Submit Your Stories Sunday: 20 000 Leagues under the Sea

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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking at Pole to Pole Publishing‘s call for submissions to their upcoming Twenty Thousand Leagues Remembered and we’re reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Remembered

Eligibility: 3-5K words to suit a PG-13 audience (no sex) that pay tribute in some fashion to Jules Vernes’ story, 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Take Note: stories written in third person strongly preferred and must not disparage the original story

Submit by: you’ve got time because your reading assignment is bigger this week. This anthology opens to submissions January 1st, 2020, and closes April  30th, 2020, or when filled (don’t wait!).

Payment: $0.02 per word, $15 flat rate for reprints, by paypal only

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

A story to ignite your writing mojo

No short stories this week writers, you’ve got to read 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea for this one. I’m hoping your local library has it, but I won’t leave you dependent on that and I don’t want anyone to suffer financial barriers: happily this book is well out of copyright and is available to read for free in its entirety via Project Gutenberg. Click here to go there and start reading now.

Happy writing!

 

my Inktober adventures

I’ve signed myself up for the Inktober 2019 Writer’s Edition, which is rather new and diverges from solely drawing to writing a 50-word story based on the official Inktober’s prompts. The following are my entries for the past week, from day 2-9. You can see my day 1 entry and read the full list of the month’s prompt by clicking here.

Because these stories are meant to exist as unrelated snippets, I’m including a photo that suits the story’s mood before the story itself, as something of a palette cleanser. They run a wild gauntlet of un-relatedness, but here they are. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them and please drop your @’s in the comments if you are Inktobering yourself so I can follow your adventures.

Day 2: mindless

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Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

The fairy stroked the zombie’s face. “They’re mindless not heartless. That’s what everyone gets wrong.”

“What is it with you and the undead?” asked her father. “First that vampire, now him.”

“You did necromance me from the grave when she was five,” said Mother. “Children pick up on these things.”

 

Day 3: bait

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“Just a little dunk for the greater good,” said the fisherman. “Everyone knows they can’t resist the bait of a prince.”

Into the water splashed the Prince, cursing his birthright and this superstition. Mermaids weren’t emptying their nets, it was –

His thoughts scattered as a little mermaid grabbed his hand.

 

Day 4: breeze

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

The wind picked up and he awkwardly put his arm around her so she wouldn’t freeze. He should say something. Something clever. “So… do you ever wonder if maybe meteor showers only exist because a black hole sneezed?”

She smiled, her eyes shining. “I think about that all the time.”

 

Day 5: build

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it me

Build a world from a thought, give it life, give it death. Keep it secret. Build it bigger, amplify its strangeness. Stranger still. Fold it inside out, right again, and somewhere in the creases watch its people unfold, half-formed, un-complete. Keep them secret. Amplify their strangeness, finish them with want.

 

Day 6: husky

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Photo by Frederik Sørensen on Pexels.com

Burly Jane and Husky Hester stroked their beards and contemplated the wreckage of Hester’s starcruiser, planets away from nowhere.

“Helluva first date,” said Jane. “Usually I just say I’m out of fuel and make my move, but you’ve straight up crashed. I admire your commitment to getting in my pants.”

 

Day 7: enchanted

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The planetoid mass was enchanted by the star, circling ‘round for a closer, better look. Non-committal, careful, until a solar flare burst forth and danced an aurora ‘round the mass’ atmosphere. Bewitched, the mass fell into orbit, clutched by the star’s gravitational embrace, and spun themselves into a solar system.

 

Day 8: frail

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Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

He peered down at his suddenly frail physique, his sculpted pecs sagging, nipples turned downwards, his hard-won abs a blob of gut hanging over his hips. His manhood – he couldn’t look. “Why?” he asked her.

The succubus struggled into her underwear and shrugged. “Maybe I like you better this way.”

 

Day 9: swing

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Photo by Luděk Maděryč on Pexels.com

A porch swing rusted on the rain-battered decking. In next week’s storm its chain would break, sending the swing through the rotten boards and catching the attention of the building inspector who would condemn the house. For now it caught the sun and its old chain wheezed in the breeze.


Thank you for reading!

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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking at Arsenika’s month long opening for flash fiction and poetry and reading The Stories of Your Name by J. M. Melican, published in Arsenika Issue 3.

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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: watching the Grinder suggests a quick response time of one or two days on average at time of publishing this post. If you need to be mentally prepared for any rejections, keep this in mind.

Submit by: this opening closes October 31st, 2019, next opening scheduled for April of 2020.

Payment: $60 USD for flash fiction and $30 USD for poetry

Click here to go to original call for full details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo

Sometimes I have to dig deep into a magazine’s archives to find a story that truly thrills me, you know the kind, your pulse quickens, your heart makes a little gasp of delight, and your eyes never dare to leave the page/screen for fear of breaking the magic. This time, I found The Stories of Your Name by J. M. Melican right away. I’ll make it just as easy on you – 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.

I will like to add, a little off topic, that if you enjoy this story you’ll also probably like the book This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. To the library!

Good luck and happy writing!

 

IWSG and Inktober for writers

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers are insecure the confident ones… eavesdrop. If you’d like to visit the other members participating in the meeting (and please do!), click here to see the full list of lovely, lovely, writerlings.

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A few of my writer friends have signed up for Inktober: Writer Edition and I have decided to join then and see how frazzled and creative I can get. I once wrote a microfiction per day for a year, resulting in some terrible stories, a handful of excellent ones, and a wild level of creativity, so I’m excited to see what comes from this.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Inktober: Writers Edition, here is what’s been circling and everything I know:

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I plan to compile my entries into a weekly post for this website, and post them daily on social media. Here’s my entry for Day 1: Ring

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Are you participating in Inktober, as either writer or artist? If so, feel welcome to drop your @’s in the comments so I can follow along with your Inktober adventures. Happy IWSG day everyone!

Submit Your Stories Sunday: space and time

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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking at a call for Space and Time magazine and reading Aliette de Bodard’s The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun.

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Space and Time

Eligibility: Speculative, crossed genre stories up to 10k words (5-7.5K preferred) that “aren’t quite normal”

Take Note: acceptances are posted on Space and Time’s website and facebook page, suggesting they may not send out rejection/acceptance letters. Be sure to check on your submission.

Submit by: this short opening closes soon – on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 (eek!)

Payment: $0.01 per cent PLUS a complimentary e-subscription, print copy, pdf copy, and an audio clip of your work

Click here to go to original call for more details.

A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo

While Space and Time doesn’t offer samples of full stories, they do advise of an admiration for Aliette de Bodard’s work, so today we’re reading a crossed genre story of hers, The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun, reprinted in Uncanny Magazine and available to read here.

The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun is the story of intergalactic refugees who lost their home after their sun died and unleashed a dragon. It’s about old enemies and reconciliations and healing. Something the world could use more of these days.

On a Personal Note,

I’d hoped to write up a quick post about our local climate strike in Moncton, NB, Canada, but the event sapped this introvert’s energy more than expected. Instead I’ll leave you with this picture of me and my girls before the crowd got squishy.

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Happy writing!

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: wizards in spaaaaaaaace

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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking at a call for submissions from Wizards in Space and reading Ari Koontz’ second star to the right (and straight on till morning) from their second issue.

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Wizards in Space

Eligibility: speculative and literary stories up to 5k. Nonfiction, art, and poetry is also accepted, please see the original call for guidelines.

Take Note: for this opening, editors are looking for stories contrasting light and dark, winter and summer, and coming full circle from pain into joy.

Payment: $40 flat fee per story

Submit by: this opening closes October 18th, 2019.

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo:

I’m going to switch gears a bit this week and suggest a work of creative non-fiction from this same magazine, second star to the right (and straight on till morning) by Ari Koontz, because it has a story’s soul, it captures the spirit of the full circle journey, and it’s written with the exquisite prose the journal seeks. You can click here to read it on the Wizards In Space website.

I’m always going to have a soft spot for space fantasy, and the fear and wonder in this piece takes my breath away. I don’t feel the claustrophobia Koontz feels when she looks at the Perseids, I don’t feel afraid of the vastness of our universe, but I, too, am “made of stories and science.” This is the story of finding one’s true name on the other side of all this fear, and coming around to joy after pain. This is the emotion we need to capture for this call, that moment in time, as only we can tell it.

Think about it, find your story, write it down, send it in. It’s just that easy, and that easy. Good luck writers, and happy writing.

 

woohoo free book!

Psst… I’ve just received news that the Storming Area 51: Survivor Stories ebook is free across the Amazons (.ca, .com, co.uk, .mars, etc) today and tomorrow. My friend and crit partner Peter J. Foote has a wicked short story within it’s pages and I have a 100-word drabble. If you enjoy sci-fi and fun with social media trends, this book might be for you.

art where it isn’t supposed to be. Plus a TARDIS.

I spend a large chunk of my time making art, so when I find art unexpectedly, it runs shivers into my soul like the first trill of a songbird in spring. Some art forms deliberately make the viewer uncomfortable, and street art is an excellent medium for this, while others settle into their natural landscapes like a bird onto a branch, reminding me that we can be a part of nature too.

This cheery stone greeted us from atop a post at the entrance to a popular hiking trail:

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and then there was this:

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and this:

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and this dark wonder of low tide beachscaping:

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The next bunch we found at Barn Marsh Island beach near Cape Enrage, NB (Canada).  The TARDIS and dalek were built in 2017. You can’t see the dalek’s eye stalk because I prioritized safety (the cliff in the back is unstable) so you’ll have to trust me it’s there. I’m guessing the left-most sculpture relates to the Doctor Who theme as well but I haven’t figured it out yet. As it’s more rickety than the others, it may have been added by another artist later. There’s actually driftwood inside the dalek and the TARDIS to keep them sturdy, and they were SOLID. They lasted a full winter of nor’easters, blizzards, and storm surges before disappearing early in the summer of 2018, and I still suspect someone might have kicked them over at that point.

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These next two are from the same beach, same spot, just this past week. I like to think it’s the same Whovian artist because of the style and the use of driftwood to balance the rock.

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above is the side-view, and this next one is looking head-on at the wall with the Bay of Fundy behind it. Gorgeous.

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Do you find art in unexpected places? I’d love to hear about it if you do.

In writing news, I have a sci-fi drabble, or 100-word story, in the Storming Area 51: Survivor Stories anthology from Black Hare Press and we hit #1 on Amazon in the U.S. last week. Woohoo! You can read the reviews and learn more about the book by clicking here.

Submit Your Stories Sunday, me hearties

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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking Inklings Press’ call for pirate stories and reading Candy Comfort by Eleanor R. Wood and published on Daily Science Fiction.

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Inklings Press Pirate Anthology

Eligibility: speculative stories on theme of pirates in or around 5k words. Ghost and space pirates accepted.

Take Note: stories should aim for a PG-13 level audience

Submit by: October 18th, 2019

Payment Offered: $50 (currency unclear)

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

A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo

This week we’re reading a pirate flash fiction from Daily Science Fiction, Candy Comfort by Eleanor R. Wood. Click here to go read that now. I like this story because Wood chose to tell the story of a pirate family from the perspective of a little girl who is left behind while the males go raiding, a pack of sweets to comfort her. This perspective is what offers this story it’s freshness in an admittedly tired genre. Finding that unique way to tell your own story is the best way to stand out in your submission for this anthology.

What pirate story hasn’t already been told? I know, this one’s tricky. Give it some thought, brainstorm some possibilities, and get writing.

 

Submit Your Stories… Wednesday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday (on Wednesday, thanks to Hurricane Dorian knocking out my electricity for a few days). 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 help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking into Translunar Traveler’s Lounge upcoming opening and reading Wings by Vanessa Fogg from the inaugural issue.

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Translunar Traveler’s Lounge

Eligibility: fun speculative stories up to 5k.

Take Note: “fun” is defined by the editors as joyful and while lighthearted fiction is welcome, stories need not be exempt from a tragedy which may highlight this joy

Submit by: this opening is from September 15th to October 15th, 2019

Payment: $0.03 per word, USD, minimum $20

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo:

Vanessa Fogg’s story Wings appeared in Translunar Traveler’s Lounge‘s inaugural issue and follows a story where joy is intertwined with tragedy. Click here to go read Wings now. The narrator princess has cast off her duties to love a common poet, only to find their marriage burdened by a cruel curse which turns the poet into a rotating series of wild animals where he has no memory of himself. The princess finds him again and again, but the queen who laid this curse grows impatient with her daughter’s loyalty and threatens to destroy him forever. The princess is forced to find the only way she can be with her love before the queen finds them.

This is a classic story, which harkens to my favorite movie, Ladyhawke, but Fogg finds freshness in her retelling and an ending which appeals and leaves the reader with a warm and thoughtful joy.

Now it’s up to you, writers, get those pens/keyboards ready and write yourself something fun. Good luck and happy writing!