What editors are thinking while reading queries:
Perhaps most importantly of all...
Should you like it or leave it? Amanda C. Davis, whose flash fiction "My Rest a Stone" opens the anthology Specter Spectacular: 13 Ghostly Tales, and who recently co-authored the collection Wolves and Witches, gives short story writers some tough love:
A couple of weeks ago, my local writers' group issued a flash fiction prompt, and I completely bombed it. I made four wildly different attempts. All were terrible. This isn't unusual; I write a lot of flash fiction, especially prompted or to theme, and I end up retiring most of it right away. This time, when I griped on Twitter about discarding all those bad stories, someone ended up asking: Well, how do you know if your story is a dud?
Night Owl Reviews recently ran a rapid fire series of reviews for the Fate of the Gods series (I think we got the reviewer hooked!). All three books in the main trilogy were given Five Stars and the rating of "Top Pick."
This weekend only, you can get the Fate of the Gods novella, Taming Fate, for free on Kindle. A historical romance of magic and mythology.
For the first time in her many lives, Eve would rather be anywhere but home.
In 15th Century France, Eve would have burned as a witch if it hadn’t been for the too-timely arrival of the Marquis DeLeon to save her skin. But Eve didn’t ask to be rescued, and their hasty marriage is off to anything but a smooth start. As tensions in the town grow and plague threatens, Ryam DeLeon knows if he and Eve cannot find common ground, their first Christmas may be their last.
Taming Fate's best place in the Fate of the Gods reading order is between books two and three, but the story can stand alone.
By Sarena Ulibarri.
Our first 2015 open submission period is now closed, and our new assistant editors Laura Harvey and Sarena Ulibarri are finished frolicking in the slush. After a month of long nights perusing the inbox, and several epic arm-wrestling matches, they are now retreating to their editing nests to read manuscripts and see which of their favorite queries will hatch into a wonderful book. Still following these metaphors? Well, we’re a bit cross-eyed from query-reading, so please forgive us.
Care to take a peek at what we received this month?
Queries received in total: 97
Length of query period: 28 days
Received as a result of an #AdPit request: 13
Audience (other than general adult):
Sub-genre within speculative fiction:
*Click here to read our blog post on what the catch-all term "speculative fiction" means.
**A few vampire stories fell into this category, since vampires can be either fantasy or horror, depending on how they are handled.
Common tropes and trends:
Response time (initial response to query letter):
By Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief.
Happy birthday to us! March 2015 marks our third anniversary. Back in the spring of 2012, we launched with Susan Abel Sullivan's well-received four-story collection Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories.
Since then we've published novels, novellas, collections, and anthologies. We've slowly and selectively added authors to the WWP family. We've launched series. We've launched trilogies. We've launched an imprint! And most recently, welcomed new assistant editors to sit at the big family table, overstuffed with food and mismatched serving dishes, alongside our authors and anthologists and Uncle Kenny who always manages to pass the mashed potatoes so that you put your thumb in the smear down the side. Or does only my family have an Uncle Kenny?
There's a very "full circle" feeling to many of this month's goings-on:
The very first novel we published — Shards of History by Rebecca Roland — well, we're announcing its sequel! Fractured Days sees Malia return home the hero of a war she can't remember. Read the description now and stay tuned for release dates of this soon-to-be-released novel.
There's news from all of our recurring anthologists as well. Far Orbit Apogee, the next title in the Far Orbit anthology series edited by Bascomb James, is wrapping up the final month of submissions. Kate Wolford, editor of Krampusnacht and Beyond the Glass Slipper, just opened submissions for Frozen Fairy Tales, a joint venture between World Weaver Press and Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. Anthologist Rhonda Parrish continues her magical creature anthology series that began with Fae in Corvidae and Scarecrow (to be released in July and August 2015, respectively), and announced that the submission dates for Sirens will be August 15 - November 15, 2015. I'll even be releasing a sequel to Specter Spectacular: 13 Ghostly Tales called Specter Spectacular II: 13 Deathly Tales in late-spring/early-summer — although that's not strictly a March announcement. (Anthology submission guidelines.)
Our assistant editors, Sarena Ulibarri and Laura Harvey, made it through their first open submission month in February, fielding roughly a hundred queries — a not insubstantial number when you consider that we open to queries three times a year and only publish 10-14 titles a year. Of those hundred, we can only sign 1-3 . . . maybe four. Maybe. Some tough choices are ahead.
But what's not a tough choice? Getting an ebook copy of Legally Undead this week. You may have already seen it on BookBub, but if not, know that the first-in-series supernatural suspense / urban fantasy novel Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins is just $0.99 this week only (ends Sunday, March 15) on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and AllRomance eBooks. To tide you over until the next novel featuring Elle Dupree, we've lined up a novella from Nick's point of view, Crazy, Stupid, Undead, which you can add to your Goodreads lists now.
We've got so many great projects and great people — including all of you who've joined us for previous #SFFlunch live Twitter chats or who will join us on March 20, Noon-2:00 PM EDT — to celebrate with, that we don't even need a cake to feel special on our birthday.
Unless it's a cheesecake. I never turn down cheesecake.
At the WWP Home Office here in Michigan, a sudden and shocking thaw has broken us out of a snowy, sub-zero thrall. We're poking our heads out our doors, cracking windows, and madly filling every carwash in town as we try to scrub the road salt from our cars before the next snow. Because we're Michiganders, we steadfastly believe there will be another snow. But for the moment, we're spring-crazy for this string of 50 F days that will give way again shortly to more March-appropriate temperatures in the mid-30s. But I'll take it, gladly take it. And while it's no cheesecake, it does feel like a fine WWP birthday present.
We're pleased to announce a call for submissions for the latest project that teams Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine editor, Kate Wolford, with World Weaver Press: Frozen Fairy Tales. Kate Wolford's previous WWP projects include Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus and Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales To Fall In Love With.
Call for Frozen Fairy Tale Submissions:
In the bleak midwinter, the call of fairy tales can be especially irresistible. After all, fairy tales both take us out of our humdrum world and into the possibilities of what can be--or maybe even is. A fairy tale read in winter can help us dream through the the cold days and nights.
Yet, surprisingly few fairy tales are specifically set in winter. With Frozen Fairy Tales, we're hoping to remedy that.
In a joint venture between World Weaver Press and Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, we're opening up to submissions for a fairy tale collection set in winter. Details are below.
1) You must be 18 or older to submit.
2) Submissions must be in English, but submissions from all over the world are most welcome.
3) No stories connected to the movie Frozen will be considered. It's a great movie, but this anthology is not at all about that film.
4) Stories centered on winter holidays are most welcome, but stories do not need to be holiday focused. Krampus-themed stories will be considered, but please do not resubmit stories that were previously submitted for the Krampusnacht anthology.
5) A sense of winter and its perils and possibilities must be part your story.
6) This is a fairy tale collection, which means the sensibility of the stories should evoke classic fairy tales. You do not need to retell famous fairy tales reset in winter, but you may. Nonetheless, the classics have been retold a lot lately, so fresher takes with more originality stand a better chance of being selected, as do retellings of obscure fairy tales. But think winter!
7) Please, no erotica, children's stories, hard-core horror, or sci-fi. This anthology is aimed at an audience age 15 or older.
8) Open submission period: March 6 - May 15, 2015.
9) Length: Under 10,000 words.
10) Submission method: Email cover letter and story to enchantedconversation [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Frozen Fairy Tales Anthology – story title.” Cover letter should contain your name, contact info, story’s title, and approximate word count; no need to summarize the story, let it speak for itself. Then paste the full story into the body of the email following your letter. Please make it very clear where paragraphs break — this means if your email doesn’t let you indent paragraphs, you’ll need to put an extra space between each paragraph for submission purposes. Do not send unrequested attachments. Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.
11) Rights and compensation: Payment: $20. All contributors will receive a paperback copy of the anthology. We are seeking first world rights in English and exclusive rights to publish in print and electronic format for twelve months after publication date after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for a term. No reprints will be considered. That means only previously unpublished works will be considered.
Good Choice Reading gave Shards of History five of five stars and an absolutely glowing review. Even going so far as to say, "Shards of History reminds us of why we love books in the first place."
The GCR review team writes: Shards of History has to be one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read --- both visually and metaphorically. Rebecca Roland has the ability to capture you with her stunning descriptions of the world surrounding the Taakwa people, Jegudun creatures and yes, even some dragons. Read more...
But it's not just Rebecca Roland's beautiful writing that captured the reviewer's attention. It was the strong female protagonist, Malia.
The GCR review team writes: Malia, is a strong-willed, selfless, courageous and unyielding woman --- so, needless to say, I love her! Read more...
Rebecca Roland lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she writes primarily fantasy and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in Everyday Fiction, Uncle John’s Flush Fiction and in Stupefying Stories, and she is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. When she’s not writing, she’s usually spending time with her family, torturing patients as a physical therapist, or eating way too much chocolate.
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.