Saturday, December 29, 2012

Win a Kindle Fire in Ann Gimpel's Blog Contest

Win a free book or even a Kindle Fire!  See more details here:

http://anngimpel.blogspot.se/2012/12/holiday-blog-contest.html

Lulu.com -- post-Christmas sale

Looking for good reads? Lulu.com is having a post-Christmas sale -- 25% off any order. Just add the magic word AMPLIUS to your order. This offer is good through Jan. 2, 2013.

http://www.lulu.com/

(You can even find my story in the Cheer Up, Universe anthology: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ahmed-a-khan/cheer-up-universe/paperback/product-18757797.html)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sword and Mythos

Here's one that combines Lovecraft with heroic fantasy. Sword and mythos: http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/blog/?p=19148

Horror Without Victims

Looking for a place to send your creepier stories? Have a look at this anthology with the intriguing name of Horror Without Victims: http://howivi.wordpress.com/

The Future Embodied

New anthology project, The Future Embodied, will be accepting submissions starting in March, 2013. This looks like an interesting one. They're looking for speculative stories exploring how science and technology might change our bodies and what it means to be human. Have a peek: http://futureembodiedanthology.wordpress.com/

Clockwork Phoenix

Clockwork Phoenix is now open to submissions:  http://www.clockworkphoenix.com/

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spec-fic anthology Winter Well

Crossed Genres is putting together a spec-fic anthology, called Winter Well, of novellas about women of advancing age who are smart, tough, firm-willed, etc.  See the details here: http://crossedgenres.com/submissions/winter-well-speculative-novellas-of-older-women/

Spellbound, quarterly fantasy magazine for children, calling for stories.

Spellbound, a quarterly fantasy magazine for children 8-12, ran from 1999-2002. They've reopened, changed the format from print to electronic, and raised funds for their first year of publication. Now they're looking for stories, poetry and artwork to fill the issues.

Briefly, they're looking for fiction to 2,500 words, poetry and artwork. They pay upon acceptance for World Electronic English-language rights (2.5 cents a word for fiction, $10-20 per poem, and various for artwork). Full guidelines are below. You can contact Raechel Henderson, the publisher, with questions at eggplant@eggplantproductions.com.


Guidelines for Spellbound

Spellbound is a publication for 8-12 year olds. Each issue will be published in ePub format. This is a quarterly publication with reading periods.

Themes and Reading Periods

Winter 2012: Rings & Other Magic Things, Reading Period: July 1 – September 30, 2012

Spring 2013: Changelings & Doppelgangers, Reading Period: October 1, 2012 – December 31, 2013

Summer 2013: Dragons, Reading Period: January 1 – March 31, 2013

Fall 2013: Creatures of the Deep Dark Woods, Reading Period: April 1 – June 30, 2013


Fiction

Fiction Editor: Raechel Henderson

Word limit = 2,500

Payment = 2.5 cents per word

Rights bought: First World English-language Rights

They're looking for stories involving magic, myth, legend and adventure in a fantasy setting. They're especially interested in young protagonists and showing girls in a “heroic” role are welcome. Please send fiction submissions to submissions@eggplantproductions.com. Send submissions in the body of the e-mail. No attachments!

They're not looking for stories with morals. They want Spellbound to introduce children to fantasy in all its wonderful forms. And please, no profanity.

Some guidelines for juvenile literature: The protagonists should be children and the plot should revolve around them, they should not be passive actors in the story. Stories should not have ambiguous endings. And dialog should be natural. Let your inner child out to play when you write a story for younger readers. Write the kind of story that you would have liked to read when you were younger, rather than the kind of story you think kids should read.

Poetry

Poetry Editor: Marcie Tentchoff

Payment = $20 / poem; $10 for poems under 8 lines

Rights bought: First World English-language Rights

They are looking for short poems, no longer than 36 lines maximum. All submissions must fit one of the upcoming themes to be considered.

They will gladly read either free verse or traditionally rhyming poetry, but they are not interested in poems which toss masses of meaningless and conflicting imagery at the reader, in the hope that he or she will be able to make some sense out of the muddled result. They expect rhymes and meter in traditional poetry to be neither forced nor strained. Likewise, all poetry, even free verse, should flow well and have a musical quality.

As Spellbound is a fantasy magazine for children, poetry should have a strong speculative element. They'll look at up to five (5) poems at one time from poets.

Send poetry submissions to poembound@eggplantproductions.com

Art

Art Director: Samantha Press

1. ALL forms of art welcome – painting, digital art, photography, papercraft, felted dioramas, anything.

1.1. Remember, this is for a children’s e-zine: they are looking for fun, visually-arresting images without explicit violence, gore, or adult-themed nudity.

1.2. They are accepting submissions for both cover art (1 artist per issue) and spot illustrations (color or b&w; multiple artists per issue).

1.3. If you are mailing in your application, please do not include originals – all physical applications will be kept on file.

1.4. Please, do not attach really high-resolution files to your email or submit images with watermarks that obscure the fine detail of your work. Any art you send them will not be used by the company without your express permission to do so.

2. Please tailor your submissions to the upcoming “themes” of each issue, and keep in mind the deadlines for each.

2.1. Each deadline ends at midnight of the evening specified. Submissions received for each issue past the deadline will be dismissed, although all artists will receive a response and their submission will be kept on file for future reference.

3. Please include your resume &/or pricing guide / standard rates, if you have either.

4. Please be patient. You will receive a response within 2-4 weeks after they receive your submission.

We look forward to seeing your work!

Email them at artdirector@eggplantproductions.com or send physical applications to: Eggplant Literary Productions c/o Sam Haney Press, 5333 Century Ave. #6, Middleton, WI 53562.

Holiday Anthology

Kazka Press is looking for 500-word (!) stories focusing on holidays for their anthology At Year's End. That's not much  to write. Get on it! :)  http://www.kazkapress.net/at-years-end-sff-holiday-stories/

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Qeya at Smashwords

And now you can get Jennifer Silverwood's first installment of Heaven's Edge, Qeya, at Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/227525

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ann Gimpel's Psyche's Promise

Book three in her urban fantasy trilogy, Ann Gimpel's Psyche's Promise is now available!
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/217415


Also available from http://www.gypsyshadow.com/
Print version coming very soon.

Aurora Wolf

Aurora Wolf has room for a few more great stories in its upcoming fall anthology. http://aurorawolf.com/guidelines/

I have a soft spot for this magazine, as they've accepted one of my stories, as well as one of an excellent writer-client: Ann Gimpel!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Interzone

Interzone is always open to SF story submissions, though they do request hard copy submissions only. But check out their site, and while you're there, if you're interested, get a free downloadable copy of Theaker's Quarterly Fiction (http://ttapress.com/1368/todays-free-stuff--theakers-quarterly-fiction-41/0/4/)


http://ttapress.com/interzone/guidelines/

LampLight

Maybe darker spec-fic, horror and noir are your thing? Check out LampLight, who are accepting submissions for their magazine's winter release: http://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/

Insatiable - the Magazine of Paranormal Desires

Insatiable - the Magazine of Paranormal Desires is set to debut in October. They are accepting all manner of supernatural, paranormal, weirdness, oddities, and whatnot so long as there is a romantic plot element. Time period is not a sticking point.  Modern, period, complete fantasy/alternate reality all will be looked at.  They want imaginative, well-written stories that are crafted with care. Porn without plot won't be accepted. Sex is good and natural and fun but it must move the plot forward.

Also, they like humor.  Just because there’s love involved doesn’t mean it can’t be funny.

Check out more information regarding what they're looking for and submission guidelines here:

http://www.whitecatpublications.com/?p=1955

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Journal of Unlikely Architecture

The Journal of Unlikely Entomology is posting a call for submissions for a one-off issue: The Journal of Unlikely Architecture. Where JoUE is a zine dedicated to stories about bugs, JoUA will feature tales in which something pertaining to buildings is integral or significant. The building element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof. Your story may focus on a single building, or a city, but the constructed environment must be crucial to the narrative.

Word count: Up to 8000 words, though we prefer if they're under 5000.
Pay: $.01/word up to 5000 words, paid upon publication.
Submissions open today and stay open until the issue is filled.

http://www.grumpsjournal.com/subs-architecture.html

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Less expensive advertising?

Several people have asked me about a way to advertise their writing/blogging/photography/art/etc.  While advertising programs like Google's Adwords, Facebook and others can be effective, not all of us "little guys" have the cash to drop on keyword-based pricing, which can get really expensive in a hurry!

I've tried several, and the program I've been most happy with is Project Wonderful. They've been very reliable, and the money I've put into advertising via their site has been well worth it. If you're looking for less expensive, easy advertising, go there and tell 'em I sent ya*: https://www.projectwonderful.com/?tag=28021


*Which will happen automatically if you use this link. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Word count?

Lots of people ask me about novel word counts, and some first-time authors present me with manuscripts of 400k words to edit.  If this is something you've wondered about, perhaps you'll find this post interesting: http://theswivet.blogspot.com/2008/03/on-word-counts-and-novel-length.html

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Call for Stories

Quantum Muse is putting out a request for horror submissions. In October they'll publish their annual horror issue and are calling upon the members of the writer’s community to rise from their crypts and come forth.

They occasionally publish horror during the year, but October is a month dedicated to the macabre.  This is your chance to shine, in a dark way.

http://www.quantummuse.com/submissions.php

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cursive, foiled again!

I hated Penmanship. So my Os had extra loops. So what?  Still, I found this article interesting: http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/the-dying-art-of-cursive/

Friday, July 13, 2012

Looking for a writing workshop?

Zoetrope's summer writing workshop begins soon, so if you're interested, hop to it and get registered! :) http://zoetrope.writingclasses.com/Partner/index.php?PartnerID=ZO

Nightmare Magazine

There's a new magazine afoot! Nightmare Magazine has just opened. They'll open up submissions on September 15th, so get writing! :) http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/guidelines.html

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ZBS

Speculative fiction isn't only to be found in the written or film formats, by the way. If you haven't listened to Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe or The Adventures of Jack Flanders, you are sorely missing out. http://witneyman.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/a-word-on-zbs/

Friday, June 08, 2012

Can You Hear the Music?

I read this blog post the other day by Carol Saller, senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, and editor of The Chicago Manual of Style.  She discusses her writing and editing friends and whether they listen to music while writing/editing.

I don't listen to music at all now, but it occurred to me that when I worked as a tech writer at a software company, I had no problem with my office mate playing something in the background, and in fact usually enjoyed it. (Except for the Nancy Sinatra debacle, during which I got to hear Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood serenade each other for probably close to four hours! :)

Once it came time to do any tech editing, however, I had to have quiet. That trend has continued now that I'm working as a full-time copy editor. My husband, who sometimes does his functional programming from home in our shared office, uses noise canceling headphones to listen to Queen or Kraftwerk or Pink Floyd so it doesn't disturb me.

But what is it then about tech writing vs. editing that makes it so different for my concentration?  Perhaps it was the fact that putting the instructional sentences together from design specs and working with the UI required less focus. My husband's functional programming, though, would seem to require a LOT of focus I would think. So maybe it's not solely that.

I do know that I'm definitely a listener of lyrics. They get in my head and I memorize them inadvertently and unwillingly.  My husband--definitely NOT a listener of lyrics.  So instrumental-only music usually is sort of okay with me, but once there're people singing words, it's right out the window with my train of thought.

My guess is it's a combination of various factors, and not solely difficulty level of the task, and like Carol Saller says, I don't think it's only ALL aural or visual either.  The brain surely is still a marvelous mystery.

How do you feel about music in the background while writing/editing? Feel free to comment!



Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Literary Agents: Bane or Boon?

Interesting post today from Ann Gimpel on literary agents.


Literary Agents: Bane or Boon? 
I just got an email from a friend of mine who's also an author. She's been on the hunt for a literary agent for several months now and was bemoaning the fact it's been a long time since she sent off a packet to a NY agent. I didn't have the heart to tell her not to hold her breath. She's a good writer. That's not the problem. The problem is an industry where common courtesy to authors--theoretically the lifesblood supporting agents and publishers--has gone the way of the dodo bird. All you have to do is pull up guidelines from any literary agent to see what I mean. There's a long list of don'ts. ...

See more...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaway!

Ann Gimpel is giving away 2 free copies of her book Psyche's Search. Go here and enter to win! http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/21761-psyche-s-search

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Free Kindle Book!

Starting Friday, Max and the Gatekeeper is being offered for free on the Kindle for a few days. Get a copy while you can!


http://www.amazon.com/Max-and-the-Gatekeeper-ebook/dp/B00332FF8O/

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Publishing Updates




Saturday, February 25, 2012

Got a fantasy manuscript burning a hole in your pocket?

Angry Robot Books is having an Open Door event in which they accept non-agented/unknown-author manuscript submissions. More details here: http://angryrobotbooks.com/opendoor

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interview

As a copy editor (Copyeditor: one word or two? This is a debate I'll discuss at some later date.), interviews are not something that happens to me.  I've had a number of clients interviewed in various blogs and webzines, and that's always a thrill for me.  I love to see when my clients are doing well.  But recently I was asked a few questions for the purposes of a young woman's Master's Thesis in a post-graduate publishing program at a US university.  I've had a few people ask me about the interview and what the questions and answers were, so I decided to post it here once, because yes, I'm lazy and only want to type it once. :)



1) How long have you been a copyeditor, and what changes have you seen in your job during that time (e.g., technology, attitudes, layoffs, etc.)?

Well, I started out as a technical writer and editor for a software company in 1999. After about seven years with them, I worked for a company that assigns projects to freelancers for just under a year before going out on my own. I learned some really valuable things while working for them, such as what sorts of texts people tend to want editing for, what various publishers expect, and the large and small differences between different English speaking countries' general editing rules, as well as a few different diplomacy tools for working with a variety of clients. However, these sorts of companies that farm out projects take an extremely large chunk of the fee, and it was just unsustainable for me in the long run, as far as living expenses and such, to continue working for them. Fortunately, when I took the leap of going out on my own, a few of the clients I'd asked about giving me possible references decided to come with me.

So my way of becoming a copyeditor was perhaps not the typical track. I'm not really aware of how things might be for those who worked directly for publishing companies or newspapers. I do know many companies like to have lists of freelancers who've proven reliable, and through word of mouth, I've managed to get myself added to a couple of those lists. But that channel of work doesn't provide much, so self-advertisement is still key for freelancers.

2) Do you feel your work is valued (i.e., by readers, writers, etc.)? Why or why not?

Definitely. I think a lot of people are timid at first. After all, how scary must it be to contact a complete stranger, sight unseen, and ask them to "fix" your work (which is often the impression people initially have of copyediting)? I always provide a sample edit, though, and frequently that will lead to at least one edit. You know you're really appreciated, though, when the client returns for that second (and third, etc.) editing project. :)

And every now and then I'll receive a gushy letter of thanks from a client, and that just makes the behind-the-scenes aspect of copyediting SO worth it. I really enjoy helping people find that golden seed buried in their text and showing them how they can really make it flower.

As for readers, I'll just have to assume they're appreciative of the work since they won't have to wade through grammar and usage errors. :D

 3) What is a typical working day like for you?

It varies a lot depending on what kinds of projects are on my calendar for the day. Usually there will be a short story or two, a portion of longer manuscript, perhaps an academic essay or journal article. Ideally, though some will do much more in a day, I try to arrange a schedule so that I don't do more than 20k words per day, which ensures that I'm much more thorough and give everything the in-depth look it deserves rather than just skimming through for obvious errors. As a freelancer, there are still days when there will be nothing, but then a few days later, twelve things may come in at once. Clever scheduling and a good rapport with clients is hugely necessary. :)

4) What do you enjoy about copyediting? What do you struggle with?

I love it when a text just really comes together and a client is happy. I usually offer a second read-through after a client has received my edit and they make changes based on a question I asked or a suggestion I've offered. When I do that second read-through and everything they've done just clicks a story or an article into place, with new clarity or better description, I just find that really cool, because something I've done has helped them become an even better writer. It's both humbling and uplifting at the same time.

What I struggle with is taking my work home with me...especially since I work from home. I almost always have different people's texts in my head, thinking of ways to explain this or that suggestion or correction, etc. Another thing that's difficult is clients who have lots of hopes pinned on becoming a famous writer and I want to help them and not discourage them, but there's this desire to want to let them know that maybe they might not want to hope too much. That's not my job, though. My job is just to help their writing as best I can, give them what tips and tricks I know, and leave it be. I'm a softy and it's easy to get too involved sometimes.

5) What are good qualities for a copyeditor to have?

Well, thoroughness is definitely good, of course. Be picky.

A real knowledge of English and those obscure grammar rules is a must. People are going to ask you WHY a particular correction is the way it is, and if you can't answer them, they lose confidence in you.

Ability to research. If you don't know something, or are unsure, look it up. Google and wikipedia are my good friends. They've helped me help clients with things like the street layout of Ancient Rome and the correct spellings of generic drug names and whether a bibliography author has a hyphen or a non-breaking space in his name. :)

Finally, diplomacy. Stating things delicately turned out to be a lot bigger part of my job than I ever would have imagined. People's writing, particularly fiction, but even PhD theses, is their baby, and they give it gently over to me, and I send it back with slashes and changes and lots and lots of red. And I stand by the statement "Everyone needs an editor" and I definitely don't let my work out into the public eye before I've sent it to my editor, so I know how it feels. :)