Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gaming the Times List

So, someone tried to game the New York Times Book Review list. What else is new, I know. But the story of how it happened and why, and how it was thwarted, is all in one convenient post on Pajiba.

Thanks to Kris Rusch, who blogged about this, and has some excellent comments and perspective. She talks about how this plot wouldn't have worked anyway, to achieve its apparent goal of getting the book's writer a movie deal. Worth a read for every writer who wants to keep up with how the business works.


Friday, August 18, 2017


Today is my anniversary -- my marriage is now old enough to drink. :)

Jim and I have actually been together for 28 years; it just took us a while to settle down and do the ring thing.

We met playing GemStoneII, an online multi-player fantasy game, back in '89. (Yes, there were multi-player games back in the eighties. Yes, there was internet back in the eighties. Whenever I hear someone talking about how things were "before the internet, in the early 90s," I just have to eyeroll.) I played for a few months before meeting Jim, although we were both fighters, and he was the assistant guildmaster of the fighters; I saw him around, but it took a while for us to stop and talk. We hit it off pretty quickly, and before the game shut down to make way for the next generation, our characters, Swiftkill and Callista, got married in an event online, surrounded by friends in armor. Of course the wedding was interrupted by a monster attack -- that many players gathered in one spot attracted the ogre magi :) -- and Swiftkill showed why he chose that name by killing the thing with one blow before anyone else could even draw a weapon.

Later, in GemStoneIII, we were both brought on staff within a couple of months of each other (although I was first [cough]). We worked in GS3 together for a few years, then I moved on to another game the same company did. We came together again in another, newer fantasy game called DragonRealms, and worked there for a few years before leaving the company. Being a gamemaster in an online multi-player game is a high-stress job with low pay and a lot of burnout, but was mostly fun -- building areas, designing quests, coding puzzles and traps, roleplaying with the players. Seriously, watching the first batch of players find and explore an area I built, listening to them comment to each other about it, and have fun discovering things -- it's freaking awesome. :) Jim and I did that together for about a decade, first from a few hundred miles away, then after we got married in realspace, sitting on opposite sides of the computer room. That made it a lot easier to chat and kibitz back and forth, rather than having to type comments to each other, although we did that too, LOL!

I was basically alone for the first 33 years of my life. I had the occasional boyfriend, but never for more than a few months, and although I generally stayed friends with guys after we broke up, one or two ended pretty badly. It was never really serious until Jim, though. There were times when I just felt so incredibly lonely, and wondered if I'd ever find someone to be with for the rest of my life. It was worth the wait, though, because Jim is my soulmate. He's not perfect, but our flaws sort of complement each other, and at the end of the day we love each other deeply. I literally can't imagine being married to anyone else.

Love you, hon.

Angie, looking forward to another 21 years together

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one. If you want to get an e-mail notification when the listing is posted, get the list a week early, or get a full listing of everything I've found (as opposed to the two months' worth I post here) a week early, you can support my Patreon.

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


31 August 2017 -- Hidden Animals: A Collection of Cryptids -- The Dragon's Roost Press

CRYPTOZOOLOGY: the study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals (such as Sasquatch) usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence

CRYPTID: an animal whose existence or survival to the present day is disputed or unsubstantiated; any animal of interest to a cryptozoologist

We’ve explored loneliness, isolation, and solitude in our first anthology. We Put the Love Back in Lovecraft in our second anthology. Now we are looking for stories involving the creatures which hide in the shadows -- the monsters of cryptozoology.

Bigfoot, Nessie, el Chupacabra, The Jersey Devil -- cryptids so well known that they have become part of the cultural zeitgeist.

For our new anthology, tentatively entitled Hidden Animals: A Collection of Cryptids, we are looking for lesser known cryptids, creatures of the dark corners of cryptozoology. They can be the antagonist, the protagonist, the creeping dread which drives the story, but they must be present.

What We Want:

Finely crafted works of Dark Speculative fiction which feature one (or more) of the lesser known, but established cryptids. Authors are encouraged to put their own spin on the classic creature. Make them terrifying. Make them sympathetic. Make them humorous. Above all, make them feel real.

What We Don’t Want:

Non-fiction. We want fictional stories with a plot and a well defined story arc. While we are interested in hearing about your own personal experience, or that of your friend or family member, this is not the book for that.

New Monsters. While we appreciate your creativity, we are looking for stories which feature creatures that readers will have at least a passing knowledge of. Give us your giant cats, dogboys, and lake creatures, but please do not create your own creature.

[Note: There are plenty of website which describe various cryptids. A brief list appears here.]

Stories where nothing happens. Keep the creatures in the shadows if you like, but give us something. There’s a reason that we don’t watch that show where they look for but never actually find Bigfoot.

Retreads of established stories. This is going to be a little tougher. We do want stories based on "actual encounters." Feel free to incorporate material from real life sightings. Sprinkle the history of the creature in your prose. Do not simply give us a fictionalized version of a story that you read in another book or saw on the big or little screen.

We don’t like being sued.

Aliens. Yes, there is some overlap between the study of some cryptids (e.g., el chupacabra) and extraterrestrial beings, we are not looking for stories that exclusively feature visitors from other worlds. Maybe in a future anthology, but not this one.

Important Note: We are going for cryptozoological diversity. Towards this end, we will only accept ONE story featuring each cryptid. Authors may consider focusing on a lesser known cryptid, or getting their submissions in early.

The Specifics: We are looking for short fiction up to 6,000 words. While we prefer original material, we will consider reprints. Please query before submitting reprints. Naturally, we will only consider stories which you retain the rights to. Please provide original publication information for all reprints. Fan Fiction, Slash Fiction, and any other material containing characters or setting which you did not create, are not acceptable (so no returning to Boggy Creek). Submissions should follow standard format. For an example of what we are looking for in terms of formatting, please visit Shunn’s website. The only addendum to this is that the editor prefers Times New Roman.

Please edit your material carefully. Common spelling errors (they’re/their/there, your/you’re) may be acceptable in social media posts, but not in works submitted for publication.

Word (.doc/.docx) format is preferred, but we will also accept submissions in Open Office (.odt), and Pages (pages). Send your stories to In the subject line of your e-mail list “Hidden Animals,” the title of your story, and your last name. For example:

Hidden Animals / Really Awesome Story / I. M. Ayeti

E-mails which do not follow this format will be deleted unread.

Provide a short (500 words or less) biography in the body of your e-mail. Also, feel free to provide a brief description of the cryptozoological being which appears in your story along with links and/or citations.

We are looking for North American Print and Digital Rights. Rights revert back to the author upon publication. Submissions accepted until 31 Aug 2017 or until filled. Our previous anthologies have each closed to submissions a month or more before the deadline. For this book, we are only looking for 13 - 15 stories (instead of the 21 - 30 stories of our previous anthologies) Don’t delay, start writing today!

Please wait four weeks before querying.

Direct queries to

Multiple submissions are OK, but please wait until you have received a response on your first piece before submitting your second. Simultaneous submissions: no.

Estimated publication date Winter 2017 via Create Space and Smashwords.

At this time payment is three cents per word ($0.03/word) plus one contributor’s copy and one digital version in the format of the author’s choosing. We will be running a crowd sourcing campaign with the goal of providing higher monetary recompense to our authors. As with our previous anthologies, this is a charity anthology to raise money for the canine rescue organization Last Day Dog Rescue.

Note to New Authors: Most publications seek First North American Rights. While you may be able to sell your story again as a reprint, publication in this anthology may limit your story’s future marketability and may affect the amount of money you will be able to receive from other markets. Please take this into consideration before submitting.


31 August 2017 -- Mother of Invention -- ed. Tansy Rayner Roberts and Rivqa Rafael; Twelfth Planet Press

Mother of Invention will feature diverse, challenging stories about gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics. This ambitious anthology from award-winning Australian publishing house Twelfth Planet Press will be edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts and Rivqa Rafael.

From Pygmalion and Galatea to Frankenstein, Ex Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over.

We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?

If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?


We want to cover a variety of AI tropes, from the virtuous to the dangerous, from the purely computerised to the freshly built physical body. We want robots and programs and disembodied voices and steampunk and nanotech. We want stories that unpick the erroneous gendered assumptions around biological reproduction that so often underpin AI stories (do people who can gestate still want to make robots? We think so!). We’ll even accept sexbots and Stepford spouses if the story is good enough. It became pretty clear during our crowdfunding campaign that the notion of “feminist robot stories” struck a chord with our readership, so keep that in mind.

We anticipate that some stories will tackle gender issues (broadly defined) directly; others indirectly. Both approaches are OK! The only hard-and-fast rule is that the CREATOR of the AI or robot must not be a cis man. All other characters in the story, including the robots/AIs themselves, can be of any gender (or non-gendered), and we welcome other exploration of gender in this area too. (We also stress that the protagonist need not be the creator!)

Point of view, theme, setting, everything else is completely up to the author. We’re looking for a diverse range of authors, story settings, time periods, cultural backgrounds and protagonists. Magic, history, fantasy, steampunk and mythology are all options for you to play with; we do not require this to be a 100% science fiction anthology.

In addition to stories about women (both cis and trans) as creators of robots and AI, we are explicitly interested in stories about creators who are trans men or non-binary people (including but not limited to agender, bigender, transfeminine and transmasculine non-binary folk). The creator (or other characters, of course) can be intersex, regardless of gender. We’re especially interested in own voices authors in the case of trans and/or intersex protagonists.

We’re interested in hearing from marginalised writers more generally: for example, people under the QUILTBAG umbrella, including intersex people; people of colour, including Indigenous and Native writers from around the world; and disabled people. That said, we also welcome stories from authors who aren’t marginalised. Please don’t self-reject – we want your stories! If you feel your intersections are relevant to your story, you may mention them in your cover letter, but this is not required. We respect your privacy.


We are looking for stories of 500–5000 words, within our stated theme and not published previously in any medium, including limited audience media such as Patreon. Payment is US$0.06 per word.

Submissions open on 6 July 2017 and close on 31 August 2017.

Send your story to motherofinvention AT twelfthplanetpress DOT com in DOC, DOCX or RTF format.

No multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions. We aim to respond to all submissions by the end of November 2017.


31 August 2017 -- Schoolbooks & Sorcery -- ed. Michael M. Jones


Take high school. It’s weird, confusing, complicated, and frustrating. It’s a time of growth and change, when teens start discovering what they’re made of and who they want to be. Now throw in magic. What happens? That’s the premise of this new YA anthology. Schoolbooks & Sorcery is what happens when you take all the normal ups and downs of high school, inject a healthy dose of magic, shake, stir, and serve.

Editor Michael M. Jones (Scheherazade’s Façade) is looking for YA urban fantasy stories which incorporate the themes of sorcery, magic, and enchantment. The magic can come from within, as an intrinsic ability or a family trait, or from without, in the form of talismans, training, or teaching. Protagonists can be wizards, witches, sorcerers, magicians, shamans, apprentices, or practitioners of more esoteric traditions. Whether they pick it up on their own (accidentally or on purpose), learn from a master, or go to school for institutionalized training, they’ll be involved with magic to some degree. Or, of course, the protagonist could be without magic, and stumble into a world beyond their immediate knowledge. If authors wish to set something in a magical school of their own devising, or in a previously-established setting, that’s perfectly fine. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be set at a school, magical or otherwise, so long as the main characters are of the right age set.

Just about every culture has some sort of tradition involving people who dabble in the supernatural to one end or another, and there’s a vast amount of potential left to be tapped in this genre, especially with teenage protagonists. Whether they’re wizards-in-training, voodoo princesses, the last descendant of an infamous historical figure, the newest apprentice in the family business, or just someone in the wrong place at the right time, the stories are endless.

Schoolbooks & Sorcery is also designed to be a queer-friendly YA anthology, embracing the full spectrum of sexuality and gender identification, while offering a wide selection of satisfying, entertaining, fascinating, powerful stories in which the mundane and the magical overlap and interact. Stories are encouraged to take place in the overlapping area between urban fantasy, high school, and LGBTQ issues and themes. Stories should send the message that it’s not just okay to be gay, it’s okay to be gay and to have the same crazy, wicked, scary, seductive, exciting, magical, strange, funny, romantic, dark adventures as everyone else. We’re looking for stories which are all-inclusive, with the characters writers have been dying to write and readers clearly want to see, diverse and interesting, with an underlying current of tolerance and acceptance. Obviously, we’re looking for a wide range of themes, tones, and voices.


1) Stories with gay, trans, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, and/or asexual characters… or other facets of the LGBTQ+ spectrum not specifically mentioned. Because I am trying to achieve a certain balance of representation, I am not looking for lesbian stories at this time

2) I also heavily encourage characters of color, neurodiverse characters, disabled characters, characters from outside the United States, and stories which reflect under-represented voices or experiences. The same goes for the authors!


All stories should be between 2000-6000 words.

All stories must involve magic, and those who practice magic. This covers wizards, witches, sorcerers, magicians, shamans, and other traditions not specifically mentioned. This covers self-taught characters, those whose power is intrinsic or passed down through a family, those who find objects of power or books of spells, those who study with a teacher, those who go to school for magic, and so on. Other paranormal elements, such as vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or fairies, are welcome, as long as they don’t overshadow the primary theme.

Paranormal romance elements are also welcome, but this is not specifically intended as a romance anthology. Romance is good, but not necessary.

All stories must be considered YA.

Stories should be set in modern times/on Earth, but authors are encouraged to use a variety of settings, cultures, and influences to flesh out their characters and world building. Again, one of the primary goals here is to explore diversity.

While LGBTQ elements are not required, they are highly encouraged, as are protagonists who defy traditional roles and labels. (As in “girls doing boy things” and “boys doing girl things”.) More importantly: no story will be turned away for containing LGBTQ characters or elements, unless it violates the other guidelines.

Stories will not be censored for language, drinking, drugs or sexual situations; however, such things must be in moderation, appropriate to the circumstances, and tastefully handled. In movie rating terms, stories would thus fall into the PG-13 range. (To be handled as necessary. We’re not afraid of some bad words now and again…)

All stories will maintain a positive atmosphere concerning sexuality, gender, race, religion, and so on. While individual characters (most likely antagonists) may express biased, prejudiced, or phobic sentiments, or characters may deal with negative situations, the ultimate goal is to promote tolerance, acceptance, and positivity.

PLEASE NOTE: I have already seen a number of stories which address bullying. While I’m still open to considering stories incorporating this theme, I’d like to see some more variety to help round things out.

DEADLINE: August 31, 2017

SUBMISSION ADDRESS: All submissions may be sent to Please address any questions or queries to that address as well.Submissions should be sent as an attachment, as .rtf or .doc.

PAYMENT: Payment will be 6 cents a word, plus electronic and print contributor copies.

FORMATS: Schoolbooks & Sorcery will be released simultaneously as a trade paperback and an ebook, by Ultra Violet Press, an imprint of Circlet Press.

EDIT AS OF 8/7/2017

Because I’ve been getting numerous submissions which don’t suit my needs, I find myself in the position of placing certain things at the very top, in the hopes people will read them.

1) The word limit of 2000-6000 is strict. I will not consider anything which goes over. Seriously. I have a budget to think of.

2) No multiple submissions without asking me first. One per author per attempt.

3) No reprints. I’m sorry, I want original stories only. If you really have something which you think is perfect, ask me first.

4) It must be YA. That’s generally an age range of 12-18, but when in doubt, think “high school.” Grades 9-12. That general period.

5) It must be urban fantasy. No science fiction, no epic fantasy, no horror, no fanfic… stories which mix the “here and now” with fantastic elements. -Very- near future is okay, as is relatively recent past, but certainly nothing beyond the start of the 20th Century.

6) Your story MUST contain visible LGBTQ characters, and within that, specifically, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, asexual, aromantic, gay, or facets of the spectrum not specifically mentioned. I’m very sorry, but I have enough stories with predominantly lesbian protagonists or relationships. If I don’t see visible evidence, I’ll be forced to assume that everyone is straight/hetero/cis, and that’s not the point of this particular call for submissions. I have several stories already in hand which cover that end of things.

7) See #6. I’m going to get increasingly cranky if people keep breaking this one. I’m not saying your character needs to burst into the scene going “IIIIII’MMMMMM TRAAAAAANS” and doing a song and dance routine, but if I don’t see some sign of what I’m looking for… well, y’know. I’m a reasonable editor, but I know what I want, and no amount of not giving me what I want is going to make me magically accept something which doesn’t fit the criteria.


1 September 2017 -- The Beauty of Death 2 -- Death by Water -- ed. Alessandro Manzetti and Jodi Renee Lester; Independent Legions Publishing

Independent Legions Publishing is seeking original horror stories in English for the new anthology The Beauty of Death 2 -- Death by Water, edited by Alessandro Manzetti and Jodi Renée Lester, to be published October 2017 in print and digital editions.

We’re looking for stories that fit the theme: Death by Water. All types of horror are welcome. Sex or violence in a story should be artistically justified; no excessive gore. No stories about child abuse of any kind. We welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction.

Word Count: We are open to stories of 4000-5000 words.
Deadline: September 1, 2017
Pay Rate: We pay (via PayPal) $100 for each original story.
We buy first exclusive English-language rights for three years.

We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions, nor do we accept unsolicited reprints.

Submissions should follow standard manuscript format (12 pt Times New Roman or Courier fonts, 1” margins all around, line spacing 1½ or 2 spaces). It must be in .doc or .docx format or it will not be considered. Your name and contact information must be at the top of the first page of the story. Page numbers with author’s last name and/or partial story name on subsequent pages would be appreciated.

Cover letter is optional, but if you do include one, please add a short bio (up to 200 words).

Response time is currently within four weeks. After that, if you haven’t heard from us, please query. We will not be sending confirmations of receipt.

To submit a story, go to our story submission form below. To submit your story via email, put “SUBMISSION - TBOD2” in the subject line and send to:


30 September 2017 -- Tribe Anthology -- ed. Lois Peterson

TRIBE: A print anthology about the lives of older single women seeks work by emerging and experienced writers, providing insights into the situations and roles of older single women in our times.


Women aged 55+
From anywhere in the world
Single, which for our purposes means:
== You are single - by choice or circumstance - widowed or divorced
== Do not currently live, or plan to live, in a permanent domestic relationship with a partner of either gender

We are looking for well-written prose, poetry, prose poems, memoir, personal narrative, fiction ….Your submission could be about sexuality, health, music, family, reading and writing, travel, the outdoors and nature, dating, finances, art, creativity, loneliness, community, volunteerism, work, politics…

Your work could be serious, humorous, self-reflective, dramatic -- about the condition of single life in modern times – your own experience and those of women you know, philosophical, sociological, analytical, revelatory…

We especially welcome work that reflects diversity.

Previously published work will be considered.

Prose submissions 1,200 words to 3,000.
Poetry max 45 lines


Completed work – no queries

A maximum of two pieces of prose and/or two piece of poetry from each submitting writer

Complete submissions sent at one time as a single Word attachment

Include in the attachment:

== Your name
== Mailing address
== Email and phone#
== Month and year of birth
== If your submission has been published previously, please include info. about where and when

Rights: First North American Serial rights… the rights to the work return to the author 30 days after publication.

Email to with ‘Submission ^your last name^’ in the subject line.

Submissions accepted period May 1 – September 30, 2017

Remuneration: Initially* $25.00 CAN per piece (paid on acceptance), plus two copies of the anthology. *Sales/profits will determine further royalties paid to contributors.

50% of net profits will be donated to a charity, tbc.

Authors of work accepted for the anthology will be given the opportunity to sign off on any editorial changes made to their work prior to publication.

Tribe will be published by LPwordsolutions of Nanaimo, BC.

Submitting authors will be periodically informed of the progress of the project.
The publisher retains the right to cancel the project if the work submitted is not of the caliber required.

We are unable to provide specific editorial comment on submissions that are not accepted for the anthology, but will try to respond in a timely manner to all writers’ submissions and enquiries

We will also be seeking line drawings for the cover art and inside pages. Please contact for further details.

[NOTE: there's more info on what the editor is looking for on the project web site. If you're interested, click through and poke around.]


30 September 2017 -- Our Golden Gang: The He-Man Woman-Haters Club -- EMRE Publishing

This will be an anthology of short stories that depicts “Our Gang-type” plots using the above characters. [Click through for a long list of names with photos.] President Trump’s rich pals will be playing inside the luxurious confines of Mar-a-Lago. Every summer, Donnie "Golden Boy" Trump invites all his friends to spend a couple of months at his big club in Palm Beach, Florida. Guests from around the world stay there, and the kids in Trump's "Our Golden Gang" get into plenty of mischief. Although they will be depicted as children, these characters will keep their adult names (on left). Each child will be a mixture of the adult’s persona and the Our Gang character’s persona. He or she will be a child, however, and the troubles they get into at Mar-a-Lago will be childish in nature. Satire is accepted, but humor will be the thread of enjoyment throughout each story in this anthology.

Writers who submit can use old plots from the Our Gang films and update them to fit the present (technology, clothing, etc.). Stories are set in present day, although don't give specific dates. Villains can be people from the present (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Vladamir Putin, etc.), or you can invent others.

The first anthology in the series is called "The He-Man Woman-Haters Club." All stories must mention this club in the story, although the club need not be the main emphasis in the plot.

Payment: 6 cents per word (Paid by Paypal only upon publication)

Anthology #1: He-Man Woman-Haters Club

Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words

Use Standard Manuscript Formatting.

Submit to: Submittable Online System

Socialize and get ideas at our Facebook Page.

For those authors who intend to submit to our anthology, then join this group.

Print and Digital Anthology


30 September 2017 [or Until Filled] -- Tales of Blood and Squalor -- Dark Cloud Press

Wretched, low-class characters living in filth and poverty. With lots of misery and blood.

Dark Cloud Press is cobbling together a short fiction anthology of horror and psychological thrillers in ebook and trade paperback. The subject matter can be anything you want, so long as it includes both blood and squalor.

We all know what blood is. It’s spilled accidentally. Or worse, on purpose—often ending in death. But squalor…

SQUALOR: n. A quality or state marked by filthiness
and degradation from neglect or poverty.
Synonyms: sordid, wretched, seamy, seedy.

What We're Looking For

The best example of what we’re looking for in stories for this antho is season 4, episode 2 of The X-Files, titled “Home,” which aired October 11, 1996. Find it. Watch it.

Literary examples include:

== Jack Ketchum’s Off Season
== Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God
== Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

Write an original story that adheres to the guidelines detailed here. Don’t be limited by this list, but here are a few examples:

== Murder in a trailer park
== Blackmail gone awry in the inner city
== Revenge in a failed mining town
== Sinister events on the rural farm
== Deadly dealings on the other side of the tracks in small-town America

NOTE: We’re not looking for anything as hardcore as Off Season (be sure to study our general submission guidelines). And no slasher stories with buckets of blood, either. But blood and squalor, yes.

We want atmospheric horror in a squalid setting, or scenes under squalorous conditions, wretched characters, and a psychologically thrilling conclusion spattered with blood.

Scare us. Shock us. Make us reel.

HINT: You've got a better chance at hooking the editor if you write like Donald Westlake instead of H.P. Lovecraft.
Submission Guidelines

The anthology will contain 40,000+ words of original psychological thrillers and horror, 2500–5000 words each (3000–4000 preferred). It will be published in trade paperback and Kindle format, both available on

== No previously published works.
== No multiple submissions.
== Electronic submissions only (.doc or .docx format).
== In your cover email, briefly introduce yourself, list your publication credits, and share what you’ll do to help market the book.


Your manuscript must follow the format guidelines listed under Manuscript Format. Microsoft Word .doc or .docx files only.

Content Standards

DCP’s books entertain readers with meaningful dark fiction—spellbinding stories with a minimum of adult language and sex. DCP anthologies give readers an entertaining, thrilling, scary, imaginative read, leaving them with something important to ponder.

If you want your story to pass muster, follow Content Standards.

Submission Period

August 1 to September 30, 2017, or until filled.

Rejections may come sooner, but acceptance responses will be sent starting in October 2017.

Publication is slated for Spring/Summer 2018.

Rights Purchased

First World English (print) and First World Electronic (ebook) rights for a term of three years from date of publication.


Three cents a word upon acceptance, no royalties. For more information, see Payment.

Submission Email

Email your story as an attachment (.doc or .docx only) to editordarkcloudpresscom with "TBS Submission: Story Title by Author Name" in the subject line.


Contact the editor at the above email address.

Good luck, and write well!


30 September 2017 -- Fantastic Trains: An Anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders -- ed. Jerome Stueart and Neil Enock; EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Inc.

Does a train whistle in the distance make you excited, wistful, or afraid? Trains have fired the imaginations of many people, especially writers. Anna Karenina, Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Signal Man, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Murder on the Orient Express all use trains as their main setting, not to mention the trains in children’s books—like Thomas the Tank Engine, The Little Engine that Could, and The Polar Express.

As travelers, we’ve been spurred to go farther because of trains, see new things, take chances. Trains have also, sometimes, pushed us too far, sliced the wilderness, inserted us into places to draw out resources, assisted in invasion. Trains, in a sense, even created Time as we know it. Trains altered our perceptions of identity, place, even of destiny. Suddenly, people could travel far away quickly, leave their families and homes for a better life, or opportunity—or people could escape the destiny of location. Step on a train, and you never know what you might find, or with whom you might cross paths. In essence, trains are Change.

We’re looking for your stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place,—we’ll buy a ticket on all of them. We’d like to see what you can do with a train. A good part of your story should take place on a train—or most, if you can do it. We don’t care what era, what planet, or how the train might look differently there (it might even be alive!) or even if the train is moving. We just want that train—what you do with it is your magic.

This book will be both for lovers of the fantastic, and train aficionados. Think about how trains change the lives of people who travel on them, or how trains are used. Think about those people who love them, and know so much about trains, and why as children we were amazed. We want good character stories. We also want to see that you’ve thought about how your train runs. Make us feel like we’re on it. Make it fantastic!

THE TWIST: The Locomotifs

We’re looking for an author to choose one or more archetypal minor characters from the following list and interpret them through the lens of their story (their time, place, genre, etc.) as purely background characters, or, if you want, a main or POV character.

They can be combined too into a composite type character. An author would not HAVE to choose more than one, but one of these must pass through your story. (You will need to mention who you’ve chosen on your submission, under your contact information, using the letter(s) appropriate.) These characters are not named, nor is there any requirement for nationality, gender, race, ability/disability, gender expression, etc. You are free to interpret.

Here are the ten we’d like you to consider:

A) The Schemers: a couple with a plan
B) The Dreamer: someone who speaks about, or gives value to, his/her dreams;
C) The Detective: a person trying to solve something—a riddle, a puzzle, a mystery;
D) The Reluctant: someone who doesn't want to get on, or perhaps, leave the train;
E) The Adventurer: someone who believes they are on an adventure;
F) The Guide: a mentor, a knowledgeable person about place, trains, etc.
G) The Box: a mysterious piece of cargo with important implications to someone.
H) The Lovers: a couple at any stage of love
I) The Knight: someone who will fight for a cause, theirs, or one they are given
J) The Seeker: someone who doesn’t know, but who wants to learn

We think the recurring nature of these "locomotif" characters through the collection will have an effect on the reading brain. We think readers will create connections and stories of the minor characters between these very different stories; they will link them up like train cars. Readers will make connections and see arcs by the juxtaposition of stories. (Think Cloud Atlas.)

You are invited NOT to take them literally. The Detective probably shouldn’t be a detective, but someone who is trying to solve a puzzle, a personal mystery, with a detective’s sensibilities. (And damned if Murder on the Orient Express’ trailer didn’t just use a similar concept by introducing characters as "types"—ignore that. We’d love to be original, but archetypes are very very old, and they’re not necessarily job-oriented, as they are in that trailer. But Christie’s MotOE is a great example of a train story!) Also, do not think that you need to try to fit in all ten. That’s like trying to meet everyone riding on your train. You can do it, but it takes too much time away from you.

Authors, of course, are free to develop their story on their own—but they should allow one of these kinds of characters to board their train, even if for a fleeting reference.

If you have a "train trunk" story and can retcon one of these characters into it seamlessly, without it looking like a shoehorn, awesome. Ultimately, we’re looking for you to tell us a good story.

We invite you to take us on a journey.


== We're looking for your stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place,—we’ll buy a ticket on all of them. We’d like to see what you can do with a train. A good part of your story should take place on a train—or most, if you can do it. We don’t care what era, what planet, or how the train might look differently there (it might even be alive!) or even if the train is moving. We just want that train—what you do with it is your magic.

== The Fantastic Trains anthology will reflect as broad a spectrum of stories as possible; highlighting unique styles and manners.

== Stories should contain a train in them. We don’t really believe you missed that one, but we’re just making sure. The whole story doesn’t have to be on the train, but a train should figure in the story. It can be moving, broken, stalled, a relic in a museum, or a prototype, even a toy train. But it needs to be there. Because people will buy this anthology because your story uses a train!

== We are aiming towards two audiences, those who love speculative literature and people who love trains—remember that. Train aficionados are amazing people who love every detail about trains—the history, the specs, the technical parts. Capture that kind of love too if you can! Be accurate about trains, as much as fiction can be.

== Stories must contain one of the "locomotif" minor characters as a walk on, or used however you want to use them. You should indicate the letters (A,B,C, etc) of the locomotifs you’re using below your contact information on the first page of the submission story itself.

== Submissions must be speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, magic realism, slipstream, supernatural horror, modern fantasy, fantasy noir, weird tales, alternate history, space opera, planetary adventure, surrealism, superheroes, mythic fantasy, etc.

== Submissions should be short fiction.

== The maximum length for stories is 5,000 words, with shorter works preferred.

== The Fantastic Trains anthology is open to submissions from everyone, from every country, and we specifically encourage historically-underrepresented groups, of any race, gender or gender expression, LGBT, class, or ability.

== Authors who write in languages other than English are welcome to submit an English translation of their work, provided it otherwise falls within the parameters of this anthology. Translation into English is the sole responsibility of the author. Please supply details of original publication for any submission that originally appeared in a language other than English.

== Deadline: September 30, 2017 (midnight EST).

== Do not query before submitting.

== Email submissions to:

== Emails MUST contain the word "submission" in the subject line, or they will be deleted automatically by the server. Please also include the story title in the subject line.

== Submissions MUST come in an attachment: only .RTF and/or .DOC formats are acceptable.

== Emails MUST contain a cover letter in the body of the email; for security reasons, email attachments with no cover letter will be deleted unread and unanswered.

== Cover letter: include your name, the title of your story, your full contact information (address, phone, email), and a brief bio. Also include the locomotif(s) you are using.

== Do not describe or summarize the story.

== Reprints (stories having previously appeared in English in any format, print or electronic, including but not limited to any form of web publication) will not be considered.

== Submission format: no strange formatting, color fonts, changing fonts, borders, backgrounds, etc. Leave italics in italics, NOT underlined. Put your full contact information on the first page (name, address, email address, phone). No headers, no footers, no page numbering. DO NOT leave a blank line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. ALWAYS put a # to indicate scene breaks (a blank line is NOT enough).

== ALWAYS include your full contact information (name/address/email/phone number) on the first page of the attached submission.

== Payment for short stories is prorated as follows: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words.

== Rights: for original fiction, first World English publication, with a two-month exclusive from publication date; for all, non-exclusive anthology rights; all other rights remain with the author.

== Spelling: please use standard American English spelling.

== Response time: initial responses (no / rewrite request / hold for further consideration) will be prompt, usually within fifteen days. Please query if you’ve not heard back within 30 days. Final responses no later than 15 December 2017.

== Submit only one story. Multiple submissions will not be accepted.

== Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted.

== Publication: May (e-book) and Sept/Oct for trade paperback.

== Email submissions to:


7 October 2017 -- Cosmic Caravans -- ed. Bob Brown, Cheyenne Brown, and Nathan Ockerman; B Cubed Press

B Cubed Press is proud to open Cosmic Caravans for submissions. Cosmic Caravans is a science fiction anthology that will focus on Pre-Teen readers. The work will be illustrated.

We are looking for stories or poems that re-enforce strength of character and scientific principles in a way children can relate to. We want to entertain and challenge curious readers to learn more about the universe, life, and the science that makes it all possible.

See our Facebook Group, Cosmic Caravans Anthology.

Your sci-fi story or poem can be funny, scary, somber, mystery, wibbly-wobbly, thriller, or a fantastical romp through time and space. Whatever it is, you should be sure to explain the science behind it. Leave the reader learning something.

Cosmic Caravans, from B Cubed Press: we’re putting the science back in fiction.

Guidelines + Other Info

== Submissions can range from 300-3,000 words. We’re looking for quality over quantity.
== Stories must be presented in age appropriate ways. Anything over a “PG-13” rating will be automatically rejected. If Star Trek wouldn’t air it, it’s too risky.
== Fanfiction is not allowed. Sorry/not sorry.
== Payment is $.02 a word, plus a royalties share. Poetry pays $0.25 per-line (up to $25).
== Submissions are open from July 1-October 7. Please allow 2-3 weeks for our editors to review your stories.
== Manuscript format is required. Unsure what that means? Feel free to ask!
== Reprints are accepted.
== Multiple submissions are accepted, however we ask that you notify the publisher if your story is bought elsewhere.
== Cosmic Caravan will be edited by Bob Brown, Cheyenne Brown, and Nathan Ockerman
== Submissions can be sent to, with the subject line "Cosmic Caravan Submission; [story title]."


1 November 2017 -- TROUBLE THE WATERS: Tales from the Deep Blue -- ed. Sheree Renée Thomas, Pan Morigan, and Troy L. Wiggins; Rosarium Publishing

She moves with deliberate grace.

Mami Wata, Momu Watu, La Sirene, Sedna, Coventina, Suijin, Mother of Waters
She is the water between us, the water within us, the water that slakes thirst, from which we were born. Water is the natural and the sacred, the functional and the necessary. All over the world, in cultures young and old, water is life and from this force, great adventures, quests, and legacies begin. And whether it is still, moves, rises, or falls, water fills us. Imagine what stories and strange tales can be told from the depths of its depths.

TROUBLE THE WATERS: Tales from the Deep Blue will be a new anthology of water-themed speculative short stories that explore all kinds of water lore and deities, ancient and new as well as unimagined tales. We want stories with memorable, engaging characters, great and small, epic tales and quieter stories of personal and communal growth. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, interstitial, and unclassifiable works are welcome. We are seeking original stories in English (2500 – 7000 words; pays 6 cents per word) from writers of all walks of life from this beautiful planet and will accept some select reprints (pays 2 cents per word). Deadline: November 1, 2017. Projected publication: November 2018, Rosarium Publishing, Please send submissions as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file in standard mss formatting with your name, title, and word count to:

Please note that we are unable to accept simultaneous submissions.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nice to Know It's Not Just Us?

It seems Norwegian racists are just as idiotic as their American counterparts.

A Norwegian troll named Johan Slåttavik posted a pic of a bunch of empty bus seats to an anti-immigrant web site called "Fedrelandet viktigst" which means "Fatherland First." The geniuses on the group interpreted the tall, padded bus seats as burqas, and the comments were pretty much what you'd expect from that kind of person. Check it out.

Not only is this racist and Islamophobic, it's yet another case of a bunch of dudes trying to police what women wear. If there are Islamic women who don't want to wear a burqa, or a hijab, or whatever, then sure, support them. But plenty of Islamic women are perfectly happy covering up, and in fact feel uncomfortable in public without their traditional garments. They should be able to wear what they want, just like everyone else.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

How to Write Fiction Sales Copy by Dean Wesley Smith

How to Write Fiction Sales CopyHow to Write Fiction Sales Copy by Dean Wesley Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dean Wesley Smith is one of the gurus of indie publishing. He's been making his living at writing and publishing for over thirty years now, has owned two publishing houses (still owns WMG Publishing, with his wife Kris Rusch) and basically knows how all the fiddly bits work and fit together.

A lot of indie writers have a hard time writing sales copy, the text that goes on the book's sales page on a vendor site, or the sales blurb on the back of a paperback book. I'll admit I hate writing that stuff myself; it's hard to come up with something that sounds good, and I've seen publishers make a mess of it.

A couple of years ago, Dean challenged himself to write a story for every day in July. He actually ended up with 32 stories. He did covers for them, and had to come up with sales copy. A couple of folks asked about that part, so he blogged about it as he did it, explaining what and how and why as he went. The posts are still up on his blog, but I'd rather have them all in one place, so I bought the book.

The first seven chapters look aat seven different structures for sales blurbs, with a few examples from the July stories for each one. He gives the cover of a book, then the blurb, then he analyzes the structure to show how he came up with that blurb.

So Chapter One starts with a page of explanation of what he's doing, then dives in. One of the covers is for a book called "A Bad Patch of Humanity," subtitled "A Seeders Universe Story," because it's part of an on-going series, which is one more thing you have to deal with in your sales copy. I'm just going to give you the whole shebang, so you can see what Dean's doing here:

Most of humanity died one ugly day four years before. Now the survivors want to rebuild.

Angie Park's job consisted of telling survivors outside of Portland, Oregon, of the plans to rebuild. But some survivors wanted nothing to do with civilization.

And some thought killing worth the price to pay to stay alone.

In the galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe, "A Bad Patch of Humanity" focuses down on an early event in AngiePark's life, an event that starts her on her path to becoming a woman of legend in a hundred galaxies.

Blurb Pattern: Basic

Paragraph one: Character or world summary. Interesting. And nails genre if possible.

Paragraph two: One very short paragraph with short sentences about the first page of the plot.

Paragraph three: Plot kicker line.

Paragraph four: Why readers will want to rea the story (mostly using tags).

That is a structure that works well for short stories and most novels. It isn't the only structure by a long ways, but it is a standby basic structure to fall back on.

My Thinking About [the] Story


I needed the blurb to address in a fashion the questions of those who read the Seeders Universe novels.

So first paragraph set the scene.

Second paragraph introduced the character and the plot.

Third paragraph raised the stakes.

Fourth paragraph told the reader this was standalone, but also how this story fit into the larger Seeders Universe. This time the last paragraph set the genre.

And readers love start-of-legend stories.

There's also some discussion of what Dean calls the "Author Problem," which is the tendency of a writer to want to tell too much of the plot in the story blurb, and to use passive voice while doing it.

Each of the first seven chapters gives a different blurb structure, with a few examples, analyzed to show you how they fit with the structure. In Chapters Eight and Nine, he goes through the remaining stories, using whatever structure seems appropriate.

This is very much a down-in-the-trenches sort of book. It's heavy on concrete examples, with just enough theory to help you see what's going on. Writing sales copy is a skill that improves with practice; you probably won't read through this book once and then write perfect blurbs forevermore. Rather, this book gives you things to think about, things to watch out for, and examples to swipe. I imagine I'll be doing my sales copy writing with this book open on my tablet right next to me for a while, flipping around to find the pattern I want to copy. But I'm also pretty sure that eventually, after I've done some significant number of blurbs, I'll start to get a feel for it, and will need to copy exact patterns less and less. Writing skills improve with practice, and I have no doubt writing sales copy will too.

The only thing I got impatient with here is that at the beginning of each chapter, Dean summarizes what he did in all the previous chapters. It gets very repetitive after a very few chapters, but it's easy enough to skim through the rehashes and get to the new info.

All in all, this is a very useful and practical book. Recommended.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

On Ghostwriting

Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff posted on Bookview Cafe on when to break up with your ghostwriting client, which also applies to editing clients and writer-writer collaborations.

I've never done a ghostwriting job, but I've collaborated on writing projects and I absolutely agree with her that you have to be able to trust your partner. If your collaborator or client starts going squirrely on you, it's time to bail.

Note that Maya was getting paid for her work regardless of whether the books got published, but bailed because she didn't want to deal with the squirrely client, money or no money. Sounds like she made the right choice.

Check it out..