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:

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:

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:
Date range: Oct 11 – Nov 15. Recordings will be available after the scheduled live event, too.

Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere:

The Indie Files: Wide For The Win 2 – Retail Promotions:

Safety Dispatch: How to Establish and Use a Pen Name:

How to Get (& Stay) Ready for NaNoWriMo:

GHOSTS WITH THE MOST! Five tips to make your ghost stories truly haunting:

Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers (resource links):

This new data poisoning tool lets artists fight back against generative AI:

You Just Found Out Your Book Was Used to Train AI. Now What?

How to Use Bookbub with a Limited Budget:

How to Write Scary Novels Infused with Fun and Humor:

Plot Method: Jot, Bin, Pants:

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. 


• 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


Market List Updates

To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, go to 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 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:


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:

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): . 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! 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]:

* How to Write a Character From Start to Finish [characterization]:

* An example of why you might need The Electronic Frontier Foundation someday (it has a happy ending!) [writing business]:

* Free Stuff for Writers: Waking the Muse [plotting]: and search for the title

* She Has No Head! [characterization]:

* Entertainment vs Truth [writing craft]:

* Updated MinnSpec podcast links:

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
Stay tuned for future Throwback Thursdays, or go read the current Aswiebe's Market List newsletter now!