Sweater weather is coming! Sweater weather is coming! Get your corduroys, get your scarves, it’s sweater weather!
I have a couple of announcements, the first being that my story: “The Planet of the Hungry” was accepted for publication in the Denver Horror Collective’s anthology, Consumed.
The basic premise of “The Planet of the Hungry” is such:
Nan, an inhabitant of a windswept planet infested by terrifying cannibalistic wraiths known as the Starved, travels to where she saw a falling star land. In the crater, Nan discovers a shuttle from which emerges a beautiful woman named Celine. Celine claims to have a way to save the planet and rid it of the Starved, if only Nan would help her cross the stark and desolate landscape. But is Celine being wholly honest? Or is she just as dangerous as the mutants that haunt the Planet of the Hungry?
Intriguing, right? Make sure you buy a copy of that anthology when it goes live!
My second announcement is that my very first newsletter went out this month on the 3rd! It included some exclusive information, a blog recap, and custom artwork. If you haven’t done so, I think you should definitely sign up for my newsletter because I’ll be doing a giveaway for October and all you need to do is be a subscriber.
Just click here and sign up!
Make sure you’re signed up before my October newsletter goes out on Oct 3rd and you’ll have a chance to win an ebook copy of Negative Space, which contains my cosmic horror tale, “The Whale Hunts”.
Now onto the resource list! One question I get asked a lot is where are the best places to look for submission calls. I did a blog post about this a couple years ago but it’s rather outdated now, so I figured I would make a new one.
These websites pull in open calls and organize them for easy reference.
- Dark Markets is one of my favourite aggregation sites because they post all the relevant details for a submission call, including payment, theme, and word length limits. I would also recommend following them on Twitter, so you can get updates straight to your phone about new calls.
- The Grinder works as a market database and a submission tracker, so you can see how long on average it takes to get a response from a publication. They also have a pretty awesome search engine.
- The Horror Tree is another site like Dark Markets, however I find their layout clunky and hard to navigate. The benefit is they tend to print all the requirements the publisher wants, rather than a high-level overview like Dark Markets.
- Submittable: this website is used by a lot of publications as a submission manager, but it also has a Discover tab where authors can browse for current calls. You have to have an account (which is free) to use their services. It has a pretty useful search and filtering system as well.
There are tons of Facebook groups out there that post open calls and have the advantage of being in your feed for easy consumption and for also being the place where you might get calls for submissions posted by the editors themselves. I often see people posting questions to those posts and getting answers direct from the editors, which is pretty helpful.
- Open Call: Horror Markets: this group asks for posters to “post open calls for professional rate paying horror publications (defined as $25 USD or above)”.
- Open Submission Calls for Horror/Paranormal/Mystery/SciFi Writers: this group encourages people to post calls they have found so you get a mix of things.
- Open Call: For The Love of Horror: another page where people can post whatever calls they find, though this one is solely for horror. They are also strict on what information needs to be included, saving you from having to chase after that yourself.
- Open Submission Calls for Short Story Writers: this group asks for posts about “open submission calls for any work less than 15K”.
All of these are great resources – however I want to also remind you, dear reader, to always do your research. If a submission call seems vague or suspicious or whatever, research the company and do your due diligence. This includes checking what kind of rights they are asking for or if other people have posted negative reviews about the company.
Writer Beware is a great website that helps writers with this. Writer Beware is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with support from the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Their blog provides updates on literary scams, along with information on how writers can protect themselves, and I highly encourage you to give the site a browse now and then.
It’s tough to know where to look for legitimate information that can help you get published. There are many people offering editing services, but it’s hard to know if they are qualified or even experienced. How do you sift the good information from the bad?
Well, for general writing, publishing, and editing tips; I would recommend checking out Ellen Brock’s website and Youtube series. Her website is the one I usually search first for an answer. She is a freelance editor and has almost a decade of experience. I would highly recommend these blog posts in particular:
- How to Write a Query Letter (with examples of successful letters!)
- How to Personalize a Query Letter
- How to Show Instead of Tell in Your Writing
- Dialogue Tags
- How to Avoid Info Dumping
And don’t forget, she also has a Youtube channel, with a huge selection of videos to help you with your writing.
Anyway, happy writing and good luck in placing your stories!
x P.L. McMillan