Ongoing Submissions: Alien Dimensions

Payment: $10.00 USD

“Set it in space, in the future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens.”

Cheat sheet: Flat Rate US$10.00 for 3500+ words. Accepting 3500-5,000 words only. Paid by Paypal. Doc file format only (not docx or anything else). Original, never before published fiction only. (Kindle ebook and Amazon printed formats – KDP’s automatic software scans for previous publications and rejects duplicates.) No simultaneous submissions. For your US$10.00 I’ll get first print rights, along with the right to include it, if I choose, in one annual anthology due out in October. I’ll also feature excerpts on the site, and perhaps in enewsletters.  If it’s utter genius, I might make the story fully available on the site for free. Read below for details. No contracts yet. By submitting you are agreeing to these terms.  If you keep submitting brilliance I might be able to hire you to write something specific for a future issue. (And pay more.) If you’ve read Alien Dimensions and just want to try your hand at writing something that I might buy, but aren’t sure where to start, set it in space in the future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens. Read the details for the submissions email.

Submissions for each issue close on the 16th of the previous month.

Submission Guidelines

Hi. I’m Neil A. Hogan and I’m the editor of Alien Dimensions. There is just me behind the scenes, so apologies if there is a delay in replying somewhere down the track. I usually do my best to reply within 7 days but, you know, that bottle of wine on the weekend, or that short story I’m working on, may push it to 8.

I recently read online that some decades old publications get between 700 and 1000 submissions a month. These publications tend to ask for more contemporary stories, or contemporary style human drama set in a slightly SF environment. While writing something is always hard, encouraging writers to tap into their experience and focus on the beauty of the word, rather than asking them to come up with a completely alien world that blows your mind, really doesn’t appeal to me that much. Sorry about that. That’s why I created Alien Dimensions. The goal is to release stories with mind-numbing ideas, brain expanding concepts, or just to get a reader to say WTF? There isn’t enough hard core science fiction out there so, that’s what I’m looking for. I doubt I’ll ever receive 700 a month, so expect a fairly fast turn around with your submission.

To give you an idea of the sort of mind-bending stuff I’m talking about, I’m currently writing a simple story where a million-year-old alien has been tasked with moving the Milky Way Galaxy out of the path of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the pseudoscience he needs to utilise to be able to do it. Let’s see if I can convincingly move a galaxy in under 5000 words!

(If you’re not sure what hard core science fiction is, check out Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter or Eon, Eternity, and Legacy by Greg Bear.)

Even so, if you can write a decent story, at least touching on some quantum physics, or any other science for that matter, you’ll get my attention. (I’d rather learn it through reading SF than try to get my head around it in a course!)

I’ve just got around to seeing The Martian. Brilliant stuff. Love most of the science in it, and Matt Damon was great. The Martian is the go-to movie for anyone wanting to get the basics on how to write a contemporary science fiction story.

About Alien Dimensions

Alien Dimensions is a not-for-profit science fiction publication with a focus on independent authors from around the world, open to submissions from anyone, anywhere from any walk of life. (I love humans too!) So, you’ll find a mix of English grammar and spelling from the UK, Australia and the USA, as well as region specific mother tongue influences on sentence construction and punctuation usage. I don’t/wouldn’t want to destroy some of the subtle flavours / flavors / taste that someone has/had added to their work so I’ll only change/be changing major/noticeable grammar problems where/if possible. English teachers beware!

I’m always on the lookout for new hard science fiction stories. Please note that in recent years the lines have become blurred as to what fantasy is and what science fiction is, mainly because marketers are promoting science fiction as fantasy, as fantasy sells more. The definition for Alien Dimensions is that science fiction contains real or extrapolated scientific ideas or concepts, and I need more of those. So, I have many fantasy stories ready to go for the rest of the year, but not enough hard core science fiction stories containing real science.

If you’ve written a science fiction story that you’ve had rejected, worked on to improve, sent it to someone else, but then been rejected again and given up on, perhaps you could submit that to me? I might reject it too, but I’m looking for great ideas. If the ideas are great and teaches readers something, but the story just needs a little tweaking, I might be able to help you rewrite it to make it work. (You’ll get the credit, of course!)

If you write in the style of Ken Liu, Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Clifford D Simak, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Stephen Baxter, Piers Anthony or Paul Cornell, and like to research your subject matter before writing, you might have what I’m looking for.

I’ll consider your story and if it is suitable, offer you a flat rate of US$10.00 (ten dollars) for it. Minimum 3500 words. If I suddenly get over 400 sales a month for several months, that will be reviewed, so tell your friends!

What I’m looking for at this time:

  • Main character discovers an interesting, futuristic issue and solves it using science (or convincing pseudoscience or extrapolated science based on current science) So, no battle-oriented stories. Think intellectual Doctor Who stories where the character uses his/her mind to solve a problem, but with perhaps a bit more science based in fact.
  • Always set in the future, at least 100 years hence. Happier with 1000 years hence. Let’s avoid 20th/21st century baggage and just tell an original story.
  • Always some kind of non-humanoid aliens present, usually friendly.
  • Stories featuring no humans are even better! The more alien the world is that you set your story in, the more excited I’ll get. (No cheating. ‘No humans’ doesn’t mean humans who no longer look human because of living on some other planet! A non-human story could be intellectual bacteria, plants with tentacles, a conscious galaxy, or some other not even vaguely humanoid creature / energy being.)
  • Always end on a positive note (even if you destroy the entire human race it’ll still be positive for someone!)
  • PG 13. No sex, swearing or obvious LGBT themes, unless the entire story will fall apart without it.
  • Hard science. If your character discovers a way to view the structure of a dimensional portal as a tesseract, and then uses mathematical formula translated into sonic harmonics to control it, give the maths! If your character can confirm that the vibration speed for shifting outside of space/time is 330,000 cycles per second, explain in detail how he/she worked it out. (I didn’t do this in one of my stories. Don’t make that mistake!)
  • All stories must be original. No using copyright characters or established series. No rewriting someone else’s work. I have to use copyscape, and I’ve been reading SF since the 70s, so I’ll probably recognise a rewrite even if you don’t know you’ve done one! Also, as Alien Dimensions will be submitted to Kindle for approval, if the auto system detects a reprint, it might get blocked from publication.
  • Common SF terms. Make up some new ones! For example, please avoid using ‘stargate’ (Stargate) or warp drive (Star Trek), or time vortex (Doctor Who), or ‘the force’ (Star Wars) ‘AI’ and ‘hyperspace’ are okay as they’re common terms throughout all SF.
  • While I’m not averse to dystopian futures, please avoid them if at all possible. Alien Dimensions is a predominantly positive series about the future. If you do have a story with a war in it, it should end in peace.
  • No ‘time travel to the past’ stories or ‘parallel universe Hitler won the war future Earth’ style stories, unless it’s millions of years in the past or the parallel universe is completely alien. (I’ll be writing those ones!)
  • Please avoid pop culture references. It is unlikely characters years in the future would know anything about the present. Readers love to become immersed in a story and feel like they are there, watching things unfold. Pop culture references that wouldn’t fit the reality throw them out of their immersion. They also age the story. Best avoided unless the story is set in 2017.
  • Dialogue between characters that move the story forward. Set in the now. (A short story doesn’t have time for prologues or too much backstory. Save those for your novels!)

Of course, I would expect a high level of grammar, vocabulary, intelligent dialogue and general creative writing ability.

If you have a story that you think fits the above, and you’re happy for me to use it for US$10, send it to [email protected] as a word.doc (not docx)

If possible, please reformat your story to make it easier for me to read by following William Shunn’s Guide to Proper Manuscript Format (Mainly because I don’t have a submission tracking system yet. And also, well, it means you’re serious. You’ve probably already got that template set up on your computer and use it all the time.)

Of course, I know US$10 isn’t much in some countries, but it is a way to get something back from a story that you might have given up on, and it gets your name out there.

I also have a few regular writers. They get paid a bit more than that. If you can consistently meet the level of writing my core writers work hard to strive towards, and write a story based around a scaffold I’ve set for you, then I’ll be able to pay a bit more. But, of course, at the end of the day, I need to sell 400 copies a month to break even, so please mention Alien Dimensions somewhere if you have a chance.

Anyway, I’d love to start reading your writing.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Neil A Hogan

Last Updated 8th February 2017

Via: Alien Dimensions.

WIHM: Time and the Single Parent Blog

I became a full-time single parent—by full-time I mean 24/7, 365 days a year—in 2003 and thought that was the end of writing until the kids left the nest. Three mentally unhappy and restless years followed and I realized I felt the way I did because I wasn’t writing. I had always written and to stop wasn’t working for me. Never one for watching much TV, I read instead, I decided to cut down my two hours of reading time after the kids went to bed down to one and spend the other writing. It took a while to get into the habit but I stuck with it. When the kids were younger, it was much easier as their bedtime was much earlier but as they got older it became harder. Strange to think it’d get harder but I am one of those who can’t write when their kids are up and about.

I try to write 200 words a night but have to remind myself 200 words a day are better than zero. 200 words doesn’t sound like such a hard number to reach but when you’re gone ten hours a day, making dinners, playing mom-taxi, making sure homework is completed, and all the rest of the duties it takes to run a household, it can become like trying to scale Mount Everest.  Some nights by the time I get to the keyboard, I’m done. On those nights, after staring at the screen in a kind of waking sleep, I’ll write a sentence or two of what direction the story was supposed to go in that session and go answer emails that need answering. I won’t beat myself up for not getting my 200 words in for one night.  One night. If I let it go more than one, I get caught in the “I can catch up tomorrow” cycle and before I know it a month has gone by with nothing written.

One hour a night, 200 words a night, 1,400 a week, 5,600 a month, and 67,200 a year can be frustrating when you see others posting word counts of 2,000 a day on social media. It used to drive me nuts with word count envy. And it still can but I have to remember I doing the best I can with that I have. I guess if I have any advise for full-time single parents, it’s to remember you are doing the work of two people and not to get down on yourself if you’re not as prolific. As long as you keep at it, keep eking out time even if it’s one hour a night, four hours on the weekend, or, if you live near the other parent and share custody, a weekend day devoted to writing, you are still writing. You are still doing what you love even if it takes a bit longer.

But what about keeping up with social media, blogging, marketing, and the business end of writing? As I started to have work published that presented its own set of challenges. Slow times at work, lunch breaks, and coffee breaks became the time when I’d hop on my phone to check emails and, if it required a short response, respond. Also, I’d make a stop at my social media sites and posted about an upcoming publication if there was one or a random meme if there wasn’t. Except for a few guest blog posts here and there blogging never became my thing, as it is a bridge too far in the time I have available. As for research, I take the write first research after approach just to get the thing down. My manuscripts are full of highlighted areas to “double check”. Or, if the research needs to be done beforehand, I forgo my leisure reading time.

The point I’m trying to make is writing and single parenting is hard but doable. There are sacrifices too. Like giving up that favorite TV show or computer game or reading time. It may be slower and you may feel like those you started this trek with are passing you by—in low moments I know I can—but it is possible. Just find that hour a day or that one day a week and write your heart out. I know you can do it. As another single parent writer I know with little time to write once told me, “Everyone has to poop.”

Chris Marrs

Chris Marrs

Chris Marrs lives in Calgary, Alberta with her daughter, a cat, and a ferret. She has stories in A Darke Phantastique (Cycatrix Press-2014), the Bram Stoker winning The Library of the Dead (Written Backwards Press-2015), and in Dark Discoveries Issue #25/Femme Fatale, October 2013. Bad Moon Books published her novella Everything Leads Back to Alice in the Fall of 2013. Her novella, Wild Woman, was published in September 2015 as part of JournalStone’s DoubleDown series. Entangled Soul, a collaborative novella with Gene O’Neill, was published by Thunderstorm Books in November 2016. January Friday the 13th, saw the publication of Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror in which her story Sounds in Silence appears. She has two stories forthcoming with Great Jones Street short story app.
You can find her at www.hauntedmarrs.com or Instagram as hauntedmarrs.

Taking Submissions: The Chromatic Court: Tales of the Lovecraftian Arts

Deadline: June 15th, 2017
Payment: 4-5% of gross profits depending on length.

Guidelines
18thWall Productions
Curated by Peter Rawlik
“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with its beautiful stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth…”
~Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow
Robert E. Chambers’ The King in Yellow features a being, the King in Yellow himself, who is embodied in the play of the same name, and in the color yellow.
We want to follow in the footsteps of Chambers, invoking links between specific colors, the mythos deity they might represent, and what influence they might have on the various arts.
For example, what terrifying things are hinted at by the titles the Black Goat, the Green Man, the White Worm, and the Red Queen, and to what arts are they linked?
Give us tales that invoke the chromatic avatars of the Great Old Ones and the impact they have on the arts, but as we all know the arts are open to interpretation, and could easily include architecture, literature, cuisine, pantomime, and haiku. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and color is only an abstract concept, but fear and terror are very real, and so are the Great Old Ones.
What We Want
Fresh takes on the Cthulhu Mythos, Chambers’ mythology (the Yellow Mythos), and Cosmic Horror. This isn’t the place for Lovecraftian clichés. The more it feels like a “lost” Lovecraft story, or relies on the clichés of the genre, the less interested we are. Creativity is the watchword.
While we are open to straight horror, we much prefer submissions closer to Chambers’ style and tone. Which is to say, we’d greatly prefer dark fantasy with a cosmic horror undercurrent. If you’re unfamiliar with Chambers: The Twilight Zone, Manly Wade Wellman’s fiction, and THING are all excellent examples of that sort of tone and sensibility.
We want complex tales of cosmic horror, the arts and artists all properly hued. To avoid overlap of colors, monsters, titles, and arts story pitches must be made to the curator first. We already have a King, and we already have a Prince; help us a fill the rest of the court.
In addition to unique and clever takes on the Chromatic Court concept, we’d prefer: strong, developed characters;
Inspiration
We recommend reading Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, the monumental work of dark fantasy that started everything. It’s the foundation of so many of the above ideas and mythology. Lovecraft linked the King in Yellow—both the entity and the play—to his own revised elder god Hastur.
T.E.D. Kline’s Black Man with a Horn linked Nyarlathotep to jazz and horned instruments, making Kline’s story an early forbear of this concept.
My own story The Sepia Prints, featured in my novel Reanimatrix, establishes Cthulhu as the Sepia Prince, and intrinsically links the being to opera.
Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.
Rights: First World Digital and Print.
Deadline: June 15, 2017
Word Count: 4,000-16,000
How to Submit your Story:
• All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to [email protected]
• The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
• The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font).
• Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. If you already have tabbed or spaced indents, please remove them first. Please use full em dashes (—).
• At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
• Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.
• Place the collection you’re submitting to, your name, and your story title in the subject line of your email. For example, “Speakeasies and Spiritualists / Rose Mackenberg / So You Want to Attend a Séance?”
Curator Bio
Pete Rawlik is the author of the novels Reanimators, The Weird Company, and Reanimatrix, and the co-editor for the anthology Legacy of the Reanimator. His fiction has appeared in Tales of the Shadowmen, The Lovecraft eZine, Talebones, Morpheus Tales, Crypt of Cthulhu, and Innsmouth Magazine. The concept for The Chromatic Court evolved out of his story The Sepia Prints, which became a key chapter in Reanimatrix.

WIHM: The Purging Method

Over a year ago, I fell into a slump in my writing. I had published the first book of The Blasphemer Series called Maxwell Demon and though I knew what I was going to do in the next book, I wasn’t fully sure the direction of that singular piece to continue the smooth flow of the series as a project in and of itself. I stopped writing. I was stifled and that bothered me. I began to worry that I was going to end up in a writer’s block, something I strongly believe is possible and even has experienced. At this stage that would’ve been the death of my publishing career when it had just began. I couldn’t have that!

I would open my word document to begin and the blinking vertical line would ultimately begin taunting me, “Come on, type. You can’t? Well neener–neener.” As all writers, I too am hard on myself. I am my worse reviewer and tell myself all the petty comments as I write, but I’m also a self-motivator and slowly began taking this as a challenge. I began looking into writing programs, researching methods, and even tried old school outlining. I bought Scrivener, I got WriteWay, and even LibreOffice hoping that maybe writing in something different would help me, to a point it did. Scrivener was something gotten to help with my writing, but instead of writing it keeps me organized and it’s a fantastic organizer for stories and projects. WriteWay quickly fell for me into the background and LibreOffice didn’t really change anything.

After wracking my brain, trying so hard to figure out what to do as this struggling began to affect other writing projects I needed to just get everything out for every single story. I had ideas, but wasn’t working, and outlining has NEVER worked for me. I can never keep to them when I had tried in the past so all together quit doing it. I once more had the vertical line taunting me with its blinking. I began to purge. I started with writing all the titles of the books and if I didn’t have one I would replace it with ‘book 4’ or whatever the book in the line for my series it would’ve been. Under each title I began purging all that I wanted to happen in that specific book, dialogue I thought would be very good, asking questions that I would need to answer, and all of that. I just had to get it all out.

As I worked through my new little project of purge I began answering the questions I had typed. I would see flat out in a bigger picture style that some things could or should work out in sooner books rather than later ones. Slowly, but surely this took The Blasphemer Series from eight books that I had figured it would be to tell the story down books, condensing them until I was left with roughly five books. I also gained through this method a better sense of each book as a singular project within the greater one.

I even continued into the secondary series that I wanted to do in the world I was creating focusing on the witches in the world ‘after’. I loved it!

After I had solved my problem I began noticing fellow writers struggling and decided to posted snips or screenshots of my newfound method on my Facebook page.

I explained that this is what my madness had brought me to and how it had actually helped me. It was shortly around the time of my post that a friend of mine, Rae Ford, contacted me asking more about the method I had posted about. I then proceeded to explain it to her in more depth what I had went through, what I had done, what I had asked myself, how I answered myself, and about the post. I even sent her the snips I had previously shared so that she could use them for reference. I hoped it would help her, but wasn’t sure if it would. I wasn’t sure if it would help anyone it wasn’t anything I had been taught in school, it wasn’t anything I had seen others doing, but I held hope.

As a writer I can have sympathy for my fellow writers when they struggle because I’ve been there. I know what works for me may not work for others, but a suggestion can change things. I didn’t hear much about Rae and this method until recently when I discovered she wanted me to write an article about this method. She had done her own independent research and found that this method had a name, brain dumping. I had never heard of that before and was very interested. It’s not a method that works for everyone, but for those it works for it’s wonderful. This was also when I discovered that Rae had continued using this method! I was pleasantly surprised. I’m still glad that I was able to help a friend struggling.

When I was given the chance to write something for a website that could possibly help others as it had helped in the past I jumped at the chance. That doesn’t mean that this will definitely work for everyone, but you never know, it may work for you in the way it has helped myself and Rae. This is a method that I continue to refer to when I’m truly stuck, it has morphed from computer to notebook and converted back, but it’s always the same set-up. Title, ramblings, questions, answers to the questions, and next title then repeat the process until I’ve struggled out of the quick sand of my block. It’s a method I highly recommend with personal testimony!

L. Bachman

L. Bachman

At a young age, L. Bachman started creating stories and art. This form of expression led to becoming a published author with the stories Maxwell Demon, Human Ouija, and Harvest. She has also been included in several anthologies. In March 2016, her short story, The Painting of Martel, was included in the anthology Painted Mayhem. Following its release, she was once more included in an anthology, And the World Will Burn: A Dystopian Anthology, with her work The Gaze of Destruction. She will once again be included in a December 2016 anthology called Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Legends with a short story, A Farmhouse Haunting.

Bachman first gained attention in the independent publishing community with her cover design of the collection entitled Murder, Mayhem, Monsters, and Mistletoe: An Anthology. This led to her working with several authors, including Lindy Spencer and Rae Ford. Following her work on the anthology, she wrote The Blasphemer Series: Maxwell Demon in January 2015. It was nominated for Indie Book of 2016 by Metamorph Publishing, along with her bestselling short Human Ouija.

Her graphic arts provided the beginnings of her portfolio. Testimonials of her clients can be seen on her graphic design website, Bachman Designs. When she is not working in the graphics arts sector of the independent publishing industry, she works for the publishing house Burning Willow Press, LLC. They took notice of her portfolio after she provided a graphic design for author Kindra Sowder, CEO of Burning Willow Press. L. Bachman now is a full-time staff member working in the graphics department of the publishing house doing promotional media… videos, promotional materials, and cover design. Through her work with Burning Willow Press, she’s provided materials for the likes of Kerry Alan Denny, SL Perrine, Jay Michael Wright II, and James Master. She continues to work independently for her own clients, having plans to continue her independent writing.

After the passing of her father in April 2016, she dedicated The Blasphemer Series: Harvest to him, dubbing him one of her biggest supporters, if not her biggest fan. In honor of him, she continues to do charitable work and supports active duty military personnel. Her submission to the anthology Painted Mayhem raised money for military personnel suffering and living with PTSD. This also led to her donating some of her work to “Authors Supporting Our Troops”, an event held by author Armand Rosamilia that sends copies of books to active duty military.

Between her publishing and her graphic arts work, she has been a featured guest for many book releases held by other authors, interviewed multiple times by blogs, featured on many podcasts, such as “Unfleshed” with TJ Weeks in September 2015, and has been a returning guest on “Armcast” with Armand Rosamilia and “The Darkness Dwells”, just to name a few.

She continues to write from her home in Northern Alabama where she lives with her husband, the poet and writer DS Roland, their son, Damien, and one very judgmental rescued elderly cat named Mouse. Bachman continues to educate authors interested in improving their writing and marketing skills, as well as holding onto her mission of empowerment, inspiration, and aid to young writers.

My links –

Taking Submissions: SciFiMonkeys StoryTime Season 1

Deadline: May 1st, 2017
Payment: Royalties (See details below.)

Season One
Currently we are seeking science fiction with a deep space theme. A galaxy far, far way…if you will.
Season One Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2017

How to submit:

At the moment, we are accepting submissions through our Online Submission Form. Only submissions through the online submission form will be accepted.

What we’re looking for:

We will be publishing 3 SEASONS of genre anthologies each year. Each Season will have its own theme. See the SEASONS page to see what seasons we are currently looking for and what seasons have past. We will also be publishing other anthologies, so feel free to send us work at anytime. We will post if and when we have themes for other anthologies. We publish anthologies with Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror themes.

Please note that we do not consider novel excerpts, or anything with illustrations or photographs.

Our anthologies will be available in paperback and ebook formats exclusively through Amazon.

What’s the deadline?

Check the SEASONS page for each seasons deadline. Otherwise, please feel to send us other work that may be great for another anthology as we will be publishing others.

International submissions:

We’re based in the US but we accept submissions from authors all over the English-speaking world.

Rights
We ask for first serial rights on any story we publish. This means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online. (This includes publication on an author’s own website.) When we publish a story, we ask for a brief period of exclusivity (roughly 18 to 24 months), and the right to keep the story in print. We do not place any limits on what you can do with your story after the exclusivity period.

Word count
We are able to consider stories for publishing on the site that are between 1,000 and 20,000 words in length; please do not send anything longer than this. Stories shorter than 1000 words may be considered for extra exclusive content when the season is published in book format. (Most of the stories have been submitted so far are between about 2,000 and 7,000 words.)

Do you get paid?
Each story once published to the site will come with a listing of how to find everything from that author and a weeks paid advertising to help drive traffic. Once the Season is finished and published in book format with exclusives added 50% of the profits will be deducted for charity, 10% will go to our editors and 40% will be split between the authors to be paid quarterly.

Submission fee…

Yeah, we don’t have one of those.

Multiple and simultaneous submissions:

Please feel free to send us more than one story at a time. We do have a limit of 3 submissions per day. Please send each story through the form one at a time, and not together in one document.

We do understand if you want to submit to more than one outlet at a time. However, please let us know if a story you’ve submitted to us has been accepted elsewhere!

Our response times:

We aim to reply to all submissions within three weeks, although sometimes we may fall behind.
If you’re waiting for a reply from us, please keep an eye on your promotions and junk mail folder, as our replies can sometimes make their way there. If you have submitted a story and not heard from us after 4 weeks, please check your spam/junk mail folder again. If there’s nothing there, email us: [email protected] Please include your name and story title.

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM

Via: SciFi Monkeys.

WIHM: The Gift Of Rejection

Create, edit, and submit. For some writers this cyclonic habit can suck the confidence right out of you. Seasoned writers know the key to not obsessing too much is to have a stable of submittable stories and markets at the ready. They are too busy working on the next story to stop and grieve the rejection that just came in. I’m not saying it doesn’t still sting, but with the next market send out a new hope begins; and that is, in my opinion, the key.

Publishing houses of all sizes can get an overwhelming number of submissions to any call and sometimes it can take months to sort through, decide, and respond to them all. This leaves the anxious new writer checking their email numerous times a day – if you only have a few stories out. If however you start writing a new story as soon as you’re done the last, then your mind moves on to something else to be preoccupied by and your productivity and chances for publication rise.

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many new writers just stop writing and start waiting.

BING!

Oh, was that an email notification? You just got another rejection? Well let’s analyse it, shall we?

First off, was it a form rejection or a personal one? If it was a form perhaps the editor simply replied that it wasn’t a good fit at this time and try again in the future. They may have already accepted a tale that is too much like yours. A personal rejection – although not as common – can hold gems for the writer. If you have received numerous rejections with comments compare the notes. Do they say the same message? If so, I suggest you seriously consider the advice. If not, then see what you agree with or you feel will contribute to the story. (These people usually don’t take the time to send a personal rejection unless they feel your story has potential.) Perhaps they talk about confusion with character point of view, or the pacing is too slow, too quick, or all over the place. Consider this a sort of free edit that will give your story a better chance with the next submission. These small gifts are far and few between so remember to send a brief ‘Thank you’ for their time. That kind of etiquette can go a long way if you submit to that editor again in the future.

Speaking of submitting, shouldn’t you be working on your next masterpiece? Get writing!

Jo-Anne Russell

Jo-Anne Russell

Jo-Anne Russell is a dark fiction writer and a publisher at Lycan Valley Press. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Edmonton Arts Counsel. Her work can be found in a multitude of anthologies, and as standalone stories. Her debut novel The Nightmare Project was republished last year with Book 2 to follow. She is a wife, mother of eight children, has numerous pets, and is legally blind.

You can find out more on her website at www.jo-annerussell.com.

And on Amazon.

Trembling With Fear 02/19/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Life and Limb

By Kevin Holton

I thought she was a rumor.

People never talked openly about The Surgeon. If she came up in conversation, it was in whispers behind closed doors. When Margorie first told me about her, I dismissed these discussions as rumors. Myths. Stories told to the desperate or fearful. Gullible people are why I spent my few scarce hours of free time at home, sitting around.

My couch was full of holes, but it was mine, and I was in my favorite spot, watching the Ultranet news feed on my holographic video screen. Beyond the couch and holovid, I didn’t have much else, and my barren apartment showed it. Blank walls, a dirty floor I rarely got time to clean, and a bed that sagged in the middle were about all I owned.

On the news, another few people had been very brutally, very publicly, killed by Enforcers. Unity Government’s official statement was, as always, “Obey the law, support your country, and do not resist arrest. Follow these rules, and you’ll be fine.”

A spasm ran down my arm. The left one, the Dynatech arm I had installed to replace my real one after the accident. Lately, it had been malfunctioning. I couldn’t afford repairs, and UniGov ignored my appeals for assistance. I’d received an email of only two sentences. “We will not be able to help you. Bear in mind, a severe decrease in productivity may result in a punishment of a fifty thousand credit fine and ten years in prison.”

Another harsh jerk, this one painful. All the new models were built to feel everything flesh and bone could, and that wasn’t always a good thing. Frayed wiring sent electric bursts through my system, hurting both replicant and real tissues. Squinting my eyes shut, I massaged my shoulder, where the installation met muscle.

“Planned obsolescence,” said a voice, and I jerked back, eyes wide. A woman stood against the wall, next to the news feed, where protesters were destroying a few bodegas to show how they disliked UniGov oversight.

“Who—how did you get in here?” The hammering in my chest overrode my pain. My door had been locked, and like every home, apartment, and business in Adonia, it had a complex combination lock. Only I knew the code. There were no windows.

“Wealth perpetuates. Design faulty goods, then design a way of life so you can’t live without them. Buy, break, buy, break. Repeat, ad nauseum.” Her tone was cool, calculated, machine-like, but I couldn’t tell who or even what she was. The woman wore a long black shirt and loose pants that flowed around her like an oil spill. On her face, she had a reflective mask, and a hood drawn to hide the rest of her head. When I tried to make eye contact, I only saw myself.

I stood up, ready for conflict. I didn’t have much, but I had pride, and wasn’t about to be intimidated in my own home, no matter how crappy a home it was. “What are you doing here?”

“Relax,” she said, raising a hand, “I’m not your enemy. In fact, I’m here to help.” Being around her made my head buzz with a faint static. My brain was caught between the channels of anger and curiosity. Darkness shifted, clinging to her frame as she levered herself off the wall, slowly approaching. “Let me see: a crushing accident. Hydraulic press came down in the center of your arm. Splintered bone. Torn muscle. Beyond repair. UniGov offered a new arm as compensation, but has no interest in upkeep.”

All this was said as a statement of fact, and was completely accurate. She didn’t need to ask questions. I was barely part of this—just an observer, not reacting, or sure how to, even as she reached out and began probing at my shoulder too, as I’d been doing moments earlier. Her fingers were cold. Real fingers, with skin and tendons, but long and pointed, almost sharp.

“Hm. Artifical supraspinatus and bicep tendons. Dynatech humerus head inserted into original glenoid. Easy.” Despite her mask, I could sense a smile on her face, mouth stretching wide like she was ready to bite. “You’re angry, aren’t you? At this government, which treats you so poorly. At your…” she rapped on my elbow, sending another jolt through me. “Limitations.”

I’d had enough games. Hypnotic as her touch may have been, I fought myself to say, “Why are you here?”

“Because you want me here, David.” Her reply, swift and rehearsed, told me she’d had this conversation many times before.

I swallowed, hard, feeling a tense knot in my throat. “You’re… The Surgeon, aren’t you?”

She laughed. Just once, a short, rhythmic burst of melody that bore the memory of brighter times. “Is that what they call me now? Well, I suppose it’s not wrong. That’s what I offer you. Surgery. I’ll remove this arm of yours.”

That was downright unthinkable. No one offered Dynatech removal. I mean, even kids were getting Cosme-tech augmentations these days. Your wealth was literally measured in the price of your new “parts.” Otherwise, you were just any old human. Or worse, Defective. “Why? What’s in it for you? I don’t have money.”

“I know,” she replied. It wasn’t a condemnation, like it would’ve been from anyone else. I almost heard a note of sympathy. “I ask your service. I’ll free you from the tyranny of cybernetics, and in return, you leave Adonia. Forever. Join my coalition back on Earth’s surface, where the darkness of this floating nation is just a passing shadow. You’ll tend fields, raise livestock, whatever the group needs. Whatever you can do with one arm.”

It was an enticing offer. As it was, I was working to survive anyway. Having people around, actual companionship, and a job I could be proud of didn’t sound too bad.

Another soft chuckle. “So you accept my offer?”

That confirmed it. She really could read minds. The rumors I’d waved off as impossible held up. “I do.”

“Then the first thing we have to do is fake your death, so no one gets suspicious.”

A screeching filled my head and pain exploded behind my eyeballs, painting my vision red. I struggled to stay conscious, only faintly aware that I was crying out and kicking at the floor, my body reflexively fighting against this slow implosion. Then my limbs fell limp, refusing to respond to my primal urge to flee as she kneeled over me, holding up a scalpel.

“That involves a little screaming,” she said, “and a whole lot of blood.”

She held me down, and in truth, the operation didn’t take long. True to her word, she let me scream; in my neighborhood, no one would bother investigating. Violent crimes were common. There’d been a news report later. Maybe. Plus, when you don’t have to be careful or gentle, surgery isn’t complicated.

I passed out from blood loss. When I awoke, for a moment, I thought I’d been having a nightmare. When I tried to sit-up, but could only push myself off the metal cot with my one remaining arm, I knew it’d been real.

My body shivered, but if I was cold, I didn’t feel it. Shock, probably. Wouldn’t be surprising. I’d been placed in an abandoned sickbay. There were a dozen or so beds, all like mine: rusted from neglect.

Voices caught my attention as I shook away the veil of unconsciousness. I followed them, passing a mirror in the hall. My left arm was gone. The stump of my shoulder had been branded, no doubt to stop me from bleeding out. In the center was an eye.

“…Just one of many recent deaths in this district,” a voice said, drawing me out to a waiting area. This might’ve been a hospital. Now, it was just a waystation. A single holographic screen ran, projecting tonight’s news. A woman I didn’t recognize stood next to a picture of me. “A neighbor heard screaming. His landlord found the tenant’s arm laying in a pool of blood. He has been declared deceased.”

Deceased. She’d done it. I was officially dead. No one would be after me, or tracking me through the tech that’d given me an arm, but caused me so much pain and grief.

“You’ll be escorted to a private vessel, and it’ll take you to the surface. UniGov won’t bother hunting for people there.” Her voice echoed in my head, but she was nowhere to be found. Two men entered the room, eyeing me. “It will be a long, arduous life, but it will be yours, full of people who’ve made the same decisions. Try to enjoy it.”

Kevin Holton

Kevin Holton is the author of more than one hundred short stories, poems, and critical works. Specializing in horror and sci-fi, he has published with Siren’s Call Publications, James Ward Kirk Fiction, and Crystal Lake Publishing, among other companies. When not reading or writing, he is a student, actor, and coffee enthusiast who spends too much time talking about Batman.

You can find out more about Kevin at: www.kevinholton.com.

Valentine Surprises

By: Brendan O’Dea

A sadist refused to give his wife a divorce.
He did all in his power to make her life a living hell.
On Valentine’s Day, this cruel man made a present to her of a scarf that was the ‘wrong colour.’ He cooked her a meal that aggravated her food allergy. On her Valentine’s card he inscribed the words: ‘My Love, we will be together till death do us part.’
Later, while driving, he laughed so hard tears ran down his face.
He was caught unawares as a freak hailstone shattered the windscreen.
He lost control, swerving towards his fate.

Brendan O'Dea

‘Brendan Joseph O’Dea lives and works in Leicestershire in the U.K. He enjoys writing fiction, and non-fiction, in his spare time. He has published two books on Amazon Kindle but has recently started to focus on submitting short fiction to magazines. He has a preference for Gothic horror and traditional ghost stories which rely on atmosphere and strong characters.’

Mental Check

By: Patrick Winters

Mental Check
by Patrick Winters

As I stow the last grocery bag, I still have that nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something. I start taking stock of my trunk, just to be sure.
Trash bags? Check.
Extra duct tape? Double check.
Disposable gloves? Yep.
New axe head? Shining nicely in its package.
Gagged and bound victim? Obviously. Kind of hard to forget him, especially with all the squirming and moaning he’s been doing.
He looks up at me, begging me to let him go with his puppy-dog eyes. Then it hits me; I finally realize what’s wrong here:
I forgot to get kibble for Rufus.

Patrick Winters

Patrick Winters is a recent graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, The Sirens Call, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles.

You can find out more about Patrick at his homepage.

Confectious

By: Matthew R. Davis

When a nurse comes down the hall, I show him the visible joins at my elbows, knees, shoulders, every joint weeping a pale putrescence – as if I’m a doll that some sullen child has stuffed with stale cream – and, fascinated, he dabs at my infection, this sickly confection, sniffs it… then licks his fingers clean and laughs, a hideous hunger swelling him, and he’s all over me until my seeping hands grab a bedpan and pulp his face into sticky red jam, but he’s not alone on duty tonight, and they’re all laughing, licking their sweet teeth as they come.

Matthew R. Davis

Matthew R. Davis is an author and musician based in Adelaide, South Australia. He has had over two dozen dark fiction pieces published the world over; forthcoming anthology credits include The Refuge Collection: Hell To Others, Between the Tracks, and Semi-Colonic Irrigation, alongside names such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell and Christopher Golden. He’s a Horror Novel judge for the 2016 Aurealis Awards, is the bassist/vocalist for the idiosyncratic rock/metal bands Blood Red Renaissance and icecocoon, and is currently seeking a home for his novels. He’s in a relationship with a photographer and seems to have adopted her cat.

You can find out more about Matthew at his homepage.

WIHM: Setting Self Doubt on Fire: Female Horror Writer and Proud

Hi All, it’s February already, scary, right? And February is (Drum roll please) Women in Horror Month. Yes, this is the time for all you female horror writers (myself included) to tell everyone what amazing horror writers you are.

I’ve been writing seriously since 2012 (wow, time sure flies), but I had no clue that there was a month dedicated to horror writers until I joined the Horror Tree crew. I know, shocking, right, considering I’m a female horror writer? Well, this year, I have decided to write something for this special month.

So, what do I have for you today? Well, I want to talk about how you shouldn’t let self-doubt stop you from writing those dark and disturbing stories just because you’re a woman.

Often when a person thinks of a horror writer, they automatically assume it’s a man. So, when a woman steps forward and tells the world that she loves writing horror, she is likely to get some funny looks. I should know – I’ve had plenty of funny looks when I’ve told people what I write.

Because I’m a woman who loves pink (I wear it a lot), who bakes, watches Barbie films and musicals, and has a huge (and I mean huge) collection of cuddly toys, people are often gobsmacked when I tell them that I write horror stories. Obviously, they assume I must write chick lit or that romance stuff, but I don’t want to write about a girl with relationship dramas and blah blah blah. No, I want to write about a girl being possessed and murdering her entire family.

Even though some would say I don’t look like a typical horror fan, I’ve been a horror fan even before I started writing.  When I was younger, I loved watching programmes like Are You Afraid of the Dark and Goosebumps. I read horror stories – R.L. Stine and Stephen King are my favourites. I also love the zombie horror genre – The Walking Dead and Z Nation are my favourite TV programmes – I’ve also read some of the Walking Dead books. I love being scared, and even better, I love scaring people. So, of course, I was going to become a horror writer.

However, since I started working on my novel, I wondered if anyone would buy a horror novel from a female writer. It’s not easy going into what appears to be a male-dominated genre. When people think of a horror writer, they picture a man, not a woman dressed from head to toe in pink (I’m exaggerating, but I do love pink). Sadly, I’ve heard about many female writers (not just in the horror genre) that use a pseudonym or initials, so they don’t put off male readers. This has made me wonder if I should have done the same – used initials. And then doubt starts creeping in: if people don’t think women horror writers are good enough, then they’re not going to think you’re good enough. Everyone’s going to laugh at your weak attempts to frighten them.

But then I decided to fight back. Being a woman doesn’t mean you can’t be scary. It doesn’t mean no one will buy your books. You don’t have to change genres. And there’s no point in hiding behind initials because people will eventually find out who you are, especially if you do book signings. I don’t know what the secret is to guarantee success, but all I know is that you have to do what’s right for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something – unless it involves a crime, then it’s best not to do that.

So, don’t listen to Mr. Self Doubt. Don’t let him stop you from doing what you love if you love horror, no matter what your gender, you should continue to write it – Say it with me, ‘Horror writer and proud!’

To end this post, here is another inspirational quote:

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” ― Lady Gaga

Taking Submissions: Son of a Witch!

Deadline: March 31st, 2017
Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy

SONOFAWITCH!
Anthologist: Trysh Thompson
Open for Submissions: February 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017
Expected Publication: Fall 2017
Story Length: up to 15,000 words
Payment: $10 + contributor copy

No one is perfect—not even a witch. Witches have amazing power at their fingertips to do unbelievable things. That magic can come in really handy sometimes too. They can make someone fall in love, poison an apple to enact a sleeping curse, to banish an enemy to an alternate reality, or just to conjure up some Nutella when there is none in the house.

But what happens when those spells go horribly awry?

SONOFAWITCH! seeks humorous stories of spells gone wrong. What spell fell apart and how did the witch get out of it? Give me a contemporary setting (mainly because it lends itself to more humor). The rest is up to your imagination.

Audience: Preference for New Adult/Adult, though a thoroughly compelling YA is fine

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: February 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017

Length: Under 15,000 words

Submission method: Send story as an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf only) to thompson[at]worldweaverpress.com.

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

Expected Publication Date: Fall 2017

About the Anthologist: Trysh Thompson has written just about every form of non-fiction you can think of—everything from news, movie reviews, magazine columns, marketing hype, software manuals, and was even an editorial assistant on a gardening book no one has ever read (The 7-Minute Organic Garden—see, you’ve never heard of it, have you?). To keep from being slowly and torturously bored to death by her day job, she turned to fiction as means of escape—reading it, writing it, and editing it.

Via: World Weaver Press.

WIHM: How Do Authors Auth?

So, it’s ‘Orrible Wimmin Month again, or words to that effect. How time’s whizzed since the last ‘un. And as it’s whuzz, so we’ve become that little bit older, that little bit smarter, and a FUCKTON badder. Shit Extraordinaire hit the American Fan with a SPLAT –and, by default, crap splashed across the Rest of the World– but how did we wash it off?

 

We FOUGHT.

 

Some women marched, some performed, and some did both, writing and performing powerful words to rally the troops and keep ‘em rallied (Jessica – I’m looking at McYou.) Women in their squillions –every last one an inspiration– refused to be moved, and marched ‘til they were blue in the feet. And at our side, all the way, were some good, decent, men (to those blokes: you’re officially honorary women. This is a good deal, believe me: it means you get all of the good stuff, and none of the periods.)

 

And authors authed. We wrote speeches, songs, and poetry, and told horrific stories and terrifying non-fiction. We shared our fears, hopes, and predictions, and raised each other up by our blistered, marching soles. Fighting for what’s right is but one of our traits; something we can’t not do.

 

Another thing we did, and continue to do, is celebrate success: our own, and others’. And I LOVE it. I adore the fact that we take the time out to spread the wordy love and share our own achievements.

 

When you lot post your progress reports on social media, or fill us in with your daily word counts, I see happiness. I see pride. I see a person who’s maybe been down on their luck, with rejection after rejection, but who is finding their confidence again. See below re: crippling depression – most writers struggle with this shit on a daily basis, and reading about their triumphant achievements in the ugly face of uglier adversity makes me happy, gosh darn it. For some, social media is a diary; that people choose to share their innermosts with me is quite a thing.

 

And who knows? You might be spurred on by another writer’s work in progress. You might see someone else’s word count and up your own game. Inspiration itself is inspiring. It truly is. It’s infectious –and not in a herpes way. Seeing my writer friends be bitten, struck, muse-smooched, makes my insides all squishy. And this is how it should be – for me, at least. By interwebular osmosis, we soak each other up and spit each other out across the page.

 

There’s just soooo much to being an author – other than bookishness and wordstuff, that is. And much of this muchness is the same whichever writing desk you go to, with little –if any–deviation from the 2017 Haynes Manual: WRITER edition. For starters, we all love cats, right? Cats and coffee. Or maybe dogs and scotch. Either way, animals and beverages are part of our DNA.

 

Then there’s the default introvert setting. We do love our conventions and stuff, but that, inevitably, leads to PEOPLE! Eeee! *Nails down a chalkboard*. For me, I’m happy with one laptop, two cats, a bottomless brew, a people-free room, and pantsless legs, thank you very much. And you can’t really be sans pants at a convention. Or can you?

 

We’re geeks, too. And although said geekery may involve either the more comic-booky aspects of pop culture, or the less visual and more literary sorts of dweebishness, it needs to be rebadged as PASSION, pure and simps. Whether we love our cosplay and movie merchandise (these are not toys – they are Screen Accurate Scale Models, thank you very much) or whether we relish in the celebration of great literature, it’s the LOVE OF ART wot counts, bay-bee.

 

At this juncture, a special mention must go to the crippling depression and/or anxiety that affects probably *80 per cent of writers, but which, although it kills us, keeps some of us alive.

 

*Wholly unscientific figure there, plucked out of thin, mentally unbalanced air.

 

Most of us are skint. Potless, in fact. In accordance with this, you might see culinary status updates about Ramen Noodles and medical ones about imminently-necessary organ-pedalling, but still, we write – and still, we READ.

 

So, what do we read? Or who?

 

Me? I like to read good writing. I love to read great writing. But above and before any of that, I need to read writers. If a story doesn’t contain the very guts of its author, I’m usually uninterested. If you spend the first seventeen pages describing the blummin’ weather, well, I’d never know, because you’d have lost me at paragraph two. I get it: the weather was weatherish. It was doing whatever weathery things it needed to do to set up the weathery metaphor. Weatherly so.

 

Not everything has to take place on a stormy night; scary stuff happens in the daytime, too, y’know. More often than you might think, actually. Murdersome tendencies can manifest ‘emselves in the middle of summer in Lanzafuckingrote, so you don’t have to write all your stabby characters into rainy Bognor bastard Regis. You wanna talk? Have your characters talk for you. You want realism? Don’t write characters at all. Write people. And how do you do that? You start with observation, my friends. Observe your friends, your peers, your prime ministers and presidents (*vomit*), and … observe yourself.

 

There’s no end to the advice blogs. Don’t do this, DO do that, avoid x,y,z. My advice to anyone would be to read all the advice you want, or don’t. Take all the advice you can, and then ditch the bits that are no good to you. Every writer works a different way, and what suits one might not suit another. Learn the rules, so you can break ‘em. But do break ‘em. Write rulelessly.

 

As editor of a forthcoming anthology –which is not actually that forthcoming due to my own particular Ramen requirements, but which may eventually be published when I’m a hundred and three– I received over six hundred subs, most of which weren’t exactly mustard-cutters. (Note to self: next time, forget the open call lark and go for invitation-only.) Okay, so my subject was a gritty one– but you might be surprised how many folk glossed over the anthology’s theme and wrote about frolicking animals and sexy Russian spies.

 

For most of those subs, something was missing. And that something was easy to identify: it was the writer. Story after story was written in a way the author had been told to write. And you could spot it at fifty paces. The writers were in there somewhere amongst the bad, accurate habits, but their excavation would’ve been the tallest order since Lanky McLankerson asked for an expanding ladder.

 

But then … there came diffused lights at the arse end of a tunnel; getting sharper and sharper as writers started calling out to me. I heard the voice of Allegra Keys standing up straight and walking over to me, poking me in the ribs and telling me to buckle up, hold tight, and listen well. I heard Jessica McHugh’s outside-the-boxness, shamelessly beautiful in its horrific existence. Jo-Anne Russell nudged me in the ear with heartbreaking simplicity, and Michael Gonzalez and Matthew R.Davies dangled storyful carrots on which I just had to munch.

 

They spoke to me. And I don’t mean that in some tritey-shitey spiritual way. They actually did. And it’s easy to do; think about it.  You know all those questions you ever had as a kid, and never did find the answers to? Ask them in a book. Give them to a character. All those thoughts you had, the ideas your parents told you were stupid? Write them down. And remember that time your partner told you you’d never amount to nuffin’? When he said you’d never be a writer, or that your idea for a film would never work because it was too fantastic? Get.That.Shit.Down.On.Paper. Write that screenplay. And then write about him.

 

When you have a fall, or maybe a car accident on the way home from work, how do you impart that information to your friends and family? Do you blather on for six minutes about the weather before you get down to the whole SPLAT scenario? Do you say that the rain was beating down on the roof of your 2011 Ford Focus, painted in racing green? Do you harp on about the fact you’d been to the hair salon that day, or mention what you were wearing? No – you tell people you crashed your car. Tell them how you crashed, that’s fine. But we don’t need to know about the make and size of your tyres, unless those rubber things somehow had something to do with the situation. Don’t be afraid to SPEAK to your readers the same way, and splash ‘em in the face with the blood of the accident.

 

Or, you could just ignore this whole thing because it’s just some bird’s fifty penceworth, and just do YOU. Please, for the love of Orwell, just do you. But if you do decide to sit down and have a chinwag with your readers, they just might hear you a little better.

 

The first rule of Write Club is that there are no rules. Just get on with it. Just write. And know that there are enough writers out there who are not you. And as all of those Not-Yous are busy being Them, you owe it to yourself to be YOU.

 

Are you still here? G’wan now – GIT!

 

 

 

Linda Nagle

Linda Nagle

After two decades as a parliamentary drafter slash Whitehall minion, Linda turned her hand to *proper* writing at the ripe old age of 38. Recent highlights include having a bunch of her monologues performed on the NYC theater circuit, and her role as screenwriter for Trafico, a NYC-based web series tackling the uncomfortable subject of human trafficking. Stranger Companies, Linda’s latest collection of Weird Fiction, is available now from Amazon. 
 
You can find more about Linda at her blog: liberatetutemet.com 

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