Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black Petals #44, Rhysling Winners Announced, Contests

The new issue (#44) of Black Petals is now online. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but from the lineup it looks like a good one.

The results of the 2008 Rhysling Awards have been posted here -- congratulations to all the winners!

Here are two speculative fiction contests:

Science Fiction Writers of Earth Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story Contest: The entry fee for this one is $5 per story, which includes a one-year membership in the Science Fiction Writers of Earth. Additional entries are $2 each. All entries must be unpublished. The top prizes are pretty good: $200/$100/$50, and the story that wins first place may earn another $75 for web publishing rights. Deadline is October 30th.

Electric Dragon Cafe Short Story Contest: This is a quarterly themed contest with no entry fee. The theme this time around is "birth & rebirth." First prize is a $25 Borders or Barnes & Noble gift card (which by then will probably be the same thing), second prize is a $10 gift card, and third prize is an Electric Dragon Cafe writing journal. Deadline is August 31st, and only unpublished stories for this one, too.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

bottle rockets & poetry contest

The new issue of bottle rockets (#19) is out now, packed with strong poems by some of the field's biggest names: George Swede, Johnny Baranski, Bruce Ross, Deborah P. Kolodji, Tyrone McDonald, David G. Lanoue, and Vincent Tripi, just to name a few. The issue also includes a great haiku sequence, "House of Mirrors," by master poet Ed Markowski.

And in poetry contest news, Cyclamens and Swords Press is sponsoring their first ever poetry contest. The contest is open to any style poems, 30 lines or fewer, and accepts both postal and electronic submissions. Entry fee is $5/poem, $10 for 3 poems, or $15 for 6 poems. The contest deadline is November 30th, 2008.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gary Hotham on sale

Gary Hotham, one of the Western world's most notable haiku poets, has a book of haiku titled Breath Marks: Haiku to Read in the Dark. This collection usually retails for $8.00 (which is what I bought it for), but as David Giacalone pointed out, Audubon Press has it available for a measly $3.75.

Some of Gary Hotham's other haiku collections include Missed Appointment (which won an honorable mention in a recent Haiku Society of America contest) and Footprints and Fingerprints, both of which are available from Modest Proposal Chapbooks.

I've read all three collections and can strongly recommend them to any haiku fan.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New vampire haiku chapbook

Charles Gramlich's long-awaited chapbook, Wanting the Mouth of a Lover, is now available in deluxe and regular editions from Spec House of Poetry. The book is a collection of vampire haiku, written in the vertical Japanese style.

The deluxe edition is signed and numbered, and both editions are $5.00, so get your copy before it sells out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

this & that

I have to get up in about six and a half hours to go to work, so this is gonna be a quick post. Just a few mentions:

The new issue of bear creek haiku is out, full of great poems as always. A couple of gems by Mark Arvid White and Christopher E. Ellington.

There's a new horror anthology opening for submissions August 1st. Catastrophia will be a collection of catastrophe/disaster stories, 2000-6000 words, to be published summer of 2010. It is a paying market, but the guidelines don't specify how much.

Twisted Tongue is also open to submissions, this time for its Christmas-themed winter issue. I believe non-themed submissions will still be accepted, but check the guidelines for details.

Barnes & Noble is having a clearance sale, online and in stores. Find all the clearance books here, for 50-80% off. The sale ends August 3rd.

Last thing to mention... I just finished two good but very different books: Cold in the Light by Charles Gramlich, and Dusk Lingers, a collection of haiku by Issa, translated by Dennis Maloney. Both were superb books. Cold in the Light is available at any large bookstore; Dusk Lingers is available from Modern Proposal Chapbooks (an imprint of Lilliput Review). I hope to post reviews of both books some time soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Newsletters for writers

Newsletters are a great way to pick up information, be it a helpful writing tip or a new market to submit to, or even an organizational hint. Here are several email newsletters for writers (and they're all free):

- Worldwide Freelance Writer: Weekly newsletter. Contains a feature article, several writing markets, and related ads.

- Flash Fiction Newsletter: Monthly newsletter dealing with flash fiction (and some poetry and nonfiction). Contains markets, tips, subscriber news, and an "editor's pick" online venue.

- WritersWeekly: Weekly digest of website content from WritersWeekly.com. Contains article excerpts, letters to the editor, a "Whispers and Warnings" section, paying markets, and writing-related jobs.

- Food-Writing Newsletter: Bi-weekly newsletter "for writers who love food and food lovers who write." Contains an article or two on food writing, and prospective markets and jobs.

- The Poetry Market Ezine: Monthly newsletter. Contains publishing news, upcoming poetry contests, markets, and an in-depth poetry book review.

I subscribe to all of these newsletters and read as much of them as I can. You never know where you'll find that perfect new market.

On a side note, I just found out this week that I've been accepted into the Horror Writers Association. That's pretty cool.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Review: In the Company of Ogres

In the Company of Ogres is the second book I've read by A. Lee Martinez, and I was just as impressed by this one as I was by the first (Gil's All Fright Diner). Where Gil's All Fright Diner brought humor to the all-too-serious world of zombies and werewolves, In the Company of Ogres fuses funny and fantasy fantastically. (For those of you who don't know, alliteration makes any review better.)

The story follows Never Dead Ned, a hapless soldier-turned-accountant who just can't seem to stay dead. Through a bunch of twists and turns, it becomes apparent that the fate of the world rests on Ned's shoulders, which isn't very comforting to the world. The book includes a whole cast of unique characters, all well-developed and interesting. There's a talking raven, a seductive fish-woman, a two-headed ogre, and a blind oracle who hears the future. And of course there's the evil demon emperor, the most powerful creature in the universe, who stands about a foot and a half tall.

If I were a better writer, I would probably say something like, "Martinez's prose winds slowly and elegantly across the page, like a majestic, well-fed python." But since I'm not, I'm just gonna say he writes very well, and his use of humor comes across as genuine and unforced. In the Company of Ogres is comparable to some of the best books by genre masters Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett (though not quite at the level of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

In the Company of Ogres is available as a trade paperback from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and probably a bunch of other places. The book is 326 pages and retails for $6.99. It also includes a short preview of Martinez's new novel, A Nameless Witch.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One horror mag, one haiku mag

Quite by coincidence, both of these magazines come to us from across the pond:

Morpheus Tales: A British magazine of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Issue #1 is out now (click here for a PDF preview). Looking for fiction (up to 3000 words), articles, interviews, and reviews. Pays 1 contributor copy.

Presence: A high-quality U.K.-based haiku magazine appearing three times a year. Editor Martin Lucas also accepts tanka, haibun, and other related forms. Does not consider simultaneous submissions or reprints. Pays 1 contributor copy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New issue of Twisted Tongue out

The new issue of Twisted Tongue is out now, available for free download from Lulu.com (or, if you're like me and you get most of your reading done in the bathroom, you can buy the paper copy instead). It's got stories by Michael A. Kechula, Peter Tennant, and P.S. Gifford. If that's not enough, there's a whole slew of poems by Paul Weightman (and a few scifaiku by yours truly).

Twisted Tongue will be reopening to subs soon, and editor Claire Nixon is especially looking for Christmas-themed items. Check the website for updates.

Also reopening soon is Star*Line... can you believe it's July already?