Submit Your Stories Sunday: Creatures


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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Tell-Tale Press: Creatures

Eligibility: Original or reprint speculative fiction tales from 500 to 5 000 words on the theme of creatures. They also seek novelettes from 7 000 to 10 000 words.

Take Note: Under represented creatures will be favored over the usual vampires, werewolves, etc.

Payment: this is a bit complicated, bear with me. Fiction from 500 -1K words will be paid $5. 1K to 3K will be paid $10. 3K to 5K is $25. Novelettes are offered $50.

Submit by: March 4th, 2019

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Book to Inspire Your Submission:

The Resurrectionist by E. B. Hudspeth is a fictional history and art book in one. The first half of this volume is the biography of a mad scientist, Dr. Spencer Black. The second half offers the Doctor’s masterpiece: an anatomy book of mythological beasts, drawn in the classic form.

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The Resurrectionist reads as a dark history book. Spencer the boy is forced into grave-robbing with his physician father, stealing corpses for cadaver research. When he is grown, Spencer also enters medicine, specializing in anatomy and gaining surgical experience with deformities and mutations. Soon Spencer develops his own theoretical evolution, supposing that humans were once closer to mythological beasts before we evolved out of our (possibly) best selves.

To further his studies, Black turns to traveling carnivals and cabinets of curiosities. His reputation in the medical community disintegrates as he attempts to publish his theories. Black then becomes a carnival showman, creating his own little oddities to delight the public. When the excitement of those creations wanes, Black begins experimenting with animals, creating living mythological franken-beasts. Inevitably, humans are next as his traveling show descends deeper into macabre and twisted wonder.

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An illustration from The Resurrectionist, by E. B. Hudspeth

Reading about how Dr. Spencer Black creates his mythological creatures, while deeply unsettling, provides a fascinating wonderscape for tales of creatures to grow from. If nothing else, flipping through the anatomy drawings are sure to spark your imagination with a creature tale or two.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

The SFWA has announced it will be raising what is considered a professional rate from $0.06 per word to $0.08 per word effective September 1st, 2019.

Happy writing!

Submit Your Stories Sunday: hidden histories

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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Third Flatiron’s Hidden Histories Anthology

Eligibility: Speculative stories between 1 500 and 3 000 words OR 600 word humor pieces featuring a secret history taking place in the past, present, or future.

Take Note: read the call (linked below) carefully to determine the difference between the publisher’s idea of secret history and alternative history.

Payment: $o.o6 per word

Submit by: January 31st, 2019

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Story to Inspire Your Submission:

ZeroS by fellow Canadian writer Peter Watts is a futuristic secret history following a recruit into the Zombie Corps. After being temporarily reanimated post-death, Asante is offered a split-minute decision to continue being dead or volunteer for a five year tour of duty as a new kind of soldier. He chooses to volunteer and finds himself a beta-test soldier in what he calls the Zombie Corps. There are bugs to work out, twitches, and lengthy sessions where his brain is nothing more than a blind passenger in his rebuilt body. He can deal with this, but as he completes more missions and pieces together shattered glimpses of horror, he realizes that no government body can be sanctioning the Zombie Corps, and he may not be on the side of the war he wants to be.

I’d call ZeroS a secret history because it becomes obvious in the story that Asante belongs to a secret project, government or otherwise. My hope is that reading it will kickstart your imagination to the possibilities of what makes a story a ‘secret history.’

You can read Watts’ short story for free on Tor.com by clicking here. It first appeared in the anthology Infinity Wars and was featured in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018.

 

 

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.

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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 Tor.com, 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.

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Darkness and Chillers

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. I’ll follow it up with a book to inspire your writing and a small collection of writerly articles to fuel your craft.

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Curse the Darkness: an Anthology of Dark Fiction

Eligibility: Original, speculative stories written on the theme of darkness from 3 000 to 10 000 words. Think Doctor Who‘s Vashta Nerada.

Take Note: the editors specifically request stories that will make them “afraid to turn off the lights.”

What makes this call stand out: this is Unlit Press’ inaugural anthology and they are offering writers good rates from the start. This suggests they are confident that their marketing strategy will put this book, and potentially your story, in the hands of a large audience. Offering writers a print copy further suggests they are not relying on selling copies to said writers to offset their costs.

Payment: 75 Euros and one print copy of the anthology

Submit by: December 31, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Book to Inspire You:

Chillers From the Rock is an anthology of twenty-five creepy tales written by Atlantic Canadians and published by Newfoundland’s Engen Books. For readers outside of Canada, the province of Newfoundland is often referred to as ‘The Rock.’

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sorry ’bout the raindrops, but they do beat snow

I must admit a few of these stories made me hesitate to turn off my lights. Eryn Heidel’s mysterious, foggy adversary in The Pursuit made me put off going to bed entirely. Do not read it on a foggy autumn night like I did.  Samuel Bauer’s tense take on the Scottish legend of the Nuckelavee made me sink deeper into the safety of my couch cushions. Peter Foote’s wonderful A Friend in Shadow made me pull out my flashlight against the darkness threatening in the corners of my room. The flashlight’s name is Scorch-Bite now. Kelley Power’s oddly hopeful tale Treatment is a horror/fairy tale for the helpless. Depending on which side of the spectrum of evil you may fall on, you’ll either sleep tight or not at all. Read at your own risk.

There are tales here from mildly creepy to full-on supernatural horror, with a handful of paranormal beasts and gore thrown in. The quality of the stories, however, is consistent across the genres. I’ll be reading this one again.

Writerly Links Worth Reading this Week:

I’m still deep in NaNoWriMo and most articles aren’t making it through the writing fog, but the Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library drama certainly did. Facing a strong backlash for the possibly well-intentioned but extremely harmful stereotypes in the graphic novel and the violence it could inspire against Muslim individuals in an environment of seething white supremacy, Abrams decided to pull the book. I think the biggest take-away from this situation is the need to consider what damage can be caused when writers play fast and loose with their imagined perspectives of marginalized people.

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Wonders

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.

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Cast of Wonders

Eligibility: Stories written for an audience of 12-17 years, filled with wonder and emotional resonance. High fantasy, science fiction, and horror are welcome providing they can no adult elements.

Take Note: Cast of Wonder is accepting both flash fiction and short stories during this submission window. Be aware that all submissions are anonymous and adjust your manuscript accordingly.

What makes this call stand out: Cast of Wonders offers pro rates to writers and give you the chance to hear your story read by a voice professional on their highly rated podcast

Payment: $0.06 per word, USD.

Submit by: the current submission window closes December 15th, 2018, but check their schedule in the link below for upcoming dates if you miss this one.

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Book to Inspire Your Submission:

Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook: the Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction is an art-rich extravaganza for the writer’s senses. Featuring essays and contributions from Neil Gaiman, the late Ursula K. Le Guin, Nnedi Okorafor, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more, there is something within these pages for every writer to learn.

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My first attempt to read this book from cover to cover faltered, but keeping it on my bookshelf and dipping into chapters as I need guidance has given me much inspiration. For those who like to know exactly what they’re getting into, the chapter heading are as follows; Inspiration and the Creative Life, the Ecosystem of a Story, Beginnings and Endings, Narrative Design, Characterization, Worldbuilding, and Revision. Included are some of the wildest infographics I’ve seen yet.

This book mimics a university text, but it sets aside the dullness for feats of the imagination and pockets of real wonder. Find a copy, flip through it, and see if you don’t agree.

In writing news, I have a flash fiction story published in the latest Fantasy Files newsletter from Engen Books. You can read it for free here.

Happy writing!

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Supernatural Tales

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 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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Vampires, Zombies, and Ghosts

Eligibility: stories from 1200-6000 words in any genre containing supernatural beings

Take Note: despite the tentative title, Smoking Press is looking for stories of supernatural beings outside of vampires, zombies, and ghosts as well .

Payment: $20 USD plus two complimentary paperback for writers in Canada and the U.S., and/or $20 USD plus one complimentary paperback for writers outside of Canada and the U.S.

Submit by: December 15th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A book to inspire your writing:

For purposes of supernatural inspiration, I recommend you pick up one of Hugo and Nebula award winning  author Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books. The twelfth book in this series came out last August (Night and Silence) and another is scheduled for 2019 release. The first book is entitled Rosemary and Rue and you can probably find it at your local library or on their overdrive app. This is urban fantasy at its finest and McGuire never fails to deliver the intricate and unexpected.

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The series follows Toby, or October, Daye, a fairy changeling working as a private investigator. Her cases focus on the collision of fairy and human in a world with such depth I’ve often wondered if I’ll feel I’ve wandered through it all. Wonder and tension, magic and murder, cityscapes and fairyland are layered upon the page in stories you’ll wish your imagination had come up with.

Toby’s own history and personal flaws make her readable and identifiable. She’s only half-fae, standing on the outside, though not quite as outside as a mundane reader, which makes her the perfect interpreter of the fairy world. This isn’t Tinkerbell or teeny tiny angelic insects, this is the fae of Celtic mythology and you’d better be on guard for tricksters.

Though the series began in 2009, the early books still have a freshness to them that sucks you in with thoughts of “ooooh, I haven’t read THIS before.”

To the library!

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

This article in Gizmodo tackles the idea of utopias and why humanity may benefit from a break from all of this dystopia.

Happy writing!

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Spaceports and Spidersilk

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.

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Spaceports and Spidersilk

Eligibility: Entertaining genre stories with a maximum of 3 000 words, poems 25 lines or less, written for children aged 8 to 17-years-old.

Take Note: adventures preferred. No swearing or sex, obvs.

What makes this call stand out: Spaceports and Spidersilk has a special place in my heart because this is where I got my first acceptance. Editor Marcie Tentchoff is accepting of writers with no publication credits which makes this an excellent place for beginning writers to get their start.

Payment: $6.00 per story, $2.00 per poem or reprint

Submit by: submit anytime. Spaceports is an ongoing, quarterly journal

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

L. L. McKinley wrote this thoughtful article for Tor about representation in fairy tales, and who, if anyone, “owns” these stories.

What I’m Reading:

My daughter Evening and I read Sherry D. Ramsay’s Planet Fleep this week. Planet Fleep is a middle grade novel with a third-grade reading level. Evening is in grade one, but she loves science and science fiction so I read a few chapters to her before bed every night.

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Planet Fleep follows two adopted siblings known as ‘the Science Twins’ as they crash into a strange planet with no one but an annoying robot named BIFT to watch out for them (Roald Dahl would approve, methinks). They soon befriend the local fauna, guinea pig-like critters who make a sound like a ‘fleep.’ When the twins discover an unfamiliar alien species is trapping the fleeps to sell for food and fur, the twins vow to rescue the gentle beasts, but how? And why aren’t their parents answering on the communicator?

Evening tells me her favorite part of the book was BIFT the robot. “And I’m glad that I know how to survive without my parents on an alien planet now.”

“Uh. I’m not sure that’s quite true, sweetie. You learned about surviving on Planet Fleep, but not all of the planets.”

“Nah, I’ll be fine. I’m a Science Twin now. I just need a robot, granola bars, and some fleeps.” She crosses her arms.

I consider the defiance in her expression. Pick your battles, Jennifer. What are the odds she’ll be crashing into an alien planet in the next few years? I let it go.

She goes on to tell me that she liked the book so much she plans on keeping it forever and possibly marrying it when she grows up. I’ve never asked her to rate a book before so I am unaccustomed to such… devotion. In terms of kid-speak, I believe this translates to a four-point-five stars out of five star rating.

Happy writing!

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Still on Patrol

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.

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Still on Patrol

Eligibility: Otter Libris is looking for stories surrounding the tradition of referring to lost American submarines and their sailors as ‘still on patrol’ rather than lost at sea. What happens if those sailors return from patrol? Stories from all countries are welcome. Stories should be from 3 000 to 6 000 words.

Take Note: no stories disrespecting the military or depicting abuse will be tolerated. Writers should also be aware that the publisher expects non-exclusive audio, print, and ebook rights for five years after an exclusivity period of one year has passed.

What makes this call stand out: we’re coming on to the perfect time of year to write a spooky supernatural story.

Payment: $25 per story

Submit by: December 15th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

Here’s an article that offers questions writers should ask of their characters. The majority of these are excellent. None of that ‘what is their favorite pizza toppings’ to be found here.

The Guardian reported on an uproar that happened among booksellers in France last week when an Amazon-only title was longlisted for a prestigious French prize. I think this whole mess highlights the nasty affect Amazon has had on small bookshops, but also shows the conundrum of what an author is to do when Amazon is their only option. Food for thought.

Inclusive YA lit mag Cicada has closed, which gave me pause. 2018 has been hard on some of the great fiction magazines out there.

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Photo by Free Photos.cc on Pexels.com

What I’m Reading:

I had A.J. Pearce’s historical fiction Dear Mrs. Bird on my TBR list simply because I have a beloved aunt who is a Mrs. Bird. Somewhere on the interwebs I read that fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would like it which had me racing to the library. Guernsey is so good I have spare copies in case I meet someone who hasn’t read it.  *Ahem* this is the part where I grab you by the shoulders and ask you if you’ve read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. No? I have an extra copy, hold on.

Dear Mrs. Bird is set in London during the Blitz. Pearce mentions in the story notes that she was inspired to write the book after reading through the advice columns of women’s magazine from the Blitz. They gave her a deep sense of the unique challenges women faced at that time.

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The story follows young Fire Brigade volunteer Emmy as she fumbles her way into a job typing up letters for a grumpy advice columnist with strict ideals of what is allowed to be spoken in polite society. As bombs drop and lives fall apart around her, Emmy struggles with ignoring the Unacceptable letters of desperate girls who write in for help with controversial issues. She begins writing back, posing as Mrs. Bird, to help the girls find their way.

This book has many lines that made me stop and think. At it’s heart, this book is about a writer. At one point, Emmy’s mentor of sorts, Mr. Collins, “Find out what you’re good at, Miss Lake, and then get even better. That’s the key.” Such simple, important advice. I had to stop reading and jot it down.

It’s also a book about living in a war zone and a city experiencing relentless raids. There are moments of devastating reality. Pearce writes these scenes with skill, zeroing in on the small moments of character. “Some cried out, saying It Hurts, It Hurts. I ignored them and that was disgusting of me. I ignored people who were dying. At the time, it didn’t feel like a decision. If (redacted) was alive (redacted) would need help, so I kept going.” (edited to avoid spoilers).

Dear Mrs. Bird is an excellent read, I recommend grabbing a copy of your book-getting place of choice and settling in for a few hours.

Happy writing!

 

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: Poems for Le Guin

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.

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Ursula K. Le Guin Tribute Poetry Anthology

Eligibility: original poems which pay to tribute in some way to the late poet and writer Ursula K. Le Guin. Speculative elements are welcome, but not required. There are no limits to words, lines, or style.

Take Note: writers can submit up to three poems

What makes this call stand out: it’s a lovely way to pay tribute to a prolific writer

Payment: $20 per poem, reprints are welcome but the rate will be lower

Submit by: October 15th, 2018

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

In the greatest foreshadowing fail I have come across, a writer who specializes in stories about ladies killing their spouses is charged with murdering… her spouse. Welp.

Last Thursday would have been Roald Dahl’s 102nd birthday. In tribute, Emmanuel Nataf put together this collection of Dahl’s “Gloriumptious” words. Best read with a smile on your face.

What I’m Reading:

I’ve been reading the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue of Uncanny. Having guest editors makes it stand out from other Uncanny issues in terms of overall style, but Uncanny’s ideals of inclusivity and imaginative fiction hold true.

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cover art: And With the Lamps We Are Multitudes of Light by Likhain

My favorite story in the collection is A. Merc Rustad’s first-contact story The Frequency of Compassion. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Rustad is easily one of my favorite short story writers publishing today. I get a rush of delight when I see their name in a table of contents.

I tried and failed to chose a favorite from the nonfiction included in the issue. As a mother who experiences a varying range of anxiety, A. J. Hackwith’s And the Dragon Was in the Skin resonated deeply. Each essay changed something in the way I see the world. If you’re a writer, read them. Devour them. Listen. They have the power to make us better writers. Better people.

Julia Watts Belser’s poem You Wanted Me to Fly hit me hard, the last line especially. As writers, we need to do so much better.

If you’re not in a place to support Uncanny magazine financially (Space Unicorns!), you can read half of the issue for free at the link above. The second half should be available on the Uncanny website in October.

Happy writing!