Submit Your Stories Sunday: epistolary fiction

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.


Letters From the Grave

Eligibility: epistolary horror from 2 000 to 10 000 words.

Take Note: The publisher, Orbannin Books, is looking for more than just letters. Any mix of modern documents, digital or otherwise, is welcome.

What Makes This Call Stand Out: this is a fun way to stretch your creative muscles and push the boundaries of story. I’m also a huge fan of anthologies that offer a print copy to contributors.

Payment: $0.05 per word plus a print copy of the anthology

Submit by: February 28th, 2019 UPDATE: deadline extended to March 31st, 2019

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Stories to Inspire Your Writing:

This week, I’m linking to two epistolary stories featured online to fire up your imagination.

The first story, Wikihistory by Desmond Warzel and published on, tells a compelling and thought-provoking story in the form of comment history on a wiki page. It’s fun, easy to read, and makes you think.

The second story, Classified Selections by Phillip Gregg Chamberlain, appeared in Daily Science Fiction last November. This form of epistolary fiction moves into experimental as a series of ads. As you read down the list, your brain makes sense of it by imagining connections, and thus a story is born.

If you’re still struggling with the form, Mythcreants posted an article last July entitled A Beginner’s Guide to Epistolary Writing which may help.

Writerly News Worth Sharing from the Week:

Escape Artists took a difficult stand and declined the Parsec Awards the podcasting family won for Podcastle and Escape Pod. More details on this situation are available here.

Submission Sundays: the Horror of Pizza

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submission Sundays. Each week, I’ll be bringing you a unique call for submission. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance.

Where ever you are on your writing journey, calls can inspire creativity. Getting used to submissions – and rejections – is important. Every established writer has a stack of rejections behind them. It takes guts and a willingness to fail.

Ready? Here’s this week’s call:

Tales From the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror

Eligibility: horror stories revolving around pizza, 1000 to 5000 words. Multiple and simultaneous submissions allowed, please query reprints first.

Photo from

Caveat: the publishers want this call taken seriously. No humor. Scare them.

What makes this call stand out: How will writers pull the concept of pizza horror from silly to frightening? Is Soylent Green an available topping?Let the imagination games begin!

Payment: $0.03 per word (currency unknown)

Submit by: June 1, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Happy writing!

dragon season

We live by the tide rather than the sun when the season’s on. The world revolves around our nets and dragon bellows, catch sleep if you can, there’s a bunk on the bridge. Pee off the side, or pull up a bucket, we don’t spring for luxuries. Besides, urine attracts the dragons from the deep. For gear we’ve got a case of beer and a slicker. There’s a harpoon in the hold, but it’s best we don’t use it. Better to lure them away from the village, far as we can. Rumors say the dragons have a quota of three per village. No more. No less. That’s why we go out three per ship. Kiss your loved ones goodbye, we might not make it. But know if we don’t, they’re safe for the season.

The Scientist’s Apprentice

Baby blankets are soft. Halloween costumes are thin and catch on the unseen flaws of fingertips. Graduation gowns are the same, but thicker. You’re not missing much.

The lab coat is stiff, but they soften with use. Glass beakers are smooth and gently curved. They are pleasurable to touch. A lab should smell of disinfectant, never that iron scent of spilled blood or the rancid smell of death. Remember that.

A descent into madness smells like smouldering pine pitch. Expect to get the shakes. Everybody does. They’re just the last dregs of your sanity holding on too tight. You’ll feel better once you let them go. It’s half-pay till you’re good and mad, so take that as your incentive.

You’ll still see your children on your day off. Once per month. If they still want you in their lives, that is. Most don’t. But at least they won’t starve. Parenting is mostly self-sacrifice, after all.

Here’s the contract. Standard, but do sign it before you begin. It’s the only thing that can keep you out of the funny farm and in the lab. I don’t want to waste my time training you if you’re destined for the straight jacket swaddle. We scientists seek a different kind of therapy, don’t you agree?

Come on, give us a taste of your cackle before we begin your descent.

Ah yes, you’ll do fine.