our preference is to receive stories that have nothing to do with this strain of the coronavirus. Instead of a personal history of how you dealt with being isolated from your community, we would prefer stories of a more distracting nature, similar to those 10 storytellers in The Decameron.

If you're up for this challenge, we salute you! The details for submission are below. We look forward to reading your manuscripts! And remember, the only limit is your imagination.

The Muskeg Press coronavirus story collection

Length: Up to 5,000 words

To submit, send a Word document or a PDF to

We will read all submissions, but we will only select 10 for submission. We will let you know whether or not your story has been selected.

Thank you, and stay safe.


1 July 20 -- The Binge Watching Cure: Science Fiction Edition -- ed. Bill Adler Jr. and Sarah Doebereiner; Binge Watching Cure

[NOTE: It's not obvious unless you read carefully, but this market DOES take reprints, which makes the flat-rate payment much more acceptable.]

The first edition of The Binge Watching Cure encompassed a huge variety of genres. The second edition centered on horrific themes that kept us up at night. For the third volume, we are abandoning earthly conventions entirely in favor of the weird, wild worlds of science fiction.

So what is science fiction? SF features stories based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social, environmental, and evolutionary changes. That is just a textbook definition.

Science fiction has a huge range of subgenres, and I'd love to see them all. Alien races, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic futures, colonization, cyberpunk, etc. Remember, first and foremost, this is a science fiction anthology. It's okay if your story has some genre crossover, but we are less likely to accept an alien invasion that reads like zombie novella.

For the SF volume, we are offering a one-time payment of $100 for each story. We will be licensing the non-exclusive print and electronic book rights, including foreign-language rights (but not audio, film rights, or magazine rights). Your name and bio will be included along with your story.

Use "Last name – SF – word length category" as the subject line of your email.

Questions? Visit our FAQ page. Our FAQ page has more detail about the kind of stories we're looking for as well as details on formatting and publication details.

Please email us your story at in DOC, DOCX, RTF, or PDF format, double spaced with human being-readable margins, and in a sensible font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier. Don't put your story in the body of the email.

Include the exact word count, along with your contact information at the top of the manuscript. (Click here for a good guide on how to format your story.)

Our FAQ has more information on what kind of stories we're looking for and what kind of stories are not a match for The Binge-Watching Cure.

Please include a brief bio in your cover letter, as well as your contact information in both the manuscript and cover letter. Briefly summarize the plot or provide a synopsis of your story and let us know what genre or subgenre, if any, your story is. If your story has been published elsewhere, let us know where and when. (Previously published stories are perfectly okay, but stories that are currently online are not okay.) Content is more important than format, so don’t sweat things like line breaks.

Please submit only one story at a time and read our FAQ about multiple submissions.

If you have a query about your submission, please use our contact page. If you write to us at the submissions address we might not see your message for a long while.

We are looking for stories within 15 percent of the following word counts, and within 20 percent for stories 10,000 words and longer. If a number has been crossed out, that story length has been filled.

15,000 -- Groomers by Andrew Thompson

[NOTE: Make sure you click through to the publisher's page to make sure they haven't filled the wordcount slot you want since this post went up; I won't be updating in realtime.]

Be sure to include the following in your cover letter. We can't consider your story without:

1. A short synopsis or summary– a sentence to a paragraph is fine. It’s okay to include spoilers in your synopsis.

2. What genres or sub-genres your story fits into.

3. Your bio. If you have a website, Twitter handle, Facebook page or other internet presence, include that, too.

4. If your story has been previously published, let us know where and when.


5 July 20 -- Gothic Blue Book VOL 6: A Krampus Carol -- Burial Day Books

Gothic Blue Books were short fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century. They were descendants of the chap book trade and are now a thing of the past. Burial Day Books is now open for submissions for Gothic Blue Book Vol. 6 to be available October 31st 2020.

What was a Gothic Blue Book?

Gothic Blue Books were abridgements of full-length Gothic novels. The subjects of these books fell into one of two categories; the first being set in a monastery or convent and the second being set in a castle.

In terms of the physicality of the book, they were three and a half to four inches in width and six to seven inches in height, with a page count of thirty-six to seventy-two pages.

These little pieces of terror were popular at the time because they were affordable, a sixpence or a shilling each. Their cost affordability led them to be nicknamed Shilling Shockers or Sixpenny Shockers.

What are we looking for?

Original Gothic Blue Books typically took place in either a monastery, convent or castle. In years past we have asked for short stories that take place in one of these locations, or a modern day location such as a morgue, haunted house or cemetery. This year, we have added a new theme – Krampus, Christmas, and ghosts/lore from the globe revolving around a major celebration. Christmas ghost tales have a history stretching back that includes Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and more.

Please submit a short story or poem no longer than 3,500 words that follows one of the following:

A single mention or setting in one of the original Gothic Blue Book settings:

a) Monastery
b) Convent
c) Castle

OR –

A single mention or setting that includes one of 2020's Gothic Blue Book theme:

a) Krampus
b) Christmas
c) And more – see below '2020 Addition'

2020 Addition:

a) A story or poem about Krampus, Christmas, Winter, Winter Solstice, Christmas ghosts or Christmas demons, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Epiphany, Three Kings Day, or any folklore, legend or myth surrounding winter, etc. For inspiration think of Charles Dickens'
A Christmas Carol and give us cold, darkness, maybe even a demonic Ebenezer Scrooge, a tortured ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future, etc. We are also excited to read haunted tales about any other major celebrations from various backgrounds and belief systems; Djinn, Ghosts of Diwali, Chinese Winter Festival and so on. We hope that A Krampus Carol can take the old tradition of Christmas ghost tales, mixed with the spirit of Blue Books, and give readers something terrifying and new.

In addition to the above, the story or poem must instill fear using a supernatural element – ghosts, ghouls, monsters, myth, folklore or legend.

Extreme violence, sexual violence, derogatory language, hateful and harmful language of groups, people, or belief systems will not be considered.

For inspiration look to Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Helen Oyeyemi, Jorge Luis Borges, Shirley Jackson, Emily Brontë, Daphne Du Maurier, Victor LaValle, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Tananarive Due, Charles Dickens and more.

The collection will be published October 31st 2020 in eBook and traditional book format.


If accepted you are giving Burial Day Books:

A. The exclusive first right to publish your story.

B. The right to republish the story in or in connection with Burial Day, including electronic or hard copy form, including in promotional material or compilations – provided that authorial credit is given in every instance of reproduction.

After your story appears on Burial Day and in the Gothic Blue Book you are free to republish your piece elsewhere as long as you communicate to potential buyers that they are buying your story as a non-exclusive piece.

Payment details:

$50.00 (USD)

One (1) Contributor copy of the anthology

You can submit here at Submittable.


15 July 20 -- Reclaim the Stars -- ed. Zoraida Córdova; Wednesday Books

[NOTE: submissions are open to Afro-Latinx writers only.]

RECLAIM THE STARS is a YA science fiction and fantasy anthology that will be published by Wednesday Books an imprint of St. Martin's Press and be edited by Zoraida Córdova (Labyrinth Lost). The collection features YA speculative fiction exploring the Latinx diaspora through the lens of SFF, with stories likely included by Elizabeth Acevedo, Vita Ayala, David Bowles, Zoraida Córdova, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Maya Motayne, Daniel José Older, Claribel Ortega, Mark Oshiro, and Lilliam Rivera. Publication is expected for winter 2022.

The collection is one of the first of its kind, bringing much needed representation to the world of science fiction & fantasy! Along with the anthology, we are launching a submission call in search of an Afro-Latinx author writing speculative fiction. The anthology editor will review submissions for potential publication and inclusion in the anthology.


The Latinx diaspora is vast, but certain kinds of stories overwhelm the narrative, often leading to stereotypes and caricatures about. Afro-Latinx storytellers are disproportionately marginalized or erased in the Latinx communities. According to the Pew Research Center, 24% of polled U.S. Hispanic adults identified as Afro-Latino. In no way do we believe there is a single definition of who gets to be Afro-Latinx.

We recognize Afro-Latinx as Latin-American people of African descent living in a diaspora or Latin-America.


== Open to Afro-Latinx writers 18 years of age or older (as defined above). Applicants must include this information in their bio.
== Open to Afro-Latinx writers published and unpublished, so long as the short story entry has never been previously commercially published.
== Open to Afro-Latinx authors of all genders.
== Open to to Afro-Latinx authors eligible to work in the United States.


== Submissions Call will open on April 15th, 2020 at 9:00AM EST and will close on July 15th, 2020 at 11:59PM EST. Any submission made prior to or after the submissions period may not be considered.
== Making a submission is free.
== All submissions must include three separate attachments to be considered. The attachments include:

==== A short story of 4,000 words or less, attached as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file.
==== A 150 words or less bio that tells us a about you, and includes an explanation of how the applicant is Afro-Latinx (as described above), attached as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file.
==== A photo/headshot, attached as a .jpg or .png file.

== Submissions will not be returned. There is no guarantee that your submission will be published. Comments will not be provided on your submission. If there are a large volume of submissions, submissions may not be read in full, and not every submission may be read. The anthology editor has no obligation to applicants whose submissions are not selected.
== If your submission is selected for potential inclusion in the anthology, then you agree upon request to cooperate with the anthology editor and publisher in the editing process and any legal review requested by the publisher. You further understand that you will be asked to sign a contributor agreement in a standard form acceptable to the anthology editor and publisher, and your submission may not be published if you elect not to sign. You further agree that the submission may be edited for length, format or otherwise by the anthology editor or publisher.
== If your submission is selected for potential inclusion in the anthology and then actually published as a short story in the anthology, the anthology editor will pay you a contributor a fee of $1600 USD, and you will receive credit as an author in the publication.


== All submissions must be an original work of speculative fiction written in English by the applicant and never before published in any commercial medium, print or digital, audio, or translated from a foreign language.
== The submission must not have been previously submitted for commercial publication or in connection with any sweepstakes or contest.
== Submissions must be no longer than 4000 words.
== All submissions must be electronic and sent to the following email address as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file attachment:
== All submissions must also be appropriate for a young adult audience, ages 12 to 18.
== The submission must not contain any material that violates or infringes upon the rights of any third party, including without limitation any copyright, trademark or right of privacy or publicity, or that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to any applicable law or regulation, or the use of which as described in this call for submissions by the anthology editor or publisher would require a license or permission from or payment to any third party; and the submission must not contain any material that is defamatory.
== By submitting a submission, the applicant represents and warrants that the applicant owns the copyright in the submission, has complied with all of the requirements and has obtained all permissions, licenses and consents that are necessary for the submitting of the submission and to the use of the submission by the anthology editor and publisher and their licensees. The anthology editor reserves the right in the editor’s sole discretion to disqualify any submission that the editor determines does not comply with these requirements, or to require the applicant to make such changes to any submission as are necessary to make it compliant.

Click through and scroll down for a FAQ.


1 August 2020 -- Violent Vixens -- Dark Peninsula Press

Our second fiction anthology, Violent Vixens, will focus on Grindhouse horror films, made famous by movies such as Night of the Living Dead, Death Proof, and Suspiria. Since this genre encompasses so many different styles and mashups, we have decided to focus solely on Grindhouse horror stories featuring a strong female lead. The lead may be the protagonist or the antagonist.

In 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez set out to revitalize this genre with their excellent double-feature, Grindhouse. Although it was met with critical success, it ultimately failed at the box office. However, in recent years, the genre has gone through a resuscitation of sorts, and a new era of filmmakers are now creating homage-style exploitation films using the borrowed aesthetics of the 70s and 80s--successful films like House of the Devil, Turbo Kid, and Mandy. This is exactly what we are looking for in your stories; we want to see your particular homage to this style of storytelling in narrative form.

We are looking to publish twelve pieces of original fiction for this anthology. Overall, we tend to lean more toward fun, action-oriented stories like Army of Darkness, Planet Terror, and Blood Drive over anything too serious and brooding. Genre mashups are HIGHLY encouraged. All stories and characters must be original works.

Fiction Submissions: Giallo/Slasher, Sci-fi Horror, 80's Splatter, Japanese Body Horror, 50's B-Movie Creature Feature, Southern Gothic, Satanic Cult, Lost World, Lost Tribe. Other sub-genres could apply as well, but must have a strong horror connection, including: Carsploitation, Blacksploitation, Spaghetti Western, Women in Prison, Vigilante, etc.

Word Count: 2,000 - 8,000 words.

Payment: $50.00 + digital copy.

Rights: We are seeking first time rights for 1 year after publication. After that time all rights revert back to the author. The publication will appear in both print and digital formats.

Reprints: None. Previously unpublished only.

Multiple Submissions: None.

Simultaneous Submissions: None. Please wait until you hear back from us before submitting your piece to another market.

File Format: Include your story as an attachment in MS Word (DOC or DOCX), LibreOffice, or Rich Text Format.

Manuscript Format: Use the Shunn Format, but use Times New Roman font. Italics should be italicized instead of underlined. Include a short bio in the body of your email. Your subject line should read VV Submission: ("Title") by (Author's Name). For instance, VV Submission: "The Black Phone" by Joe Hill. Attach the story as a separate document.

Response Time: 4-6 weeks after submissions close. A confirmation email will be sent within one week of receiving your submission.

Submission Period: All submissions must be received between May 1, 2020 and August 1, 2020 EST. Any story sent before or after will be deleted unread.

Send Submissions to: darkpenpress (at) gmail (dot) com

Influential Horror Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Black Christmas, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Suspiria, Evil Dead 1 & 2, Bad Taste, Tremors, Cemetery Man, Lifeforce, Motel Hell, Rubber, The Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Holocaust, An American Werewolf in London.

Influential Grindhouse Movies (homage/tribute): Turbo Kid, Planet Terror, Death Proof, Sin City, Mandy, Doomsday, Kill Bill 1 & 2, Blood Drive (TV Series), Ash vs Evil Dead (TV Series), Drive Angry, Tokyo Gore Police, Crimson Peak, Army of Darkness, Sharknado, Slither, Cabin in the Woods, House of the Devil.

Influential Video Games: Wet, Shadows of the Damned, Lollipop Chainsaw.

Influential Books/Comics: Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (comic series) by Dark Horse Comics (more books to be listed soon...)

Read more about the Grindhouse genre HERE.


1 August 20 -- Third Flatiron: Brain Games: Stories to Astonish -- Third Flatiron

The right side of the brain is associated with logical and analytical characteristics, while the left brain with creativity. We'd welcome stories from both sides of the brain. Stories could feature puzzle solving and ingenuity, inverted tv tropes, inventions (clockwork, practical, or Rube Goldberg), masterful creations (like JS Bach's Goldberg Variations), and social commentary

Reading period: July 1 - August 1, 2020
Writer deadline: August 1, 2020
Publication date: October 15, 2020

Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our (approximately) 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, Iain Banks, Alastair Gray, 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.

Stories should be submitted in either Microsoft Word (using double spacing), RTF, or plain text. They should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Be sure they are the final version (any Review comments removed). Flash humor pieces (Grins and Gurgles) should be short, around 600-1,000 words.

Please don't send simultaneous or multiple submissions. If a story has been rejected, you can then send another (limit 2 per reading period).

Submit by email to

either as an attachment (Word, RTF) or in the body of the mail (text).

In the Subject: line of the email, please put


to avoid being deemed a canned meat product based on ham.

If the work is for the humor section, please note that in the body of your email. A brief bio and a one- or two-sentence synopsis in the body of your email would also be helpful to us.

Use the following template (basically, follow William Shunn's Standard Manuscript Format):

Your Name

Address (mailing)

Email address

Word count

[10 blank lines]



Body of story


Our response time is expected to be about 8 weeks (or less if the writer deadline is coming up soon).


Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 8 cents per word (U.S./SFWA professional rate), in return for the first publication rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, we request permission to podcast the story as a free sample portion of the anthology. We welcome new writers.

Third Flatiron will price and market your story as part of an anthology. We will format the story for the most popular electronic readers and platforms. You agree that we may distribute a sample (portion of the story) to potential customers.

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

Most books (except "year's best" collections) will be available for sale in trade paperback.

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


1 August 2020 [OR UNTIL FILLED] -- [Local Lore Anthology] -- ed. Joe Sullivan; Cemetery Gates Media

We’re currently looking for previously unpublished horror stories, 3-6k words, for a themed anthology to be released September 2020.

The theme is: your personal local lore/oddities. Write something dark into a setting you've experienced — it could be a place you've lived, or even just somewhere you’ve visited on a vacation. Is there a landmark in your town that you can write a nightmare into? Have you ever legend tripped somewhere and thought, well, that cave, mausoleum, torture tree was neat, but I wish there was more to the story?

If so, you're welcome to send us (1) submission at in DOC or RTF form. Deadline August 1, 2020. However, we’ll begin reading and accepting stories well before August, so the window may close earlier.

Paying .05/word per accepted submission for First Rights Publishing, and asking that you don’t republish your story until August 1, 2021.

In our fifth year of publishing we’re looking to expand our reach into 21st Century folklore, urban legends, and the space between creepypasta and literary horror. We will favor stories that name real locations one can visit in person. Our tales often give brief histories for locations. For examples of what we’re looking for, see Other Voices, Other Tombs; At the Cemetery Gates: Year One and Volume 2; or Corpse Cold: New American Folklore.


21 August 2020 -- Something Good to Eat -- Demon's Dreaming Press

Halloween: a night when the dead roam freely among the unsuspecting living; when the boundary between reality and fantasy, between this world and the next, is as thin as paper mache; when monsters both human and daemonic stalk the shadows, seeking easy prey…

All Hallow's Eve: a night to hide behind your best mask, lock your doors, and keep your Jack-o'-lantern burning till dawn. Because Something is knocking at the door, boys and girls…

And it's hungry.



What I'm looking for: Great horror, well written. Send me literary horror, pulp, dark fantasy, gore, magical realism – whatever suits you as a writer so long as your story is set on or around Halloween, or relates in some way to the holiday and its customs. Give me your Samhain-inflected stories of vampires, witches, werewolves, ghouls, zombies, ghosts, serial killers, aliens, revenge from beyond the grave, mirrors at midnight, etc. Or maybe something more personal, more idiosyncratic – experimentation and uniqueness are always a plus! For an idea of the sort of tone I'm looking for think classic E.C. Comics (Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror) Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, Trick 'r' Treat, Monsters, The Twilight Zone, etc.

What I'm not looking for: homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism or any other ism free of narrative context. No rape, excessive torture or sexual violence (especially toward children).

How to Submit: Please send all submissions to in either a .docx or .rtf file. Include the word Submission in subject, as well as your name and the title of your story. Include a brief bio in the body of your e-mail listing any previous publishing credits.

Length: 2000-10,000 words

Reprints, Multiple Submissions and Simultaneous Submissions: I will be accepting a limited number of reprints. Multiple submissions are okay, but in the end I will select the story of yours that tugs at my cold heart the most. Simultaneous submissions are also okay; please just tell me if your story is placed elsewhere.

Payment: $100 upon acceptance (via PayPal or e-transfer) + royalties


28 August 2020 -- Motherland -- Lethe Press

During a panel discussing a number of topics, including queering weird fiction, editor and publisher Steve Berman recalled an article in the New York Times: "Why Doesn't Anyone Want to Live in This Perfect Place?" The notion of a dying lesbian community instantly seemed an ideal setting for weird fiction. And so Lethe Press is accepting submissions for Motherland.

All stories must be set in Motherland, a landyke community founded on the Delmarva Peninsula in 1968 by Ida Marmer and Robinia Atwell. We are currently working on more details about Motherland that authors can include in their story. Please check back to this listing and page.

Stories can be set during any time period, from the founding of Motherland to the current day. All stories must feature lesbian or bisexual protagonists. We recommend authors read the NY Times article and the book Landykes of the South before writing their submission.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 10,000 words.

Payment is 6¢ a word, split between a sum upon acceptance (up to $100) with the remainder upon publication.

Email stories as attachments (MS Doc or RTF files only) to with the Subject Line: MOTHERLANDSUBMISSION. Include in the body of your email a brief synopsis of the story and a couple lines about yourself.


31 August 2020 -- Spawn -- ed. Deborah Sheldon; IFWG Publishing Australia

NOTE: Submissions are open to Australian writers only (citizens, residents and ex-pats).

Payment: 6c per word for original stories, 2c per word for reprints (Australian currency)

Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia (co-published in North America through the IFWG Publishing International imprint)

Note: Open to Australian writers only (citizens, residents and ex-pats)

To be edited by award-winning author Deborah Sheldon, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will comprise stories from Australian writers obtained via commission and open callout. The commissioned writers are the multi-award-winning and bestselling authors Isobelle Carmody, Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams.

On-spec submissions are welcome from Australian writers of every persuasion including non-parents. Ideally, stories should be between 1500 and 5000 words, give or take. (Stories significantly longer than 5000 words would have to be outstanding.) Reprints will be considered, but must not be available for free anywhere online—the anthology will have only a small number of reprints, regardless. Artwork by commissioned Australian artists will complement selected stories.

The anthology will be a visceral, frightening read. Each story must nominally tick the box of "body horror" but there is no restriction on subgenre: anything from sci-fi to fantasy to gothic to supernatural to psychological and beyond will be given equal consideration. Feel free to play with the theme and not take it too literally. Ideally, your story should make the reader feel uncomfortably aware of their physicality, morbidity or mortality.

While graphic violence and swearing are acceptable, submissions must have a literary bent. Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies aims to deliver an elegant—and elevated—anthology of body horror.

What to avoid:

== Gratuitous gore used purely for shock value.
== Familiar tropes, such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Handmaid’s Tale, the face-hugger/chest-burster from the Alien film franchise, Martians kidnapping and impregnating female Earthlings, and so on.
== The submission of first drafts, often indicated by spelling and grammatical errors.

Required rights:

== First worldwide electronic and print rights in the English language, exclusive for one year, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
== For reprints, non-exclusive rights apply.
== If the story is subsequently reprinted, please credit Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies (IFWG Publishing Australia) as the original publisher.

How to submit:

== Your story must be in a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman in 12pt.
== Your name, contact details and word count should be on the first page above the title.
== Use double-quotation marks, single space after full stops, first-line indents, page numbers, and Australian-English spelling. No tabs and no double-returns between paragraphs.
== Send to Deborah Sheldon at with the story title and your name as the Subject heading.
== In the body of your email, provide an author bio of about 100 words (give or take), and include your Australian citizen/resident/ex-pat status.
== If your story is a reprint, provide the full details of its first publication in the body of your email, with links if possible.
== You can submit more than one story. Submit each story in a separate email.
== Stories that require anything more than line editing or adjustments for house style will be rejected. Please submit only polished work of a high standard.
== No simultaneous submissions, which means do not submit your story to another market at the same time.
== Give yourself the best possible chance—please do not ignore these guidelines.

Response issues:

== All acceptance and rejection emails will be sent by 31 October 2020.
== No feedback will be offered for rejected stories. Please don’t ask.
== Do not resubmit a rejected story, even if you have made substantial changes.
== Accepted writers will receive payment via PayPal or bank transfer within 30 days of the contracts being signed, rather than on publication.
== Accepted writers will also receive an ebook and one complimentary paperback.

Important note about the publication date

Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies was originally slated for release in February 2021. In response to the economic turndown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, IFWG Publishing Australia has decided to delay release of every upcoming new title. Therefore, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will be released later in 2021, with a strong likelihood of a mid-year publishing date.

Crowd-funding for a hardback edition, which would include illustrations for each story, is also being considered.

IFWG Publishing Australia will provide further updates on the anthology’s publication schedule in due course.


UNTIL FILLED -- Burly Tales -- ed. Steve Berman; Lethe Press [First posted in July '19]

This anthology, to be edited by Steve Berman, seeks short stories and novellettes that adapt classic fairy tales. But we want them populated with Bears! Strapping heroes are fine as long as they are stout. All the stories should have a measure of whimsy and/or wonder.

Before submitting your story, please consult this page - we would rather not double-up on any original fairy tale idea (we fear we'd end up with a book that was mostly about a gang of male Goldilocks roaming the woods and asking one another "Too hot? Too cold? More please!") - so I will be listing any fairy tale that we no longer are interested in reading. Yes, rather than wait a year to hear from us, the entire open period will have "rolling acceptances."

.........please no stories based on Little Red Riding Hood

[NOTE: They've added to the "please no" list; I'm not going to update it in realtime, so please click through to see the current list of based-on stories they've already accepted. And hurry, because as of next month this listing will have been hanging out "until filled" for a year, and after that I'll be dropping it.]

All stories should be romantic (HEA or HFN). Erotic content is not a necessity but our burly men should be sex-positive about their lives.

Specs: Please submit Word docs only, standard formatting, 12 pt Times Roman to me at, using the title of the anthology as the subject line. No stories below 5k and none greater than 15. Reading period begins August 1st, 2019. Payment is 5 cents a word for original fiction, considerably less for reprints.


If you've found this listing useful, and especially if you've sold a story to a market you found here (score!) I'd love to hear about it. You can e-mail me at angiepen at gmail dot com.

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