Thursday, December 30, 2010

Paying Market--West Branch Magazine

The Bucknell University literary journal, West Branch Magazine, accepts submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction. They pay anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the length of your submission. Be aware that the submission period runs from August 15 to April 15, and you can only submit 3 items in that time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advice to Writers

I'm actually not giving any advice to writers at the moment. But, there is a cool blog I wanted to direct your attention to, called Advice to Writers (or ATW for those of us cool enough to use acronyms).

The blog owner, Jon Winokur, collects writing quotations and posts them. That's about it, but for those of us who are at the beginning of what we hope to be long and prosperous writing careers, getting writing advice from the masters can be a really good thing.

On the first page alone, the authors giving advice include John Updike, Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, William Zinsser (one of my writing parents), David Mamet, and David McCullough.

For fun, I'll leave you with one. I love writing quotes and often feature them here, but I don't do it every day like ATW does, so if you have an appetite for this kind of advice, definitely bookmark Advice to Writers.

The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It's not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Market for Horror Stories

It doesn't pay much...but it pays something!

Horror Fiction Magazine is soliciting short stories of up to 10,000 words, for which they will pay 3 cents per word.

Here's what they say:

We're looking for well written short stories in the horror genre. Please send anything up to 10,000 words . We pay 3 cents per word upon acceptance.

We do accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know as soon as possible if your submission is accepted elsewhere. We only purchase first publication rights.

We're also looking for poems in the horror genre of any length, and we're looking for artwork. Please email with a query before submitting artwork.

The easiest way to submit is by sending an email to randyray at gmail dot com.

Horror Fiction Magazine
205 North Ballard
Wylie, TX 75098

Email: randyray at gmail dot com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Odes to the Olympians

Write a poem about Athena/Minerva of a maximum of 30 lines.

The deadline is November 30, 2010. There are adult and youth categories, and a $50 prize for each.

You can find more information here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Twitter of the Dead

I was at a writing conference this weekend, and discovered a new publisher--Living Dead Press. They specialize in horror short story anthologies. Here is a really fun call for submissions they have going up: Twitter of the Dead.

FYI, they don't pay anything for inclusion but contributors' copies, but that makes it a good stepping stone for bigger and better things in the future.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Contest for Short Short Stories

The Bevel Summers Prize in the Short Short Story is open to all authors of stories of up to 1,000 words.
Stories should be sent to Bevel Summers/Shenandoah, Mattingly House, 2 Lee Ave., Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450 and must be received by March 31.

Send two copies, one with name and contact information, including e-mail address, and a duplicate with no identifying information, along with an sase for notification. The winner will receive a $250 prize and be featured prominently on Shenandoah's first online issue. There is no entry fee for the 2011 contest. A judge has not yet been selected.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

5 Arguments in Defense of Fanfiction

5 Arguments In Defense of Fanfiction

I always thought that I should dedicate my first book to JK Rowling. Her entire Harry Potter world was so compelling, so all-consuming, that her seven novels weren’t enough. Some of us cared too much about Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest to let them go. What would happen when they grew up? Would Harry hook up with Ginny or Hermione—or Lavender, Tonks, or Luna? Did Harry think about sex, and who would he have it with? Would he become an Auror, a professional Quidditch player, or the Minister of Magic? What about the minor characters? And don’t even get me started on Snape, one of the deepest, most enigmatic and darkly compelling characters ever written.

Since JKRowling didn’t give us the answers to these questions, we had to provide them ourselves. And of course, it wasn’t just the Harry Potter world that compelled us to take the author’s gifts one step further. In addition to Harry Potter fanfiction, I’ve also written stories of the TV show The Office and in the world of Twilight (I’m a sucker for an angst-ridden Edward, and I’m head over heels in love with Carlisle). Dear friends of mine write in the fandoms of Xena, X-Men, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, V for Vendetta, Maximum Ride, Percy Jackson, Pride and Prejudice, and even, yes, the Bible.

There are those who don’t approve of the whole fanfiction enterprise. If you want a boy wizard or a self-loathing vampire, they say, why not just create your own and write about him, instead of stealing someone else’s? But fanfiction is good for writers, good for readers, good for creators, and good in general. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Fanfiction is good for the original authors. Some authors don’t allow it, and most of fandom respects that , but most authors get a huge kick out of fanfiction. JKR, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, Garth Nix, and other writers are thrilled and affirmed that their characters live so fully beyond the borders of their books.

2. Fanfiction is good for business.
Did you ever go to a Harry Potter midnight book release or film premier? Most of the people there were members of the internet fan community, or fandom. The HP phenomenon wouldn’t have been a fraction of what it was without the fandom, and JKR knew it. You can’t buy this kind of publicity and you don’t have to—fanfic is a jillion dollars worth of free publicity. Publicity sells books, keeps bookstores open, keeps advertisers happy, and generally promotes a healthy economy.

3. Fanfiction is a training ground for writers.
There are some objectors who protest that much of fanfiction just isn’t very good. And I can’t argue—some just isn’t. Some of it’s written by middle-schoolers who can barely spell Edward, much less write a deep exploration of his psyche. But fanfic also comes with two systems that the world of original fiction could stand to learn from: the review system and the beta system. Reviews allow for immediate feedback—how many novelists have access to that? And the beta system is a mentoring/editing system that helps new writers (and experienced ones) improve and perfect their stories. I am willing to wager that young or new writers learn more about their own language from their betas than from their English teachers. No offense to hard working English teachers, but who can compete with Harry, Fang, and Edward? New writers hone their craft in fanfiction, and if they go on to original writing, they don’t make those same beginner mistakes.

4. Fanfiction is a doorway to publication. This is controversial, but some fanfiction stories have been so very good, and so very unlike their models (how “Twilight” is an all-human Cullen family, for example?), that they are easily, and successfully, converted to original works and submitted for publication. If Harry is a non-magical cowboy in the Old West, it’s not too hard to just make him a cowboy in the Old West. If you remove Fang’s wings, he’s just a rebellious teenager with an honorable streak and a crush on a tough girl. Every author is inspired by someone, and those who have their roots in fanfiction can make the transition from “someone else owns these characters” to “someone else inspired these characters.”

5. Fanfiction encourages reading and writing. My teenaged daughters are immersed in the world of the Marauders—Harry Potter’s parents and their classmates. They spend their computer time reading Marauders fanfic (rated T/PG-13 or lower—I’m on top of that). They don’t spend their computer time flirting, sexting, watching questionable music videos, sneaking porn, or chatting with dangerous predators. They only get 90 minutes a day online, and they choose to spend it with Lily, James, Sirius, and Remus. In a time when attention spans are declining, some teens and others are reading and writing for entertainment.

I know it’s not universally approved of in the writing community, but I’ve been grateful for fanfic in my life. On top of all the reasons I just listed, it’s also led me to some of my dearest friends, and we’ve had a wonderful time getting to know each other beyond our common literary obsessions. For that reason alone, it would be a good thing. I’d be quite interested to hear others’ experiences or thoughts about fanfic.

Kathy Teel is a freelance writer and editor, and runs a beta service for new writers of original fiction, No Disclaimers Beta Services ( She’s also a staff beta for the fanfiction sites Twilighted ( and Checkmated ( which are Twilight and Harry Potter sites, respectively.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Writing Contest--Quick Deadline!

That's the original announcement of the contest, sponsored by St. Martin's Press and judged solely by Lord Archer (whose writings I've never read--I only know him as one of the authors in Bridget Jones's Diary). Anyway, heads up on the quick deadline (October 1). It might be perfect if you already have something lying around you haven't done much with. You can click the headline to this article to get to the entry page, or just go here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Great Article About Writing Books

Over on The WM Freelancer's Connection, Pam Houghton has written an article recommending 3 excellent writing books. You should absolutely check out the whole article, "Classic Writing Books," whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

Houghton's choices are:

1. Bird-by-Bird by Anne Lamott (1994)
2. Writing down the Bones - Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg (1986)
3. On Writing Well - by William Zinsser (1976)

I'll give an enthusiastic AMEN to each of these. William Zinsser's book, especially, changed my life. He singlehandedly took me from an academic mindset that made me think that I had to use big words and convoluted arguments in order to appear smart, to a mental place where I suddenly valued clarity, content, and communication. Shorter sentences, simpler, clearer words, and actual things to say.

Another good one is Stephen King's On Writing; that's one I read bits of quite often. Anyone have any other recommendations for writing books?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rise of the Necromancer Short Story Contest

Flesh & Bone: Rise of the Necromancers
Short Story Contest
Winning stories selected by Alva J. Roberts
Edited by Jessy Marie Roberts
Email entries (via docx, doc or rtf attachment)

Please put SUBMISSION, followed by the title of the story, in the subject line of your email. Thanks!

Pill Hill Press is excited to announce its second writing contest. Winning stories will be published in a print anthology. Winners will receive:

1st Place - $125.00 + 1 contributor's copy of the book
2nd Place - $50.00 + 1 contributor's copy of the book
3rd Place - $25.00 + 1 contributor's copy of the book
Runners-up - 1 contributor's copy of the book

Send us your darkest, fiercest, most magical DARK FANTASY short story about necromancers and the undead rising...Stories can take place any time (past, present, future, alternate) at any place (Earth, Imaginary Places, Your Grandma's Kitchen Sink, etc.). Stories can be told from the perspective of good or evil or anywhere in between.

Send your best effort. Only one short story per person will be considered for this contest. Final selections will be made after the deadline. Winners will be notified by email.

We prefer stories in the 3,000-6,000 word range, though we will accept stories 2,000-10,000 words. Please do not enter stories under 2,000 words or over 10,000 words.

Contest entries will be accepted until 31 July 2010.
Tentative Release Date: Fall 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Writing Quotation

It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.

~Annie Gottlier

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Titles vs Text: What Can I Use in My Writing Without Getting Permission?

Because so many of us find other artists' works important to our own creative process, it's natural that our characters do, too. So, our heroine might hum a song as she gets ready for work, or our hero might remember an inspiring passage from a book he read. But those songs and books, as well as TV shows, movie dialogue, and even web content and photographs, might be copyrighted material. If it is, you'll be expected to undergo the long process of getting permission to use it.

What can you use in the text of your story without worrying about copyright?

Titles can't be copyrighted, so chances are that if you say that your character was reading a book called Mystic River, Dennis Lehane can't do anything about that. So, if you want to name the song your character is humming, you can. You just can't quote the lyrics without permission.

Words or passages from the public domain.
A copyright expires after 70 years (with some exceptions, see here), so after that, the content of the song, show, or book is fair use unless the copyright holder gets it renewed. That's why we can have books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; the original Jane Austen novel has moved into the public domain. Here's a site that can help you find out what books are in the public domain, and here's one for songs.

Things you made up.
Why not avoid usage issues altogether and make up the lyrics to your song, or write for yourself the important book passage? If your character is rocking out to that classic hit, “I Love Vampires and They Love Me,” you can say so much more than you could with someone else's words.

Passages you have permission to use.
Whether it's a song or book, you need to contact the publisher and explain what you want to do with their work.

What's not allowed?
This one's easy: everything else. You can't use someone else's text unless you have permission from that author/band/songwriter/photographer...whoever holds the copyright. You must contact the publisher to get that permission.
Not even if:
You met the lead singer backstage at a concert last year.
You give them a shout-out in the acknowledgments of your book.
You make it clear that these words are their property, not yours.
You change a word here and there, making it not quite the same as the original.

Think of it this way; you're a writer, right? You wouldn't want someone just using your words without your permission. You might be flattered, but you didn't work your butt off for flattery. All artists and their representatives get final control over what happens to their work—and so will you, when the time comes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Salamander Fiction Prize

Deadline June 15, 2010. All entries considered for publication.
Each story must not exceed 40 double-spaced pages in 12-point
font. $1,500 honorarium and publication.

Resource: Mira's List

Mira's list is a blog that focuses on publishing funds available to writers, especially free money like grants and fellowships. Mira is a writer herself, and understand what it's like to need some bucks to finish a project. Check out her site to learn how to tap into the money that's out there for artists and writers.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Writing Tip: Alright?

Seriously, this one is so common that I don't even bother to correct it in fanfiction any more (original fiction is another story--I WILL nail you on it).

But here's the deal: “Alright” is not a word. You probably mean “all right.”

New Love Stories Magazine

New Love Stories is a hard copy magazine that pays $300 per accepted submission.

They describe themselves like this: For women over the age of twenty. It is designed to invoke in the reader a wide range of emotions relating to love and romance. Each issue will contain a well rounded mix of stories of loving female/male relationships that will stimulate the readers’ imagination. Adult women of all ages will relate to and live vicariously through the escapades of the female lead in each story. Also included in each issue will be a topical selection of cartoons and poetry.

You can find the writer's guidelines here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Scare the Dickens out of Us Contest

First prize, $1,000 and a trophy.
Second prize, $500 and a ribbon.
Third prize, $250 and a ribbon.

Junior contest prize $250 and a trophy. Junior contest writers
must be age 12-18.

We want ghost stories. Any genre, any tone,
any subject, whatever type of ghost story you can come up with.
The contest is open to published and unpublished writers alike.
All publication rights remain with the author. The ghost story
must be 5,000 words or less. Entry must be postmarked no later
than October 1, 2010. Entries accepted beginning July 1, 2010.

Writing Exercise: Create a Family Tree

Creating Characters: Create a Family Tree!

Step One: Pick a name, including a first and last name. Male, female, twins - it doesn't matter. All that matters is that this person has a first and last name.

Step Two: Ask your CHARACTER - the one you just created a first and last name for - whether or not he or she has any siblings. This is where you might create a half-brother/half sister or a step-brother/step-sister or you might discover your character was adopted!

Step Three: Since no one is ever born at age thirty, there must have been some sort of parental unit for your character and, if applicable, siblings. Now, give those persons first and last names. If your initial character is illegitimate, this is where you could identify his/her mother/father. If he/she was raised by an uncle/aunt/grandmother/friend of the family, give that person(s) a name!

Step Four: Branch out as far as you want to go! Think about how your own family is structured. Is there a middle name that all first born males/females receive? Does every third child in the family carry the maternal grandmother's maiden name? Did someone in your family marry someone with a different ethnic background and give those children names that match their heritage rather than the core family?

Step 5: As you're doing this, jot down anything that comes to mind about any of the names appearing on your family-tree chart. Was Uncle a miser? Did Grandma have a heart of gold but was a terrible cook? Did someone's sister run-off and have a child with a man she refuses to name? Is your cousin gay? Is one branch of the family happy and poor? Is another branch rich and miserable? Is there an ambitious family member conspiring to take the family fortune? What would happen if distant cousins united to take on the family patriarch for control of the family coffers/land?

What you're doing is providing yourself with, not only a comprehensive look at your character's backstory, but invaluable information about how your character 'ticks'. You have the basis for daddy-issues, mommy-issues, inter-racial relationships, family drama, sibling rivalry, cousin-to-cousin rivalry - so much juicy stuff! Not only that, but you'll have characters to draw on should you find that you've written yourself into a corner, need someone your character can trust or someone to betray your character - so many possibilities!

But don't keep this to yourself!

Share it with us! We'll post it here and on the website!

PS: Do you need a name to get you going? I have hundreds and hundreds of names in my handy notebook--I'll be glad to share!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Writing Quotation

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

C. S. Lewis

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Publisher: Ellora's Cave

Ellora's Cave is a publisher of erotic romances, some novel length, some novella length. They are chiefly an e-publisher, though they do publish some paperback books.

Don't ever let the "e" element of publishing put you off, especially if you write romance of any kind--this is the fastest growing segment of publishing, and publishers still maintain the same standards for their e-books that they do for their hard copy books--only now the costs are lower and you can read them on your Kindle. Ellora's Cave sells about 70,000 e-books a month.

You can go to the Author Submission guidelines to see just what they're looking for, and I encourage you to check out the rest of the site, as well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Writing Prompt: ANswering Machine Part 2

You Have 5 Messages, Part 2 of 2

You've played back your messages. You know - or don't know - why these people called you.

Now, it's time to find out.

Of the five messages on your answering machine, 'play back' the third message. Listen to it carefully.

Now - write that message from the POV of the person who left it for you.

You have the 'what' - a message left for you. Now, write the 'who', 'where', 'when' and 'how come' - without using those specific words.

This second part can be as short or as long as you want. It can be whimsical, fantastic, erotic, realistic, comedic, horrific or any variation thereof. Also, if you'd like to build off of one of the submitted messages, go ahead and write it!

Send it to us! We'll post it on the blog and on the website!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Writing Tip

When you’re writing, spell out the word “okay.” “OK” is for notes and other informal writing.

The First Line

Thank you to Hope Clark for the heads up on this magazine! This is a great place for writes to submit their short works of fiction or non-fiction.

Pays $20 for fiction and $10 for nonfiction, plus copies.
Fiction: All stories must be written with the first line
provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless
otherwise noted by the editors. The story should be between
300 and 3,000 words. The sentences can be found on the home
page of The First Line's Web site. Note: We are open to all
genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic as possible.

Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite
first line from a literary work. Writers should include a two-
to three-sentence biography of themselves that will appear in
the magazine should their story run. Upcoming first lines:

Paul and Miriam Kaufman met the old-fashioned way.
Due date: May 1, 2010

Three thousand habitable planets in the known universe,
and I'm stuck on the only one without ______________.
[Fill in the blank.] Due date: August 1, 2010

Until I stumbled across an article about him in the paper,
I never realized how much Walter Dodge and I are alike.
Due date: November 1, 2010.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Writing Prompt Up at the Main Site

This is so much fun. I've already done one for this, and it was extremely interesting to work on...and didn't take me that long to write!

You Have 5 Messages: Part 1 of 2

You walk in and you drop your coat in its usual spot - just like you've done a hundred times. And, just like you've done another hundred times, you check your answering machine. The number '5' flashes repeatedly.

You press 'play'.

Write those five messages.

Messages can be realistic, whimsical, literal, figurative, humorous, sexy, suggestive - anything at all. The important thing is to write them down!

This part of a two-part exercise is to look at brainstorming from a completely different point of view.

We'll post your messages on our website and blog so don't forget to send them to us! And anyone who's sent in a writing sample is eligible for drawings and prizes at the end of the year!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition


The first-place winner will receive $1,000. The second and
third-place winners will receive $500 each. Honorable mentions
will also be awarded to entrants whose work demonstrates promise.
The Saturday Evening Post will publish the first-place winner in
its pages. And occasionally, the Post may also choose to publish
runners-up, either in its pages or on its website. Stories must
be original unpublished fiction, typed and double-spaced, and may
not exceed 3,000 words in length. No theme. The literary competition
is open to all U.S. and international writers whose fiction has
not appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a
circulation of 5,000 or more. Deadline April 1, 2010.

Thank you to Hope Clark and her excellent Total Funds for Writers for this information!

March Specials!

Happy March, everyone! I don't know about you, but here in the Ozarks, we're actually getting hints of Spring! Yay! I am so ready!

As most of you know, March is a very important month to many people. For the Irish, because of St. Patrick's Day. For Italians, because of St. Joseph's Day. For the Jewish, because of both Purim and Passover (which carries into April this year, I know, but does start in March), and for Wiccans because of the Vernal Equinox/ Ostara. Then there's Holi and Vesaki for Hindus, No Ruz for Zoroastrians, Mahavir Jayanti for Jains, Palm/Passion Sunday for Christians, and Magha Puja Day for Buddhists.

For some Christians, March is special to those named David, Patrick, Joseph, Agnes, Chad, Katharine/Catherine, Felix, Kieran, Olivia, Collette, Basil, Frances, Anthony,Victor, Benedict, Roderic, Matilda, Louise, Raymond, Hilary, Gertrude, Alexander, Edward, Adrian, Alexandra, Herbert, Martin, Paul, Julian, Mark, Timothy, Peter, Augusta, Benjamin, and Regulus.

That covers a lot of religious and ethnic groups!

So, here's a special offering for anyone who might see themselves in that long list. If you're someone for whom March is special...OR, your main character is covered by one of those categories can get your first chapter (or next chapter, if you've already started with us) beta'd for free by the No Disclaimer Betas.

So, Italians, Irish, Jews, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Wiccans, someone whose name (or some variation of it) is on that list, or anyone who is grateful for the promise of Spring at last...whether it's you or a character in your get a free chapter done in the month of March.

Comment on this post, or write us at and let us know how you qualify for this freebie.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Way of the Wizard Writing Contest

The Way of the Wizard

Story Guidelines

(a) The story should be about a wizard, witch, sorcerer, sorceress, of some kind (basically, any sort of user of magic).

(b) The fact that the story has wizards in it should be vital to the story, i.e., magic should be an important factor in the resolution of the plot.

(c) The wizards should be literal, in that they do actual magic, not like a pinball wizard or something like that.

(d) I’m interested in all types of wizard tales, but am especially interested in seeing some stories that explore the idea of wizardry from a non-traditional viewpoint–i.e., something based on the Chilean Kalku or on the supernatural practices of other cultures.

(e) The story may be set in a secondary world, the real world, the present, or in a historical time period…let your imagination run wild.

Genres: Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror. Obviously wizard stories tend to be fantasy, but some sort of SFnal take on the theme would be acceptable.

Reprints/Originals: Original fiction strongly preferred. The anthology will include some reprints, but I will be very selective in my choices given I have all of sf/fantasy history to choose from. If you want to submit a reprint or submit a recommendation for a reprint, instructions for that are here.

Payment: 5 cents per word ($250 max), plus a pro-rata share of 50% of the anthology’s earnings and 1 contributor copy.

Word limit: 5000 words. (Stories may exceed 5000 words, but $250 is the maximum payment per story, and stories 5000 words or less are strongly preferred.)

Rights: First world English rights, non-exclusive world anthology rights, and non-exclusive audio anthology rights. See my boilerplate author-anthologist contract, which spells out the rights in detail.

Reading Period: July 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010.

Response Time:
I will be making all of my final decisions in April and May 2010, so if you submit early, your story might be held for consideration for a long time. Most rejections will be sent out quickly, however, so I’ll only hold onto a story if I’m seriously considering it, and if that happens, I’ll notify you.
Publication date: November 2010

Publisher: Prime Books

Submission Instructions: Email your story in .doc Microsoft Word format (preferred) or .rtf rich-text format to jjadams.anthology@ Include the words “Wizards Submission” and the title of the story and your byline in the subject line of the email (i.e., Re: Wizards Submission: “The Wizard’s Revenge” by Slushy P. Slusherton). ETA: There is no need to query first. Submissions should be made in standard manuscript format.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Writing Tips: Your / You're

1. Don’t confuse “your” and “you’re.” “Your” is a possessive pronoun: your books, your wand, your power. “You’re” is a contraction for “you are.”

If you aren’t sure which one to use, try reading your “you’re/your” as “you are.” If it doesn’t make sense, chances are the word you want is “your.”

The error I see most often is the use of the possessive in place of the contraction: “Your going to the store.” That is an incomplete sentence without a verb, and the “your” is referring to the going—it’s a going which belongs to you.

Try “You’re going to the store.” That has everything you need--you are going to the store. Or consider, “You’re going to your school.” That might help you discern between the two.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Though we try to avoid disclaimers here, I do have one. I am associated with this publishing firm. However, I don't make any money; I just think it's staffed by some pretty awesome people who care about giving new writers a chance. If your main fiction experience is writing fanfic, Omnific won't look down on you for it. They are currently accepting queries. You can also follow them and get updates on Twitter under OmnificPub.

As always, if you are interested in submitting to Omnific or any other agent or publisher, we can help you get that manuscript ready!

Omnific Publishing is a publishing company specializing in the publication of authors with a proven track record of online success in transformative works. Omnific Publishing seeks to publish their original fiction in a number of different media, including ebooks, audiobooks, and print books. Omnific Publishing is a publishing house with a myriad of resources for author development and promotion, including post submission editing with Certified Editors, associated art development, publication in various media, national marketing, and profitability.

While Omnific Publishing does not wish to limit its future possibilities, in its initial formulation, it will focus on works of fiction in the genres of romance, fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal, chick lit, and erotica.

Omnific Publishing staff are professionally trained in the fields of editing, graphic art, and audio production, and combined, hold years of experience as writers, editors, graphic artists, and audio producers in a quality-focused publication environment.

Omnific Publishing welcomes queries for novel length pieces in the above mentioned genres. Please submit your query letter and synopsis to:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Writing Contest

Normally I wouldn't post two writing contests in the same week, but this one has a pretty quick deadline--January 15. Twilighted, a Twilight fanfiction site, is hosting its annual Original Fiction contest.

The theme this year is Cheeky Chicks and Bothersome Beasts. It's being judged by author Rosemary Clement-Moore, who writes Young Adult paranormal fiction. If you'd like us to beta your original entry to give you the best chance of winning, just drop us an email at or

New Writing Prompt on the Website!

This one is a lot of fun! I don't know where Nancy gets these, but they're great.

This week's writing prompt on the website is called I Don't Wanna Work.

As always, send us your writing for this prompt and we'll post it here and on the website!

Monday, January 4, 2010

H.O.W. Journal Short Story Contest

Note: Remember, kids, it is usually legit for contests to charge an entry or reading fee. That's how they get the money for all those prizes. And this particular agency is called H.O.W., or Helping Orphans Worldwide, and is doing their story contest to raise funds and awareness.

Short Story Contest Judged by Susan Minot

H.O.W. Journal is hosting its first short story contest to be judged by acclaimed author Susan Minot.


  • The contest is open to all writers and all themes
  • The word limit is 12,000.
  • We do consider unpublished novel excerpts if they feel like complete stories.
  • It's fine to submit more than one story.
  • Manuscripts should be submitted with a cover note listing the author's name, address, phone number, and email; names should not appear on the stories themselves.
  • All submissions should be clearly typed manuscripts, double-spaced on 8 1/2 x 11 inch white paper, one side only.
  • Submissions will not be returned.
  • No simultaneous or previously published work.


  • 1st Place - $1000 and publication in H.O.W. Journal
  • 2nd Place - $300 and publication in H.O.W. Journal
  • 3rd Place - $100 and publication in H.O.W. Journal

Reading Fee per story

  • $20.00

Send your submissions and reading fee (a check payable to H.O.W. Journal) to:

H.O.W. Journal
Short Story Contest
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY, 10013

Submissions must be received in the H.O.W. offices by May 15th, 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writing Advice from CS Lewis

We can hardly do better than that...

  • Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure you or your sentence couldn't mean anything else

  • Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don't implement promises, but keep them.

  • Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don't say “Mortality rose.”

  • Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was “delightful”; make us us say “delightful” when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me.”

  • Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Are Your Writing Goals for 2010?

It's time for new year's resolutions, everyone! Luckily, it's Saturday, so they don't really have to kick in until Monday...whew! But as with everything, if we want to succeed, we have to have clear, challenging, achievable, well-defined goals.

Let's break those down.

  • Clear. Be specific. Don't say, "I want to become a famous writer in 2010." Instead, tell yourself exactly what you want to do. "I will write 2000 words of fiction a week," or maybe, "I will start sending chapters of my fantasy novel to my betas on June 1."

  • Challenging. Is it pretty easy for you to write 2000 words a week? Then make your goal 2500. Stretch yourself. Do more, commit more, work those creative muscles. Not a lot more...just some more. Improve yourself and your writing.

  • Achievable. Don't set yourself up for failure; make your goals things you can achieve if you work at it. Nothing's more discouraging than saying, "I'm going to write The Great American Novel," then letting day after day slide by with nothing done. You can't write The Great American Novel (what is that, anyway?), but you can fill up this page, or complete this scene. It feels great when you do, and it leads you to want to write even more.

  • Well-defined. This is a lot like clear, but more concerned with details. How are you going to write 2000 words a week? When are you going to write those chapters to send to beta? It might be something like, "I will write for 2 uninterrupted hours on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons," or "I will write and mail a query letter every Friday morning."

If you're interested, here are mine:

  • Freelance earnings. I will make at least $2000 per month from January - April, at least $3000 from May - August, and at least $4000 from September - December.

  • Freelance writing. I will have at least 13 queries in circulation all the time. At the moment, I have 3, so I need to build up to this one. Also, will have my website up and running (that's actually a goal for this week, not this year!).

  • Fiction writing. I will write at least 2000 words a week. I will complete at least 1 of the 4 fiction books I am working on. I will have something to send to beta on June 1.

  • Blogging. My blogs will earn money! Still working on the specifics of this, but if you see ads, you might click them!

I guess that's enough to be going on with. So now, I really want to know, what are your writing goals for 2010? Please let us know, and remember, we're here to help you achieve them.

Friday, January 1, 2010

10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

This is from The Oatmeal, and it's great! I wish I'd written it. Here are the words you should stop misspelling, but you really need to go to the link and see the pics and examples he put in.

Lose / Loose (a huge one with me!)

Weird, not wierd

Their / There / They're

You're / Your

Its / It's

Definitely (it has no A in it!)

Affect / Effect (affect is a verb, effect is a noun)

Weather / Whether

Alot (which is not a's A LOT)

Then / Than (I don't like this, either, but I find it's often a typo)