Blog Chatter for November! It's that crazy month when some of us tack on a 50k project on top of our other obligations and deadlines, but I didn't want that to stop the monthly blog, which I generally aim to release between the 3rd to the 9th at the start of each month. I hope the listings below help. Apologies if I missed anything or if any details have changed. I did try to double check most of my listings. As per usual, I will add more as I have time, but I think I've included a lot. Feel free to skip the blog chatter and go straight to deadlines, but do note the Fyrecon convention coming on 11/18, and also note that I'll have a promo released via YouTube on the same date.
About Stone Shaper Tanukis Estranged, my slipstream short story set in a near future Japan about a tanuki searching for his daughter: a promo will be released on the publisher's Clan Improbable YouTube channel on the 18th of this month. It includes me in a Japanese yukata reading the opening of the short story for two minutes, and discussing the background of the story for less than a minute. Music is included! This was a collaborative project with the wonderful South African alternative rock band Unbroken Bond, and they were kind enough to slip their music into my recording. I love how well it matches the feels. Look forward to the listen! I'll post about it again when the time comes. You'll be able to read the entire short story, as well as many more cryptids tales, next month, if you've pre-ordered Volume Blue of Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging (Improbable Press). If you preorder both volumes, you receive a discount (Volume Blue and Volume Silver).
Fyrecon!!! A four-day conference on art and writing especially in relation to science fiction and fantasy. November 18-21 this year. Such a great conference. I loved it when I went last year. The online classes and talks and workshops and chatter was so inspiring. I highly recommend checking out the Master Workshops they have on offer. I took workshops with Wulf Moon and M. Todd Gallowglas, and their classes will definitely serve you well. Several other workshops available from Rebekah R. Ganiere, Julie E Czerneda, Ravyn Evermore, and Sam Webb. There are more on January 15th as part of Fyrecon Lite with David Farland, Martin L. Shoemaker, and Amy White. Also, I'll be a presenter at the convention as well. I'm on four roundtables speaking with other writers and freaking out. But it should be a lot of fun. Those topics include poetry, character creation, and the power of that simple word "And". See my NaNo project title below for how much I love that word.
NaNoWriMo! I love November for the perfect excuse it lends to not sleep and obsess about fantastical stories, to let the characters and worlds grab you and go. As if that's any different from other months. Ha. Ha. My project is tentatively titled Net Me Wings on REM Wires and Popstars and Begin. For this one, I aimed to work on a 50k project that is comprised of connected short stories, in order to encourage the creation of a 5000 word story for an anthology deadline in January. I wanted to set this story in the same world as Stone Shaper Tanukis Estranged (my short story being published this December) and boy is it working out so far. My protagonist's sister just had an interesting interaction with the daughter of the protagonist in Stone Shaper Tanukis Estranged, and I discovered how crazy this near future Japan is; okay, it already was that, but wow. Playlists I've listened to for matching story mood have included two by Clark Powell, Battle Chasers: Nightwar OST and After-Party Animal EP, as well as the latest collaborative group and album from Tricky, Lonely Guest.
Anyway, if you want to read a little teaser, you can find my project on my NaNoWriMo project profile. You'll also find it has a story cover I created using GIMP and PhotoTangler from a compilation of six photos altered after downloading them from Unsplash. Free to use under their license (https://unsplash.com/license). The photographers with links to the photos used are provided here (most for hire, with plenty of samples): Hilda Trinidad at https://unsplash.com/photos/NC55CNnsnO0, Miguel (@voodoolx) at https://unsplash.com/photos/cNqwm1RB7Tw, Ryoji Hayasaka (@hayakasa) at https://unsplash.com/photos/61AOhENdXro, Jongsun Lee (@sarahleejs) at https://unsplash.com/photos/DjBW1BPCpKw, valentin hintikka at https://unsplash.com/photos/dsvdsApExw4, Lenstravelier at https://unsplash.com/photos/0E0Fm4EOKso.
What am I reading? I recently finished listening to Cassandra Khaw's recent Nothing But Blackened Teeth and loved it. Intense body horror, so I don't recommend it to all of you. I really enjoyed the scene with all the snacks tossed about the temple where they were crashing. That scene felt so much like a typical snack party in Japan that it engaged me. It also included enough background to the location and the supernatural to work. A shame it wasn't longer.
Now I'm listening to Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. A must listen, people! I love how there are several perspectives that have completely different understandings of the world and so cannot fully grasp the other lives people are living. It's fun to see how they gradually understand each other. I'm really enjoying the portrayal of the spaceship pilot captain running a donut shop and the young trans woman and violin prodigy who gets selected by a violin teacher who is also the Queen of Hell. It is as wacky as something I would love by Charlie Jane Anders so it's no wonder her recommendation led me to it. This is also close to the kind of mixed genre work I admire the most with a nice blend of literary, SF, and supernatural. It's fairly close to the kind of stories I've been subbing to WotF these days. I think the audio jumps between perspectives a bit too quickly, so some readers might require the ebook or paper copy. I'll probably be ordered a hardcover after this first listen.
I'm also reading through a hardcover copy of Cassandra Khaw's cyberpunk novel The All-Consuming World. What a freaking awesome voice. Chock full of f-bombs and other language and violence galore. Highly recommend, though I haven't finished it yet, so we'll see how the ending pans out. It definitely serves to inspire me to work more on my tentatively titled Hum in the Highways novel and connected short stories, flash, and poetry. Just as much as T.R. Napper's Neon Leviathan did.
Table of Contents (scroll down to each section for clickable links)
1. Submission Deadlines/Windows (11/7/2021 and beyond; pro rates)2. Publications Open for Submission (no specified deadline; pro rates)
3. Submission Deadlines/Windows (11/7/2021 and beyond; semi-pro or token)
4. Publications Open for Submission (no specified deadline; semi-pro or token)
6. Closed Publications
8. Advice, Motivation, and Workshops
1. Submission Deadlines/Windows (11/7/2021 and beyond; pro rates)
11/1-11/7, Micro Madness (Cosmic Horror Monthly), ~500 words, three winners/month ($100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd), Genre: cosmic horror/dark SF/weird, submit with cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
11/1-11/14, Solarpunk Magazine, 500-7500 words, 8¢/word ($80 min), Genre: any (prefers solarpunk/SF/F/slipstream/magical realism/urban fantasy; not strict about genre), Theme: solarpunk (specifically any work that "speculates about a better world in an equitable future where humanity and technology have either achieved a healthy balance with nature, or have adapted to climate change in creative ways"), Poetry OK (up to 5 poems or 5 pages of poems, whichever is shorter; $40/poem), Translations OK, Simultaneous NO, Multiple (one submission per category of flash, short story, and poetry), Nonfiction OK (1000-1500 words, $75/piece), Art OK ($100/reprint cover, $300 original cover, $50 reprint inside, $150 original inside), Kickstarter campaign was successful
11/14, Close to Midnight (Flame Tree Press), 3000-5000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: any horror, Simultaneous OK (state in cover letter), Multiple OK, Reprints NO, editor Mark Morris, first anthology was After Sundown and second one was Beyond the Veil
10/1-11/15, Apex Magazine: Holiday Horrors Flash Fiction Contest, ~250 words, winner receives $25 and publication in issue 121 of Apex Magazine (two runner-ups receive $10 and publication on the Apex Magazine blog), Genre/Theme: "we want the scariest fiction you can write that is set around a celebratory holiday in and around December (not restricted to Christmas; can include such holidays as Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Winter Solstice, and the Chinese New Year, or anything else from your own experience)
11/15, Flame Tree (Monthly Flash Fiction Contest), 700-1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Crime and Mystery, Theme: Murder Masquerade, must subscribe to their newsletter, submit entry to Newsletter Editor Maria Tissot, email@example.com w/ theme as subject heading and author details/bio at end of story, note: every month will be a different genre and there will only be one prompt
9/15-11/15, Lamplight Magazine (Special Call for New Writers), ~5100 words, 6¢/word, Genre: Dark/Literary, Reprints (1¢/word), simultaneous OK, Note: limited to 300 subs/month (closes each month after limit reached; was still open when checked on 11/6)
11/15 Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest (4th annual), ~350 words, prize money (1st at $75, 3 prompt prizes at $50, 10-12 HMs at $5) and winners read on the podcast (preferably by the author), Genre: any genre but must be strange or odd, Theme: must relate to any winter holiday, 3 prompt categories to submit to, Reprints OK( query), Multiple OK, Poetry OK (narrative poetry only)
11/1-11/21, Flash Fiction Online, open 1st-21st (closed Dec.), 500-1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: any, Multiple (only 1 original and 1 reprint story concurrently), Reprints 2¢/word, anonymous submissions
11/5-11/21, Weird Horror anthology (Flame Tree Press), 2000-4000 words (will read a bit outside range), 8¢/word, Genre/Theme: weird and cosmic horror (Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft sit alongside new tales by new writers from open submissions), Reprints OK, Simultaneous OK, Multiple OK
10/18-11/29, Uncanny Magazine (poetry), any length, $40/poem, Multiple OK (up to 5 poems at a time in separate submissions), Simultaneous NO, Reprints NO, Poetry Editor: Chimedum Ohaegbu
11/20-30, Apex Microfiction Contest, ~250 words, 4¢/word (or free Apex ebook of your choice), Genre: literary genre fiction, Theme: Feast, Reprints NO, Judge: McKenzie Johnston , include brief bio in body of email, winners announced on the 12/8
11/15-11/30, DreamForge Magazine, 200-4500 words (sweet spot: 2500-3750), 6¢/word (reprints: 3¢/word), Genre: SF and Fantasy, Theme: positive stories (wants "stories of hope and advancement" that "open up the universe," and to be shown the "better angels of our nature"; lots more direction provided on what they are seeking at the link), Poetry OK (~900 words)
9/1-11/30, Dark Recesses, 500-5000 words, 5¢/word, Genre: horror/dark fiction, four submission windows (9/1-11/30, 12/1-2/29, 3/1-5/31, 6/1-8/31), note variants from standard manuscript format (single-spaced, no indents), Nonfiction OK (but read specifics on their site)
11/1-11/30, Strange Horizons (open to fiction in November; open to poetry through 2/2022), ~10,000 words (~5000 best), 10¢/word, Genre: speculative (broadly defined), Art OK (email, see website), Nonfiction OK (email, see website), Simultaneous NO, Poetry (up to 6 poems, in same file OK, $50/poem, Simultaneous OK)
11/1-11/30, PodCastle (an Escape Artists Podcast), ~6000, 8c/word, Genre/Theme: all fantasy (fantastical element must be meaningful to the story), Multiple (1 original, 1 reprint; if rejected while window still open, sub another one), Simultaneous OK (except not to other Escape Artist Podcasts), Reprints OK (~17,000 words, query first if 6000+, 1500 words at $20, 1500+ words at $100), anonymous sub NO (include name at top and byline after title as per standard format), Editors: Eleanor R. Wood and Shingai Njeri Kagunda, submit at Moksha submissions portal here
12/15 (tentative; see newsletter), Flame Tree (Monthly Flash Fiction Contest), 700-1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: varies (the newsletter at the start of every month will provide the new prompt and new genre, previously Horror and SF), must subscribe to their newsletter, submit entry to Newsletter Editor Maria Tissot, firstname.lastname@example.org w/ theme as subject heading and author details/bio at end of story, note: every month will be a different genre and there will only be one prompt
11/15-12/20, Cast of Wonders (an Escape Artists Podcast), ~6000 words (query for longer; best fit is 3000-4500 or flash <1000), 8¢/word, Genre/Theme: YA (12-17 age range) of any genre (SF/Fantasy/Horror/Comedy/Supernatural Romance/Superheroes and others) that matches core theme (wants stories to evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them), Anonymous submissions, Reprints OK, Simultaneous OK (notify if accepted elsewhere and may consider as reprint), Multiple NO, Editor: Katherine Inskip, send submissions to Moksha link
10/1-12/31, WotF Q4, ~17000 words (generally should aim for 3000-10,000), 8¢/word, prize money (1st $1000, 2nd $750, 3rd $500, annual grand $5000, plus Hollywood workshop; semi-finalists get feedback), Genre: F/SF, Note: contest for new writers w/o 4+ pro-level publications (8¢/word pro rates); the forum is very helpful, especially the Super Secrets thread; free workshop available on website, also check out Wulf Moon's workshops for extra help on crafting winning stories and mindset
12/1-12/31 (may close earlier if reach submissions cap), The Cincinnati Review, ~10,000 words, about 10¢/word (specifically $25/page), Genre: general/literary, Poetry OK ($30/page), Simultaneous OK, three submissions windows (opening the 1st of September, December, and May and closing at the end of the month or when they reach a cap on submissions)
8/27-12/31, Shattering the Glass Slipper, ~7500 words, Genre/Theme: fairy tales that have been upended, gender-bent, or twisted around (especially like non-European; also avoid doing same as anchor authors, see link on site), 8¢/word, submit story to email@example.com
9/28-12/31, Into the Forest (a women-in-horror anthology), 1000-5000 words, 6¢/word, Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror, Theme: stories inspired by and featuring the Baba Yaga, Limited Demographic: all writers who identify as women are welcome to submit
1/15/2022 (tentative; see newsletter), Flame Tree (Monthly Flash Fiction Contest), 700-1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: varies (the newsletter at the start of every month will provide the new prompt and new genre, previously Horror and SF), must subscribe to their newsletter, submit entry to Newsletter Editor Maria Tissot, firstname.lastname@example.org w/ theme as subject heading and author details/bio at end of story, note: every month will be a different genre and there will only be one prompt
10/1-1/31, Nothing Without Us Too (anthology), 500-3500 words, 0.08CAD/word, Genre: any genre fiction (romance, SF/F, paranormal, mystery, etc.) and realistic/literary fiction (but no erotica, no fanfic), Theme: the protagonist must be disabled, blind, deaf, neurodivergent, and/or managing a mental illness or chronic illness, Limited to writers across the disability, mental illnesss, developmental disabilities, neurodiversity, blind, and deaf spectrums (however, no works from authors included in the first anthology Nothing Without Us), Note that due to the grant received for the anthology submissions from Canadian authors are given priority (submissions from anywhere in the world are welcome though), Simultaneous OK, Multiple No (can send a new story if first submission is rejected), send submissions to email@example.com
1/1-1/31, Nashville Review, ~8000 words, a flat $100/story (so about 1-10¢/word), Genre: general/literary, may submit short stories and novel excerpts up to 8000 words or submit three flash pieces in one document up to 1000 words each, Simultaneous OK, Creative Non-fiction OK (~8000 words), Poetry OK (1-3 poems within one document per submission; $25/poem), Art OK (see site for details), three submissions windows (9/1-9/30, 1/1-1/31, 5/1-5/31)
10/1-2/1 (tentative dates, listing based on last years details), Jim Baen Memorial Award, ~8000 words, grand prize (published at 8¢/word, engraved trophy, entry into International Space Development Conference, year membership in National Space Society, books and merchandise), 2nd and 3rd place (entry into International Space Development Conference, year membership in National Space Society, books and merchandise), Genre: SF, Theme: the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration
2/15 (tentative; see newsletter), Flame Tree (Monthly Flash Fiction Contest), 700-1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: varies (the newsletter at the start of every month will provide the new prompt and new genre, previously Horror and SF), must subscribe to their newsletter, submit entry to Newsletter Editor Maria Tissot, firstname.lastname@example.org w/ theme as subject heading and author details/bio at end of story, note: every month will be a different genre and there will only be one prompt
11/15-2/15, Orpheus + Eurydice Unbound (air and nothingness press), 1000-3500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: any, Theme: writers encouraged to write around one of the anthology's sections inspired by the Orpheus and Eurydice tale (The Wedding, The Snake/The Attack/The Death, The Quest, and The Look Back), Simultaneous NO, Multiple NO, Reprints NO, Standard Manuscript format w/ a few changes (Page Size: Letter; Margins: .5”; Font: Calibri 11 point, single spaced), submit with a one paragraph bio, email submissions to email@example.com
2/29 (my tentative assumption), Pseudopod (general submissions), 1500-6000 words (prefer about 4500; also flash under 1500 welcome), 8¢/word (reprints of flash at $20), Genre/Theme: any horror for audio, Simultaneous OK (but with disclosure!), Multiple OK (one original and one reprint)
2. Publications Open for Submission (no specified deadline; pro rates)
Escape Pod, 1500-6000 (reprints 1500-18000), 8¢/word (reprints $100), Genre/Theme: any SF (prefer high clarity and pacing to match their audio format; prefer to see a ray of hope even in darker stories), opens from 9/1/2021-5/31/2022
The Antihumanist, ~1000 words, 5¢/word, Genre: any genre that fits the theme, Theme: fiction that "challenges human centred narratives" and "forces us to confront our place in the universe," Simultaneous OK
The Cincinnati Review, ~10,000 words, about 10¢/word (specifically $25/page), Genre: general/literary, Poetry OK ($30/page), Simultaneous OK, three submissions windows (opening the 1st of September, December, and May and closing at the end of the month or when they reach a cap on submissions)
The Deadlands, ~5000 words (sweet spot = 3-4k), 10¢/word,Genre/Theme: speculative fiction that concerns itself with death–but also everything death may involve, Reprints OK (~5000 words, 1¢/word), Poetry OK during open periods (currently closed since June 14th; when open: 3 poems/submission, $50/poem), Nonfiction OK (1-4k words, $100/essay), Art OK ($100/cover art)
3. Submission Deadlines/Windows (11/7/2021 and beyond; semi-pro or token)
11/7, Starward Shadows Quarterly, 1500-6000 words (1¢/word), 500-1500 words ($10), Genre: any speculative (particularly likes Cosmic Horror, Sword and Sorcery, Sword and Planet, High/Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos inspired tales, Gothic Horror, Space Opera, Dark Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, New Weird, Grimdark, Slipstream, and Cyberpunk) Theme: strange places that walk the line between reality and nightmare ("anything with a Dark Souls, Morrowind, or Oblivion vibe will have us foaming at the mouth"; "one of the editors has also had a lifelong, questionable obsession with A Clockwork Orange and those old Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comics"), Simultaneous OK, Multiple OK (1 short story and 3 flash), Art OK, submit to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading [FICTION: Story Title – Genre – Word Count]
11/12, The Fabulist Fall 2021 Call, ~3000 words, $25, Genre/Theme: any fantastical genre stories (including SF/fantasy/intelligent horror/magic realism/mythic and folkloric works/"literary fabulism"/near-future/"solarpunk/cli-fi"/and more), welcomes other genres if fantastical included (crime/mystery/romance/westerns/thrillers/sea adventures/gothic/quasi-realist works), Simultaneous OK
11/11-11/13, Shoreline of Infinity, ~6000 words, £10/1000 word, Genre/Theme: seeking SF/F with impact, Simultaneous OK, Poetry OK (open year-round, no pay (receive a six-month subscription to the magazine)
9/15-11/15, Lamplight Magazine, ~7000 words, 3¢/word, Genre: Dark/Literary, Reprints (1¢/word), simultaneous OK, Note: they are limited to 300 submissions/month and will close each month after that limit is reached
11/15, Hex on the Beach, 1000-10,000 words, $25, Genre: Horror, Theme: 80’s slasher heavy in nostalgia, Simultaneous OK, Reprints OK, submit stories to Horroroasis@gmail.com with 'Hex on the Beach’ as the subject line
11/15, Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters (Timber Ghost), ~5000 words, $20 (if author has a photo to go with their story they will be paid an extra $5), Genre: true ghost stories (no fiction), Theme: true ghost stories/unexplained occurrences/weird encounters with the paranormal or supernatural, Simultaneous OK, Multiple NO, Reprints OK
11/19, Steam vs Substance (Issue 3 of Mythulu Magazine), 500-2800 words, 4¢/word, Theme: Prove explicit moments can be both ethical and important or demonstrate why platonic gestures demonstrate superior love (seeking one erotica piece with extraordinary depth, one "mass appeal" intensity romance containing clever taboos made approachable, one PG-level romance focused on love that transcends personal ownership), Non-fiction OK (200-1200 words, 8¢/word, theme: on the business/non-fiction side, discuss how codependency impacts authors, especially the tug-of-war between personal expression and the need for acceptance, and consider the romance business, the genre's relationship with censorship, or another related topic you're passionate about), Art OK
11/1-11/30, Abyss & Apex (poetry window), prefers "lineated free verse with a limited amount of traditional form poetry with at least 9 lines or prose poems at least 50 words in length but we will publish brilliant shorter work", $5.50/poem, Genre/Theme: any speculative (seeks strong, emotionally resonant, literary-quality poetry with a clear speculative element), dark poetry welcome but not horror
12/1, United Faedom, 8000-10,000 words, $20, Genre/Theme: 3 open calls (1: Cozy Romance, YA or clean adult; 2: LGBTQ & Romance, adult with mild erotica if desired; 3: Romantic Fantasy, adult with mild erotica, Reprints OK (depending on reprint status), Send subs to email@example.com, see further details at linke
12/31, We're Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2021 (Neon Hemlock anthology), ~17,500 words, 1¢/word, speculative exploring queerness/transness, reprints from 2021 only, simultaneous OK, multiple OK
2/16/2022, Maps & Biomes (Issue 4 of Mythulu Magazine), 500-2800 words, 4¢/word, Theme: innovative settings are the foundation for new genres (Why do readers care about maps and what makes a map legendary? Submit short stories that feature wildly original biomes or bizarre weather. Show us settings fundamentally at war with character needs), Non-fiction OK (200-1200 words, 8¢/word, theme: On the business side, how do you make your map earn an ROI? And most of all, what makes a world good enough to spawn a new genre?), Art OK
5/1-5/31, Abyss & Apex (poetry window), prefers "lineated free verse with a limited amount of traditional form poetry with at least 9 lines or prose poems at least 50 words in length but we will publish brilliant shorter work", $5.50/poem, Genre/Theme: any speculative (seeks strong, emotionally resonant, literary-quality poetry with a clear speculative element), dark poetry welcome but not horror
4. Publications Open for Submission (no specified deadline; semi-pro or token)
6. Publications Closed
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
8. Advice, Motivation, and Workshops
M. Todd Gallowglas does some fun and engaging classes that really inspire you to produce meaningful new work; check out his shows on Twitch or his workshops