Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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

NOTE: Hidden Youth's deadline has been pushed back to 31 July.


30 April 2015 -- Unidentified Funny Objects 4 -- ed. Alex Shvartsman

Unidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. UFO4 Headliners include George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, Piers Anthony, Mike Resnick, Karen Haber, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt, Jody Lynn Nye.

For UFO4 we’re specifically seeking dark humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2015 [NOTE: They don't specifically say, but this usually means that any submissions received before the beginning of the submission period will be trashed unread.]

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.

PAYMENT: $0.07 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request image descriptiona check.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile and/or subjects already covered by one of the headliners. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

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


See the UFO Publishing About Us page

OUR PROCESS: Each submission will be read and considered by 3 editors. They will read blind — they won’t have access to author names or publishing history. Any story with 2+ “yes” votes will be advanced to the second round, where all editors will read it. Stories that are well-received by the full editorial board will advance to the third and final round of consideration. At that point we’ll ask to hold your story until mid- to late May, when final decisions will be made.

We are writers ourselves and understand the value of prompt communication. You will be notified of each step, if and when your story advances.

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


These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile and/or subjects already covered by one of the headliners. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

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


See the UFO Publishing About Us page

OUR PROCESS: Each submission will be read and considered by 3 editors. They will read blind — they won’t have access to author names or publishing history. Any story with 2+ “yes” votes will be advanced to the second round, where all editors will read it. Stories that are well-received by the full editorial board will advance to the third and final round of consideration. At that point we’ll ask to hold your story until mid- to late May, when final decisions will be made.

We are writers ourselves and understand the value of prompt communication. You will be notified of each step, if and when your story advances.

[NOTE: click through for an explanation of what they consider "dark humor," and a FAQ.]


1 May 2015 -- The Lane of Unusual Traders -- Flash Fiction
31 May 2015 -- The Lane of Unusual Traders -- Short Stories
-- Tiny Owl Workshop

[NOTE: yes, this is kind of weird. It's a project accepting subs in two stages, and I thought posting it as two separate entries, with other stuff between them and the entire entry text below duplicated, would be more confusing and redundant.]

The story of Midlfell begins in a lane known only as The Lane of Unusual Traders (LoUTs).

To begin

Read the prologue developed by Brisbane author, Chris White. The prologue provides essential information to orient you to The Lane of Unusual Traders. You may also wish to check out the Midlfell Wiki started by LoUTs author Tom Dullemond; there's heaps of information about Stage 1 authors and their stories.

Next, take a look at the map of The Lane designed by illustrator, author and animator, Terry Whidborne. There are 13 Story Lots available in Stage 2.

The Story Lots coloured in blue are already taken.

Your options

Of the 13 Story Lots available:

== 6 Lots are allocated for flash fiction stories of no more than 500 words
== 7 Lots are allocated for short stories up to 3,000 words

Your task

So, this means you:

== choose a Story Lot you would like to write a story about
== decide whether you’d like to submit a flash fiction or short fiction piece
== begin writing.

Your task is to choose a Story Lot and write the story of your chosen Lot and its resident/s (if there are any). For instance, your Lot could be:

== a shop that sells short visits to 'the real world'
== a theatre known for its truly dreadful plays
== a bookshop that sells the souls of books burned by the Kraken (our evil guy, of course he burns books)
== a shambling, empty cottage where visitors find that poetry appears on the walls as they wander through.

Authors with stories included in Stage 1 may also submit stories for Stage 2.

The Rest of the Guidelines (you do need to read them)

The maximum length for flash fiction submissions 500 words,

The maximum length for short stories is 3,000 words, the minimum length is 1,500 words.

The audience you are writing for is adults or young adults (YA), although your protagonist may be a child.

There is no geographical restriction on entry although submissions must be in English.

Your submission must be formatted using a simple font, such as Times New Roman/Courier 11 pt. Submit as either a .doc/docx of rtf document, but contact us prior to the deadline if this is a problem.

Your name and contact details should only appear on the first page of the story.

The only thing that should appear in a header or footer is a page number.

Entrants may submit multiple stories, although each story must relate to the prologue.

Submissions must be sent via email to tinyowlworkshop [at] gmail [dot] com either on or before the due date.

Entries must be wholly the work of the entrant/s and must not have been previously published, in print or online (including websites, blogs, etc).

We will acknowledge receipt of your submission/s via email.

If accepted, where/how will my story be published?

Because of the nature of the project it's difficult to predict what stories will be submitted, what storylines may develop and how the stories submitted may fit together. The aim is to publish a Lane of Unusual Traders Annual (physical book format), BUT as we like to do things a little differently you may find your stories published on postcards, scrolls (of the parchment not bread variety), paper napkins or in some other form that presents itself and which fits the project. Tiny Owl Workshop will, however, negotiate this with authors prior to publishing.


While you, of course, retain copyright of your material this is a collaborative, world-building venture so you must be ready for other contributors to make reference to or interact with the characters you develop. This does not mean that Tiny Owl Workshop will permit other contributors to purloin or change your work and develop it as their own, merely that other contributors may reference your work in some way. E.g. Georgia strode by the rancid inn (a reference to Tiny Owl's own Lot 1) and on toward the fen.

Tiny Owl Workshop will keep, and publish, a schedule of who owns what as the story grows. This will also help us and contributors to keep track of intellectual property (IP).

Deadlines and Judgement

There are two deadlines:

== The deadline for flash fiction submissions is 1 May 2015.
== The deadline for short story submissions is 31 May 2015.

Entries will be judged by a panel of readers, enthusiasts, grammar pedants and writers. The judging panel may select up to 6 flash fiction stories, and up to 7 short stories.

Flash fiction entrants will be advised on the outcome of the judging process in early June 2015 and short story entrants will be advised on the outcome in early July 2015.

The panel's decision is final and, due to the number of submissions, feedback on unsuccessful submissions will not be given.

Payment for flash fiction stories accepted for publication is $60 (AUD).

Payment for short stories accepted for publication is $300 (AUD)

Where there are royalties, 10% of the profit pool will be shared by the Authors published in Stage 2.

Should you wish to withdraw a story you submitted before the close date, please contact us via email (otherwise we won’t know).

We can't make you read these guidelines, but we will assume that those submitting stories for consideration have read and understood them.


If you have any questions please contact Tiny Owl Workshop via Twitter @tinyowlworkshop or email tinyowlworkshop [at] gmail [dot]com or on Facebook.

BUT, make sure you've read the guidelines first, otherwise we can't be friends.


15 May 2015 [DO NOT SUBMIT UNTIL 18 April] -- Sword and Sorceress 29 -- ed. Elisabeth Waters

Stories should be the type generally referred to as "sword and sorcery" and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about. See Sword and Sorceress 22 through 28 (or S&S 1-20) for examples. We do not want stories with explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or profanity. We are NOT a market for poetry. We are willing to consider stories set in modern times (urban fantasy), but we won't buy more than one or two of those for the anthology. We always want something short and funny for the last story.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

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

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

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

Accepting Submissions from Saturday, April 18 to Friday, May 15, 2015. Stories received before or after this period will be deleted unread.

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

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

Formatting and Submission:

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

Please do not use a header or footer.

Your legal name, full mailing address, and email address must be in the upper left corner, single spaced.

Skip two lines, center the text, then put the title, with your name (or byline) on the next line. We're not going to be as rigid as MZB was about pen names, but we expect them to be reasonable, rather than cute.

The rest of the manuscript should be single-spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented 1/2 inch.

If you need to indicate a break, put "#" on a line by itself, centered.

Do not underline; use italics instead. Do not use bold face. We prefer Courier New font, size 12.

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

Save your document as an .rtf file (rich text format or interchange format, depending on what your computer calls it). E-mail as it as an attachment to mzbworks at gmail dot com. The subject line should be "SS30, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS30, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter.

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

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


31 May 2015 -- 2016 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide -- ed. Corie and Sean Weaver; Dreaming Robot Press

We’re looking for stories that:

==Have a main character that a middle grade reader (ages 9-12) can identify with;
==Show a diverse set of real characters;
==Are well written, fun to read and encourage a love of reading science fiction;
==Tell of adventure, space, science. Give us rockets, robots and alien encounters, and we’re pretty happy. Steampunk, time travel, weird west and alternate history are all fine.
==Are between 3,000 and 6,000 words.

We’re especially looking for stories:

==Of adventure! We love a good dystopia as much as the next robot, but remember – this is the young explorer’s adventure guide.
==Where the main character is of a population that has traditionally been under-represented in science fiction, e.g. girls, people of color, differently abled people;
==Where the main character has agency, exercises it, and isn’t just along for the ride.

We’re not interested in:

==Stories where the female characters primarily exist to be rescued or as a prize for the males;
==Stories where the primary plot or subplot is romantic in nature;
==Stories with graphic violence or any form of sexual activity;
==Stories about the first girl to do X, surprising everyone;
==Stories that depict any ethnicity or gender as universally bad or stupid.

Please note: although we’re aware kids have a wide and varied vocabulary, we’d prefer not to have swearing in the stories. If a story is selected for publication that has swear words, we’ll work with you to come up with alternatives.

Submission deadline, mechanics and planned schedule

==Anthology will be open for submissions from March 1, 2015 – May 31, 2015;
==While we prefer original stories, if you have something perfect that had a limited run elsewhere, query us and we’ll talk;
==Acceptance notices will be sent by July 1, 2015;
==July 14th will launch a crowd-funding campaign to help with pre-publication costs. Regardless of results of crowd-funding campaign, we are committed to publishing the anthology;

Rights and Payments

==Authors will be provided with a complete Anthology Contract for review and consideration with the notice of accepted submissions.
==In keeping with SWFA’s new guidelines, we pay $0.06/word on final edited word count for one-year exclusive worldwide rights, print and electronic, and two contributor copies. Payment upon final edit.
==We also buy the nonexclusive right to republish, print, or reprint the complete anthology in any language or format after the first year.
==If the crowd-funding fails, please note that we are still committed to this anthology, and will find other ways to fund the project. However, there may be delays. If authors feel the need to withdraw their submission due to delays, we understand.
==We will provide professional editing, primarily for issues of grammar and spelling.
==If authors have other questions about rights or payments, please contact us before submission. We want to make sure all concerns are addressed.

More questions? Check the full description page for last years anthology here. Have more questions? Contact us!

[NOTE: In case you're wary of crowdfunded books that haven't run their campaign yet, I had a story in last year's book and will vouch for the Weavers' professionalism. Their first Kickstarter campaign last year, in fact, failed, but they regrouped and ran another one and made their money. I was paid well in advance of publication -- a rare thing from any publisher -- and was very happy with how they handled their business. The contract offered was also very author-friendly, particularly in the case of the project completely failing, which is reassuring for people like me who are the sort to think, "What if these nice people get hit by a bus and their evil cousin Raymond inherits the business...?" Which is what everyone should think when deciding whether to sign a contract. So, good experiences, good contract, for whatever my recommendation is worth.]


31 May 2015 -- The Deep, Dark Woods -- ed. Christina Escamilla

What could possibly lurking in the woods? It’s up to you to find out! Craft the scariest, most diabolical story you can. Your tale can be a horror that is based around a central moral theme or it can be a straight up splatterpunk that is only meant to shock! We only care that your story is well crafted, original, and gives a new take on the mysterious forest trope.


== We are looking for both flash fiction of around 500 words to short stories up to 8,000 words.
== Submission period runs from March 10th until May 31st.
== Open internationally, but the manuscript must be in American English.
== There is no entrance fee.
== No reprints!!
== Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but you must immediately let us know if your story has been accepted elsewhere.
== Multiple submissions are allowed. Limit of two submissions per person, though only one will be accepted.
== The genre is horror, though any subgenre is acceptable.
== Adult language and sexual situations are acceptable; however, please do not send erotica.
== We obtain first publication rights to your story in both print and digital format. Keep in mind that upon acceptance and subsequent publication, your story will be considered a “reprint” by other markets, which can be limiting to future acceptance/payrate. Please consider this factor carefully before submission.


0.05 per word and a contributor copy of the book!


To submit, please send your story in proper manuscript format along with the following information to contests@christinaescamilla.com:

Author Name:
Word Count:

Your story MUST:

- Be in doc/docx format

- Your file should be: your last name followed by your first name and then title of your story.

Ex. EscamillaChristinaTheDeepDarkWoods.docx

- The following subject in your email: Submission: Title of Your Story. Ex.

Ex. Submission: The Deep, Dark Woods

[NOTE: Click through for a FAQ.]


31 May 2015 -- Hides the Dark Tower -- Pole to Pole Publishing

Tower. What comes to mind when you hear the word?

According to A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot: the tower in Egyptian hieroglyphics denotes the act of rising above the common level. It is a signal of ascent. In the Middle Ages, towers held the same symbolism as a ladder. Enclosed and walled in, a tower is emblematic of the Virgin Mary and can be found in many allegorical designs.

The athanor — the alchemists' crucible — was given the shape of a tower, since ascension often implies transformation and evolution. A tower can also be likened to man, the top-most windows seeming like eyes. It's from that sense that the Tower of Babel acquired the symbolic point as a wild endeavor bringing disaster to mankind. The Tarot's Tower card — depicting a tower being struck by lightning — echos this symbolism.

Yet Nietzsche found a dual symbolism in towers, descent as well as ascent. In Aurelia, Nervel says, "I found myself in a tower, whose foundations were sunk so deep into earth and whose top was so lofty, reaching up like a spire into the sky, that my whole existence already seemed bound to be consumed in climbing up and down it."

Where does the Hides the Dark Tower title come from?

What else should he be set for, with his staff?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travellers who might find him posted there,
And ask the road? I guess'd what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare,
If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Tower.

~ From Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, by Robert Browning

What do we want from you?

Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking original science fiction, fantasy and horror stories of 500-5000 words to be published in the Hides the Dark Tower anthology, slated for December 2015.

Query for reprints at submissions@poletopolepublishing.com. Tell us the publication history of the story and whether it’s available. You must be able to provide documentation that rights have returned (or will return to to you, by publication). (We'll ask for that if we accept your story.)

Edition and Rights

Hides the Dark Tower will be published in electronic and trade paperback in English. We are asking for exclusive, worldwide rights to your work for both electronic and print for six months.


Payment is 2 cents/word for new fiction, half-cent/word for reprints, paid at publication.

Bonus Royalties Multiplier: If the anthology "earns out," that is, recoups all up-front costs to produce, authors will receive a royalty-share payment based on word-length of their story, at six-months from date of publication.

Authors will receive a copy of both the electronic and trade paperback versions of the anthology.

Submission Procedures

Submit stories through the Pole to Pole Publishing Submission Manager only.

A brief cover letter should contain the length of your story, your publishing history, and any other relevant information (e.g, if you send us a time-traveler thriller and you've time-traveled, mention that).

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

Hides the Dark Tower is not accepting poetry. Please do not send poems. Poetry will be deleted without a response.

We do accept simultaneous submissions, but not multiple submissions. If you story is rejected, feel free to send another before the submission window closes.

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


1 June 2015 -- Blood in the Rain -- ed. Decilia DuValle and Mary Trepanier

For the vampire erotica anthology Blood in the Rain, available October 2015, we seek short stories of 2000–7000 words, preferably by Northwest authors—from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.

Your story must include both a vampire and an erotic element, but it doesn’t have to be a "true" vampire, whatever that is, and the vampire doesn’t have to be the story’s focus. Erotically, we’re open to anything from a sexy tease to hardcore porn. We encourage stories nonstereotypically including people who are LGBTQI (or A if you can make it work), people of color, and people any age above 18.

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

We pay on acceptance: 2.5 cents a word, with a minimum of $75.

See all the nitty-gritty details to submit.


30 June 2015 -- Ain't Superstitious -- Third Flatiron

Theme involving superstition, e.g., luck, prophecy, magic, rational and irrational thinking, Spinoza, dark times, black cats, Orpheus, the Flying Dutchman, Sleepy Hollow, Tam O'Shanter, astrology, witchcraft, etc.

Stories should be submitted in either Microsoft Word (using double spacing), RTF, or plain text. They should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Flash humor pieces (Grins and Gurgles) should be short, around 600 words.

Please don't send simultaneous or multiple submissions. If a story has been rejected, you can then send another.

Submit by email to flatsubmit@thirdflatiron.com either as an attachment (Word) or in the body of the mail (text).

In the Subject: line of the email, please put flatsubmit:Title_of_Your_Work to avoid being deemed a canned meat product based on ham.

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

Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the digital rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, beginning July 1, 2014, we will pay a flat rate of 6 cents per word (SFWA professional rate), in return for the permission to podcast or give the story away as a free sample portion of the anthology.

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

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

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


30 June 2015 -- The Spectral Book of Horror Stories 2 -- ed. Mark Morris; Spectral Press

Mark Morris says: "I’m pleased to announce that The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories is now open to submissions! Stories can be any length (though the preferred length is 2000-8000 words) and payment is £20 per 1000 words, up to a maximum of £100, which means that if you submit a story that’s over 5000 words it will be on the understanding that you’ll be giving us those additional words for free. The closing date for submissions is June 30th, and the book will be launched at FantasyCon in October. Due to the volume of stories I’m expecting to receive over the next few months it may take a while for me to get back to you, and my responses may, by necessity, be brief (I have my own writing deadlines to meet, after all). PLEASE NOTE: NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS AND NO REPRINTS!! All submissions should be sent to:


and stories should be double-spaced in a clear, readable font. There’s no theme for the anthology – all I’m looking for are well-written, original, disturbing stories that push my buttons. If you want further clues as to the kinds of stories I like, I recommend you buy and read a copy of the inaugural volume of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, which is available from Spectral Press. Thanks – and good luck!


31 July 2015 -- Hidden Youth (Long Hidden 2) -- ed. Mikki Kendall and Sofia Samatar; Crossed Genres

Crossed Genres Publications will publish Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History (expected release January 2016). Below are guidelines for submitting stories to Hidden Youth. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting.

Direct all queries to hyquestions@crossedgenres.com. Please do not query asking for an exception to the guidelines. Do not send story submissions via this email – see below for how to submit without using the form.

We welcome stories by authors from all walks of life. We especially encourage submissions from members of marginalized groups within the speculative fiction community, including (but not limited to) people of color; people who are not from or living in the U.S.A.; QUILTBAG and GSM people; people with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness; and atheists, agnostics, and members of religious minorities. The protagonists of your story do not have to mirror your own heritage, identities, beliefs, or experiences.

We also especially encourage short story submissions from people who don’t usually write in this format, including poets, playwrights, essayists and authors of historical fiction and historical romance.

Submissions are due April 30, 2015. If it’s still April 30 in your time zone, you’re good. Acceptance notices will be sent by October 1. The anthology is tentatively slated for a January 2016 release.

We pay USD 6¢/word for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. The author retains copyright. Payment is upon publication.

==Length: 2000-8000 words (FIRM)
==Your story must be set before 1935 C.E. (NO exceptions), and take place primarily in our world or an alternate historical version of our world. (Travel to other worlds, other dimensions, Fairyland, the afterlife, etc. is fine but should not be the focus.)
==Your protagonists must be young people (under the age of 18) who were marginalized in their time and place. By “marginalized” we mean that they belong to one or more groups of people that were categorically, systematically deprived of rights and/or economic power. Examples in most times and places include enslaved people, indigenous people, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, and people who do not share the local dominant religion, language, or ethnicity. Many people belong to multiple marginalized groups, and many are marginalized in some ways and privileged in others. Your story should acknowledge the complexity and intersectionality of marginalization.
==Your story must contain a significant element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the weird, without which the story would not work or would be a substantially different story.
==All submissions must be in English.
==Please note: while we are looking for stories about young people, this is not specifically a YA anthology. We are interested in work that will appeal to a broad audience.
==No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

We will not accept any story containing the following:

==Gratuitous or titillating depictions of violence.
==Gratuitous descriptions of bodies or body parts, or people described only in objectifying ways.
==Horror that relies on shocking or grossing out the reader.
==Stories that are all about how someone non-marginalized became an enlightened champion of marginalized people.
==A protagonist from a societally or technologically powerful group who happens to be temporarily or situationally powerless (e.g. a peasant who’s really a prince, a representative of the British East India Company shipwrecked on Ceylon).
==Depictions of marginalized people as being doomed to hopeless misery.
==Depiction of any group, no matter how powerful, as universally, inherently, or irredeemably evil.

If you decide to incorporate one or more of the following elements, please do so with caution and awareness of the ways that they can be problematic or difficult to write about.

==Violence, particularly sexual violence. We recognize that sexual violence is frequently used as a weapon against marginalized people, so we are not issuing a blanket prohibition against it, but please consider very carefully whether you need to include it in your story; and if you decide that you do, please consider very very carefully whether your story needs to show the violent act itself.
==Consensual sexual encounters. We’re not averse to sexual or erotic content, but it needs to further the story and incorporate awareness of the ways real-world power relationships affect sexual behavior and decision-making.
==Stereotypes and clich├ęs.
==Alternate history that drops magic powers or anachronistic technology into a historical setting.
==A protagonist who is the only marginalized person in the story.
==Revenge fantasies.
==A setting that’s already very commonly used in speculative fiction, especially one that’s often associated with stories featuring members of privileged/dominant/colonizing groups, e.g. Victorian England, the American “Wild West”.
==A rewrite of a common YA trope. No Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter reboots please. Yes that means we don’t want to see “If Bella was a Black girl in the 1800’s”.

Your story doesn’t need to have all these elements, but we’re especially interested in stories that have at least some of them.

==Accurate depictions of life on the margins.
==Thoughtful, sensitive incorporation of religion, superstition, and folklore.
==Depictions of historically accurate societal attitudes in the context of an authorial voice that does not condone or espouse bigotry. (For example, your female characters will probably have to deal with societal sexism, but your descriptions of them should not rely on sexist stereotypes.)
==An understanding of how economic, technological, political, and religious influences shape a time and place, especially in alternate historical settings.
==Research bibliographies and suggestions for further reading.
==Integration of friendships, family relationships, and community into the story.
==Protagonists who make conscious choices and take conscious action.
==Side characters who are real people.
==Personal triumphs and successes.
==Making us laugh, think, cheer, and weep.

To submit a story to Hidden Youth, please fill out the form [on our web page.] Be sure to:

==Address your submission “Dear Hidden Youth editors” or “Dear Ms. Kendall and Dr. Samatar” or “Dear Mikki and Sofia”. Include your story’s year and location at the beginning of your submission.
==Attach your story as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file, with your name, the story title, and the wordcount on the first page.
==There will be an email address to send submissions to if for any reason you’re unable to use the form.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to Get a Reprint Offer

So, back in December, I got an e-mail from John Joseph Adams, one of the better known anthology editors in SFF. He'd read my story "Staying Afloat," and wanted to know if he could have reprint rights for a climate fiction (CliFi) anthology coming out in 2015. I said "Heck yeah!" and we made a deal. The project was confidential for a while, but it's been announced, so I can talk about it now.

The word rate was good (twice what I've seen at a lot of reprint markets, plus potential royalties if the book sells well) and the contract is author friendly. What's important here, though, is that at the time Mr. Adams wrote to me, I had one (1) science fiction story in print -- this one. I was as much of a nobody as you can be while still being published in the genre, but my story came to the attention of a prominent editor. I had someone (who had plenty of options to choose from -- check out the TOC below) find me, and write to offer me money, out of the blue.

The take-away here is that you don't have to be famous or even well known to get subsidiary rights offers, but you do have to be findable. Dean talks about this periodically, about how you don't need an agent to get sub rights offers, but you need to have a very findable home online, with an obvious way to contact you. Whatever name you write under, that name needs to be easily found, and -- no matter how much you hate spam -- you need to have an e-mail address out there that folks who want to offer you money can use.

Don't wait until you've "made it" or are "established," or until you have a "reasonable" number of stories published, or until you've had some award nominations, or whatever bar you think you have to clear before anyone will be interested in offering you money and/or work. If you have a single story published, it can happen. Don't sabotage your own career by hiding.

And now for the book:

This is the definitive collection of climate fiction from John Joseph Adams, the acclaimed editor of The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy and Wastelands. These provocative stories explore our present and speculate about all of our tomorrows through terrifying struggle, and hope.

Join the bestselling authors Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nancy Kress, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jim Shepard, and over twenty others as they presciently explore the greatest threat to our future.

This is a collection that will challenge readers to look at the world they live in as if for the first time.


o Shooting the Apocalypse—Paolo Bacigalupi
o The Myth of Rain—Seanan McGuire
o Outer Rims—Toiya Kristen Finley
o Kheldyu—Karl Schroeder
o The Snows of Yesteryear—Jean-Louis Trudel
o A Hundred Hundred Daisies—Nancy Kress
o The Rainy Season—Tobias S. Buckell
o The Netherlands Lives With Water—Jim Shepard
o The Precedent—Sean McMullen
o Hot Sky—Robert Silverberg
o That Creeping Sensation—Alan Dean Foster
o Truth or Consequences—Kim Stanley Robinson
o Entanglement—Vandana Singh
o Staying Afloat—Angela Penrose
o Eighth Wonder—Chris Bachelder
o Eagle—Gregory Benford
o Outliers—Nicole Feldringer
o Quiet Town—Jason Gurley
o The Day It All Ended—Charlie Jane Anders
o The Smog Society—Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu & Carmen Yiling Yan)
o Racing the Tide—Craig DeLancey
o Mutant Stag at Horn Creek—Sarah Castle
o Hot Rods—Cat Sparks
o The Tamarisk Hunter—Paolo Bacigalupi
o Mitigation—Tobias Buckell & Karl Schroeder
o Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet—Margaret Atwood
AFTERWORD: Science Scarier Than Fiction—Ramez Naam


Amazon | Kindle
B&N | Nook
Other Retailers

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Workshop Stuff

I went kind of radio silent for a few weeks there -- sorry about that. I have things to post about, but I'm not going to dump it all at once. First is the Anthology Workshop I went to from late February through the first week in March. Great stuff as always. Anyone who has any interest in writing short fiction should try to get into one of these workshops some year. I think the 2016 Anthology Workshop still has space, or at least it's not marked as full yet. Click through and scroll down.

For anyone going "Huh?" right now, the Anthology Workshop is an intense week-and-a-bit on the Oregon coast with about forty writers and half a dozen editors. We get six anthology assignments ahead of time -- submission guidelines, like you'd see for any anthology -- starting right after the first of the year. Each assignment has a deadline a week away, and then we get the next one, boom-boom-boom, six stories due on six successive Sundays. You're not required to write for every book -- you can pick the ones you want -- but why wouldn't you? This is a great opportunity to submit work and then listen to a bunch of editors arguing over your stories. Oh, and possibly make some sales to Fiction River, as a nice bonus to eight days of learning.

Most of the workshop days are devoted to going over stories, one book's worth per day. They start at one end of the row of editors at the front of the room, and each editor says whether they'd have bought the story or not, and why or why not. The last editor is the one (or occasionally a pair, editing a book as a team) who's actually buying stories for the live anthology. There's a white board for each book, where BUY and MAYBE stories are listed, along with author and wordcount. Sometimes all the editors agree one way or the other, but usually not. The discussions back and forth between editors of differing opinions can be entertaining, and are always educational. That's really what it's all about -- seeing how and why different professional editors can and do disagree over a story, occasionally with snark or sarcasm involved. When we're done with all the stories, the editor(s) look at how many BUY stories they have, and if there isn't enough wordcount, they go through the MAYBE stories to finish building the TOC. Watching them do this is another great educational opportunity.

So each day, the editors go over one book's worth of stories. I always write for all the books, and so do a lot of the other attendees. Before this year, if a story was passed up, we were encouraged to sub it to some other pro market right away, but this time we were told not to. Good thing, too.

The six books we wrote for were, in scheduled publication order:

Hidden in Crime, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, a historical crime volume
Visions of the Apocalypse, edited by John Helfers, a book of stories taking place during (not just before or after) the end of the world
Last Stand, edited by Dean Wesley Smith and Felicia Fredlund, stories about characters making a final stand, and no, it's not all they-died-in-the-end stories :)
Superpowers, edited by Rebecca Moesta, a YA anthology about teenagers learning to cope with some kind of super power
Haunted, edited by Kerrie Hughes, an anthology of haunting stories
Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline, edited by Kevin J. Anderson, a book of short thrillers

Click through and scroll down a bit to see the up-coming anthology covers. Last I heard, they're planning to find new art for the Last Stand book, but the others are pretty set except for names on the covers.

I initially sold a story to Haunted, which is cool; I've worked with Kerrie before and am looking forward to working with her again. I missed with John's Apocalypse book, which was disappointing; I've sold stories to him the last two years, but this time I didn't quite hit what he was looking for. Dean hated my story for Last Stand, but Felicia liked it a lot. I honestly wasn't expecting to make it in there, but after going over all the stories, they did some horse trading between themselves and Dean got one he wanted that Felicia hadn't really cared for, and Felicia got mine. :) Kris teetered a bit on mine, but it didn't quite make it, which was disappointing, but I've never sold her anything before, so I was almost expecting it. Then on the last workshop day, she announced that someone not in the workshop who'd been invited to submit to the book, and who'd wanted a 10K word space saved for them, couldn't submit something after all, leaving Kris with a 10K word hole. She bought two extra stories after all, one of them mine, woot!

Now this year, there was an extra person sitting up front with the editors. Mark Leslie Lefebvre, AKA Mark the Kobo guy, was a student in the workshop last year. He stepped in and offered some Kobo support when a couple of editors had more stories they Really Really Wanted to buy, but which they didn't have room/budget for. Two of last year's volumes have special Kobo editions with three more stories in them, which is awesome, so thanks to Mark for that. But this year, Mark was sitting up front. Huh?

Okay, there had to be a reason. Last year, there was some talk about how, if the special Kobo editions were a success and sold well, they might do special editions of all the books this year. But as days went by, they weren't buying extra stories, and there was no mention of a Kobo edition. Huh. But there was Mark up there, doing the Yes-Maybe-No thing with all the stories. My guess was that he was doing a stealth book, his own anthology, and I was right. :) They went through all the stories that Mark or one (or more) of the other editors had loved, but either didn't have room in their book, or it was a story for someone else's book that didn't get bought. We had a whiteboard for each book (Dean and company screwed each day's board up onto the wall somewhere in the room after that day's workshop was over) and then Mark had a couple more where he assembled his picks, plus all the unbought picks from the other editors. Hashmarks showed which stories had a lot of love from the editors, even if the one it was written for didn't buy it. That last round of TOC building was great, especially for the folks who got last minute surprise buys.

There's some great stuff in there, stories I'd have bought if I'd been one of the editors. The book's not on the Fiction River site, but they were calling it Editors' Cut at the workshop. Fiction River doesn't always stick to just one genre in each volume, but Mark's book will have more variety than usual. Should be great for anyone who just loves short fiction.

Like last year, we had sign-ups to eat lunch with the editors and Allyson (the publisher of WMG), and I went out with a few people. And there were great discussions in, around, and after workshop sessions. Some notes:

If you love a trope that nobody's writing anymore, other people will love it too, so write it to fill that hole. This is especially an opportunity for folks indie publishing -- don't let New York tell you Horror is dead, or Westerns, or romantic vampires, or kids finding weird objects while playing, or whatever you're into.

Past a certain level of craftsmanship, whether a story sells or not isn't really about quality, it's about taste. Don't let a rejection, or a bunch of rejections, discourage you. If you're pretty sure a story is well written, keep subbing it, or indie publish it.

If you're doing a punch story, a short story with a quick hit at the end, do a double-punch -- two hits in quick succession -- to make it even more powerful.

When you're writing for submission, readability is key. No 10pt fonts, no weird fonts, don't try to be "special." Try to be readable. If the editor notices your formatting, you blew it.

Define what "success" means to you before you plan a promo campaign. You have to know what you want so you can tell if your campaign was successful and worth the resources you put into it.

80% of people who download a free book won't read it.

You need at least 3-5 books in a series for perma-free on the first book to be of any benefit. (And there's some disagreement about whether perma-free is ever a good idea. Temporary free promotions might be better.)

Amazon categories -- use Fiction, General and Fiction, [Genre] as your two categories. Then your keywords will get you into other categories under those. There are a bazillion categories under Fiction, General that you can only get in through Fiction, General plus keywords

When you sub to a literary market, don't label the story by genre in your cover letter, and don't note genre credits. For literary markets, no previous credits are better than genre credits.

Never use the term "self-published" -- use small press, independently published, etc. The stigma is still there, so don't get it on you.

A good title will sell a story before you've even written it (in tradpub). It'll also sell a story to readers.

Stories about the everyday tragedies of human life need to rise above the everyday tragedies of human life. They're realistic, but a reader needs more of a reason to read about that particular one. Usually it's not something anyone outside the main character's family and friends would care about. [Writer]'s story worked because their character was heroic and had a humorous thread in their voice about what was going on with them. Also, you need to balance the tragic event with being an entertainer. The reader has to want to read that story -- they'll want to read it because it's entertaining. What about the story and the characters makes the reader want to hang with them, especially since most people aren't keen to spend time with their own family and friends who are horribly sick, or whatever, much less a stranger?

To transcend the horrible mundanity, maybe the character does something different, something heroic. Or the story could have an awesome voice.

If you're editing an anthology, or putting together a collection of your own short work, the gut-wrenchingly emotional story should be at the end, or maybe in the middle, but most definitely not right up in the beginning.

When building your TOC, figure about 1/3 of readers will read the book front to back, in order.

Don't start a story with the character's first and last name -- nametag opening. It has to be up front quick, but not the first two words.

Kris's technique for analyzing someone else's book/story -- Take a book you never want to read again, underline setting words with a different color for each sense. Then go through and color each word for how it supports the story, setting or character or plot. The idea is to load the technique into your head so it filters to your subconscious and five stories [of your own] later you'll start using it when you write. It's not deliberate; it comes out of the subconscious as you write.

Dean's technique -- Take a book and type the opening in your manuscript format to get the feel for what the writer was doing word-by-word. You'll start realizing what the writer is doing and how they do it.

Whenever you get comments about too many details, it's always the writer putting the setting details in (the writer's narrative voice) rather than filtering it all through the POV character's opinion. Everything should be filtered through the character, which makes the words build character as well as setting. If you feed setting in through the POV character, readers won't notice all the setting coming in; it reads very quickly.

If anyone notices your setting in the beginning, you fucked up.

Don't use a series name in the title of a story in an anthology because too many people will see that it's a series story and skip it.

Stories are circles, and the end has to reflect back on the beginning. If an ending isn't working, it's probably because there's a problem with the beginning, or because the ending doesn't reflect on the beginning.

On a crime story being resolved -- the reader needs to know who committed the crime and that the story is over. A mystery/crime story puts order onto chaos. If the story is noir, the reader needs to know that order will never be imposed on the chaos. If it's not a mystery per se, they might not catch the crook, but in any case the reader needs to have that info.

This isn't everything, but it's most of what I had in my Notes file on my laptop. This is an awesome workshop, and I'd be taking it even if I never sold anything. In fact, the first time I went, the anthologies weren't "live," and nobody sold anything; we were all there for the learning. This is a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in publishing short fiction.