Submit Your Stories Sunday: Uncanny

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 Uncanny‘s August opening and reading John Chu’s Probabilitea from Uncanny Issue 28.

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Uncanny Magazine

Eligibility: imaginative and diverse speculative stories from 750 – 6K words.

Take Note: Uncanny purchases audio rights with the first publication rights. It’s also worth nothing that this is an award-winning market. Few submissions make it through to publication. Send in your best work and don’t be discouraged if you get a rejection.

Payment: $0.08 per word

Submit by: Uncanny is open to submissions from August 1st to the 29th, 2019.

Click here to go original call for more details.

A story to ignite your writing mojo

This week we’re dipping into Uncanny‘s considerable archives and reading a story from two issues ago, Probabilitea by John Chu. You can read it on Uncanny’s website by clicking here.

I love this story because it encompasses the elements that make an Uncanny story great: it is effortlessly diverse and wildly imaginative. I have fingers tightly crossed this one shows up on next year’s award ballots.

In this story, Chu has deconstructed the world down to it’s mathematical components, determining likelihoods in human minds which run like supercomputers. Trained to manipulate reality by their parents from childhood, Katie and Jackson are now on their first solo mission to stop a fascist rising in power and about to commit a terrorist act. This is no longer the dust molecules and rain droplets they have spent their youth learning to control. These are stakes higher than a parents’ satisfaction. Much higher.

The world Chu has built in this story is intense, intricate, and stunning. While I’m reading I find myself shaking my head. How. HOW do I write like this? This is masterful storytelling right here and Chu comes across as so dang comfortable working inside this complex and wildly imagined world.  This is what makes an Uncanny story, and we should all be trying to reach this level with our stories, by reading and especially by pushing ourselves, digging deeper, and taking risks with our wildest ideas.

Good luck, writers, and happy writing.

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Fireside and Fragile Things

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 book to help inspire your story submission and finish off with a list of the best writing-related articles I came across this week.

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Fireside Fiction

Eligibility: original, unpublished, genre stories up to 4 000 words.

Take Note: content warnings should be noted in the cover letter

What makes this call stand out: this is a SFWA-qualifying market, they pay pro + rates

Payment: 12.5 cents per word

Submit by: the current call runs from yesterday (December 15th) to December 31st. Keep checking back on their website for future openings.

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Book to Inspire Your Writing:

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman is, as described, a collection of short stories. I often think Neil’s short stories are best read twice to fully absorb, and this collection is no different. 20181215_132531.jpg

While all of these stories are worth reading, there is one story in this tome which every writer should read. It’s a short gem, a few thousand words, in a place where time is fluid. Other People is a masterpiece. You read it, absorbed, hanging on every word. What’s happening is awful, but the protagonist has earned his fate. Then the ending comes, and no matter how many times I read this story, that ending grabs me. There’s nothing to do but flip back to the beginning and read it again, with what you know now. This story is the old ‘song that never ends’, and if you’re not careful you could get trapped in this circular story forever.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

This guide to fantasy subgenres wowed me with its detail. I learned more than I’d like to admit.

This week’s newsletter from the UK’s Writer’s HQ is NSFW but strangely uplifting in our troubled times, and especially with all the stress of December holidays looming large. Be the duck.