Wednesday, July 13, 2022

July Submission Roundup

It's time for the monthly submission roundup! Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Augur is seeking speculative fiction for their regular magazine (Augur) and cozy SF/F stories for Tales & Feathers. They mostly take Canadian/First Nations. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.11/word. Deadline July 31.

Pikes Peak Writers is seeking short stories and poetry that takes the reader to a new world. Up to 6000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline July 31.

Superlative is seeking short fiction with the theme "Futures." Up to 1500 words. Pays 10 pounds. Deadline July 31.

Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing/Ghoulish Books is seeking body horror stories written by transgender and nonbinary authors for Bound in Flesh. 3000 to 5000 words. Pays $.05/word. Deadline July 31. (Note that I have worked with this press before with their magazine Dark Moon Digest, and they are always a pleasure to work with.)

Black Beacon Books is seeking post-apocalyptic short stories for Tales from the Ruins. 5000 to 10,000 words. Paying market. Deadline July 31. 

Metaphorosis is seeking SF/F short stories about an interesting museum. 1000 to 8000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline July 31.

Three Ravens Publishing is seeking high fantasy short stories for Embers of Corsari, a shared world anthology and horror comedy short stories for It Came from the Trailer Park II. 7000 to 10,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline August 1.

Lethe Press is seeking dark speculative short stories about "gay sexuality, desire, masculinity, and the aesthetics of rough trade" for Brute. 2500 to 10,000 words. Pays $.05/word. Deadline August 1.

The First Line is seeking fiction, poetry, and critical essays with the first line "Lily unlocked the back door of the thrift store using a key that didn't belong to her." 300 to 5000 words. Pays up to $50.00 depending upon submission type/length. Deadline August 1.

The Last Girls Club Magazine is seeking feminist horror with the theme "Thoughts & Prayers." Up to 2500 words. They also accept poetry and flash fiction. Pays $.01/word. Deadline August 1.

Rayne Hall is seeking horror stories dealing with trains for The Haunted Train. No length restriction. Pay is flat fee of 10 Euro. Deadline August 15.

Ghost Orchid Press is seeking erotic horror fairy tales for Les Petite Morts. 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline August 30.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking contemporary women's fiction for Life at Its Best and Christmas stories for Magick & Mistletoe. Up to 15,000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline August 31. 

Gwyllion is seeking pulp/low-brow speculative fiction. Up to 10,000 words. Pays 10 pounds. Deadline August 31.

Eerie River Publishing is seeking dark short stories for It Calls from Beneath. 2000 to 7000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline September 1 (does not open for submissions until August 1). They are also taking water themed horror for their elements series. 1500 to 7000 words. Same pay. Deadline August 31.

Timber Ghost Press is seeking horror stories set in the Old West for Along Harrowed Trails. Poetry, flash, and short. Up to 6000 words. Pays up to $35. Deadline August 31.

Apparition Literary Magazine is seeking speculative fiction poetry and short stories with the theme "nostalgia." 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.05/word. Deadline August 31 (not open for submissions until August 15.) 

War & Whiskey Publishing is seeking horror SF set on another planet for Strange Sunsets. 2500 to 7500 words. Pays $30. Deadline August 31.

Hellbound Books is seeking horror short stories paying homage to Poe for Madame Gray's Poe-Pourri of Terror and space SF horror for Hellbound Sci-Fi. 3000 to 8000 words for Poe and 4000 to 10,000 words for Hellbound. Pays $5. Deadline September 1. (I've been published with this market and had a good experience, but please note that they don't always send out rejections, as far as I know.)

Head Shot is seeking noir short stories for Bang! 2000 to 8000 words. Pays 10 pounds. Deadline September 1.

Orion's Belt is seeking SF stories. Up to 1200 words. Pays $.08.word. Deadline September 1.

Taco Bell Quarterly is seeking literary fiction, poetry, and more that involves Taco Bell in some way. 500 to 1500 words. Pays $100 per piece. Deadline September 5.

Any of these of interest? Any open calls to share? Are you submitting?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

IWSG - Writing and Mental Health

It's time for the July edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG is a space for writers to voice their insecurities and get support from their fellow writers. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and sign up on the link list.

The co-hosts this month are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton. While you're bopping around to visit fellow IWSGers, be sure to say hi to the co-hosts and Alex!

The optional question this month is: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

I kind of wish I was in Oz right now. At least there evil people can be dealt with fairly. In Oz, there are evil beings, but everyone knows who they are. That last part seems to make a difference. Also, there didn't really seem to be disease there. Then again, it's been a long time since I actually read the books, so it could be I didn't remember those things.

Things weren't all rainbows and sprinkles in Oz. I do remember that. But it was still a place to escape as a kid. Return to Oz isn't anywhere near as popular as The Wizard of Oz, but I always loved it. It spoke to that part of me who is healed by seeing the darkness be overcome. In the beginning, Dorothy is in a...we'll call it a mental health facility. I seem to recall some electroshock, perhaps? While evil witches trying to kill little girls and their dogs is freaky, as are flying monkeys, and, most of all, being far from home with no idea how to get back, the beginning part of Return to Oz (and much that followed) always stuck with me. The princess (?) who could change heads, the wheelers, and people being turned into ornaments and decorations if they didn't play a game right.

I don't remember exactly why the beginning got to me so much. Perhaps because this time Dorothy's family had purposely sent her away. They hadn't believed her, had thought she was sick, and they'd sent her away. Why wouldn't that disturb a child?

This springboards into what I'd thought about posting today. I've never kept it a secret that I deal with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Unfortunately, I've had a series of personal life issues that have retriggered the PTSD, so I've been struggling with that. National events have likely compounded it, as what I think set it off was a sense of helplessness. I don't handle being helpless well. I'm a person who prefers to take things into my own hands and fix them. I'm good at fixing things, but some things cannot be fixed.

What does this have to do with writing? I've seen a lot of friends in the writing world suffering from mental health issues lately. The world is a rough place to be right now. If not all, then many of us are suffering from the drastic life changes that came about from a worldwide pandemic. Our lives changed in myriad ways during this, whatever the reasons, and as humans, that requires coping mechanisms. It also often means that there will be ripples, even if we don't know where those ripples originated or how far out they'll go. 

Often, impactful situations can hurt our creativity. Even if it doesn't touch our creativity, it may hurt our mental and emotional energy. It turns out we need both of those things to write. I know that I struggle to write when things are hard. While a handful of people were posting about all they were getting done during the last two years, many more were posting that they couldn't write, that the words weren't coming, that they couldn't get themselves to focus on work.

I think, in general, things had started feeling lighter, better, different, and that it maybe lulled us into a false sense of security in terms of looking after ourselves. So now when we're suffering, it may take longer to realize that it's happening in the first place, let alone what personal reasons there are for it. As a result, we might try to push ourselves through it instead of taking the time to stop and care for ourselves and cope. We might get frustrated and angry that we're not doing more, meeting writing goals, buckling down, being as productive as we think we should be.

It took me a couple weeks at least to realize the PTSD was active and that's why I was struggling so much. It's not like you can take a test that magically shows something like that. After all, I spent decades suffering it and not knowing what it was. However, I also know that I tend to self-analyze so much that sometimes I can see things like this in myself faster than others might, so it felt important to send out a gentle reminder that...things aren't okay. Not for a lot of people. Don't be hard on yourself if you're not perfect right now. (Or ever, really, because many of us are always hard on ourselves). Figure out what works for you to cope with depression, anxiety, or whatever you may personally suffer from, and take the time to do those things. I know that may feel like ONE.MORE.THING you have to do. Believe me, I know. All I can say is that you're doing your best, and if you can find it in yourself to do one thing for yourself that will help, that one thing might add up and get you through it.

Take care of yourself first. The writing and creativity will follow.

Switching gears, it's time to report my submission stats for June. I do this each IWSG to keep myself accountable.


0 new submissions

7 rejections (5 personal)

0 acceptances

24 stories currently on submission

So how are you doing? What are your insecurities? Are you submitting? Are you taking care of yourself?

May you find your Muse.