Note: Reprints welcome if not previously done in audio
Theme: Science Fiction Erotica
We pay $50 for 2-6k speculative fiction erotica stories.
No stories that have been previously podcasted elsewhere, though if they have appeared in print, ebook or on the web that’s fine.
Up to three submissions at a time.
Simultaneous submissions are fine.
Please upload your story as a .rtf. Only. No other formats please. Absolutely no .docx. ONLY RTF ACCEPTED.
Find our detailed submission guidelines here:
Nobilis Erotica is the longest running and most prolific erotica podcast on the internet! It’s hard to be that awesome (and sexy) without a bit of help. Even Nobilis can only produce so much wonderful smut.
Which is where you come in. Nobilis is looking for your best, most delectable and utterly sexy speculative fiction erotica stories. We’re looking for robots that turn you on, dragons that might want to do things with the princess other than devour her, and what happens when the lights go out in every sense of the word (possibly with a tentacle or three). Take off the corsets and uniforms and have some fun. We welcome LGBTQ+ stories.
We’re looking for stories that are both good speculative fiction and good erotica – are you up for the challenge? If not sure, listen to the podcast to find out what we like – free of charge.
Deadline: March 1st, 2019
Theme: “We ask our fiction writers to imagine their readers navigating a story with one finger poised over a mouse button. Can your story stay that finger to the end? We have published long stories on the belief that they succeed, but we feel more comfortable with the concise.”
“Turning words into art is unnatural. It begins with a contrary attitude. It says, I am unhappy with the way things are and desire to make things different. Rather than represent the world, I will make something wildly and savagely new. I will defy logic. I will invest in new perceptions. I will combine and recombine and fabricate and juggle until something that I have never experienced is experienced. The process is alchemical. The process is violent. It goes to the heart of creativity. It disrupts and shatters. It is splendid with provocation. It is an aggression against banality. It is sharp and loud like a janitor scraping frost from a window. The hectic bounce of steam on a street after a truck roars by. The anarchy of waters, the comedy of the face, dangerous feelings vented from a cage of skin.” ~ John Olson
Poetry — We believe poetry is contrary by nature, always defying, always tonguing the tang of novelty. We look especially for plurality of meaning, for dual reverberation of beauty and concern. Contrary’s poetry in particular often mimics the effects of fiction or commentary. We find ourselves enamored of prose poems because they are naturally contrary toward form – they tug on the forces of exposition or narrative – but prose poems remain the minority of all the poetic forms we publish. Please consider that Contrary receives vast amounts of poetry and that we can publish only a small percentage of that work. Please submit no more than three poems per issue. Our poetry editor is Shaindel Beers.
Fiction — We ask our fiction writers to imagine their readers navigating a story with one finger poised over a mouse button. Can your story stay that finger to the end? We have published long stories on the belief that they succeed, but we feel more comfortable with the concise. We favor fiction that is contrary in any number of ways, but our fiction typically defies traditional story form. A story may bring us to closure, for example, without ever delivering an ending. It may be as poetic as any poem. Our fiction editor is Frances Badgett.
Lyrical commentary/creative non-fiction —“Commentary” is our word for the stuff that others define negatively as non-fiction, nominally as essay, or naively as truth. We favor commentary that delivers a message less through exposition than through artistry. The commentary we select is often lyrical, narrative, or poetic. Examples from our pages include “Plum Island” by Andrew Coburn, “Ascension” by Kevin Heath, and “Three True Stories” by Jennifer DeLisle. Our commentary editor is Jeff McMahon.
Terms of Submission
Our deadline, response, and publication cycle – Contrary receives submissions throughout the year and publishes four issues per year, with the change of seasons. In Spring our deadline is March 1, and the issue appears on or about April 1. Following that cycle, our deadline for Summer is June 1, Autumn is Sept. 1, Winter is Dec. 1. We begin each issue from scratch, with completely new submissions. If your submission is accepted, you will hear from us. If not, you can always verify that it was not accepted by viewing the issue for which you submitted. We do not send rejection letters.
Rights – Upon acceptance, Contrary acquires: 1) worldwide rights to publish in any or all versions of Contrary and other Contrary-affiliated media, including domestic and foreign, whether in the English language or translated into a foreign language, including any successor, similar or replacement versions thereof; 2) exclusive worldwide rights for a period of 90 days from the date of Contrary’s first publication of the work; 3. non-exclusive perpetual rights to republish, store, syndicate or distribute the work or portions of the work in any language and in any country, and 4) the right to use your name and likeness in a fair and dignified manner and to publish information about you in connection with the advertising and promotion of Contrary and of the Work. 5) When exclusive rights expire after three months, the author is free to seek republication elsewhere, but Contrary must be credited in all subsequent publications. 6) All rights granted by this agreement are granted in perpetuity and applicable in all media including, but not limited to, all electronic media, internet, wireless or mobile platforms whether now known or hereafter created.
Payment – For original commentary, fiction, and poetry, Contrary Magazine pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of the number of works or nature of the submission, if invoiced within six months. Reviews and Contrary Blog posts are unpaid. Author must email us an invoice within six months of acceptance for the payment to be processed. If no invoice is received within six months of acceptance, author forfeits payment, and all rights remain in force. Upon receipt of invoice, payments will be made through Paypal.
Simultaneous submissions – We accept simultaneous submissions, but you must inform us when submissions are simultaneous, and you must withdraw your submission immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere (you may resubmit any parts of your submission that remain unpublished). A submission constitutes an agreement to publish in Contrary under the guidelines on this page. Accepted works go into production immediately and may not be withdrawn under any circumstances.
Mailing List — When you submit your work you will be automatically subscribed to the mailing list we use to communicate with our contributors. We use it to call for submissions no more than four times each year. You may unsubscribe at any time or otherwise manage your subscription at our list host.
Before submitting, you may wish to consult our Manuscript Suggestions.
Via: Contrary Magazine.
Deadline: December 15th, 2019
Payment: $50 USD and 10 complimentary copies
Kissing Dynamite seeks poetry microchap manuscripts for print publication in April 2020. We’re happy to consider a diverse range of poetic styles and themes, so send us work that represents you! We are committed to publishing two titles from this round of submissions and will publish up to four if finances at the time allow us to do so.
We are proud to use a local printing house—Lightning Press in Totowa, New Jersey—for all our books. The microchap series will feature perfect-bound 4″x 6″ books with bright, full color “fractal” covers.
Manuscripts should employ 1″ margin sizes, 8.5″ x 11″ page size, and 12 pt. font. Visual images (300 minimum dpi) are acceptable (black/white and/or color)! Previously published poems are acceptable as long as the collection as a whole has not appeared elsewhere (either digitally or in print). If the manuscript contains more than one poem, begin successive poems on a new page. Please include a title page, author’s bio, table of contents, and acknowledgements page (if applicable). Manuscripts must not exceed a maximum of 15 pages inclusive of all content (there is no minimum).
Submissions are open from December 1-15, 2019. We hope to respond to all submissions by the beginning of February 2020. We operate on a “pay what you can, if you can” basis, so if you can drop a few bucks to help support the expenses of the press, please do so below (and we thank you!) or consider purchasing a copy of our first anthology Lift Every Voice. That said, submissions do NOT need to be accompanied by a donation, and no manuscript gets preferential treatment. Please send your manuscript as a PDF for us to consider via e-mail with the subject “MICROCHAP—[Title of Collection]” to [email protected]
We ask for First World Publication Rights upon acceptance, and we hold these rights as long as the work remains in print after which full rights revert to the author. Initial print runs will be 50 copies with the option of additional runs once the work sells out of stock.
Authors will receive $50 USD and 10 complimentary copies of the microchap. Additional copies are available to authors at the cost of printing.
Thank you for considering us as a home for your work!
Via: Kissing Dynamite.
Five Things That Inspire My Writing
By: S.F. Barkley
Some people grow up always knowing that they wanted to be a writer. They loved writing essays in school, maybe got their college degree in English, or perhaps they even wrote their first novel before ever finishing grade school. That, however, wasn’t me. I had no idea that I wanted to be a writer until, well, I started writing. To explain what gave me the push to first put the pen to paper (or more realistically, my finger to the keyboard), I’ve narrowed it down to the five main things that inspire my writing.
- My Love for All Things Creepy
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the paranormal. Every eerie sound I heard in my house as a child, every chill down my spine, I always believed in ghosts. It’s no surprise that my favorite books growing up were Goosebumps by R. L. Stine. My interest in the paranormal only grew the older I got. I love going on ghost tours of old cities, visiting supposedly haunted places (big fan of Gettysburg), and hearing the fascinating histories of buildings and places.
- My Experiences as a Cop
I was a cop for nearly three years. During that time, I discovered an underground tunnel system, a secret room behind a fireplace, and was dispatched to an abandoned building for 911 hang up calls- all while on the job. First responders commonly find themselves in creepy situations, especially those who work the night shift. All of my experiences left me wondering, “What if…”
- My Personal Life
One of the most famous pieces of advice for writers is to “Write what you know.” I know law enforcement, but there’s a lot more to a story than just the main character’s career. I constantly draw on my personal life’s experiences to help build the world and characters in my stories. For example, I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, so the fictional town I created was in Western Pennsylvania and inspired by the towns that I knew. There are pieces of my life sprinkled throughout my stories.
- Reddit r/NoSleep
My first attempt at writing was on Reddit’s subreddit r/NoSleep, which is a forum for realistic horror stories told from first-person perspective. My first short story was about finding dead space in my house, but it only received about 60 upvotes, deeming it not very popular. I still had a lot of fun writing the story and reading the responses though, so I wrote a second short story series. This second series was about being a rookie cop and getting dispatched repeatedly to an abandoned house for 911 hang up calls. In a blink of an eye, the story blew up. It was read over 100,000 times, upvoted by over 5,000 readers, and eventually went on to win Story of the Month in August 2018, having competed with nearly 4,000 other short stories.
Once I received such an outpour of positive feedback, I was inspired to turn the short series into a novel, and that’s how Patch Lane was created.
There are actually two ways that wine helps inspire my writing. First, it’s no secret that alcohol loosens us up and gets the creative juices flowing. My writing routine involves sitting in my wine/writing room, pouring myself a large glass, and turning on some soft music. Second, by making such a cozy and zen writing setting, I give myself something to look forward to. I don’t allow myself to sip on wine until I’ve sat down with my laptop in hand.—
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.
The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.
Add to Goodreads
The house was in total disrepair. The exterior had white wooden siding with loosely attached, rotting black shutters. The moonlight highlighted the chipping paint, making the shutters appear two-toned. The old brick chimney was pulling away from the side of the house, and small trees were growing on the lower roof. There were no signs of life inside—no lights, no sound, not even a car parked on the property. It was the only house on the lane, so I deduced this was once a running farm. This must have been the original farmhouse. I slowly made my way around the house, trudging through the overgrown grass, to check the perimeter. With no evidence of life or habitation, I was beginning to question if Dispatch had gotten the address wrong. I got on the radio. “1034 to Dispatch.”
“Dispatch, go ahead.”
“I’m at 52 Patch Lane. Can you confirm this is the address?”
“Stand by.” After about a minute, Dispatch got back on the air. “1034, yes, that’s the correct address. Do you need backup?”
“Negative. It appears no one is home, but I’ll update.”
At this point, I knocked on the front door and announced myself. “Officer Hastings, Amber Forest Police Department!” No answer. All of the windows were closed, so I tried the front door. Locked. I didn’t have any extenuating circumstances that would allow a warrantless entry, so all I could do was leave. There wasn’t even enough for me to write a police report.
“1034 to Dispatch,” I radioed again.
“Dispatch, go ahead.”
“It looks like this house is abandoned. I think the 911 hang up might have been some crossed telephone wires. Clear me from the call with no report.”
I began driving back down the gravel lane when another wave of chills shot through me. I hit my brakes and glanced in my rearview mirror. My brake lights flooded the house in red, and for a split moment I thought I saw someone standing in the window watching me leave. I blinked, and the figure vanished. My intuition had kept me alive this far, but I knew Chief Fox would rip me a new one if I tried to enter that house based on my intuition and faintly seeing shadows. I took a deep breath and convinced my foot to ease off of the brake and back on the gas.
Available on Amazon
Click the link below to win a Kindle download of Patch Lane!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blog Tour Schedule
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com
I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Kim Knight (Review) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com
B is for Book Review (Guest Post) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Cup of Books Blog (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/
Read and Rated (Review) https://readandrated.com/
My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
About the Author
S.F. Barkley is a former police officer who uses her law enforcement knowledge and experience along with her love for all things creepy to create short stories and novels. She had several eerie experiences as a cop, including having discovered secret underground tunnels and responding to 911 hang up calls to an abandoned industrial building. She has published short horror stories in various anthologies and is publishing her debut mystery novel, Patch Lane, in October 2019. She was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her husband and their rescue pup.
S.F. Barkley | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon
Blog Tour Organized By:
R&R Book Tours
Belated Happy Thanksgiving to my American cousins. Obviously we don’t celebrate that particular holiday over here, it’s just used to alert us to the Black Friday sales which has imported itself into our consciousness. From there it’s the short leap to considerations of Christmas and I can’t believe this year is almost over. Where did it go? In terms of TWF, I think this has proved a very successful year. We have had a greater number of submissions allowing us to schedule stories months ahead of time. I have also been very pleased to have seen stories from LGBT+ writers (we could do with more though), women performing on a pretty equal basis to men AND what delights me even more are the slowly increasing numbers of older writers. It shows TWF is home to all and if you think the group you identify with is not represented enough – well, you know the answer! Write and submit.
The first story in Tembling With Fear is Mother Knows Best by Ashley Millette shows us how the desire for parental approval can trigger so much horror and mayhem. We all saw it in Psycho, now we have a daughter taking centre stage. If you have children, be careful how you parent! This story was particularly satisfying because it was also a love story, albeit somewhat warped. It does prove however there is someone for everyone.
Jack in the Box by Kevin M. Folliard is a creepy, atmospheric tale, and cleverly demonstrates a literal building up of childhood fears.
No Fear by R. J. Meldrum has a victim who is not a victim. What walks in the dark can sometimes be more than you bargained for. Good example of the old twist in the tale.
Plague of Nations by B.B. Blazkowitz cheats death and ‘lives’ to regret it. The idea of a separate self ‘I know what it did that night’, from which you cannot be parted is quite chilling.
Thank you to all, for writing and submitting to TWF.
For all of our readers in the United States, I hope you had a Happy Turkey Day and are now broke from Black Friday or Cyber Monday plans! It’s always great to be bloated and cheerful as you watch your debt skyrocket, amiright?
On a more serious note, I do hope that most of you had a great weekend.
As always, we’re open for more help these days as well as more holiday submissions, drabble, and more!
Mother Knows Best by Ashley Millette
Adelaide stood on a pedestal in front of a floor length mirror, twisting to either side to examine her new dress. The lights in the fitting room were dim, masking the rows of dresses lining its perimeter. A passerby wouldn’t know what lurked behind the walls of the innocuous brownstone. In the 1980s it had been the popular Beatrice’s Bridal Shop but over the years it had traveled down the family line and fallen into disarray. Now it served as the final resting place for long forgotten gowns, slowly eaten away by gypsy moths and time.
Somewhere nearby a lock clinked and a door creaked open. Adelaide heard something heavy thump against the wall as Carl made his way through the darkness toward her. They hadn’t gotten around to replacing all of the lights yet. A sly smile slid across her face as he entered the spacious fitting room, his reflection fracturing and reforming as he made his way past a myriad of mirrors lining the bare walls. Grunting, Carl slid a large sack from his shoulder and let it fall to the ground.
“Darling, fix this won’t you?” Adelaide gestured toward the seam under her left arm, which had started to split open. Carl said nothing but was at her side instantaneously. Adelaide assessed herself in a mirror that rippled in the middle, evoking a fun house effect that made her stomach bulge and her legs shrink. She glowered at the manipulation and looked away, instead inspecting Carl’s hands as they reset the stitch in a flurry.
The doctored image had jolted her and she could no longer keep thoughts of Mother out of her head. Mother could be so cruel. She just wanted Adelaide to be better she had said, to be smarter and prettier. And Adelaide had tried. She earned straight A’s and glowing reviews from teachers. But it wasn’t enough. And so Adelaide decided to enter the Tuscaloosa County Beauty Pageant. If she could win, she could prove to Mother that she was pretty.
Adelaide prepared for weeks. From the local thrift store she procured a dress. It was old and tattered but a soft pink that illuminated her mousey brown hair. She fixed it up as best she could. From Mother’s jewelry box she had borrowed a pair of diamond earrings that glistened like the sun. Adelaide had never been one for fancy hairdos but she curled and sprayed and pinned until every last strand was in place. She left a note for Mother on the door before she left for the pageant. I have a wonderful surprise for you, she had written.
But it was not wonderful. The judges were cruel like Mother. They had ripped her apart, piece by piece. Judge #1 hadn’t liked her dress. It belonged in the dumpster. Judge #2 didn’t like her earrings. They were cheap and fit for a harlot. And judge #3…oh how she hated Adelaide’s hair. You’d be better off with a wig, she had said. Any wig. Adelaide was turning to flee the stage when she saw Mother in the audience. Mother always looked so pretty. But she shook her head in disappointment, as she often did, and a single tear slid down Adelaide’s cheek.
At home Adelaide had pleaded not to discuss the matter but Mother had chastised her anyway. “Let those judges be a lesson to you, darling. You must stop trying to be something you aren’t. You’ll never be pretty, you’ll only embarrass us. Trust me. Mother knows best.” They had not discussed it again.
Mother smoked too much and drank even more and soon she found herself in an early grave. She’d left Adelaide nothing. And so she moved in with Carl, the mute neighbor boy who’d watched from the shadows until the day Adelaide ran into Judge #2. She’d seen her through the window of a shop downtown and followed her home. She’d only wanted to talk but the discussion became heated quickly, Judge #2 yelling obscenities about ugly girls who don’t know their place. Carl emerged from behind an alley dumpster and with one swift thrust of a shovel crushed the side of Judge #2’s skull into the pavement. Adelaide knew she should be horrified but she wasn’t. Instead, she ripped the beautiful (and most importantly, real) diamond earrings from the dead judge’s ears and frolicked off into the sunset with her Prince Charming.
Judge #1 had been an easy mark too. And she had the most beautiful dresses. Adelaide couldn’t choose a single one so Carl made her a new one from the lot. Carl had no interest in running the bridal shop but oh, how he loved to snip and stitch. Judge #3 had been more difficult. She’d moved away with no forwarding address. But when they found her leading outdoor retreats in the Adirondacks Carl went to fetch her. Adelaide’s eyes flitted to the lumpy sack on the ground before returning to her own reflection.
“I’m almost ready my love!” she announced, excitement overtaking her. Carl had finished with the seam and stood silently as she smoothed the beautiful dress and adjusted her new diamond earrings. “And now, for the final touch…” Adelaide trailed off as she pulled her mousey hair back into a tight bun. She gestured to Carl who kneeled down and pulled the sack open. A pair of feet, clad in hiking boots, spilled out, followed by the rest of a limp body. He pulled at something attached to Judge #3’s head and, when it wouldn’t give, made a single snip with his sewing scissors.
Carl stood behind her and fitted the hair onto her head, tucking remnants of scalp neatly underneath the hairline. Adelaide turned back to the mirror, her elation bubbling over and erupting into a smile. The long black curls fell like a dark waterfall over her shoulders and a single red drop slid down Adelaide’s cheek. She brushed it away.
“I’m so pretty,” she whispered. “Just like Mother.”
Ashley Millette is a medical student desperately trying to nurse her creativity back to health after four years of biology and pharmacology. In her limited spare time she likes to read and write with a preference for the horror and fantasy genres. She enjoys trying to find new ways to mix medicine and the arts. You can read some of her previous works in New Realm magazine. She is currently working on her first full-length novel.
Jack in the Box
Moonbeams creep over the antique box on Scotty’s dresser—inherited from his late Great Uncle Barnabas. Invisible force churns the metal handle to the chimes of “Pop Goes the Weasel.”
Scotty grips his outer space comforter, dreading the impending SPROING!
Out pops Jack, pale-faced and crimson-eyed. His bear-trap smile snaps; hooked claws scrape the air. Jack’s munching accordion body stretches, bends, and recoils. The murderous little jester snickers and waves goodbye as he sinks back into his box.
The lid snaps shut. Midnight tomorrow, Jack will return.
The jester’s torso, Scotty knows, extends longer each night. Closer to the bed.
Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose published fiction includes scary stories collections Christmas Terror Tales and Valentine Terror Tales, as well as adventure novels such as Matt Palmer and the Komodo Uprising. His work has also been collected by The Horror Tree, Flame Tree Publishing, Hinnom Magazine, and more. Kevin currently resides in La Grange, IL, where he enjoys his day job as an academic writing advisor. When not writing or working, he’s usually reading Stephen King, playing Street Fighter, or traveling the U.S.A.
Author Website: www.KevinFolliard.com
They had followed him for a few streets, but when he turned down the alley, they knew their time had come. They caught up to him in the deserted, dark street. John pushed his knife against his throat, almost hard enough to break the skin.
“Give me your wallet and your PINs.”
The victim laughed.
“I wouldn’t laugh,” said Trevor. “You should be scared for your life. My buddy will kill you.”
The victim laughed again.
“My dear young fellows. You can only fear for your life if you are actually alive.”
He opened his mouth to expose elongated incisors.
Plague of Nations
I dared to defy Death and prayed at the marble altar beyond the mountains. That night muscle spasms woke me and worsened every night after, culminating when my flesh stripped itself from my bones and moved entirely of its own accord. I know what it did that night, I felt it, even if I did not see it. Eighty years have passed since that shambling amorphous horror went out under the cover of darkness. Bullets fail to kill me; fire fails to set me free. I tried them all, yet when night falls my flesh rises to kill once more.
B.B. Blazkowicz is a horror fiction writer currently tied to a chair in an Antarctic research facility. A bearded man who smells of Scotch says one of us is assimilated. If you are reading this please send me transportation to your densest population centers.
Welcome sign on towel food
A friend recently debated me over the difference between horror and thrillers. Well, there’s a fine line between certain genres. Take erotica and romance, for example. Romance uses a feather; erotica uses the whole chicken. Thriller send a shiver down your spine. Horror opens your back and twists that spine into something sinister. (ie, Zelda in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary)
My name is Catherine Jordan. I hope you’ll welcome me as the new review coordinator for Horrortree.com. I’m a horror novelist, although I edit and write in many genres. I’ve been featured in a variety of anthologies, on-line publications, and print magazines. It was my pleasure to serve as judge for the Bram Stoker Award and for the ITW Young Adult Award. I also facilitate writing courses and critique groups.
I’m a petite harmless blonde and mother of five children. Oh, and we have a cat, too. I’m often asked why I write horror since I look more like a Hallmark romance writer. Well, I do have 5 kids. Haha. No, really I think it’s because I was raised Catholic, and Catholicism is filled with the supernatural. There are so many cautionary tales about how to deal with helplessness and horror and fear. Confront it and embrace hope. Hope is the key word. Be forever hopeful.
I reflect back on the haunted houses my sister and I walked through (I hate jump scares), the rollercoasters my children asked me to ride (I loathe heights), and the planes my best friend and I have flown (turbulence scares the shit out of me). I wouldn’t say I conquered any of those things. I’ll still down an Ativan whenever taking on the aforementioned phobias, but I do tackle them. I don’t let fear hold me back; trepidation challenges me, and when overcome, it raises my confidence. The ole ditty rings true: “I did it before and I can do it again.”
Scary situations teach focus when deciding whether to fight or flee. And know that there’s another F word—flight! You see, some people fear change. In my opinion, change brings opportunity, and opportunity leads to success. You can’t soar like an eagle if you let the turkeys keep you grounded. So, challenge yourself to spread your wings and fly.
Tell yourself it’s okay to be afraid. Everyone has fears. Fear builds character. Hey—isn’t that what we writers do for a living—build characters?
On that note, I’d like to appeal to you horror lovers—we need reviewers. I have a list of 10 books ready. Opinions matter and here’s an opportunity to share yours! Our writing community depends on readers and their honest reviews. If you’re a writer, you may be tempted to say you’re too busy. I used to think the same thing, until I realized that the more I read, the better I become at writing. I can help by sending a review sheet for areas to consider. If you like the book, tell the world. If you don’t, tell the writer.
Figments and Fragments – Horror Tree giveaway
Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories, a collection by award-winning author Deborah Sheldon, will be released November 18 by IFWG Publishing Australia.
This is a full color image of a book cover for Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon
“I’m excited by this project,” stated Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of the publishing house, “because we have Deborah’s latest fiction collected in Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories, and this acquisition distills the very best of her earlier dark fiction. We also decided to add a bonus three original pieces.”
The Horror Tree gave Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories a five-star review. In part, reviewer Alyson Faye wrote, “Deborah Sheldon is adept at drawing you in, writing fast, furious dialogue, making you smell and taste the landscape and the characters’ sweat, taking you on a journey with the lost, the displaced, the broken, the runaways, the misfits and the mad, who populate the pages.”
FIGMENTS AND FRAGMENTS: DARK STORIES (IFWG PUBLISHING AUSTRALIA)
Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.
From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.
Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.
Deborah Sheldon is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas, and novels across the darker spectrum of horror, crime, and noir.
Some of her titles include horror novels Body Farm Z, Contrition and Devil Dragon; the horror novella Thylacines; the romance-suspense novella The Long Shot; and collections Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories and the award-winning Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (Australian Shadows “Best Collected Work 2017”).
Her short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, Midnight Echo, and Dimension6. Her fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award and included in various “best of” anthologies. She’s also guest editor of this year’s edition of Midnight Echo.
Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books, stage plays, and award-winning medical writing. Visit her at http://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com
The Horror Tree is giving away TEN copies of the ebook Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories.
Deadline: December 31st, 2019
Payment: “a modest honorarium payment, and a print edition of the finished book if they live in the US”
Note: I wouldn’t usually list an anthology without a specific payment stated but with this being a hot button topic AND there being payment I felt open to including it.
We—Mark F. of @Mythic Picnic, Susan O’Neill and Mark Budman of Vestal Review— are putting together an anthology of flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) tentatively titled “Short, Vigorous Roots: An Anthology of Immigrant Fiction in the Age of Dissent.”
Our deadline has been extended to December 31, 2019. We also changed the title.
1) The writer must be either an immigrant/migrant or a child of an immigrant/migrant;
General Submission Guidelines:
2) Stories must be FICTION (or, if drawn on the writer’s experience, FICTIONALIZED);
3) Stories may not exceed 1000 words, not counting the title;
4) Any fiction genre is acceptable, except for children’s literature, porn, denigrating and hateful fare, and bad writing. Edgy is good; R-rated (but not X) is acceptable; sad is okay; magic realism is nifty; humor is amazing. A PLOT is essential!
5) To see the quality of stories we publish, check us out on line at www.vestalreview.org; we don’t want you to imitate our Flash, but feel free to be inspired by it;
6) We accept reprints;
7) We will be asking for one-time rights for the original stories; once the book is out, the story’s ownership reverts to you;
One submission per author.
Please begin your cover letter with a statement like that:
“I am a [first or second] generation immigrant to [the name of your new country].”
Without such statement your entry will be disqualified. Sorry.
We don’t care where you came from, or where you now live; just that the two aren’t the same. What we do care about—passionately—is the quality of your fiction, and the plot and length of your stories. Your stories should be about immigration, but the theme can be interpreted broadly. Writers will receive a modest honorarium payment, and a print edition of the finished book if they live in the US, or an electronic edition if they live on more far-flung soil.
Via: Vestal Review
Deadline: January 30th, 2020
Theme: Dystopian and post-apocalyptic science fiction
Via: Kyanite Press.
Deadline: December 15th, 2019
Payment: Contributor’s Copy
We are currently accepting submissions in all genres. Our standard open reading period runs August 15th – December 15th.
- Make all submissions through our submission manager (Submittable). We do not accept submissions via email.
- We do not accept previously published work, including work self-published or published online via blog or social media.
- Simultaneous submissions are accepted if noted and withdrawn upon acceptance elsewhere.
- Please submit just once per genre, per reading period.
- You may submit in more than one genre with no penalty. If you do submit in multiple genres, please submit each separately. (i.e. You may include up to five poems in one submission, but use a separate submission for a work of nonfiction).
- We are currently able to provide one print copy as payment to authors and are pleased to provide a print on demand option for additional copies of each issue.
- Though we cannot take every piece sent to us, we will, at times, be compelled to provide feedback – in these cases, it will take a little longer to get back to you.
(FICTION AND NONFICTION)
FLASH GLASS GUIDELINES
Considering that craft is not genre specific, we welcome prose with a range of forms, subjects and aesthetics. We are open to hybrid prose – i.e. lyrical fiction, lyrical essays, braided essays, etc. However, we will not publish pure “genre” pieces that do not re-imagine their position as works of literature, nor are we interested in highly experimental or “literary” work that is not honest, accessible, or relatable.
For creative nonfiction, submissions may include personal essays, memoir, or hybrid forms such as braided essays or hermit crab essays. Craft essays should have a personal and/or creative element. We are not interested in purely scholarly work or editorial nonfiction, nor are we interested in highly experimental work that is not honest, accessible, or relatable.
- Fiction submissions are limited to 5500 words or three shorts under 1000 words each.
- Nonfiction submissions are limited to 3500 words or three shorts under 1000 words.
All topics are considered, except for overtly political and religious poems as Glassworks
strives for more nuanced complexity. We invite submissions that employ deliberate craft of creation and format, but we discourage overworked experimental forms. We encourage hybrid forms, such as prose poems.
- Poetry submissions are limited to five poems or nine pages.
- Please indicate in brackets whether a stanza break is also page break.
publishes short works monthly in our online feature: flashglass. Flash is often defined by what it isn’t: it isn’t more than 500 words, it isn’t a full narrative, it isn’t plot or character or just a poems without line breaks. Flash, however, is an opportunity:
For the reader: to rotate a whole in the mind, to encounter language pruned and curated, a candy quick to dissolve that lingers on the tongue.
For the writer: to flex and bend, produce fresh expression within limitation, to discover the essential. And in the end, speak through the unsaid and arrive at something unexpected.
- Flash submissions are limited to three shorts under 500 words
- We accept flash fiction, micro essays, or prose poetry
publishes still artwork (i.e. photography, paintings, collages, etc.) bi-annually in our print issues. We prefer to publish several images by each artist and may include additional images in our online galleries.
*For more insight on the kind of work we seek, click here to read our current staff bios.