October Stuff

Words: 27,412 = 12 pts.
Submissions: 2 = 2 pts.
TOTAL = 14 pts.

Koala Challenge 9

Awesome writing this month, and hopefully I’ll do better for NaNo. [crossed fingers] Twice as many subs as last month [cough] but still waiting on several slow markets.

One more new thing that happened just today (okay, yesterday — pre-midnight) was that Google forced the Google Reader (which I use to read RSS feeds) into their new format. Which is fine, I like the old look better but whatever, except that you can’t just “like” a post now. You have to “+1” it via that Google+ thing, which attaches your real name to it. :/ And like an idiot, I actually put my real name when I created the account, way back when only you saw your account information. I don’t particularly want my legal name to be attached to everything I do online — I write under my pen name for a reason — so I can’t help promote people’s web posts anymore without outing myself. Lovely.

I followed the brangling over Google’s refusal to allow pseudonyms a few months back when they started up Google+, but it was academic at the time. I agreed that Google’s making a huge mistake (and a distastefully self-righteous mistake at that) but since I had no interest in using Google+, it didn’t affect me. Well, now it does. Wow, thanks Google. :/

On the writing front, I’m doing NaNo this month, for the first time since 2008. In ’09 and ’10 I was working on large projects in November that had less than 50K words left to go and I didn’t want to derail them to break off and do NaNo, maybe losing momentum, so I just skipped. This year, I’m this close to finishing the second Sentinels novel, like maybe two more chapters after the one I’m on, and I’ve been in a great writing groove, so I figured I can do both. That is, my NaNo book this year will be the third Sentinels novel, which I’ll be starting as soon as I’m done here, but I’ll be finishing the second one at the same time. I figure it shouldn’t take more than a week or maybe two [crossed fingers] even working around my 1667/day on Book Three.

I’m thinking this should work well because:

1) I’m used to switching back and forth between projects; that’s how I keep writing when I’m blocked on a project but not on writing all together
2) The books are related, taking place in the same verse, and with some overlap characters
3) They’re even mostly concurrent, since most of the gang heads up to Seattle a few chapters into Book Two while Manny (the protag of Book Three) stays home to hold the fort and has an adventure of his own.

So it’s almost like writing one book anyway, right? We’ll see. 😀

Anyone else doing NaNo this year?

Angie

New Orleans

Wow, I haven’t blogged about GayRomLit yet — I should probably do that before I forget what-all happened. 🙂

The conference was a lot of fun, more than I expected, actually. I’ve always loved meeting internet friends in realspace, and I got to meet one of my very best online friends, plus a bunch of other people I knew, people I sort of knew, people whose names I’d seen around, and people I ran into for the first time while I was there. One thing a lot of people have commented about is how awesome it was to hang out with a bunch of people who are all into m/m romance. I’ve never been to one of the big romance conventions, but people who have talk about been sneered at, snubbed and otherwise marginalized, on a ratio of four or five to one versus people who say everyone was great and they had no problems. Gay romance is the redheaded (bastard, drug addict) stepchild of romance, and it seems to be very stressful, to say the least, to be an m/m romance reader or writer at a general romance convention. This one was for us, everyone was in the same group, and no one was asked, “But why do you read/write that stuff?” with even curiosity, much less hostility or distaste. Good stuff.

I got majorly fangirled a couple of times, which was pretty darned cool. [beam] I even had about half a dozen people ask for my autograph, which was ??? because I don’t have any paper books out and wasn’t expecting it at all. The first four or five I was trying to actually SIGN a name I’d never signed before, and I’m sure no two were alike, LOL! My usual mode of writing is a rather weird printing style I’ve developed since I was like eleven, though, so for the last couple I ditched the whole cursive-signature thing and just printed my name. It’s still very curvy and doesn’t look like anyone else’s printing, so that should work fine. Also, it’s readable, which my cursive most definitely isn’t. [cough] Also-also, this matters less with a pseudonym, but in general you don’t want your “autograph” to be the same signature you use on checks and credit card slips, so that’s another good thing, just on general principles.

It wasn’t all wonderful, of course. I had some tote bags made up with the title and author name (same fonts and all) from A Hidden Magic to give away, and had my vendor send the box directly to the hotel. They lost it. [headdesk] They found it eventually, but it took about a day and a half, and the first couple of people I talked to (two separate occasions) seemed pretty convinced it’d never arrived, despite UPS’s web site showing that it had been delivered to the front desk. The third time there were three people hunting for a while, and the bell captain finally found it and brought it to my room, yay! I gave him a nice tip and was very happy to have my stuff.

The day after I arrived, I went out with three friends to Cafe du Monde, where the coffee’s great and you have to excavate through the mountain of powdered sugar to find your beignets. That part was good, but there was an older guy right outside the fence, like twelve feet away from us, who was alternating between trumpet music and very loud singing the whole time we were there, such that we had to shout at each other to have a conversation. [sigh] I know the street performers have to make a living too, but the whole captive-audience thing sucks. It’s one thing to do your performance on a street corner, or around the perimeter of Jackson Square where a bunch of performers and artists and fortune tellers hang out, so that people passing by can stop and watch/listen if they want. But when we’re in a cafe having coffee and beignets and want to talk, it’s very unpleasant having music blaring in our ear the whole time. And courtesy dictates that you stop what you’re doing to applaud whenever a song finishes, whether you enjoyed it or not, and that got old as well. The guy was all “Thank you for your thunderous applause” whenever there wasn’t much, going passive-agressive on people who hadn’t chosen to hang out and listen to him in the first place — so that kind of sucked. He’s the one who chose to foist his very loud music on people who just wanted to sit down with coffee and beignets and conversation; if his audience wasn’t universally delighted with his offering, that was his doing and nobody else’s. If I ever go back, I’ll definitely look for a table inside, or way in the back of the patio.

After that, we took a carriage ride around the French Quarter, which was fun. Our driver knew a lot about the history of the area (I’m assuming they all do, but still) and it was nice to see things while sitting down. The carriages are pulled by mules these days. The driver said it was because mules are stronger and can take the heat better than horses. They used to use horses, but there was trouble with the horses being overworked and generally in bad shape, so the city passed a law saying that the carriages had to use mules, which is good. They all seemed to be healthy so far as I could tell — no hip bones sticking out, no limps, nothing I recognized as abused animals, which isn’t always the case with animals who work this way, so that was cool.

I had some “lightly” blackened red snapper later on which was way too spicy for me (I have pretty much zero appreciation for capsaicin type heat in food) so I only ate half of it, although the rice and veggies were good. And on the last evening before I left I had a fried oyster poboy with sweet potato fries, both of which were very yummy. And I had breakfast a couple of times at the hotel restaurant, including my first try at grits. I expected to like them — I’m Italian and grew up eating polenta — and I did. Grits have a lighter taste, less corny, if that makes sense. I imagine it’s something to do with the chemical processing that turns them white. They’re still good to eat with butter, just like polenta, and I’d definitely have them again.

I didn’t do any of the walking tours the con had set up — they did cemetary walks and vampire tours — and from what I heard I was glad I didn’t. It sounded like they were too long and with too much standing around for someone with my mobility issues. I have to be careful what I commit to, and I had a feeling these wouldn’t work out for me.

A lot of the planned events of the conference were based on alcohol — hurricane party, wine and cheese party, pub crawl, that kind of thing — and I didn’t sign up for them because I don’t drink. Various authors and/or publishers were sponsoring all these events, and they had to pay so much per head based on how many people signed up. I could’ve gone just to be sociable, but I didn’t think it was right to make someone pay for booze for me that I wasn’t going to drink.

I haven’t mentioned any panels because… well, I can’t quite say there weren’t any, but there weren’t supposed to be. The organizing committee decided not to hold panels because they, as individuals, don’t care for panels at conferences. All right, it’s their show, they can do what they want. But there were panels anyway — two that I ran into, and I didn’t try to get to everything — so it seems at least some of the attendees and sponsors want them enough to go impromptu if none are organized. This would be fine, except that the rooms weren’t set up for panels. The idea with the smaller events was that authors or publishers or whoever was hosting a social or signing or whatever would be sitting behind tables around the perimeter of the room, and people would walk in, chat a bit, pick up swag and/or autographs, and leave. The first panel I encountered was in a small room intended for a meet-the-authors social sort of event. A friend was in there and I wanted to go say hi and see how things were going with her, but I found a panel going — people were asking questions, writers behind the tables were answering them, and everyone was listening to the answers. That’s a panel. The room had about six chairs in it, aside from the chairs behind the tables for the authors, and they were all full. There were people standing along the walls, packed into the corners, standing here and there in the middle of the room, and packed very tightly in the doorway and in the hallway right outside the door. I couldn’t even get close enough to the door to peer in and see my friend, and I could only hear every fourth or fifth word. I stood around for a few minutes, but then my knees and back started griping so I left.

The second one was a publisher’s reception. They were supposed to be hosting a hurricane party on the patio around the pool, but the hotel was going through some rennovation and fumes from the paint had drifted out the windows and made the pool patio uninhabitable most of the afternoon, so events that were supposed to be near there were hurriedly moved. I hadn’t signed up for the hurricane party, but I wandered past their relocation room (which was way too small for a party, but they were moved back to the pool patio a bit later, after the painters had gone home and the fumes dissipated) and saw that the publisher was holding a panel. The room was packed again — there were eight or so chairs that were full, people lining the walls and packing the corners and standing in all the free space, plus people sitting on tables and assorted other things that weren’t meant to be sat on. The publisher had been invitation-only up until recently, and one of the bigwigs (I didn’t catch her name so I don’t know exactly who) was speaking about their preferences in submissions, what they’re looking for, how they deal with covers and promo, and generally the sort of thing an author who might consider writing for a publishing house would want to know. I’m happy where I am, but I wanted to hear what the publisher had to say anyway and there was a spot on a table near the door, so I perched for a while, along with a number of other people. Seriously, though, if this sort of thing continues, one of these times someone or a group of someones is going to sit on something that isn’t meant to be sat on and break it, and the hotel is going to bill the conference. I get that the organizers don’t care for panels, but if they’re going to happen anyway, they’d best be organized and scheduled and put into rooms that are set for panels, with plenty of chairs. Otherwise the committee should start setting aside money for a surprise on the hotel bill, because it’s going to happen.

I got to meet my own publishers in person for the first time, which was pretty cool. Shawn and Lorna of Torquere Press had a table at the big signing event — which was on a riverboat — and invited me to sit with them for a while. That’s where I got asked for most of the autographs. 🙂 A lot of writers in this genre don’t have paper books, so readers were going around with notebooks and such, using them as autograph albums. One lady was having people sign her e-reader cover, and one of the mods of the M/M Romance group on Goodreads was having people sign her Don’t Read In The Closet knapsack, which was pretty cool. That’ll be an awesome souvenir.

Later some of us Torquere people gathered in the hotel bar — which was around a corner and down a long hall and pretty dead unless there was a conference event in it, which sort of surprised me — with Torquere hosting. Shawn ran a tab, which I’ve never seen anyone do in real life, and which amused me beyond reason. Okay, I don’t go to bars, I’m sure everyone else is eyerolling right now, but it was pretty cool from my point of view. 🙂 I had a couple of sodas and we talked about stuff. One thing that sticks out was confirmation that when the second Hidden Magic novel comes out, they’ll bring both it and the first out in paperback, yay! Seriously, that was awesome to hear; I’d suspected they might, just because it makes no sense to bring out Book 2 of a series in paperback but not Book 1, but it’s great to hear it officially. I know paperbacks don’t sell terribly well in this genre, but I’ve been wanting a paperback book with my name on it that I could autograph and give my mother for ages, and now I know I’m going to get one. Even if sales are lousy — which I hope they aren’t! 😀 — just being able to give her that will be worth it.

Oh, one of the street performers I saw while walking around the Quarter was excellent!! I was on the way to a nearby drugstore and was passing by Jackson Square, and there was a guy who was a police car transformer, and it actually worked!! 😀 He walked around with pieces of police car hanging off him like armor — I think a lot of it was sturdy cardboard or light wood, it certainly wasn’t plastic or metal, but still — and then he’d sort of squat and fall forward and the car assembled itself around him with the four tires on the ground and his feet tucked up out of the way. He must’ve had an electric motor in there somewhere because he could drive around!! Then he’d stop, then put his feet down and stand up, and the car disassembled back into an armor-y thing again! I definitely dropped some money in his bucket, ’cause that was freaking awesome. [beam]

On the whole I had a great time, and I’m looking forward to going to next year’s conference, which will be in Albuquerque. Hot and dry instead of hot and humid, so a bit better to this California native who’s not at all used to humidity. It’s the people who make it a great time, though, and I expect that to be just the same, only maybe a little bigger with any luck. I can hardly wait! 🙂

Angie

Guest Post at Rosalie Lario’s

I have a guest post up at Rosalie Lario’s blog today, talking about stories where there’s paranormal activity in a contemporary setting. Do you try to set up a situation where everyone knows what’s going on, like in Stacia Kane’s Downside books, or do you try to keep it all a secret from the general public, like I do in my Hidden Magic series? Taking it public can give a greater sense of OMGWOW! to the events, if they were so wide-spread that everyone’s aware, but keeping the secret can give you an additional source of conflict to toss at your characters. Come check it out and weigh in. 🙂

Angie

Review — A Hidden Magic

[I’m in New Orleans! More about that later.]

Kenra over at Grave Tells reviewed A Hidden Magic today. She gave it 3.5/5.0, and declared it Worth A Look.

Ms. Benedetti gives an intriguing glimpse into a world where people are either “normal” or mages, and magical creatures slip back and forth from their own realm into ours, carrying out all sorts of mischief. She gives enough physical detail to allow the reader to see her world quite well, without the description being intrusive or over-done.

Click through for more. Thanks to Kenra for the review; I’ll be doing a Q&A session at Grave Tells next week; watch for a link then.

Angie

Anthology Markets

If you’ve just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. 🙂 I do these posts every month, so if this post isn’t dated in the same month you’re in, click here to make sure you’re seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, “Until Filled” markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Rocket Science, Borderlands 6, Damnation and Dames, Horror Library, Mortis Operandi, the Fantastic Stories Anthology, and the Wuxia Anthology.

Note that Panverse 4 has been cancelled.

***

31 October 2011 — Rocket Science — ed. Ian Sales, Mutation Press

Science fiction does take place in a vacuum. Travel more than 100 kilometres vertically from where you’re standing, and you’ll be in space. Where there’s no life-sustaining air; where the cold, and direct sunlight, can kill. There’s no gravity, and background radiation will cause cancer in one in ten people. Yet the future of our species quite possibly lies up there, or somewhere that will require us to cross space to reach.

Too often, science fiction glosses over the difficulties associated with leaving a planetary surface, travelling billions of kilometres through space, or even living in a radiation-soaked vacuum. The laws of physics are side-stepped in the interests of drama. Yet there’s plenty of drama, plenty of science fiction drama, in overcoming the challenges space presents. Whether it is, for example, an alternate history take on the Apollo Lunar landings; the discovery of an alien artefact on a moon of Jupiter; or the story of a mission to the nearest star.

ROCKET SCIENCE is looking for original stories which realistically depict space travel and its hazards. The reader needs to know what it would be like to be there. This doesn’t mean stories must be set in interplanetary or interstellar space; but the technology and science involved must be present somewhere. It could be a story set in a spacecraft, on an asteroid or space station; or about a mission soon to leave Earth’s surface. It could be a first contact, a rescue against the odds, or a study of some unusual space phenomenon. Whatever suits. Don’t be afraid to be literary.

But no space opera, definitely no space opera.

ROCKET SCIENCE will also feature relevant non-fiction – history, science, technology, perhaps a study of notable books / films / tv. Feel free to submit.

Reading period 1 Aug 2011 to 31 Oct 2011. Do not send before.

Word limit 6k. Payment GBP10.00 per 1k words. No reprints.

Please stick to the theme.

ROCKET SCIENCE, edited by Ian Sales. To be published by Mutation Press in 2012. For more information: visit this page for updates or email rocketscience.editor@gmail.com

***

31 October 2011 — Borderlands 6 — ed. Elizabeth E. & Thomas F. Monteleone, Borderlands Press

Manuscripts ONLY (14 pt, Double Spaced, Times New Roman, numbered & your name on EACH page)

Please no COVER LETTER. 1st page list your contact info. Let the story speak for itself.

Borderlands Press * PO Box 61* Benson MD 21018

Accepting: 15 to 20 stories

Response: via email (no SASE unless you want your ms. returned)

Editions: signed limited edition (250 numbered) plus an e-book

This a non-themed anthology which carries on the tradition and high standards established by the first five volumes in this series. It is the intention of the editors to publish new, original, short fiction, which pushes the limits of what is being done in darkly imaginative fiction. If you are published in Borderlands, you will be part of the expedition to open the gates to new literary territory, and you will help scorch a path through the jagged landscape of the imagination unbound . . . and all those other cool metaphors.

You don’t need to read a Borderlands story on a stormy dark night, with glowing embers banked in the fireplace, and a cruel wind howling across the moors. The stories we want can be read under the clear light of day and pure reason, and they will still knock you around and put a new rhythm in your head.

Which means: we are not looking for any of the traditional bug-bears and boogeymen. No ghosts or vampires need apply. No zombies, no werewolves, no mummies, succubi, or Hitchcockian spouses with plans to do in their mates.

In other words we don’t want stories employing any of the familiar symbols or icons which have defined the genre.

Having said all that, we believe you’ll have a far better chance of selling us your story if you have sampled previous volumes of this anthology series.

Please check our website (www.borderlandspress.com) periodically for updates on the status of the anthology’s progress.

Simultaneous submissions okay (if you sell it before we get to it, it’s our loss)

NO Reprints

Length: up to 5,000 words (unless by previous arrangement)

Payment: .05 cents per word for the limited edition; e-book royalties are based on 50% of retail e-book price and shared by all contributors on a pro-rata basis. Royalties will be calculated quarterly and payments disbursed when a contributor’s share exceeds $20 in any quarterly accounting. [I’m pretty sure they mean five cents per word here, not five hundredths of a cent, but that’s just me making a guess.]

***

1 November 2011 — Damnation and Dames — ed. Amanda Pillar and Liz Grzyb, Ticonderoga Publications

We are looking for stories which show the paranormal and noir crime worlds colliding. You might find werewolf femme fatales, vampire hardboiled detectives, alcoholic psychic journalists, zombie bankrobbers, ghostly gendarmes, demonic insurance salesmen, down-on-their-luck djinns, double-crossing mummies, or even fae with a love for red herrings.

The anthology will be published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2012.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Send us your best paranormal noir stories.

1. — Story length 1,000 to 7,500 words. (Longer stories may be accepted, although payment is capped at 7,500).
2. — Original stories only: no reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.
3. — Stories may be submitted via email at paranormalnoir@ticonderogapublications.com.
4. — Manuscript format: double spaced, large margins, sensible font, Australian English spelling.
5. — The editors reserve the right to use their discretion in selecting stories.
6. — Deadline: 1st November, 2011.
7. — Payment: 2 copies of anthology and Aus 2 cents/word (GST inc., maximum payment $150) on publication.

***

1 December 2011 — Eternal Love — Cool Well Press

Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in 496 A.D., and was done in remembrance of the martyrs who opposed Ancient Rome. They were known as Martyr Valentinus, which in Latin means those who are worthy, powerful, and strong. Over the centuries, Valentine’s Day has come to represent a time when intimate companions show their love and affection. It also serves to remind us of love that has been lost.

As far back as the misty ages go, men have always believed that there are immortals roaming the Earth. These immortals come in many forms, such as Vampires, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, Angels, and Faery. Because these creatures are supernaturally strong and powerful, and cannot die, they might be referred to as the true Valentinus. They experience profound love and profound loss, and while many are not worthy, many more are. We want stories about these beings that have lived and eternally loved.

COOL WELL PRESS is opening a call for submissions for their new young adult anthology, ETERNAL LOVE to be published in February 2012. Stories should be set in all eras and locals, and is targeted for 15 to 18 year old readers. No sexually explicit stories. These should have a paranormal flare and be 5,000 to 8,000 words. Deadline is December 1, 2011. Please follow the submission guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Send completed submission to denise@coolwellpress.com and mark the subject of the email as ETERNAL LOVE.

Authors whose stories are accepted will be sent a contract. Compensation will be a one-time payment at .10 per word and a copy of each format of the final anthology.

***

15 December 2011 — Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy — ed. Mitzi Szereto, Cleis Press

To be published by Cleis Press in autumn 2012.

Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy is a place where lust and legend abound, and adventure, passion and danger entwine. Think mystical lands and creatures, kings and queens, knights and renegades, heroes and villains, warlords, maidens and princesses. Think battles and danger, honor and dishonor, good and evil. Most of all think hearts filled with passion and secret desire. This is a place where romantic chivalry is alive and well, but so too is romantic wickedness. This is a place where the good do not always win, and the bad are often more captivating and desirable than their altruistic counterparts. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power. Intrigue, sorcery, revenge, lawlessness, dark secrets and mysterious elixirs; entanglements with supernatural beings – everything is possible in these magical mythical landscapes. Think Game of Thrones and you get the picture!

Word count: 3,000 to 6,000 words.

What I’m looking for: Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Think atmosphere, passion, desire… imaginative steamy tales that transport the reader to fantastical realms. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are stories containing characters of any sexual orientation.

Note: Although sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach, absolutely no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies (especially Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance) to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. Even though the stories need to have a strong element of eroticism and sensuality to them, I do not want stories that are one-dimensional sex stories or smut. The erotic element is an important part of the story, but it should not be the sole basis for the story or a replacement for plot and character development. No reprints (be it print, digital, or online). Original fiction only.

Payment: One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.

Submission requirements:

Stories must be formatted as follows: double-spaced Arial 12-point black font Word or RTF document (sent as an attachment). Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs or irregular spacing between words. American spelling and punctuation only (i.e. quote marks, etc). Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), postal address, and a fifty-word maximum author bio written in the third person. Contract is for one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights with one year’s exclusivity from date of publication. (This may be waived if your story is selected for a “Best Of” collection). No simultaneous submissions please.

In the subject line of your email, please state: Kingdoms of Desire

Send to: submissions @ mitziszereto.com

Submission deadline: December 15, 2011. (Stories will be read on an on-going basis, so early submissions are highly encouraged.) [I can’t swear to it, but phrasing it this way makes me think she’s going to be buying stories as good ones come in, which means a good story subbed near the deadline might be rejected because it’s too close to a similar story she bought a month earlier. Or maybe not, but that’s what this is saying to me.]

***

UNTIL FILLED — Horror Library, Vol. 5 — Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2011.

We’re looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what’s already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won’t cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They’re just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we’ll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

Variances from traditional manuscript format: single space, NO INDENTS, ONE EXTRA space between paragraphs, use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in story

Subject box: Short Story submission – title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]

***

UNTIL FILLED — Mortis Operandi — ed. Kfir Luzzatto and Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow Press

MORTIS OPERANDI is looking for stories that revolve around the investigation of a crime and in which the supernatural plays a central role. While we’re expecting a fair share of murders, we strongly encourage stories that revolve around OTHER kinds of crime — for example, arson, assault, blackmail, bullying, burglary, dowry death, embezzlement, fraud, kidnapping, larceny, libel, piracy, product liability, slavery, smuggling, terrorism, treason, and toxic pollution are all fair game.

By “supernatural” we mean magic, monsters, and/or miracles, but we don’t consider psychic abilities (although the inclusion of a minor character possessing them will not in itself disqualify a story), extraterrestrial life, or UFOs to be supernatural.

Types of stories may include whodunits, police procedurals, hardboiled fiction, and courtroom dramas. All genres and treatments are welcome, including ecclesiastic, fantasy, humor, horror, historical, military, romance, and parody. Settings outside the U.S. and U.K. are welcome. Settings on other worlds aren’t.

We want well-written stories that demonstrate originality of concept and plot. Zombies, vampires, and werewolves will be a hard sell, and romantically inclined vampires will be staked on sight. Think outside of the coffin.

Stories will be judged exclusively on the basis of their literary merit; a history of prior publication is not necessary.

Get more information about our thoughts on this antho at Market Scoop.
Submissions & Queries: anthology [[ at ]] theharrowpress.com
==No simultaneous submissions. One submission at a time.
==Please attach your stories to your email in Microsoft Word, RTF, or text-only format. Stories pasted in the body of an email will not be read.
==Please include the words “Submission: Mortis Operandi” in the Subject line of your e-mail.
Length: 3,000-6,000 words. Please include an approximate word count in your e-mail submission.
Reprints: No
Language: English
Payment: US $50/story, upon publication, and a free copy of the book
Rights: Exclusive English anthology print and electronic (e-book) rights. Please read our Sample Contract (pdf) for full details.
Submission period: Opens 1.1.11 — Closes when filled.
Publication Date: 2012

***

UNTIL FILLED — Fantastic Stories Anthology — ed. Warren Lapine, Wilder Publications

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination is a yearly anthology. Edited by Warren Lapine, Wilder Publications Box 10641, Blacksburg, VA 24063

I’m looking for stories that cover the entire science fiction, fantasy, and horror spectrum. I love magic realism (think Tim Powers and Neil Gaiman) and hard sf. I want a story to surprise me and to take me to unexpected places. I love word play, and would like to see stories with a literary bent, though decidedly not a pretentious bent. I could spend some time telling you what I don’t want, but I’ve found that good stories can make me buy them regardless of how many of my rules they violate. Let your imagination run wild, push and blur the limits of genre, or send me something traditional. I want it to see it all. My experience as an editor tells me that over time I’ll develop preferences and that the anthology will take on its own personality. When that happens I’ll change the guidelines to be more specific, but for now I’m going to explore what’s out there before I decide what direction to go in.

Payment: 10 cents per word on acceptance for original stories (maximum of $250.00) or 2 cents per word for reprints (maximum of $100.00). A check will accompany the contract so no simultaneous submissions please. I am purchasing First English Language Book Rights and non-exclusive electronic rights.

Story length, I have no limit on story length but the longer the story is the better it will have to be.

Sorry no e-mail submissions. Why is this? Don’t you know that e-mail submissions is the future? Yes I do know that, but it’s not the way I want to do this. For me the best part of being an editor is having people over to have slush parties and interacting with them during the reading process. Editing on a screen is a thing devoid of fun or joy, I edit for the fun and joy of it.

[Note: definitely click through on this one; there’s some very useful info in the comments.]

***

UNTIL FILLED — All Access Pass — ed. Amelia G, Blue Blood Books

Short version of what I’m looking for is: well-crafted fiction or memoir, cool erotica with music and/or music culture as a central theme, $50 first run + reprint rights, $25 reprints. More formal version below.

Call for Submissions: All Access Pass

Backstage Passes editor Amelia G is reading for a sequel to her anthology of rock and roll erotica, called All Access Pass. Below are general fiction guidelines for Blue Blood fiction projects. For this book in specific, music must play a central role in the story. Events could take place at a punk club or an outdoor festival, characters may be musicians, music may just really speak to a particular character, but it needs to be important. Stories ranging from balls-out memoir or entirely fantastical vampire sex are all fine, within the appropriate theme and quality standards.

When submitting electronically, please make the subject of your email ALL ACCESS PASS SUBMISSION.

Before sending anything over, please ask yourself if your work passes the Blue Blood litmus test: Is it intelligent? Is it sexy? Is it edgy/counterculture? Is it cool? Email electronic submissions to submit@blueblood.net For submissions of fiction or nonfiction text, please have your writing in a Word document with a .doc suffix (not .docx), RTF, TXT, InDesign, or Open Office format. It is preferred if you include an author bio or link to your website or online profiles.

The All Access Pass anthology is seeking erotic stories with a counterculture feel — Gothic, industrial, techno, rave, punk, metal, dyke, mystery, gangster, hard-boiled, science fiction, cyberpunk, steampunk, vampire, werewolf, medieval etc. At the moment, our needs are for stories primarily from a male or female heterosexual viewpoint, lesbian viewpoint, or female bisexual viewpoint. Often, we can also place male homosexual and gender bender stories in anthologies. We look for work between 2,000 and 7,500 words. Most accepted fiction is shorter than 4,000 words. Death and horror elements are acceptable so long as they do not prevent the piece from being sex-positive. Characters may die but not as part of the sexuality. Kinky is great — leathersex, bondage, vampirism etc. are all fine. Negative attitudes about sexuality are not fine. All sex must be consensual and arousing. PLEASE DO NOT SEND US STORIES PROMOTING NAZIS, RAPE, INCEST, OR THE SEXUALIZATION OF MURDER. NO SNUFF, RACISM, OR HOMOPHOBIA. If you can write genuinely arousing fiction which still works as a story, do contact us. Payment is net 60 on on-sale date and we generally purchase first worldwide rights (exclusive from acceptance to one year after publication) along with nonexclusive reprint rights.

***

UNTIL FILLED — Unnamed Wuxia Anthology — ed. John Dishon, Genreverse Books

What are you looking for?

You’ve probably guessed it: wuxia. I want wuxia stories. If your story isn’t wuxia, then submitting it here won’t do you any good. Even if your story is really good, the focus of this anthology is the wuxia genre. The anthology is intended for those who have never heard of or read wuxia before, and for those who have. So for the noobs I want to introduce the genre to them properly, and the veterans will know if I haven’t done that. And since the whole point of this project is to promote the wuxia, then I’m going to have to insist that your story be an example of said genre. If it is, then please submit it below. If not, you’re better off submitting it elsewhere.

If you’re not sure what wuxia is, you can read about it here.

Yeah, it’s wuxia. But is it your kind of wuxia?

Yes, it is. Because I don’t have any specific kind of wuxia I’m going for. It can be old school or new school, it can be proto-wuxia, such as some of the chuanqi of the Tang era (an example of that would be “The Kunlun Slave” or “The Curly Bearded Stranger”), or anything else. Maybe you have your own unique style you’d like to try out. Let me have it. I don’t want a book full of Jin Yong rip-offs. Some stories in that vein are fine, and I would like to see some, but I want some variety as well. With the English language we have the opportunity to take the genre in new and unexpected territories, and to use different techniques to tell our stories. We needn’t try to copy Chinese writers. What exactly I mean by that will be left up to the writers. If a standard Jin Yong or Gu Long kind of story is your thing, then send it in. But if you’re trying something new or different, then I want to see that too. The most important consideration is that it is a good story, which means it should have compelling characters put in interesting situations. Your story should have that regardless of the genre.

So I am open to stories set in modern settings as well. The essence of wuxia lies in the values expressed by the two characters that make up the word, 武 and 俠, not the time period the story takes place in. Again, feel free to experiment.

I think it’s wuxia.

Great. Send it in. If your story is a borderline case, or you’re not quite sure if it’s wuxia, then send it in anyway. The worst that can happen is it gets rejected. You don’t need to query first. Make sure you look at the “What is Wuxia?” page linked to above before making your final decision, though. There is some leeway. “Martial arts fiction” is how wuxia is often translated into English, and while that is an over-simplified translation, it’s a good guide. However, the xia part of wuxia deserves attention to. I believe it is possible to have a wuxia story that does not have any fighting in it at all, but there must be a lot of xia in that case. I’ll stop there before I complicate the issue too much. It is a tough genre to define.

How do you want it?

As stated above, all submissions must be made through Hey Publisher. The form is below. The form will accept .doc, .rtf, and .txt files. It will not accept the new .docx format for some reason, so if you are using a newer version of Word, make sure to save it as .doc instead of .docx. Sign up is easy on the form. You can go through one of various social network services, or just create an account with Hey Publisher. Either way, it only takes a few seconds. Do not email me your submission. All email submissions will be deleted without being read, no exceptions.

For proper manuscript formatting, see William Shunn’s Proper Manuscript Format. If you’ve ever submitted a story to a magazine before, then you’re probably already familiar with these formatting guidelines. You don’t need to include your mailing address, if you don’t want to. Make sure you have a valid email address on there, though. One that you regularly check.

How long should it be?

2,000-30,000 words. Anywhere in between there is fine. That means no flash fiction, and no novels. Also, no novel excerpts will be considered. No excerpts of any kind will be considered, actually. I want a complete, self-contained story.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted. I anticipate the submission process to be a long one, so I don’t mind if you submit to more than one place at once. Just make sure the other place(s) you submit your story to feel the same way.

Multiple submissions are accepted. If you only have one story to send, that’s fine. If you have three stories you would like to be considered, that’s fine too. I’m looking for the best wuxia stories I can find, so let me see all of them (well, all the good ones. Don’t submit the bad ones). You can have more than one story published in the anthology.

Previously published stories are accepted. The best stories might not be the newest stories. If your story has been published before, such as in a magazine or on a blog, then you can still send it to me. If it’s a great wuxia story then I want to showcase it to the English-reading world in this anthology. It would be silly to say no just because another magazine had published it already.

What will the submission process be like?

First, write a great story. Edit/rewrite/revise that great story. Make sure someone besides you reads it, so you can be sure it’s good. Then submit it to me, via the form below. Your story will then be sent to me. When I open your submission to read your story you will receive an email saying so. At this point, wait for a bit. How long the wait will be is unknown. If I immediately am not interested in the story, then you will receive a rejection notice pretty soon, probably no more than a week after I start reading it.

If I like your story, then prepare to wait longer. If your story is a “maybe” then I will put it under consideration and you will receive an email saying so. This will likely be the longest wait period, and I can’t begin to say how long that could be. I want to find the best stories, but that could take a while. I’m sure some of the best stories haven’t been written yet as I type this. So hang tight. That’s why simultaneous submissions are allowed. I will update this website frequently to let everyone know how the selection process is going, so you can keep up with my progress that way.

Eventually, I will either accept your story or reject it. If your story is rejected, you will get an email saying so. If it is accepted, you will get an email saying your story has been accepted.

How much does this thing pay?

1-5 cents per word, depending on how much money I raise for the project. I would like to be able to pay everyone 5 cents a word, but that means I would have to raise $5,550 USD. Here’s hoping. But for the purposes of deciding if you want to submit a story to me, plan on 1 cent per word. That’s probably the most realistic guess. Tell everyone you know about this project and ask them to donate so there will be more money to pay the writers.

What rights are you seeking?

Anthology rights. That means I’m buying your story for the purpose of publishing it in an anthology. The anthology will be printed, and it will also be available in electronic format. This anthology will be published globally, so I will be seeking permission to publish it everywhere. However, aside from the print and online versions of the anthology, I don’t want anything else from you. You are and will remain free to publish your story anywhere else you want. You retain the rights to your story; you’re just giving me permission to publish it in my anthology and sell it globally in print and in electronic formats.

I’m not seeking First-anything rights. Even if this anthology is the first place your story will be published.

Wait, there is one more thing I want. I want the exclusive right to publish your story. Meaning that your story can’t be published at the same time as my anthology is published. Obviously, if it’s already been published then that’s fine, but you can publish it anywhere else new while I’m publishing it in my anthology. I am seeking exclusive rights to publish your story for three months after the publication of the anthology. So once the anthology has been out for three months, you can publish your story anywhere you please.

Going Visiting

I did a Q&A session with writer Giselle Renarde, and the post has gone up on Giselle’s blog. I got to talk about writing, reading, piracy and DRM, and the unfortunate existence of way too many bad BDSM books. Come join the conversation. 🙂

Angie

Free Story — “Custody”

Cryselle is a reviewer who does a “Thousand Word Thursday” feature where she posts a photo and invites writers to send her a short fic based on it. Last Thursday’s pic was of a cute little green dragon, and it spawned a short story (about 2500 words — yes, I’m an overachiever sometimes 😀 ) about him and his people, called Custody.

Flicker keeps showing up at Branden’s cottage, even though the tiny dragonling is supposed to live with Branden’s ex, Tol. Branden and Tol can’t live together, but neither is happy apart, and Flicker’s refusal to understand that he only has one person now isn’t helping at all.

(For folks not into m/m, there’s no sex in this one, so you can click through safely. 😉 )

Angie

September Stuff

Writing: 21,266 = 9 pts.
Editing: 6594 = 1 pt.
Subs: 1 = 1 pt.
TOTAL = 11 pts

Koala Challenge 9

I have several stories sitting in slush piles with long response times, so subs were way down in September. Luckily I found the ON switch for my writing engine (or more likely, some stranger whacked it with an elbow as they passed by, but whatever, I’m taking advantage of it while it lasts) so I made up for the points and then some with writing, yay! And actually, I’ve had a sub-goal all year of hitting nine points with writing alone; this is the first month I’ve managed it, which feels pretty awesome. Now if I can just keep doing it. 🙂

Angie