Submit Your Stories Sunday: time to have fun

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. Following this, I’ll recommend a linked story to help inspire your submission and discuss why I think its a good fit for the call for submissions.

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Translunar Traveler’s Lounge

Eligibility: fun speculative fiction under 5 000 words

Take Note: the editors want stories where the good wins the day

What makes this call stand out: this is the first call for submissions from a new market. Send them your best work and help them succeed!

Payment: $0.03 per word USD, with a minimum of $20 per story.

Submit by: April 15th, 2019

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A story to ignite your creativity:

Since this market is new, it can be tricky to know what the editors are looking for. To remedy this, we’ll look at a fun story written by the co-editor of Translunar Traveler’s Lounge, Aimee Ogden. Ogden’s story, Dances With Snoglafanians, was published on Daily Science Fiction (DSF) early last year. You can read it for free on DSF’s site by clicking here. I’ll wait.

*hums a tune while waiting

Okay, so there we had a science fiction story merrily making jokes at our species’ expense. It quietly pokes fun at our hero tropes, hubris, our alien planet stories, and it feels satisfying.

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Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

Ogden increases the cheekiness by spending most of a paragraph detailing how Chris (or is it Steve?) achieves some monumental task, only to spend the final sentence juxtaposing that achievement with a small detail of humiliation and/or incompetence. She doesn’t overdo it, spending three paragraphs in this pattern before moving on, and it works, leaving the reader smirking at Chris/Steve’s expense. This kind of sequence is as fun to write as it is to read. Try it and see for yourself.

The ending (warning: spoilers, but seriously, it’s under 1k words, go read it) reveals that same pattern of false achievement followed by revealed incompetence has also been used over the entire plotline. Chris/Steve has spent his role in the story saving the Snoglafanians and in the final quarter he’s revealed to have played the fool BUT in so doing, does manage to rescue the Snogs from humanity. Its a fun twist that takes the story’s cheekiness to a new level, but it doesn’t come across as insulting to humanity because Ogden has been setting the reader up for it all along. Instead, it’s a good chuckle at our own expense.

An important thing to remember while writing a story like this is to have fun writing it. If you’re grinning while you write it, the reader will be grinning while they read it. Good luck.

Happy writing!

 

 

fragile things and bubble wrap

“I am Sifa of the Fabled Sidhe, goddess of fragile things. I have been sent to protect you.” The woman tore a strip from a roll of bubble wrap she held in her hands.

My heart fluttered. Should I run?

“Stay still. I won’t hurt you.” Her bright eyes reassured me.

She reached into my chest and pulled out my heart.

“Whump whump,” it said. “Whump whump.”

“I know,” she said, her voice reassuring. “There, there.”

I stared. My heart was an ugly purple and smelled of uncooked meat.

“Would you mind?” Sifa asked, lifting my heart.

I held my heart for her as she wrapped it in plastic bubbles.

“Whump whump,” it apologized.

“I forgive you,” I told my heart.

“Whump whump.”

The plastic crinkled as Sifa stuffed my heart back into my chest. “There. You should be good.”

I straightened up, a tickle in my chest.

“How does it feel?” she asked me.

“Whump whump,” I said, giddy as a child.

“Good.” She draped the last of the bubble wrap round her face like a veil, winked once, and disappeared.

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a most inconvenient gender swap

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It’s hard being a frog princess. People just aren’t ready for that gender swap. Boys poked at her with sticks, carried her around in buckets for hours at a time, and occasionally tossed her at a girl to make them scream, but they never kissed her. They never even considered kissing her.

Still, she supposed there are some small beauties to life as a frog. Her hair never got tangled, she didn’t have to go to school, and she could swim all day. Those things count for something, but she misses her old friends. She misses books and clothes and her old dog, Charlie.

So she sought me out and asked for my help. She wants me to ask you, if you know any little boys, to dare them to kiss frogs. This, she feels, just might work. It seems to me if little girls can do it, then little boys can find the courage too.