Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Halfway Through NaNo

Last time I did NaNoWriMo, back in '08, I got to eight thousand words and change by the middle of the month and threw in the towel. It just wasn't working, and constantly failing to find the groove was stressing me out horribly. In '09 I was working on wrapping A Hidden Magic and skipped NaNo to focus on that, and in '10 I was... I don't even know, working on something else again. Or maybe I was just afraid of another crash-and-burn?

This year it's awesome. Even the first year -- '06, the only time I've tried and actually won -- didn't go this well. Someone passing by me in a crowd obviously whacked my writing throttle with their elbow somewhere in late October, and it's been open ever since. :) As of midnight last night, I'd done over 36,000 words on my NaNo project (Book 3 of the Sentinel series -- Hidden Magic is Book 1) which is 11,000 words over par to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. On top of that, I've written almost 6000 words on Book 2, which I also want to finish this month; it's currently just a few hundred words short of 80K. That's about 42,000 words all together, in fifteen days. O_O

I know I keep saying this, but I wish I could do this all the time. I've slown down a little in the last few days -- I'm hitting a part of Book 3 where I had only a vague idea of what was going to happen when I started -- but I'm still doing well and I have plenty of margin. I'd pretty much have to get hit by a bus tomorrow to not make my 50K by the end of the 30th. (Of course, I've probably just jinxed myself -- I'll have to make sure I stay home tomorrow, LOL!)

Anyway, the writing's going great and hopefully it'll stay throttled up. I hope things are going well for everyone else, too! [crossed fingers]


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free Story -- Custody

For anyone who missed it, I posted "Custody," the short fantasy story I wrote last month for Cryselle's review site, to my web site. It's here, and there's a link at the top of the page to Cryselle's site where the picture of the little dragon, which inspired the story, is still up.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Flash Mob in Dubai

This is great fun to watch -- a song-and-dance type flash mob in the Dubai Airport.

You know, we in the US think of Saudi Arabia as being this horribly oppressive culture, and it definitely has its issues, but can you imagine something like this happening in an American airport? o_O Just thinking of how Homeland Security would likely react -- OMG it might be a DIVERSION for a TERRORIST attack!!! -- just turns my stomach. Good on Dubai for being mellow and able to enjoy it.


Anthology Markets

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

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

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Inferno, Dark Faith Two, King David and the Spiders from Mars, the Professor Challenger Anthology, Horror Library, Mortis Operandi, the Fantastic Stories Anthology, and the Wuxia Anthology.


1 December 2011 -- Eternal Love -- Cool Well Press

Valentine's Day was first celebrated in 496 A.D., and was done in remembrance of the martyrs who opposed Ancient Rome. They were known as Martyr Valentinus, which in Latin means those who are worthy, powerful, and strong. Over the centuries, Valentine's Day has come to represent a time when intimate companions show their love and affection. It also serves to remind us of love that has been lost.

As far back as the misty ages go, men have always believed that there are immortals roaming the Earth. These immortals come in many forms, such as Vampires, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, Angels, and Faery. Because these creatures are supernaturally strong and powerful, and cannot die, they might be referred to as the true Valentinus. They experience profound love and profound loss, and while many are not worthy, many more are. We want stories about these beings that have lived and eternally loved.

COOL WELL PRESS is opening a call for submissions for their new young adult anthology, ETERNAL LOVE to be published in February 2012. Stories should be set in all eras and locals, and is targeted for 15 to 18 year old readers. No sexually explicit stories. These should have a paranormal flare and be 5,000 to 8,000 words. Deadline is December 1, 2011. Please follow the submission guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Send completed submission to and mark the subject of the email as ETERNAL LOVE.

Authors whose stories are accepted will be sent a contract. Compensation will be a one-time payment at .10 per word and a copy of each format of the final anthology.


15 December 2011 -- Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy -- ed. Mitzi Szereto, Cleis Press

To be published by Cleis Press in autumn 2012.

Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy is a place where lust and legend abound, and adventure, passion and danger entwine. Think mystical lands and creatures, kings and queens, knights and renegades, heroes and villains, warlords, maidens and princesses. Think battles and danger, honor and dishonor, good and evil. Most of all think hearts filled with passion and secret desire. This is a place where romantic chivalry is alive and well, but so too is romantic wickedness. This is a place where the good do not always win, and the bad are often more captivating and desirable than their altruistic counterparts. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power. Intrigue, sorcery, revenge, lawlessness, dark secrets and mysterious elixirs; entanglements with supernatural beings – everything is possible in these magical mythical landscapes. Think Game of Thrones and you get the picture!

Word count: 3,000 to 6,000 words.

What I’m looking for: Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Think atmosphere, passion, desire… imaginative steamy tales that transport the reader to fantastical realms. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are stories containing characters of any sexual orientation.

Note: Although sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach, absolutely no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies (especially Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance) to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. Even though the stories need to have a strong element of eroticism and sensuality to them, I do not want stories that are one-dimensional sex stories or smut. The erotic element is an important part of the story, but it should not be the sole basis for the story or a replacement for plot and character development. No reprints (be it print, digital, or online). Original fiction only.

Payment: One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.

Submission requirements:

Stories must be formatted as follows: double-spaced Arial 12-point black font Word or RTF document (sent as an attachment). Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs or irregular spacing between words. American spelling and punctuation only (i.e. quote marks, etc). Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), postal address, and a fifty-word maximum author bio written in the third person. Contract is for one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights with one year’s exclusivity from date of publication. (This may be waived if your story is selected for a “Best Of” collection). No simultaneous submissions please.

In the subject line of your email, please state: Kingdoms of Desire

Send to: submissions @

Submission deadline: December 15, 2011. (Stories will be read on an on-going basis, so early submissions are highly encouraged.) [I can't swear to it, but phrasing it this way makes me think she's going to be buying stories as good ones come in, which means a good story subbed near the deadline might be rejected because it's too close to a similar story she bought a month earlier. Or maybe not, but that's what this is saying to me.]


4 January 2012 -- Private Dicks -- Less Than three Press

The life of a private investigator is boring more often than it is exciting—tracking debtors, tailing cheating spouses, and long hours of surveillance do not add up to a sizzling life of mystery and romance.

But every now and then there comes a case that takes all a good PI has to offer and demands still more. A case that requires not just time and effort, but sliding in to another skin to find that clue or witness that will break the case. How far will a PI go to do his job; how high will he climb, how low will he sink?

Give us your stories of private investigators willing to don any guise to break the case.


Stories should be approx 10,000-20,000 words in length (a little longer or shorter is fine).

Stories must have a happily ever after end.

Any genre is acceptable; stories may be contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. There must be a strong element of a private investigator going undercover, but be as creative as you like in executing that theme. We are looking for fun, unique spins on this popular genre.

All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.

Payment is $200.00, electronic copies, and two copies of the print book.

[NOTE: The call doesn't say so explicitly, but LT3 is a romance press, and so far as I can tell by poking around their site, an m/m romance press. Stories for this antho should probably be m/m romance genre, detective subgenre, rather than genre detective.]


17 January 2012 -- Inferno -- Cool Well Press

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

In the 14th century, the author Dante Alighieri wrote an epic poem called Divine Comedy. It is the story of two travelers taking the journey through Hell. Dante depicted Hell as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth, each one a contrapasso, representing a symbolic instance of poetic justice.

CWP's INFERNO is an anthology based upon these nine circles. These stories are centered in each circle and involve the many creatures of imagination that could reside there.

FIRST CIRCLE (Limbo)—The first circle represents purgatory. It's a deficient form of Heaven, but instead of a world of beauty and creativity, it's a place of preciseness and strict adherence to the rules. Even the landscape has an angular, straight feel to it. The condemned are virtuous, but have lacked the hope for something greater than rational minds can conceive. Speculation does not exist here. Imagination is feared.

SECOND CIRCLE (Lust)—The second circle is where those who are overcome by unbridled appetites are condemned. There are many types of things one can lust for such as power, money and yes, love. A strong wind blows through the second circle, symbolizing the power of lust to blow one about aimlessly. Here, desire is never satiated, even though there is abundance of food, money, and companionship. Please, no overtly sexual stories.

THIRD CIRCLE (Gluttony)—Those who are self-indulgent are forced to live in a place where the ground is filled with sewage slush and where an icy rain continually falls. A large dump comprises the landscape. Nothing grows here and the condemned must constantly try to find food, comfort and companionship, all of which eludes them. It's a place of scarcity and deep desire.

FOURTH CIRCLE (Greed)—The fourth circle of condemned are those who are avaricious or miserly, who hoarded or squandered possessions and wealth. These people did not show compassion for their fellow man or animals and therefore must constantly spar with the reality of unrelenting poverty and lack of empathy. Here, gravity is heavy, a symbol of the great weight of greed.

FIFTH CIRCLE (Anger)—The Stygian Marsh surrounds the river Styx, where the wrathful continually argue, curse, and victimize. The city of Dis is found in the Fifth Circle, the walls of which encompass the lower levels of Hell. These walls are guarded by Fallen Angels and their evil compatriots, the Furies. These creatures constantly attack the citizens of Dis. Guilt and anger rule the people.

SIXTH CIRCLE (Heresy)—Those whose souls die with the body are trapped in a world of heat and oppression. The people remember their lives on Earth and they know what will come in its future, but can do nothing to change the events. They are disbelievers and take nothing as the truth. This circle is full of shadows and things that might be, where the eternal challenge is to figure out what is real and what is not.

SEVENTH CIRCLE (Violence)—In this circle, we find the people who are condemned to a place of blood and fire, where war is continually waged. Murderers share the space with rampaging soldiers and mad men are driven into a frenzy of violence. The landscape is torn and pitted and bodies litter the streets. The continual battle cry is to justify the reasons why they have killed others.

EIGHTH CIRCLE (Fraud)—The fraudulent, those guilty of exploitation in all its forms, find themselves in a crowded world of filth and disease, where they are continually driven to do the bidding of the creatures who incite the passions of the condemned. You will find among them all manner of frauds, including panderers, sorcerers, false prophets, thieves, hypocrites and corrupt politicians. Men look for cures to their ills but find only deceit.

NINTH CIRCLE (Treachery)—This place is choked with ice, barren land and frigid winds, symbolizing the icy hell of betrayal. Those who have committed treason in all forms lurk here, forced to share their souls with dark creatures who are full of pride and self-serving righteousness. In the very center of the circle, you'll find Lumiel, the creature that committed the ultimate act of treachery and who rules the Nine Circles of Hell.

COOL WELL PRESS has opened a call for submissions for their new young adult anthology, INFERNO. Stories should be set within the worlds of the Nine Circles and targeted for 16 to 18 year old readers. These should have paranormal flare and be 5,000 to 8,000 words. Deadline is January 17th, 2012. We will select one story for each Circle.

Please follow the submission guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Send completed submission to and mark the subject of the email as INFERNO.

Authors whose stories are accepted will be sent a contract. Compensation will be a one-time payment at .10 per word and a copy of each format of the final anthology.


31 January 2012 -- Dark Faith Two -- Apex Book Company

Apex will be publishing a follow-up to the Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Black Quill-nominated anthology Dark Faith. The book will be 80,000 words and pay five cents a word (up to four thousand words). It will debut late-summer 2012. We buy First World anthology print rights and digital rights (for three years).

We’re looking for the story only you could write, something deeply personal and at the same time universal. Everyone believes in something and we want you to put those beliefs to the test. We’re looking for smart, literate stories that don’t proselytize or stereotype. Stories that make you think, that comment on the human condition and the social order. Stories that are rich in their use of language.

However, as much as we love social commentary, don’t forget to entertain us. The best way to get a feel for what we’re looking for is to read Dark Faith.

Submissions will be accepted from 1/1/2012 until 1/31/2012. Unsolicited stories received outside this timeframe will be deleted, unread.

Please include a cover letter with your submission–even if we know you. Please send no more than one submission at a time. No reprints. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted as long as you tell us up front (and immediately withdraw the story if you sell it).

All submissions must be emailed as an RTF file to Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon at


31 January 2012 -- King David and the Spiders from Mars -- ed. Tim Lieder, Dybbuk Press

Due to the positive response to She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror, I will be editing another Bible-themed anthology. Tentatively titled King David & The Spiders from Mars: More Tales of Biblical Terror, this will be a Bible-themed horror anthology specifically based on The Book of Samuel. Some of my favorite stories from the first anthology were David centered including Elissa Malcohn's "Judgement at Naioth" and Christi Krug's "As If Favorites of Their God."

What I'm Looking For: Short stories, ideally between 1000-12000 words. All stories must be based in some way on the book of Samuel (usually edited to be 1 & 2) which is the story about how Israel transitioned from a Judge based society to a kingdom under King David. Even though this is primarily a horror anthology, I'm willing to look at stories that fall into different categories including bizarro, science fiction, fantasy, literary and romance (although if you write a romance between Tamar and Amnon, I'm going to be worried about you and not in a good way). There are several stories within Samuel including the madness of Saul, the end of Eli's family as the major priesthood, David & Goliath and the death of Absalom so feel free to use whatever inspires you. Also, even though the Book of Ruth is a completely different book, it serves as a prequel to the David saga so if you got a great Ruth story, I will read it.

Update: Since I am not getting many stories thus far, I will accept stories from the rest of the Bible so if you have this awesome Elijah or Jonah story, feel free to send it. I will still appreciate the stories from the Book of Samuel more and may give them greater consideration but I won't reject a story because it's from a different part of the Bible.

Check out this Amazon List for reading suggestions. Please at least read the book of Samuel once to get the flavor of the stories. If you only know the story of David & Goliath, you will be at a disadvantage since that's the most popular story in the bunch and you will have a lot of competition.

Also, if you are going to do a David & Goliath story read the original. This is a much more interesting story than the children's books would have you believe and all that "come from behind victory" blather is inaccurate (not to mention boring as hell).

Other Suggestions:
Retellings of Biblical Stories from the perspective of another character.
Kiastic Storytelling
Deconstructionist Commentary akin to Rashi
Biblical stories retold in different literary styles (high adventure, Victorian, Romance, Mystery, etc.)
Modern stories told in the Biblical style (Best use Robert Alter's Art of Biblical Poetry and Art of Biblical Narrative if you want a crash course)
Parodies of Prophets
"Queen Esther vs. The Brain Eating Penis Monster from Outer Space" (note that just sticking this title on a lame story is not going to endear you to me. Write a story that would justify this kind of title and I'm interested)
Biblical Movie Parodies

I am also impressed by the following: original takes on classic stories, strong female characters, stories that actually understand the original tales, style.

Formatting Guidelines: Please use Standard Manuscript format. I am going to be a little more hard on people not using this format since the last time I had stories where I couldn't get back to the writers because they neglected to put their emails on the stories so I had no way of knowing how to tell them that they were rejected. One even made it to the Maybe pile. Please submit in .rtf or .doc.

What I am not Looking For: I have a blog post for the first Bible anthology where I go off on the "do not want" list. It basically comes down to "no preachiness" which is the major pitfall for people tackling these kind of stories. I don't want a story with an agenda - whether it's atheist, Christian or Jewish. I am not interested in other stories in the Bible. Do not set a Sodom & Gomorrah story in San Francisco. Do not send poetry. Do not retell a Bible story from a character's perspective that adds absolutely nothing to the narrative. In the last anthology, I got a bunch of stories that had to stop to tell me that "Jesus is love" but since this one is about King David, I figure there will be less of those in this slush pile. Still, don't do that.

Also note that all snotty replies to rejections will be aired publicly on this blog and mocked mercilessly.

Pay: $50 advance against equal share of royalties - to be paid out no later than publication.

Reading Period: November 1, 2011 - January 31, 2012. All stories submitted before November 1 will be deleted unread. Although that's the best case scenario. If I do read them I will mock them on this blog. I am using a three month window as well as waiting until November 1 because I don't want trunk stories and I doubt anyone has been submitting their awesome King David Rips Off Foreskins story to markets until now. This gives you time to write an original story and send it by November 1 or to spend about 4 months perfecting it until it's ready at the end of January.

Reprints. Yes. Same price. Make sure you tell me where it was originally published and that it is available for reprint right sales.

Send to: timlieder1 - at -


31 January 2012 -- Professor Challenger Anthology -- ed. J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Genres: SF, Fantasy, Horror, Steampunk, Adventure

Story Length: Approx. 7,500 words to a maximum of 10,000 words

What we’re after: A broad range of new and original stories built around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s LOST WORLD character Professor George Edward Challenger. Stories derived from the aftermath of events in the Lost World are welcome, however simply revisiting or rehashing the Lost World without good cause is not. Challenger is a man of science first and foremost, not an explorer. Mash-ups or crossovers with public domain literary characters are welcome.

For inspiration think X-files, Quatermass, Dr. Who, cryptozoology – Yeti, Nessie, etc…, aliens among us, supernatural occurrences, science gone awry in a Dr. Moreau, Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll vein, nature run amuck, monsters large and small, world threatening cataclysm, Lovecraft mythos, think H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, E. R. Burroughs, John Wyndham, Nigel Kneale, alternate history, new lost places, steampunk, whatever.... Be creative.

Mine the potential for all it's worth! Push it out there, get weird, play, have fun!

Notes: This is a professional market. Full rate to 7,500 words, half rate for balance to 10,000 words. One time publication rights. The anthology is part invitation and part open submission. Priority will be given to invited authors, but an invitation to submit is not a guarantee of acceptance. A minimum of two slots will be held for open submissions. Acceptance is based entirely on suitability of story and quality of writing. No reprints.

Submission Format: Email submission in Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word (.doc) attachments only. Use standard manuscript format. (

Send submissions to and/or


UNTIL FILLED -- Horror Library, Vol. 5 -- Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2011.

We're looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what's already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won't cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They're just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we'll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

Variances from traditional manuscript format: single space, NO INDENTS, ONE EXTRA space between paragraphs, use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in story

Subject box: Short Story submission - title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]


UNTIL FILLED -- Mortis Operandi -- ed. Kfir Luzzatto and Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow Press

MORTIS OPERANDI is looking for stories that revolve around the investigation of a crime and in which the supernatural plays a central role. While we’re expecting a fair share of murders, we strongly encourage stories that revolve around OTHER kinds of crime — for example, arson, assault, blackmail, bullying, burglary, dowry death, embezzlement, fraud, kidnapping, larceny, libel, piracy, product liability, slavery, smuggling, terrorism, treason, and toxic pollution are all fair game.

By "supernatural" we mean magic, monsters, and/or miracles, but we don’t consider psychic abilities (although the inclusion of a minor character possessing them will not in itself disqualify a story), extraterrestrial life, or UFOs to be supernatural.

Types of stories may include whodunits, police procedurals, hardboiled fiction, and courtroom dramas. All genres and treatments are welcome, including ecclesiastic, fantasy, humor, horror, historical, military, romance, and parody. Settings outside the U.S. and U.K. are welcome. Settings on other worlds aren’t.

We want well-written stories that demonstrate originality of concept and plot. Zombies, vampires, and werewolves will be a hard sell, and romantically inclined vampires will be staked on sight. Think outside of the coffin.

Stories will be judged exclusively on the basis of their literary merit; a history of prior publication is not necessary.

Get more information about our thoughts on this antho at Market Scoop.
Submissions & Queries: anthology [[ at ]]
==No simultaneous submissions. One submission at a time.
==Please attach your stories to your email in Microsoft Word, RTF, or text-only format. Stories pasted in the body of an email will not be read.
==Please include the words “Submission: Mortis Operandi” in the Subject line of your e-mail.
Length: 3,000-6,000 words. Please include an approximate word count in your e-mail submission.
Reprints: No
Language: English
Payment: US $50/story, upon publication, and a free copy of the book
Rights: Exclusive English anthology print and electronic (e-book) rights. Please read our Sample Contract (pdf) for full details.
Submission period: Opens 1.1.11 -- Closes when filled.
Publication Date: 2012


UNTIL FILLED -- Fantastic Stories Anthology -- ed. Warren Lapine, Wilder Publications

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination is a yearly anthology. Edited by Warren Lapine, Wilder Publications Box 10641, Blacksburg, VA 24063

I’m looking for stories that cover the entire science fiction, fantasy, and horror spectrum. I love magic realism (think Tim Powers and Neil Gaiman) and hard sf. I want a story to surprise me and to take me to unexpected places. I love word play, and would like to see stories with a literary bent, though decidedly not a pretentious bent. I could spend some time telling you what I don’t want, but I’ve found that good stories can make me buy them regardless of how many of my rules they violate. Let your imagination run wild, push and blur the limits of genre, or send me something traditional. I want it to see it all. My experience as an editor tells me that over time I’ll develop preferences and that the anthology will take on its own personality. When that happens I’ll change the guidelines to be more specific, but for now I’m going to explore what’s out there before I decide what direction to go in.

Payment: 10 cents per word on acceptance for original stories (maximum of $250.00) or 2 cents per word for reprints (maximum of $100.00). A check will accompany the contract so no simultaneous submissions please. I am purchasing First English Language Book Rights and non-exclusive electronic rights.

Story length, I have no limit on story length but the longer the story is the better it will have to be.

Sorry no e-mail submissions. Why is this? Don’t you know that e-mail submissions is the future? Yes I do know that, but it’s not the way I want to do this. For me the best part of being an editor is having people over to have slush parties and interacting with them during the reading process. Editing on a screen is a thing devoid of fun or joy, I edit for the fun and joy of it.

[Note: definitely click through on this one; there's some very useful info in the comments.]


UNTIL FILLED -- All Access Pass -- ed. Amelia G, Blue Blood Books

Short version of what I’m looking for is: well-crafted fiction or memoir, cool erotica with music and/or music culture as a central theme, $50 first run + reprint rights, $25 reprints. More formal version below.

Call for Submissions: All Access Pass

Backstage Passes editor Amelia G is reading for a sequel to her anthology of rock and roll erotica, called All Access Pass. Below are general fiction guidelines for Blue Blood fiction projects. For this book in specific, music must play a central role in the story. Events could take place at a punk club or an outdoor festival, characters may be musicians, music may just really speak to a particular character, but it needs to be important. Stories ranging from balls-out memoir or entirely fantastical vampire sex are all fine, within the appropriate theme and quality standards.

When submitting electronically, please make the subject of your email ALL ACCESS PASS SUBMISSION.

Before sending anything over, please ask yourself if your work passes the Blue Blood litmus test: Is it intelligent? Is it sexy? Is it edgy/counterculture? Is it cool? Email electronic submissions to For submissions of fiction or nonfiction text, please have your writing in a Word document with a .doc suffix (not .docx), RTF, TXT, InDesign, or Open Office format. It is preferred if you include an author bio or link to your website or online profiles.

The All Access Pass anthology is seeking erotic stories with a counterculture feel — Gothic, industrial, techno, rave, punk, metal, dyke, mystery, gangster, hard-boiled, science fiction, cyberpunk, steampunk, vampire, werewolf, medieval etc. At the moment, our needs are for stories primarily from a male or female heterosexual viewpoint, lesbian viewpoint, or female bisexual viewpoint. Often, we can also place male homosexual and gender bender stories in anthologies. We look for work between 2,000 and 7,500 words. Most accepted fiction is shorter than 4,000 words. Death and horror elements are acceptable so long as they do not prevent the piece from being sex-positive. Characters may die but not as part of the sexuality. Kinky is great — leathersex, bondage, vampirism etc. are all fine. Negative attitudes about sexuality are not fine. All sex must be consensual and arousing. PLEASE DO NOT SEND US STORIES PROMOTING NAZIS, RAPE, INCEST, OR THE SEXUALIZATION OF MURDER. NO SNUFF, RACISM, OR HOMOPHOBIA. If you can write genuinely arousing fiction which still works as a story, do contact us. Payment is net 60 on on-sale date and we generally purchase first worldwide rights (exclusive from acceptance to one year after publication) along with nonexclusive reprint rights.


UNTIL FILLED -- Unnamed Wuxia Anthology -- ed. John Dishon, Genreverse Books

What are you looking for?

You’ve probably guessed it: wuxia. I want wuxia stories. If your story isn’t wuxia, then submitting it here won’t do you any good. Even if your story is really good, the focus of this anthology is the wuxia genre. The anthology is intended for those who have never heard of or read wuxia before, and for those who have. So for the noobs I want to introduce the genre to them properly, and the veterans will know if I haven’t done that. And since the whole point of this project is to promote the wuxia, then I’m going to have to insist that your story be an example of said genre. If it is, then please submit it below. If not, you’re better off submitting it elsewhere.

If you’re not sure what wuxia is, you can read about it here.

Yeah, it’s wuxia. But is it your kind of wuxia?

Yes, it is. Because I don’t have any specific kind of wuxia I’m going for. It can be old school or new school, it can be proto-wuxia, such as some of the chuanqi of the Tang era (an example of that would be “The Kunlun Slave” or “The Curly Bearded Stranger”), or anything else. Maybe you have your own unique style you’d like to try out. Let me have it. I don’t want a book full of Jin Yong rip-offs. Some stories in that vein are fine, and I would like to see some, but I want some variety as well. With the English language we have the opportunity to take the genre in new and unexpected territories, and to use different techniques to tell our stories. We needn’t try to copy Chinese writers. What exactly I mean by that will be left up to the writers. If a standard Jin Yong or Gu Long kind of story is your thing, then send it in. But if you’re trying something new or different, then I want to see that too. The most important consideration is that it is a good story, which means it should have compelling characters put in interesting situations. Your story should have that regardless of the genre.

So I am open to stories set in modern settings as well. The essence of wuxia lies in the values expressed by the two characters that make up the word, 武 and 俠, not the time period the story takes place in. Again, feel free to experiment.

I think it’s wuxia.

Great. Send it in. If your story is a borderline case, or you’re not quite sure if it’s wuxia, then send it in anyway. The worst that can happen is it gets rejected. You don’t need to query first. Make sure you look at the “What is Wuxia?” page linked to above before making your final decision, though. There is some leeway. “Martial arts fiction” is how wuxia is often translated into English, and while that is an over-simplified translation, it’s a good guide. However, the xia part of wuxia deserves attention to. I believe it is possible to have a wuxia story that does not have any fighting in it at all, but there must be a lot of xia in that case. I’ll stop there before I complicate the issue too much. It is a tough genre to define.

How do you want it?

As stated above, all submissions must be made through Hey Publisher. The form is below. The form will accept .doc, .rtf, and .txt files. It will not accept the new .docx format for some reason, so if you are using a newer version of Word, make sure to save it as .doc instead of .docx. Sign up is easy on the form. You can go through one of various social network services, or just create an account with Hey Publisher. Either way, it only takes a few seconds. Do not email me your submission. All email submissions will be deleted without being read, no exceptions.

For proper manuscript formatting, see William Shunn’s Proper Manuscript Format. If you’ve ever submitted a story to a magazine before, then you’re probably already familiar with these formatting guidelines. You don’t need to include your mailing address, if you don’t want to. Make sure you have a valid email address on there, though. One that you regularly check.

How long should it be?

2,000-30,000 words. Anywhere in between there is fine. That means no flash fiction, and no novels. Also, no novel excerpts will be considered. No excerpts of any kind will be considered, actually. I want a complete, self-contained story.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted. I anticipate the submission process to be a long one, so I don’t mind if you submit to more than one place at once. Just make sure the other place(s) you submit your story to feel the same way.

Multiple submissions are accepted. If you only have one story to send, that’s fine. If you have three stories you would like to be considered, that’s fine too. I’m looking for the best wuxia stories I can find, so let me see all of them (well, all the good ones. Don’t submit the bad ones). You can have more than one story published in the anthology.

Previously published stories are accepted. The best stories might not be the newest stories. If your story has been published before, such as in a magazine or on a blog, then you can still send it to me. If it’s a great wuxia story then I want to showcase it to the English-reading world in this anthology. It would be silly to say no just because another magazine had published it already.

What will the submission process be like?

First, write a great story. Edit/rewrite/revise that great story. Make sure someone besides you reads it, so you can be sure it’s good. Then submit it to me, via the form below. Your story will then be sent to me. When I open your submission to read your story you will receive an email saying so. At this point, wait for a bit. How long the wait will be is unknown. If I immediately am not interested in the story, then you will receive a rejection notice pretty soon, probably no more than a week after I start reading it.

If I like your story, then prepare to wait longer. If your story is a “maybe” then I will put it under consideration and you will receive an email saying so. This will likely be the longest wait period, and I can’t begin to say how long that could be. I want to find the best stories, but that could take a while. I’m sure some of the best stories haven’t been written yet as I type this. So hang tight. That’s why simultaneous submissions are allowed. I will update this website frequently to let everyone know how the selection process is going, so you can keep up with my progress that way.

Eventually, I will either accept your story or reject it. If your story is rejected, you will get an email saying so. If it is accepted, you will get an email saying your story has been accepted.

How much does this thing pay?

1-5 cents per word, depending on how much money I raise for the project. I would like to be able to pay everyone 5 cents a word, but that means I would have to raise $5,550 USD. Here’s hoping. But for the purposes of deciding if you want to submit a story to me, plan on 1 cent per word. That’s probably the most realistic guess. Tell everyone you know about this project and ask them to donate so there will be more money to pay the writers.

What rights are you seeking?

Anthology rights. That means I’m buying your story for the purpose of publishing it in an anthology. The anthology will be printed, and it will also be available in electronic format. This anthology will be published globally, so I will be seeking permission to publish it everywhere. However, aside from the print and online versions of the anthology, I don’t want anything else from you. You are and will remain free to publish your story anywhere else you want. You retain the rights to your story; you’re just giving me permission to publish it in my anthology and sell it globally in print and in electronic formats.

I’m not seeking First-anything rights. Even if this anthology is the first place your story will be published.

Wait, there is one more thing I want. I want the exclusive right to publish your story. Meaning that your story can’t be published at the same time as my anthology is published. Obviously, if it’s already been published then that’s fine, but you can publish it anywhere else new while I’m publishing it in my anthology. I am seeking exclusive rights to publish your story for three months after the publication of the anthology. So once the anthology has been out for three months, you can publish your story anywhere you please.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Michigan's Anti-Bullying Legislation

Another example of why I love Jim Hines. Michigan is working to pass an anti-school-bullying law that has a specific exception in it for religious bullies:


Wow. So if you can sincerely tell a kid that his two dads are going to burn in hell, that's just fine, carry on.

Click through the link above to read the whole thing. My favorite part is Jim's summation at the bottom:

1. Bullying is not okay. Period.

2. Freedom of religion does not give you the right to physically or verbally assault people.

3. If your sincerely-held religious beliefs require you to bully children, then your beliefs are fucked up.

Especially number three.

I've added the whole set to Goodreads quotes; feel free to like it if you're on Goodreads and you agree.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Free Books as Promotion

Kris Rusch has a new The Business Rusch chapter up on setting e-books temporarily free as promotion. This chapter was sparked by the kerfuffle over James Crawford's Kindle book mistakenly (it seems) being set to free on Amazon because an excerpt of a few chapters with (it seems) the same title was being given away for free over on the B&N Nook site.

Kris talks about what happened and how it was reported (and has some fairly harsh criticism for the reportage about the incident), but of even more interest, she tells about what happened when one of her own novels was recently set to free for a while by the publisher without her knowledge. Mr. Crawford is incensed at the results of his unwillingly free book, but Kris is delighted with hers. She discusses what the difference was, and why the give-away worked so well for her and so badly for Mr. Crawford. The mechanisms and strategies she discusses are very useable by self-pub writers who have the freedom to mess with their own prices as they choose. Check it out.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Stuff

Words: 27,412 = 12 pts.
Submissions: 2 = 2 pts.
TOTAL = 14 pts.

Koala Challenge 9

Awesome writing this month, and hopefully I'll do better for NaNo. [crossed fingers] Twice as many subs as last month [cough] but still waiting on several slow markets.

One more new thing that happened just today (okay, yesterday -- pre-midnight) was that Google forced the Google Reader (which I use to read RSS feeds) into their new format. Which is fine, I like the old look better but whatever, except that you can't just "like" a post now. You have to "+1" it via that Google+ thing, which attaches your real name to it. :/ And like an idiot, I actually put my real name when I created the account, way back when only you saw your account information. I don't particularly want my legal name to be attached to everything I do online -- I write under my pen name for a reason -- so I can't help promote people's web posts anymore without outing myself. Lovely.

I followed the brangling over Google's refusal to allow pseudonyms a few months back when they started up Google+, but it was academic at the time. I agreed that Google's making a huge mistake (and a distastefully self-righteous mistake at that) but since I had no interest in using Google+, it didn't affect me. Well, now it does. Wow, thanks Google. :/

On the writing front, I'm doing NaNo this month, for the first time since 2008. In '09 and '10 I was working on large projects in November that had less than 50K words left to go and I didn't want to derail them to break off and do NaNo, maybe losing momentum, so I just skipped. This year, I'm this close to finishing the second Sentinels novel, like maybe two more chapters after the one I'm on, and I've been in a great writing groove, so I figured I can do both. That is, my NaNo book this year will be the third Sentinels novel, which I'll be starting as soon as I'm done here, but I'll be finishing the second one at the same time. I figure it shouldn't take more than a week or maybe two [crossed fingers] even working around my 1667/day on Book Three.

I'm thinking this should work well because:

1) I'm used to switching back and forth between projects; that's how I keep writing when I'm blocked on a project but not on writing all together
2) The books are related, taking place in the same verse, and with some overlap characters
3) They're even mostly concurrent, since most of the gang heads up to Seattle a few chapters into Book Two while Manny (the protag of Book Three) stays home to hold the fort and has an adventure of his own.

So it's almost like writing one book anyway, right? We'll see. :D

Anyone else doing NaNo this year?