Showing posts with label short story markets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short story markets. Show all posts

Cricket Media's New Call


Want to get your mind off a certain virus?  Have extra time in quarantine?  Need a break from the dark, gritty novel you're writing, or that manual on how to survive an apocalypse? 

If you write for kids, or would like to get into it, consider Cricket Media's call for submissions (due June 15) for Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, and Babybug.  It's a highly competitive market which pays professional rates.  

SPECIAL CALLS:
BABYBUG®: Beep-Beep, Vroom-Vroom! and Breezy Summer
LADYBUG®: Making Make Believe and My Family
SPIDER®: Wordplay and Get a Move On!
CRICKET®: Best Friends Forever? and Tales of the Sea 

Submission details here:  https://cricketmag.submittable.com/
If you want a subscription for your own kids (or your own market research): http://shop.cricketmedia.com/all-childrens-magazine-subscriptions.html




Melinda Brasher's fiction and travel writing appear most recently in Hippocampus, Deep Magic, and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight.  Her newest non-fiction book, Hiking Alaska from Cruise Ports is available on Amazon.    

She loves hiking and taking photographs of nature's small miracles.  

Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com






Literary Magazines with Themes--On the Premises



If you're looking for a short story contest with no entry free and quite good pay, try On the Premises.

As indicated by the title, this e-zine always has themes.  The current contest, running until March 6, is "More Than One."

"For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words in which one or more characters face this problem:  there is more than one of something that there should absolutely, positively be only one of."

Sounds fun!

Guidelines:  https://onthepremises.com/

They also have mini contests between regular contests.  The mini contests require VERY short prose, and the themes are often quite interesting.  For example, in the fall I entered one about purposely bad world-building.  The results were quite fun.  You can read them here (including my winning entry):  https://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_43/ 



Melinda Brasher's fiction and travel writing appear most recently in Hippocampus, Deep Magic, and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight.  Her newest non-fiction book, Hiking Alaska from Cruise Ports is available on Amazon.    

She loves hiking and taking photographs of nature's small miracles.  

Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com




Using Anthologies to Study the Market

One piece of writing advice I hear a lot, and which I agree with, is that you must read.  But not everyone agrees on the particulars.

Some say you should read like a reader and others say you should read like an editor or a scientist, dissecting what you read to see what works.

Some say read, read, read your genre and then stop reading while you write, so you don't accidentally let whatever you're reading influence your own work too much.

Others say read, read, read all the time, in your genre and others.

I write short stories in a variety of genres, novels (fantasy and sci fi), travel essays, travel guides, and various other types of work.  But I have to admit that my reading habits are a bit more narrow.  I tend to mostly read novels instead of short stories.  I read travel guides to places I plan to travel, but don't read as much other travel writing as I should.  Part of this, of course, is due to limited time.

So, to make my reading of short work more efficient, I use the anthology approach.

Benefits of Reading Yearly Anthologies


Long-standing, well-respected anthologies are great because they collect some of the (subjectively) best fiction of the year from various magazines.  You don't waste time with mediocre stories.  You get a feel for what's current and what editors are throwing their support behind.  Go ahead and dissect these stories and learn from them.

Another valuable aspect of an anthology is that you see which magazine first published which story.  This is very useful for your own work.  You know the old advice about submitting to magazines:  read a few issues first to see if your work fits.  This is excellent advice.  Unfortunately, we don't always have time to read a few issues of every magazine.  Luckily, anthologies give you a shortcut.  Pick out the stories you like or that could be good matches to yours, then see which magazines they were published in.  Start submitting to those magazines. 

Some Good Anthologies:


The O. Henry Prize Stories, edited by Laura Furman.

The Pushcart Prize; Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson.

The Best American Short Stories, edited by Heidi Pitlor and various yearly editors.  Obviously the yearly editor puts a slant on things, so some years may be more "best" than others.

The Best American series has other genre-specific anthologies, such as The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Mystery Short Stories, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, etcLook for your target genre to see if they have one that matches.

The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Rich Horton.  Also in the series, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, edited by Paula Guran.

The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow.


Many of these can be found at your local library as well as at online and brick-and-mortar bookstores.



You can read (and listen to) Melinda Brasher's most recent short story sale at Pseudopod.  It's a tale of a man who doesn't believe in superstition...until he has to.  You can also find her fiction in Ember, Timeless Tales, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and others. If you're dreaming about traveling to Alaska this summer, check out her guide book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com








Literary Magazines with Themes: The First Line

Image courtesy of The First Line Magazine
The First Line is a literary magazine where each issue contains stories that all start with the same first line.  

Next year will be their 20th year in print, so they're doing something a little different.  To celebrate all past issues, they're welcoming stories based on previous years' first lines.  For the spring 2019 issue (stories due Feb 1), you can choose from twenty different first lines.

If you're interested in a little inspiration or a fun challenge, take a look:  The First Line

Sample First Lines for Spring:

The rules are clearly spelled out in the brochure.
"Well, there's ten minutes of my life I'll never get back."
My father and I left on a Thursday.
I remember the radio was playing the best song.
Whitney Heather Yates knew she was in trouble from the moment she learned how to spell her name.
It sounded like she said, "Every day when I get home, I find a naked body in the bed."
The party was only the beginning of what would happen tonight.
"Step this way as our tour of Earth continues."
"How did you end up with a nickname like that?"
The first thing I saw when I woke was Chris' face.
"The incident on the island is the stuff of legend, but let me tell you the real story."
Jimmy Hanson was a sallow man who enjoyed little in life save for his _________. [Fill in the blank.]


Guidelines Highlights:

-Stories must be between 300 and 5000 words and unpublished.  Poetry is also welcome. 
-Multiple submissions are fine, so if you find several of these prompts interesting, go to town!
-Pay is between $25-50.
-Submit electronically before February 1 for the spring issue.  Other submission dates and first lines are available on their website.



You can read (and listen to) Melinda Brasher's most recent short story sale at Pseudopod.  It's a tale of a man who doesn't believe in superstition...until he has to.  You can also find her fiction in Ember, Timeless Tales, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and others. If you're dreaming about traveling to Alaska next summer, check out her guide book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com



Literary Magazines with Themes--Fall 2017 Edition

It's time for another of my roundups of literary magazines with themes. Due dates range from the end of this month to January 2018

As always, read website guidelines carefully and have fun!  Entry is free to all the magazines listed below, and all are paying markets.

On the Premises
Theme:  Community
Genres:  Fiction
Deadline:  September 1, 2017
Word Count:  up to 5000
Pay:  $60-220
Guidelines: http://onthepremises.com/contest-rules/


Timeless Tales
Theme:  Rumpelstiltskin
Genres:  Fairy Tales--Fiction, Poetry
Reading dates:  August 18-Sept 1
Word Count:  up to 2000, 1500 preferred
Pay:  $20
REPRINTS ACCEPTED
Guidelines: http://www.timelesstalesmagazine.com/submissions


Ladybug
Theme:  Spaceships and Superheroes
Genres:  Fiction, activities, crafts, activities, recipes for kids age 6-9
Deadline:  August 31, 2017
Word Count:  varies depending on type of work, but very short
Pay:  varies by type--professional rates
Guidelines: https://cricketmag.submittable.com/submit/17817/spider-magazine-for-ages-6-9

Enchanted Conversation
Themes:  Godfather death (reading period Sept 1-Sept 30)
      Elves and the Shoemaker (reading Period Nov 1-Nov 30)
Genre:  Fairy Tale, fiction and poetry
Reading Period:  Sept and Nov 2017
Word Count:  700-3000 stories, poems of any length

The First Line
First line must be: "I'm tired of trying to see the good in people."
Genres:  Fiction
Deadline: November 1, 2017
Word Count:  up to 5000
Pay:  $25-50
Guidelines:  http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

THEMA Literary Journal
Theme:  Dancing in the Wind
Genres:  Fiction
Deadline: November 1, 2017
  
Shooter
Theme:  New Life
Genres:  Stories, Poetry, Non-fiction
Deadline:  November 5, 2017
Word Count:  2000-7500
Pay:  Up to 25 GBP
Guidelines: https://shooterlitmag.com/submissions/

Ouen Press
Theme:  Taste
Genres:  Fiction
Deadline:  Dec 31, 2017
Word Count:  3000-10000
Pay:  Contest winners:  100-300 GBP
Guidelines: http://www.ouenpress.com/19.html

Pantheon:
Theme:  Gorgon; Stories of Emergence
Genres:  Flash fiction issue--dark, weird, speculative, horror
Reading Period:  Opens January 1, 2018
Word Count:  Around 1000 words preferred
Pay:  $.06/wd
REPRINTS ACCEPTED ($.03/wd)
Guidelines:   https://pantheonmag.com/submission-guidelines/


Melinda Brasher's fiction appears in Nous Electric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and other magazines. One of her first sales was to THEMA above.  For an e-book collection of some of her favorite published pieces, check out Leaving Home.  

Her newest book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide helps budget travelers plan a trip to majestic Alaska.  Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com.

Literary Magazines with Themes, Fall 2016

It's that time again:  my roundup of literary magazines with themes, all with due dates this fall.  Read website guidelines carefully and have fun!

Lackington's
Theme:  Musics
Genres:  Speculative
Dates:  Opens November 5
Word Count:  1500-5000
Pay:  1 cent per word (Canadian)

Tacitus Publishing
Theme:  Shattered Space (Stories taking place in space—with a horror element)
Genres:  Sci Fi
Dates:  October 31,2016
Word Count:  1500-5000
Pay:  1 cent per word

Third Flatiron
Theme:  Weird West/Steampunk
Reading Period:  November 1-December 31, 2016
Word Count: 1500-3000
Pay: 6 cents / word
  
Ouen Press
Theme:  The Journey
Genres:  TRUE travel story
Dates:  October 31
Word Count:  3000-10000
Pay:  Contest winners:  100-300 GBP

The First Line
First line must be:  "In the six years I spent tracking David Addley, it never occurred to me that he didn't exist."
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Word Count:  up to 5000
Pay:  $25-50

THEMA Literary Journal
Theme:  The Missing Letters
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Pay:  $25

Pantheon:
Theme:  Janus (Inspired by, not actually about)
Reading Period:  Dec 31
Word Count:  the shorter the better
Pay:  $.01/wd

Sockdolager
Theme:  Women of War
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Word Count: 1000-5000
Pay:  2 cents per word ($15 per reprint)

Enchanted Conversation
Theme:  The New Year
Genre:  Fairy Tale
Reading Period:  Nov 1-Nov 30
Word Count:  700-3000 stories, poems of any length
Pay:  $30

Infective Ink
Theme:  Overheard
Deadline:  October 28, 2016
Pay:  $10 for stories 1500 words and up

Shooter
Theme:  Cities
Genres:  Stories, Poetry, Non-fiction
Dates:  October 16, 2016
Word Count:  2000-7500
Pay:  Up to 25 GBP



Melinda Brasher's fiction appears in Nous Electric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and other magazines.  For an e-book collection of some of her favorite published pieces, check out Leaving Home.  For something a little more medieval, read her YA fantasy novel, Far-KnowingVisit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com.

Literary Magazines with Themes--Spring 2016

Here's my spring 2016 list of upcoming themes or prompts for literary magazines.  They're fun to write to, and you may also find that they match stories you've already written.  As always, read guidelines carefully.

Third Flatiron
Theme:  Keystones
Genres:  Speculative
Reading Period:  April 15-June 15, 2016
Word Count: 1500-3000
Pay: 3 cents / word

Lackington's
Theme:  Animals (see more detailed description in guidelines)
Genres:  Speculative
Dates:  Opens May 10
Word Count:  1500-5000
Pay:  1 cent per word

The First Line
First line must be:  "By the fifteenth month of the drought, the lake no longer held her secrets."
Deadline: May 1, 2016
Word Count:  up to 5000
Pay:  $25-50

THEMA Literary Journal
Theme:  Second Thoughts
Deadline: July 1, 2016
Pay:  $25

Grey Wolfe Publishing
April Prompt:  "Every morning at 9:00 a.m. sharp, you get a call on your cell phone. The speaker says 'I know what you did' and then hangs up. This has been going on for two weeks straight. What did you do and how do you react to these calls?"
Deadline:  April 30, 2016
May Prompt:  You’re sitting at the breakfast table one morning, looking at the top news stories while drinking your coffee. The top story this morning is a crazy fan who was arrested for breaking into a local bookstore and stealing all of YOUR books! He’s quoted as saying “I just want to be their best friend!” Your first crazed fan. What do you do?
Deadline:  May 31, 2016
Word Count:  up to 2000
Pay:  $25 to contest winner

Enchanted Conversation
Theme:  Summer Solstice and Mid-Summer
Genre:  Fairy Tale
Reading Period:  May 1-May 30
Word Count:  700-3000 stories, poems of any length
Pay:  $30

Infective Ink
Themes:  Dear Diary—due April 27, 2016
The End of the World—due May 28, 2016
Pay:  $10 for stories 1500 words and up

On the Premises
Next theme:  TBA
Word Count:  up to 5000
Pay: $60-220 

Timeless Tales
Theme:  The Snow Queen
Genre:  retelling of fairy tales—various styles and genres, poetry
Word Count:  up to 2000, 1500 preferred
Pay:  $20

Story
Theme:  Identity
Genres:  Stories, essays, poems
Word Count: up to 2500 for prose
Pay: Unclear



Melinda Brasher's first fiction sale was in THEMA, one of the magazines above.  She has other stories published in various magazines, including On the Premises.  Visit her online at www.melindabrasher.com

Submit to Fiction Magazines with Themes

I love magazines with themes or prompts, because they expose the many, many ways our minds work differently to produce so many stories from one kernel of an idea.

For all you fiction writers out there, if you're having writer's block or if you want to challenge yourself to write something you normally wouldn't, try writing for one of the magazines or e-zines below. 

Paying Markets ($10-$50)

THEMA Literary Journal.  Each issue is based closely around a specific theme.  All genres.  Reprints accepted.  Current and upcoming themes:  "Was that today?" and "We thought he'd never leave."  Submission guidelines

The First Line Literary Magazine.  Each story must start with the same sentence.  All genres.  Current and upcoming first lines:  "Fifty miles west of Bloomington lies Hillsboro, a monument to middle-class malaise," and "We went as far as the car would take us."  Submission Guidelines.

Pantheon.  As the name suggests, this magazine's issues center around various gods and goddesses.  All genres welcome.  Reprints accepted, but unpaid. Current themes:  "Ares" and "Gaia."  Submission Guidelines.

Infective Ink.  All genres.  Current and upcoming themes:  "The future of dating," "Great friendships."  Submission Guidelines.

On the Premises.  This is run like a contest, but with no fee.  Third to first prizes $100-$180.  Honorable mentions, $40.  All genres.  Current Contest:  "Decisions, Decisions."  Submission Guidelines.

Long Count Press. E-book anthologies of fantasy fiction.  Currently closed to submissions, but check in the future.  Last theme:  "Mesoamerican Fantasy."  Submission Guidelines.

Timeless Tales.  Retold fairy tales.  Next theme:  "Twelve Dancing Princesses."  Reprints accepted.  Submission Guidelines.

Subterrain.  A Canadian magazine that requires paper submissions (and an SASE with an IRC).  Upcoming themes:  "Pulp Fiction," and "Meat."  Submission Guidelines.

Semi-Pro and Pro Markets

Crossed Genres.  Science fiction or fantasy only.  Current and upcoming themes:  "Typical" and "Robots, Androids, and Cyborgs."  5 cents/word.  Submission Guidelines.

Unlikely Story.  Their two main themes are "entomology" (bugs) and "cryptography" (codes and ciphers).  They also have other theme issues, like "cartography" (maps).  All genres.   5 cents/word.  Reprints accepted at a lower rate.  Submission Guidelines.

Crab Orchard Review.  Literary.  One yearly theme (submissions accepted October).  This year's theme:  "Stories that covers any of the ways our world and ourselves have changed due to the advancements, setbacks, tragedies, and triumphs of the last twenty years, 1995-2015."  $100 minimum.  Submission Guidelines.

Penumbra.  Speculative fiction only.  Upcoming themes:  "Pain" and "Lewis Carroll."  5 cents/word.  Submission Guidelines.

Cobblestone Publishing's non-fiction magazines for kids 9-14 accept 800-words stories based on specific themes.  Your choices:  Calliope (world history), Cobblestone (American history), Dig (archeology), Faces (world culture and geography), and Odyssey (science).  Check the guidelines for query dates and themes.  Very good rates.  Submission Guidelines (choose the individual magazine you're interested in).

Guidelines

Fiction magazines these days come and go, so be sure to verify the details before submitting.  And, as always, read the submission guidelines, word count requirements, and theme information very closely.  Some are so specific you'll pretty much have to write a story with the magazine in mind.  Others are looser, so you can match up stories you've already written. 

Whatever you do, have fun and keep writing.



Melinda Brasher's first fiction sale was in THEMA, one of the magazines above.  She has other stories published in various magazines, including On the Premises.  She also loves to travel and is currently writing a budget traveler's guide to cruising Alaska.

Honoring Your Voice

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