Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Death of Publishing -- The Sequel

Ellen F. Brown posted a great article over at Bloomberg -- Why Book Publishing Can Survive Digital Age: Echoes, where she talks about some of the other times innovation was about to kill publishing.

Then came the "paperback revolution." According to Publishers Weekly, word spread at the 1939 American Booksellers Convention that "some reckless publisher" was going to bring out a series of paperback reprints of popular novels to be sold for only a quarter a piece. The industry was equal measures aghast at the nerve of such a plan -- American readers had proved notoriously resistant to paperbacks -- and terrified that it might succeed. Major publishers fretted that, if the books proved popular, the reprints would kill hardcover sales of the featured titles. Most booksellers refused to stock the series, unwilling to compete with their existing inventories of full-priced books.

And later:

The real test of the industry's mettle came in 1949 when Fawcett Publications announced a new series of 25-cent paperback originals. A vigorous debate arose over the propriety of original work being released in such an inexpensive format. Mainstream publishers predicted that paperback originals would undermine the entire structure of publishing and threatened to blackball agents who negotiated contracts with Fawcett. Critics said quality authors would never be interested in selling their new work at such a low price and that the series would only be able to offer books unworthy of publication.

Wow. Change "paperback" to "e-book" and this could be a commentary on contemporary publishing. Industry pushback? Check. Fear that the new format would kill hardcover sales? Check. Insistence that quality authors would never stoop to publishing their work in the new format and it would only offer garbage otherwise unpublishable? Check.

Publishing survived paperback reprints, and later paperback originals. It'll survive e-books, too. Maybe not in exactly the same form, but then the modern publishing business -- even the New York end of it -- isn't exactly like it was in 1939 or 1949, either. Even before e-books arrived in the mainstream a few years ago, it was already very different.

I disagree with her suggestion toward the end that we need editors, agents and booksellers to "cull" the books for us -- my bet is that reviewers, both pro and amateur, will take on that job without pushing up the price of the books themselves -- but I think she has a calm and rational view of the big picture. I wish more people would look at the history and stop predicting the death of publishing. Folks have already been there, flailed at that, looked silly afterward.

Thanks to Passive Guy for linking.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is the Writing Enough?

One of the writing blogs I subscribe to is Camille Laguire's The Daring Novelist. She doesn't talk about how-to or logistics or the business and such with every post, but it's worth watching her blog for when she does, because when her posts head in that direction, they're always worth reading.

On Monday she got down to the heart of the matter and discussed whether this writing thing is worth it. She said, in part:


The thing that got me fretting over this was the subtext of something a young writer said to me the other day. I was advocating the idea of devoting a couple of years to just writing -- no marketing, no business, just getting books done -- so that you'd have 5 or 10 books in hand to launch your career.

The response, to me, was shocking and a little heart-breaking: But what if that first book is a failure? Why waste several years of hard writing work before you even know if the market will like your stories?

The implication -- within context -- was that writing is a waste of time if you're not successful at it NOW. Write one book, then if if flies, write more later. If it doesn't fly, then it's a waste of time to do this writing thing.

If you wanted to be a doctor, would you start out by setting up a clinic during your first year of medical school, and base your decision on whether to become a doctor on how successful your clinic was? Shouldn't you be more interested in finding out whether you enjoy the work, or whether you can handle the workload? Shouldn't you be looking at grades and feedback from instructors to judge whether you're any good at it -- not the dollars you make at it?

Look, if you want to be a writer, you've got to love to write. That's what you will be doing, day in and day out. Writing writing writing. If you want to know if you can weather the hard times in a writing career, and if it's "worth it" you don't start with whether you can reach a bestseller list or win a Pulitzer.

You start with whether you can walk the walk.


I think this is something every writer has to think about at some point. Is it worth it? We've all heard the one about how so many writers don't actually want to write, but rather they want to have written. That circles around the point, but Camille gets right to the center of it. Is writing enough? Do you enjoy the writing more than anything else? More than being published, more than getting checks, more than reading great reviews or getting praise and cookies and fansquee from readers?

All those other things can be fun and satisfying, and I think everyone enjoys some ego stroking whether they admit it or not, but if you don't love the writing more than any of the other things, then really, is it worth it? If what you're really after is praise and recognition, there are easier ways to get that. If you're in it for the money, there are definitely easier ways to get that. When everything else dries up, or if you never get any of the other things however hard you try, the writing itself has to be enough. If it's not, you'll probably find it hard to stick with the writing long enough to give the rest of it a decent chance of finding you.

Read the rest of Camille's post -- it's good stuff.


Friday, February 10, 2012

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.

Note that King David and the Spiders from Mars has had its deadline pushed back to 31 March, and the advance has been doubled.

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out The Old Weird South, Triangulation, Bibliotheca Fantastica, King David and the Spiders from Mars, Campfire Tales, Mark of the Beast, Horror Library, Mortis Operandi, the Fantastic Stories Anthology, and the Wuxia Anthology.

Note on UNTIL FILLED listings: Starting next month, any UNTIL FILLED anthology that's been open for over a year and hasn't had any significant activity from the editor -- activity easily findable by a writer who checks back to the original call post -- for over a year will be dropped from the listings. From now on I'll be noting in the listing header when I first posted an UNTIL FILLED call. If something you're still interested in is about to fall off the listings, make sure you bookmark it.


29 February 2012 -- In Plain Sight -- Storm Moon Press

Expected Release: July 13, 2012
Genres: Any [Romance -- any subgenre which conforms to the requirements below]
Pairings: Bisexual
HEA or HFN Ending Required? Yes

For the men and women of In Plain Sight, mistaken identity is the story of their lives. They are the assassins, theives, spies, and double agents of the world, and nothing is as it seems around them. They might lead one completely mundane life, but the other side of their life that they keep hidden would shock anyone who catches a glimpse from the outside.

In this anthology, we’re looking for short stories featuring bisexual characters (male or female) who lead two lives, one in plain sight, and the other in the shadows. High action isn’t required, but we’re want to see something exciting with a bit of shock value if it is suddenly revealed to another character. After all, discovering your lover is an assassin or double agent has a different effect than discovering they’re secretly a part-time florist.

The level of their deception to their loved ones is up to you, but you can play with them having different families, a lover they try to keep safely tucked away, or a couple they date who is just as bad-ass as they are if trouble comes calling. They can have old flames they never quite allow to extinguish or business contacts they have flings with on the side. One way or another, their bisexuality must be shown, rather than just hinted at, so make sure they have erotic involvements on both sides of the coin.

Authors will receive royalties as well as an initial payment of $50 for their story. This payment is not an advance and does not have to be earned out before royalties are paid. Royalties on individual e-book releases will be 50% of cover price on direct sales through Storm Moon Press' e-store, and 40% of cover price minus distribution costs for sales through third party vendors. In addition, authors will receive the same percentage royalty on sales of the anthology e-book divided equally among the authors, as well as 25% of cover price on direct sales of the print anthology through Storm Moon Press' e-store, and 20% of cover price minus distribution costs for sales through third party vendors, also divided equally among all authors. All royalties will be paid quarterly.


1 March 2012 -- The Old Weird South -- Q&W Publishers

The American South is a haunted place — full of ghost stories, native legends, persistent devils & angels, souls sold at the crossroads, and moon-eyed maidens living in the Okefenokee. The South’s best writers — Faulkner, O’Connor, McCullers — all keep this sense of the otherworldly in their fiction.

In this spirit, Q & W Publishers is looking for submissions for an anthology of short fiction and non-fiction that explores the fantastic, eerie, and bizarre side of the American South.

What To Submit -- Submit fiction and non-fiction pieces between 1,000 and 4,000 words. Pieces should be grounded in the American South (any time period, pre-historic to modern; rural or urban) and should include elements of the fantastic / supernatural that come from Southern history, tradition, or folklore. Generic vampire and werewolf stories aren’t appropriate. While violence, gore, and eroticism may be part of your submission, they should not be the primary focus — let’s keep it more PG-13 than R-rated. Submissions must be previously unpublished.

Payment -- Payment is $50 per accepted piece. Q & W Publishers will acquire the first publication rights for the piece; all other rights remain with the author. Authors with accepted pieces will also receive one free copy of the published anthology. The anthology may appear in electronic and printed form.

How to Submit -- Please submit your piece to anthology@qwpublishers.com. Send a brief introduction and your piece in the body of the e-mail. Include “Anthology” and the title of the piece in the subject line of your e-mail.

Timeline -- Submissions will be accepted until March 1st, 2012. Inclusion decisions will be made by April 1st, 2012.


15 March 2012 -- Triangulation: Morning After -- ed. Steve Ramey, Parsec Ink.

Triangulation is an annual 125-150+ page short fiction anthology that publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and any other speculative fiction that caught the editors' fancy. Every year we have a theme: 2012's theme is "Morning After". We pay for the work we select and are available online at places like Amazon.com. We're a small outfit but we work hard to produce a quality product.

We define "short fiction" as "up to about 5,000 words or so." We have no reason to impose hard arbitrary word limits, but we are interested in publishing a wide variety of entertaining and literate stories, so the more space a story would take, the more it will need to impress us. If you have an awesome story that exceeds 5K then by all means send it; but be warned that we have yet to accept anything for publication much longer than 5000 words.

We dig flash; there is no minimum word count.

We have no interest in getting more specific about the term "speculative fiction." Science fiction, horror, fantasy, magic realism, alternate history, whatever -- if there's a speculative element vital to your story, we'll gladly give it a read.

We love creative interpretations of our theme, "Morning After". Don't ask us what it means -- tell us what it means with a story that convinces us you're right.

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

We will run mature content if we like the story. So make sure there's an actual story in that mature content.

We will consider reprints, but our focus is on original stories. We are unlikely to accept a reprint that is less than astounding, or one that has appeared in a major market, or is currently widely available online.

We do not publish poetry. Sorry.

No fanfic, even if it's fanfic of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain.
No thinly-disguised transcripts of roleplaying sessions, no settings obviously based on D&D or other such games. Don't get us wrong, we love to game ourselves -- which means our imaginations are probably too cluttered with elves and dwarves and orcs and the like as it is.

The submission period is January 1, 2012 through March 15, 2012. All electronic submits must be sent within that period, all snail mail submits must be postmarked by the deadline.

We pay a flat $15 (USA funds) on publication against royalties and provide one contributor's copy. The anthology will be published in late July of 2012. We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for the downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication. Contributors will also have the option of purchasing additional copies of the anthology at reduced price.

How To Submit:
Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submishmash (see SUBMIT link below). If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submishmash, you will have to create an account with them. It’s free.

We'll consider stories in the following formats:
== .doc or .docx (MS Word)
== .rtf (Rich Text Format -- generic document format that most word processors can create)
== .odt (OpenDocument Text -- format used by the OpenOffice.org suite)

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

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

Triangulation 2012
312 N Beaver St.
New Castle PA 16101

No hand-written manuscripts. We gotta draw the line somewhere.

No multiple submissions; only send us one story at a time. No simultaneous submissions, don't send it to us if someone else is already considering it.

Expect to hear back from us within a month. Feel free to start sending us nagging emails if you haven't heard from us after two months.


31 March 2012 -- Picking Up the Pieces -- Storm Moon Press

Expected Release: August 3, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy
Pairings: Bisexual
HEA or HFN Ending Required? No

The world has ended. No, it wasn’t the zombies. It wasn’t even by supernatural forces (aliens, vampires, religious/The Rapture, etc). What happened is up to you, but for this anthology, we’re looking for natural causes such as meteors, viruses, technology going haywire, or even nuclear winter. Whether you send the survivors into the wild or up into space, Picking Up the Pieces is the perfect opportunity to explore the major shifts of society and sexuality while putting a focus on bisexuality in particular.

We’re looking for short stories that show characters dealing with the fall-out after the apocalypse. This can include a restructuring of gender roles, bisexuality becoming a necessity due to one sex being nearly wiped out, etc. Be creative and show us your best bisexual characters struggling to survive and find a bit of romance at the same time.

Authors will receive royalties as well as an initial payment of $50 for their story. This payment is not an advance and does not have to be earned out before royalties are paid. Royalties on individual e-book releases will be 50% of cover price on direct sales through Storm Moon Press' e-store, and 40% of cover price minus distribution costs for sales through third party vendors. In addition, authors will receive the same percentage royalty on sales of the anthology e-book divided equally among the authors, as well as 25% of cover price on direct sales of the print anthology through Storm Moon Press' e-store, and 20% of cover price minus distribution costs for sales through third party vendors, also divided equally among all authors. All royalties will be paid quarterly.


31 March 2012 -- Bibliotheca Fantastica -- ed. Claude Lalumière and Don Pizarro, Dagan Books

What we want: Stories having to do with lost, rare, weird, or imaginary books, or any aspect of book history or book culture, past, present, future, or uchronic. Any genre. Although the fantastical is not essential per se, stories should evoke a sense of the fantastic, the unknown, the weird, wonder, terror, mystery, pulp, and/or adventure, etc.

Originals only, no reprints. No simultaneous submissions. Accepting stories of up to 10,000 words in length. We will accept two submissions per author.

We will accept submissions from December 15, 2011, at noon EST, to midnight EST on March 31, 2012. We are taking submissions through an automated system that will not allow you to submit before December 15, but the link to do so will appear here: http://daganbooks.submishmash.com/submit

Dagan Books is paying 2 cents per word for each accepted story, plus contributor copies. Bibliotheca Fantastica will be available in both print and ebook, and is scheduled to be published Fall 2012.


31 March 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: $100 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 - gmail.com


1 April 2012 -- Masks Off! -- Torquere Press

Everyone loves a masquerade, right? The masks, the mystery, the seduction of the reveal! Now imagine a masquerade with an extra layer: some of the men wear a mask beneath their mask. They're shapeshifters. Be they cats or canines, dragons or foxes, all shifters are welcome, as long they don't forget to wear a mask.

We’re looking for sexy, romantic male/male tales for Masks Off! In which at least one partner is a shifter. Light BDSM is welcome, but is not mandatory. Stories should be between 5000 and 12000 words long, and should be submitted in full and include a synopsis and author biography in the cover letter. Please put your name or pseudonym in the manuscript as well as in your submission email.

Send submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Masks Off! in the subject line. Payment is a $50.00 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, and a print copy of the book. No reprints, please. Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2012 for an August 2012 publication.


17 April 2012 -- Campfire Tales -- Cool Well Press

Think back to when you were a kid and your family went camping. Late in the evening, you would sit next to the crackling campfire, burning popcorn, and getting sticky from making Smores. The night sounds were all around you—the haunting call of loons on the nearby lake, the gentle lap of water against the dock, the chirping crickets, the scuffling and thumping of animals moving around in the forest. Dad would lean back in his camp chair and start to tell stories. Dad was a pretty animated piece of work, especially when he was trying to scare you. He would often tell tales from legends he'd heard about when he was a kid. Stories about Big Foot, the evil Puckwudgies, giant thunderbirds, huge lake monsters, fiendish witches and nasty shape shifters. Dad always had a story, and after he told it, you laid awake in your sleeping bag all night, listening...

COOL WELL PRESS is opening a call for submissions for their new young adult anthology, CAMPFIRE TALES, to be published in July 2012. We want your best campfire tales based on legends and lore from all over the world. Stories may be set in any era or locale, and is targeted for 11 to 15 year old readers. No sexually explicit stories. These should have a paranormal flare and be 2,500 to 5,000 words. Deadline is April 17, 2012. Please follow the submission guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Send completed submission to denise@coolwellpress.com and mark the subject of the email as CAMPFIRE TALES.

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.


1 May 2012 -- Mark of the Beast -- ed. Scott David Aniolowski, Chaosium, Inc.

Author and Editor Scott David Aniolowski is now accepting submissions for MARK OF THE BEAST; New Legends of the Werewolf, an anthology of werewolf tales to be published in late 2012 by Chaosium, Inc.

Werewolves have recently become very big in pop culture, thanks to the popularity of certain young adult novels and their movie adaptations. Unfortunately, our lycanthropic friends are now being portrayed as pouty, angsty, shirtless hunky teens, instead of savage, bestial figures from folklore and nightmares. It is my goal to assemble stories that put the horror back into the werewolf.

There are countless variations on the werewolf legend from around the world and throughout history. The more common causes for lycanthropy include being bitten by a wolf or werewolf, cursed by a Gypsy or witch, a family curse, donning an enchanted pelt, imbibing potions or poisons, selling your soul to the devil, falling from religious grace, etc. Some werewolves change from human to giant wolf – some to hybrid wolf-men. And the infliction strikes at various times, depending upon the legend: during a full moon, while under great emotional stress, when the pelt is worn or potion drank – or even at will – etc. Some werewolves are aware of their condition and remember everything when they change – others have no knowledge whatsoever, or experience memories as “nightmares”. Some are solitary – others live in packs. Silver kills some werewolves but not all. Clinical Lycanthropy is a real mental disorder wherein the sufferer believes he or she is a werewolf. And so on….

I want authors to explore different legends and aspects of the werewolf stories, and just about any genre is acceptable (Gothic horror, quiet horror, sci-fi, cyberpunk, splatter, psychological, Victorian London, the old west, folklore/urban legend, etc. -- NO HUMOR -- SERIOUS HORROR STORIES ONLY!) as long as the underlying theme is HORROR! Pop culture has turned the werewolf into dreamy poster boys and romance novel figures (don’t believe me? Browse Amazon.com and see for yourself how many werewolf romance novels there are!). I want to give the werewolf his balls back! I want to make him a figure of terror and nightmares again.

HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART: Send submissions in MS Word doc. or rtf. files. Basic formatting: single spaced, aligned left, no tabs (double space between paragraphs ONLY), no page numbering, no headers or footers, etc. Considering short-shorts/flash fiction up to 8,000ish words. Poetry is okay, as well. Reprints will be considered only if they have previously appeared in very limited run publications (indicate previous publication along with date and approximate circulation). Payment is 3 cents a word for new works (possibly less for reprints), and 5 contributor copies of the published book. Publication will be in trade paperback format with an estimated release of late 2012. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2012. DO NOT SEND ME RUN-OF-THE-MILL, STANDARD OR TYPICAL WEREWOLF STORIES. I WANT TO SEE SOMETHING NEW AND FRESH AND EXCITING!


UNTIL FILLED -- Horror Library, Vol. 5 -- Cutting Block Press ** Over a year old -- will be deleted next month

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 horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

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 horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

[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 ** Over a year old -- updated by the editor Jan 2012

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 ]] theharrowpress.com
==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 ** First Posted April 2011

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 ** First Posted July 2011

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 submit@blueblood.net 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 ** First Posted July 2011

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.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Step Toward Gay Marriage in Washington

Per an article in the Seattle Times the Washington State Senate has passed "Senate Bill 6239 [which] defines marriage as between two persons, rather than between a male and a female." The bill still has to pass the House, which isn't expected to be difficult.

I'm not celebrating yet. The bigots are lining up to push through a referendum, so we'll probably be voting on this in November. Like California, Washington has a focused, attention-getting liberal area centered on Seattle and the Puget Sound area, but much of the state, particularly east of the Cascades, is very rural and very conservative. And I'm sure the Mormon Church is getting ready to send money by the truckload for the No-Gay-Marriage campaign, just like they did in California.

Unlike California, Washington won't let gay couples marry until it's clear whether or not there'll be a referendum. "Under state law, opponents have 90 days from the end of the session to collect 120,577 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. The regular session ends March 8." If the referendum doesn't make the ballot, gay couples could start marrying in June. If it does, they have to wait until the results of the November election.

I'm hoping, but I'm not sure or even terribly confident about what's going to happen. Or rather, I'm sure the bill will pass the house, but I'm also pretty sure the bad guys will get the referendum on the ballot, and I'm not betting on what'll happen in November.

Bigots are howling that it should be up to the vote of the people, but they don't seem to remember that segregation wasn't voted down in the South, and the legal bans on mixed race marriage weren't voted down either. Or maybe they do, and that's the problem.

Civil rights are rights and shouldn't be subject to vote. You shouldn't be able to vote to take away your neighbor's rights, and they shouldn't be able to vote to take away yours. It's frustrating how many people forget that when the rights belong to someone else, someone they hate, someone they'd just as soon stuff under a rock. (Literally -- one idiot in the comment thread to the above-linked article wants to put all the gay people on Alcatraz. [eyeroll])

"Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, argued the measure is a civil-rights bill and that putting it on the ballot would subject the rights of minorities 'to the whims of the majority.'" Exactly.

Anyway, it's a step in the right direction. The bill will likely pass the House, and then starting March 8, the bigots will be out stumping for signatures. I'm sure they'll get them easily, although I'd be delighted to be wrong about that. The real battle will be in November. Good wishes now and in November will be greatly appreciated.


January Stuff


Writing -- 6717 words = 2 pts.
Editing -- 12,995 words = 2 pts.
Submissions -- 3 = 3 pts.
Betaed Novel for Friend -- 1 = 1 pt.
TOTAL = 8 pts.

Koala 8

The writing total is pitiful, especially considering how I did October through December. In my own defense, I'll say that I had TWO laptops in a row get borked out from under me. The first one's still a doorstop and the second one was only fixed (sort of -- it was fixed by turning off the TAP function on the touchpad completely) a few days before the end of the month. Still sucks.

The good news is that the time I spent not writing I spent (among other things) thinking about how the book was going, and I realized that approaching the ending action realistically wasn't working for me. :P I'm usually all about doing things right, but there's a volcano involved [cough] and the idea that the boys could just sort of magic an about-to-erupt volcano back into stable peace and quiet was pretty boggling. I've done some volcano research for this storyline, and I decided that they were able to prevent things from getting any further, but so far as it'd been stirred up already, it still was, and things were going to proceed apace, with tremors and news bulletins and alerts and some eventual lahars hitting a few small communities. Which is what would happen if Mt. Rainier had a significant but not catastrophic (that is, far short of Mount St. Helens) eruption event. Everyone around here has volcano insurance, and there are signs posted in dangerous areas pointing out volcano escape routes to take in case you have to evacuate; there's plenty of info on what'd likely happen and what people would do.

The problem is that this doesn't happen all at once, boom, like someone setting off a bomb. I had some other loose ends to clean up, and I did that, while the characters kept an eye and an ear on the volcano news on TV. But still, the wrap on the characters' active participation in the eruption was the action climax of the book, and I had several chapters written after that, with at least one or two more to go. All of that was, literally, anti-climax from the POV of the built up action/danger thread of the story, and the longer it got, the more draggy it felt. I could just see readers getting bored and impatient.

So I ripped out almost 10K words and decided to handle it differently. They needed to really wrap up the volcano problem right there, and I came up with a way to get it done without giving the characters a ridiculously huge amount of power. Now I still need to wrap up those other threads ASAP, but at least the volcano thing isn't draaaaaagging out like it was. Once I've written to the end, I need to go back and tweak a couple of things I've thought of as I've progressed, but that shouldn't take incredibly long. Then it's into submission and back to work on the next book, the one I did 50K of for NaNo.


I also have to write a short story for my upcoming Anthology Workshop; the assignment for that is due any time now, and I'm looking forward to getting it. This should be fun. :)

I'm doing one of the workshops Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch put on each year, and I'm pretty excited about it. It runs in early March, and I'll definitely be blogging about it when I get home. For the anthology workshop, we get a theme assignment in advance (like RSN) and we submit a story for it, as if we were submitting to an antho. When we get to the workshop, several professional anthology editors will tell us whether they'd have bought our story and exactly why or why not. We also have an option to write another story and submit it while at the workshop, and get feedback on that one as well.

This kind of info should be gold, seriously. I've been getting a lot of "Good story, well written, not buying it, enjoyed reading it, looking forward to seeing more from you" type rejections in the last year or two, and while they're an order of magnitude better than the "Thank you for thinking of us but this doesn't meet our needs" type, it's still frustrating. I feel like I'm standing right on the threshold, and there's some key thing I'm missing that's preventing me from stepping over. I'm hoping to get the information I need to take that step when I do the workshop.

Anthology Listings

Thanks to everyone who answered my questions about "Until Filled" anthologies. Taking feedback from folks in the three places I posted that query, I've decided that what I'm going to do is include all the Until Filled anthos in the next posting, in just over a week, with notations showing how long each one has been open (or how long I've been aware of it -- close enough) and which ones are being dropped. Anyone still interested can bookmark the page the antho call is on, but after this month I'm dropping anything that's been hanging open with no progress posts from the editor in a year or more. That means no update posts, no update edits on the original post, no replies to comments on the original post, for a year. I think that's more than reasonable, and feedback indicated that most folks who'd sub to an Until Filled antho at all were less likely to sub to one that'd been hanging for a long time. So one more month to let people bookmark what they want, and then I'm going to prune the listings.

If you're an editor of an Until Filled anthology and I drop your listing because I missed an update post or something similar, feel free to e-mail me at angiebenedetti AT gmail DOT com with a link to your update. As always, final decisions about what to include on the listing are mine, but if I've missed something, I want to know about it. (And note that I always check the Until Filled posts when I'm prepping a new post -- if there's no link to your update on that original post, or if it's buried somewhere hard to spot, maybe that's a problem. If you want submissions, especially on older projects, make it easy for writers to find your updates.)