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

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.

Interview with Josh Reynolds

Our final interview of the month is with an author who hold one of the longest bibliographies you will ever see. With 13 novels, over a hundred short stories and even some non-fiction under his belt, not many can claim to have accomplished what Josh Reynolds has done. And that list is only going to get longer. But first, he has a few words for us.

Josh Reynolds. It's still possible to read everything he's written in this life time. But you better get started...

Josh Reynolds. It’s still possible to read everything he’s written in this life time. But you better get started…

He2etic: What is the writing process like for you? If you were to describe the process in one word, what would it be?

Josh: I treat it like a job. I set a word count goal for a particular project, I reach it, I move on to something different. Sometimes that’s research, sometimes it’s working on another project, sometimes its promotional stuff.

If I were to describe it in one word, it’d be ‘mechanical’. I get up, I write, I have some coffee, I write some more, I have some coffee, etcetera ad nauseum. It’s all very boring, unless you’re me, and then it’s awesome.

He2etic: How do you approach character development? Do you prefer to see how the character evolves as you go, or do you put more planning into it beforehand?

Josh: It depends on the character, and the type of story it is. Some characters have evolved, some I’ve had to plan. I generally err on the side of having a basic personality-type in mind, and then letting the character work out his or her own voice as the plot unspools. It’s easier than it sounds.

“When in doubt, have a man with a gun come through the door. If that doesn’t work, try a monkey with a switchblade.”

 

He2etic: You’ve written work primarily set in the Warhammer fantasy universe. In ideas as to what you’d do in the Warhammer 40,000 setting?

The Whitechapel Demon, by Josh Reynolds! Coming soon.

The Whitechapel Demon, by Josh Reynolds. Coming soon from Emby Press.

Josh: Lots. Mostly involving big dudes in power armour hitting each other or other, smaller dudes. At the moment, I’d really love to write a Space Marine Battles book, just for the experience.

Or something with a Necron as a protagonist, because why the heck not, right? I bet I could get a series out of Trazyn the Infinite just wandering around the galaxy, stealing stuff and leaving sarcastic notes. Eight, nine books easy.

He2etic: If you could cast anyone to play the roles of main characters in your work, who would you pick?

Josh: Honestly? I’d pick the person(s) who could guarantee the biggest ratings/box office draw. I want that sh*t to do well opening weekend, you know?

He2etic: Do you have any long term projects for writing? For example, do you intend to someday spin your own franchise or complete a long novel series?

Josh: Oh several. I always have a number of long term projects on the go. Franchise-wise, I’ve already got the makings of a good one in the Royal Occultist series, I think.

“Don’t argue with the editor, unless you know you’re right, and not even then, unless you absolutely have to.”

 

The Royal Occultist is the man or woman who stands between the United Kingdom and dangers of an occult, otherworldly, infernal or divine nature. Whether it’s werewolves in Wolverhampton or satyrs in Somerset, the Royal Occultist will be there to confront, cajole or conquer the menace in question.

There have been many Royal Occultists, and there will be many more, thanks to the strong British sense of tradition, bloody-minded necessity and the ridiculously short life expectancy for those who assume the post.

Knight of the Blazing Sun, by Josh Reynolds.

Knight of the Blazing Sun, by Josh Reynolds.

The current Royal Occultist, Charles St. Cyprian, is basically Bertie Wooster by way of Rudolph Valentino. His assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, is Louise Brooks by way of Emma Peel. He’s the brains, she’s the brawn. He likes to talk things out, preferably over something alcoholic, and she likes to shoot things until they die.

I suppose the stories could be called ‘urban fantasy’, or even ‘historical fantasy’, what with them taking place in the London of PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh. That’d be the 1920s to you or me. The ‘Inter-War Period’ as historians call it. If that sounds interesting, you can find out more.

The first novel-length Royal Occultist adventure, The Whitechapel Demon, will be released sometime in the next two months by Emby Press and I’ve sold close to thirty short stories about St. Cyprian and Gallowglass since I wrote their first adventure, Krampusnacht, in December of 2010.

Several of these stories are available for free at the website above. There are also several audio versions of some of the stories available, which can be found here with more to come in the near future, and there’ll be graphic (i.e. comic) versions of one or two of the short stories coming some time in 2014.

He2etic: Who are your favourite characters amongst both those you’ve written, and by other authors?

Josh: Okay, lessee…

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport, Caitlin Kiernan’s Dancy Flammarion, Manly Wade Wellman’s John Thunstone, Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise, Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon, Chester Himes’ Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, Richard Stark’s Parker, more, lots.

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you enjoy it, own up to it, unless it could get you arrested, in which case we shouldn’t be talking about it.”

 

I really dig series characters, so I’ve got a lot of favorites. More than I could comfortably list here.

As to those I’ve written? I think my top three are Mr. Brass, the American Automaton, John Bass, the Ghost-Breaker and St. Cyprian and Gallowglass, from the Royal Occultist stories. Mr. Brass is, in essence, ‘steampunk Robocop’ set in a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen world. That’s the high concept pitch.

John Bass is a darker character—a crotchety old farmer who fights ghosts and evil spirits in the Depression-Era southern United States. And Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass, as I mentioned above, are occult adventurers who fight monsters, magicians and madness-inducing entities in Jazz-Age England.

Neferata, by Josh Reynolds. Coming soon from the Black Library.

Neferata, by Josh Reynolds. Coming soon from the Black Library.

He2etic: Are there any books, movies, television series or even games that you think are mandatory viewing for struggling writers?

Josh: All of them? If you’re writing in a particular genre, it behooves you to read widely in said genre—old stuff, new stuff, indy stuff, popular stuff. Read all of it.

Television is good for helping you with dialogue and condensed plotting, especially sitcoms or family dramas—they’re not to everybody’s taste, but think about how little time the average sitcom has to tell a story, and how they go about doing it. That’s a lesson worth learning.

Movies are good for helping you understand how to plot longer form stories (or how NOT to, depending) and how to set mood and scene, if you’re attentive.

Basically, if you think you can learn from it, go with it.

He2etic: Is there anything you consider to be a guilty pleasure? Something that is trash, but you love reading it anyway?

Josh: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you enjoy it, own up to it, unless it could get you arrested, in which case we shouldn’t be talking about it.

Also, don’t try and rationalize the problematic aspects of said pleasure in order to make yourself feel less guilty about enjoying it. That never works out. But to answer the question, I love me some sitcoms. I will devour whole DVD box sets of everything from Leave it to Beaver to Amen, the latter starring the irrepressible Sherman Hemsley and lasting five glorious seasons.

He2etic: Any advice for new authors?

Dracula Lives! by Josh Reynolds.

Dracula Lives! by Joshua Reynolds.

Josh: Write everything. Try your hand at every genre, especially ones you don’t like. Don’t argue with the editor, unless you know you’re right, and not even then, unless you absolutely have to.

Embrace formula, cliché and stock characters. They’ll make your job easier, when you start out. When in doubt, have a man with a gun come through the door. If that doesn’t work, try a monkey with a switchblade. Everybody writes something a bit crap on occasion. It happens. Move on, do better next time. Last but not least, always get paid.

A giant thanks to Mr. Reynolds for his time! Follow the Bolthole at @BLBolthole. And follow Josh Reynolds @JMReynolds.

Writing Market News – 10/25

I was very pleased to see the positive response to the inaugural writing news post here on the Bloghole. It makes the work of putting this together seem much less daunting knowing that people are putting this information to good use. Good luck to those who already put in submissions for last week’s markets. (If anyone has a submission accepted from a market listed here, please share in the comments.)

This week we have a very diverse spread of opportunities, from speculative fiction set in the Garden of Eden to modern humor and satire.

Flytrap Magazine Issue #11

First up today is a very short notice call for a successful Kickstarter project to publish another issue of Flytrap Magazine, after the series had been on hiatus since 2008. All styles and genres are accepted, but the editor has this to say, “I like stories with sex and feminism and apocalypses and snarky humor in them, but don’t let that limit you.” Only one week left for submissions on this, so get writing if you’re interested.

Deadline: October 31, 2013
Words: Under 5000
Pay: $.05 per word

Garden of Eden

The first of a series of biblical themed anthologies from Garden Gnome Publications, Garden of Eden is seeking stories set in the Garden. The publisher doesn’t want simple re-tellings of the known story, however. They want stories of other characters who existed in the Garden, what they were doing there, and how they interacted with Adam and Eve.

Deadline: November 23, 2013
Words: 300 – 10,000
Pay: $3 for up to 1,500 words, $7 for 1,501 – 10,000 words

Fae

Fairies tend to occupy the realm of children’s stories, but Fae is looking for adult fiction centered around the tricky little creatures. Desired are stories that are true to established Fairy lore, but presented in new settings and with new twists. Sprites, pixies, gnomes, imps, and other fairy-like creatures are also acceptable. The anthology is to be published by World Weaver Press.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 7,500
Pay: $10

Krampus

Also from World Weaver Press, in partnership with Enchanted ConversationKrampus will feature the mythological figure that shares the name. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Krampus is the European counterpart to Saint Nicholas. Instead of rewarding well-behaved children, Krampus tortures and punishes misbehaved ones. He is traditionally depicted as a fairly standard devil. Horns, cloven hooves, all that. WWP would like to see adult stories centered around this diabolical creature.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 10,000
Pay: $10

OutFunny

In a bit of a deviation, today I also bring you OutFunny, a fledgling humor and satire website. The site focuses on short, quick hitting humor stories, comparable in content to Cracked or The Onion. Users then have the opportunity to append one liners to the stories, in an attempt to gain votes confirming their hilarity. The submission guidelines specify that submitted content will be prioritized toward users who have been active in trying to “outfunny” the writers by penning one liners. One caveat here is that linking with a Facebook account seems to be the only way to sign up for an OutFunny account.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: Around 150
Pay: $25

Bonus – Angry Robot Open Door

Angry Robot Books is currently accepting novel submissions from writers without agent representation through the end of the year. Angry Robots has published several familiar authors such as Dan Abnett, Gav Thorpe, and other Black Library authors, as well as the unavoidable Chuck Wendig. Submissions should fall under science fiction, fantasy, or horror, and all sub-genres thereof. There are a slew of guidelines, so check out the submission page if you have a novel lurking in the shadows.

Deadline: December 31, 2013
Words: 75,000 – 140,000 (approximate)
Pay: Variable

Interview with James Swallow

He’s written for Warhammer 40,000, Stargate, Star Trek and Doctor Who. He’s worked on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. A BAFTA nominee and a New York Times best selling author. Today, James Swallow has a few minutes to tell us about some of the work he’s done and his thoughts on writing.

James Swallow. Because the world is his (to create).

James Swallow. Because the world is his (to create).

He2etic: What is the writing process like for you? If you were to describe the process in one word, what would it be?

James: That’s a difficult question to answer. You know, I can’t describe it in just one word. There are so many aspects to the job of being a writer, it’s not just the act of putting a pen to paper.

There’s also the research, the “brain time” required to let your story percolate, the whole act of losing yourself to the narrative involved.

He2etic: How do you approach character development? Do you prefer to see how the character evolves as you go, or do you put more planning into it beforehand?

James: A bit of both, really. You have to have an idea as to who a character was before you let them step onto the scene. But, at the same time you can’t put everything in there straight away because they have nowhere to go.

“The problem of being a writer is that there is not a shortage of awesome ideas to write about.”

 

You can have a character begin in one place, but you also have to give a character a direction toward an endpoint. It is a really bit of both. They have to evolve and fill their role naturally, but sometimes you realize you have to make the character move in the right direction for the needs of the story.

Red Fury, by James Swallow.

Red Fury, by James Swallow.

He2etic: If you could cast anyone to play the roles of main characters in your work, who would you pick?

James: I originally modelled Rafen after Daniel Craig, but now, I’d probably choose the late Andy Whitfield from the TV show Spartacus: Blood and Sand. For his brother Arkio, a younger Rutger Hauer from the movie Flesh & Blood.

He2etic: Sometime back, a question was posted your way about what kind of Imperial Guard regiment you’d like to write about and your answer was ‘The
Framlingham Rifles.’ Is that still true? How would you envision them?

James: I picked them because there was no background about them!

I like the name because it has a kind of Old English feel to it. If I could, I would use something that has not been done before. I’d try to do something new, a new theme. It would probably be very British, like something from the era of the Raj.

“I can’t pick [my favorite] from my own characters. It’s like picking out your favorite child.”

 

He2etic: Do you have any long term projects for writing? For example, do you intend to someday spin your own franchise or complete a long novel series?

Peacemaker, by James Swallow.

Peacemaker, by James Swallow.

James: Yes! Many projects. Lots of different things. I’ve been working on a thriller novel, a contemporary action adventure story for a while. And have been doing some work on a science fiction project too. The problem of being a writer is that there is not a shortage of awesome ideas to write about!

He2etic: Who are your favourite characters amongst both those books you’ve written, and by other authors?

James: I can’t pick from my own characters. It’s like picking out your favourite child. But from the rest of the Warhammer universe?

Horus Lupercal is a great character, and so is Erebus. We have so many good books, and so many great writers. I always want to see where the other guys want to go with their stories – Dan Abnett with Ibram Gaunt, Honsou in Graham McNeill’s novels, Sandy Mitchell with Ciaphas Cain, Sarah Cawkwell’s Silver Skulls…

Beyond that, I enjoy William Gibson’s characters from Neuromancer, the work of John Brunner, Harry Harrison… If a character is compellingly written, if he speaks to me as a reader, that’s a good piece of work. I’m always going to try and do the same thing, make a connection to my reader and engage them.

Flight of the Eisenstein, by James Swallow.

Flight of the Eisenstein, by James Swallow.

He2etic: Are there any books, movies, television series or even games that you think are mandatory viewing for struggling writers?

James: In terms of good writing on television, I’d mention about The Sopranos. Hill Street Blues, Firefly. The Twilight Zone is a great example of really short compact stories with great characters.

I’d recommend a book about how to write rather than fiction. J.Michael Straczynski’s The Complete Book of Scriptwriting and Ben Bova’s work on writing science fiction.

He2etic: You had an opportunity to work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, designing the story for the game. What can you tell us about that and some of the themes that went into it?

James: I worked on that project an external writer, developing the characters, the core narrative and the game world along with a team of other writers. I also worked on the mobile phone game Deus Ex: The Fall and the DLC pack The Missing Link. I also wrote a novel, called Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, that spun out of that.

The themes of Deus Ex are all about human augmentation, about allowing people to become more than they are. We talk about cybernetics, neural implants – how do those things change the way people see you? We touch on a kind of “cybernetic racism”… It’s all about how society is changed by technology.

He2etic: Do you consider Deus Ex: Human Revolution to be post modern?

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, by James Swallow.

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, by James Swallow.

James: It’s not post modern, it’s modern! We thought it was sci-fi when we started writing the storyline, but over the four years during the game’s development, a lot of the things we wrote about began to come true.

The prosthetic technology that has become so common, the limb replacements for veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan and so on… It all reflected back on real issues of the time.

He2etic: When it comes to reading, do you have any guilty pleasures? Stuff you know is trash but read anyway?

James: I’m guilty about nothing! I like chunky thriller novels from the 70s and 80s, the Tom Clancy-style techno thriller about jet pilots, guys in submarines or tank crews – all that military hardware pornography! That and classic pulp sci-fi would be the closest!

I don’t like it when people say something is a “guilty pleasure”. If you like to read something, you should just embrace it, don’t worry about what others might think of it! At the end of the day, if you enjoy reading a book, that’s the most important thing.

A huge thanks to James Swallow for his time today! You can follow him @JMSwallow. Want more news and updates? Follow the Bolthole @BLBolthole.

Writing Market News

This will be the first of a weekly series of posts highlighting what I feel are some interesting short story writing opportunities. There are many open calls out there, but it can be hard to find and keep track of them all. Given that a disproportionate number of them seem to be for mature romance and erotica (sorry, I won’t be highlighting those categories), that makes finding the pertinent ones even more difficult.

As long as there are enough calls available to put a decent list together each week, I will be focusing on markets paying at least token rates. I think it’s important that authors get paid for their work, and I think you probably are more interested in paying markets than otherwise, so that will be the priority.

First up today, we have a pair of apocalyptic open calls.

Vignettes from the End of the World

Vignettes will be a collection of flash fiction to be published by Apokrupha, focusing on the end of the world, of course. Any form of apocalypse is acceptable, but they caution against zombies, unless done extremely well. Depending on the length of your story, this call is also paying into the upper reaches of pro-pay, so that’s not too shabby.

Deadline: November 5, 2013
Words: 500 or less
Pay: $20

Fat Zombie

The other collection of death and destruction takes an interesting look at those doing their best to survive. Fat Zombie, an anthology presented by Permuted Press, wants stories of unlikely survival. People no one would expect to make it through the end of times. Losers, geeks, freaks, handicapped, or otherwise physically or mentally incapable protagonists are the goal. An apt comparison was made to me that this sounds like the movie Zombieland. All types of apocalypse are acceptable, including zombies.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: 3,000 – 10,000
Pay: $25 (not listed on website, but confirmed with the editor)

Catch me when you can… Jack the Ripper

The iconic serial killer Jack the Ripper stars in our next collection, which should well suit those from the UK. Catch me when you can is an anthology to be published by KnightWatch Press, an imprint of Fringeworks. Desired are stories in a broad spectrum of genres focusing on Jack the Ripper’s return. The idea is a new perspective on the famous serial killer, causing mayhem in a new setting, while remaining true to his defining characteristics. This is a Jack the Ripper anthology, not a general serial killer anthology, and the publisher is clear on that.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: 3,000 – 6,500
Pay: 4% profit sharing
Other: Submissions must be in British English only

Far Worlds

Finally, I thought it fitting to highlight to current effort of the Bolthole publishing team, the Far Worlds anthology. There are some very interesting aspects of this collection. Stories may be of any genre, but may not be set on Earth. The intent is for stories to focus on one or more non-human races entirely. Who are they? What do they look like? How do they act? There are infinite stories to be told, but it will be a challenge to make these alien characters unique, yet still relatable to readers.

At some point in the story, a mysterious device called the Drift Engine must make an appearance. Not much is known about the device, other than it will enter and leave the area without stopping or interfering in anything going on around it. Another rule of the collection is that no faster than light travel is available in the setting.

In order to be included in this anthology, you must be a member of the Bolthole. If you aren’t already, it’s easy, so move on over here and sign up. You must must also pitch a short synopsis to the editors. Upon approval of that, you can proceed with writing the story.

Deadline (Synopsis): November 20, 2013
Deadline (Story): December 15, 2013
Words: 2,000 – 10,000
Pay: Profit sharing depending on number of authors