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 On Spec and reading Marissa K. Lingen’s Say it With Mastodons as published in Nature: Futures.


On Spec

Eligibility: speculative, character-driven, high stakes stories up to 6,000 words

Take Note: while worth the wait, writers should be aware that this market can take several months to get back to you.

Submit by: this submission window closes March 28th, 2020

 Payment offered: $50-$200 Canadian, dependant upon a tiered word count, one contributor’s copy for stories under 1K, with anything over receiving 2 contributor’s copies and a one-year subscription

Click here to go the original call for full details.

A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo

On Spec is available at Weightless Books and other fine book retailers, but they don’t offer any stories for free. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but in this column I want to support impoverished writers struggling to make it with an empty cupboard and wolf at the door. If you can, please buy and read a few issues of On Spec, it’s always a wonderful read. Today we are going to switch things up a bit and read a story from a writer On Spec has published at least four times. It’s safe to assume they like Marissa K.Lingen’s work, so we’re going to read her story Say it With Mastodons as published on Nature: Futures and available to read here.

Like On Spec stories, Lingen’s Say it With Mastodons is character-driven. Indeed, the protagonist has taken incredible leaps to recreate mastodons as a means to say I love you – without actually needing to say I love you – as awkwardly and sweetly as possible. The stakes are high because the protagonist is clearly uncertain of this declaration and how it will be received and since it also appears cattle is dying of the black leg plague, their act of love might be helping save the communities involved. We never quite get all of those details, but they are not the protagonist’s focus in their stumbling, rambling, desperate hope. They feel like a real person and here I am, hoping their mastodon-infused love is returned or at least they hold hands for a moment before the agony of awkwardness overcomes them both.

Good luck to everyone submitting to this call, and as always,

Happy writing!

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