“I’m on deadline, so my house has never been cleaner.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard some version of that from my writer friends. It’s never worked for me, alas. My brain does not accept cleaning as a procrastination method from writing deadlines. However, it turns out that the reverse might be true!
This month, I was doing a cleaning and organizing challenge*. So naturally, my brain decided that I should be doing some writing instead. But not Big Writing, like working on my book. No, that would be too obviously not what I was supposed to be doing. But how about something smol and quick, with a deadline that meant I should obviously do it sooner rather than later?
That is how I ended up taking my daily quick freewriting exercise and tweaking it to fit a monthly flash fiction contest’s theme.
* Necessitated by the accumulating detritus that began when I participated in NaNoWriMo’s monthlong writing challenge right before the pandemic hit, and snowballed when … yeah. All that came with it.
Takeaway 1: Seriously, if you’re not a super-speedy writer and you’re planning on NaNoWriMoing this November, have prep plans and recovery plans for everything non-writing-related! Bonus points for actually writing your plans down in advance.
Takeaway 2: Don’t have time for a “serious” writing project? Not sure what you want to write next? Try something small and fun, like one of these monthly themed flash fiction contests. As always for publishers included in Aswiebe’s Market List, none of these charge fees and they all pay (a little–flash fiction is not usually highly remunerative!):
If you’re in the Twin Cities area, I have a reading coming up in October at Dreamhaven!
On Wednesday, October 4, ABRA STAFFIN-WIEBE reads and holds a reception as part of the Speculations Reading Series, from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Abra Staffin-Wiebe is a science fiction author who loves futuristic fairy tales, cheerful horror, and dark science fiction. Dozens of her stories have appeared at award-winning publications including Tor.com, Escape Pod, and Fireside Magazine.
Bring a friend! There will be cookies and soda as well as giveaways during the reading. Afterwards, we usually adjourn to Parkway Pizza for some social time.
Feel free to share this blog post/newsletter with others by whatever means you like, as long as you include all of it. The next update of Aswiebe’s Market List will be after 10/15/2023. If you don’t want to miss an update, subscribe to the Aswiebe’s Market List newsletter: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/subscribe-to-market-list/
This (theoretically May) update is going out a couple of days late, so it’s extra large. More new markets! More useful links! So the timing seems right to talk about extra large stories: novellas.
tldr; Be patient, keep an eye on current submission calls (YES, I will list novella calls in this market list when I see them), and consider the advantages and disadvantages of publishing in a magazine.
How long is a novella? A novella is 17,500 – 39,999 words long, as defined by the Nebula Award categories.
Selling a novella is hard. Here are some options for science fiction, fantasy, and horror novellas, both publishers and magazines. There are a few publishers known for publishing novellas, but their unagented submission windows tend to be very short and far between, and there’s a lot of competition. Other publishers who occasionally publish novellas will often have special novella calls, but information about their novella publishing schedule is not even listed on their website the rest of the time. There are several magazines who accept novella-length submissions, but although they are open to the idea, they do not publish many novellas, they don’t pay royalties, and your novella will only be distributed as part of that magazine’s issue. (Yes, self-publishing a novella is always an option–there are special challenges there too!–but this is about selling it to a publisher.)
PUBLISHERS – OPEN
Pressfuls Novellas wants fantasy, horror, adventure, romance, and crime/mystery, pays 35% royalties. (Pressfuls Magazine appears defunct, but they’re still publishing longer works.) https://pressfuls.com/submit-a-story/
Midnight Bites ANTHOLOGY SERIES wants novelette and novella horror, 10k – 25k words themed and unthemed, pays $50 plus 25% royalties. Currently seeking carnie horror and medical horror. https://cronegirlspress.com/submissions/
PUBLISHERS – UPCOMING SUBMISSION CALLS
Neon Hemlock wants SF, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, and slipstream, especially queer. Pays royalties, or advance plus royalties. Award-winning. Open June 12th to 25th 2022 for trans women writers and writers of color. Open to all writers October 11th to 24th 2022. https://www.neonhemlock.com/submissions
Tor.com (novellas) wants fantasy and SF, pays pro rates of advance + royalties or higher royalty-only rate. Award-winning. CURRENTLY CLOSED. Unclear if/when they will reopen for unagented novella submissions, but it’s been a couple of years. https://www.tor.com/fiction-submissions-guidelines/
Award-winning Neon Hemlock will be open for speculative fiction novella submissions June 12 – 25, 2022 for BIPOC and trans women authors, October 11 – 24, 2022 for all. Pays royalties, or advance plus royalties.
:Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Slipstream, & Weird. Hybrid work or difficult to categorize novellas are also welcome.
Standalone works, although they may be connected to other series or work.
We are particularly interested in work that explores some element of queer experience, broadly speaking.
Basics: speculative fiction, 17,500-40,000 words, pay ?, no reprints, due 6/12/22-6/25/22 and 10/11/22-10/24/22.
To see all the details about these new listings and what they’re looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe’s Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet. Note: going forward, limited demographic market listings will be italicized.
Submissions open early on Mondays when they’re taking submissions, then close when they hit their quota. May be closed to submissions even if Moksha says they’re open, if there is no submission type to select. Long response time.
Fiends in the Furrows III, The: Final Harvest ONE-TIME ANTHOLOGY – DUE 7/31/22
How can you make writing a treat? Sure, we all love it when we hit flow state while writing, or when we craft that perfect sentence (that we later delete during edits, half the time). But you can’t rely on that happening. What can you choose to pair it with that will, itself, make writing a reward?
Working in a coffee shop is a good option for me, and not only because there are often yummy treats there. My brain loves going places. A museum, an art gallery, or a public garden are also rewards for me. And now that we are theoretically* approaching patio weather, there are even more options.
I’m also an extrovert, which means that coworking writing events work well for me, whether they are in-person or via Zoom. My brain sees meeting other humans as a reward, too!
If you’re looking for an in-person coworking event, try checking Meetup for writer’s groups in your area, or even general coworking events. There is also a weekly Zoom writing date that is included with Nebula conference membership.
So–what can make writing into a reward for you?
* It is Spring, but it is SO COLD here in Minnesota, you guys. So cold. I wore my winter coat this morning when I took my offspring to an Easter egg hunt.
(Do you have a writing question? Send it to me, either by replying to this email or by using the contact form on my website, and it may get answered in the next newsletter.)
Award-winning Uncanny Magazine will be open for SF/fantasy novella submissions May 1-15, 2022. Novella pay rate unclear; they pay $.10/word for short stories.
Uncanny Magazine is seeking passionate, diverse SF/F fiction and poetry from writers from every conceivable background. We want intricate, experimental stories and poems with gorgeous prose, verve, and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs. Uncanny believes there’s still plenty of room in the genre for tales that make you feel.
To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet. Note: going forward, limited demographic market listings will be italicized.
OK to submit even if previously rejected by sister publications Nightmare Magazine or Lightspeed. SUBMISSION PERIODS: ONE-TIME open to BIPOC authors all of 2022. General submissions: 1st – 7th of April, July, and October 2022.