Last Chance to Submit This Year!

Okay, so it’s not necessarily your last chance to submit a story in 2023. But it might be! Many publications shut down for the holiday season. They won’t accept new submissions. Even if others don’t shut down, the odds are good that their response times will slooooooow down. This goes for agents, short story markets, book publishers, everyone.

What is the holiday season? The slowdown starts the week of the United States’ Thanksgiving break, which is the week of Nov 20th this year. And many publications are flat-out closed the entire month of December. The good news is that these publications often have one last submission period in the month of November.

So if you have something that you’re working on, you may want to put in some extra writing and revising time to get it out for submission as soon as possible. 

If you’re planning on doing NaNoWriMo, you have a couple more days to wrap up your writing-in-progress before that chaos begins! And remember, I’ve got a collection of useful links about increasing your productivity right here: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/shiny-or-useful-writing-links/#htoc-productivity

What I’ve been up to lately, writing-wise:

Sadly, I had to cancel my reading at Dreamhaven Books due to catching Covid. I’m fully recovered now, thanks to Paxlovid and Metformin. But between catching the really nasty chest cold that’s been going around, and then swapping cold-for-covid with my spouse, that was several annoying weeks of sickness and recovery for our family. The reading is likely to be rescheduled for early 2024.

I have a Halloween publication! My story, “You Are in the Heart of the Corn Maze,” came out in the Fall issue of Fear Forge. This story’s a bit about the pandemic, and parenting, and the parts of ourselves we suppress. And a corn maze!

Things Shiny or Useful

Archive of all shiny or useful links: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/shiny-or-useful-writing-links/

Orbit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, is offering 14 free online events on the topic of “How to Write Your First SFF Novel”, covering inspiration, POV, outlining (or not), retellings, worldbuilding, tropes and trope subversion, magic, settings, romance, ensemble casts, heroes and villains, writing while working/caretaking, scene structure, and expanding a book. The guests include James S. A. Corey, C L Clark, P. Djèlí Clark, Megan E. O’Keefe, Tasha Suri, Fonda Lee, Ann Leckie, and more. Sign up here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/orbit-books/how-to-write-your-first-sff-novel/
Date range: Oct 11 – Nov 15. Recordings will be available after the scheduled live event, too.

Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere: https://indieweb.org/POSSE

The Indie Files: Wide For The Win 2 – Retail Promotions: https://www.sfwa.org/2023/10/17/indie-files-wide-for-the-win-2-retail-promotions/

Safety Dispatch: How to Establish and Use a Pen Name: https://www.sfwa.org/2023/10/24/safety-dispatch-how-to-establish-use-pen-name/

How to Get (& Stay) Ready for NaNoWriMo: https://careerauthors.com/how-to-get-stay-ready-for-nanowrimo/

GHOSTS WITH THE MOST! Five tips to make your ghost stories truly haunting: https://horrortree.com/ghosts-with-the-most-five-tips-to-make-your-ghost-stories-truly-haunting/

Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers (resource links): https://couponfollow.com/research/money-saving-guide-authors-writers

This new data poisoning tool lets artists fight back against generative AI: https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/10/23/1082189/data-poisoning-artists-fight-generative-ai/

You Just Found Out Your Book Was Used to Train AI. Now What? https://authorsguild.org/news/you-just-found-out-your-book-was-used-to-train-ai-now-what/

How to Use Bookbub with a Limited Budget: https://insights.bookbub.com/bookbub-limited-budget/

How to Write Scary Novels Infused with Fun and Humor: https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/how-to-write-scary-novels-infused-with-fun-and-humor

Plot Method: Jot, Bin, Pants: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17t0dYvl2noZS9WEQI-Cjx1Go0GUa1ZxmHnpMT-aiTeM/edit

Featured Market

Winter in the City: A Collection of Dark Urban Stories (House of Gamut) is looking for dark fantasy, dark SF, and horror themed to a real-world city in winter.

Noisy, crowded, ever in motion, the City can be more than a setting—it can be a character, as nuanced and as fickle as a human being, with as many traits and quirks as the best mapped out characters. The City can be the ever-present and constant companion (or foe) to the protagonist and antagonist alike. 

Winter in the City: A Collection of Dark Urban Stories is an anthology that takes place in different cities around the world during the bleak—sometimes harsh—season of winter. Your story submission must conform to the guidelines listed below and feature the City—in fact, the title of each story will be the City of which you write. 

We are not looking for vampire/werewolf love trysts. We are looking for fantastical elements within the City itself. 

Because we all know—deep in our hearts—that nightmares and fairies, monsters and ghosts, and terrors of the real and imagined call the City their home. 

GUIDELINES: 

• Short stories (3000-7500 words) that feature something fantastical in a city during winter. Your story will be titled by the city name (i.e. “Boston” or “Sydney”). 

• In this case a “city” should be considered a large population center (over 200,000 permanent inhabitants. 

• The “city” should be a real place—no “Gotham City” or “Hogsmeade.” 

• PLEASE Confirm which city your story will take place in before starting to write.House of Gamut

Basics: dark speculative fiction, themed, 3,000 – 7,500 words, $.10/word, no reprints. Submissions due: 3/31/24

Guidelines: https://houseofgamut.moksha.io/publication/house-of-gamut

Market List Updates

To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, go to https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/new/. For all the hundreds of listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet, or view it online at https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/marketlistonline/. Best read on a bigger screen!
A snippet of the October updates

Click to see details of the latest updates!

Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Keeper of Lists 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 11/15/2023. 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/

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Productive Procrastination with Flash Fiction

“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!):

What I’ve been up to lately, writing-wise:

DreamHaven storefront in the Standish neighborhood
DreamHaven storefront in the Standish neighborhood, by Elcief (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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.

Things Shiny or Useful

Archive of all shiny or useful links: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/shiny-or-useful-writing-links/

Lucy Worsley’s 9 “Christie Tricks” for Mystery Writers: https://careerauthors.com/christie-tips-on-mystery-writing/

Hook Your Genre Readers on Page One: https://careerauthors.com/writing-for-genre/

5 Ways To Use Short Stories To Grow as a Writer: https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/5-ways-to-use-short-stories-to-grow-as-a-writer

Publishing Contracts 101: Beware Internal Contradictions: https://writerbeware.blog/2022/06/10/publishing-contracts-101-beware-internal-contradictions/

How to Prevent AI Bots from Scraping Your Website: https://www.jonathancrowe.net/2023/09/how-to-prevent-ai-bots-from-scraping-your-website/

10 Tips for Building a Realistic and Vibrant Fictional World: https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/10-tips-for-building-a-realistic-and-vibrant-fictional-world

Overdrive and Libraries: Everything You Wanted to Know: https://ilona-andrews.com/blog/overdrive-and-libraries-everything-you-wanted-to-know/

Featured Market

Tales & Feathers Magazine (Augur) will be opening soon for cozy fantasy submissions!

Our ideal submissions look like this:

  • Quiet character-driven storytelling
  • Gentle moments
  • Rich fantastical worldbuilding
  • Everyday moments
  • Stories that take place before or between or after the epic conflicts
  • Stories that offer warmth, comfort, and possibility

We welcome stories written in any fantasy genre or genres, including stories that blur genre lines. We are especially interested in high fantasy, fairy tales, and myth.

We also welcome stories that have been translated into English and stories that engage with non-Western fantasy genre traditions.Tales & Feathers

Basics: cozy fantasy, 1,000 – 2,500 words, CA$.11/word, no reprints. Submission periods: 10/1/23-10/21/23 BIPOC, trans, or disabled writers; 10/8/23-10/21/23 general submissions.

Guidelines: https://www.augurmag.com/submissions/

Market List Updates

To see all the details about these new listings and what they’re looking for, go to https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/new/. For all the hundreds of listings, go to Aswiebe’s Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet, or view it online at https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/marketlistonline/. Best read on a bigger screen!

Screenshot of updated New Markets page

Click to see details of the latest updates!

Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Keeper of Lists

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/

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