Monday Markets and Writing Curiosities for June and July 2016

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Sitting on our lawnmower (two of three depicted.)

Hello, everybody. School’s out, here (thankfully, not forever). And the juvenile robins are on the wing, growing and practicing and—as everyone’s favorite dour playwright and existential philosopher Samuel Beckett wrote in Worstward Ho!—“fail[ing] better.”

Let’s give it a go and see how we can try, fail, try again, then fail better. I’d be delighted to hear of your progress, in the summertime or anytime.

1. Special limited-time offer!

I was not asked to do this, but I got word that a blogger-friend of mine, Curtis Bausse, has released a triad of short stories called And it Came to Pass. Considering that May is Short Story Month, why don’t you consider picking up this ‘linked’ set of stories by the writer of the Magali Rousseau detective series? There’s despair. There’s terror. And there’s also hope in these intertwined past-present-future stories. You’ll be happy you spent the pittance (far, far less than they’re worth, artistically or otherwise) of 99 cents to snag this series of short stories now. They’re on Amazon, available for your Kindle.

2. I read a really good article presenting an editors’ discussion about what it means to portray strangeness in fiction-writing. Unless you’re Jim Morrison or the Lizard King’s ghost, you might like to get some pointers from the Master’s Review article here.

3. I, Me, Mine . . . As we are on the supposed cusp of a new golden age in short story-making, perhaps you might like to buy one of mine, a flash fiction that appears now in the spring/summer issue of moonShine Review, along with delectable fare from several other authors. My story is flash fiction, and, I hope, enjoyable. If you buy direct, it’s $10 per bound journal, and that includes tax and shipping (and tell Anne that Leigh Ward-Smith sent you, pretty please!). As the “old” commercial used to say: {I} thank you for your support!

4. Through June 6th: work out your demons on paper. Call it a writing exorcise. Whatever the case, Bloodbound Books is seeking your best disgusting, disturbing, splattering, and gruesome over-the-top horror stories (fiction, that is), from 750-5000 words (query for longer).  They’re a paying market, too. Five cents a word, so get on it, if you relish sloppy horror!

5. Room magazine, quite in contrast to the last market, seeks work by, about, and for women, including trans-women. This feminist publication needs “food” themed poetry, art,  creative nonfiction, and fiction of up to 3500 words or 5 images (in the case of art) for their fast-approaching 40.1 issue (deadline: July 31). This is a paying Canadian market that powers its submissions via Submittable.

6. Are you a playwright living in Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois? Do you have something written for 5 or fewer actors on the “nature of masculinity” (however you choose to interpret that concept/reality) any genre, and running ten minutes? There’s a no-fee competition now through June 3 for just such a work. Check out the details here, including how you can win one of the $100 honoraria; I found this listing originally at the treasure-trove of playwriting resources that is AACT.org.

7. Lucky seven, just for y’all: Maybe you’ve driven down South (U.S.). Maybe you live there. Maybe you’re just passing through. If you’re a writer with a “Southern journal” style article/reportage piece, Southern Living just might want to take a gander at your pitch. Be familiar with what they like to publish, then fire away. (No compensation, but seeing your name in publication lights.)

And now, I’m off to edit another story for publication. Wishing you all, all the best.

Submission Sunday #2: Writing Markets, March Madness Edition

Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes/
from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more/
strongly. (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene I, spoken by the Doctor, who prepares to observe Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking behaviors)

Lion- or lamb-like, March 2014 has come and very nearly gone. Here in the States, many are swept up in a maelstrom of March machismo. Sadly, across the globe, others are ensnared in different kinds of life-and-limb madness altogether.

Muse Calliope

Calliope/Kalliope, eldest of the Greek Muses, goddess of eloquence, and Muse of epic poetry. Detail from a representation of an oil-on-canvas piece by Simon Vouet, from Wikimedia Commons and in the public domain.

But, to look at it more positively, if you are a writer or artist, perhaps this month has afforded you the time to self-reflect or make progress on a novel, short story, poem, or other work. In that vein, I would like to offer you a few potential markets to consider in your progression as a creative individual. I’ve decided that most of the markets I search out and share will be free, and I will endeavor to find international markets as well as North American ones—so that you may learn to navigate yourself through the submission processes at work at different magazines, publishers, or other forums, both fee-based and no-fee. I myself occasionally chose to submit to a contest or magazine that charges a reading fee, because I know that many literary magazines operate on a micro-shoestring budget and I want to support their work. Some markets these days also offer critiques or subscriptions when you pay a submission fee. So, it’s then up to you to read the instructions fully with regard to what copyrights you retain or give up with your submission, as well as the submission parameters—and hew to them or face the rejection pile.

  1. ENTRY FEE & NO ENTRY FEE: The moonShine Review: This North Carolina–based literary magazine accepts previously unpublished prose and photography, noting that “Our goal is to bring about understanding through art and writing by providing a venue for unique voices.” During a regular submission cycle, you can submit up to 4 shorter pieces, with nothing more than 3,000 words in length. Their preference is for 2,200 or fewer words. Payment is in one comp, or complimentary, copy of the magazine. They say they accept work from anywhere, but prefer southeastern (U.S.) writers. The upcoming reading deadline is Sept. 1, 2014 (postmark). See more general submission criteria on their site. Note that they are also holding a 10th anniversary writing contest with entirely different criteria, a $5 submission fee, and a July 1, 2014 deadline. As ever, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the market, agent, or magazine prior to submitting.
  2. ENTRY FEE & NO ENTRY FEE: Situated along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, River Styx magazine has been navigating literary waters since 1975. They have (or have had) microfiction, poetry, and prose contests afoot, as well as regular submissions (including visual art, which has different criteria & submission period) during a reading period from May 1 through November 30 (postmark) every year, so sharpen those pencils, brains, or calloused computer fingers, friends! Right now, they have several contests in swing, including an international poetry competition ($1500 top prize; $10 or $20 entry fee) and a poetry competition for high school students, called the River Styx 2014 Founder’s Award. Check the previous link for submission deadlines and details.
  3. ENTRY FEE REQUIRED:  A special thanks goes out to writer-friend Ali Abbas, who has some outstanding prose of his own, in that I have received another suggestion: NYC Midnight. NYCM has a series of challenges throughout the year; right now, their screenwriting competition is about to kick off. For a $39 entry fee, you will be given an assignment then have 8 days to craft “an original short screenplay no longer than 12 pages” FOR ROUND ONE. If selected, your manuscript will advance through rounds, where the criteria will differ. The final deadline (along with entry fee) is May 1.
  4. NO ENTRY FEE: Finally, the editorial staff of The Louisville (Kentucky) Review read manuscripts year-’round. I really like TLR‘s mission statement: “The goal of the magazine continues to be to import the best writing to local readers, to juxtapose the work of established writers with new writers, and to export the best local writers to a national readership.” They review previously unpublished manuscripts of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama only. TLR prefers electronic submissions. Poetry from students in grades K-12 is also considered for The Children’s Corner. Their reply time is 4 to 6 months, and they consider simsubs (or simultaneous submissions), but be sure to touch base with them if you have any questions about their process.

If you know of others you would recommend, please consider leaving a comment. As always, best wishes on your writing and artifying. Keep at it!