Today’s topic, by popular demand of my loyal readers (all three of you), is about story submissions, and a few neat places that I’ve checked out that you may consider for your writing porpoises.
Bear in mind that as a naturally non-competitive person, I was never really into contests. There are a host of them out there, and I don’t claim to be in the know for which ones are “the best.” I suppose “best” is, like in all things, determined by preference. So, with that little disclaimer out of the way, here’s a list of six contests I’ve come across that I find relevant to me (that is, to science fiction and fantasy fiction).
Anyone who’s read my previous posts would find this name familiar. I’ve read both great things about the contest and … odd things about its origins. Be that as it may, the site is easy to use and there’s zero risk on part of the writer, and quite a lot to gain – in both cash and notoriety. They accept all manner of fantasy and science fiction in the form of short stories, novelettes, and even novel excerpts (under certain conditions). I’ve got a short ready, but in the future I plan to toss them a few chapters of my novel-in-progress.
As of this post, there’re two weeks before the next quarterly submission deadline. Hustle them cheeks.
If you’re into flash fiction, this could be something of interest to you. Flash fiction, for those who don’t know, is what it sounds like; a really short story. I’ve read arguments as to how long the minimum actually is, but generally a FlashFic can be between 500-2,000 words.
What makes this challenge fun is that as a participant, you are assigned criteria of three specifics; a genre, a character requirement, and a subject. For me, back in 2013, mine turned out to be: a caper story involving a biker gang and a telemarketer. I succeeded in churning out a story, but the result was less than awesome. It was, however, an excellent exercise, and whenever the challenge comes back for 2014 – presumably in autumn – I’d recommend everyone to swallow the $20 submission fee and just do it.
A podcast about which I have written in the past, and love to this day. They accept short story submissions from new or established writers, and actually pay them for it, all professional like. As a regular consumer of audiobooks and the like, I often dream of hearing my own stories read out by experienced voice actors. While I’ve some time before getting to that point, the Drabblecast may be an excellent place to start for many of you.
- 4) Tor.com
Tor is one of those names you see on a lot of books on shelves out there, as one of them-thar umbrella companies. They pay as well, so this makes them more of a traditional publishing-type organization rather than a contest, but they’re well known and have a penchant for science fiction and fantasy. They’re not into novels, though – seems their focus is short story/novella length works, so up to 17,500 words.
Here’s another name the likes of which always echoed with prestige whenever I’ve read about them. They’re more science fiction oriented, but are much like Tor in that they seek shorter works. There is no submission fee with them either since they’re a publisher and like Tor and the Drabblecast, will (gasp) pay you for your work.
And lastly, we have a smaller e-zine that I came across some time ago, the likes of whom have accepted a short story by yours truly. As a “fresh literary magazine,” which I interpret as “startup,” they do not pay submitters but likewise there is no submission fee. I shot them a story of mine knowing that outlets like this are not to be dismissed; I’m no established writer (yet), so what’s the next best thing for the humble pieces I churn out? Exposure. Magazines like Beyond The Imagination are an excellent resource for new writers, and I do hope you’ll pay them a visit as well.
Chances are, the more stories they receive, the sooner they’ll launch.
And with that, I’ll end it with a piece I’ve been digging and oh lordy, must I share it.
Happy writing, dear readers! Do you have any favorite places or outlets you follow or submit to, or plan to submit to?