How Long Since You Wrote?

Thoughts in Passing

How long has it been since you last wrote fiction? When you stop and think about it, does the answer to that question surprise you? Do you even know how long it’s been?

More than once, I’ve found myself startled to realize how long it has been since I had a real writing session. It’s usually not an intentional choice. It’s life. Things happen. Recently, it was covid + a nasty chest cold, followed by my family getting stomach flu, and then Thanksgiving travel was upon us. This could definitely have been worse–we could have been sick during Thanksgiving. But it definitely dented my ability to sit down and write in a focused way.

I don’t think I would have noticed exactly how much it affected me if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo.

Obviously, the question, “Do you know how long it’s been since you wrote?” is not for those of you who have been doing NaNoWriMo! If you did NaNoWriMo, congratulations. Congratulations if you wrote the full number of words to “win.” Congratulations if you don’t make it, but you still wrote more words than you thought you could in one month! Congratulations if you wrote any number of words, at all. You brought new sentences into the world, and that’s a pretty awesome thing.

I didn’t try to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I still benefited from the special NaNoWriMo event hosted by 4theWords (a website that gamifies writing, complete with quests and monsters to defeat by wordcount). Here’s how.

Tracking.  Writing. Streaks. 

As simple as that! How many days in a row had I written a certain number of words? The days stack up. Keeping the chain going can add motivation. More importantly, for me, it builds a daily habit of thinking about how many words I’ve written that day.

Building that habit doesn’t require a special month or a special app*. You can track it with a spreadsheet. You can track it with a paper calendar that you put stickers on. You can track it by gouging hash marks into the wall of your writing dungeon, if you have a writing dungeon and you don’t mind causing a little property damage.

If your answer was that you don’t know how long it has been since you last wrote regularly–and if that answer bothered you–you might benefit from making a habit of tracking your writing every day, even on those days when the number of words you wrote was zero.

* If you would like to use an app, there are many habit-tracking apps available. If you like making a game of writing, 4theWords is fun. If you want a tracker that also helps you meet a deadline (and is free), I recommend Pacemaker at https://www.pacemaker.press.

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

I’ve been working on the never-ending ending of my WiP! I swear, it keeps getting longer… Funny how that works.

Things Shiny or Useful

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

5 Rules for Writing Humorous Urban Fantasy: https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/5-rules-for-writing-humorous-urban-fantasy

Featured Market

The Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Short Fiction (annual) wants SF by new writers, is open for submissions 11/15 – 4/1.

Short Story (definition): A story up to 7,499 words, as defined by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

New Author (definition): An author who has not had any fiction work published (including short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels in paper, digital or audio form) that has been paid a per-word rate of 6 cents a word or more or received a payment for any single work of fiction totaling more than $50.

If the author has self-published the piece then their total earnings from any single piece of fiction may not exceed $50 from all published venues.

Eligibility: Entries should be a new science fiction short story written a new author who affirms their story was not in any way plagiarized off of any other work, nor written (in part or whole) with the assistance of AI apps or programs.Arc Manor Books

Basics: science fiction, limited author demographic: new authors, up to 7,499 words, no reprints, 1st – $250, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $50. Submissions due: 4/1/2.

Guidelines: https://www.arcmanorbooks.com/resnick

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 November 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 12/15/2023. 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/
Share

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/

Share

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/

Share

Finding Your Best Way to Write

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be between 11/15/2022 and 11/30/2022. 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/

As the seasons change, I’m reminded that when writers are most productive can change too. Our lives change, our schedules change, our responsibilities change. Hell, our brains change. What works best for you during the summer might not work at all in the fall and winter. Or switching to a new method might break you out of a rut. Knowing what works for you matters, especially if you’re planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year! And if you are planning on doing NaNoWriMo, that quantity of writing provides an excellent opportunity to experiment.

So how do you know when and what works best for you?

There are no shortcuts to this, I’m afraid! You have to try it to find out. Track the time you spend, when you spend it, how many words you produce, and how you feel about those words. You’ll probably want to give yourself a few days of trying something to see how it works for you, because the first day of a new system or schedule is always weird. Only alter one thing at a time–I suggest trying a different writing schedule first.

Here are some things to try, to see what works for you.

Schedule

Look at all the time you have available. Consider temporarily changing your wake-up time, your bedtime, your lunch break habits, your Disney+ habit, and any other “normally I do X now” times that you can move around. Schedule a particular time of day to be your designated writing time. Write at that time every day. Remember that this might change depending on the season, and on the darkest days of the year, a happy light is your friend!

Try writing in a block of at least 2 solid hours with minimal breaks.

Try writing in 25-minute intervals with breaks according to the Pomodoro Method.

Try writing in snippets throughout the day instead of one big chunk of time. Uninstall social media apps and write on your phone when you would normally check Instagram, or carry a notebook with you.

Try burst writing. Don’t write for a couple of days, then go to a coffee shop or turn off your phone and close your door and neglect everything else for a 4-6 hour block of writing.

Method

Outline the whole story first.

Outline the scene you’re about to write.

Don’t outline at all.

Write out of sequence. Focus on the scene you’re most excited about first.

Write multiple stories at once. Switch between them when you get bored. Try a few sentences and if you aren’t excited about what you’re writing, move on to the next one. (Note: this method only works if things eventually get finished!)

Means

Write longhand, then transcribe it later. (Remember to count transcription time.)

Try dictation. Give the free trial a shot.

Gamify it with 4theWords.

Write in a coffee shop, write lying on the couch, write at a desk, write in a museum. Try different locations.

Write with friends, or find a local writing meet-up (NaNoWriMo will offer several).

Write totally alone.

Write with strangers nearby, without interacting with them.

Try blocking the internet and social media while you write.

(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.)

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

This newsletter of markets updated in October is going out a little late, thanks to Halloween shenanigans. Other than that, I’ve been writing on my WiP. It’s kind of boring giving status updates on writing a novel, right? Because mostly it’s just, “Yup, still writing a novel. Recently researched skullcaps, skullstripping (actual medical terminology!), and the decay rate of brains.” You know, the usual. Also, turns out brains liquify fairly quickly because they are already so liquidy.

I’m over 25% of my wordcount goal for the novel, though. And I think the plot’s about in the same place. Hurray! 1/4 done!

Things Shiny or Useful

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

What is Your Halloween Writer Type: https://careerauthors.com/what-is-your-halloween-writer-type/

Wanting a Beta Reader: https://twitter.com/clpolk/status/1584320844825735169

Write the Thing: https://www.thingswithout.com/comic/write-the-thing-comic-734/

The Ecology of Worldbuilding: https://www.sfwa.org/2022/10/25/ecology-worldbuilding/

Marathon Lessons: https://stone-soup.ghost.io/archive/marathon-lessons/

Top 10 Twitter Tips for Authors: https://twitter.com/garethlpowell/status/1580920359502909441

How to Make Twitter Suck Less: https://shaunduke.net/2021/07/howtomaketwittersuckless/

How to Leave Twitter for Mastodon: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-get-started-on-mastodon-and-leave-twitter-behind

Upcoming Virtual Conventions/Workshops

(Any registration fees are noted.)

World Fantasy Convention ($125), Nov 3-6, 2022: https://www.wfc2022.org/

The Nebula Conference is over for 2022, but purchasing a membership now ($75) still gets access to recorded panels and year-round special events: https://membership.sfwa.org/event-4563942

Featured Market

The Quantum-Steampunk Short-Story Contest wants quantum steampunk, pays total awards worth $4,500.

Entries must satisfy two requirements: First, stories must be written in a steampunk style, including by taking place at least partially during the 1800s. Transport us to Meiji Japan; La Belle Époque in Paris; gritty, smoky Manchester; or a camp of immigrants unfurling a railroad across the American west. Feel free to set your story partially in the future; time machines are welcome.

Second, each entry must feature at least one quantum technology, real or imagined. Real and under-construction quantum technologies include quantum computers, communication networks, cryptographic systems, sensors, thermometers, and clocks. Experimentalists have realized quantum engines, batteries, refrigerators, and teleportation, too. Surprise us with your imagined quantum technologies (and inspire our next research-grant proposals).

Quantum-Steampunk Short-Story Contest

Basics: quantum steampunk stories, up to 3,000 words, grand prize $1,500 Visa certificate plus other whimsical categories up to $4,500 total, reprint acceptability unspecified, due 1/15/23.

Guidelines: https://qtd-hub.umd.edu/contest/

Additional details: https://quantumfrontiers.com/2022/10/09/announcing-the-quantum-steampunk-short-story-contest/

Market List Updates

Continue readingFinding Your Best Way to Write
Share

Giving Yourself Grace … For a While, and Other Market List Updates

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 8/15/2022. 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/

Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/july-2022/

Thoughts in Passing

Giving Yourself Grace … For a Little While

Life happens. It’s a truism because it’s true. After the past couple of years, we all understand how quickly our lives can be disrupted. Some disruptions are predictable (summer vacation, a new baby), others are less so (sickness, a dying relative, job loss). In my household, the last couple of months have been a little of column A, a little of column B. We’re all fine now.

My writing schedule, however, is shot. My Pacemaker.press wordcount graph looks terrible. You can really see when my kids came home from school, followed quickly by our whole family getting sick and then having an activity-packed family reunion.

I am not good at giving myself grace. I’m a fairly slow writer, and if I don’t drive myself to write on a schedule, suddenly weeks have gone by without words on the page. And I don’t write well in short spurts. I really need a few uninterrupted hours to sink into deep work mode.

So, grace. Giving yourself grace is not the same thing as giving up. Grace can be saying, “I can’t do as much as I want while [current circumstances], but I will if [better conditions].” Then you do what you can, when you can, under the current circumstances. Sometimes that’s a little, sometimes that’s nothing. Then you can either wait or do what you can until your circumstances change. That might be because they are temporary and have a natural end date. Or it might be because you have worked to get your life closer to those better conditions.

For me, knowing that there is an end condition and planning for it makes all the difference. I can give myself grace, even if right now all I can do is make a list, or take a few notes, or add a reminder to my calendar for later.

(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.)

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

I’ve tinkered with the way the new market listings table shows up on the website. It should be more responsive for cellphones and smaller screens (will still display best on a larger screen). And now it has a search function! Please do leave a comment in my contact form letting me know what you think.

Other than that, I’m getting snippets of writing done on my space opera novel, when I can. Trying not to wince at how far behind my Pacemaker.press chart thinks I am!

Things Shiny or Useful

Archive of all shiny or useful links: https://aswiebe.com/marketlist/shiny-or-useful-writing-links/
🧵 indicates a useful thread on Twitter.

Purgatorial Stories: Hallmarks and Patterns: https://tanaudel.wordpress.com/2022/07/25/purgatorial-stories-hallmarks-and-patterns/

Reflections on Writing Horror: https://horrortree.com/reflections-on-writing-horror-as-fast-as-she-can-blog-tour/

Here’s how to find your damn comps 🧵: https://twitter.com/GuerillaMemoir/status/1547916175379533832
…with caveats🧵: https://twitter.com/isabeljka/status/1549025082344968194

10 Swords Writing Exercise 🧵: https://twitter.com/SixFeetZen/status/1547621439099940865

Guard Rails Around the Bottomless Pit: https://maxgladstone.substack.com/p/guard-rails-around-the-bottomless

Behind the Scenes: http://www.augurmag.com/what-happens-to-a-submission-at-augur-magazine/

Romancing SFF: https://www.sfwa.org/2022/06/16/romancing-sff-why-romance-should-be-part-of-your-worldbuilding/

Publishing Checklist: Making Books: https://dreamfoundry.org/2022/06/23/publishing-checklist-making-books/

Upcoming Virtual Conventions/Workshops

(Any registration fees are noted.)

ChiCon 8 / WorldCon ($30), Sept 1-5, 2022: https://chicon.org/

Can*Con (CAD$45), Oct 14-16, 2022: https://can-con.org/2022-registration-and-price-list/

World Fantasy Convention ($125), Nov 3-6, 2022: https://www.wfc2022.org/

The Nebula Conference ($150) is over for 2022, but purchasing a membership now still gets access to recorded panels and year-round special events: https://membership.sfwa.org/event-4563942

Featured Market

The annual Unidentified Funny Objects anthology wants humorous SF/fantasy, due 8/25/22.

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams.  We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.  The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume. You can buy them here and also read the online stories for free. WHAT WE DON’T WANT These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile.

You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.

Unidentified Funny Objects

Basics: humorous speculative fiction, 500 – 6,000 words, pays $.08/wd, no reprints, 2022 submissions close 8/25/22.

Guidelines:  https://alexshvartsman.com/ufo-unidentified-funny-objects/

Market List Updates

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.
[table “1” not found /]

Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Compiler of Lists
Aswiebe’s Market List
Abra Staffin-Wiebe’s Author Website

  • If you need to update your name, just fill out the newsletter subscription form again. Use the same email address.
  • If you need to change your email address, please unsubscribe from your old email. Then fill out the newsletter subscription form.
  • Feel free to share this newsletter with others by whatever means you like, as long as you include all of it.

Share

Throwback Thursday #TBT: Feb 2013’s notes on writing motivation and Glitter & Mayhem

Editor’s Note

Throwback Thursday! Some Thursdays, I will post a Market List newsletter from way back and comment on what's changed since. After major sections, I'll add a Where Are They Now? comment. (Yes, this is my sneaky way of moving my archives to my new website. 😉You caught me.)

Because of rapid publication market changes, I only include the Featured Market in Throwback Thursdays. 

How do you motivate yourself to write, day after day (assuming you’re not a binge writer, that is)? As my writing time shrinks, thanks to my darling toddler, I’ve become more and more concerned about how to squeeze the words out during those brief times when I *do* have uninterrupted time for writing. I no longer have the luxury of dilly-dallying around all day in order to get my word count. I’m trying:

1. Planning and visualizing beforehand: http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html

2. Rewards! Kelly Barnhill, author of Iron-Hearted Violet, mentioned that she uses the reward of a chocolate chip every so many words. I find that Hershey’s Mint Bliss chocolates do the trick for me, and every hundred words or so, knowing that I’ve earned 1/4 of a chocolate really does seem to light up those reward centers in my brain.

3. Gold stars–just like in kindergarten. I’m trying putting a gold star on my calendar for every day I write, and a fancy multicolored star for when I write more than a certain number of words. The jury is still out on whether this works for me. I forget to put the stars up as often as not, which argues that they aren’t an effective motivator for me.

4. Spreadsheets! I’ve started using The Magic Spreadsheet (of myth and lore): http://murverse.com/at-long-last-the-magic-spreadsheet/ . It does seem to be working for me, at least in the sense of strongly motivating me to write that minimum 250 words every day, no matter what. It isn’t as effective at motivating me to write swiftly enough to increase my wordcount, but the “writing every day in a row” thing sure is working, and I know that for me, that can be crucial.

Where are they now?  
1. I need to work more on pre-visualization. It really works for me, and I should remember that! 
3. I literally bought a calendar to start doing this again this year. I have yet to hang it up. 
4. This is still up, but it's huge and way too complicated to figure out now. Not sure if it's even still active.

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

(Note: You may have noticed this newsletter skipped last month. My grandmother died about the time that the newsletter was due to go out, and after we’d traveled for the funeral and come back home and gotten up to speed on everything else, the newsletter would have been late enough that I decided to just wait for the next month.)

I’ve confirmed that I’ll be attending CONvergence, a large fantasy and science fiction convention in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Schedules are still being finalized, but I will likely be talking on panels about things writingy, apocalyptic, and conspiracy-related (shh–don’t tell anyone).

From Their Cradle to Your Grave is now available on Amazon.com! This includes my reprinted short story, “The Perfect Costume.” This horror anthology is all about tales of terrifying tots, toddlers through teenagers. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but doesn’t that sound like a great gift for the new parents in your life?

Where are they now?  Out of print! I didn't realize this until I checked the link. Now I have some publication updates to make.

Things Shiny or Useful

* Where Your Time Is [productivity]: http://pcwrede.com/blog/where-your-time-is/

* How to Write a Character From Start to Finish [characterization]: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-write-a-character-from-start-to-finish

* An example of why you might need The Electronic Frontier Foundation someday (it has a happy ending!) [writing business]: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/02/trademark-bully-thwarted-spots-space-marine-back-online

* Free Stuff for Writers: Waking the Muse [plotting]:  http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/2013/WW13-03.shtml and search for the title

* She Has No Head! [characterization]: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2013/01/21/she-has-no-head-mission-accomplished/

* Entertainment vs Truth [writing craft]: http://writerunboxed.com/2012/03/07/entertainment-vs-truth/

* Updated MinnSpec podcast links: http://www.meetup.com/MinnSpec/messages/boards/thread/22420402/0/#71937842

Where are they now?  We stopped doing the MinnSpec podcast a long time ago, but the links are still up! 

Featured Market

Glitter and Mayhem is a spec-fic anthology about, well, they say it best….

A fiction anthology filled with Roller Derby, nightclubs, glam aliens, (literal) party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, debauchery, etc

. . . why just throw a glow-in-the-dark roller skating party when you can also make it a book release party? And what’s better than a glow-in-the-dark roller skating party celebrating a book about the secret history of 20th Century nightlife/party culture?

Read more
 The basics: due March 15, all speculative fiction, less than 6,000 words, pays $.05/word.

Where are they now? This anthology turned out pretty awesome (I bought and read it, because I'm a huge fan of Seanan McGuire's stories), and it is still available!
Glitter and Mayhem cover
 https://www.amazon.com/Glitter-Mayhem-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B00EP4WL54
Stay tuned for future Throwback Thursdays, or go read the current Aswiebe's Market List newsletter now!
Share