Sunday, December 28, 2008

flash fiction contest, books

Just a quick post to bring this contest to everyone's attention. It's expensive to enter ($15 for a 100-word or shorter story) but the prizes are hefty -- $500, $200, and $100 for the top three placing stories. The 100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest is accepting entries of unpublished stories through December 30th. It's very hard to tell a complete story (much less a gripping and interesting one) in 100 words, so if you think you can do it, it might be worth your while to enter. Subject matter is open, and the guidelines specifically state "even horror" is acceptable, as long as it's not "lewd or libelous." All entries receive a checklist evaluation and a comment, and winners will be notified by February 8th.

Hopefully everyone had a great holiday. Between holiday gift cards and payment for a story and a few poems, I was able to buy some new books, including Joshua Gage's breaths, Spin by Robert Wilson, Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum, Empire by David Dunwoody, and Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa (translated by Lucien Stryk). All come recommended by people I trust, except Empire, which I haven't heard much about but it looks to be a good story.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a haiku contest, alternative income

The ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest is now open and accepting submissions. The company sponsoring the contest makes tea, and some of the winning haiku will be printed on their packages. (In addition to the prize money, of course!) You can submit up to 6 unpublished haiku by postcard or online, but read the guidelines carefully before submitting... one page says haiku do not have to follow the 5/7/5 syllable count, but the next page contradicts that. There's no entry fee, so I think I'll send in some non-5/7/5 haiku and see what happens. The contest deadline is February 28th, 2009, and the winning poems will be published in a contest anthology.

For those of you (like me) who are looking for extra ways to make ends meet this holiday season, there are plenty of alternative ways for you to turn your skill with words into cold hard cash.

Greeting card and slogan companies are always looking for new material and new contributors. Here are a couple of companies to check into:

- Kalan LP: Kalan produces a wide variety of products, the sort of thing you'd find in a Spencer's Gifts or novelty store. They have a nice contributor site where you can submit ideas online, see chosen submissions, and view their current needs list. Pays $75-100 for ideas.

- Oatmeal Studios: A humorous greeting card company. The guidelines don't list payment, but if I remember correctly, they pay $50-100 for greeting card ideas.

If you know any little superheroes, Chicken Soup for the Soul is working on a new "Superhero" anthology, about children acting heroic or thinking they are superheroes. I don't see any guidelines on the Chicken Soup website, but you can read the guidelines here, courtesy of PlacesForWriters.com.

If you have a great speculative story (published or not) sitting around collecting dust, send it off to Pseudopod, Escape Pod, or Podcastle (for horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories, respectively). If they accept your story, they'll pay you nicely for non-exclusive audio rights to it.

Here's a powerful haiku by Wendy Visser. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

flash fiction markets

Short-short stories often get overlooked. Here are some open and soon-to-open flash fiction markets:

- Flash Me Magazine - Open through Dec 31st. Pays $5-20 per story.
- Vestal Review - Closed until Feb 1st. Pays 3-10 cents per word.
- flashquake - Open, but won't read subs until Jan 5th. Pays $5-25 per story.
- Flash Fiction Online - Open. Pays $50 per story.
- Every Day Fiction - Open. Pays $3 per story.
- Drabblecast - Open. Pays 1.5 cents per word (no payment for stories under 500 words).
- Residential Aliens - Open through Dec 31st. Pays $1 per story.

And don't forget the Sam's Dot 13th Drabble Contest and Special Drabble Contest, both of which close on December 31st and are free to enter. All stories chosen for publication in either contest will receive $1 and a contributor copy.

To close, here's a haunting little tale by Charles Richard Laing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An anthology and a website

Just a quick post to mention two markets. The first is The Devil's Food horror anthology, thought up by the fine people who bring you The Monsters Next Door. The editors are looking for supernatural horror stories in which humans are treated as food for some kind of monster. See the guidelines for full details, but stories should be between between 3000 and 7500 words, and according to Ralan they don't want reprints. (Simultaneous submissions are okay, though.) Deadline for the anthology is April 1, 2009, and payment is $25 plus one contributor's copy.

The other market is not a paying market, but sounds kind of neat anyway. Micro100 is in the fledgeling stages and looking to put together monthly issues of short horror stories (max 250 words) for free online perusal. Originally, the guidelines stated a maximum word count of 100, which I thought was more exciting (and went with the name of the website better) but I guess they think it will be hard to get a lot of good stories that short. They also mention something about poems, and say they will respond to subs within a week. See the guidelines here to submit, but the only payment is exposure. If you're okay with that, go ahead and send them something.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good news, three poems

Just had to share some good news. I got an email from Jim Kacian the other day, saying that one of my haiku from the first issue of Frogpond this year was selected for the 2008 Red Moon Anthology. I had to read the email three times before I believed it. I always thought the Red Moon Anthologies were something to aspire to, not something any of my haiku would actually appear in. Who knew?

Not sure when the anthology comes out, but if you want to buy a copy (and help support a great purveyor of haiku) it will be available from the Red Moon Press website. And you can bet I'll let you know when it goes on sale.

It's been a good couple months. Some of my haiku have also been accepted by Lilliput Review, Sport Literate, and Cold Mountain Review, and a few of my horror poems will be putting in an appearance in upcoming issues of Talebones, Scifaikuest, and Necrography.

To finish up this post, here are two scifaiku by Tim Jamieson, from the Abyss & Apex archives, and Victoria Clayton Munn's poem "Zombie!" from the current issue of Niteblade.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holidays deals for the horror fan

So I hear there are some holidays coming up. If you're like me you haven't bought your presents yet. Here are some ideas for gifts for horror fans.

Horror Mall has a bunch of sale items that any true fan should take advantage of:

Halloween and Other Seasons by Al Sarrantonio - This limited edition of the book (hardcover) is on sale for only $20... half off the retail price.

Not In Kansas by Janet Fox - Only $5.99 (also 50% off).

The Desert by Charlee Jacobs - $5.99 for this collection of 53 dark poems from one of the best horror poets out there.

Among their other discounted deals are a paperback horror anthology ($8.95), a comprehensive Stephen King bibliography ($9.99), and a signed hardcover copy of Douglas Clegg's Wild Things (only $9.99).

Horror Mall also has gift certificates available, if you don't know what to buy.

I must admit I'm a Horror Mall affiliate, so if you buy anything through a link on my blog, I'll receive a small commission, which I will then use to feed my eight starving children. They would love to not have to eat the dog this Christmas... seems they've grown attached to him. You too can join the dark affiliate legions -- just click here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zombie Haiku and a haiku contest

What better way to combine haiku and horror than with a book called Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your...Brains? Written by Ryan Mecum, the book is a collection of haiku written from the point of view of a zombie. I haven't read the book, but after checking out the Zombie Haiku website, I'm ordering it now. There is an awesome 3-minute YouTube video, featuring some of the poems from the book read by blood-soaked zombies, as well as zombie haiku written by famous people, from Billy Collins to Michael Ian Black. (Thanks to Don Wentworth, editor of Lilliput Review and Modest Proposal Chapbooks, for the link!)

And speaking of haiku, if you're a member of FanStory.com (which I think is free, but I could be wrong), they've got a haiku contest running right now, with a $100 Visa gift card top prize. Deadline is December 10th, and second and third place poems win "member dollars." I'm not sure exactly what member dollars will buy you, but I'm pretty sure they'll buy you more than no dollars at all.

Get your stories and poems ready... both Apex Digest and Star*Line will reopen to subs on January 1st.