We are now officially open for submissions for the third issue of Underbelly Magazine! If you’re a writer looking for a place for your strange and disturbing fiction, check out our Submission Guidelines page and get in contact with us.
If you’re interested in seeing the kinds of things we’re looking to publish, our first issue is available for free here.
The deadline for submissions is December 31st (end of this year), so get writing and/or submitting! We look forward to exploring the Underbelly with you once more… (more…)
Deadline: January 15th, 2019 Payment: $20 per story
Please don’t query us about your story submission. We don’t have the manpower to answer such queries. An editor will email you back as soon as possible with the decision about your story. This can take a few days, or, up to three months. We make every effort to get back to authors in a timely manner but we get a lot of submissions so sometimes it’s not possible.
A note on our editorial policy: before publication we may edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story.
Issues are published at the end of February, May, August, and November. We reserve the right to shift publication date slightly, as necessary.
We have reading periods for each issue, though we never close to submissions.
February closes January 15
May closes April 15
August closes July 15
November closes October 15
Please do not submit the same story more than once, and please submit only one story at a time.
We consider any story between 250 and 7000 words with speculative fiction elements. We prefer science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we’re willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres.
We do not consider poetry, stories with over-the-top sex or violence, serials, novels, fan fiction, or non-fiction. We don’t accept multiple submissions; in other words, only submit one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know up front and tell us as soon as it’s accepted elsewhere. We do not publish reprints, including anything that has appeared on a website.
We pay $20 for each story we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal. We encourage our authors to establish a PayPal account if they don’t already have one.
We prefer to read submissions in traditional manuscript format. This means indented paragraphs instead of left justification, and Courier or Times New Roman font in 12 pt, double-spaced. Also, please include the title, your name, address, and word length on the first page of your story.
To submit your story to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment in Rich Text Format (RTF) to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: SUBMISSION:Story Title by Author’s Name (Word Count). In the body of the e-mail, include writing credits, if any, and the word count of the story. With the proliferation of viruses on the Internet, we do not open attachments unaccompanied by a cover letter.
Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three and a half months to make a final decision, but we will let you know if your story is being held for voting. Please note we do not send out messages upon receipt of stories.
If you want to withdraw a story from consideration, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com and include the word WITHDRAW in the subject line. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at our submissions address and include the word QUERY in the subject line.
Why Submit to Electric Spec?
At Electric Spec, we encourage authors to do their market research before submitting work. Electric Spec stands out from other markets because:
We pay for stories and artwork.
We don’t have slush readers. At least one of our editors looks at every story that comes in.
We’ve been around for over eleven years – and we’ve never missed an issue, deadline, or author payment.
We actually edit the stories we publish. Our experienced editors work with authors to make their stories the best they can possibly be. Many magazines out there don’t do that – and it shows.
While we do not acknowledge story receipt, we have a quick turn-around time regarding publication. We do not hold any stories longer than 135 days without contact. If you haven’t received an email with a ‘reject,’ ‘accept,’ or ‘hold-for-voting’ message something may have gone awry ==> you should resubmit.
We love authors because we’re authors, too. All of the editors are published speculative fiction authors.
Deadline: November 30th, 2018 Payment: $20 USD and a contributor’s copy
Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned
Give me your scorned women–jilted brides, protective mothers, vengeful servants. As long as the ghost doing the haunting is female, it’s fair game. She can be trying to keep her husband from finding love again, she could be protecting her children, she could be out to ruin someone’s life in retaliation for a long-standing done-her-wrong. Why is she doomed to remain among the living? What’s her unfinished business? That ghost has a story and I want to know what it is and what she’s doing about it.
But wait, there’s more. It’s gotta be a romance. Are the ghost-hunters trying to suppress a burning attraction? Is a grieving husband falling for someone new? All I ask is that there’s no banging corpses or ghosts. (What fun would either of those be?)
Stories 4,000 words or more
Reprints accepted but not preferred. When submitting a reprint include information about its original publication in your submission email.
Open to all gender pairings and multiple partners
Contemporary setting preferred, but not required.
Simultaneous & multiple submissions = No
Payment: $20 USD and a paperback copy of the anthology in exchange for the non-exclusive right to include the story in both the print and electronic versions of the anthology.
Open Submission Period: September 1, 2018 – November 30, 2018
To submit: Please submit a .doc or .rtf in something approximating standard manuscript format to [email protected]
Please note: It may be several days between submitting and receiving a confirmation email because the editor is sending them manually rather than automating the process.
About the Editor: 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 manualls, and was even an editorial assistant on a gardening book no one has ever read (The 7-Minute Organic Garden–see, you 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 a means of escape–reading it, writing it, and editing it. She also edited the geek romance anthology Covalent Bonds.
About the Series: Triskaidekaphilia is the love of the number thirteen. It’s also the name of our anthology series which explores the more shadowy corners of romance and erotica. There will be 13 volumes in total, each of which will be released on a Friday the 13th.
Expect to see a little bit of this and a little bit of that within each issue, so feel free to submit stories from any genre.
Current theme: A Little Bit of Nonsense
If you’re like us, you’ve likely got that one story tucked away somewhere, that one short tale that you’re super proud of, but it’s never seen the light of day. It was too weird, too pigeonholed or you figured it will never fit any publisher’s theme.
Well, now is the time to dig it out and dust it off as Colp is looking for nonsense stories. Stories that read like a dream (but don’t feature dreams).Stories that don’t fully make sense, are open to interpretation or are just so specialised that they could fit nowhere else. That being said, make sure your story is a complete package, with a definitive beginning and end.
Colp is for everyone and therefore we are willing to read stories that fall into any genre. So, no matter whether your story is a horror, adventure, romance, sci-fi or historical fiction piece, please send it on through. Be original. We also encourage new and unpublished writers to take the leap and get in touch.
Please ensure that you read through the general guidelines below and format your submission accordingly. If you have any specific questions please contact us using the form on the home page or via the listed social media accounts.
To help make sure that your submission gets to the correct place, please include the following in the subject line of your email: Colp – Nonsense – *Story Title*‘.
Word count: 1000 – 2500 words
Deadline: November 22 2018
Please no extremeerotica or stories that feature excessive violence or vulgarity (unless otherwise specified).
All stories should be formatted appropriately. Please see here for more details.
Ensure that your name, address, and email contact and word count are at the top of your manuscript.
Double check your spelling and grammar before sending your work through.
Please submit all stories in .doc, .docx or .rtf formats.
International submissions are accepted.
No simultaneous submissions.
Multiple submissions are encouraged.
Where possible, we will provide feedback on request.
Deadline: November 15th, 2018 Payment: Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max, Reprints: 1¢ per word Note: Reprints Allowed
We are a literary magazine of dark fiction, both short stories and flash fiction. We want your best. But then, doesn’t everyone? No specific sub-genres or themes, just good stories. For inspiration, we suggest “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, and LampLight, Vol1 Issue 1 which is free.
We go for stories that are dark, literary; we are looking for the creepy, the weird and the unsettling.
Launching tomorrow digitally, and physically shortly, you can now pick up the pre-order of ‘Trembling With Fear: Year 1’!
You can pre-order it today digitally on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever else your local market is! Steph and I had spent a lot of time on getting this right (and you can all thank Steph for this being done when it was as I was falling behind on my parts of formatting. As always, Steph is amazing!)
This Trembling With Fear anthology is a compilation of all the drabbles, flash fiction stories and dark poetry published during 2017 at HorrorTree.com. In its pages, you will find work from both the novice and the established writer, the newbie, and the award-winner. Here, the dead walk and murders abound, demons and ghosts torment the living whilst vampires and wolves compete for space with internet and aliens. Within these pages you will find dark speculative fiction from contributors across the globe, for our world is a world without borders. Nowhere is safe from the dark.
We have had some amazing talent contribute to the first year of ‘Trembling With Fear,’ and we hope that you enjoy reading these as much as we have!
You can pre-order it today digitally on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever else your local market is!
If you’re looking to help spread the word, we’ve included various digital assets below!
Standard Post For Blogs And Various Content
Twitter Cover Photo
Facebook Cover Photo:
If you need any specific artwork sizes for helping promote the book, please reach out through the contact form!
As I write this, I’m expecting a message from Stuart to say, yes, the Trembling With Fear anthology is going live shortly (yay!). It’s been long in gestation, due in part to the pressures of time as we fought to fit it into our everyday lives – little windows which seemed to get narrower and narrower, but it’s done. Another weight from our shoulders and I hope you’ll be pleased with the result, I know I am and I found when I recently reread it, how the stories seemed so much stronger. Distance from work, a resting time, does have a benefit, bringing greater objectivity. It’s also interesting to look at from the point of view of my time at TWF. I came to the site half-way through 2017 and I was a stranger to many of you. As I compile 2018 (currently ongoing – proactive or what!) it is with a different perspective, this time I feel as though I am working with friends (although that makes me feel even more responsible).
So, please read, please keep writing your wonderful stories for us and we’ll do our best to help you get your work out to the audience it deserves.
Thank you all for being part of this
Editor, Trembling With Fear
So… The Trembling With Fear anthology is going live shortly! Am I saying that to make Steph happy or am I serious? Here’s a shot of the cover while I think that over!
Why yes, yes this title is available for pre-order digitally on Amazon at this very moment Right Here for our US readers and Right Here for our UK readers! The physical copies should be available soon if they didn’t appear overnight and I’ll try to update the post with those links as I can (pretty busy Sunday and I’ll be offline most of the day!)
‘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.
Editor, Horror Tree
In the Frame
He’d been trapped inside the painting, suffocated by oils, for half a century. He knew May sensed him and his anger, which was growing steadily and leaking over the edges of the gilt frame into the parlour. His favourite room where he and May had laughed, danced, kissed and fought until that last Christmas. . . here memories bled into oily paint swirls and it was hard to recall what had happened. Except May was out there – alive, albeit now an old woman and he wasn’t. He was trapped, flattened and raging. He peeked out from their bedroom and watched the young woman settle on the sofa to drink tea with May. Youth, ah sweet youth! He could smell her. She might be his way out. . .
Ellie smiled at Grandma May, as she sipped weak Earl Grey. She didn’t like to tell her Grandma she preferred Yorkshire builders, just like Dad. Small deceptions didn’t matter, she told herself.
Ellie glanced at the easel, propped in its usual place in the bay window, supporting May’s current work in progress. The house was May’s favourite subject, she painted it repeatedly in all seasons, from every angle. May did portraits too, but oddly none of her late husband, Grandpa William. Long gone, but never spoken of.
Despite this lacuna in the family history, the front room was preserved as if William had just stepped outside. His slippers resided under his armchair, his pipe and baccy rested on the walnut sideboard, his whiskey decanter gleamed from regular elbow-busting polishes. Ellie didn’t pry. It wasn’t her business.
Ellie’s favourite painting hung above the mantel; an oil, executed in minute detail, depicting all the interiors, like a doll’s house, with one wall removed. Every stick of furniture was duplicated, so too every pattern on the wallpaper. Glossy and luscious in texture, it dangled out of Ellie’s reach for years, until she grew tall enough to touch its curly-wurly gilt frame.
That particular October day, when dusk tapped early at the windows and May closed the heavy velvet drapes by 3.30pm, Ellie pointed at the painting.
‘Granny May is that a face? See – there – in the bedroom? Top right?’ She leapt up. In that moment the face or perhaps it was only a smudge, disappeared. Ellie paused, nonplussed. ‘It was there. I’m sure it was.’
May’s reaction surprised Ellie; the old woman retracted her head, tortoise like, defensive and wary. ‘What? Don’t be foolish child.’
When May left the room to put the kettle on – again, Ellie, her curiosity piqued, stood on tip toe and peered at the painting. The patio doors were depicted as thrown open. Though Ellie was certain they were usually closed. Or were they?
The lights in the parlour dimmed, dipped and flickered – on and off, three times. In the brief flashes Ellie glimpsed a shadow in the painting creep down the main stairs, into the hallway and reach beyond the frame. A thin wisp of smoky darkness hovered, Ellie stretched out her finger to touch the . . .
‘Stop peering at that daub child.’ May’s sharp tones made Ellie jump and drop her hand. ‘You didn’t touch it, did you?’ May added. Ellie shook her head, wondering what May had seen, but not daring to ask.
The weeks flew by in the lead up to Christmas. Ellie, busy with work, friends and parties, didn’t visit May as often, so it was a shock when her Dad warned her May’s health was failing.
‘Like a bird now she is, tiny and frail. Pecking at food. She’s got something to give you though lass.’
Ellie was taken aback by how dilapidated Grandma May had become, her cardigan buttons and wig were askew. May’s smile was as warm as ever. Perched on the familiar easel, in the front room, stood a brown-wrapped rectangular shaped package with an accompanying empty space above the mantel.
‘For you Ellie. You’ll know what to do with it. I trust you to do the right thing.’ The old woman seemed anxious. Ellie wanted to reassure her, so she nodded. May muttered, ‘You give them power when you paint them . . .’ It was to be the last time Ellie drank weak Earl Grey with her Grandma, for May passed on just two weeks later. The subsequent clear out of her house produced a surprise. It was Ellie who unearthed the folder full of faded, foxed newspaper clippings.
‘Dad, didn’t you say Grandpa walked out on you and May? When you were a baby?’
‘Yeah, that’s right, love. Why?’
Ellie felt her stomach lurch. ‘You’d better read this then.’
Several newspaper clippings from January 1966 ran with the story of ‘Local man . . . missing after 3 weeks.’ ‘Not seen since November 1965, William Phelps. . .’ ‘Has anyone seen this man? (A fuzzy black and white photo). Then- ‘Presumed dead.’ The mark of officialdom, the death certificate, dated seven years later.
Ellie squeezed her dad’s calloused hand. ‘It’s OK love, I never knew him. May raised me. Still it’s a mystery . . .’
Ellie hung the oil in her apartment, where it took over the walls. Everyone commented on it. Ellie however had to live with it. For most of that first year of their shared habitation nothing happened, until October rolled around.
Coming home from work, Ellie switched on her desk lamp and noticed a face shaped smudge staring at her from the master bedroom or on another evening in the kitchen or standing in the hallway. The impression grew stronger as the weeks passed – of someone watching her, from within the gilt frame.
The features on the face grew more defined too. Ellie bought a magnifying glass. Yes- it was a man’s face, with tufty dark hair, an open-mouthed expression as if he was shouting, (this development rattled her), hot flushed cheeks and a stain flowering on his shirt front, which began as a pink daisy and transformed into an ugly crimson geranium. It was the face from the newspaper. It was William Phelps.
‘Granddad? Is that you?’ Ellie whispered. In the magnifying glass she saw the man’s face react to her words. ‘You can hear me?’ She felt sick.
As October morphed into November, Ellie took to keeping all the lights switched on, hoping to blast the dark oil painting into submission. Finally she resorted to draping a sheet over the canvas.
Christmas Eve was her last day at work, so Ellie stayed on for a few drinks, reluctant to return to her apartment. The figure was there all the time now, sometimes leaning out of the frame, beckoning her; his face eager and greedy.
Opening her apartment door, Ellie noticed the painting lying face down on the carpet. Cello-taped to the back was a small lavender envelope, covered in May’s copperplate handwriting. Ellie opened the envelope, with a glass of wine at her side for courage, but she left the painting lying blind. Just in case.
‘This is the last letter I will write, dearest Ellie. My darling granddaughter. I think by now you will have guessed my secret. It is hard for the dead to tell lies. You will know your Granddad went missing . . . have you guessed the rest? It was Christmas Eve, he was so drunk and I was three months pregnant. It was an accident I promise. . . he got as far as the patio doors….before he ….’ Ellie gulped the wine down in one go. ‘He never left though. Somehow- I kept his spirit alive in the painting. He wouldn’t let me give away his possessions. Be careful Ellie, he wants to escape. His power grows as my health fails. . . It is up to you now.’
Ellie’s eyes lifted. She gaped at the slow, lazy trickle of cerise paint escaping from beneath the painting, oozing towards her, reaching for her toes. Rivers of vermilion and magenta paint poured forth, swamping her carpet, spilling onto the balcony. The painting began to lift off the floor. A long skinny hand crawled from beneath the frame, its fingers questing and clawing. Ellie cried out and the hand froze, then turned towards her. Another skeletal hand crept out, flexing long bony digits with black nails attached. How long before the body climbed out?
Wine fuddled, Ellie was slow to move, but the sight of the creeping fingers with hairy wrists, replete with raised bulging blue veins, forced her to her feet. Looking round, she grabbed the first object she spotted -a pearl handled letter opener – a gift from May for her 18th birthday. She thrust its blade deep into one questing hand. Paint poured forth, black and viscous, whilst the fingers curled up and scrabbled at the air. One elongated finger scraped her bare ankle, from where tiny droplets of her own vermilion blood erupted.
‘Ow! You bastard!’
Frantic, panicked, she stabbed repeatedly, skewering one of the hands to her once luxurious, vanilla carpet, rather like a bizarre BBQ offering. The fingers went into a spasm, scrabbled, a blackened nail dropped off, then the appendage stopped moving.
Ellie collapsed onto her leather sofa. Sweating and panting, she watched rivers of paint seep into the floors.
Later that night in bed, Ellie tossed and embalmed herself in her duvet, scratching her ankle in her sleep, bleeding blackly onto her bedding. In her dreams she screamed in silence, trapped within a frame; a living work of art. Morning came, then the next- but for Ellie it was endless night.
Alyson lives in West Yorkshire with her family and 3 rescue cats. She teaches creative writing classes, writes noir Flash Fiction and ghost stories. She is one of the writers in ‘Women in Horror Annual 2’, in Raging Aardvark’s ‘Twisted Tales’, her stories can be downloaded at www.alfiedog.com as well as being available on various sites like zeroflash/Tubeflash/101 words/three drops from a cauldron. Her debut collection, ‘Badlands’, is due out soon from indie publisher Chapel Town Books.
Disgusting. No other word for it. Why did people have to look in their hankie after blowing, thought young Katie? What did they expect to find there?
She watched a woman on the train now. Blowing violently into her handkerchief, then inspecting it closely. This time though, Katie saw there was blood. The woman looked frightened.
More blood dripped from her nose. She blew again, looked, then screamed. She fell back against the train door and let the handkerchief fall. Something small and bloodied scurried away. A maggoty thing saw Katie.
Katie remembered never to look in her own handkerchief.
Justin Boote is an Englishman living in Barcelona for over twenty years, who has been writing short horror/suspense stories for two years. To date, he has had published or accepted for publishing around 20 stories in diverse magazines. He is also moderator for a private writer’s forum, The Write Practice.
He can be found at Facebook under his own name.
Born in the U.S.S.A.
Attempt 1: I traveled back to the day dad killed mom. I was invisible. I phased through dad when I tried to wrestle the knife away. Attempt 16: Scratch off writing on the wall. Attempt 31: Every form of sound waves is officially out. Attempt 36: I’m running out of ideas. Attempt 39: I think I need to look to the future instead of the past. Attempt 40: I’m fucked. I thought I could learn from the future. I learned how to change the past, but I damaged the timeline. Irreversibly. I now live in the Soviet States of America.
Eric S. Fomley
Eric S. Fomley writes Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short fiction. He is the editor of Martian Magazine and the Timeshift and Drabbledark anthologies. His work has appeared in various venues including previous publications with Trembling with Fear. You can follow his publication on his website ericfomley.com or on Twitter @PrinceGrimdark.
It’s a long walk up from Hell, and her shoes are filled with blood. Every step leaves a crimson imprint on the ground, a serpentine path winding from her crypt, through the town, and back again, where she lay during the day, as The Devil himself cannot keep her interred.
Where the dead walked, Death follows, taking sacrifices to sate its spectral fury at ‘The One Who Got Away.’
I always thought the worst sensation was seeing police roping off a scene to which those stained steps led, but no.
Tonight, her cursed moonlight jaunt ended at my front door.
E. N. Dahl
E. N. Dahl is a novelist and award-winning screenwriter from a shady corner of the USA. She’s the author of Nova EXE, among others, and her short work has appeared with Thunderdome Press, Transmundane Press, Sci-Phi Journal, Helios Quarterly, The Siren’s Call, The Literary Hatchet, and many others. When not reading and writing, she can probably be found doing yoga or watching horror movies.
Stacey – Welcome to The Horror Tree, Eric. It’s great to have you. Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a screenwriter and novelist from Manchester, England, having written the scifi feature film “Clone Hunter” and the thriller feature film “The Student”. I’m also the author of two horror fiction novels, “The Autumn Man” and “Experiment Nine”, and a short story collection titled “Nightscape”. As well as that, I’ve had short stories published in numerous print and online magazines and anthologies.
Stacey – What first drew you to screenwriting?
Looking back, I think it was a culmination of a long process. I’ve always been fascinated with movies since seeing “Flash Gordon” at the cinema as a kid. I was amazed by the cinema’s power to draw you into a completely different world for an hour and a half. A lifelong love of comic books has also given me a very visual imagination. I used to write screenplays based on my favourite books and comics, without ever thinking that they might lead to anything. Maybe I was subconsciously honing my art. But it wasn’t until I had been writing prose fiction for quite some time that I seriously considered screenwriting. Then the Internet happened, and all of a sudden getting scripts to people in Hollywood was a possibility. The people I sent my scripts to seemed to actually like them… and it just happened from there.
Stacey – What is your favourite holiday spot?
Easy. The USA. It beats everywhere else, hands down. I’ve been to Florida, the Keys, New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Every time I go somewhere new in the States it surprises me. The USA has such incredible diversity of culture. I recently went to New Orleans and that was a blast, touring the cemeteries, seeing the Garden District mansions and the French Quarter was superb. I can still taste that food…
Stacey – What’s one place real or imagined that you’d love to travel to?
Hmm. Maybe I should say the Planet Mongo. I really don’t know. There are so many places, even in the real world, that I’d like to see. I’ve always wanted to drive Route 66. Maybe one day…
Stacey – Which author living or dead inspires you?
My favourite prose author is Charles Dickens for his fantastic characters, his vitality, his imagination and his empathy with all manner of people, rich and poor, good and wicked. I’m also a huge fan of William Blake, the poet, both for his incredible visionary style and also for his insights into the human consciousness. In terms of genre authors, as a scifi and horror writer I’d have to say HP Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker and Philip K Dick. Oh, there’s so many…
Stacey – Do you draw inspiration from real life experiences?
Sometimes. I spent twelve years in law enforcement. Those experiences do inform my “real-life” writing when I need to insert some believable details, such as when I’m writing thrillers or characters who work in the law. Other times I’ll walk past a creepy house and put that in a story. My werewolf novel “The Autumn Man” was set in a fictional town very much like Stalybridge in Greater Manchester, where I used to work. Many of the places in that novel are based on ones I walked past every day. So I’m a bit of a sponge in that respect. However, “Project Nine” is set in places I’ve never been to, such as Iowa and Kansas. I’ve also had some stories, such as “Cycle” in my collection “Nightscape”, that came to me fully formed in a dream. And I guess all our characters are drawn from aspects of our own psyche. So the short answer is: sometimes, to an extent.
Stacey – Do you find anything particularly challenging about writing? Do you write daily?
Making a living from it! Seriously, though, I do try to write daily, although I don’t always succeed. I don’t believe in writing “rules”, so I don’t believe that you absolutely have to write every single day. Why should you? Nor do I believe that you should wait for inspiration to strike. Instead I follow the Jerry Seinfeld method: every day try to do something that furthers your career in some way. If you can do that at least you know that you are moving forwards.
Stacey – Where do you write? Indoors? Outdoors?
Indoors. With as few distractions as possible.
Stacey – Do you need music or complete silence to write?
I can write in silence but I prefer music. Usually, I select a piece of music for each story and every time I sit down to write I put that music on in the background. Ambient noise is good. I’m a big Tangerine Dream fan, so it’s usually something from them. But when I was writing a murder mystery set in 1980s Hollywood I had a big list of 80s rock tracks that I played over and over! Anything that helps evoke the mood and atmosphere you are after works for me. That way when I sit down to write the music helps me get back into the story.
Stacey – What’s the best writing advice you could give someone just starting out?
Finish what you start. So many people talk about writing without having finished a single story. You have to finish it — whatever “it” is. If you can do that, then you are by definition a writer.
Stacey – Has there ever been a book you couldn’t finish reading? Which book and why?
A few. There are some books that I started and then had to stop and then I went back to them later and finished it, such as Jack Ketchum’s “The Girl Next Door”, which is pretty rough going, and PK Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, because it was so different from the film that at first it threw me. But I came back to them both. I’m not a fan of enormous, hard sci-fi novels that read like dry, academic textbooks. If I haven’t finished a book, it’s probably one of those.
Stacey – What’s the last horror movie you watched?
Ha ha. Easy: “Re-Animator”. I watched it last night on the big screen at Grimmfest in Manchester then went to a Q&A with one of its stars, Barbara Crampton. And yes, I still enjoyed it.
Stacey – What scares you?
Real life. People. Death. The usual.
Stacey – Do you believe in writers’ block?
I’ve never suffered from it so I don’t know. It’s like ghosts and aliens; enough people have encountered them to make me think there’s something to it. If anything I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them down. Sometimes I’ll struggle to find out how best to start a story or to continue it, but if I sleep on it and go write something else or maybe take a long walk the answer will come to me in the end.
Stacey – What are 5 things you cannot live without
Stacey – What are you working on at the moment?
A couple of things. Screenplay-wise I’m currently re-writing a small-town thriller script for a YA audience. I’m also working on a scifi TV pilot. And I’ve just been asked to adapt a bestselling crime novel for the screen. Novel-wise I have a supernatural horror project that’s been ongoing for a while, that’s partly set in the 1980s and partly set in the present day. And of course there’s also the short stories…
Stacey – Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Deadline: October 31st, 2018 Payment: $0.06 and $0.08/word
DreamForge Magazine is now open for limited submissions.
We’re a new and exciting magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Our first issue is scheduled for publication in early 2019.
Limited Submissions? If you’re reading this page, it’s probably because:
We have sought you out in the hope you would consider submitting a story for one of our early issues.
One of our friends or contacts has passed this link on to you.
If, after you review what we’re looking for, you know a writer whose work might be a good fit for us, please feel free to share a link to this page.
That said, we are not open to general submissions, so we ask that you not post this link to social media, your website, or otherwise generally broadcast. It will only lead to disappointment for us all.
An Overview of DreamForge Magazine
At DreamForge, our goal is to publish positive science and fantasy fiction. You can gain some sense of what we mean by this in reading our Rules of Fiction page.
While we agree there will always be new and often tremendous struggles for humankind to overcome, we do not subscribe to hopelessness or futility as a vision of the future or of any setting or situation.
DreamForge is about the triumph of reason and of humane-ity.
To aid us in reviewing (and hopefully working with) your manuscript as efficiently as possible, it would help for you to read and follow our guidelines as presented here.
Once you have everything in order, submit an electronic file in Word DOC or RTF format to [email protected]
One submission at a time, please, but simultaneous submissions are OK.
Our Current Submission Deadline: October 31, 2018
Pick Your Sub-Genre and Have Fun
At DreamForge, we are eclectic readers, and we hope our audience shares our love of, well… freakin’ everything.
Your story may take the shape of space opera, urban fantasy, military sf, magical realms, hard science fiction, sword & sorcery, time travel, cyberpunk, steampunk, hopepunk, and whatever else comes before punk.
A bit of light fare, including comedy is appreciated from time to time. We even have a soft spot for zombies and vampires. We’ll occasionally consider some short poetry too.
In all our tales, we would prefer NOT to see the prevailing power structure portrayed as a corrupt police state. You might try contentious humans engaged in fierce debates over right and wrong instead.
Violence, profanity, and sex.
Tone it down. All are permissible to a degree, yet any instance must be integral to the story in such a way that removing the element truly diminishes the effectiveness of the story.
At DreamForge, we are neither prudes nor are we overly offended by colorful language. That said, we have an explicit mission with this magazine to elevate the artful and the humane. Actually, if you’re going to show violence, we’d prefer realistic violence, the kind that hurts people; because that’s what violence does. No form of pornography will be accepted.
We’re looking for works in the following word lengths:
Flash Fiction: 600 – 1000 words
Short Stories: 3,500 – 7,500 words
Novelettes: 7,500 – 12,000 words
Keep in mind that we can accept very few novelettes and pieces of flash fiction. We are looking mainly for short stories, and short stories under 6,000 words are preferred.
Top Left of First Page:
First and Last Name
Font: Arial, Size 12
Indented paragraphs (no extra line break between paragraphs)
Section breaks, as needed, should be three ### symbols, centered on the page.
Turn off curly quotes if possible; straight quotes are preferred.
In the document Header, include Last Name/ Title/Page #
After your Name, Address, and Identifying information, center the Story Title and, beneath that include your byline.
If using a pseudonym, place it in the byline, with your legal name for identification in the top left of the first page.
In your email or as a cover page, tell us a bit about yourself and your story. What excites you about your story; what do you think makes it worth reading?
We have an inclusion policy. You can read more about it on our Policy page. Basically, we would like to see story submissions from anyone and everyone who believes we can build a better future together.
Payment and Contracts
Payment rate varies between $0.06 and $0.08/word, depending on word length, quality of story (subjective to us), and professionalism in manuscript preparation.
Our contract is based on the model provided by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). A copy of our contract language is available upon request.
Contract terms are negotiable within reason (subjective to us).
Payment is on Acceptance
Once we agree on a contract and have it signed by both parties, you can expect payment within 60 days. Most of the time, it should be much faster than that.
If we think of anything else, we’ll let you know. Of course, we just hope from the start that your ideas and craftsmanship reach a level we haven’t even thought possible. We believe in you. Let’s do this!