fiction

Time to Start Planning for NaNoWriMo 2017!

Time to Start Planning for NaNoWriMo 2017!

The nights are drawing in now and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to start planning for NaNoWriMo 😀

For anyone who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month, and it comes around every November.

From humble beginnings in 1999, when there were just 21 participants, NaNoWriMo has grown into a world-wide phenomenon. In 2016 384,126 people took part, and the numbers this year are likely to be even greater.

There is no entry fee for NaNoWriMo (though donations are always welcome), and no prizes either. Essentially, it’s a challenge to help you write that novel you had always meant to write but keep putting off.

By registering with NaNoWriMo, you are joining a world-wide community of writers who are all seeking to achieve the same end, and are thus able to encourage and support one another.

Although there are no prizes for completing a novel for NaNoWriMo, if you do (and you have to prove it by uploading your work to the NaNoWriMo site), you will be able to download an official ‘Winner’ web badge and a PDF Winner’s Certificate, which you can print out.

And, of course, you will have the first draft of a novel you should be able to polish and submit for possible publication (or publish yourself).

There are lots of useful resources on the NaNoWriMo website, including wordcount widgets, web badges, flyers for downloading, motivational articles, and much more. There is also a busy forum where you can compare notes with other participants.

NaNoWriMo is also, by the way, a great opportunity to apply the techniques taught in my publisher WCCL’s Novel in a Month course, or indeed my own Write Any Book in Under 28 Days.

I’d like to wish you the very best of luck if you do decide to register for NaNoWriMo. Please do post a note below if you succeed in completing the challenge!

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Start Writing Fiction

Free Fiction Writing Course Starting Soon

I have mentioned FutureLearn on this blog before. It’s a UK-based platform for short online courses from British and international universities. All FutureLearn courses are free and open to anyone in the world.

Anyway, I thought you might like to know that a course titled Start Writing Fiction begins on Monday 25 September 2017. It comes from The Open University, a well-respected UK distance learning institution. It will run for eight weeks and you can enrol now if you wish. It is also usually possible to register for a few days after a course has started.

This particular course runs regularly via FutureLearn and I have mentioned it on this blog before. If you can’t fit it in this time, you can put your name down on the website to be notified the next time it is scheduled.

Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing. There is a particular focus on creating interesting, believable characters. The course does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.

On the website, it says:

Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.

You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.

The course is run by short-story writer and novelist Dr Derek Neale. It requires a commitment of around three hours a week.

The course itself is free, but optionally you can pay £39 to upgrade. Upgrading entitles you to receive a Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course. In addition, you get unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, and quizzes). With the free version, your access ends 14 days after the end of the course. You can, of course, sign up for free and upgrade later if you choose.

For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page of the Futurelearn website.

FutureLearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally. I recently took one called Secrets of Successful Ageing from Trinity College, Dublin, which was informative and thought-provoking. As well as the teaching itself, another big attraction of FutureLearn courses is the opportunity they provide to interact with fellow students all over the world. You can see all upcoming courses on this web page.

If you have any comments or questions about FutureLearn, as ever, please do post them below.

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Crystal Lake Publishing

Submissions Invited for Tales From The Lake Volume 5

My friend and former myWritersCircle moderator Joe Mynhardt is inviting stories for a new, non-themed anthology of horror fiction to be published by Crystal Lake Publishing (which he runs).

It is the annual Tales From The Lake anthology, which this year is being edited by Kenneth W. Cain. Details from the website are copied below:

Crystal Lake Publishing will be accepting submissions for the non-themed anthology Tales from the Lake Volume 5 from October 1st, 2017 through December 1st, 2017. In previous anthologies we’ve published Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Elizabeth Massie, Rena Mason, Graham Masterton, Lisa Morton, Kealan Patrick Burke, Damien Angelica Walters, Joe R. Lansdale, Gene O’Neill, and Tim Waggoner. We can’t wait to announce who will be headlining this anthology!

Tales from the Lake Volume 5 will be edited by Kenneth W. Cain.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

  • We want stories that haunt the readers for months to come.
  • We prefer quiet horror and dark fiction with a literary bent. Don’t use gore for the sake of grossing us out. Use it sparingly, and only to further the story.
  • Stories should be no longer than 6000 words, but that doesn’t mean the story should use all 6000 words. Use the word count it takes to write YOUR story. The sweet spot will likely be closer to 4000 words.
  • Ground your stories in the REAL world.
  • Create believable, three-dimensional characters just as real as your friends and neighbors. The world these characters inhabit should be equally authentic, hitting all the senses.
  • Originality is important—we don’t want your version of someone else’s story from yesteryear.
  • Although our arms are wide open, we’re more interested in fiction that reflects the modern. Kelly Link, Karen Russell, Joe Hill, Damien Angelica Walters, and Mercedes M. Yardley are prime examples of current dark fiction writers encapsulating the above in their work.
  • Quality of the work must be top notch! The authors mentioned above represent the high-water mark we’re looking for.

WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR:

  • Stories sent before or after the submission window. These will not be read.
  • Rape stories or sexual abuse or any explicit abuse toward children or animals is expressly forbidden. This can be mentioned or remembered by your main character, but be subtle.
  • Stories that are not short horror stories.
  • Novels or novellas.
  • Stories with flat worlds.
  • Stories about serial killers.
  • Stories about zombies, vampires, werewolves or ghosts need to bring something new to the table. You must have a unique premise.
  • To avoid too many writers writing about lakes, please keep in mind this is a non-themed anthology.

PAYMENT:

For this anthology we are paying 3 cents (USD) per word up to 6000 words via PayPal.

REPRINTS:

We DO NOT accept reprints.

Simultaneous/multiple submissions:

We prefer you do not submit your story elsewhere while it’s being considered by us, especially if it’s been shortlisted. No multiple submissions, either. You get one shot. Make it count.

RESPONSE TIME:

For the most part, acceptances will not go out until some time after the deadline. Rejections and shortlisting notices will go out sooner. Feel free to query if longer than 3 months.

RIGHTS:

We are seeking FIRST world rights, both in print, electronic, and audio forms as well as film rights for an exclusive period of 1 year and then non-exclusive after that.

For further information, including formatting information and how to submit, please visit the submissions page of the Crystal Lake website (from which the above information has been taken).

Note that as stated above the anthology doesn’t open for submissions until 1 October 2017, so that gives you plenty of time to write your story and polish it.

Good luck if you decide to submit a story for this anthology. Do let me know if you are successful!

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Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2018 Now Open for Entries

Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2018 Now Open for Entries

Here’s a writing competition with a prize worth winning!

The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2018, with a £30,000 first prize, is now open for entries.

The contest is open world-wide, though you do have to have had work published professionally in the UK or Ireland. More information from the contest website is copied below…

The prize, worth £30,000 to the winner, is an international award, founded in 2010, that is open to any story of up to 6,000 words written in English. Stories need to have been either previously unpublished or only published after 31 December 2016. Five other authors shortlisted for the award will each receive £1,000. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors. To be eligible, the author must simply have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Full terms and conditions for the prize can be found here (PDF) and you can access the entry form via the Short Story Award website

The winning story from last year’s contest by American Bret Anthony Johnston, along with the other five works shortlisted for the 2017 prize, can be read in this low-priced Kindle e-book. The closing date for entering this year’s contest is Thursday 28 September 2017.

Good luck if you enter this contest. Even being long-listed would be a considerable feather in any writer’s cap. And if you win the top prize, remember who told you about it!

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Guest Post: Some Beneficial Tips for New Fiction Authors

Guest Post: Some Beneficial Tips for New Fiction Authors

Today I have a syndicated guest post for you from writer, editor and writing teacher Joyce Shafer. In her post below, Joyce offers some great tips for new fiction writers, and novelists in particular.

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Let’s start with what is for some writers akin to a four-letter word: Outline. Yes, there are successful authors–and I do mean best-selling authors–whose practice is to let their fingers fly and write by the seat of their pants (known as pantsers), but they are few in number. These authors may seem like they’re winging it. They aren’t. They have years (or decades) of practice built upon a foundation of knowledge about technical and creative principles of the writing craft. The majority of best-selling authors spend time on their outlines, even a few months, including doing needed research, before the first word of the draft is typed. This includes sometimes significantly changing or tossing the outline and starting over.

I recently worked with a client who wrote and self-published his first novel. It was written without an official outline, but he had an organized mental outline going on, even though he didn’t realize it. However, during our time working together, he did James Patterson’s online writing course, and saw first-hand how creating an outline would save time. As I write this, we’re working on the sequel, which started with an outline we both reviewed and revised. And as anyone who uses outlines will tell you, just because you wrote the outline down, this doesn’t mean it’s etched in stone. For example, as I went through the client’s outline, several ideas came forward, especially about how to create the desired big twist that alters the protagonist in a monumental way, which is a shift the author was looking for. When such inspiration happens to you, just change the outline and keep writing.

Now, let’s talk about skills. This client has experience writing non-fiction papers and articles, but this was his first foray into fiction writing. He was genuinely shocked to learn he didn’t know how much he didn’t know about the technical and creative aspects of writing fiction. A truth to keep in mind is that a successful author works very hard, using the technical and creative principles, to make writing seem easy. This means you, if you are committed to being a good writer, need to study these principles and put them into practice so they can become natural for you as well.

Initially, the client expressed that his confidence was shaken because of the needed corrections brought to his attention and because of the suggested revisions provided. I pointed out that his innate abilities were obvious to me (they are!) and reminded him that he was just starting on this path, so it was unfair for him to compare his efforts with my twenty-plus years of study and experience. He soon got on board with the learning process. Happily for both of us, he’s a willing, enthusiastic learner. (By the way, he’s ecstatic that his debut novel is getting five-star reviews!)

The more willing and enthusiastic you are about improving your skills, the better your experience and results will be, and the more eager your readers will be for additional books from you. As you improve, you’ll reduce the time it takes to get your novels ready for your audience. If you’re a new writer of fiction, please understand that rushing the process of writing a novel, especially your first one, is never a good idea. Never. Be willing to take your novels through a number of revisions, if needed.

Some other things to focus on when writing a novel are as follows:

Track the chapters: Keep track of chapter numbers and include a brief one-liner about what main thing happens in each chapter. This makes it easier to find your place in the story if/when an inspired idea or needed change flashes in your mind. If this flash happens during the night or when you’re doing something else, make a note so you don’t lose the idea, and then add it in the next day. Also, watch that you don’t make your chapters too long. Look at several books by successful authors and note how long their chapters usually run. The number of chapter pages will differ throughout their books, but you’ll see that sometimes chapters are longer and sometimes they are one, two, or three pages in length. Shorter chapters keep readers reading. Long chapters will keep them reading as long as the content is page-turning good. In longer chapters by these authors, note how often they have scene breaks or scene changes.

Track timing: Keep track of the dates, days of the week, months, and times of day. It’s too easy to slip up. You might start a scene at eight in the morning then three paragraphs or two pages later it’s nighttime but you’re in the same scene that may have lasted only fifteen minutes. Oops. So, it’s also beneficial to keep track of the duration of the scene. Did it play out in fifteen minutes, a half hour, an hour or more?

Track characters: Create a character list. The best way to do this is to write the characters’ first and last names down (and make certain you are consistent with how you spell their names throughout the manuscript), as well as their relationship to the protagonist and or their role in the story. This also makes it easier for you to look up a character’s name if s/he hasn’t been “on stage” for a while. You benefit by doing character profiles prior to starting your draft. The more significant a character is to the story, the more detailed the profile should be.

Track conflict type: You want to pay attention to how many scenes include conflict that is external, internal, interpersonal, and or antagonistic so that you keep the correct balance for your plot and character development. Conflict is required for a good story, and how much and which types of conflict occur have all to do with your genre. Commercial fiction typically has far less internal conflict for one or more characters than literary or light literary fiction requires. The most engaging, page-turner novels have conflict of some sort escalating gradually until the climax point in the story. This doesn’t mean each chapter has so much action or conflict in it that you exhaust your readers. Some conflicts are simple, like your protagonist needing to contact someone in a hurry and s/he can’t reach them, or perhaps your protagonist needs to speak up in a situation but has self-esteem issues.

Track point of view (POV): This is something you can organize when you create your outline. Tracking POV for scenes is important because it’s too easy for inexperienced (and even experienced) writers to include more than one POV in a scene. Each scene that includes POV needs to be in the POV of only one character at a time.

Read aloud: This includes reading passages from books by your favorite authors, but especially your own manuscripts. Once you complete your first draft, print it out (don’t read from the computer) and read it aloud with pen and extra paper on hand. It’s vital that when you do this, you do so from the perspective of a reader/editor, rather than the proud creator. Look for extra spaces, misspelled words, missing words, incorrect punctuation, consistency of indents for paragraphs (be sure you do not include spaces between paragraphs, and be sure you do use only one space between sentences), wrong word choices, boring dialogue, not enough information, more information than what’s needed, run-on sentences, flow, pace, and anything and everything that impedes the writing from being a good story that keeps readers in their mental movie and eager to turn the page. You read aloud what you write because you need to hear how your story sounds, because this is how it will sound in readers’ minds. Do this for each revision. You’ll be happy you did.

There are many, many additional things to pay attention to when writing fiction, and this is why there are so many books available on this subject. One book I highly recommend is Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Achieving Excellence & Captivating Readers by Barbara Baig. This is not a book you read like most books: Baig puts you to work, but it’s not hard or tedious work. If you’re committed to being a writer and improving your craft, you’ll find her practices engaging and revealing. Your ability to write better, and with more confidence, will unfold as you move through the material.

Know this: There’s always more to learn. This is why even best-selling authors go to workshops and conferences. Commit some of your time to studying to improve your skills, some time to reading so you study what other authors do, and some time to writing, which is the only way to practice what you learn.

I wish you the best with your writing and progress.

Joyce L. Shafer provides services for writers, with a focus on assisting new and indie authors. Services include Manuscript Evaluation, Substantive Editing, and Silent (Ghost) Rewriting/Editing, which includes converting plays and screenplays into novels. Her clients say she’s part editor, part teacher, part coach. Details are available at http://editmybookandmore.weebly.com/.

Article Source: Some Beneficial Tips for New Fiction Authors.

* * *

Many thanks to Joyce for a valuable and thought-provoking article. I agree with everything she says, especially the advice to read your work out loud. This can be great for spotting awkward phrases and sentences that mar the flow of your writing.

If you have any comments or questions about the article, as always, please do post them below.

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Get this free Author's Career Cheat Sheet from Crystal Lake Publishing

Free Author’s Career Guide from Crystal Lake Publishing

As some of you will know, Crystal Lake Publishing is a small (but growing) horror fiction publishing house, run by my old friend Joe Mynhardt. Joe has recently taken the leap to become a full-time publisher, so I wish him every success and satisfaction with this.

Joe has just published a free report called The Author’s Career Cheat Sheet. This is a guide to building your career as an author, focusing especially on how best to use the internet and social media to help build your platform. It also has advice on how to find inspiration, and generally how to balance writing with other areas of your life.

The report is a 12-page PDF and is well worth a read. As mentioned it is free, although you do have to provide your email address to get your hands on it. This is something I am normally a little wary about, but having known Joe for many years I can say categorically that he is not going to start spamming you!

Indeed, if you write horror or speculative fiction, signing up is likely to be a good move, as Joe will be sharing tips, advice and calls for submissions for new Crystal Lake projects, as well as info about books including authors’ guides that may be of interest to you.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that Crystal Lake currently have two open calls for submissions. I wrote about them in this blog post a few weeks ago. One is for their annual Tales from the Lake anthology, and the other is for a C.H.U.D. tribute anthology. The deadline for both of these is the end of January 2017, so don’t delay if you have something suitable.

You can request the free Author’s Career Cheat Sheet and also read the latest calls for submissions on this page of the Crystal Lake website.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, as always, feel free to leave them below – although please bear in mind that I do not work for Crystal Lake Publishing myself! If you need to get in touch with Joe and his colleagues directly, here is a link to their contact page.

And, once again, you can request the free author’s career guide on their submissions page here.

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Start Writing Fiction

Sign Up Now for This Free Fiction Writing Course from Futurelearn

I have mentioned Futurelearn on this blog before. It’s a UK-based platform for short online courses from British and international universities. All Futurelearn courses are free and open to anyone in the world.

Anyway, I thought you might like to know that a course titled Start Writing Fiction begins on 9 January 2017. It comes from The Open University, a well-respected UK distance learning institution. It will run for eight weeks and you can enrol now if you wish.

Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing. There is a particular focus on creating interesting, believable characters. The course does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.

On the website, it says:

Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.

You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.

You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.

The course is run by Dr Derek Neale. It requires a commitment of around three hours a week.

For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page of the Futurelearn website.

Futurelearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally. I recently took one called Secrets of Successful Ageing from Trinity College, Dublin, which was informative and thought-provoking. I am also enrolled on an Open University course called Managing My Investments in January. As well as the teaching itself, another big attraction of Futurelearn courses is the opportunity they provide to interact with fellow students all over the world.

If you have any comments or questions about Futurelearn, as ever, please do post them below.

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Crystal Lake Publishing

Call for Submissions for Two New Anthologies from Crystal Lake Publishing

My friend and former myWritersCircle moderator Joe Mynhardt is inviting stories for two new anthologies to be produced by his horror fiction publishing house, Crystal Lake Publishing.

The first of these is the annual Tales From The Lake anthology, which this year is being edited by Ben Eads. Details from the website are copied below:

TALES FROM THE LAKE: VOLUME 4

What we are looking for:

  • Non-themed short horror stories that arrests readers and leave them haunted for months to come. Stories must be original. We are not accepting reprints.

Since horror is the only genre of fiction defined by an emotion, your story must have the following:

  • Believable, three-dimensional characters just as real as your friends and neighbors. A real world—hitting all the senses—these characters inhabit.
  • Originality is just as important—we don’t want your version of someone else’s story from yesteryear.
  • Although our arms are wide open, we’re more interested in fiction that reflects the modern. Joe Hill, and Mercedes M. Yardley are prime examples of current dark fiction writers encapsulating the above in their work.
  • Quality of the work must be top notch! The following authors have appeared in previous Tales from The Lake anthologies: Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Rena Mason, Graham Masterton, Lisa Morton, Tim Lebbon, and Tim Waggoner. That’s the high-water mark you must strive for.
  • If you want to write a story about vampires, werewolves or ghosts, then your story needs to evolve that trope. You must have a unique premise. I cannot stress that enough.
  • If you wish to submit an “extreme horror” or “splatterpunk” story, that’s fine with us. However, you’ll have to make sure that your emotional foundations are solid, and your characters actually have an arch. We will not accept stories that just go for the gore and offer nothing more.

What we are not looking for:

  • Stories that are not short horror stories.
  • Novels or novellas.
  • Stories bereft of characters that readers can believe in and root for. The only exception to this rule would be the “terror tale,” which is best kept as short as possible. Think a thousand words or less.
  • Stories with flat worlds.
  • Trunk stories.
  • Stories about serial killers. It’s too cliché, and our readers demand more than a trend that has been beaten to death.
  • Speaking of trends, if you wish to write a “zombie story,” then it must be one of the most unique zombie stories ever written. This is possible, and we look forward to it.
  • To avoid too many writers writing about lakes, please keep in mind this is a non-themed anthology.
  • Any explicit abuse toward children or animals is expressly forbidden. So is any sexual abuse. This can be mentioned or remembered by your main character, but be subtle.

Source: Submission Guidelines

Submissions are open now, and end February 1, 2017. Stories should be no longer than 7,000 words. However, they say they prefer stories that are at or around 4,000 words. Payment is $0.03 USD a word via PayPal. For information on formatting and how to submit, please visit the Crystal Lake publishing website.

The other anthology is the C.H.U.D Tribute Anthology, edited by Eric S. Brown. This opens for submissions on 1 December 2016. On the website, the editor writes:

I want the language toned down or cut out entirely. No taking the Lord’s name in vain (sorry, this is a big one for me.  It’s a personal thing, but since I am the editor…)

If you have sex in your stories, keep it off-screen or mild. Gore and violence? Well, go wild, but remember the strengths of C.H.U.D. as a film are its character development and suspense.

Stories may be set before the movie, leading up to it, but they cannot do anything that would change or alter the events of the movie. Stories may even be set after the movie. Think C.H.U.D. running loose in the streets.

As mentioned, submissions open December 1 and close January 31 2017. Story length should be between 3,000 and 10,000 words. Payment is 3 cents (US) a word paid within a week of publication via PayPal. Only one submission is allowed per author, even after a rejection has been sent out.

Again, for more information and details of how to submit, please visit the Crystal Lake publishing website.

Good luck if you decide to submit a story for either of these anthologies. Do let me know if you are successful!

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Ride the Star Wind: Call for Submissions

Here’s a nice (paying) opportunity for all you science fiction, fantasy and horror authors!

Broken Eye Books, a Seattle-based independent publishing house, is inviting contributions for a themed anthology series of weird horror set in or inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. This will be a follow-up to their original Tomorrow’s Cthulhu anthology (pictured above).

The next release is Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera, and the Cosmic Weird, presenting tales that combine space opera with cosmic weird horror, either set within the Cthulhu Mythos or inspired by it. On their website they say:

Send us into space, away from earth, and bring the weird! Give us adventure and wonder, spaceships and monsters, tentacles and insanity, determined struggle and starborne terror. Whether sprawling in scope or tightly focused and personal, make sure to give us a taste of the greater universe of your story, such as the culture and politics. Make us long to know more of your universe. 

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for weird horror. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.) 

  • We want stories that mesh space opera with cosmic weird horror
  • For the elements of space opera, modern touchstones include James SA Corey (Expanse series), Ann Leckie (Imperial Radch series), Iain Banks (Culture series), Nnedi Okorafor (Binti), David Brin (Uplift trilogy), and Becky Chambers (Wayfarers series). For mixing elements of space opera and cosmic weird horror, the short story “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette is a great touchstone. The technology level for submissions can fall anywhere in the soft- to hard-science range.
  • Stories should also be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted, unbalanced views on race and gender.
  • Subversive or experimental stories are welcome. 
  • No pastiches of previous eras for either the space opera elements or the weird horror elements. 
  • Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
  • Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
  • Only one submission per author.
  • We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.

.Source: http://www.brokeneyebooks.com/submissions.html

For more details, including how to submit, click through to the Broken Eye Books website. The submission window is open from October 31, 2016 to January 31, 2017. They say, “The published  anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit.”

Good luck!

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writing

Time to Start Planning for NaNoWriMo 2016!

Once again, it’s that time of year to start planning for NaNoWriMo.

For anyone who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month, and it comes around every November.

From humble beginnings in 1999, when there were just 21 participants, NaNoWriMo has grown into a world-wide phenomenon. In 2015 431,626 people took part, and the numbers this year are expected to be even greater.

There is no entry fee for NaNoWriMo (though donations are always welcome), and no prizes either. Essentially, it is a challenge to help you write that novel you had always meant to write but keep putting off.

By registering with NaNoWriMo, you are joining a world-wide community of writers who are all seeking to achieve the same end, and are thus able to encourage and support one another.

This year a number of members of the myWritersCircle forum (which I co-founded) have registered for NaNoWriMo already, and more will no doubt follow. If you are looking for some ‘buddies’ to share notes and compare progress with, check out this forum topic.

Although there are no prizes for completing a novel for NaNoWriMo, if you do (and you have to prove it by uploading your work to the NaNoWriMo site), you will be able to download an official ‘Winner’ web badge and a PDF Winner’s Certificate, which you can print out.

And, of course, you will have the first draft of a novel you should be able to polish and submit for possible publication (or publish yourself).

There are lots of useful resources on the NaNoWriMo website, including wordcount widgets, web badges, flyers for downloading, motivational articles, and much more. There is also a busy forum where you can compare notes with other participants.

NaNoWriMo is also, by the way, a great opportunity to apply the techniques taught in my publisher WCCL’s Novel in a Month course, or indeed my own Write Any Book in Under 28 Days.

I’d like to wish you the very best of luck if you do decide to register for NaNoWriMo. Please do post a note below if you succeed in completing the challenge!

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