Posts Tagged 'anthology'

Story to Appear in Bundoran Press’s Lazarus Risen

I’m pleased to tell you that I will have a story in Bundoran Press’s new anthology Lazarus Risen. Continuing Bundoran’s line of anthologies exploring how certain concepts or technologies might affect society and humanity, Lazarus Risen explores science-based immortality. From the submission guidelines:

Lazarus Risen will seek SF (no fantasy or horror, please) short stories that explore the economic, political, social and psychological consequences of life extension, human cloning, the hard upload and other forms of the biological singularity.

I won’t say too much about what my story is about, except it explores how immortality might not be the cornucopia of fulfillment one might dream it to be.

Bundoran has posted the full table of contents on Facebook.

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Two Events this Weekend

Nothing like short notice, right? If you’re in Ottawa and are a fan of sci-fi/horror/fantasy or just great stories, I have two events for you. Hope to see you there!

Postscripts to Darkness 2 Launch

Sean Moreland and Aalya Ahmad, two Ottawa professors studying horror literature who will be attending Can-Con this year, are launching their latest horror anthology Postscripts to Darkness 2.

When & Where:
Imperial Pub
329 Bank Street
Ottawa
Saturday, August 11 @ 7PM

More details on Facebook

Can-Con Reading Club: Online ‘Zines

As part of the warm-up for Can-Con, the organizers are hosting reading series to cover various topics. This Sunday afternoon we will be covering 4 stories in the online ‘zines AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review and Ideomancer. One of the stories to be discussed is my story “Ascension“. The others are:

I should point out AE editor Duff McCourt and Ideomancer editor Leah Bobbet will be attending Can-Con in September.

When & Where:
Bridgehead Coffeehouse
Bank & Albert
Ottawa
Sunday, August 12 @ 2PM

More details on Facebook

Writing Advice: Don’t Send Out that Rejected Story from a Themed Anthology

It’s happened to all of us. You hear about an anthology with a cool theme. You brainstorm story ideas, settle on one and spend the next few weeks writing, revising and work shopping the story. With high hopes, you submit it.

Then the rejection notice arrives. A bit disappointed, you think “That’s OK, it’s a great story. I’ll submit it to magazines interested in the same genre.”

This is a mistake. Don’t submit the rejected story to other markets for at least a year. Why? Because that’s what everyone else is doing and editors will be flooded with those stories.

Do you want your story lost in that mix?

How publishers & editors react to the deluge of rejected anthology submissions

I’m fortunate to have met and befriended some editors and publishers. From them, I learned the other side of the publishing world. One thing I’ve learned is the post-anthology deluge drives editors mad.

A few weeks ago at Ad Astra, a Toronto science fiction convention, I listened to my magazine editor friends chide anthology editor friends that the rejected stories from the anthologies were flooding in to the magazines. A lot of steam was blown off and plenty of friendly ribbing, but it made me appreciate their side of the business.

Editors have a stack of manuscripts to read at any given time. It can be a draining, mindless job. So, editors are looking for something that jumps out at them—well-written, entertaining and original.

Two results of the post-anthology hangover

Your story may be well-written and entertaining, but if all the rejected anthology stories start rolling in at the same time, you lose your originality. The editor might only give these stories—including yours—a quick glance, mentally lumping them all together. Now, as an author I feel your pain in saying “That’s not fair!” And it’s not. But it’s human nature.

A second strike against your story is the editor will know these are rejected stories, so it’s simple to assume they are second-best. True, your story may have been rejected for reasons other than quality, but again it’s human nature and how an editor can get through the mountain of stories that much easier.

Set the story aside for a year

So what do you do with that story? Set is aside for a year. That’s right—one whole year. There are two reasons for this.

First, let the wave of stories flooding the inboxes of magazines pass. After a year, your tale of the unicorn-powered zeppelin will regain its sheen of originality and stand on its own merits.

Second, before you submit the story, review it. You will have grown and improved as a writer over that year, so there may be some improvements you can make to the story to further increase its chances of being purchased.

And read that anthology

Lastly, read the anthology when it comes out. Take a look at what got accepted and why. You might find your writing was not up to snuff or thematically the story didn’t work with the others. Take a good, hard, critical look at the anthology because—most likely—the editor will do another anthology… maybe a “Volume 2”. Understanding the editor’s tastes will greatly improve your chances of selling him or her another story.

Blog Tour – Armand Rosamilia, Editor of Undead Tales 2

Armand Rosamilia - He looks tough, but he's actually a really nice guy

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Armand Rosamilia, author of extreme zombie horror and editor of Undead Tales 2, an anthology of zombies stories to be released by Rymfire Books that will contain my short story “But It’s Not The End.”

So, first of all, how long did it take to grow that beard?

Beard? What beard? That bad-boy (I refer to it as my BadAss Goatee) has been there since I was 22, and I’ve been bald/shaving my head since then as well… twenty years growing it but never long until the last 8 months… it keeps getting longer and grayer by the day…

I can sympathize. I had a beard that was about five inches long that my wife called my “Osama beard.” When I got a respectable job, I had to trim it down.

Cover for Undead Tales 2, with author names to be added

Let’s start with Undead Tales 2. Now, most submission guides say they don’t want zombie stories unless there is something new about them. My story features intelligent zombies—zombies that have retained their pre-death personalities, but are still zombies. I’ve seen a few others stories like this, but not many. Do you see this as a new way zombie fiction is going? What else can be done to shake things up? [N.B. – In a completely self-serving way, I invite you to take a look at my very short story “Ascension” which brings a new twist on the zombie story: What if the zombie apocalypse is actually the next stage of human development?]

Very self-serving question. Love it. I think the same can be said about vampire and werewolf stories as well, right? Everyone wants a new twist on an old monster or a brand-new monster. Is there anything new? Each writer seems to think their idea is new enough. I’ve read too many that aren’t, but the ones I have read I like enough to follow that author.

From http://doyourjob.files.wordpress.com

Zombie Voting: Vote "errrrgggggg" on Prop 28!!! (My story in Undead Tales 2 isn't quite like this, though.)

I can’t imagine how hard that must be to wade through the slush pile and keep seeing the same thing over and over. As an editor, what do you want to see more of? Balls to the wall stories even if it’s stories we’ve seen 1,000 times? Or new and original ideas but the storytelling isn’t great?

I want a story to speak to me. I know that sounds cliché, but I’m a reader first. I want to dive into a slush-pile and the story that makes me forget I’m trying to pick stories for, say, Undead Tales 2, is the one I want to publish.

As a horror writer, I’m grateful there still are hard-core horror markets out there. Let’s face it: from its peak in the 80s, horror as a genre has died (and SF is not too far behind) while fantasy is in ascension. What do you think horror will need to do to come back? It’s hard to shock people these days, so what should horror writers be doing to attract readers? Is it a question of attracting main stream readers like King did or focus on the hardcore faithful and give them what they want?

I think you answered your own question. Next.

Actually, I think going extreme in either direction: go for the over-the-top gore and blood like (Carlton) Mellick or Edward Lee, or write more general horror that appeals to King and Koontz fans, people who don’t read horror exclusively.

Cool, I’ll have to check those writers out. So who else is writing great zombie fiction these days?

Besides me? Oops, did I say that out loud? Brian Keene (The Rising, City of the Dead) got me into it, although he says he’s done with zombies for now. I love Joe McKinney‘s work, he can do no wrong. Also Mark Tufo is superb and has such a rabid following it’s scary. I try to read as many zombie books as I can, and love anthologies of short stories to find new authors.

Speaking of your own work, you go for extreme horror. No holding back; these things are nasty, evil and brutal. Once upon a time, we had nasty, evil vampires. Think ‘Salem’s Lot. Then Anne Rice brought us broody but still dangerous vampires. Now, vampires are still brooding, but sparkly misunderstood bad-boys mooned over by teenage girls. Think it’s only a matter of time before we see sparkly zombies?

Hopefully never. But I’m sure it will happen, and that’s when the zombie subgenre will implode, become a joke, and a bad word that no one but the few true fans still like. But they won’t ever like sparkly zombies…

In your the Dying Days stories, your zombies don’t just want to eat people, but you throw in the threat of rape. That’s an interesting twist on the intersection of violence/sex/reproduction since a zombie reproduces through violence. Did you intentionally set out to explore this idea or did it just arrive in the writing process?

I wanted something a little different. The series began because I needed to write an extreme zombie novella for an open Comet Press submission period. I wrote Highway To Hell. The opening line is:

Randy watched, repulsed as the two male zombies took turns dead-fisting the barely-alive girl anally.

But there’s actually no rape scenes other than that in the book, and in the Dying Days series the thought of getting raped by a zombie is more horrific than showing it, I think.

Ew. That could be the most repulsive thing ever to appear on this blog.

Your output as a writer is staggering. Do you outline? Write organically?

I pull a brand new index card out every morning while the coffee is brewing and set myself some realistic goals for the day… 2,000 words, finish this short story, read 15 shorts for an anthology, edit something… then on the back I have my promotional goals: 75 Twitter friends that count, post new blog, read and comment on 6 other blogs, answer all e-mail, look for 5 new reviewers, play RavenSkye game on Facebook…

That’s a great idea!

Let’s get serious for a second. What do you secretly want to write but can’t tell anyone? Romance? A western? A literary story? I promise I won’t tell anyone (except the entire Internet).

I want to write raunchy erotica, crazy sex stuff that will make a hooker blush. No pretense, no big story, just people rutting like sheep. But not with sheep, because that will get you banned in some places.

And sheep are such a cliché. How about mountain lions or wolverines? It ain’t extreme ’til the one you’re lovin’ can maul your balls off with one swipe.

The ultimate showdown. Who will win? (Thanks justinelarbalestier.com)

Speaking of which: A unicorn stabs a zombie through the heart with its horn: (1) The zombie is killed (2) The unicorn becomes a zombie unicorn (3) That’s the stupidest friggin’ question ever. (And stop mixing genres.)

My eleven-year old daughter will be very upset if you kill a unicorn. But a zombie unicorn would be the coolest thing ever! Or a zombie M&M, either one…

I’m thinking zombie M&M since all know unicorns don’t exist.

Thanks for stopping by Armand! And you get the last word:

Want to know more about the “Dying Days” series? Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple: e-mail me at armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com with DYING DAYS in the subject line and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway… also, post a comment here and you get another chance… follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply post DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot… nice and easy, right?

If I get enough people joining in the giveaway there will be a print book given away that day!

“Dying Days” series information can be found here: http://armandrosamilia.com/dying-days-series/


A zombie’s right to vote

I have to share this.

This is taken from a debate among seven real Republican presidential candidates in Arizona. During the debate, the question of whether zombies should have the right to vote was asked. Three of the seven raise their hands.

I post this because a zombie’s right to vote—and if they might still be a person—is the central issue to my short story “But It’s Not The End,” which is currently in the shortlist for will appear in Rymfire BooksUndead Tales 2 anthology.

Great Reviews of Tesseracts Thirteen and Tesseracts Fourteen

A review of a number of books, which will appear in Cemetery Dance #66, included Tesseracts Thirteen and Tesseracts Fourteen (you’ll need to scroll down), giving special mention to my stories in each anthology.

About my story in Tesseracts Thirteen, “The Weak Son,” they called it “a welcome variation on the traditional ghost story, with an Alzheimerish twist of the tail.” I couldn’t put it any better!

As for my story in Tesseracts Fourteen, they said:

Finally, three stories with dark science fictional underpinnings stand out—Matthew Moore’s “The Machinery of Government,” in which a recently promoted public official finds himself caught in the midst of an invasion of Canada by an unnamed aggressor (not the US)… Strangely, all three of these stories seem like excerpts from longer works — and in all three cases, I hope the authors do, in fact, expand on what they’ve done here.

I’m thrilled to have my name appear in Cemetery Dance in the same article with Tim Lebbon (for The Thief of Broken Toys, published by ChiZine Publications), Tony Burgess, Brent Hayward, Erik Mohr (who did the cover for Tesseracts Fourteen) and David Nickle, who also got mentions for both his stories “The Radejastians” (T13) and “Basements” (T14).

How to Publish a Short Story: Ranking Markets

In a previous blog post, I talked about the different types of short fiction markets, how to research them and how to start a list of places you can send your story.

In this post, I’ll talk about what to do with that list.

How to Rank Short Fiction Markets

Now that you have a list of markets—magazine, anthologies, contests—you should rank them in the order you should submit. Let’s face it, some markets are better than others in terms of what they pay and the prestige they offer. You should submit to these markets first.

Payment

You won’t get rich selling short fiction, but payment shows your story has value. As well, payment may qualify you for certain writing organizations, like SFWA. So, markets that pay more should be sorted toward the top.

Prestige

Payment is not the only way to decide where to send your story. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, for example, states “We do not pay much,” but publications in this magazine is a tremendous coup for new and emerging writers. Sometimes, having your story in a well-known market means more than a higher-paying, but less well-known one.

But evaluating prestige can be tricky. The best way to do this is read a lot of short fiction and look for the magazines and anthology editors you see often.

Likelihood of Publication

Balancing against payment and prestige is how likely a market is to buy your story. For beginners, it’s a long shot that a top market will publish you. It could take years of trying all the top markets, and being rejected, before reaching a lower-tier market that buys your story. But what if you sell your story on its first submission to an anthology paying $1 per story? You might wonder if you could have sold it to Analog.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Balance spending a lot of time on submissions to markets you might not be ready for with grasping for that golden ring.

Timing

While most magazines accept submissions year round, anthologies and contests only accept submissions for a certain time period. What if an anthology that’s perfect for your story, but only pays $5, is closing to submissions in two weeks? Do you submit to the anthology—better odds of acceptance, lower payment—or to a magazine paying pro rates—longer odds, better payment—but miss the anthology’s deadline?

Balancing this idea are long acceptance windows. Some anthologies may be open to submissions for six months, but will not make acceptance or rejection decisions until after that six-month window (and sometimes several months after the submission window closes). Are you willing to let your story sit for a year under consideration? Again, there is not right answer—it’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Entry Fees

While reputable anthologies and magazines will not charge you for submitting, contests generally charge some form of entry fee. Would you spend $5 at a chance of winning $1,000 and publication in an upcoming anthology? How about spending $10 for the chance of winning $100? For contests, you need to balance the entry fee along with the length of time it will take to judge the contest with the payment and prestige the winner receives.

Rank Order Your List

With everything above in mind—payment, prestige, timing, likelihood of publication—list the markets that might take your story in the order you will submit to them. Having this list handy will help when an inevitable rejection comes in. Rather than starting another search for a new market, you select the next item on the list.

Be Aware of Changes

Even with the list, things change day-to-day. Markets close or increase their payment rates. Anthologies and contests are created and announce calls for submissions. Be sure to keep your list up-to-date.

A good time to update the list is after a rejection. Look at the next market on your list and verify that the specifics—payment, response times—are still accurate. As well, do a quick search for new anthologies or contests that might be suitable for your story. You never know what’s changed since you last submitted your story. You never know if the perfect anthology for your story has opened to submissions.

Track Your Submissions

Having this list of possible markets will be a big help to you in submitting short stories, but you also have to track where and when you’ve submitted your work to prevent a simultaneous submission (sending one story to multiple markets at the same time) or accidentally re-submitting a story to the same market.

I’ll get into this topic more in my next blog post.

How to Publish a Short Story: Know Your Markets

You’ve finished your edits to your short story and now it’s ready to to be published. If your a beginning—or even intermediate—writer, the question of where it can be published can be daunting. If you want to sell your story and not waste your time submitting to markets that are not interested in your stories, you have to do your research.

What Kinds of Markets Are There for Short Stories?

Before diving into research, know the types of markets for short fiction:

  • Magazines regularly publish short fiction, ranging from a few stories per year to a dozen stories each month. They may also contain reviews, editorials or articles. Magazines can be broken down into:
    • Printed versions sold in book shops or via subscription. Print magazines vary from high quality productions like Asimov’s to hand-stapled photocopies.
    • Online magazines, like ChiZine and Clarkesworld, publish fiction through a website.
    • Podcasts produce fiction in audio format, such as The Drabblecast and Pseudopod.
  • Anthologies are book containing short stories, usually based on a specific theme. Some anthologies, like the Tesseracts series, are annual while others appear just once.
  • Contests may also publish short fiction as part of the prize. The winner might receive payment and/or simple recognition.

How to Research Short Fiction Markets

What to Look For

You want to find markets whose needs match your genre and story length.

A magazine wanting “hard SF” isn’t interested in sword & sorcery. And some markets are very specific—your near future societal sci-fi story won’t sell to a steampunk magazine. Now, you might be drawn to a market like Asimov’s with its popularity and high pay rates, but unless you have a science fiction story to sell them, don’t bother submitting horror or fantasy. No matter how good your story may be, markets have a specific vision for the fiction they want to publish.

Also, length restrictions must be respected. An anthology accepting up to 2000-word stories won’t consider something 2,500-words long. Some markets may allow you to query for longer works, but understand what a query is: It does not mean to send your entire story with a cover letter asking if it is OK. Rather, summarize the story, your writing credits and the length of the work. A pro market may let Neil Gaiman or Joe Hill have an few extra hundred words. They won’t accept a story that’s one and a half times their maximum length from a beginning writer. Remember, many markets pay by the word, so a longer story affects their budget. And for printed magazines and anthologies, a longer story means they might have to bump someone else, or buy more paper and ink.

Finally, look for specifics restrictions, like writers from a certain region or age. For example, some markets favor writers under 25, those living in New England, or were adopted. If you do not meet their criteria, save yourself some time and don’t bother submitting.

A Note About Contests

While most contests are legitimate, others ask for entry fees for the sole purpose of raising money since the winner has been predetermined. Before submitting to any contest with an entry fee, do your research. How long has the contest been around? Are the judges people you’ve heard of?Is the contest associated with a reputable organization?

Where to Search

To find this information, two of the most popular sites are Duotrope and Ralan, which contain detailed listings of short story markets including magazines, contests, anthologies podcasts and more.

An Internet search for “call for submissions” or “open to submissions,” adding the genre or type of fiction you write to the search, may lead to anthologies looking for submissions. Do the same for “fiction contests.” Setting up a Google Alert for these is a great way to stay up to date on a changing market place.

Read, read and read so more

Once you have some ideas of markets that might publish your story, the best thing you can do is read those markets to make sure what they are publishing matches what you have written. Most magazines will offer free samples of their stories, and website usually provide all of their stories for free.

Unfortunately, this is a step often overlooked by authors and it frustrates editors to no end. “Horror,” for example, can mean anything from mad slasher stories loaded with blood and guts to creepy atmospheric stories like “The Yellow Wallpaper.” If you have a horror story, the only way you can know if your story will have a chance at being published in a “horror” market is to read it.

Make A List

As you are searching and finding markets that might be interested in your story, start making a list of them. Record:

  • The name of the markets
  • The website address of its submission guidelines
  • Its requirements: genre, length, etc.
  • Its payment policy – cents per word, flat rate per story
  • Response time

What Do I Do with this List?

Having a list of markets will help you determine where you send your story first and what market to pick next if you’re rejected. I’ll talk about this more in detail in my next blog post.

Recommended Interview with John Joseph Adams

I listen to The Dragon Page Cover to Cover, a great podcast about writing that talks about all angles: “the craft,” the business side of being a writer, understanding the publishing industry, etc.

They recently interviewed John Joseph Adams and I highly recommend listening to it. In it, Mr. Adams talks about editing anthologies, the difference between them and magazines, and opportunities for small press publishers. For writers who want to know what’s happening after you submit your manuscript to an open submission, it’s invaluable insight. The beginning of the podcast has a short discussion about ebook publishing that’s worthwhile if you’re thinking of self-publishing electronic versions of your stories.

You can visit the interview’s page on Dragon Page site or download the MP3 (23M).

(If you haven’t heard of him, Mr. Adams is a rising star as an editor of  genre fiction anthologies. You can learn more about him at his website: http://www.johnjosephadams.com/.)

HorrorNews.Net Reviews Night Terrors

HorrorNews.Net has posted a review of Night Terrors, the anthology of 31 short horror stories, which includes by short story “While Gabriel Slept.”

Overall, they say:

Creepy, macabre subject matter fills the pages of a Blood Bound Books first, Night Terrors: An Anthology of Horror edited by Theresa Dillon. Night Terrors is an anthology of 31 horror stories ranging from stories of serial killers, to monsters, to evil itself. There are stories here to satisfy anyone’s palate and quench anyone’s thirst for blood and gore.

Giving every story its own one or two sentence review, they say  of “While Gabriel Slept:”

“While Gabriel Slept” about a man who resents his cheating wife and the possible product of her affair, the baby. This story may strike a nerve with some but I found it quite refreshing that such a taboo idea be the focus of a story.

I’m thrilled that I was also finally able to get my hands on copies of the book, which look and feel great!


Upcoming Appearances

ChiSeries Ottawa: Charles de Lint, Paul Glennon and Liz Westbrook-Trenholm – Host
Nov. 7, 2017
Clocktower Brew (Basement)
575 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
Nov 21st OIW: Short Story Writing with Matt Moore, Lydia Peever – Instructor
Nov. 21, 2017
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON

Where Else to Find Me

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Email me at MattMooreWrites@gmail.com


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