Saturday, January 31, 2009

a flash fiction market and an anthology

Flash Scribe is a micro-fiction site looking for short stories 1-1000 words long. Payment is only $1 or $2 (depending on the length of the story -- shorter stories are paid $2) but it looks like a pretty cool site. Simultaneous submissions are okay, and they prefer unpublished stories but will look at reprints.

Read Raw Press is looking for stories for their horror anthology Raw Terror. Editor Ian Hunter wants "scary, horrible, terrifying stories," which makes it sound like a pretty damn cool anthology to me. Payment for accepted stories is £10 plus a contributor's copy. No reprints, but simsubs are okay. Deadline is February 28th, and they aim to respond by the end of March.

If you're looking for a good read, check out the new issue of Black Ink Horror. Other than yours truly, BIH #5 includes stories and poems by Lawrence Dagstine, Kristine Ong Muslim, and Aurelio Rico Lopez III. They're only selling 110 copies, so order soon.

Also available for purchase online is the 2008 Red Moon Anthology, white lies. Collected in this book are 132 of the best haiku published in 2008 (and one of mine). You really can't go wrong with a Red Moon Anthology.

Keep an eye out... Ballista, the dark/macabre magazine spewed upon the world from the U.K., should be reopening to subs at the end of February.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spinetinglers and Apex want your stories

Spinetinglers is an online magazine looking for "mystery, thriller, suspense, supernatural, ghost story, love, fantasy or science fiction" stories. They pay $25 for fiction between 1500-6000 words. No simultaneous submissions, and query for reprints (as long as they have not been published anywhere that pays). Email subs only.

Apex Magazine is open to subs through March 15th for a special issue guest-edited by Michael A. Burstein. Mr. Burstein is "looking for stories that evoke the same themes that tie his own stories together, such as the slipperiness of history and the dangers of forgetting the past." For this special issue, poetry will also be considered. Pays 5 cents a word for fiction and $5 per poem.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

bird ku now available

bird ku is a limited edition broadside printed by Spec House of Poetry, containing three of my haiku and individually hand-painted covers. The print run is only 16 copies, so if you want to get one, get it now. They are available from the Spec House of Poetry page for only $3.00 each.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

two contests

Both of these contests have steep entry fees, but I list them here because they also pay big prizes.

The first contest is The Ledge 2009 Poetry Awards Competition. I found this contest through NewPages.com, a website with all kinds of useful things for writers including contest listings and magazine reviews. (Thanks to David Stillwagon for mentioning it.) The contest is open to all styles of unpublished poetry (sim subs OK), and all entries will also be considered for The Ledge Magazine. Entry fee is $10 for the first three poems, and $3 for every poem after that. There are three prizes of $1000/$250/$100, plus publication. Deadline is April 30th, and it looks like you must submit by mail.

The other contest is the 2009 New South Fiction & Poetry Contest. Entry fee for this one is $15, either for one story or three poems. Awards in both categories will be $1000 for first place and $250 for second place, plus publication. All entrants will receive the issue of New South with the winning stories and poems. This one also only accepts snail-mail submissions, and the postmark deadline is March 4th.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Review: Wanting the Mouth of a Lover by Charles Gramlich

Wanting the Mouth of a Lover is a chapbook of 23 dark haiku by Charles Gramlich, a name well-known by the many fans of his Talera novels. The poems in this collection tend toward the vampirific (if that's a word), but there are some other just plain creepy ones, like this little gem:

faint
laughters
clowns
in
the
dark


Gramlich seems quite at ease writing haiku. Each poem is given its own page, which might anger tree-huggers, but I happen to think it's the best way to present haiku. They are also written in the vertical Japanese style, which you don't see very much of these days. I can only think of one other poet who uses that style consistently.

The chapbook was originally available in a regular and deluxe edition, but the deluxe edition (which came signed, hand-numbered, and hand-stitched) sold out within a week. The regular edition is still available, and it contains an introduction by the author that touches on both the poems in the book and the haiku form itself.

black
soul
aches
in
the
night
she
comes


Gramlich is a skilled speculative poet. His poems have appeared in Dreams & Nightmares and The Shantytown Anomaly, among other magazines, but Wanting the Mouth of a Lover is his first collection of poetry. Hopefully there will be more.

Copies are available from Spec House of Poetry for $5 plus shipping.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rhysling nominations

For all of you SFPA members, the deadline's drawing closer to nominate poems for the 2009 Rhysling Award.

Nominations must be in (or at least postmarked) by February 2nd, and you can nominate one short poem (1-49 lines) and one long poem (50+ lines). If anyone hasn't chosen their nominations yet and are looking for more poems to choose from, here is a list of all my Rhysling-eligible poems from 2008, with links to the ones that appear online. All are under 49 lines. I encourage everyone to post a similar list in the comments, so we can all browse through them.

- "deadbeat dad" (Champagne Shivers, 2008)
- "angelfish" (Visionary Tongue, #23, Jan 2008)
- "monster" (From the Asylum, Feb 2008)
- "Undying Love" (Tales from the Moonlit Path, Issue 9, Feb 2008)
- "Matrimony" (Conceit Magazine, Volume 1 Number 11, Feb 2008)
- "Oil Change" (Niteblade, #3, March 2008) (also in Lost Innocence anthology)
- "Bats" (The Ashen Eye website, March 2008)
- "The Night Creatures" (Talebones, #36, Spring 2008)
- "Ode to Something Wicked" (Space & Time, #103, Spring 2008)
- "footprints in the snow" (Illumen, Spring 2008)
- horrorku (Star*Line, 31.2, March/April 2008)
- "The Eater" (The Ashen Eye, #1, June 2008)
- 4 horrorku (Twisted Tongue, #10, June 2008)
- 3 horrorku (Dreams & Nightmares, #80, July 2008)
- horrorku (Scifaikuest, Volume 6 Number 1, August 2008)
- horrorku (Scifaikuest online, Volume 6 Number 1, August 2008)
- horrorku (The Shantytown Anomaly, #7, Oct 2008)
- "Moon Shine," "The Dark" (Black Petals, #45, Oct 2008)
- scifaiku (Abyss & Apex, Issue 28, Oct 2008)
- 2 fantasy haiku (Mirror Dance, Winter 2008)
- "Out by the Shed" (Niteblade, #6, Dec 2008)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dwarf Stars winners, a contest

The 2008 Dwarf Star winners have been announced... congratulations to Greg Beatty, Sonya Taaffe, and Ann K. Schwader! There were a lot of good poems to pick from this year. Deborah Kolodji and Stephen Wilson had their work cut out for them.

On the Premises holds writing contests revolving around a theme or idea. The current contest seems to lend itself well to horror stories, and there's no entry fee. The premise is: "One or more characters encounter someone, something, or some place from their past that they had good reason to believe they would never encounter again." Entries must be between 1000-5000 words, and have to be in by January 31st. Read the full guidelines here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Review: breaths by Joshua Gage

breaths is a collection of haiku from Cleveland poet Joshua Gage. Gage has already made a name for himself as a speculative poet, and with breaths he shows that he has a talent for writing haiku as well.

If the blurbs on the front and back covers of the book from Michael Dylan Welch, Randy Brooks, Stanford M. Forrester, and Ferris Gilli can't convince you that breaths is worth reading, then I really don't think you'll listen to what I have to say. But this is my review, so I'll say it anyway.

The book collects 54 pages of haiku and senryu, broken into groups by season. The poems are gritty and honest, and have that rare intrinsic rhythm that marks the difference between good haiku and great haiku.

fireflies
my son writes his name
with a sparkler


Gage uses punctuation sparingly in these poems, preferring to let the words themselves set their own pace.

the smell of funnel cake
fireworks light up
a dead cardinal


Each of the haiku stands easily on its own, but taken as a whole, the book is something much more than just a group of poems. It is a look at the world through someone else's eyes, the good and the bad laid bare and unfiltered for your viewing pleasure.

remembering her embrace
lemon juice stings
my sliced finger


breaths is available from vanZeno Press and Amazon for $19.95 plus shipping. Any fan of contemporary haiku should pick up a copy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Star*Line, Rhysling nominations

For all you speculative poets, Star*Line is once again open for submissions. Editor Marge Simon is currently reading for the July/August issue (no theme) and the September/October issue (dark poetry, any genre).

Also, for SFPA members, you need to get your Rhysling nominations in by February 2nd. You can nominate one short poem and one long poem. Find all the details here.

One last note... if you entered the Penumbra Haiku Contest last year and wondered why you haven't seen the results yet, one of the judges was in a car accident, so the judging has been delayed. But don't worry... they haven't forgotten about us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Preditors & Editors, a haiku anthology

Voting is open for the Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll, for work published in 2008. For anyone who hasn't voted in it before, the rules are simple: everyone gets one vote in each category, and if you think something should be nominated that isn't (including your own work), you can nominate it yourself. Let your voice be heard, and support those authors, poets, and publications that you feel deserve recognition. Voting closes on January 14th.

Bottle Rockets Press is now reading submissions for an anthology of flower-themed haiku. There is no payment, and submissions are open through August 1st. Submit up to 20 haiku (5 to a page) by snail mail. Previously published poems OK.

In other news, the deadline for the Special Sam's Dot Drabble Contest has been extended one month to January 31st, and Dark Discoveries plans to reopen to subs sometime in the spring.