Publisher’s Spotlight: March 2019 Roundup

In lieu of a traditional Publisher’s Spotlight post, I thought I’d highlight a few publishers who have deadlines at the end of the month.  Some are new, and a few I’ve covered before on Publisher’s Spotlight.  I’ll link below any relevant info so you can get your last minute entries in before the end of the month.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

I covered them last year on their own Publisher’s Spotlight if you want to hit up the highlights of what they’re looking to buy.  Be sure to double check their submission guidelines in case any information has changed.

Schedule: Opens tomorrow 3/21, deadline is 3/28/19.

The Arcanist

While this one is open year-round, they’re currently running a short story competition (5,000 words maximum) centered around the theme of “Magic.”  They also have rolling submissions for speculative flash fiction stories and non-fiction articles.  They were also featured on Publisher’s Spotlight if you want a quick run down on what they like.

Schedule: $15 entries end on Friday, 3/22.  Contest open for $20 entries through 3/29/19.

Flametree Publishing

This one I haven’t done a full spotlight on because they have specific calls that aren’t generally open very long.  Currently, Flametree Publishing is taking stories for their upcoming Detective Mysteries and Epic Fantasy anthologies.  Stories should fall between 2,000 and 4,000 words, pay rate is $0.06 per word.  More information can be found here.

Schedule: Open now, deadline is 3/24/19.

Pseudopod

Another market I’ve yet to tackle; Pseudopod is part of the Escape Artists publishing group that specializes in audio fiction via podcast format.  Pseudopod in particular is interested in horror: send dark, weird, stories in any flavor.  Check out their submission guidelines for more info.  Something of note: they’re one of the few markets that accept reprints, so if you’ve already got something published feel free to send it over to them.

Schedule: Open now through 3/31/19.

Mythic Beast Studios

Lastly we’ve got The Medusa Contest by Mythic Beast Studios.  Mythraeum hosts four short story contests a year, each one about a mythological archetype or character.  As of this point, the contests are free and the winner receives $300, but this is the last contest which will be free to enter.  Find out more about the contest here.

Schedule: Open now through 3/31/19.

Happy submitting!

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Publisher’s Spotlight: Deep Magic

Time for another submission opportunity!  This week we’ve got a publisher interested in some good, clean, speculative fiction.  Check out what Deep Magic wants to publish below!

  • In their own words: “Deep Magic is a quarterly electronic magazine that publishes clean short fiction in the fantasy and science fiction genres…We want a broad, family-friendly audience; think original Lord of the Rings trilogy or Star Wars.”
  • Preferred Content: “What you first need to understand is that we aim to be the dominant magazine for clean fantasy and sci-fi stories. It’s our tag-line. If you can tell a gripping story that doesn’t rely on sex, swearing, and graphic violence—you’ve come to the right place.”
  • Word count limit: 1,000 to 40,000; but note that we cap payment at 10,000 words.
  • Payment: $.06 per word for the first 9,999 words, with payment capped at $599 for stories longer than 10,000 words.
  • Reprints:  For re-printed stories that are not currently available elsewhere on the internet for free, we pay $.02 per word for the first 10,000 words, with payment capped at $200 for stories longer than 10,000 words.
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: No
  • Multiple Submissions**: No
  • Response Time: We strive to respond to submissions within ten to twelve weeks, but our times may fluctuate. Please do not inquire within the first six months.
  • Current Submission Grinder Stats:
    • Accepted:  2.17% – avg 108 days
    • Rejected:  97.20% – avg 58 days (17.25% of rejections are personal)

*This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.

**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.

Reminders when submitting:

Read the publication:  You’ll need to purchase an issue to see what they publish, but it’s usually worth it to buy at least one copy to get a better handle on their style preferences.  This will help you determine if your work is a good fit, or if you’re like me and you writing varies, it will help you narrow down which submission to send.  It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar to a recently published story.

Also – and I feel like I need to point this out, because paying magazines are getting scarcer – support your publishers.  Buy their content.  Read your contemporaries and follow them on social media if you’re so inclined.  Writing is a small community, and it’s important that we contribute to its future.

Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  Furthermore, this is a static post.  Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.

Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this?  Don’t send pieces over the word count.  Don’t send content they specifically warn against.  Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions.  “But Liz, I–” Nope!  No, no, no.  If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.

Happy submitting!

Publisher’s Spotlight: Bards and Sages Annual Writing Competition

So, y’all may remember last year, when my short story, Confessions of a Modern Galatea, took first place in the Bards and Sages Annual Writing Competition.  Well, I have two pieces of follow up good news: the first is that you can find my winning entry in this year’s Bardic Tales and Sage Advice: Volume X (also available in hard back) and the second is that the 2018 Competition is open for submissions!

Ready to win big?  Check out the below summary for submission guidelines:

  • Summary of the contest: Dating back to 2002, the Bards and Sages Annual Writing Competition originally started as a stand-alone event to benefit the International Women’s Writing Guild.  Following their subsequent successes, in 2009, Bards and Sages decided to showcase contest winners in an annual publication.

“This year’s competition will benefit local animal shelters. The winners of this year’s writing competition will be able to direct the charity portion of their prize to their own local animal shelter.”

  • Genres they accept: This year’s competition is open to all fiction genres except romance, erotica, young adult, and children’s literature.”
  • Word count limit: Up to 25,000 words.
  • Entry Fee:  One Entry: $5, Two Entries: $9, Three Entries: $12
  • Prizes Awarded
    • Grand Prize
      • $250 Donation to the winner’s local animal shelter
        • or animal charity of choice
      • $250 cash prize
    • 2nd Place
      • $100 Donation to the winner’s local animal shelter
        • or animal charity of choice
      • $100 cash prize
    • 3rd Place
      • $50 Donation to the winner’s local animal shelter
        • or animal charity of choice
      • $50 cash prize
  • Simultaneous Submissions: “Simultaneous submissions are fine with us. No need to point it out. Just let us know if it is accepted elsewhere so we can remove the story from the queue if needed.”*
  • Multiple Submissions: You can send up to three stories. “If sending multiple entries, please attach all entries at once. Do not send multiple emails for each entry.”
  • Reprints: “Stories that are previously published but not currently available for sale are eligible, but you must specify where the story was previously published when submitting.”
  • Schedule: Open for submissions now through October 31, 2018.  Winners are announced in January, 2019.
*Note: I read this on their general submission guidelines page, so I think it still applies.  Double check my work and think real hard about if you want to be in the position of turning down prize money because someone else accepted your piece before January.

Additional information:

Read the publication:  This is where I’d normally point out what a good idea it is to read the publication and see what kind of stories they enjoy.  You can check out my winning entry from last year as well as the other stories in Bardic Tales and Sage Advice: Volume X.  You can also check out what they publish in Bards and Sages Quarterly by signing up for their newsletter.

Read the guidelines: Please, please, please read both pages for comprehensive guidelines to enter.  I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  They have guidelines specific to the contest, but you should also click on the second link for formatting requirements.  (Read them well in advance of the deadline; they’re not standard manuscript and they are very specific.)

Good luck and happy submitting!

Publisher’s Spotlight: “Release the Virgins!” Anthology

By now y’all should have figured out that I have a wicked sense of humor, so when I read about this publication call I HAD to share it.  It’s an anthology entitled Release the Virgins! after all.  So let’s take a closer look:

  • In their own words: “Submissions are open for short stories that include, somewhere in the story, the phrase “Release the Virgins.”  An email proposal is required to make sure you are not duplicating an idea already reserved by one of the accepted authors. “
  • Genres they accept: Humor, obviously.  Anything else isn’t specified one way or the other.
  • Submission tips from the editor:
    • Avoid unicorns. I’ve already had a bunch of proposals about unicorns and even if the submitted stories are all good, I’m not going to want to have more than one or two unicorn stories in the anthology. We want variety.
    • Be creative. If it looks like you just took a story you already had and found a way to work the phrase into the story in such a way that I could remove the phrase completely and it wouldn’t hurt the story, then I will probably not accept it. The phrase should be relevant and necessary to the story.
    • Don’t send me a proposal with spelling and grammatical errors. I mean, duh.
  • Word count limit: 5,000 words.  “A good but padded story may get rejected over a concise, fast-moving one, because we want to fit in as many stories as possible.”
  • Payment: 5¢/word
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: Not specified, but you have to send a proposal first, so why would you send it anywhere else?
  • Multiple Submissions**: Same thing; I doubt they’ll accept more than one proposal idea.
  • Reprints: Doubt it, but you can ask when you query.
  • Deadline: September 1, 2018

Reminders when submitting:

I’m going to skip my usual spiel since this is a one-time call.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • An email proposal is required to make sure you are not duplicating an idea already reserved by one of the accepted authors. Send to michael.ventrella@gmail.comDo this first.
  • Want more info?  Click here for full guidelines, updates and formatting preferences.

One final reminder: Read their guidelines, follow their rules.

Good luck, and happy submitting!

“Quality Protection Guaranteed” now available in HAVOK!

I’m so excited to announce that my short story Quality Protection Guaranteed(TM) took first place in HAVOK’s Rampage! Monsters vs. Robots contest issue!  This is the second of my stories to make it into HAVOK, but the first placing in one of their contests.  More details on the issue below!

Monsters vs Robots
God I love this genre.

Do you love giant monsters battling insanely oversized, impractical battle mechs?  Of course you do.  And why wouldn’t you?  From Pacific Rim to Voltron, Power Rangers, Evangelion and Godzilla this genre kicks some giant ass.

You can get your hands on a copy by clicking here to order print copies or getting the Kindle edition through Amazon.com.  Have Kindle Unlimited?  Download it for free!

Speaking of free, did you know that you can get a FREE digital subscription to Splickety’s flash fiction magazines just by joining their mailing list?  Click that link to check it out and never miss an upcoming issue!

If you’re eager to see your own fiction in print you can check out their Upcoming Themes and Deadlines page – there’s a Halloween issue coming up and the deadline is July 27.  Want to know more about the other Splickety imprints?  They were featured in this Publisher’s Spotlight post.  Be sure to check the updated guidelines in case any details have changed.

Thanks for checking it out and happy reading!

Publisher’s Spotlight: Factor Four Magazine

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but recently Shimmer announced that it will be closing down.  Any time a long-time publisher closes is a sad day for authors and readers alike, but I wanted to jump in and say that hope is not lost.  Even though we’ve lost some of the greats, new publishers with new opportunities are coming online every day.  Today’s publisher premiered just four months ago, and released their second issue this past Sunday.  Let’s welcome Factor Four Magazine to the party, shall we?

  • In their own words: “We publish flash fiction in the genres of speculative fiction, specifically science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, super hero, or any combination of these. We are looking for stories that are engaging to our readers in such a short word count. Please take note of these factors (pun intended) when submitting stories to us..”
  • Content limitations: We are okay with foul language and sexual activity within a story, provided it fits the story well. We do not publish erotica.
  • Word count limit: 1,500.  According to their notes, under 1,000 is preferred and 750-1,250 words is the “sweet spot.”
  • Payment: 8¢/word U.S. based on their word processor’s word count and excludes title, author information, etc. “The minimum payment for a story is sixty (60) U.S. dollars. Payment is made no later than the date of publication via PayPal.”
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: No
  • Multiple Submissions**: No
  • Special Note: You will be required to submit through their HeyPublisher portal on their website.  You must create an account; doing so is free.  (It’s not a huge obstacle, the whole process took me about two minutes when I made my account.)

*This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.

**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.

Reminders when submitting:

Read the publication:  You’ll need to subscribe to see what content they publish, but it’s $4 for the year, which is less than a single issue of most magazines.  Reading the magazine will help you get an idea of what their style preferences are, so you’ll be able to tell if you’re a good fit.  (Or, if you’re like me and you writing varies, it will help you narrow down which submission to send.)  It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar to a recently published story.

Also – and I feel like I need to point this out, especially considering Shimmer’s closing – support your publishers.  Buy their content.  Read your contemporaries and follow them on social media if you’re so inclined.  Writing is a small community, and it’s important that we contribute to its future.

Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  Furthermore, this is a static post.  Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.

Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this?  Don’t send pieces over the word count.  Don’t send content they specifically warn against.  Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions.  “But Liz, I–” Nope!  No, no, no.  If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.

Happy submitting!

Publisher’s Spotlight: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

I’m usually looking for somewhere to send speculative stories with a fairy tale bent, so today I’m happy to share submission information from Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.  They open for subs in two weeks, so mark their next submission window on your calendar and take a look and what they’re interested in below!

  • In their own words: [Author’s note: this is where I normally copy/paste their description but they disabled that function on their website.  So the following is a paraphrase instead of the usual quotes.]  Well written speculative fiction in various forms from around the world.  Accepts serious and humor.  “If you use real existing science, please get it right.”
  • Genres they accept: Science Fiction, fantasy, myth, legend, fairy tales, and eldritch.  Also interested in fact-based articles and artwork.
  • What NOT to send:
    • Hard sells:
      • Vampires
      • Werewolves
      • Monsters in general
      • Anthro
      • Robots with feelings
    • Don’t send:
      • Horror
      • Hate
      • Blood and guts
      • Explicit language
      • Excessive violence
      • Angsty romance
      • Fan fiction
      • Sex
      • Axe-grinding
      • Downers (“Stories that leave readers feeling they’ve had the energy and joy sucked out of them.”)
  • Word count limit: 1,000 words or more, with shorter works preferred.
  • Payment: $0.06 per word for new fiction, $0.02 for reprints.  (See website for fact-based work rates.)
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: No.
  • Multiple Submissions**: No multiple subs to the same genre.
  • Reprints: Yes.
  • Schedule: Next window to submit: March 21 – 28, midnight EST to midnight EST.  Other submission windows are June 21 – 28, September 21 – 28 and December 21 – 28.

Also, they offer feedback upon request: “We don’t offer a comprehensive critique and will only mention the points that were most essential in our decision.  Please remember this is only our view, but you may find it helpful in potential rewrites.”  Interested?  Submit here!

Reminders when submitting:

Read the publication:  Their published stories are freely accessible on the site.   You have no excuse not to do your research and see what kind of style gets their attention.  It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar.

Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  Furthermore, this is a static post.  Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.

Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this?  Don’t send pieces over the word count.  Don’t send content they specifically warn against.  Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions.  “But Liz, I–” Nope!  No, no, no.  If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.

Happy submitting!


  • *This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.
  • **This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.

Publisher’s Spotlight: The Arcanist

As I mentioned, my short story Inner Beauty is for Suckers was published on The Arcanist last month, and I wanted to give you all a more in-depth run-down of what they publish.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

  • In their own words: “We’re a new Medium-based literary magazine that focuses on fantasy and sci-fi flash fiction. We love magical worlds full of dragons and speculative looks at the future, and we think these two genres are important to our culture, which is why we want to give writers of these genres a new place to publish their work. One that pays them, too. (Yay!)”
  • Genres they accept: Science Fiction and Fantasy. “We understand that SF/F encompasses many different sub genres (like horror, for example) and we welcome those, too.”
  • What NOT to send:
    • No hate speech, racism, or any other offensive materials. This is a no-brainer.
    • No extremely vulgar stories filled to the brim with naughty words. We’re not saying that those can’t be good stories, but they’re stories we don’t want.

    • No excessive gore or violence unless it is integral to the story. If it’s in there just to be gross, it’s not for us.

    • No fan fiction. We want originality.

    • No poetry.

  • Word count limit: 1,000 words or less.
  • Payment: $50 per story
  • Simultaneous Submissions*: Yes, but let them know if accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple Submissions**: Yes, but no more than three at at time.
  • Reprints: We prefer that your story be published here first. If you have already published it elsewhere, we can look but it’s a tough sell.
  • Schedule: Rolling submissions.

Sound good?  Then submit here!

*This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.

**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.

Reminders when submitting:

Read the publication:  Their published stories are freely accessible on the site.  (Including mine.)  You have no excuse not to do your research and see what kind of style gets their attention.  It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar.

Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics.  Furthermore, this is a static post.  Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.

Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this?  Don’t send pieces over the word count.  Don’t send content they specifically warn against.  Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions.  “But Liz, I–” Nope!  No, no, no.  If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.

Happy submitting!

Bards and Sages 2017 Writing Competition

I am over-the-moon excited to announce that I placed first (!) in the 2017 Bards and Sages Annual Writing Competition!  I got the news a couple days before we crossed over into 2018 but couldn’t share until the official announcement went out this week.  Suffice it to say that I needed those days to collect my thoughts, lest my post on the matter be a series of excitedly jumping gifs.

Celebrate
(As opposed to just the one.)

Anyway, I’m really excited about this one because in addition to being my first win, the piece I wrote, Confessions of a Post-Modern Galatea, was one of my very first completed stories.  The original version wasn’t much more than a flash piece, but over the years it was revised and revised and revised until about a year ago, when it settled into its own at just over 6k.  I’m very proud of all the work I put into it, and extremely excited to share it with the world.

You should be able to read it as part of the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice X Anthology, set to premiere in August of 2018, most likely.  (I’m guessing based on past release dates.)  And if you want to get in on the action yourself you should check out information about next year’s competition, due to post in about April.

I’m really glad I kept working on this one for as long as I did, and I’m incredibly thankful for my writing group for giving me advice, edits and support over the last few years as I worked on this and many, many other submissions.

A strong start to 2018; here’s hoping it continues.

 

“Inner Beauty is for Suckers” now available at The Arcanist!

I’m excited to announce that my latest short story, “Inner Beauty is for Suckers” is now available to read on The Arcanist!

This story was originally conceived for a prompt given in the NYC Flash Fiction Competition, about a year ago.  I’ve signed up for NYC’s Short Story Challenge this year, so if you want to flex your writing muscles and see what comes of it, you should definitely check it out.

And while you’re at it, check out the many other flash pieces over at The Arcanist!  I plan on doing a full Publisher’s Spotlight on them sometime this month, so in the meantime catch up on a little light reading to see what kind of stories they dig.

That’s all for now, folks!  Have a Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2018!