Happy Halloween people. I had a nice outing with my daughters and girlfriend. We had a home party with two other families. Great fun, though my older daughter got a bit tired after the festivities. We had the Joker, Pennywise, a spooky skeleton, and the green monster Mike.
As for my most recent submissions, I just submitted a 3500-word story to PseudoPod. That story would be a trip to hear read live in their podcast. It has a haunting beauty to its dark poetry. Such an emotional literary horror piece. Makes me cry. I also submitted a 350-word revision of a weird xmas story I wrote a few years back. and sent it out to the Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest.
Some good news for me--I applied for a scholarship for some master workshops with teachers at Fyrecon 2020 (money has been rather scarce for me since job loss hit hard as a freelancer) and, guess what? I got approved for two master workshops! The first one is a two-day workshop of eight total hours: Cracking the Story Code with Amy White.The second one is The Secrets of a Howling Good Plot with Wulf Moon (I took his other master class on winning short stories in the summer).
And now, it's suddenly November. Already the second of November for me here with a bunch of business to take care of... voice acting job needs to get finished in a few days, some examiner training I need to send, another teaching-related project that awaits revision/expansion, and some jobs will take over several days this month...Sigh.
Of course, NaNoWriMo has started, so I'm supposed to get 6000 words written into the rewrite/revision of my novel today to get off on the right foot with my profile mentioning some further details. I'm working as a NaNo Rebel again this year, with plans to dive back into my 60,000-word novel. I pitched this one to agents at the Willamette Writers Conference, but after that I ended up adding another thread and messing with the story, so I must expand or cut or completely rewrite it. My plan is to explore a few sections of it that need fleshing out then cut out the excess and expand with the heart of it in mind. Basically approach my novel with some lessons learned while working with Wulf Moon's Super Secrets over the course of a year. I think his KYD exercises will be especially useful. I also have a flash that I wrote in August/September that will provide another good link into the novel, and a possible new diving in point for it. We'll see. I expect to reach around 100,000 words on this one if the current structure of it is any sign of its new normal to come.
I had a past post on NaNoWriMo advice. I may try to do that again, but here...I recommend using as many approaches as will help. Keep a notepad and pen handy, but also keep your smart phone handy. Both can be useful to brainstorm wherever you are. If you're stuck at work, you can keep quick notes on the side. Use Scrivener to keep all your notes together and various drafts for swift reference. Print out pages and mark them and move them around for structural inspiration. Set a clock, do writing sprints, and/or use the Write or Die software to make sure you write during your planned or unplanned sessions. Do not plan everything as things will fall apart, but do plan some so that it actually happens. Do leave something waiting to be written whether by having a notepad full of notes or a scene not quite finished. Have your inspiration constant my having your fingers in multiple pies (more than one scene ready to go, multiple avenues and interests that need to be jumped into, etc.). Okay, that's all the quick advice I have for now. Just zoom through the words and get the basic idea and pathways down. Do plan to come back and revise. Also, some new advice I'll be toying with: consider the Super Secrets, and especially the KYD exercises, as long they don't slow down your production output too much. But these last two are especially important if you find you not quite reaching the actual story and emotional core behind it.
I do have the Pack Chat writer friends who have been such a boon. Though we have finished the 2019-2020 year and the official 2020-2021 group has been reduced, our pack chat group remains. Quick to provide feedback on stories and always adding in some nice chat on life and writing inspiration. A nice pack of fellow creatives. One has invited me to send the first 50 pages of my novel to provide some help in my rewrite. Others have provided consistent help with fixing up my short stories and flash. One in particular has always been happy to tear apart my stories to help find the stronger core.
In the meantime, short story submissions continue. Current 2020 stats are inserted below.
Total submissions to publications: 113 (111 to pubs of 5-20¢/word; 2 to 1-4¢/word)
Rejections: 96 (59 short, 32 flash, 4 poems, 1 novel writing grant application)
Pending: 17 (10 short, 7 flash)
Just a few new deadlines added below. A bunch with deadlines right at the start of the month. Details for Flame Tree's latest horror anthology Beyond the Veil have been added now that they announced more about it (11/15 deadline). Deep Magic is still open if you have any amazing PG-13 speculative stories to send us first readers. The Dread Machine has a new anthology looking for dread-inspiring stories set in 1986 (2/26/2021 deadline). Added Departure Magazine to deadlines as their window is now limited to January 2021, i.e. they are currently closed. Also adding an open anthology on quiet horror with no deadline below from Cemetery Media Gates. Edit: Added Flame Tree’s flash fiction contest (11/17 deadline) to the deadlines list.
Open Anthology with no specified deadline yet (pay 1-10¢/word)
There is also a new story call for an anthology forthcoming from Cemetery Media Gates with no specific deadline (probably closing in early 2021 once they have enough stories). Details: CMG's Quiet Horror anthology, 1000-3000 words probably best (up to 5000 words OK), payment is a flat $100 (so if 1000 words then 10¢/word, if 2000 words then 5¢/word, 3000 words then about 3¢/word), Genre/Theme: Quiet Horror/confessional style supernatural experiences, Multiple and Simultaneous NO (but can resubmit one week after receiving a rejection), Note: this links to CMG's Twitter post on it which is the primary source on this "secret open call".
Submission Deadlines in September and Beyond (pay 5-20¢/word USD or equivalent)
11/1, Dark Matter Magazine (Halloween Issue and General Issue), 1000-5000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: various SF (including Afrofuturism, Alternate Universe, Apocalyptic, Cyberpunk, Dark Humor or Satire, Dying Earth, Dystopia, Hard Boiled, Hard SF, Near Future, Pulp, Occult SF, SF Fantasy, SF Horror, Slipstream, Space Opera, Theological, Weird SF), Theme: general submissions and Halloween or monster themed story call, Poetry OK ($30/poem), Comics OK (1-10 pages; $50/page), Simultaneous OK, Multiple OKish, Reprints OK (2¢/word)
11/1 Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest (3rd annual), ~350 words, prize money (1st=$50, 2nd=$25,10+HMs=$5, Genre: SpecFic/SF/F/H/Humor/Weird Theme: scary stories set around any winter holiday, Reprints: query, Note: accepts narrative poetry, multiple entries OK
11/1-11/2, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, open 1st-2nd every month, 1000-40000 words (shorter preferred), 6¢/word (reprints 2¢/word), Genre: F/SF, Poetry ($1/line, ~40 lines, reprints 50¢/word), Articles (2-6¢/word, reprints 1-4¢/word), Note: great feedback provided if requested in cover letter
10/31-11/15, Beyond the Veil: A New Collection of Horror Stories (Flame Tree Anthology), 3000-5000 words ("most likely to be successful at" but will read a little outside that range up to around 6000 or so), 8¢/word, Genre/Theme: any horror, Further notes: edited by Mark Morris; Beyond the Veil is the second book in the Flame Tree Book of Horror series; also see 1st book in series titled "After Sundown which published in October 2020, submit here: firstname.lastname@example.org, Multiple OK, Simultaneous OK
11/17, Flame Tree Flash Fiction Contest, ~1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre/Theme #1: Horror/A Red Christmas, Genre/Theme #2: SF/Icy Planet, Note: sign up for their newsletter to get notified of these every month and read the past winners
9/21-11/30 (closing date unknown but likely around the end of November), Deep Magic, 1000-40,000 words, 8¢/word up to 7499 words ($599.92 pay cap above that), Genre: SF and Fantasy, Note: PG-13, Reprints OK (2¢/word up to 10,000 words and capped at $200 for longer)
11/1-11/30, ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare, 1000-4500 words, $75/story, Genre: Horror/Dark Weird/Dark SF, Theme: anything anti-capatalist and horror (horrors of capitalism; monstrous bosses, jobs from literal Hell, working class folks fighting back against great cosmic evils, etc.), Simultaneous OK, Note: "Please send submission to email@example.com. Include your name, story title, and word count in the subject heading (e.g., Karl Marx — “Capitalism Bad” — 3,500 Words”). Include an author bio of under 100 words and no more than two links to accompany your story."
12/1, Don't Touch That: An Anthology of Parenthood in SFF, ~5000 words, 6¢/word, Genre: F/SF, Theme: "Parents exploring ancient, curse-ridden caves with their children. Parents trying to give their kin enough personal space to grow their own intergalactic empires - and make their mistakes. Parents hunting the monsters that hide beneath kids' beds. Parents offering advice to the adventuring child who never takes it." Submit: "a .doc or .docx file to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 11:15pm EST on December 1, 2020." Note: open to 2 slush stories
12/2, Arkansas Intergalactic Themed Issue, ~8000 words, $20/page capped at $250, Genre: SF/Speculative, Simultaneous OK, Multiple OK (in one submission packet), Poetry OK, Note: no submission fee if they haven't hit the monthly cap
8/27-12/31, THE MODERN DEITY’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY, DERELICT, and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (three anthologies from Zombies Need Brains LLC), 7500 words, 8¢/words + royalties, Theme 1: urban fantasy w/ a god/deity, Theme 2: SF/F about abandoned ships, Theme 3: SF/F about colliding cultures, Sub to email@example.com w/ name of anthology and title of story submitted, Multiple OK (separate emails), Reprints/Simultaneous NO
10/1-1/31, Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, ~8000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF, Want "Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure"
Publications Open for Submission (No specified deadline; pay 5-20¢/word USD or equivalent)
TEMP CLOSED: Addition Magazine, 1000-5000 words, 8¢/word, Theme: Rebuild, Genre: General/SF, Note: if no response in 14 days assume they rejected the story
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, ~20,000 (8-10 cents/word), 40k-80k serials (6 cents/word), poetry ($1/line), 4000-word fact articles (9 cents/word), Genre: SF, Multiple Yes
Anathema: Spec from the Margins, 1500-6000 words (if 1500-2000 words pays 5¢/word), $100 CAD/story ($50/poem), Genre: SF/F/H, Simultaneous OK, Poetry OK (under 100 lines, Non-Fiction OK (1500-3000 words), Limited demographic: queer/two-spirit person of colour/Indigenous/Aboriginal, Note on Genre/Theme: "We are open to any form of genre or speculative content. We talk about what we do as "SF/F/H, the weird, slipstream, surrealism, fabulism, and more," elsewhere on the site. But we are not limited to those genres. Use them as a starting point and send whatever you want: as long as it's got some kind of speculative content we'll consider it. And we are also interested in seeing work that has been difficult to place because of content or perspective."
Apex Magazine, ~7500 words, 8 cents/word, Genre: F/SF/Horror
Flame Tree Press, seeks 70k-120k word novels (SF/F/H/Crime), often announces short story anthologies (8¢/word), runs a monthly flash fiction contest (700-1000 words at 8¢/word; reprints: 6¢/word), Note: sign up for newsletter to receive notice of monthly flash fiction contest prompts and upcoming anthology calls
Smokelong Quarterly, ~1000 words, $50/piece, Genre: Literary, Simultaneous OK, Notes on what they want: language that surprises and excites, narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist, pieces that add up to something, often (but not necessarily always) something profound or emotionally resonant honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story
CURRENTLY CLOSED (PREVIOUS WINDOW: 8/12-9/4), Uncanny Magazine, 750-6000 words, 10¢/word, Genre: SF/F Wants: "intricate, experimental stories and poems with gorgeous prose, verve, and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs. Uncanny believes there’s still plenty of room in the genre for tales that make you feel."
Submission Deadlines in August and Beyond (pay 1-4¢/word USD or equivalent)
11/30, Women Destroy Retro Science Fiction, 750-1500 ($10) or 1501-2500 words ($15), Genre/Theme: retro-futurism with a female filled world of impossible wonders, Note: Women authors only (Transwomen authors accepted because transwomen are women)
Dark Moon Digest, opens on the 1st every month and closes when full 1500-7000 words, 3¢/word, Genre: Horror (complex, creepy, like Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, Simultaneous OK
Perpetual Motion Machine, ~1500 words, $25/story, Genre: Horror (same as Dark Moon above)
Bourbon Penn, 2000-7500 words, 2¢/word, Genre: speculative (odd/imaginative ones), especially slipstream/cross-genre/magic realism/absurdist/surreal
Duotrope, same as above, a submission tracker and market database that requires a paid subscription for full usage, may go into a bit more depth than Grinder though not by much based on my brief trial subscription
Need motivation for the submission game?
Submission Tetris: An Analytic Approach by Laurence Raphael Brothers, a brief but useful consideration of what and where to submit in the submissions game from SFWA
Also, great advice at these links below
Charlie Jane Anders' advice: chapters from her forthcoming non-fiction book Never Say You Can't Survive with new chapters released every Tuesday
Delilah S. Dawson's page of links, including her advice on how to get published
And here, more links