The Dark Magazine is published bimonthly and online, and is looking for 1,000-5,000 word stories that match:
• Mainstream fiction with elements of the fantastic mixed in
• Magic realism (“a literary genre or style that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction —called also magical realism”) – Merriam-Webster, www.m-w.com
• Surrealism: (“the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations”) – Merriam-Webster,www.m-w.com
• Dark science fiction
• Dark fantasy
• Steampunk (See: http://www.steampunk.com/what-is-steampunk/)
Don’t be afraid to experiment or to deviate from the ordinary; be stylistic – try us with fiction that falls out of “regular” categories.
It sounds like a great market, and editor Jack Fisher pays professional rates of 5c/word. They’re also interested in art and non-fiction.
Check out the full guidelines here: https://sites.google.com/site/thedarkguidelines/
It’s National Short Story Week in the UK, I discovered, and Margo Lanagan wrote an excellent article about why we should embrace short stories, the promise of a quick solid hit of narrative being one of them:
‘But they’re such a tease,’ you whine. ‘I want to really get into a story’s world, and shorts leave me hanging out for more.’ You’ll be wanting a single-author collection, then—possibly a collection of linked short stories that may or may not add up to a novel? Possibly a collection where an author revisits the universe they created for their trilogy, exploring all its nooks and crannies? How about an anthology where all the authors write stories set in the same fictional world? That can work, too.
It’s a good read, and as I’m a short fiction writer Margo’s words here cheer me somewhat:
If you’re a writer, you should also write short stories, because they’re in for a resurgence, you know. With all these e-readers and i-players, all this exploration of new publishing forms, by putting out short stories you can keep your readers aware of you in the great gulfs of time between novels. (What, you put out a book a year? All right, you’re excused.)
Read the full post here: http://blog.nationalshortstoryweek.org.uk/2013/11/short-stories-and-why-you-should.html
Wait, isn’t this the opposite of what I posted last week!?
Well, I think it’s important to have a look at what everyone involved has to say. My personal conclusions about writing for free haven’t changed, but this article by Mathew Ingram is a rebuttal of (or at least a reply to) the recent New York Times piece.
As more than one person pointed out during the debate on Twitter that followed the publication of the piece, there have always been people willing to write for nothing —the barriers to entry are just a lot lower now. To some, that is a great thing, a democratization of content that allows anyone to reach a potential audience, but to others these writers who work for free are like virtual “scabs” crossing a picket line and endangering the livelihood of other writers.
I don’t disagree with Mathew at all – in fact I even describe the circumstances around which I personally support writing for free. And yes, of course writers have always worked for free or for little money; I’ve often espoused my belief that if you are writing fiction for the sole purpose of making money you probably shouldn’t be writing.
Having said that, though, I didn’t quite see the original article’s core complaint as ‘we shouldn’t write for free’, but rather ‘we shouldn’t be expected to work for free’. If you offer your services for free, or negotiate after the fact, that’s different. Being approached by a business to give up free work so they can make a profit, though? I’m not entirely sure. Exposure isn’t quite quid pro quo.
A number of people tried to argue that publishers are the ones who set the price for things, and they are ruining the industry by not paying writers — although even Kreider admits in his piece that most of the people asking him to do things for free have little or no money. But the point is that this view of the industry gets things exactly backwards: the reality is that media or content broadly speaking has gone from being primarily supply-driven to almost totally demand-driven, and that has changed the economics in some fundamental ways.
It’s a worthwhile read, so check it out in full here: http://paidcontent.org/2013/10/28/no-writing-for-free-isnt-slavery-and-other-misconceptions-about-the-economics-of-online-media/
Scigentasy: Gender Stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy is looking for inclusive genre stories and articles:
- Stories by women and other underrepresented individuals (This does not mean that white, able-bodied men can’t submit here. Stories commenting on traditional or unfair gender stereotypes that affect males, for example, are more than welcome.)
- Stories that conceptualize progressive change
- Stories that promote or in some way address equal rights and social justice for all
- Stories with inclusive feminist themes. That is, stories that recognize all women, not just white middle class ones
- Stories that highlight the intersection of race, class, and gender
- Stories with a positive outlook and with ideas and modes of life we can aspire to
- Stories that show the darker side of gender and identity issues, that aren’t afraid to dig up and discuss injustice (and we recognize that such stories will not always end on a positive note–that’s just fine)
In the simplest of terms, we want great science fiction and fantasy stories that have at least one character who pushes, explores, or in some way addresses gender boundaries.
Scigentasy publishes 500 to 5,000 word stories and pay a decent $3 cents per word (a flat $10 for reprints)
Check the details out here, including non-fiction and art guidelines: http://www.scigentasy.com/submissions-2/
For your Friday entertainment, and with apologies to those with accessibility problems (the source poem is an image, not text)
Over at Scriptshadow we find a great list of things that make a story terrible, focusing on the by-now-notorious failures of M. Night Shyamalan (specifically, The Lady in the Water).
I think the real reason there are so many M. Night haters is that he’s so defiant about his script’s problems. While he never comes out and says it, his m.o. after a flop is to insinuate that critics and audiences don’t “get it.” Maybe if M. Night had some humility and took himself a little less seriously, he’d endear a lot of those fans to come back to his side (or at least not spend half their day pounding him on message boards). I picked “Lady In The Water” to analyze because I believe it’s the moment audiences first began to realize that M. Night may be a one-trick pony.
Although the article is about screenwriting, it applies to narratives in general. It covers:
- Never place symbolism or theme above story
- Listen to criticism
- Don’t drown your story in mythology –
- Quirky for quirk’s sake is a recipe for disaster
- Beware coincidences when writing screenplays
- The “fate” excuse isn’t good enough
- Beware the close cousin of coincidence: convenience
- Use gas on your emotional beats, not nuclear power
- Silly/goofy choices
Read the explanations for each of those points right here: http://scriptshadow.net/10-screenwriting-mistakes-to-avoid-via-m-nights-the-lady-in-the-water/
Whippleshield Books is open for submissions to its first anthology in a series of mini-anthologies, Aphrodite Terra:
I’m looking for stories that are realistic, but that doesn’t mean they have to be science/space fiction. However, the planet Venus has to feature in there somewhere. Your story could be about the first attempt to land on Venus, or life in a habitat on the surface. It might describe a present-day group of engineers and scientists controlling a probe on the surface of Venus; or perhaps a journalist discovering evidence of a past secret mission to the planet. There are plenty of tales that can be told about Venus. Surprise me. I’m big on realism, so I’ll be looking for that. And good literary prose too.
The word limit is 6,000 words, and the anthology has room for four or five stories. Payment is 3p per word, but be warned, this isn’t a market for straightforward science fiction:
My plan is to publish a series of mini-anthologies, each themed around a planetary body and containing around 20,000 to 25,000 words. But I’m not really interested in science fiction per se. I want fiction which lives at the point where the borders of science fiction and space fiction meet literary fiction.
Ian doesn’t know which planetary body to pick for his next anthology, but if Venus isn’t quite your thing you should keep an eye on the Whippleshield Books site (or here on Monday Markets; I’m sure I’ll see his next mini-antho guidelines fly by).
You can find the full submission guidelines here: http://whippleshieldbooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/venus-is-open-for-colonisation/