Monday, October 5, 2020

Q4 of WotF done and hit 100 submissions

How did everyone do in September? For me, writing was successful in terms of current short term goals (long term questionable), work on a side business has been extremely slow, teaching jobs have gradually picked back up though with some losses (suggesting a light at the end of the financial trouble tunnel, depending on how covid-19 proceeds in future weeks), and my kids seem to be doing well enough for the moment.

In September,  I wrapped up revisions to my story that started as a 250-word KYD story, expanded out to about 13,000 words, and submitted it to the Writers of the Future contest, quarter 4 deadline, with about a half day to spare. Early by my standards. I had planned for a 5000-7000 word story, but after drafting, the story clearly needed the space for world-building and thematic development. I ran it by several readers and integrated their feedback into drafts while sticking to the essential core. While feedback is definitely essential for a quality story, I’ve definitely found I need to be careful not to lose the core story to conflicting feedback. I listen to all of it, but disregard what I feel destroys my vision. If multiple people say the same thing then I’ll be more likely to pay attention, but even then I’m careful about letting that mess with the original vision too much. It’s a difficult balance. Sometimes feedback will seem completely off target but still worth testing out as you can be surprised at what you find.

I finished the story and submitted while staying at a mountainside school for a 3-day elementary school program. I stayed overnight at a hotel the first night then at the school’s guest room for two nights. After submitting the story, I had time on the next afternoon to hike around the wilderness with one of the other teachers, a UK/German guy. We didn’t make it to the mountain itself, but we did find a surprisingly diverse landscape. From trails through bamboo that actually formed a tunnel in a few areas, down makeshift steps into the moist loam of a pine forest alongside a stream bed, up into a small tree fort overlooking a soccer field and lodge where the students had photos and lunch the first day, into trails leading to overgrown campsites, up alongside a new growth of dark pine tree groves, and eventually into fields of tall bamboo and grass and red berries. Later on we found another grove of trees along a stream with a bridge crossing.  The UK guy said the pine groves reminded him of Germany. I agreed. They looked like this fairytalesque area I bicycled through from Netherlands across the border of Germany.

The hike reminded me of all the travel poetry I lost to a broken hard drive, written some eighteen years ago. I still draw on those poems at times, though my head is much more in the fiction writing game than the poetry one these days.

Anyway, enough of that...I just hit 100 hundred submissions for 2020. I stayed up late and sent out a few more stories and poems. So yay! I did it. Goal almost met. I imagine I'll hit 100 rejections by November. Doesn't mean I'll let up though...Still need to get at least one of these published at a decent rate in a good publication.

What's next? Not sure. I'll keep submitting regularly, but I want to do another revision of my novel, as I'm sure I can make it better after the past year of writing. I've improved a lot, at least so I like to believe. I need to make a post about that on the Writers of the Future forum to meet some of the last homework for the Wolf Pack over there. Was very motivating to join Wolf Moon's challenge, and to have formed a writing group as a result will surely motivate onward into the future.

Current Stats on 100 Rejections Goal

Rejections: 74 (46 short, 26 flash, 2 poems)

Pending: 26 (15 short, 8 flash, 2 poems, 1 novel grant app)

Total 2020 Submissions:  100 (to publications paying 5¢/word or more)

Edit 10/10: 80 rejections, 24 pending, 104 total submissions

As for the first two lists below, I added four to the deadlines and three to the publications without deadlines. EDIT: added a 10/19 deadline for Flame Tree contest, a 10/31 deadlines for Dark Matter Magazine, and a 12/1 deadline for Don't Touch That (anthology). EDIT: Cemetery Media Gates: Flash Horror Anthology "Campfire Macabre" is wrapping up submissions early with deadline now 10/31 and only a few slots left so get them stories in (see further details below or just click the link there).

Submission Deadlines in September and Beyond (pay 5-20¢/word USD or equivalent)

10/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is open to all authors

10/11 Dream Foundry Contest, Words ~10,000, prize (1st $1000, 2nd $500, 3rd $200), Note: contest for new writers (have published 4000 words or less, earned $320 or less from those words and never been nominated for a major award), Note: winners are not published but do receive critiques along with the financial reward

10/19, Flame Tree Flash Fiction Contest, ~1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre/Theme #1: Horror/Vampires, Genre/Theme #2: SF/Solar Flares, Note: sign up for their newsletter to get notified of these every month and read the past winners 

10/31, Arsenika, ~1000 words, 6¢/word, Simultaneous OK, Multiple OK, Poetry OK (~1000 words), Submissions in English/Spanish/Chinese OK

10/31, UnMasked: Stories of Risk and Revelation (WordFire Press), ~5000 words, 6¢/word, Genre: SF/F/H/alien/magical/witchcraft/AI/romance, Theme: unmasking must be central to story, PG-13 audience, Edited by Kevin J. Anderson

10/31, The Reinvented Heart (anthology), 500-5000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF, Theme: how do relationships change in the future, note: this submission call is for female and nonbinary writers

10/31, Chiral Mad 5, ~5000 words (poetry: ~50 lines, up to 5 poems), 6¢/word (poems:$1/line) Theme: The End Is The Beginning / The Beginning Is The End, Note: for underrepresented demographic only, "If you are not part of an underrepresented demographic (POC, LGBTQIA+, female), please do not submit at this time, but feel free to send recommendations", Note: proceeds go to BLM

8/7-10/31, Cemetery Media Gates: Flash Horror Anthology "Campfire Macabre", 500-1000 words (submit 1 story per theme, up to 5 stories), 8¢/word, Genre: Horror, Theme: Cemetery Chillers, Spook Houses, Supernatural Slashers, Witchcraft, Within the Woods

11/1, Metastellar, ~1000 words, 8 cents/word, Genre: F/SF/H

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

10/15-11/2, PseudoPod, 1500-6000 words (4500 best) or ~1499 words (500-1000 best), 8¢/word, Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy/Weird, Simultaneous OK (if not both Escape Artists publications)

11/1-11/7, Fantasy Magazine, ~7500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy, Poetry ($40/poem, send up to 6)

11/1-11/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is only open to Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other under-represented authors

11/15, Apex Holiday Horrors Flash Fiction Contest, ~250 words (not including title/byline), $25 for winner and $10 for two runner-ups, Genre/Theme: Horror set around any winter holiday

9/21-11/30 (closing date not set but likely some time in 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)

11/30, ServiceScape Short Story Award, ~5000 words, $1,000 USD (one winner), Genre: any

11/30: Cast of Wonders (General Submissions), ~6000 words (best 3000-4500 or flash <1000), 8¢/word, Genre: any YA, Note: good feedback provided last time I submitted

11/30, Strange Horizons, open every Mon 16:00 UTC - Tue 16:00 UTC, ~10,000 words, 10¢/word, Genre: all speculative, (Note: closes for all of December, Poetry OK, Non-Fiction OK

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 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

11/30-12/4, Fireside (Autumn 2021 Issue), ~3000 words, 12.5¢/word, Genre: Any (English or Spanish) 

12/1-12/7, Fantasy Magazine, ~7500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy, Poetry ($40/poem, send up to 6)

12/1-12/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is open to all authors

12/31, Lost Contact, 1000-7000 words, 5¢/word, Genre: Horror/Weird Science, Theme: use lost contact idea as you please and link it with horror and technology, Simultaneous OK

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 w/ name of anthology and title of story submitted, Multiple OK (separate emails), Reprints/Simultaneous NO

1/1-1/7, Fantasy Magazine, ~7500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy, Poetry ($40/poem, send up to 6)

1/1-1/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is only open to Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other under-represented authors

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"

2/1-2/7, Fantasy Magazine, ~7500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy, Poetry ($40/poem, send up to 6)

2/1-2/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is open to all authors

7/1-2/28/2021, The Wild Hunt: Stories of the Chase, 1000-3000 words, 8¢/word,  Theme: The Wild Hunt's folklore, myths, and drama), Genre: SF/Fantasy/Grimdark/New Weird/Dying Earth/genre-bending

3/1-3/7, Fantasy Magazine, ~7500 words, 8¢/word, Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy, Poetry ($40/poem, send up to 6)

3/1-3/7, Cossmass Infinities, 2000-10,000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF/F, Simultaneous OK, Note: this window is only open to Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other under-represented authors

8/10/2021-8/31/2021, PseudoPod (Flash Fiction Contest), ~1500 words (500-1000 best), 8¢/word, Genre: any horror, Reprints OK, Simultaneous OK (if not an Escape Artists podcast)

Publications Open for Submission (No specified deadline; pay 5-20¢/word USD or equivalent)

*added Boneyard Soup, Departure Mirror, and Infinite Worlds Science Fiction Magazine*

CLOSED TO SUBS UNTIL FEB 2021 Hybrid Fiction, 500-5000 words (or serialized novellas), 6¢/word, Genre: speculative hybrid/cross-genre (blend of 2+ genres, such as dark fantasy, steampunk western, historical fantasy, weird western, crime fantasy, etc.)

Submission Deadlines in August and Beyond (pay 1-4¢/word USD or equivalent)

9/15-11/15, New Tales of Fairy Godmothers by Kate Wolford, 4000-7500 words, 1¢/word, Genre: fairy tale fantasy, Theme: new fairy godmother tales that refresh/subvert the trope, simultaneous OK

9/15-11/15, Lamplight Magazine, ~7000 words, 3¢/word, Genre: Dark/Literary

1/4-11/15, In Darkness Delight Anthology (Corpus Press), 2500-7500 words, 3¢/word, Genre: Horror, SF (soft)

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)

12/1 Worldbuilding Fantasy Anthology, 3500-7000 or 9000-15,000 words, flat payment (short $100; novella $200), Theme: Politics as Conflict. Genre: any Fantasy (PG-13)

3/15/2021-5/15/2021, Lamplight Magazine, ~7000 words. 3¢/word, Genre: Dark/Literary

Publications Open for Submission (No Specified Deadline; pay 1-4¢/word USD or equivalent)

Where to search for submission windows on your own?

Where to Submit Short Stories: 30 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work, a decent list with a literary focus

28 Themed Submission Calls for August by S. Kalekar, submission possibilities including a few good ones I haven't had time to add to the lists above

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: plenty of updated lists of agents, calls for submission, contests, conferences, recipes, and more

Need motivation for the submission game? 

Submitting Short Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Genre Edition by Holly Lyn Walrath, a useful guide on playing the submission game written in 2019

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

This is a listing of speculative award winners. Go read, study, and improve yourself.

Here are grants to apply for with the Speculative Literature Foundation

This is a listing at that shows general response times of various publish

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