Submission Sundays: Monsters of any kind

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories and maybe inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

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This week, we’re digging into:

Monsters of Any Kind

Eligibility: Horror stories featuring unusual monsters from 3500 to 5000 words.

Caveat: no vampires, werewolves, zombies or ghosts allowed!

What makes this call stand out: the editors are looking for monsters as unusual as your twisted imagination can make them.

Payment: $100 (currency not stated)

Submit by: July 10th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Good luck and happy writing!

twisted

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I hide behind the twisted metal wreckage of the daily news. In my darksome cave, I am safe from the monsters of reality.

No one bothers to ask the monster under the bed what he is afraid of. But I’ll tell you, anyway.

It’s you.

The things you do to the children of your world. Yet they have nightmares of me. I’d shake my head and harden my heart, but I’m a monster. I don’t have either. I have to feel it instead.

Submission Sundays: the gritty Grimm

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories and maybe inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

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This week, we’re tackling:

Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline: an anthology of dieselpunk and decopunk fairy tales

Eligibility: fairy tales and retellings in alternative histories between WWI and WWII, up to 7500 words.

Caveat: this particular call doesn’t OPEN until August 1. It’s a ways off but it gives you the chance to come up with a clever story, polish it, and send it through your critique groups before you submit. It also gives newer writers the chance to familiarize themselves with the styles of dieselpunk and decopunk before writing.

What makes this call stand out: Grimm as dieselpunk makes my imagination tingle

Payment: $0.01 per word, plus a contributor’s copy

Submit by: September 30th, 2018

Click here to got to the original call for details.

Good luck and happy writing!

reading out loud

Last week I headed to Wordspring’s Literary Soiree in Quispamsis. Myself and many other writers were being honored with awards won in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s (WFNB) annual writing competition. My short story Dragon Crossing won first place in the Fog Lit Books for Young People category. All of the winners were invited to read a four minute selection from their winning pieces as they received their award.

That’s what got me. I have always wanted to read my stories to a crowd. Speeches, blah. University presentations? Meh. Stories? Heck yeah!

The WFNB gave me about a month to practice, and I used it. I practiced my selection about four to five times every day, usually in the backyard to wee Nim and the trees, sometimes inside to Kira (our black lab) who would wag her tail in appreciation. I cut parts I stumbled over, clarified speakers, and found my character’s voices.

At one point I realized I could recite the whole piece by heart. So could the maples in the backyard.

Still, I’ve been that person frozen on stage, stumbling over words I’ve lost all control of. It’s an awful place to be. My stories are my friends, we spend long hours together, pushing and prodding each other into our bests, and I wanted to make Dragon Crossing proud.

When the moment arrived, looking up at the crowded room laying out before the podium, my hands trembling, it struck me: these people are all writers too. I plunged in, forced confidence giving way to having fun as the audience laughed in the right places and I got lost in telling this story I love beyond its words.

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here’s me mid-reading, photo by the ever-lovely Deborah Carr

I’m pulling a bit of a funny face in this next photo, but I love it because I know exactly which line I’m reading. A character cracks a snarky joke and the audience laughed right on cue, which felt amazing and edged out the worst of my nerves.

 

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thanks again to Deborah Carr for taking this photo

In a blink it was over and someone else stood behind the podium, reading their story and having their moment. I enjoyed listening to them, especially the newbies like me, wondering if they were half as nervous. More experienced writers blew me away and taught me more than a few things to remember for next time. A lady reading her prize poem planted a story seed which bloomed just yesterday.

After the readings a handful of writers took the time to say kind things about my reading and my story, which gave me a thrill and a few quotes to stuff inside my anti-discouragement files for dark days ahead.

I can’t know if my next audience will be as friendly as this one, but I will admit I’m eager to read my stories to a crowd again. It was a wonderful first.

Happy writing!

 

Submission Sundays: Oath and Iron

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories and maybe inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

This week, we’re looking at:

Spring Song Press’ Oath and Iron Anthology

Eligibility: Fantasy stories from 1000 to 10 000 words featuring treacherous fae and “unpredictable bargains.”

Caveat: preference given to noblebright stories (as opposed to grimdark)

What makes this call stand out: there’s a fun sort of irony to entering into a story contract for an anthology themed on treacherous bargains.

Payment: $0.01 per word, plus a print and ebook copy

Submit by: July 1, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Good luck and happy writing!

Tired Tykes is a go!

I’m pleased to announce that Eeny Meeny Miney Mo: Stories for Tired Tykes has reached its crowdfunding goal and will be sent to the printers! The illustrated bedtime story book (for children aged three to nine-years-old) contains twenty-nine stories from all over the world, including my Leif the Story Hunter.

Leif is a small boy who lives in the forest, hunting wild stories with his dad. It’s a fine life, until one day they trap the wrong story and … well. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Each story comes with an illustration by artist Jon Stubbington. The book is being published by New Zealand’s Patchwork Raven. The ebooks and print books will be for sale on their website as soon as they are available, or you might still be able to sneak in a pre-order before the crowdfunding is finished later tonight. Here’s a link!

It’s been a wild ride since Leif was accepted over a year ago, and I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands and read it to my girls.

I’ve never taken part of a crowdfunding venture before. Stressful, exhilarating, and frustrating are how I would describe it. I learned a lot about marketing and I finally learned how to market in a way that I’m comfortable with. That’s saying a lot for someone as introverted as I am! These are good skills I am walking away with. If you’re considering submitting to a crowdfunded anthology, learning those skills is a good reason to go for it.

The truth is, we almost didn’t make it. PledgeMe, the New Zealand-based crowdfunding site used, crashed on the last night of the campaign, with a breathtaking thirteen hundred dollars to go. Pixies may have played a role. I suspect there’s a few pixies in this book. PledgeMe granted us a few extra days to make up for the crucial lost time. Enough time for a superhero/fairy godmother to rush in and pledge over a thousand dollars to make our book happen! Twenty-nine writers, one illustrator, one designer, one editor, and countless children owe our fairy godmother, who goes by the mysterious name of “Ruth Craft,” a big thank you and a huge hug.

Because this is happening, folks. The time has come to get excited.

I’m off this weekend to the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Wordspring Literary Soiree to accept my award for taking first place in the Fog Lit Books For Young People Prize with my short story Dragon Crossing. I’ll be reading a four minute chunk of my story to the writers present (gulp!). Can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Happy writing!

Submission Sundays: falling into fantasy

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Every week, I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or maybe inspire a new one. Each call contains a speculative element and offers payment upon acceptance.

This week, we’re looking at:

Fall Into Fantasy 2018

Eligibility: fantasy tales of all sub-genres, 2000-7500 words. Diversity welcomed, but sexual content, violence, and gore should be avoided.

What makes this call stand out: Fall Into Fantasy is a great chance for new writers to mingle with experienced ones, build their CV, and see their work in print.

Payment: $10 U.S. funds, and a print copy of the book. A 3% royalty will be added after sixty copies are sold.

Submit by: July 1st, 2018

Click here to hear over to the original call for complete details and submission guidelines.

Happy writing!

Submission Sundays: Fairy Rings and Changelings

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.

Here is this week’s featured call …

Fairy Rings and Changelings Anthology

Eligibility: Poetry 40 lines or less, or 1-3 pieces of flash fiction (less than 500 words) featuring fairies, elementals, or nature spirits.

What makes this call stand out: this collection of fairy stories will be published in a pocket book around the summer solstice. The Wee Folk are gonna love that.

Payment: $5.00 (American), pdf copy, and 50% discount on print copies.

Submit by: June 1st, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Happy writing!

lines on an old garage

There is a ramshackle garage, not far from here, tucked into a fortress of overgrown weeds. Its roof is slanted, the paint crumbling. The garage door is painted with an artist’s imaginary car. It waits like an old friend, cheering passerby. Lines bisect it, the slats of its canvas, but the effect is unchanged. It could rumble to life at a moment’s notice with the tiniest dusting of magic.