Share Storytelling Opportunity

Would you like a quick writing exercise? I mean really quick? I mean 100 words quick?

Are you in the Christmas mood? Wanna write about Christmas?

Well you can combine both things and take part in the Shared Storytelling: Advent Ghosts 2011 event at the blog I Saw Lightning Fall. Here are the details:

1.) If you want to contribute, email ISawLightningFall [at] gmail [dot] com.
2.) Write a spooky piece of flash fiction exactly 100-words long — no more, no less. Note that you don’t have to write a ghost story, per se. Any genre is fine, but your final result should aim to raise gooseflesh on the back of the reader’s neck.
3.) Post your story to your blog on December 24th and email the link to me. Hosting can be arranged for those who don’t have their own blogs.

I will be taking part, and I hope you will too. That means if you stop by here on the 24th you’ll be able to read my little spooky 100 words story. Sound fun?

Writing Links

I just thought I’d share with you all some writing related links, after a couple days of talking about myself.  First is Serendipity, a monthly online journal dedicated to magic realism and light fantasy fiction. There are some pretty good short stories posted there.  I particularly liked The Folded Page and In the CloudsThey are also accepting story submissions, so I’m going to give that a try.   The funny thing is that my daughter has a head cold again so I had to take her for a drive at 3:00 AM last night, but it was worth it because I had a story idea while driving around.  It will be perfect for this Serendipity, I think.  If and when I finish this piece (short story), I may ask some of you to be beta readers. I’ll let you know.

I also came across a post at Paperback Writer’s site (not our Paperback Writer, a different one)  about outlining a novel.  This was a very timely blog post as I would like to start planning for NaNoWriMo, which is only a month or so away.


Writing Contest at The Clarity of Night

Jason over at The Clarity of Night has announced this morning another short fiction contest over on his blog. This is his sixth contest and they are usually pretty competitive, with one of the contests having 100 entries (I even earned an honorable mention that time).

The way the contest works is that Jason posts a picture and entrants write a maximum of 250 words using the picture as inspiration. The picture he chose this time is a particularly good one. Here is a link to the post announcing the “Halo” short fiction contest. Good luck to all of you who enter.

Here is a list of rules directly from the site:

  1. 250 words maximum.
  2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
  3. One entry per person.
  4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
  5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog.
  6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of judging and helpful hints, see A Note on Judging.

Writing Update

I haven’t written about my writing progress for a few days, so I figured that would be a pretty good topic for this morning.  So, how’s it going?  I would best describe it as sluggish.  My guess is that I’m averaging 100 words a day on my novel.  Not good.  In my defense my wife has been using the laptop at night (which she totally earns by taking care of our daughter all day), so I really haven’t been able to write when I have wanted.  I’m also still getting a feel for what exactly I want the story to be about.  Sometimes I wish I was the type to plan things out, but that just isn’t me.  On the plus side, I was able to write a Ficlet the other day.

On the plus side I stayed up until midnight last night setting up our DSL and wireless connection.  I’m going to write a whole technical post about that when I get the chance in case anyone needs some help with that.  It really wasn’t too difficult.  I’m absolutely giddy with excitement about having high speed internet, as we have been on dial-up for so long.  We really couldn’t beat the $14.99 per month offer for DSL, though, and my wife is happy she can check her email at a pace faster than the telegraph.

Will having a high speed connection help my writing?  We shall see.  It will help in research and reading (Project  Gutenberg at home!), but will also give me a huge distraction.

I haven’t posted any writing contests here because I haven’t found any.  If you are looking for writing opportunities, Duotrope’s Digest is always a good place to look.

Burst Literary Ezine

There was an interesting new short fiction market added to Duotrope’s Digest today titled Burst. Here is a description of the literary magainze:

BURST is our first literary magazine, and as far as I know the first one designed especially for mobile devices. If you think you have something thought provoking to say and can get to the point in less than 700 words, you’re welcome to submit.

They’re looking for less than 700 words and according to their site pay $10 for published works. I like the idea of a magazine designed especially for mobile devices, and I have tons of practice on short-short fiction, so I might give this a try. What do you all think?

Interesting Writing Opportunity

I found another interesting writing opportunity today, this time via Duotrope’s Digest. This one is another anthology, with the theme being “Books Gone Bad”. The publisher seeking submissions is Dead Letter Press and here in their own words is what they mean by “Books Gone Bad”:

Stories should be about books that do not belong in a sane person’s library; books that wreck havoc in the lives of their owners; books that are no damn good! The “bad” book in your story should be central to the plot. The book should exert an emotional, or a physical, or a supernatural effect on the characters, or on reality, or time, or space. The book should be the villain of your story. Perhaps a sympathetic villain, or an unwitting accomplice to evil—but nevertheless, the book should be a “character” in your story, play a major role, and be “on stage” for a good part of the tale. You can think of this as “the secret lives and evil times of diabolical books.” In fact, that’s the tag line.

Here is the full post stating their submission guidelines.  They prefer submissions between 4000 and 12,000 words in length and are paying 1 cent per word, which for the math challenged is $40 for the minimum word count.

Anyhow, this idea intrigues me and I am thinking this could be my next project after the Machine of Death.  We’ll see.

Ficlets – A Great Idea

Author John Scalzi mentioned on his blog By The Way today that he will be blogging for a site called Ficlets. I had never heard of Ficlets, but once I checked it out I am already hooked. What a great idea! I guess it is similar to the writing contests I have been taking part in with my local newspaper. Someone starts a story and the readers finish the story (or start their own stories. Here is the description of the site from the Ficlets Web Site:

About Ficlets

ficlets are shorter than short stories. Well, no, actually, they are short stories, but they’re really short stories. Really short, as in there’s not a maximum word count … there’s actually a maximum character count (1,024). There is also a minimum character count, and the number of that beast is 64.

If you wish, we’ll provide you with inspiration (photos, themes, suggested beginnings and endings, even other ficlets), but you’re completely free to blaze your own trail. Now, here’s where the real fun comes in: Each and every ficlet is modular in that, though you may have written a stand-alone story with a beginning, middle, and ending, your fellow ficleteers may choose to write a prequel or sequel to your story. In this respect, you can think of ficlets as literary Legos.

All ficlets are covered under Creative Commons, which means that if you wrote it, you own it. Period.

To give you an idea of what you can do with 1,024 characters, that is the exact length of this “About Ficlets” description

So, there is a miximum 1024 CHARACTER limit. Surely we all have enough time in our busy schedules to fit in 1024 characters. Anyone that starts a Ficlet feel free to post a link in the comments here and maybe one of us will continue the story.

To get things rolling, John Scalzi posted a ficlet himself titled Sweet Carolina, which I think could go in a number of different ways. Finally, here is a link to the Ficlets Blog.

Writing Opportunity – Machine of Death

Surfing around the Internet yesterday, I found another great writing opportunity at a website called Machine of Death. Harsh title aside, this is a really great idea. First of all, they have written an idea for a story and are looking for writers to give their take on it. The idea is really interesting and similar to an idea for a story I never wrote. The idea is as such: A machine has been invented that can tell from a sample of blood how a person is going to die. It doesn’t tell a date or time, just how it happens. The catch is that the predictions are vague and usually have a twist. For example, if it tells you that you will die of “Old Age” that could simply mean you are run over by a car driven by an old person.

Submissions of any length are being accepted from now until April 30, 2007, though they recommend submitting before March 31, 2007. They are paying $45 for each story selected for publication. Here is a writeup from their site:


Machine of Death is an upcoming published anthology of short stories edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki !, inspired by this episode of Ryan’s Dinosaur Comics.

We are actively soliciting short story submissions for the book. Submissions are free and open to everybody. Ryan, Matt and David ! will choose their favorite stories from all submissions, and each contributor will receive $45 USD for each story selected for publication.

The book will be available through Amazon or any other retailer. We are also trying to work it out so that each contributor will have the right to purchase copies of the book at cost (with no retail markup), and will be free to resell the book however they like and keep their profits.

The manuscript will also be placed online, in PDF form, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike 2.5 license. That means people will be able to read, copy, and distribute your story for free, which we hope will expose more readers to the material, and which has proven to be a good method of building awareness and even driving physical sales. There may also be an audiobook version created, which will be placed for free on

Finally, any eventual profits made by Ryan, Matt and David ! will be turned back around into the project, helping to promote and publicize your work.

I am very excited for this one and will surely submit something. I have already written a few ideas in my notebook for use after I finish my pirate story. I actually have a pretty full writing schedule now. Here is my list of writing priorities in order:

  1. The Pirate Story (almost complete)
  2. The contest at The Moon Topples
  3. Machine of Death

As always, I would be interested to hear who will be submitting their work to Machine of Death. Good luck!

Writing Opportunity – Shimmer Magazine Pirate Issue

I just found another writing opportunity over at John Scalzi’s excellent blog. Shimmer Magazine is now accepting submissions for their Summer Pirate Issue. That’s right, it’s an issue completely about Pirates. This seems like a really fun writing opportunity and a chance to be published in an excellent magazine. It is also a paid writing opportunity, with the maximum payment of $30. Here is a direct quote from the site regarding the issue:

Pirates! The word evokes the high seas, deep space and bootleg software. Be honest, who hasn’t wanted to be a pirate? Think of plunder, booty — Avast!

The MS Shimmer has been captured by the Dred Pirate John Joseph Adams, first-mate of the Fantasy & Science Fiction. For the Summer 2007 issue, our pages will be filled with pirate stories. What better way to celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day?

What kind of pirates? All kinds — fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, historical, futuristic, high seas, deep space — if it’s got pirates and it’s speculative fiction, Captain Adams wants it. The usual Shimmer guidelines apply, but with pirates.

Bring us your pirate stories for Summer 2007, the Pirate Issue.

Submission porthole: December 1, 2006-January 31, 2007.

Here are their general submission guidelines. This might make a nice followup project to NaNoWriMo for those who are looking for something to write (and not editing their stories).

Update: Here is a link to what they typically look for in a story.