Submission Sundays: Tor novellas

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Every week I bring you a new call for submissions. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity and lead you to new markets. If you’re starting out, getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready?

Tor Novellas

Eligibility: polished, original science fiction and fantasy novellas between 20 000 and 40 000 words.

Caveat: they are open to submissions for two weeks, May 1 to May 15th. Not ready? They plan to open again in July, so watch their site.

What makes this call stand out: Tor has published some exceptional novellas, such as Seanan McGuire’s award-winning Wayward Children series.

Submit by: May 15th.

Payment: advance (to be determined) and royalties

Click here to go to the original call.

Happy writing!

the short story that could

Once upon a time …

a girl entered her favorite story into a contest. She wished her characters luck and took a deep breath. After all, she’d entered dozens of contests before, why should this one be any different?

But something was different. Maybe there was a splash of magic in the ink she wrote that first draft with. Maybe lightning struck her computer as she typed it up and brought her characters to life. Maybe the memory stick she backed it up with had a trace of fairy dust inside it.

Perhaps the story made its own magic.

All I know for sure is Dragon Crossings won first place in the contest. Wahoo!!!

… and the story lived happily ever after

On a more serious note, after years of entering and not winning, this does feel good. The judge gave me wonderful feedback that went straight into my anti-discouragement file. I have been invited to accept my award and read my story at the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Wordspring event in a few weeks, which I’m both thrilled and nervous about. I love reading my stories aloud to an audience … they just aren’t usually adults. *deep breath*

This win also means I met my writing goal for 2018: to win an award. And it’s only April! So now I’m on the hunt for a new goal. Any suggestions?

Submission Sundays: the Pirate Anthology

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Every week I bring you a fresh call for submissions. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity and lead you to new markets. If you’re starting out, getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready? Arrrr!

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space): a Pirate Anthology

Eligibility: Historical, fantastic, or space pirate stories of 5000-6000 words. Sexual and gender diversity welcome. Reprints and original tales welcome.

Caveat: Reprints must not have been published in the past year.

What makes this call stand out: it has pirates!

Payment: $100 for original tales, $50 for reprints

Submit by: May 15th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Speaking of anthologies, check out Tired Tykes, a children’s bedtime story anthology currently crowdfunding. My story “Leif the Story Hunter” waits inside, ready to teach you how to catch wild stories with nothing more than blank notebook. You might even end up with a sentence for a pet. Click here for details!

fairy willows

“Look, pussy willows.” I point out to my small person.

“What if they’re fairy eggs, and they’re going to hatch and make everything turn green soon?”

“Good one.” This is our game. Who can come up with the wildest ‘what if?’. The winner is our imagination. I consider my answer, sipping from my coffee. “What if the tree is a fairy nursery and the pussy willows are fairy babies swaddled up to stay warm? Shh. We don’t want to wake them up.”

“Wake up fairies!” My small person hollers. “It’s time to make everything grow again!”

There’s a rustle. A robin chirps. A crocus pokes through the leaf litter. Yellow coltsfoot blossoms dot the ditches. A rotten snowbank collapses and trickles into the water. My small person’s eyes grow wide.

Submission Sundays: The Never Beyond

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Every week I bring you a new call for submissions, and this week it’s a brand new magazine! Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity and lead you to new markets. If you’re starting out, getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready? Allons-y!

The Never Beyond

Eligibility: accepting horror, fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism stories up to 3500 words, including flash, which have not been previously published. Query anything over 3500 words.

Caveat: you must have a PayPal account to receive payment (note: if you’re new to submissions, this isn’t unusual).

What makes this call stand out: while there are no back issues to get a feel for The Never Beyond (I love this title), there is a unique thrill to being published in the inaugural issue of a magazine which has the potential to become quite successful.

Payment: $0.01 per word (currency unknown).

Submit by: no dates given, but as this is a magazine rather than an anthology, temporary closures and re-openings should be expected.

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Happy writing!

the ghosts of old summers

The ghosts of old summers linger within the slumbering trees as they hold their naked vigil against the frigid length of winter. They haunt me from my window, whispering of a riot of green and a lullaby of peepers. Fireflies. Flowers. A slick of sweat above my lip. The scent of soil as I pull a carrot from the garden. The buzz of a bee. The shriek of cicada. The scurry of some small creature in the undergrowth.

A rush of bracing wind scatters my ghosts. The cold austerity of a winter morning holding fast. For now. But not for long.

Submission Sundays: UFOs and Neil Gaiman

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Each week, I bring you a unique call for submissions. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity and lead you to new markets. If you’re starting out, getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready? This week’s call is a favorite of mine:

Unidentified Funny Objects 7

Eligibility: *humorous* speculative fiction from 500-5000 words. No reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.

Caveat: this is a tough market. According to Duotrope, less than 1% of submitted stories are accepted. Does this mean you shouldn’t submit? Heck no. It just means you shouldn’t be discouraged if you receive a rejection.

What makes this call stand out: Neil Gaiman, my favorite author, has headlined a previous issue of UFO. Do I want to be published in the same series as my hero? You bet!

Payment: $0.10 per word (American) plus a contributor copy

Submit by: April 30th, 2018

Click here to go the original call for more details.

Submission Sundays: the Horror of Pizza

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Each week, I’ll be bringing you a unique call for submission. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity. Getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready? Here’s this week’s call:

Tales From the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror

Eligibility: horror stories revolving around pizza, 1000 to 5000 words. Multiple and simultaneous submissions allowed, please query reprints first.

Photo from darkmoondigest.com

Caveat: the publishers want this call taken seriously. No humor. Scare them.

What makes this call stand out: How will writers pull the concept of pizza horror from silly to frightening? Is Soylent Green an available topping?Let the imagination games begin!

Payment: $0.03 per word (currency unknown)

Submit by: June 1, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Happy writing!

talisman of flight

The phoenix flew, disappearing into the azure skies forever. The sun glistened off his human lover’s fallen tears as waves crept up to steal them. He left her a feather, a talisman of flight. Angry, hurt, and unwilling to forgive him, she left it there.

The waves knew not to touch it.

The rocks held back. The sand shivered and lay still, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed.

A child toddled along, craving seaside treasure. Seeing the feather she grasped it and up and up she flew, soaring over islands, bays, and oceans, till she landed by the phoenix’s side.

The phoenix wondered what this could mean. Why had his human love sent a child in her stead? Could it be … his? But nay, such things aren’t possible. Are they?

“Bird,” said the child. “Fire.”

The phoenix nodded and sent the child home with fire. A fool’s gift to one too young to fear it.

Her village burned, till the waves came up and doused it, gathering the child and pulling her into the sea. Fascinated by the sky it could smell on her skin.

There it kept her, safe from flames. She walked the seabed a smouldering ember, her head above water. Not sky, not sea, not earth, not flame.

Not happy.

The embers of her skin cracked as she grew, dividing into plates. Toughening with endless callouses and turning green with algae. Her eyes brightened with inner flame and her pupils lengthened into slits. Webbing grew beneath her arms as the talisman of flight twisted them to wings.

She flapped the wings and left the sea, fire roiling in her belly. The dragon soared across the sky. She left the talisman behind, free.

Frightened waves hurried the feather to shore and dared not touch it again.

The rocks held back. The sand shivered and lay still, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed.

A child toddled along, looking for seaside treasure.