What Can Writers Do for Awards Season? (And Best of the Year Anthologies)
tldr; Make an awards eligibility post on your website/blog. Post a thread of your publications this year on social media. Don’t forget to pay the cat pictures tax. 😉
You can call it an awards eligibility post, or an end of year post, or you can just say “This is what I got published this year.” If self-promotion makes you uncomfortable, think of this as an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year and what you’re happy about. John Wiswell’s post is a great example of this (and his stories are also good! go read them!): https://johnwiswell.substack.com/p/all-the-short-stories-i-published. With each story include the link (if available), the wordcount, the date published, and a quick description of what the story is about and why someone might want to read it.
Keep an eye on social media for people who are keeping lists of awards eligibility posts. Don’t be shy in sharing yours! And after you’ve made your eligibility post, remember that this is also a great time to talk about stories that you’ve really enjoyed reading that were first published this year. A rising tide, etc.
Okay, you say, but what else can a writer do? That’s where it gets more complicated. There is definitely a decreasing return on investment at this point. But yes, for many awards, there are other things you can do to increase your story’s visibility.
This is not true of all awards. Notable awards where authors can not offer their work for consideration include the Arthur C. Clarke Award (unless you’re a UK self-publisher), the British Fantasy Award, the BSFA Awards, the Locus Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, the Mythopoeic Awards, and the Shirley Jackson Award.
For a list of awards (and Best of the Year anthologies), click to view the full-size table of award info and the rest of the market list updates:
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.