Friday, January 18, 2013

NOTICE: Calls for Submissions

Good Friday,

I think I’ve finally caught up on all the sleep I lost while at SHU last week. Lol

That said, this week’s been a general catching up mess. I don’t have an interview or any of my own work. What I do have is a couple of calls for submissions to share.

Sitting in my inbox this morning was an e-mail from Harvey Stanbrough, informing me of two anthologies that are seeking submissions.

Love, Lust, and Zombies
“Fun and steamy stories featuring sexy zombie characters.”
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2013

Darker Edge of Desire
“Take the sexualized Gothic and ratchet it up a few notches into the danger zone.”
Submission Deadline: April 1, 2013

Both anthologies will be edited by Mitzi Szereto. Both are paying gigs as well, payment coming in both cash and anthology copies.

For more details about both books, check out the ”calls for submissions” section of Mitzi’s website.

Not a writer?
Keep an eye out for the anthologies in 2014—zombies in fall and darker desire in spring. Both will be released as trade paperbacks from Cleis Press, USA.

And that’s all she wrote, folks.

Have an excellent weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Downing Your Word Count

Good Wednesday,

Writing is the delicate process of stringing words together in an order that appeals to the reader.

On this note, there are several words that can be largely eliminated from pros. A few are below.

-Had – Unless meant in the past tense of have (“I have a pen” “I had a pen”) this three letter word usually isn’t necessary.

-That – This word can be eliminated pretty often. “I was worried that it wouldn’t work.” Or “I was worried it wouldn’t work.”

-Was – Mainly as a helping verb. There are times you can’t help it. “It was on my left.” K, now a situation where it can be helped. “I was feeling lost.” “I felt lost.” In this situation “I was lost” also works, but, when in doubt, use the stronger verb.

-Could – “I could if I wanted to.” That’s fine. “I could hear you.” Try “I heard you.”

Generally, helping verbs make sentences weaker. While “I was driving” is a perfectly respectable sentence, when writing pros “I drove” equals fewer words and a more vivid picture.

Happy writing

Monday, January 14, 2013

Writing 2013

Hello folks,

I spent the bulk of this weekend sleeping. This is because I spent the bulk of last week not sleeping.

I’m back, and I’d like to take this Monday to reiterate just how amazing Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction program is.

As always, I learned a ton during residency. Topics ranged from world building to trends in fantasy to plotting a mystery novel to genre vs. literary fiction. One of the week’s highlights was the sensational speech given by Kevin Hearne, author of the New York best-selling Iron Druid Chronicles. His take on fantasy and the publishing industry restored my faith both in my urban fantasy project and epic fantasy thesis. Here’s to a productive year of publishing in 2013!

Now, I want to focus on the other side of the spectrum. It’s often said that writing is a solitary career. While this can be true, it does not need to be. As I said above, I didn’t sleep last week. I didn’t sleep because I was up till odd hours socializing with my friends, who are all writers. Introverted we may all be but when you bring us together, it’s a mess of fun. There were genre dinners, overall socials, and even an unintentional adventure caused by my friend’s GPS having some major issues.

The point is, it doesn’t need to be solitary. Even outside of a residency-type situation, there can be fun.

Before leaving for SHU, I made a short list of New Year’s resolutions that included publishing, writing a ton, and getting back onto friendly terms with my thesis. In addition (now that residency is over and I once again remember that writing is social) I propose that 2013 be a year of group writing. It’s a new year, and it’s a new time to engage writers and make friends and connections.

In closing (as always) I need to stress how awesome SHU is. If you are serious about pursuing a career as a writer of popular (genre) fiction, this program is for you. I learn something new every semester, and I leave residency a better writer for it.

Check it out here.

Thanks for listening.

Happy New Year!