Category Archives: short fiction

Bitten by Books Editor/Author Chat and Giveaway

No Middle Grade Monday post for me today. If you want to get your MG fix for the week, visit Shannon Messenger’s Blog for today’s posts.

but I have this announcement:

Bitten by Books is offering an online chat between authors and readers tomorrow. The dialogue is ALSO a contest, a chance to win one of TWO $20 Amazon Gift Certificates.

If you RSVP TODAY to enter the contest you get a 25 point BONUS:
http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=62201

futuredaze-cover-final

HOW IT WORKS

Tomorrow, Bitten by Books will put up a short blog post by the editors. Then readers post questions in the comments over a 24 hour period and they/we answer those questions, creating an online conversation between editors/authors and readers.

There are two $20 gift cards from Amazon.com. For every post, readers acquire points and the two readers with the most points win. Earn 25 extra points by RSVPing to the event (you only get the points if you go back and comment tomorrow, though).

We’d love to have you there! If you’d like to help spread the word, here’s the info you need to know:

ONLINE CHAT WITH FUTUREDAZE EDITORS AND AUTHORS
Hosted by: Bitten by Books
Event Date:  Tuesday, March 12th.
Start Time: 12:00 Central Time (US)
RSVP TODAY!:  http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=62201
Contest Open: Worldwide
Prize:  Two  $20.00 Amazon Gift Cards (two winners)

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Filed under contests, Science Fiction, short fiction, YA literature

Futuredaze Launches Tomorrow (or MGMless in MGM Land)

futuredaze-cover-finalThe print edition of FUTUREDAZE: an Anthology of YA Science Fiction launches tomorrow (Feb 12) and I am over the moon to be included in this book. Seriously, the whole experience has been a treat.

The ebooks have already been internationally launched and may be purchased HERE.

You can read the reviewer praise for the creative work HERE, but I would like to “big up” the editors themselves.

Erin Underwood was my main contact, but I’m sure co-editor Hannah Strom-Martin is just as professional and personable as Erin. Futuredaze is the first of an annual anthology series of YA Science Fiction (I will keep you posted on future deadlines), and I think this series will garner respect from the sci fi community.

The Underwords Press folks were timely, communicative, professional, and enthusiastic to deal with. I appreciated how they kept all the authors informed along the way, from sending advance reviews to sharing the cover with us before it went public. They are also distribution savvy, something a lot of small presses struggle with. They sent out copies of the books and checks when they said they would, and then emailed to confirm.

Really, every small press should be as pleasant to deal with. I’m hoping to post an interview with Erin Underwood this week, but she’s a bit busy.

I have no Middle Grade Monday post of my own today, but please do visit the folks below who do:

(MGM list from author Shannon Messenger’s blog)

– Mark Baker joins the MMGM fun with two features: THE BRONZE BOW, click HERE. And to see his review on THE DEAD MAN’S MINE, click HERE.
– Andrea Mack has chills for MAKING BOMBS FOR HITLER. Click HERE .
– Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends THE ELLIE MCDOODLE series. Click HERE to see what that’s all about.
– Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are cheering for BUNNICULA. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it.
– Janet Smart is spotlighting THe WHIPPING BOY.  Click HERE to see why.
– Katie Fitzgerald sings praises for A SONG FOR BIJOU. Click HERE.
– Dorine White is raves about THE MAGICIAN’S TOWER. Click HERE.
– Michael Gettel-Gilmarten reminds us of FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER. Click HERE to see why he thinks this classic still holds up.
– Laurisa White Reyes is taking her turn at WONDER. Click HERE for her review.
– Barbara Watson highlights SUMMER AT FORSAKEN LAKE. Click HERE.
– Rosi Hollinbeck is featuring DESTINY, REWRITTEN–plus an ARC GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for details.
– Pam Torres: Click HERE.
– Michelle Isenhoff: Click HERE.
– Joanne Fritz: Click HERE.
– Karen Yingling: Click HERE to which ones she picked this week .
– The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations.
~     ~     ~

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Filed under Science Fiction, short fiction, YA literature

Writing Life: The Short Shot

I had written short stories for classes or if someone invited me to write one, but I had never thought about writing for the short story market until about a year-and-a-half ago when I was asked to teach a dystopian fiction class to teenagers focused around producing a short story.

I always write with my students and use the development of my own story to demonstrate the creative process. I ended up creating something in my first dystopian fiction class that I really liked and thought there might be a market for the story.

I started reading more short stories on line, attending short fiction readings, and picked up several speculative fiction anthologies, and you know what? There’s some really interesting work out there.

Many people, including myself, romanticize novel writing and make that their number one goal. But it can take years to finish a novel to satisfaction and years more to see it in print. Short story writing can be extremely satisfying because one can finish a short story in a matter of weeks or even days with genuine focus.

You need to write as much as possible to hone your skills, and short stories allow you to explore numerous ideas and worlds and characters without too much of a commitment. It’s much less tragic to toss a short story that isn’t working then to trash an entire novel.

Getting short stories published is also a great way to keep your work in the public consciousness before your novel is published (or between novels being published). Sometimes it can take a while, but generally short story publication happens much quicker. For instance, I submitted to the Futuredaze anthology in June, was accepted the following month, and the anthology will be published in February 2013. From first draft to publication was less than a year. How many can say that about a novel that wasn’t self-published?

The best part? You don’t need an agent to submit to most publishers of short stories. And, unless it’s an “invitation only” anthology, publishers will put out calls for submissions, often inspiring the writer with themes for their magazines and anthologies (Canadian Zombies! Doppleganger Dragons!)

There are also paying markets. You won’t see advances and royalties, but you’ll get paid for your words and rights revert back to the author upon publication, so if you love your characters and your story and want to expand it into a novel later on, that’s your prerogative.

Or you could choose to self-publish “ebooks” of each of your short stories at .99 a pop if you want.

Pretty sweet.

If this inspires you and you want to check this world out, here are some recent calls for short stories in the paid market:

http://www.clockworkphoenix.com/#guidelines

http://stonethreadpublishing.com/contests/

http://gabrielle-edits.com/hero2_open_submissions/

If interested in finding these markets, subscribe to yahoo groups CRWROPPS (Creative Writers Opportunities List and Duotrope (soon to be a paid listings @ $5 / month) to keep abreast of new calls for work.

And please feel free to post links to any calls you’ve found lately!

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Filed under Calls for Submission, do something different, short fiction, writing life