Welcome to Miskatonic University Kickstarter

Hi all!  I have some pending news I wanted to highlight today, which is a little different from my usual M.O.  Those who stop by will note that I like to announce whenever one of my stories is available to read, either online or when the publication drops.  Consider this something like a pre-announcement.

My Lovecraft-inspired short story, Through Cryptic Caverns, the Shoggoths Come at Night has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming anthology, Welcome to Miskatonic University brought to you by the fine folks at Broken Eye Books!  I had a lot of fun writing for this one; here’s what to expect from the anthology in their own words:

Welcome to Miskatonic University brings you modern tales of good ol’ MU. Each story shows a slice of college life at this storied and magical institution, steeped in the occult and part of the strange town of Arkham. Come visit this fascinating New England university—where science and magic, tradition and experimentation go hand in hand—and the quiet, secretive town on which it relies.”

My own contribution is the story of Bernice Jackson, a closeted southerner looking to get as far from home as her mother will allow.  She takes up residence in Waite Hall, where the campus – and her classmates – are not always what they appear to be…

Unfortunately you can’t read it yet, since this story’s publication is pending funding from their Kickstarter.  I’m a firm believer in advertising a product rather than soliciting donations, but if you back the Kickstarter for at least $7 you get a copy of the digital anthology, so this is more like reserving a pre-sale copy.  And hey, if you want to spring for a hard copy ($20 – $35) I’d be happy to sign it if you send it my way!

They’re funding two anthologies, with my story appearing in the first volume.  I read over the bios of my fellow contributors and their stories looks pretty cool as well.  Here’s a little more regarding what types of stories are in the two volumes:

“The first, Welcome to Miskatonic University, represents the first half of that spectrum. These are the tales with the unknown at their core, where relatively normal people in a relatively normal world come face to face with the unknown, and we get to see what happens. These are the stories most tightly anchored to our reality, to what we now. In the second, It Came from Miskatonic University, the setting and mood change a bit. And this isn’t a binary—not an either-or; it’s a spectrum with gradation in how these elements change. In these tales, that next layer of secrets have been stripped away. (It makes perfect sense that, after a century of uncovering secrets, a college might not be the same as it was.)”

If you want to know more about the project you can check out the Kickstarter page, or read up on the publisher’s interviews with A.C. Wise and Hellnotes.  Thanks for checking it out, and if it sounds like your cup of tea then I’d encourage you to contribute to the Kickstarter to make sure you get a chance to read it.

Thanks in advance!


Phobos: Deep Black Sea now available!

I’m pleased to announce that my latest short story, “The Shipwrecked Sole Survivor” has been published in Phobos Issue Four: Deep Black Sea! This issue is now available in print on Amazon.com and should be available later on for Kindle.

If you’re interested in dark tales of what lies beneath a calm sea then you will love this issue!  It contains thirteen short stories, flash fiction and poetry including one by yours truly.  Check it out and be sure to leave a review so others know what you thought!


You may remember Phobos from the Publisher’s Spotlight  feature for this issue nearly a year ago.  They are currently closed for submissions but be sure to check out their website and follow them on twitter for updates on their next theme.

Welcome to 2017

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions.  I feel like January is this tumultuous time when everyone has unreasonable expectations about how much change they’re capable of superimposing onto their lives.  In February it’s best to sit back, take note of what you were able to accomplish and revise those goals so you might actually have a prayer of achieving some real change.

So, with that said… Whew.

Bit of a rough start, don’t you think?

Well.  Never mind all that.  Best to write it off as a free trial month and move on.

I’ve got some big things in store for this year.  Posts will be a little less frequent but hopefully a little more regular.  Last year’s schedule was a bit too tough to keep up and it led to an extended hiatus that I’d rather not repeat.  So, with that “revised expectations” theme in mind, let’s just take it slow with one post a week and see how we feel after that, how’s that sound?

Tune in next Wednesday for the premiere of a new series of short flash entitled: Miss Margaret Moneypenny’s Etiquette Guide to the Apocalypse.

I’ll see you then.

New for May: Contests!

Thank you all to everyone for reading my blog these past two months.  I’ve done some thinking and in lieu of your usual Publisher’s Spotlight, I wanted to use our time together to announce some changes coming to the site next month: contests!

For the month of May, Publisher’s Spotlight is going to focus exclusively on FREE short fiction contests with various prizes.

I will be introducing a #MicroFictionMonday contest! 

Every Monday for the Month of May (because I love alliteration) I will be posting a new prompt for the week.  The contest runs Monday, 9:00am (EST) through 5:00pm Friday (EST).  The winning entry will be posted Tuesday of the following week.

Note: the final contest will run Monday, May 23 – Friday, May 27th so we can get the last winner in before June.  There will not be a prompt posted on Monday, May 30th.


Prompt:  This will vary from week to week.  Tune in every Monday at 9am (EST) for the new prompt.  Submissions accepted through 5pm the following Friday.

Word limit: 300.  This is Micro Fiction after all.  You’re subject to the same rules I set for myself.  (For reference, most of my posted stories are in the 100 – 150 range.)

Prize: Winners will receive publication on this blog and a biographical spotlight that links back to the site(s) of their choosing.  This contest is non-paying.

How to Enter:

Please put MFM-Submission-[This week’s PROMPT]-[Your TITLE] in your subject line.  For example: MFM-Submission-Flowers-A Rose in Winter

Attach your entry as a .pdf file, .doc, or .docx  DO NOT include your name anywhere on your submission or file name as all entries will be read blind.  DO NOT send more than one entry per week.  No explicit or graphic content please.

Please do include a brief cover letter with a short bio written as you would like it to appear on the site.  Do include links to your blog, twitter, or however else you would like to promote yourself.

Send your submissions to: LizSchriftsteller (at) gmail (dot) com.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments below and stay tuned for the first prompt posted next Monday!


Liebster Award

So, let me get Question #11 out of the way by saying nope, I hadn’t heard of this before.  But I’m also new to blogging, so no surprise there.  A quick run-down for the uninitiated: a blogger is nominated by another blogger.  You link back to your nominator and answer a set of questions.  Then you pass it on to five more bloggers and continue the chain.

So, why not?  Let’s keep this chain going!

Thanks to Dawn Claflin for nominating me and asking the following questions.  I met her through a mutual blogging/author friend.  You should check her out!

Dawn’s Eleven Questions

1.) How did you choose the topic of your blog?

Do I have a topic?  I guess so.  In all honestly I started this as home to link back to for marketing reasons and to get my micros a little love.  Who wants to invest in someone if they don’t know what/how they write?  Micros are fun to write and fast to read, so they were what I wanted to include first and foremost.  The other stuff I’m totally pants-ing.

2.) Who are your favorite authors?

Neil Gaiman, first and foremost.  I love that he can write comics and kid’s books and novels and isn’t pigeon-holed into one genre.  I also read a lot of YA, because action-packed fantastical worlds are my favorite things to read and write.  Louis Sachar holds a special place in my heart, as does Douglas Adams; I love comedy.

3.) What is one piece of advice for new authors?

Finish what you start.  (Okay, maybe this is just for me.)  Seriously, though, the hardest part for most folks is just getting it down on paper.

4.) What kinds of things do you like to write?

Fantasy.  Comedy.  Whatever strikes my fancy (or that the NYC Midnight Gods decree for their contest.)  I’ve always had an overactive imagination, so everything I write has to be able to keep me entertained.

5.) What does your writing schedule look like?

Oh, man.  So, like most writers I have a day job, so a lot of writing gets done in the evening after work, or on the weekends or on my lunch break when I really should be answering e-mails instead of goofing off.  I write a lot more when there’s a deadline looming (why, hello, Flash Felon!) and I also scribble notes at red lights when I’m in the car.  Don’t do that.  I wish I didn’t get ideas when I drive but there you are.

6.) Where has your writing been published?

Daily Science Fiction, officially.  I’m occasionally in the running over at Ad Hoc, but it’s blind so you can’t vote for me specifically.  Looking to add more to this list later this year.

7.) Why do you write?

I can’t not.  It’s an itch in my brain I can’t turn off.  I have been telling stories since I first was able to form words, no lie.

8.) How do you deal with writer’s block?

I can start a billion stories in the blink of an eye, it’s finishing them that gets me.  The best way to get over “what’s next?” is for me to pick an ending – even if it’s crap – and write it out.  Then once I can see where I’m going the middle is easier to fill in.

9.) What’s your writing process?

If I didn’t have a deadline nothing would get done.  Usually I’ll get an idea for a neat “first line” or a snippet of dialogue and I’ll write around that.  I’m terrible at finishing stories, even if I have a rough idea of where it’s going (see above.)  Deadlines are my friend.  It’s easier for me to write to a prompt with a deadline, otherwise half-written stories lay in waste until I find a reason to dust them off and finish what I started.  Beta readers are awesome.  They help me edit my work into shape while still making sense.  I find myself cutting important stuff to fit a word count and forgetting that I haven’t explained such-as-such.

10.) Do you draft on paper or on a computer? Why?

Both.  I get bursts of inspiration when my computer is unavailable (or takes too long to boot) and I’ll scribble notes all over the place.  It’s also easier to brainstorm on paper.  I have occasionally written entire drafts/chapters on paper.  I’m a fast typer, so I’ll edit as I transcribe my notes.  Computer’s the way to go for final editing.  I have at least 3 files of notes or scenes that get scraped or added back in depending on where I’m going with the story and how many words I have left.  Also, because I write scenes instead of start-to-finish I can move around passages of text to make it flow easier.

11.) Tell the truth…had you heard of the Liebster Award before?

No, but I’ve only been blogging for a month, so I’m not fully initiated.

Phew!  That’s a lot of questions!  Let’s recap the rules:

  1. If you are nominated, include a link back to your nominator’s site. (Check)
  2. Answer the questions your nominator asks of you. (Check)
  3. Nominate five or more other bloggers who have 1000 or less followers.
  4. Ask them ten* questions of your own.

*Because it’s either 10 or 11 I’m going with 10 because I like round numbers.

So!  I’m tagging the following folks:

I realize I need to tag more but I’ve only been at this a month and haven’t read too many blogs on here.  The others I could tag have over 1,000 followers, so you get three.

And here are my questions:

  1. How long have you been writing?
  2. What’s the worst/most embarrassing feedback you’ve gotten from a submission?
  3. What book or short story do you wish you had written?
  4. Would you rather be ridiculously famous, but have written something critics have panned (like Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey) or write something brilliant, only to have no one ever read it?
  5. What would you need to accomplish in order for you to consider your writing goals fulfilled?
  6. What is your go-to writing snack food?
  7. Austin or Bronte(s)?
  8. Which question are we on?
  9. Where do you draw inspiration from?
  10. What question did you wish I had asked and what is your answer?

Thanks for the indulgence!


…is this thing on?

Oh, good!  Hello!

So, after much deliberation, I decided it was finally time to set up a cozy little corner of the internet for me and my fiction.  Twitter’s been my only online presence for some time and while I enjoy it, it was less of a home and more like squatting at a bus station terminal.

So here I am!  Welcome!

I’ve got some great things planned for the month of March!  Kicking off next week will be Micro Fiction Monday.  I’ll be posting a new story under 300 words each week so please check back for the latest bites.

Also, I plan to post new blog entries every Wednesday.  They could be anything from tips on writing, to interviews, to updates on my own works.  We’ll see how it goes.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Got a suggestion for things you’d like to see in the future?  Leave it in the comments!  And as always, thanks for reading!