Taking Submissions: Alchemy and Artifacts (Tesseracts Twenty-Two)

Deadline: May 15, 2018
Payment: Short poetry is $20.00. Payment for short stories is prorated as follows: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words

Alchemy and Artifacts (Tesseracts Twenty-Two) is an anthology of short fiction which examines the magic behind the history, the myths arising from the artifacts, the mysteries missed (or dismissed), but which lie at the root of world events. The editors want tales that explore laws magical as well as physical, the manipulation of reality in the past, resulting in the present. History, sorcery, alchemy, mystery. All with the sense of ‘what if?’

For example:

  • What if a curse unleased by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales?
  • What if Egyptian hieroglyphics were incantations that moved pharaohs into the future instead of an afterlife?
  • What if the terracotta army from the Qin Shi Huang dynasty were golem soldiers, waiting to be animated through magic
  • What if Picasso’s Guernica was a magical attempt to fight Franco during the Spanish Civil War?
  • What if Paul Revere’s silversmithing was a spell enacted to fight England during the American Revolution?
  • What if Elizabeth I was a witch, employing Drake to find a forgotten, powerful artifact to grant her godhead?
  • What if Haida totems animated and walked the coast?
  • These are only a sampling of the sorts of story ideas the editors are looking for.

Alternate histories will be considered, but we are inclined to choose work that considers actual world events and characters, and how some form of magic has manipulated history in a subtle way.

SUBMISSION Guidelines (See details below):

 

      • Alchemy and Artifacts will reflect as broad a spectrum of stories as possible, highlighting unique styles and manners. The greater the magic or magical event and the subtler (yet dramatic) effect it has on history, the better. The editors want to raise questions about the reality of magic behind events.
      • The editors are looking to represent as many historical periods as possible, from places all over the world.
      • Submissions must be speculative in nature, including fantasy, dark fantasy, magic realism, slipstream, supernatural horror, weird tales, surrealism, mythic fantasy, etc. We will consider steampunk, but with an emphasis on magic rather than technology.
      • Short fiction may be up to 5,000 words in length;shorter works preferred.
      • The editors will also consider short poetry.
      • The Tesseracts anthology series is only open to submissions from Canadians, landed immigrants living in Canada, long time residents of Canada, and Canadian expatriates living abroad.
      • Canadian authors who write in languages other than English are welcome to submit an English translation of their work, provided it otherwise falls within the parameters of this anthology. Translation into English is the sole responsibility of the author. Please supply details of original publication for any submission that originally appeared in a language other than English.

The submission period is from January 15 to May 15, 2018.

ABOUT THE EDITORS:

Susan MacGregor is the author of The Tattooed Witchtrilogy, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Spain in 1550. The first book of the trilogy, The Tattooed Witch was shortlisted for the Prix Aurora Award. A prior editor of 20+ years with On Spec magazine, she has also edited the anthologies Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, and Divine Realms . Her short fiction has appeared in a number of periodicals and anthologies, the most recent being in Equus and Fire. Her non-fiction book, The ABC’s of How NOT to Write Speculative Fiction has been the basis of writing workshops and is also featured on her blog at suzenyms.blogspot.com.

As well as being a writer and an editor, Susan devotes much of her time practicing and performing her other passion – flamenco – in both dance and song.

Lorina Stephens established her own publishing house, Five Rivers Publishing, in 2008 — a direct response to the changing face of publishing. She brings with her over 30 years of experience as a freelance writer, author and editor, and a commitment to publishing new Canadian voices which might otherwise remain silent. She is the author of three novels, a collection of short speculative fiction, two chapbooks of poetry, a cookbook, and a travel guide she wrote with her photographer husband. Her articles have appeared in regional and national print media, and her short fiction in Polar BorealisOn Spec, Neo-Opsis, Postscripts to Darkness, Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy in the Great Flood, Strangers Among Us, and Sword and Sorceress X.

In addition to her work in the literary arts, she has been a visual artist all her life, producing work primarily in watercolour, but also pen and ink, oil, acrylic and textiles, as well as digital media. Her work has been commissioned by both public and private patrons, and hangs in government, corporate and private spaces. Her personal website can be found at lorinastephens.com.

SUBMISSION DETAILS:

 

      • Do not query before submitting.
      • Email submissions to: [email protected]
      • Emails MUST contain the word “submission” in the subject line, or they will be deleted automatically by the server. Please also include the story title in the subject line.
      • Submissions MUST come in an attachment: only .RTF and/or .DOC formats are acceptable.
      • Emails MUST contain a cover letter in the body of the email; for security reasons, email attachments with no cover letter will be deleted unread and unanswered.
      • Cover letter: include your name, the title of your story, your full contact information (address, phone, email), and a brief bio. If you do not live in the place where you were born, please also include your place of birth.>/LI>
      • Do not describe or summarize the story.
      • If your address is not within Canada, please indicate in the cover letter your status vis-à-vis Canada. Submissions are ONLY open to Canadians and expat Canadians.
      • Reprints (stories having previously appeared in English in any format, print or electronic, including but not limited to any form of web publication) can be considered but will be a hard sell; reprints must come from a source not easily available in Canada. If your submission is a reprint, please supply full publication history of the story. If your story appeared previously, including but not limited to anywhere on the web, and you do not disclose this information to the editor upon submission, you will be disqualified from consideration.
      • Submission format: no strange formatting, colour fonts, changing fonts, borders, backgrounds, etc. Leave italics in italics, NOT underlined. Put your full contact information on the first page (name, address, email address, phone). No headers, no footers, no page numbering. DO NOT leave a blank line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. ALWAYS put a # to indicate scene breaks (a blank line is NOT enough).
      • ALWAYS include your full contact information (name/address/email/phone number) on the first page of the attached submission.
      • Payment for short poetry is $20.00. Payment for short stories is prorated as follows: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words (longer stories are paid a slightly higher fee, but in order to exceed the word length limit of 5,000 words, the editor must judge a story to be of surpassing excellence.)
      • Rights: for original fiction, first World English publication, with a two-month exclusive from publication date; for all, non-exclusive anthology rights; all other rights remain with the author.
      • Spelling: please use American spelling.
      • Response time: initial responses (no / rewrite request / hold for further consideration) will be prompt, usually within thirty days. Please query if you’ve not heard back within 60 days.
      • Submit only one story at a time. You can submit up to five poems and a story simultaneously. We do not advise that you submit more than one story.
      • Simultaneous submissions are not encouraged but are acceptable. Should you receive a “rewrite request” or “hold for further consideration” response, please indicate immediately whether your story is under consideration anywhere else.

Publication: Spring 2019 (trade paperback & e-Book).

Via: Edge.

‘Still Dark’ Blog Tour – The Most Important Class I Ever Took

I’ve been writing for about fifteen years at this point. With my first novel, Still Dark, on the market, I’ve been looking back a bit at how I got here. I certainly didn’t think it would take this long to get a novel out, but I’m sure every 20-year-old thinks they’ll be famous by the time they’re 21.

As I look back, I can’t help but appreciate what might be the most pivotal moment in my journey to being an actual writer, the time I, on a complete whim, decided to take a creative writing class.

It was around 2002 or so, and I was just attempting to ease back into college after a few years wandering in the wild. I knew by then that I wanted to do something creative. In those days, if anyone asked, I would have told them I would be writing movies at some point in my life. Regular old fiction wasn’t even on my radar as something I might be interested in, which is silly in hindsight. I had been writing spooky stories from the age of seven or so.

Regardless, when the time came to fill up on electives, I figured I’d give it a shot. It was a very low-key class, held in the early evening, and in total, there were probably only four or five of us bold enough to actually take a writing class. I think one or two had actual aspirations, but the others were mostly like me, still finding what they might be able to do with their creativity.

The teacher was a novelist herself, a fact that amazed me. Again, I hadn’t done my homework on what a writer was, so to think that one could be teaching in my little hometown, it just didn’t seem possible. Writers were celebrities, right?

The curriculum across the semester was simple. Every class, we would talk writing, read snippets of other authors, and eventually, we each had to hand in two short stories and two poems. Now, I’m still not much of a poet, so I convinced my teacher to allow for haikus, the minimum amount of effort possible. But the short stories… now there might be something there.

Both of my stories were horror, one about a kind young woman who tries to befriend a murderous janitor, the other about a lonely country boy who drags his dead wife’s body across miles of wilderness to bury her at a family cemetery (spoiler: she ain’t dead). With all my years of experience, I realize that neither would be anywhere near publishable, but there was something there. I didn’t know it, at least not when I turned the printed pages in, a sick feeling in my gut that a human being would be reading it soon.

My teacher, as all good teachers, decided to focus on the positive. I’m sure there were more than enough things to rip apart, but she led with a question:

“You’ve been doing this for awhile haven’t you?”

“No… actually, this is the first story I’ve written.”

She smiled and nodded. She told me I had a talent for it, and she gave me some practical pointers that I still use today. She attempted to teach me a bit about character development, but that lesson didn’t take hold for many years afterward. Ultimately, she set me down the path I’m still stumbling down today. If it hadn’t been for that class, Still Dark certainly wouldn’t exist.  I’m not sure where she is today, but I’d like to think she’s still writing her own novels.

Still Dark

D.W. Gillespie

When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Amazon Digital and Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico| Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Kobo | Barnes & Noble (Digital or Print) | iTunes | Smashwords

D.W. Gillespie

D.W. Gillespie

D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.

Taking Submissions: Temporal Fractures: [Mis]Adventures in Time

Deadline: April 30th, 2018
Payment: $20AU
Note: Only open to Australian and NZ based authors
Note: Reprints Allowed

Submissions will be open to all Australian and NZ based authors starting November 30th and will continue to April 30th 2018.

We are looking for short stories 5000 – 15000 words focused on tales of Time Travel, especially where there is some kind of mishap or mistake involved.

No fan fiction or stories based on existing franchises (sorry, that means no TARDIS or no DeLorean).

No erotica and, as always, no sparkly vampires.

Reprints are welcome, provided you hold relevant rights.

Author Compensation

Successful authors will receive one free ebook copy of the anthology, $20AU token payment and the right to purchase as many author print copies as they want at the cost of printing.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be made via the form below.

Please refer to Submission Specs listed on our Current Submissions page

Via: Cobblestone Scribe.

Taking Submissions: Schlock! Horror!

Deadline: April 30th, 2018
Payment: $10

An anthology of short stories based upon/inspired by and in loving homage to all of those great gorefest movies and books of the 1980’s (doesn’t need to be set in that era!), the golden age when horror well and truly came kicking, screaming and spraying blood, gore & body parts out from the shadows…

 

It was the dacade that brought us everything in the cinema and on VHS from the Italian ‘nasties’ to Elm Street, The Lost Boys, Hellraiser, The Thing, Day of the Dead, Reanimator, Return of the Living Dead, My Bloody Valentine, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Cannibal Holocaust….and superlative directors such as David Cronenburg, John Waters, Roger Corman and – of course – Clive Barker.

All of this was, naturally, reflected in the books we devoured – Guy N Smith, Clive Barker’sBooks of Blood, James Herbert, Jack Ketchum, Gary Brandner and Richard Laymon, to name but a mere handfiul.

 

Your 80’s themed/inspired tales of terror wil be adjudicated and compiled by one Mr Bret McCormick, himself a writer, producer and director of many a schlock classic, including Bio-Tech Warrior, Time Tracers, The Abomination, Ozone: The Attack of the Redneck Mutants and the inimitable Repligator.  Check out his formidable resume here on IMDB…

IMDB

 

So, you get the picture – we want your darkest splatter, most horrific gruesomeness and stomach-churning detail, all wrapped up in a gripping story played out by the strongest of characters that will keep even the most hardiest of souls wide awake and trembling in the wee hours.

 

To submit, email your polished story to [email protected]

 

PLEASE read and adhere to our submission guidelines…

* Word format saved in .doc, or .docx
* 12 pt times new roman

* Double spaced

* Absolutely NO extra lines between paragraphs!
* 5K-15K word count (although we are incredibly flexible for awesome stories!)

* Write ‘SCHLOCK!‘ along with your name and story title in the header of your email

*The body of your submission email will be considered the cover letter.
* The submission documents are to be separated and Word (.doc or .docx) documents are to be attached to your submission email.

– Make sure that you check your mss for grammar and punctuation, use our guidelines to help you:

DOWNLOAD YOUR HBB GUIDE TO GRAMMAR HERE (PDF)

Deadline: 30 April 2018 – for June 2018 release

 

NO REPRINTS – ORIGINAL UNPUBLISHED WORKS ONLY

Payment – $10

Capped at 15 authors/150K words in total

Via: Hellbound Books.

Trembling With Fear 01/21/2018

No numbers this week – or rather statistics – although I will post them from time-to-time to see how we’re faring in terms of gender balance. I have been pondering something else though and that is age. Is it a barrier to writers? As I follow news of publication deals and events, unless the author is already well known, those who are following through are often from the younger end of the spectrum. Yet frequently we are reminded of those writers who never got published until in their 50s, 60s, 70s and told it’s never too late, until yet another award or publication appears for a ‘bright young thing’, ie younger than 40 and your heart sinks.

As a person of a certain age, ie 53, I sometimes wish I had started writing sooner but then perhaps I wouldn’t be creating what I’m creating now. Only by following the path I have, has it led to me being here, nudging my way into publication. I have survived the good and the bad that life can throw at you and this I believe has added a depth to my writing which would not have been there years ago.
I believe writing is for all ages and the move towards the continual lauding of youth at the expense of those who are more ‘mature’ in years is something to be resisted. I can’t even think of a phrase here to describe us older folk, ‘mature’ sounds like cheese, senior or older citizen creates an image of a little old man or woman shuffling along. Any one got any ideas?
I know one of our contributors is over 60, he has had two pieces published in Trembling With Fear, the first being his first ever serious submission and they were great. The message I really want to get across to everyone is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, just send us your work. Help us celebrate the written word of horror from across the range of human experience and if you want a bit of a boost to keep you going, have a look at these articles:
Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I hope that you’re hungry for horror today as we’ve got a few tasty treats for you to read!

‘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

Death By Barbecue

The heavyset waiter tossed the fourth plate of steak down in the middle of the table. Luke greedily reached over with his fork, dragging a slab of blood-drenched meat onto his plate. There, he began slicing it, rubbing chunks in a thick puddle of mustard before stuffing them into his eager mouth.

He wiped the mixture of blood and butter from his thin lips and grasped a shining, golden chicken leg. He brought it closer and took a huge bite, evoking childhood memories of the Flintstones and brontosaurus burgers. He rotated the leg, gnawing away, in no way perturbed by the grease that was building on his cheeks and in his beard. He cast aside the naked bones and burped obnoxiously.

He looked around to see the reaction of his fellow diners, but the restaurant was empty. Not a soul, waiter aside.

“Is it always this quiet?” he said, barely stifling another violent belch.

The waiter stood, smiling and moving his head, taking in the scene – as close to a battlefield as a restaurant table ever might look.

“Are you enjoying your meal, sir?”

Luke nodded.

“Don’t let me stop you. All you can eat.” The waiter hurried off to the kitchen before he’d even finished speaking, returning with a plate piled high with ribs, the fragrance of chicory, bourbon and pork dancing a few paces ahead of him. He stacked empties to make room and slotted the ribs in, barbecue Tetris played out in front of Luke’s eyes.

The smell was intoxicating, mouth-watering. Luke extended his arm, gripping a huge chunk of rib with both hands. He chomped off mouthfuls of meat and fat, the thick, vibrantly red sauce ingraining itself under his fingernails. He dropped the stripped bone on to his plate and tipped back the bucket-like cola that sat beside his feast, glugging the bubbling, sugary liquid down his throat.

It was only then that he noticed the roiling of his stomach. He reached down with his free hand and felt the vibrations within. An unexpected fart escaped from under him, noisy and moist. His inner voice announced that he’d had enough, but his eyes were fixed on the waiter. He wore a beaming, almost sinister smile as he delivered a tray of chicken skewers. The smell of marinated flesh was pure seduction, Luke fighting and losing as he slid the tender white meat onto his plate and carved through it with his steak knife, heaping it into his mouth and chewing.

A surge of pain ran through his chest as he swallowed, but still he forced the next forkful down, his mandible exhausted from chewing through such enormous quantities of flesh. He was lazily groping for another rib when bold, wall-mounted letters caught his eye ‘Come for lunch, stayed ‘til you’re finished.

He hadn’t so much as wondered about the slogan as he’d walked in. Nor about the lack of patrons in a high street restaurant. At lunch. On a Saturday.

“Eat,” said the waiter, nodding.

Luke ate.

Kev Harrison

Kev Harrison is an English teacher and writer of dark fiction, living in Lisbon, Portugal. He has only started taking writing more seriously in the last twelve months and has had work published, during that time in the Below the Stairs: Tales from the Cellar anthology, Theresa Derwin’s Mummy Knows Best, Two Eyes Open from Mackenzie Publishing and others, including Trembling with Fear itself. He is currently (nervously) putting the finishing touches to a supernatural horror novella.

You can follow Kev’s work on Amazon

Darkness

It spreads, the darkness.

What begins as a speck of blackness in your mind expands, clouds all thoughts, poisons every action. Takes away any light.

The darkness took me several years ago. I’m no longer in control.

Maybe one day it will consume me completely and I will be no more. But for now, I keep walking.

Do not look for me. And if you do see me, walk the other way, and fast. The only good I can do is to warn you away. To keep you safe from the dark that has gripped me.

It spreads, the darkness.

 

David Turton

David Turton has extensive training in Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations and has been writing as a career for over fourteen years. David has written several short stories, all centred around dark tales of horror and dystopia. Look out for his post-apocalyptic horror novel The Malaise which us due in late 2018 and download a free ebook from his website.

You can follow David’s work at: http://davidturtonauthor.wordpress.com

A Special Treat

They always ask. “What’s the red thing in the ice cube?”

 

I always tell them it’s a drop of a rare red wine for flavor. Play it off as some new novelty drink, but I know its true origins. A drop of crimson death added to each drink has become my life’s work.

 

A special treat for the wealthy to die for. A present passed from one of them to me never to be spoken of. It’s sometimes hard to conceal my smile as the cubes melt and they consume it whole without hesitation. I’m a part of them forever.

Andrea Allison

Andrea Allison currently resides in a small uneventful town located in Oklahoma after moving from a small uneventful town in Texas. She is an author who enjoys writing horror of all varieties and her work has appeared both online and in print.

The Hunger

Trapped in the room it eternally waited.

Bound to guard the room and stairs leading to the darkness below.

Unable to leave, not even to feed.

It waited.  Wanting.  Needing to eat.

The thought of sinking fangs into anything was the only it was still capable of.

On rare moments of clarity, it could remember a life before all this, a name, a destiny, dreams.

But to dream requires sleep and that too was denied.

All that remained was the hunger.  The need to guard the stairs.  The knowledge that where it allowed free that it would devour the Earth.

Stuart Conover

Your friendly neighborhood Horror-Tree editor! If you want to know more head over to my homepage.

Horror Tree Presents… An Interview With EA Copen

Ruschelle: So, how do you pronounce your first name? It’s a family name, isn’t it? I bet it stands for something really bitchin in another language. Is it German? How about Icelandic? Never mind, I bet it’s Tattooine!

E.A.: I wish! I have the most boring first name in the universe, which is why I go by initials in the writing and publishing world. I like to keep people guessing and add an air of mystery to my otherwise very mundane and quiet life.

Ruschelle: You have a fantastic series with four books written and more to come! What was your inspiration for the Judah Black series?

E.A.: Thank you! I write mostly what I want to read. I really like to write about normal people in extraordinary situations. The most important aspect of Judah Black is that she’s a single parent. There aren’t a lot of kickass moms in urban fantasy, and I thought I’d like to read that so I wrote it. I created the world she lives in as a response to a question I had after reading tons of urban fantasy books myself: How would the U.S. government really react if we suddenly found out supernaturals lived among us? Someone would have to police them, right? How might they solve supernatural crimes? What kind of conflicts does that create?

Ruschelle: Do you insert real people from your life into your characters? For example, have you based a character off a friend, foe or relative’s characteristics, thought processes and behaviors?
E.A.: Sort of. I lift certain personality traits from people and usually try to mix it up a little so it’s not so obvious. Every character, even the bad guys, have a piece of me in them, too.

Ruschelle: How long does it take for you to create one of your novels? It looks like you published a few in 2016 and 17 alone!
E.A.: It really varies a lot, and not just because they’re all different lengths. One of my shortest novels actually took the longest to write because I spent so much time doing research. It’s set in the wild west, so I had to make sure all the details were right. I can hammer out a rough draft in 15-30 days if I do all the research and planning beforehand. The editing and revision process usually takes a few months.

 

Ruschelle: Wow, I’m jealous. A draft in 15-30 days? I’m still sputtering through the first page of a 15 page story! I am part turtle. Back to you…Since you have written about both…If you were to be bitten by one who would it be: Werewolves or Vampires? And don’t be stingy, give me a reason.

E.A.: Definitely werewolves! I really don’t like blood, and I’d miss being in the sun for sure. That’s one thing I have in common with Judah, I’m afraid. I really don’t like vampires.

 

Ruschelle: YES, another werewolf girl. You mention you a trained puppeteer! A gal after my own heart. We are sisters from another mister. Can you elaborate on your background?
E.A.: It’s a really weird skill, isn’t it? I got involved with puppets as a pre-teen in a church group I was part of. As an introvert, I’ve never been big on being in the public eye. Being a puppeteer was a way for me to be part of show business without being seen. It was a lot of fun.

Ruschelle: What was the puppet or show that made you want to be a puppeteer?
E.A.: I actually don’t recall who it was, but it was a ventriloquist act. It was hilarious, and I thought it was a great way for the person to make fun of themselves. Turns out, I’m not a good ventriloquist, but I’m ok with marionettes and other puppets.

 

Ruschelle: Ventriloquist puppets give me the heebe-jeebees. That Twilight Zone episode took care of that. But would you like to see any of your books acted out with puppets? If so which one?
E.A.: I’ve never really thought of that! All the puppet shows I’ve ever done were for children, and nothing I’ve written so far is appropriate for children at all! I know there are more adult-oriented puppet shows, but I honestly think of my books more like television series, or even as anime sometimes. I’d rather see them adapted like that.

Ruschelle: You write in many different genres and do some sweet mash ups. Do you find that one genre has more fan support than others?
E.A.: So far, I’ve had a lot of support from the urban fantasy and paranormal thriller crowd, but I was really surprised by the number of people who loved my horror western, Beasts of Babylon. The response was a little overwhelming. I had many people who don’t typically read horror tell me how much they enjoyed it. It was recently selected as 2017’s Book of the Year by A Drop of Ink Reviews and I know she doesn’t normally read horror. The weird west/horror western community is much smaller than urban fantasy, but so far I’ve really enjoyed writing for them.

 

Ruschelle: Do you have one sparkling shard of advice that has enriched you and powered you through being an author?

E.A.: It’s not one specific piece of advice, but rather a whole book. Whenever I feel a little lost, I go back and read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It’s a sort of parable for people searching for their purpose in life, chasing their dreams. Being an author is hard, and there are so many opportunities to give up or give in. The book and many passages from it have gotten me through some rough times. I really think everyone ought to read it at least once.

Ruschelle: You have gone from a strong female lead to a male main character in your book Kiss of Vengeance and then back again to a female lead. How did you find your ‘male voice’ and do you prefer writing as the dominant female lead?

E.A.: I do not actually! I prefer to write male lead characters. They always come easier to me. Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by men and boys. I was raised by my brothers and dad. I’ve always been a sort of Tomboy. Often, if I write female characters, they’re not hyper-feminine either.

 

Ruschelle: How many more adventures do you see in the world of Judah Black?
E.A.: There will be lots! The Judah Black Novels—the main series, that is—is slated for 12 books total, but I have a spin-off series that takes place in the same world and focuses more on the werewolves. If I can, I’d also like to write at least one book set in the same world, but taking place in Europe to see how countries elsewhere dealt with supernaturals suddenly coming out. I’d like to do at least twenty books set in that world, but we’ll see.

Ruschelle: Do you see a cross over happening with any of your books?  That could be really sweet! Judah finds herself in the world of Anastasia Thorn from your new offering Beasts of Babylon?
E.A.: Several fans have suggested it! However, while there are some similarities between their worlds, they’re in different universes. I haven’t yet figured out if/how they might be connected. There will be crossovers between various characters in the Judah Black world. Dal O’Connor from Kiss of Vengeance will have an important role to play in the fifth Judah Black book and beyond. The werewolves from this spin-off series I’m working on, The Silver Bullet Chronicles, are already inherently tied to some characters from the Judah Black Novels, so they’ll definitely have to meet. Readers will see the consequences of decisions made by one set of characters in one book ripple into others.

Ruschelle: If you could visit any of the worlds you’ve written, which one would it be? Or is there one you haven’t written yet that makes your little black heart skip a beat?

E.A.: I have a space opera series coming out in a few weeks, and I think I’d actually pick one of the worlds from there, Clevennia. It’s the main character’s home planet, but readers won’t get to visit it until the second book. Clevennia is sort of what you’d get if you took the Iron Islands from Game of Thrones and populated it with a bunch of characters from Celtic myth before arming them with blasters, spaceships, and laser cannons. Exploring the different planets, people, and cultures in the Broken Empire series has been one of my favorite things about writing.

Ruschelle: Guilty By Association has been made into an audiobook. That’s fantastic. Explain the process. Is that your sexy voice reading to us?
E.A.: Oh, no. That’s Jennifer Harvey Hupf. There are a lot of things I can’t do that are part of the publishing process, so I have to hire someone else to do it for me. She’s a professional. When I decided to do an audiobook, I set everything up through a company called ACX and invited narrators to audition. I got a few auditions and let my fans help me pick who they liked best. She did her recordings—and that side of things is a complete mystery to me—and a few clicks and forms later, it’s all set up. It’s a painless process. Just takes a while.

Ruschelle: I read in this beautiful interview bloggosphere that you just recently purchased model art for your book covers from Neo Stock. How do you choose the models from what you’ve created in your fantastic imagination?
E.A.: It’s hard, especially since I write characters who aren’t always 20-somethings. Judah is a little older, in her 30’s. Stock art that isn’t over-used is kind of difficult to find. When I heard NeoStock was launching their cinematic stock art collection, I had to have some. Dean Samed, who runs NeoStock, created a group for authors and cover artists to make requests. We got to tell him what kind of photo shoots and models we were looking for, and he did a wonderful job taking that into account for his photo shoots.

 

Ruschelle:  You have yet ANOTHER offering locked and loaded, Broken Empire: Aftermath.  Can you slip our readers a little hors d’ oeuvres before the real feast begins?
E.A.: There’s a sample chapter available if people are interested in reading the first chapter before it officially comes out! You can read it by signing up here: https://www.subscribepage.com/EACopen_scifi
I’ll say it’s very different from my other work. It has some heavier political overtones. I call it Game of Thrones meets Mass Effect. It’s very much like that. You have various factions across two empires vying for power, scheming against one another. The main character, Timothy Val, is a guy caught in the middle who just wants to live his life, but gets pulled into the struggle after defying an order to execute innocent civilians after a battle. And while everyone is busy squabbling, there’s an ancient, destructive force building up power in Dark Space, waiting for the right moment to strike and wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy.

 

Ruschelle: You mentioned earlier that Broken Empire is a Space Opera!!  Explain this concept or I’m going to assume they all sing…so I’ll also assume it’s going to be an audiobook. LOL
E.A.: Technically, Star Wars is a space opera, and so is Dune. If you like those kinds of stories, you’ll like this. Space opera is a genre where there are usually big empires with big problems that the characters must solve. There’s romance, space battles, and sometimes a very slight hint of magic. In Star Wars, The Force is a sort of space magic. I have characters who have their own powers that will change the universe. One lady is a slave who can see a person’s past by touching them. There’s a mercenary alien immune to fire. Genetically engineered assassins, people coming back from the dead… Space opera takes all the grand, sweeping landscapes of epic fantasy and brings them to space with a touch of technology.

Ruschelle: Consider me schooled. You are a prolific writer! How do write so quickly and eloquently? We need to know what  deal you made with the devil or Jin or politician….and how can the rest of us get in on it.
E.A.: Lots of practice, I suppose. I’ve been writing since I was four years old. Finished my first book (a very bad Star Wars fan fiction) around 10. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and had lots of opportunities to learn and grow. I also have the advantage of not having a day job. I’m either writing or editing 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Most of the time, I have multiple projects going at once in different stages. I have 2 books finished right now in different revision stages, and two more that I’m writing.

 

Ruschelle:  It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and discover your fantastic worlds. Where can your newfound fans find you and bow down to your awesomness?
E.A.: The best way to stay up to date with what I’m up to is to join my mailing list. Readers get a free novella in the Judah Black universe, Perfect Storm, for signing up. https://dl.bookfunnel.com/es7rcdbclj
Next to that, they can like my author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EACopen/
They can also join my fanclub on Facebook where things are a little less formal: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1002317576536616/

I’m also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoreacopen

And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoreacopen/

I’m currently building a new website, but the old one is here: www.ea-copen.com
If readers are just interested in receiving new release announcements, the best place to do that is to follow me on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-a-copen

Thanks for having me!

 

Taking Submissions: Lost Souls and Robots & Artificial Intelligence

Deadline: February 11th, 2018
Payment: 6 cents per word

Lost Souls and Robots & Artificial Intelligence Short Stories

We’re pleased to announce the addition of these two new anthologies to our successful Gothic Fantasy collection. As with the previous books in the series, we’re looking for around twenty to thirty short stories by contemporary writers to complement a selection of classic tales. We are keen to encourage new writers, without prejudice to age, background or previous publication history. It’s the story that matters, and the quality of writing.

Submit by email to [email protected]

The Two New Volumes

Lost Souls: Ghouls, ghosts and wandering spirits, trapped inside abandoned dolls and ancient tombs: from the Morrígan of Celtic mythology to Dante’s Purgatorio, humanity’s dark souls have drifted between the worlds to haunt the young and taunt the old. We seek tales of despair and anguish, rage and redemption, for our new chilling collection in the powerful Gothic Fantasy series.

Robots & Artificial Intelligence: The future hurtles ever faster towards us; biomechanical products and automated beings bring both dangers and benefits to humankind. Will we be superceded, assimilated, or enslaved by our creations as they too begin to create more capable versions of themselves? Androids, robots, AI and networks, we’re looking for new short stories for our Gothic Fantasy series about a future that’s already with us.

Formal Call for Submissions (2018)

We are looking for new and recent short stories. We do not require exclusivity. You hold copyright, licensing us just for this publication. We don’t mind if your story has been previously published online or in print (though we do need to know publication and date). Simultaneous submissions are fine, but you must have the right to license your story in an anthology.

Word length is most likely to be successful at 2000–4000, but we will still read stories slightly outside this range. 

Submit by email to [email protected]

Fees, Copyright and Other Terms

  • We pay Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates of 6 cents per word.
  • We would prefer to pay via PAYPAL because bank charges to the US and Canada in particular can be crippling for all concerned.
  • Payment for the chosen stories will be made within 30 days of the final advertised publication date (see our website flametreepublishing.com for details), although we might choose to pay some early.
  • Submission does not imply the right to publication. Each story will be read and assessed by the selection panel.
  • Please submit in .doc, .docx or .rtf formats, double spaced, with your name and email address in the footer or header of each page.
  • We will aim to read each story and confirm its status within 30 working days of the submission deadline.
  • The anthologies will be published worldwide, available online and to bookstores worldwide, in print and ebook formats.
  • You can submit more than one story, and to each collection.
  • Final submission date is 11 February 2018.

Submit by email only to: [email protected]

Selection Panel

The selection will be made by our group of life-long, in-house enthusiasts: Nick Wells (Publisher), Laura Bulbeck (Senior Editor) and Josie Mitchell, Gillian Whitaker and Cat Taylor. If required, the final selection will be mediated by our series editors. We try to keep everyone up-to-date as much as possible with occasional email updates.

A Word about the SFWA

To confirm, we are an SFWA qualifying market, so being published by us will help your status with them of course, but also with other readers and writers.

About Flame Tree Publishing

Now over 25 years old we started in 1992, covering a wide range of art and culture titles, with a strong vein of highly-illustrated Gothic and Fantasy books, notebooks and art calendars. Our Gothic Dreams books include NecronomiconSteampunkDystopia, our large format titles Gothic ArtFantasy Art and Dragon Art are sumptuous, and we publish gothic fiction reprints by Mary ShelleyH.G. WellsJules Verne, and more, in our Flame Tree 451 imprint. 2017 also saw the publication of a true labour of love: the all-new Astounding Illustrated History of Science Fiction, with The Astounding Illustrated History of Fantasy and Horror set for release this year.

Our anthologies are designed to be read in print. They look and feel fantastic. You’ll feel proud to hand them to your friends, family, colleagues – so do send us your story!

Thank you, and good luck. We look forward to reading your tales of imagination.

Via: Flame Tree Publishing.

Taking Submissions: The Internet is Where the Robots Live Now Anthology

Dealine: April 1st, 2018
Payment: 6 cents per word

Open for Submissions: Jan 1 – Apr 1 2018
Expected Publication: Late 2018
Story Length: 1500 – 5000 words
Payment: .06 / word ( SFWA professional rates )

We’re looking for works of short speculative fiction that consider the future of the internet, artificial intelligence, the mind, and robots. Give us your optimistic, fantastic, bittersweet stories of fantasy and science fiction.

Please, no YA dystopian, robots will destroy the world, high fantasy tropes. Take a more original and nuanced view on the subject.

No multiple submissions. No simultaneous submissions. No reprints.

Submission Method: Send a brief cover letter in the body of an email with the story name, approximate word count, and author contact info. Attach your piece to the email in Rich Text ( .rtf ) format. Send all submissions to paperdogbooks [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com .

We try to respond to all submissions within 60 days. If you have not heard a response from us in that time please send a query.

Via: Paper Dog Books.

Taking Submissions: Nefariam: The Element of Crime

Deadline: February 28th, 2018
Payment: $25 and a contributor’s copy

The basics

  • Payment is $25 + 1 contributor copy, additional copies at discount.

  • Genre is crime. But there’s more to it.

  • Word count is 2000-5000 words.

  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Reprints and multiple submissions are not.

  • Submissions close end of day February 28, 2018.

  • Diverse is good.

  • Submit it.

Pay rate

Well, we aren’t the majors, so we offer a flat pay rate of $25 and one contributor copy of the published anthology.

Payment will be sent within 30 days of publication.

You will also be able to purchase additional copies at a discounted rate.

Genre

This time around, it’s crime. Now having said that, we want to put our twist on it.

First off, if you don’t write crime, that’s great — it goes toward our tagline of “Try something different.” So, we are actually encouraging non-crime writers to give it a shot. Need some guidance? Check out the articles here and here.

Now, for those of you that actually do write crime, we’re still going to ask you to try something different as well. Break the conventions. Shake up the tropes.

Want some examples? Well, hey, have you tried layering a different genre on top of it? Science fiction? Horror? Western? Mystery? War? Historical? Diverse stories and characters are always something that we look for.

Don’t limit yourself. Don’t play it safe. Surprise us. Surprise yourself.

Word count

The sweet spot is between 2000 and 5000 words. Got something that’s outside that range? Fair enough. We’ll still take a look at it, but bear in mind, if you’re going to bend the rules, you have to ensure it’s a mind-blowing read.

Reprint/Multiple/Simultaneous submissions

Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?

  • Reprints: No. We want to ensure that we can market the anthology as all-new stories. Sorry.

  • Multiple: Again, no. Send us one story. If you have more than one, we’re looking for the one that’s the most different, the most rule and genre-bending.

  • Simultaneous: Sure. We get it. There’s lots of competition out there, so the first one to say yes probably wins, right? All we ask is, if someone else says yes first, let us know. If you want to pull it from consideration at that time, no problem. If you’d prefer to go with us, we can do a quick determination and get back to you asap.

Timeframe

Submissions are open from when you got your invite until 11:59 pm, February 28, 2018. And we’re going to be very firm on that. Anything received from 12:00:01 am March 1, 2018 will be declined. Politely, but yeah. Clock’s ticking, people!

Specifics

Diversity is a good thing. Your characters don’t all need to be white and straight. But, like in any good story, don’t just throw diverse characters in to mix it up like Grandma’s Cajun Gumbo. They really should have a place there. Work them in, don’t toss them in.

Some sex is also completely okay. But unless it’s serving an extremely important plot point, it probably doesn’t need to be in there.

Gratuitous violence? We know this is crime fiction however, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, or is over the top, we don’t want it.

Rape, incest, and anything involving the sexualization of children has no place at ID Press, thank you very much.

Formatting guidelines (Don’t follow the guidelines, we won’t consider your story.)

  • 12 pt font –  Times New Roman

  • Double-spaced

  • 1″ (2.5 cm) margins on all sides

  • Scene breaks broken with a single asterisk – “*”

  • Name, contact information (mailing address, phone number, email), word count, title, pseudonym (if applicable) on first page

  • No indents (or tab in) on paragraphs (set formatting to auto-indent)

  • No headers or footers

  • DOC, DOCX, or RTF file types only

Submitting (or, how the heck do I get it to you?)

Send your submission to us here. In the subject line, please enter

Story submission – TITLE – AUTHOR NAME

Attach your DOC, DOCX, or RTF file and hit send!

We will respond no later than March 30, 2018.

Via: ID Press.

Taking Submissions: She’s Lost Control

Deadline: March 31st, 2018
Payment: $0.005 (that’s half a cent) per word at publication as well as residual NET royalties based on a percentage of overall content (meaning if your story is 5% of the book, you get 5% of the allotted royalty) and a contributor’s copy. $5 per poem
Note: Female Authors Only

Our current call is for original short fiction (up to 10,000 words) written by those who identify as a woman.  Poetry as well.

We are NOT accepting novels at this point.

We’re not stickler for submission guidelines as long as you use common sense.

A few things will get you rejected without being read:

– using the space bar to indent paragraphs
– placing a hard return at the end of each line of text

– sending your manuscript in a format other than docx or doc.

Our style manual of preference is the Chicago Manual of Style (if that helps you).
Sorry, no fan fiction.
Contact Information should include:
  • Real/Legal Name – for publishing contract
  • Email address
  • Street address – for delivery of contributor copy/royaltie

 

“I walked up on the edge of no escape and laughed, I’ve lost control.” – Joy Division, ‘She Lost Control’

Are we ever really in control?

This is what our first all-female anthology, SHE’S LOST CONTROL, will try to answer. We want your thrills, your kills, the dark thoughts going through your head at the brink. Will you step back from the edge? Will you jump?

If you identify as a woman, submit your short stories (up to 10,000 words) or poems about losing control. If you DON’T identify as a woman, GTFO. New and emerging authors are encouraged to submit.

Accepted authors of short fiction will receive $0.005 (that’s half a cent) per word at publication as well as residual NET royalties based on a percentage of overall content (meaning if your story is 5% of the book, you get 5% of the allotted royalty), after expenses are met, as well as an eBook AND trade paperback contributor’s copy for their stories.  We request first international electronic, audio, and print rights, which revert back to the author immediately upon release of the anthology.  The residual royalty period expires 3 years from publication. Residual royalties are paid yearly or upon your story’s accumulation of $25, whichever comes first. Poets will be paid $5 per poem.

This anthology will be published mid-2018 and will be edited by PMP’s Elizabeth Jenike. There will likely be a crowdfunding page as well, with a small goal to accelerate covering expenses.

A portion of the proceeds of this anthology will the donated to local and national charities that provide mental health services to women without the financial resources required to get help. 

Post Mortem Press is a Midwest-based independent publisher of dark fiction. We’ve published the dark stylings of authors like Jessica McHugh, Emma Ennis, Billie Sue Mossiman, Lucy A. Snyder, Cynthia Pelayo, and DeLani L. Bartlette. The singular goal of Post Mortem Press is to answer opportunity’s call by providing an outlet for both new and established writers of speculative fiction.

Submission deadline: March 31, 2018

Source: Post Mortem Press.

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