Submit Your Stories Sunday: Podcastle

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re submitting to Podcastle‘s open call and we’re reading Gem Isherwood’s Salt and Iron.

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Podcastle

Eligibility: fantasy stories up to 6 000 words

Take Note: the editors request writers remove their legal name and address from standard manuscript format before submitting

Submit by: submissions open tomorrow, June 1st, and run through to the June 30th, 2020

Payment offered: $0.08 per word

Click here to go to original call for full details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo

This week we’re dipping into Podcastle‘s recent archives to read (or listen to) Gem Isherwood’s story Salt and Iron. You can click here to go read or listen to that story now.

There are several elements to this story that read like a fairy tale, in keeping with itself as a retelling of the Girl Without Hands, collected by the brothers Grimm. To escape being sold to the fairy king, the protagonist Dagna chops off her hands and a local midwife bewitches her a pair of iron hands to replace them. Dagna struggles with her new freedom and her new identity, but after killing a would-be lover with her uncontrolled strength, she banishes herself to the outskirts of society. It’s hard not to think of Frankenstein’s monster in this scene, following that first murder of his own, and I think Isherwood did that intentionally to illustrate Dagna’s shift from innocent to clever to monster in society’s, and her own, eyes.

Here Isherwood leaves those traditional narratives behind, pulling Dagna from the presumed monstrosity of her disability and putting her on the path of redemption. I like the course of this redemption especially because Isherwood upends many of the harmful disability tropes rampant in fairy tales. Neither is the happy ending guaranteed or even inferred, instead Isherwood gives Dagna the agency of her own future.

This kind of fresh take on an old story is key to a successful retelling, and the trope-busting elements are among those I’ve learned to associate with Podcastle over the years.

Now, it’s your turn writers! Give them the best you got. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy writing.

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one of our first spring flowers, a violet from my ‘lawn’

 

Just Enough for Jenny is now available on Short Èdition

Hello writers! I’m happy to announce that I’m feeling much better and Submit Your Stories Sunday WILL be happening this week (stay tuned… )

In more personal news, my flash fiction piece Just Enough for Jenny has been published by Short Èdition/Rendez-Vous fiction! This market was featured on a Submit Your Stories Sunday about a year ago, so if you’d like details on submitting to them, check out that post here.

Just Enough for Jenny tells the story of a grieving fisherman who spies a mermaid in the bay and remembers an old bit of folklore that just might save his beloved. If you’d like to read my story, click here. I’d love to hear what you think! All stories are available on the website without charge. The fun thing is that my story will also be in one of their short story dispensers, fun little vending machines for short stories in waiting areas around the world. How cool is that?

Wishing you well, see you Sunday!

apologies

Apologies again, my friends, but there will be no Submit Your Stories this week. That makes two weeks in a row and I hate it but I’m struggling with an infected wisdom tooth (not Covid!) that is causing some incredible pain. My doctor gave me antibiotics and pain killers and if there is no hope by Monday, I’m to see the emergency dentist. It looks like that trip will be happening. In the meantime, sitting upright and away from my ice pack is a struggle, so I’ll say goodnight and hope to back in writing shape soon.

Submit Your Stories Sunday: climate fiction

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re submitting to And Lately, the Sun and reading Priya Sarukkai Chabria’s Mid-term Ecolit Examination.

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And Lately, the Sun

Eligibility: speculative stories from 2K to 8K words that re-imagine the future under climate change.

Take Note: the editors want stories that engage possible solutions, rather than point out concerns

Submit by:  June 30th, 2020 – please note this publisher is in Australia, which has a significant time change from say, Canada (where I am), and submit accordingly

Payment Offered: $80 AUD per story, with one chosen as the ‘editor’s pic’ which will receive $500.

Click here to go to the original call for full details.

A Story to Ignite your Writing Mojo

I am bending the rules on the usual story-that-meets-a-theme on this episode of Sunday. I’ve been hunting up cli-fi stories over the past few days and I keep coming back to this one: Mid-Term Ecolit Examination Paper by Priya Sarukkai Chabria. You can read this story by clicking here now. Now, with this story, the reader has to put in an effort to piece together the world, but it also gives you, as a writer, a lot of options to play with. And although I’m not sure Chabria’s story engages solutions enough for the editors of And Lately, the Sun I do think it can be an excellent catalyst for your story.

In much of our apocalyptic/climate change literature, we often engage the natural world as the antagonist, while Chabria turns that on it’s proverbial head, painting a softscape of nature and it’s beauties. We see the destruction, but the edges are softened by reveries of green. This softening is the same effect that nature has on human stress levels, so using this element to counter nature-as-antagonist is elegant and moving to me as a reader. This is an astounding story when you begin to dig into the meat of it and let go of a search for typical narrative structure.

Chabria has also juxtaposed what is clearly a world emerging from chaos with typical education structures. Someone is taking an exam in middle school, which suggests that ultimately, something of who we are now has survived, somewhere past the passion of political poems, burning tires, flooded cities, and volcanic eruptions.

Now it’s up to you to engage some solutions and frame up your story submission. I hope you are well, washing your hands, wearing your masks, and I wish you good writing.

and in my personal writing news…

I have a space mythology story coming out in the June issue of Metaphorosis magazine, entitled Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God. It’s the story of a girl who is poised to inherit the universe only to discover it has been destroyed in a bid to maintain her family’s control over it. To save the stars she loves, Zsezzyn must reach deep into the wells of her own creativity. Here’s the cover, giving me big grins to see my name on it:

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This issue won’t be out until June, but pre-orders just opened for the e-book.

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Andromeda Spaceways

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week I’m bursting with excitement to bring a call from Andromeda Spaceways, mostly because they’re the place where I got my second acceptance, AKA the one that means it’s not a fluke. However, it’s also because I’ve always wanted to showcase them  here but, as many of you know, I don’t want struggling writers to face a paywall in the stories we use to showcase the magazine. So when I noticed that Andromeda Spaceways released a free Apocalypse Edition of stories written by Sean Williams, I had to take my chance. However, this is bit trickier than the usual click of a website, because you’ll have to follow the link and then download the story as a .pdf file. Ugh, Jennifer, don’t make us read an entire magazine of awesome science fiction. Right? Get reading, writers, its good for your stories.

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Andromeda Spaceways

Eligibility: speculative stories of up to 10K words, although subscribers and authors living in New Zealand or Australia may submit stories of up to 20k words.

Take Note: all submissions must be anonymous

Submission deadline: the current opening is scheduled for May 1st until June 30th but at time of writ their website is still reading closed (checks date). I’m sure this will be rectified soon. time has been tricky to keep track of since lockdown began.

Payment offered: $0.01 (AUD), with a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $100

Click here to go to the original call for full details.

A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo

As previously mentioned, you’ll have to click here and download the Apocalypse Edition. Once you’ve got that handled, you should read this entire issue to get a strong sense of the editor’s taste, but for our purposes I’m going to focus on a flash piece that stood out to me: Tales About Today My  Great-Great-Granddaughter Will Tell Me, written by Sean Williams.

This has lot to say for a flash, Williams deftly shining a mirror that will make you cringe on modern society. We see our everyday from four generations ahead, and (spoilers) they don’t hold up. We are almost inexplicable in our foolishness, and that’s hard to see, but… this is also a good time to see it? Our species, huddled into our Great Pause, is facing a major shift. We will grow beyond this – though in what direction we do not know – and the growing pains have already begun. Stories like this help us think about who we want to be on the far side of that growth, and spur us on to keeping the power of those choices instead of grinding forward to maintain our place in a machine that is falling apart.

That’s all for this week, folks, I wish you all good health, strong submissions, and a wealth of story ideas.

Happy writing!

Submit Your Stories Sunday: cossmass infinities

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re submitting to Cossmass Infinities and we are reading Frances Rowat’s stunning story  Mechanical Connection from their first issue.

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Cossmass Infinities

Eligibility: original science fiction and fiction from 2K -10K words

Take Note: after receiving a rejection, writers may submit another, different story for the duration of the magazine’s opening

Submit by: this opening closes May 14th, 2020 (open calls happen 3x per year)

Payment offered: $0.08 per word

Click here to go to the original call for more details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo

This week we’re diving into Cossmass Infinities‘ fiction section and reading Mechanical Connection by Frances Rowat. Click here to go read that now.I like this story because of the trope subversion, what we can learn from it as writers, and because I’ve always had an affection for a superhero story.

In Mechanical Connection, Jennifer Jackson, AKA Phosphorus Jack, is a mechanic with a side of vigilante. There’s a sequence in the story wherein Rowat describes how Jennifer fixes the mechanical devices she works on, by feel and instinct and seeing what comes after this next thing, and it grabbed me because it felt like story construction. Maybe you’ll have a similar reaction, but I bring it up because, like the way this story subverts a ton of female superhero tropes, it also upends ‘the write what you know’ and shows us how to actually do that. Mechanics for Jennifer are an act of creation, and perhaps mechanics aren’t our specific passion, but creativity is (I assume, since you’re reading this) and there are certain universals in human nature we can build on – things we ‘know.’ Rowat has taken a chance and written the mechanics from the perspective of creativity rather than methodical attention to order and three-dimensional place.

Now hear me out because while this scene is a wonderful lesson for writers, this scene also works as some damn positive feminist fiction.  Rowat has taken a superhero, eliminated any need for hyper-sexiness, gave her the quintessential man’s job, AND made our perception of that job shift into something more feminine so as not to strip Jennifer of her womanhood. Moreover, Rowat then has Jennifer (SPOILER AHEAD) take a woman out of an actual fridge to save her. This dynamic writer/character duo has just subverted the fridging trope. I am so impressed and delighted to read this.

::Standing ovation::

Stay safe everybody, and happy submitting this week. If you need a pick-me-up, be sure to check out #BookCoverChallenge on twitter and enjoy people recreating book covers with random objects lying about their homes during lockdown. It’s a good time.

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Cast of Wonders banned books week

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re getting ready to Cast of Wonder‘s upcoming Banned Books Week and we’re reading This is Not a Ghost Story by V. Medina.

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Cast of Wonders: Banned Books Week

Eligibility:  speculative YA stories up to 6K words along the theme banned books

Take Note: all submissions must be anonymous

Submit by: this opens June 15th and closes June 30th, 2020  **please note these dates have changed since original posting**

Payment Offered: $0.08 per word for original fiction

Click here to go to the original call for full details.

A Story to ignite your writing mojo

This is Not a Ghost Story by V. Medina was published by Cast of Wonders in their 2019 Banned Books Week. What I like about for today’s story is the way it shifts our imaginations away from the usual ideas of what a banned book is and consider what stories may be suppressed without our awareness, maybe by our own selves. Click here to go read or listen to that story now.

This is Not a Ghost Story introduces us to a protagonist struggling through adolescence with a disability. They are frustrated that their presumed story is not their own, nor one they’d choose, and find solace telling stories to the ghosts in their room at night. As they grow, so their stories grow too, into an important and liberating part of their adult self.

Not all books are publicly banned, sometimes they are banned by presumption, prejudice, or our own lack of confidence. Our job now is dig them up, brush them off, and make them bold. Good luck with this one, writers. Stay safe.

 

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Arsenika

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to inspire your submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re subbing to Arsenika and reading J. M. Melican’s The Story of Your Name from their archives.

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Arsenika

Eligibility: unpublished, original speculative fiction only. Writers may submit two flash stories (up to 1 000 words each) AND five poems (line count limit not given)

Take Note: writers of fiction may send up to two pieces for this call

Submit by: this market is already open and closes April 30th, 2020

Payment offered: flat rate of $60 USD for fiction

Click here to go to the original call for full details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo:

This is the kind of story that truly thrills me, the kind that quickens my pulse, that makes my heart give a little gasp of delight, and my eyes never dare to leave the page/screen for fear of breaking the magic. This is The Stories of Your Name by J. M. Melican – click here and have a read, you won’t regret it.

The Stories of Your Name begins with the romantic imaginings of a lover that travel beyond the expected, wooing and seducing as much as the imagined lover. Or perhaps it is the soft possibility that we are eavesdropping, or playing the lover ourselves. This lover takes us to distant worlds and unknown cultures, spinning tales of the elusive name, and all the while drawing us again. It’s a haunting, wonderful little piece.

This is the kind of story Arsenika seeks to publish; stirring, original, untamed, and written with an elegant prose. This might be a trifle intimidating to new writers, but you’ll never know if you don’t try and trying is how you get good at it.

(editorial note – I have reviewed this story, so if it feels a bit familiar, it’s not just you, but this story still takes my breath away and I want to share it with as many people as I can.)

Stay well writers, wash your hands, stay home, be safe, I love you.

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: going viral

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to inspire your submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re subbing social isolation stories to Impulsive Walrus’ Going Viral anthology and we’re taking inspiration from… reality.

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Going Viral

Eligibility: speculative stories from 2K-8K words, set in the near future where the current quarantine and isolation rules still apply.

Submit by: submissions OPEN May 5th, 2020 and close when the anthology is filled. Don’t wait!

Payment offered: $0.02 per word

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo

This time, you’re the story. What’s your life right now? What edges of this quarantine enveloped is your mind already pushing open? What does imagination and/or nightmares whisper to you is going to happen next in your busy writer’s mind? That’s your inspiration.

If you’re still coming up empty, scour your feeds for stories. I’ve read about overheard confessions of love, dogs fed by a neighbour on the balcony below, and I’ve seen bands jam together over Zoom. There’s no end of inspiration once you start digging, humans are social beasts and we will find a way, dang it. Give us a year of this and we will interacting in ways we cannot conceive of yet… except you should, and then write a story about it.

Stay safe, writers. Wash your hands and remember better days are coming.