Writing Market News – November 22

Strange Horizons Magazine

Strange Horizons is a weekly speculative fiction magazine. The magazine is run by a non-profit agency that is dedicated to providing authors a well paying market for their work. They want broadly defined speculative fiction stories, but note that they are not a horror market.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: Under 9,000 (Under 5,000 preferred)
Pay: $.08 cents per word ($50 minimum)
Reprints: No

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

I’m breaking my rules here on not highlighting romance, but this market was interesting given its meld of science fiction and romance, so I thought I would offer it up. Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is a new online magazine featuring science fiction romance stories and reviews. For the current issue, stories should have a steampunk theme, and should be prompted from a picture shown on their submission page. They also ask that stories have an upbeat ending.

Deadline: January 31
Words: 1,000 – 7,500
Pay: $25
Reprints: No

Daily Science Fiction

Daily Science Fiction is an online market for science fiction and fantasy stories. Stories are sent out daily to their mailing list (which I recommend subscribing to, there’s some very interesting stuff), and posted on their website. There is the potential that accepted works may also be used in themed anthologies. They caution against military science fiction, and don’t want horror.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: 100 – 10,000 (special need for under 1,000)
Pay: $.08 per word
Reprints: No

713 Flash Fiction Contest

713 Flash is a rolling flash fiction contest put on by Kazka Press. Multiple winners are selected for each theme. Despite looking for flash fiction, they want stories that have a structure with a beginning and end, but say, “Our preference is for forward momentum with a middle free of too much backstory.” The theme for the current submission period is Discovery.

Deadline: December, 20
Words: 500 – 1,000
Pay: $15
Reprints: No

50 Comrades of Red

Organized by Pep Pep Publications, 50 Comrades of Red will be a collection of humorous stories centered around the idea of communism. Genre and setting are wide open, with the exception of erotica, and of course the story must be funny.

Deadline: December 16
Words: 750 – 3,216
Pay: None
Reprints: No

Writing Market News – November 15

Big Bad 2 – An Anthology of Evil Volume 2

Big Bad 2, to be published by Dark Oak Press will be an anthology focused on everyone’s favorite characters, the bad guys. All genres are accepted, and the only requirement is that your protagonist be a bad or evil character. This anthology follows on the success of The Big Bad. Some authors have been invited to contribute, and only 10 slots are available for open submission, so expect competition to be tight.

Deadline: January 1
Words: 3,000 – 9,000
Pay: Royalties
Reprints: No

Infinite Science Fiction

Put together by Infinite Acacia, Infinite Science Fiction will be a collection of science fiction stories. The publisher states, “We are looking for good SF that breaks away from the tired tropes of the genre.” They also state that for their purposes, fantasy, horror, and magical realism do not fall under science fiction.

Deadline: December 31
Words: 2,000 – 6,000
Pay: $.01 per word ($40 max)
Reprints: Unknown

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is a crowdfunded anthology to be edited by Alisa Krasnostein of Twelfth Planet Press and Julia Rios of Strange Horizons. The guidelines for this anthology are very specific. Stories are meant to be for a Young Adult audience, and should have a teen protagonist that is of diverse character: non-white or non-western, disabled, mentally ill, etc. Stories should be set on contemporary Earth, but involve fantastical or advanced technological elements.

Deadline: December 31
Words: 2,500 – 10,000
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Unknown

Ares Magazine

Ares is planned to be a very interesting little magazine. They are looking for speculative fiction stories across the spectrum of genres. They want stories to be action and adventure focused. From their website, I pulled this nugget of information:

Ares is the name of the Greek god of war. He is bold. He is brash. I want the magazine bearing his name to be bold and brash. The stories we have collected thus far are solid, quality stories. But too few of them could be characterized as real action-adventures. Personal stories are great, but I would like to see more swashbuckling and more derring-do.

That’s pretty clear guidance to help you draft a story that will be favorably considered. To also be included in each issue of the magazine is a stand-alone, playable board game, which is a really neat idea.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: 1,000 – 60,000 (4,000 – 10,000 preferred)
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Yes ($.01 per word)

Lamplit Underground

This week’s non-paying market is Lamplit Underground. This is an online “magazine,” with future plans for a print edition. They are looking for stories “related to the unique, the grotesque, the beautiful, the powerful.” If you have a story that makes an unconventional statement, this may be a good market for it.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: Any
Pay: None
Reprints: Unknown

Malodrax by Ben Counter – advance review

Today’s review is by Liliedhe and it’s book number fourteen in the Space Marine Battle series. The review isn’t for the faint of heart. Enjoy!

Not all the stories told in a Codex are necessarily true. Some are propaganda. Some are distorted. Some are just half the picture. Once one starts to compare a Codex story to the novelisation of it, differences are bound to crop up. I guess that is what makes writing novels out of three paragraphs from a Codex interesting. Because, where is the fun in telling what everybody already knows?

I guess that is the only thing I can think of that might be mustered in the defence of Malodrax. The Codex story of the First Captain of the Imperial Fist is a fantastic tale, of time travel, of impossible strength of character and body, of vengeance and retribution, endurance and of a capacity for forgiveness that might simply be superhuman. It is the story of the one awesome character the Imperial Fists have. The one claim to glory for that much maligned Chapter whose only purpose all too often seems to be playing redshirt to the heroics of others.

I guess that was why it could not be allowed to stand. Warhammer 40k is after all a setting without heroes, without good guys, without happy ends. A story like Lysander’s, a story of greatness in the face of adversity and horror thus could not be expected to stand. What other challenge was there for an author who was tasked to write about something so epically impossible?

And so it is revealed it as a lie. What happens in Malodrax not even bears a remote resemblance to the story told in the Codex. Its main character has no resemblance to the miniature on the tabletop. It is propaganda. It is a lie.

Malodrax thoroughly takes its premise and rips it to shreds. Basically, the only thing that remains from the Codex’s narrative is the time-travel. Yes, Lysander is from a thousand years in the past. Yes, he was on a place called Malodrax. And there it ends.

I did think the story of Malodrax was impossible to tell in a novel. At least, in a novel not on par with American Psycho where its graphical gruesomeness is concerned. Now, there are certainly gruesome scenes enough. Chaos isnt pretty, after all. That it does utterly lack the expected terrible torture scenes has to do with the fact that, as pointed out above, pretty much nothing of what you would expect to happen actually does.

Ok, that is unfair. It happens. Just not on screen. Or to the character you would expect it to happen to. And the true victim does not carry his fate with as much grace as Codex Lysander does. So I guess deconstruction was the intention all along. Nor has anybody as much patience with him as they do with the famous first Captain. I guess the universe is unfair and Space Marine brotherhood is just a lie among all the others.

I will not recount the plot. I don’t need to. You all know it. No, not from the Codex, from the Hammer of Daemons by Ben Counter.

Yes, this is a lazy book. The author falls back to what he does best and likely likes best, crazy descriptions of chaotic societies we have seen before. There are only so many ways to describe “impossibly beautiful yet disturbing” or “bloated, mutated, diseased” things before they become repetitive.

Like Alaric the Grey Knight, Lysander runs around making bargains with one freak show after the next, when he is not musing what an Imperial Fist does. I guess that is meant to show that the thought processes of a Space Marine are truncated and banal. Just like the thought processes of the occasional chaos thing. Hm, so maybe it was not deliberate?

I have always maintained that Ben Counter is an uneven writer, brilliant in flashes, uninspired and phoning it in when a scene was not to his liking. His phone bill on Malodrax must have been impressive. But then, since he was just copying himself…

Space Marine Battles has always been an uneven series, in turns awesome and flat. This is a new one, because it is infuriating. The quality middling, but unoriginal, the plot one a fan can but cry “ruined forever”. I do not know why Counter chose to not only invalidate the Codex, but also his own extensive flashbacks to this event in the novella Endeavour of Will, which bear no resemblance to this book.

Probably, because Imperial Fists are not allowed to have nice things. Not even a Chapter hero who isn’t a lying, pathetic fraud.

Thanks to Liliedhe, regular Read in a Rush contributor and part of the moderator team at the Bolthole forum.
Malodrax is out on December 14th.

Interview with Steve Parker

gym-wide
We interview Steve Parker about his latest novel Deathwatch. This is our longest interview so far, a fascinating, in-depth view into the writing process. Take notes, aspiring writers!

Can you tell us about your novel Deathwatch? The story and characters specifically. Is it action-oriented or slow-paced?

Deathwatch is the first Talon Squad novel and follows the origins, formation and first deployment of a Space Marine anti-xenos kill-team under the auspices of an Inquisition ‘handler’ known only as Sigma.
I guess the best way to describe it, or at least to describe what I was shooting for, is special-forces action in the 41st millennium – a kind of Tom Clancy or Duncan Falconer in space, if you will, but very solidly grounded in the 40k milieu.
The story is told via multiple viewpoints, but is mostly centred on Lyandro Karras, First Codicier of the Death Spectres Space Marine Chapter, who is sequestered to the Deathwatch alongside Siefer Zeed of the Raven Guard, Maximmion Voss of the Imperial Fists, Ignacio Solarion of the Ultramarines and Darrion Rauth of the Exorcists, all of whom eventually deploy with the dreadnought Chyron Amadeus Chyropheles of the Lamenters. Unfortunately, they don’t all get on very well.
I think it’s fair to say the book is definitely action-oriented, but action is nothing without slower-paced suspenseful elements that set it up. Hopefully I struck a good balance between action and suspense.

What was the writing process for the book? Can you describe how you go about working on a novel?

Deathwatch was announced rather a long time before it was completed, but that was nothing to do with any issues in the actual writing process. Truth be told, my life circumstances got shaken up a fair bit between signing the contract with Black Library and actually handing in the completed manuscript. I was never in any doubt about finishing the book, though. It was something I really wanted to write from the first moment my editor ran the notion up the flagpole.
Given the existence of the two short stories before the novel, I already had my characters, but I found myself facing a slight problem in that I didn’t want the novel (nor any future Deathwatch novels) to be bound by what transpired in those shorts. I mean, no one on the kill-team is immortal. If they make a big enough mistake, someone is going to pay the ultimate price. If one assumes the shorts take place quite a while after the origins story, it would seem that Talon Squad is going to be pretty safe for a long time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t go thinking that because the kill-team is at full complement in the shorts that anyone is bullet-proof. They are most definitely not. Not all these guys are going to make it through. That’s just a reality of the Deathwatch.
So, to that end, I decided to treat the novel as a reboot. The short stories are what they are – brief, explosive action adventures based around a single mission and meant to be read in a single sitting – but I’d like readers to think of them somewhat in the same way as a Marvel Alterniverse story. If you’re not familiar with those, it’s where an established character like Spidey, for example, has adventures that don’t really fall within the accepted main story arc. They’re fun, but they don’t reflect actual canon, more just a chance to play with ideas. For me, the Talon Squad shorts were as much about prototyping my kill-team and working out the dynamics of the group as anything else.
In terms of the process I use for any novel these days, I work almost exclusively in Scrivener, which I know some other Black Library authors – William King to name one – also espouse. Scrivener is heavily geared towards authors and makes Microsoft Word all but obsolete due to features like the excellent corkboard. I find it a genuine joy to work with, though I’m still learning its ins-and-outs to a degree.
I spend a lot of time in the planning phase of a book and make copious amounts of notes. I’m not a ‘pantser’ who just jumps into the writing and sees where it takes him. I tried that. The results were a bit messy and tended to call for pretty massive rewrites along the way. That’s not for me. I’m firmly in the ‘outliner’ camp now.
I tend to write three drafts. The first is scrappy and as fast as I can make it, just getting it down without too much thought to the language and focusing on discovering story problems I hadn’t anticipated in the planning phase. The second draft is about fixing all those problems and fine-tuning the pace and the story beats, the interactions, how the action plays out, stuff like that.
The third draft is the spit-and-polish phase where I focus on turn-of-phrase and other ‘cosmetic’ issues. After that, my editor gets it, reads it, makes comments of his own, gathers feedback from proofreaders, and then it comes back to me for a final tweak before it goes off for publication.
Writing a novel is extremely labour-intensive and long, and yet an author is always hoping that the book will be a smooth read that fans will get swept up in, devouring in just a day or two.

Was there any outside inspiration for the book, such as films, books, music?

I’m sure I was subconsciously inspired by a great many things. It all counts. Conscious inspiration, though, was mostly drawn from my own reading and a couple of video games I’m fond of.
In terms of books, I’d have to list Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy as one influence, but also the works of Frank Herbert, whose Dune books were the reason I ever wanted to write in the first place.
Games that influenced me included the Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six series, but also a broad list of other modern military ‘shooters’. The risk there is in telling yourself, ‘I’ll just play the game for a little research,’ but actually, you end up getting into the challenge of it and don’t stop where you should. Gaming is probably my greatest weakness.
Music? I listened to the Predator 2 and Alien 3 soundtracks over and over again while drafting. I also like the Space Marine and Gears of War soundtracks. The Alien 3 soundtrack in particular was a good fit for writing the novel, I think.

Can you mention your favourite parts and least favourite of the book? What was a struggle and what just kept pouring into the pages?

I have a lot of favourite parts, to be honest, because I initially planned the book to satisfy what I personally wanted from a Deathwatch novel (hoping along the way that readers would enjoy all the same things). To that end, I included lots of things that appeal to me directly, from the extreme and unusual training at Watch Fortress Damaroth to the shadowy activities of Inquisitors and agents who operate on a need-to-know basis. The chapters featuring the Puppeteer were a particular joy to write, but so were the scenes in which I had an opportunity to bring the Death Spectres Space Marine Chapter to the fore. I also reveled in writing the interactions between the kill-team members. Those are some pretty messed up team dynamics.
What was a struggle? I’m not sure there was a particular struggle that stands out. Writing isn’t ever truly easy, at least for me, but the Deathwatch novel was a fairly even experience as these things go. That might be because of the work I had already done on character establishment in the short stories. I’m hoping it’s indicative of future novel-writing experiences.

Writers have different patterns when they’re involved in their writing. Is the writing process for you a lonely one or do you become more social?

I’m not a very social being, even at the best of times. It’s my habit, and something of a preference, to lock myself away and live like a recluse whether I’m writing or not. I’m probably even more reclusive when I have a novel to write. Is that good or bad? They say no man is an island, but I dispute that. I’m North Sentinel Island, 400 miles southeast of Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal, and the tribe that inhabits me kills intruders on sight.

You’re a fan favourite despite not having an extensive Black Library bibliography. Does that influence your writing in any way or does the story always come first, the readers second?

Which fan said that? Was it my mum?
I don’t think serving the story and serving the readers can be separated all that much. There’s a certain level of mutual dependence there. A writer is an entertainer. Readers know what they like, and a writer working in an established universe needs to take that into account. I like to think that the readers and I want the same things from a Warhammer 40,000 piece. I’m a reader, too – in fact, I’m the first reader – so if I manage to satisfy myself (which can be pretty difficult), we’re probably all good.
I hesitate to say there’s any direct or specific influence from fan input, because that’s not really how I work, but a while back, I did ask readers to suggest kill-team compositions on my blog, mostly just for fun, but also because nobody knows Warhammer 40,000 like the fans. They’re so invested in the milieu. No matter how much reading I do, I doubt I’ll ever match the breadth and depth of knowledge some of them display. So, it’s nice to throw something out there sometimes and see what kind of replies you get. The kill-team discussion brought to my attention a number of Chapters I knew little about or had never even heard of before, so it was definitely interesting.

What made you write for Warhammer 40k? Was it by chance or was it intended all along? If so, are you a big 40k fan?

I am a big WH40k fan, but I don’t come at it from the table-top, where my only real experience is Space Hulk. I was always attracted to the artwork, the models and the richly detailed background, but all my recreational gaming in my teens tended to be done on computer or console. So I largely lost touch with WH40k for some years. It never occurred to me that there might be opportunities to write stories in this particular milieu. As an author, I started out writing original fantasy and dark SF stories set in Japan. It was only after my first two story sales to US magazines that I discovered Black Library and the Inferno magazine. I think I had been prompted to check for Warhammer 40,000 fiction after finishing the awesome Dawn of War computer game. Sadly, Inferno had ceased publication by then. I was kicking myself for not discovering it sooner until I came across the call for submission to the Tales from the Dark Millennium anthology.
Six days of frantic catching up later, I had a story proposal featuring the Dark Angels and the Ordo Malleus. Happily, I got the go-ahead to write the story, and The Falls of Marakross was my first outing in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

Can you remember what it was like when you started writing, and do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Hmm. Well, something I read recently really struck me, because I tend to be very hard on myself at the beginning of a book, and I typically trip myself up by incessantly editing as I write. Don’t do this. I think I do it because my expectations for the first draft are foolishly set way higher than they ought to be, which ends up causing me a great deal of self doubt and worry. This is something for aspiring writers to watch out for – don’t listen to the inner critic on the first pass. Just keep rolling.
The quote in question went something like this:
“Remember, everything great started out shit.”
Think about that. Think about your favourite book. Do you have any idea what it looked like after only one draft? You probably don’t, but chances are you wouldn’t have paid good money for it at that stage. You may not have liked it at all.
A first draft should, by its nature, be pretty scrappy, even deliberately so. Working from your plot outline (while still remaining open to anything new that suddenly occurs), try to write fast and free (and I’m painfully aware as I type this that I really need to follow my own advice). The faster you get the story down, the sooner you can start making it great, but that first draft has nothing whatsoever to do with quality. It’s all about getting the ideas on the page and discovering new ones along the way. The best ideas often come to you when you’re right in the middle of the work itself. From there, at the end of the first draft, you can really go to work on it and incorporate all the revelations you made while writing.
A lot of writers spend hours trying to make a perfect opening to a book right at the beginning of a project. I should know, since I was one. But you’ll do yourself a far bigger favour by just getting down a quick first chapter and jumping straight into the rest of the story feet first. You can refine that first chapter as much as you like when the time is right, but that time is not at the beginning of the first draft.
Once you have a completed first draft, print it out or copy it over to your e-reader (I prefer the latter myself), and read it start-to-finish, taking all the notes you’ll need to make it better in the second draft (I use a voice recorder for this). Again, don’t worry about literary cosmetics here, just focus on making it the best story it can be in terms of plot, scenes, characters, all the fundamentals. What would make each chapter or scene cooler and more exciting? What can you throw in to shake things up for the reader? Work up your second draft with all the changes you’ve decided to make, then sit down with that and, finally, start to think about the prose itself. Polish it up. Add your own narrative voice or style. Make it shine. Then finally submit it.
Other than that, be sure to study the craft of writing. The Writer’s Digest ‘Elements of Fiction’ series is great overall and does an excellent job of introducing all the aspects of story on which good fiction depends. There are some fantastic recent e-books on the craft of writing, too, which even experienced writers may get a lot out of. Amazon has literally oodles of them. Check the reviews before you buy, though.

Can you tell us about your interests besides writing?

A lot of the usual stuff like reading, movies, games, etc. No surprises there. I’ve no doubt that most of my favourites are also on the lists of the people reading this.
Since I was about sixteen years old, I’ve had a deep interest in martial arts and physical training. It hasn’t dissipated with time. I’d normally list body-building as one of my foremost interests, but I’m too far from my 2010 peak right now to say that and not feel a bit self-conscious, so I’ll just say weight-training instead and promise to do better next year.
Animal rights and wildlife conservation are really important to me, too, so I do what I can in the time I have available, whether that means signing petitions, copy-editing content for event organisers, designing posters or joining demos.
That’s about it, really. I like travel well enough, too, but I don’t get to do enough of it. I’d love to visit the Middle East sometime, or the ruins of the Aztec and Maya cultures. I’m also toying with the idea of becoming a slightly sympathetic super-villain and trying to obliterate (or at the very least sterilise) mankind. I think I’ve got the chops for it, but I lack the resources.

What are your biggest influences?


Literary influences? Definitely Frank Herbert, Clive Barker, JRR Tolkien and David Gemmell, all of whom still make me want to write despite the appalling money on offer to professional authors these days. Also, I don’t think there’s a 40k writer alive who hasn’t been influence at least a little by the great Dan Abnett. Aaron’s work, too, is so good that it’s surely having an influence on people in the same way now. I just read The First Heretic and enjoyed it immensely. I can imagine just how much insanely hard work went into it to make it read so well.
That said, no matter the influence, each writer needs to have his own voice. Influences ought to inspire, to bring ideas and techniques to your attention, but your voice has to be your own.

It seems that many fans of Black Library started reading fantasy as young children. Can you name your favourite books from your childhood?

I was really into the Fighting Fantasy and Sorcery! series in my primary school days. I still have the complete Sorcery! collection, including the spell book, and I love to look at all that awesome, quirky John Blanche art.
Then there was The Hobbit when I was about ten years old, though I didn’t tackle The Lord of the Rings until I was in my mid-teens. When I did, it completely blew me away.
After that, I started reading science fiction a little more than fantasy – Herbert, Gibson, Card, Bear, Clarke, etc.
Other than that, throughout my childhood, I was into just about anything featuring ghosts, monsters, aliens, demons, spaceships… I was a very easy sell to anything with a good cover painting back then.

Favourite music?

I mostly listen to two types of music depending on my mood or needs. First, when I’m training or out walking around town growling at worthless humans, anything that makes me snort and twitch like a bull rhinoceros in mating season will do, so Sabaton, Powerwolf, Battle Beast, stuff like that. Music that gets my blood up and makes me want to charge through a brick wall or flip over a car Hulk-style, meaning metal for the most part.
When I’m feeling a bit more low-key and, perhaps, quietly brooding over how to destroy the abhorrent human race, certain movie and game soundtracks hit the spot. My recent go-to soundtrack is from the movie Zero Dark Thirty. I could listen to that all day, every day. I’m not sure why, but it just suits me.
I also use something called Skyrim Atmospheres to help me get to sleep sometimes, since I have some sleeping issues.


Bestest food?

I’m firmly into the whole ‘plant-strong’ thing, so anything vegan that complements my training goals and is ethically sound is best. Daily staples for me include beans, nuts, wholewheat/wholegrain breads, brown rice, tofu, fresh fruits and veg. All very basic (I can’t cook worth a damn, after all). The recent hit movie ‘Forks Over Knives’ was a pretty big influence on me, but I’ve been fairly regimented in my eating since my mid-teens when I started physical training. If you love stories about Space Marines or Catachans or any type of fictional character who is pumped up and combat capable – Wolverine, Hulk, Batman, whatever – why would you not go to the gym and try to emulate that? You’d be surprised at what you can achieve and the positive changes it will make to your life in the long-term.

Chaos or the Emperor? Describe why.

There was a time when I would have immediately replied Ave Imperator to that and made an Aquila over my chest, but I’ve recently decided both sides can literally go to hell. They stink of corruption and self-interest. So I’m signing on with the Tau and dedicating myself to the Greater Good… until they do something I don’t like, at which point I’ll go rogue and start assassinating corrupt Ethereals.
My name is Steve Parker and I am a flight risk. Good night.

We like to give Steve Parker a big thanks for taking the time to reply to our fan questions.

Coming this Thursday is the review of Malodrax by Ben Counter.

Writing Market News – November 8

I wanted to take a moment today to discuss a bit of publishing/sales news in the writing world, before getting into the latest batch of open calls. Author Chris McMullen is sponsoring an event this year called Read Tuesday to be held on December 10. Essentially, he would like to see the event become analogous to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but with a hyper-specific focus on book sales. Participating authors and publishers will commit to reducing the prices of their books, either ebook, print, or both on the day of the event.

Chris is asking for the help of anyone who loves reading to either participate in or promote Read Tuesday. He would like to see it become an annual, worldwide happening. I’ve put forward the notion of enrolling The Black Wind’s Whispers and Marching Time into this event, and the idea has generally been met with positive reaction, so keep an eye out for them to be on sale. Check the Read Tuesday Catalog for other participating books.

With that said, let’s get into the writing opportunities for this week.

Shock Totem Magazine

Shock Totem Publications is looking for dark fantasy and horror stories for their Shock Totem magazine. Mystery, suspense, supernatural, morbid humor, and more sub-genres fall under this umbrella, but they do not want epic fantasy or hard science fiction.

Deadline: November 30
Words: Under 5,000
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Yes ($.02 per word)

Thresholds

Thresholds will be an anthology of speculative fiction published by The Dreadful Cafe. They are looking for stories about crossing literal and figurative thresholds into unexpected realms or situations. All genres are accepted, but they express an interest in works that cross genres, as is appropriate to the theme. All after-cost proceeds from the anthology will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Deadline: TBD
Words: 1,000 – 25,000
Pay: $125 (1,000 – 7,000 words), $250 (7,001-13,000 words), Negotiable (13,001+ words)
Reprints: Yes (self-published only)

Lost in the Witching Hour

Spook Show Publishing has a current call for their upcoming collection Lost in the Witching HourThey would like to see stories centered around the paranormal, including, but not limited to, ghosts, haunted houses, demons & possession, etc. Stories can either be campfire tales or have more involved elements. The publisher cautions against gore without good justification.

Deadline: December 31
Words: Up to 15,000
Pay: $10 (5,000+ words only, otherwise only a contributor copy)
Reprints: Yes

Vampires Suck

Vampires Suck will be an anthology of humorous fiction about Vampires and their lore, to be published by Strange Musings Press. I’m putting this in today as the non-paying market, since details are sketchy regarding payment. The only requirements for style and genre are 1. vampires and 2. humor. The publisher evidently has a story lined up that is heavy on the Twilight satire, so, sorry, that topic is taken. 

Deadline: January 1
Words: 500 – 6,000
Pay: Free ebook copy and possible royalties
Reprints: Unknown

Writing Market News – November 1

As anyone who cares about writing probably knows, today kicks off National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Given the heavy participation in this event, I understand there may be a decline of interest in writing short stories during November, but I’m still planning to keep on for those who aren’t tackling a novel project. In homage to those who are, I will try to find markets that accept reprints, and I will note that here. Hopefully we can find something for everyone.

In other news, in talking with some people and thinking on the matter, I have decided to include one non-paying market per week. Non-paying markets can have a lower barrier to entry than paying markets. As such, they can be a decent springboard for aspiring writers to get something published. This should help further motivate them, as well as begin to build a bibliography that can show other publishers the writer is serious about the business.

Leading the list today, we have a pair of markets that should appeal to those who may have been interested in submitting for Marching Time, but didn’t make it in for whatever reason.

Time Travel (prompt)

InfectiveINk.com is looking for stories with time travel as a central element. This is just a prompt theme, and that’s the only guidance given, so you should have complete flexibility with your story. All styles and genres are accepted, except erotica. Stories will be published on their website.

Deadline: November 28, 2013
Words: 1,500 – 5,000
Pay: $10
Reprints: Yes

Inaccurate Realities Issue #2

Issue #2 of Inaccurate Realities also has time travel as the main theme. An important note here is Inaccurate Realities is targeted toward the Young Adult market, so your story should take that into consideration. Given the strongest YA consideration these days seems to be length, it shouldn’t make it too hard to make any speculative short story work for YA.

Deadline: November 15, 2013
Words: 2,000 – 5,000
Pay: $15 – $25
Reprints: Yes

Penumbra eMag February 2014

For their February edition, Penumbra is looking for stories involving ancient Egypt or Egyptian mythology. Your piece should be speculative in nature. It seems like it should be obvious, but for clarification, no Stargate fanfiction is allowed. The publisher also asks you to note if  you are unpublished, as they enjoy publishing new authors.

Deadline: December 1, 2013
Words: Under 3,500
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: No

Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women

The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women is to be an anthology of reprints of science fiction stories written by women only. The anthology will be published by Running Press in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK. Submissions must be previously published, and must be legally available for reprint in late 2014. Stories that are available online are acceptable to submit.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 10,000
Pay: $.02 per word
Reprints: Yes (required)

Contact: Stories of the New World

The non-paying market this week is Contact: Stories of the New World. This is a science fiction and fantasy anthology to be published by Dreamscape Press. They desire stories of discovery. What happens when a new race is encountered for the first time? What mysteries does a new planet hold?

Note: Dreamscape has a few other anthologies all closing around the same time. Find them all here. Also, I’ve seen from experience that deadlines for Dreamscape may bump if they can’t get enough submissions. This is both a good and a bad sign. Good for you as it means you should have an easier time getting a piece accepted. Bad because the quality of work alongside yours may be of lower quality than you would like.

Deadline: November 15, 2013
Words: 1,500 – 12,000
Pay: None
Reprints: Yes

Note: It occurred to me in the titling of this post, that my previous date usage might have confused (and likely annoyed) the European crowd, so I tidied it up this time.