Submitomancy!

ETA: Submitomancy fell short of the funding goal, unfortunately, so isn’t going to happen. (Thank you, Zac, for your suggestion that we add a note about the project’s status.)

Guest Post by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

I first experienced the magical power of recent responses on Absolute Write. I had just started sending out my first novel (now wrapped in lavender-scented tissue paper and trunked) and I discovered the treasure trove of agent information here on the forums. It was like I’d gained entry into a secret club. Suddenly I knew that this agent was a quick responder and that one often gave personal responses and how long the previous person had been waiting for a response. I got great insight on what specific agents were looking for and the type of novels that were getting full requests. And most importantly, I didn’t feel so alone.

When I shifted to short stories, I looked for similar resources. I discovered tracking short stories was a bit more complicated than novel submissions. I ended up with a combination solution: I had a spreadsheet, a website and a piece of software called Sonar3 in order to try to track all of the information that was important to me. When the admins of that website changed their system, I suddenly realised, you know what? I can do better than this.

I started a list of everything I wanted: manuscript data, submission history, market listings, recent responses, contract and payment information for every sale, exclusivity clauses, reprint options… it was a long list. And before I knew it, I was writing a detailed design specification for my perfect system: Submitomancy.

The project needed two things: development funds and a critical mass of users. And yet, I wanted to keep it free. It was an easy decision to start with the crowd-funding model, which would defray development costs and also gain a commitment from a starter group who wanted the service.

If the campaign succeeds, then the core development is out of the way before we start. The free services will encourage users to enter their data in return for a basic tracking service. This will include a basic search of the market listings, submission tracking and average response times per market.

But if you subscribe, you get access to the fun stuff! Lots of reports and data, of course: expanded manuscript tracking, power search, recent responses, market alerts and personalised notifications. But you also get access to social options like profile pages, status updates and badges! Badges might not seem an obvious feature for a submission tracker, I know.  But having been a part of such a powerful community, I wanted to make it easy to share the our successes and struggles with each other.

If there’s enough interest in Submitomancy then I’ll be refining the details with the Early Access subscribers. But the reports and the support can only be as good as the people who take part. That’s why I’m exploring this with you as a no-risk project right now. If you think you’d enjoy being a part of Submitomancy, then please support the campaign and tell your friends.

http://www.indiegogo.com/submitomancy/

A few August 31 Fiction Deadlines

Hadley Rille Books: A Quiet Shelter There is an upcoming anthology of speculative fiction about service or companion animals. The deadline is August 31, and the pay is $10 for a story or $5 for a poem, all USD. The minimum word count for fiction is 1000 words; the maximum is 4000. That makes the payrate for fiction between 1 cent per word and .0025 cents per word (or 1/4 of a penny per word). Submission guidelines!
Editor Gerri Leen has some “Quirks” and suggests that writers check out her blog.

I Like a Little Science in My Fiction” is also slated to close on August 31. First place gets 5 cents per word, second place gets 3 cents per word, and third place gets 1 cent per word. Stories must be based on a recent scientific innovation or discovery (which must be cited!) and be set off of earth. Check out the guidelines.

RymFire eBooks wants 2,500-7,500 word stories (these sound like firm limits from what I’ve read) for their State of Horror: California anthology. As you can imagine, they want horror stories set in California. The editors were interviewed at duotrope if you want more insight into what they publish. They’re only paying $3 per story, but there’s an interesting twist. Every time they sell 150 eBooks, the authors get an additional $3. They’re publishing a print version as well, and they count print sales as three eBook sales for the purposes of reaching the $3 goal. Submission Guidelines. Their website is under construction.

Oncoming Contest Deadlines, Fee-Free Edition

Redstone Science Fiction’s “Identity Crisis” contest is accepting submissions until August 15. There’s no entry fee, and winners get 5 cents per word (4,000 word maximum). The contest’s prompt is an essay titled “Identity Crisis: Who Are We, If We Can Choose Who We Are?” which, along with the publication’s submission guidelines, can be found on the contest page at http://redstonesciencefiction.com/identity-crisis-contest/.

Filament Magazine’s erotic fiction contest closes to submissions on July 31. Filament Magazine is an adult publication, so consider this before following any of the links in this paragraph at work. The theme is “Music,” first prize is £100, there’s no entry fee, and they accept electronic entries. The editors have a few requests of entrants, so make sure read the guidelines (PDF file: http://www.filamentmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/fictionguidelines.pdf) and the contest page (http://www.filamentmagazine.com/2011/05/fiction-contest-for-issue-9-theme-music/) closely.

PoeticPower has an essay and poetry contest winding to a close on August 16. The contest is open to students between grades 3-12. There’s no entry fee, and winners get a $50 savings bond. Both contests’ guidelines are highlighted on the PoeticPower index page. Full disclosure: I thought that their website looked skeevy, but Winning Writers says “We are satisfied that this contest is not a scam.” PoeticPower has something close to a 45% acceptance rate, which is strange for normal contests, but since PoeticPower’s goal has more to do with building self-esteem in children than creating literary masterworks, I think that the contest has quite a bit of value.

If you just need more time, SPS Studios‘ 19th Bi-Annual Poetry Card Contest closes December 31st. No entry fee; first prize is $300. The editors say they’ll accept rhyming poetry, but that they think non-rhyming sounds better. Their submission guidelines and entry form can be found at http://www.sps.com/poetry/index.html.

Soaps.com Looking for a Substitute Recap Writer

Hey, AWers – I just received an email from Christine Fix, the Editor-in-Chief at Soaps.com:

Substitute Recap Writer:

Soaps.com is seeking a strong writer who resides in Ontario Canada to write “day ahead” recaps for the following soap operas: “Young and The Restless” and “Days Of Our Lives.”

The candidate will be open to receiving emails and or calls to substitute for the regular writers without much advance warning.

The candidate must have a fast internet connection, be able to type at least 40 wpm, be able to recap the episode, proof and post on the website within an hour and a half of the start of the episode. Having a screen capture card will be an asset to you.

The episode recap should be no more than 800 words and be in the same format used by the website.
The pay is $25.

Applicants can contact Christine Fix at contact – at – soaps.com with a resume and four writing samples.

If you’re an Ontario writer with a love of soaps, this just might be for you!

Independent Anthologies that Want YOUR Writing!

I’ve noticed a lot of indie anthologies popping up lately, and since three of them ended up in the Water Cooler‘s Paying Markets forum, I thought I’d share a few leads here that never found their way into our forum’s warm, loving arms.

But first, one of the three that posted on the forums still has plenty of time before its deadline. For the dark fantasy and horror writers out there, consider putting something together for Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations, edited by Eric J. Guignard. Writing guidelines, what he wants and doesn’t, contact information, and updates can be found at http://ericjguignard.blogspot.com/
1 cent per word payment.

The anthology titled Cat’s New Eye Bella is looking for, wait for it, Spec Fic stories about cats. Their guidelines mention that they want humor twice, so consider sticking some lol on any cats you might lob in their direction. More information here: http://darkwineandstars.blogspot.com/search/label/Anthologies%20Paid%20Info
1 cent per word payment.

My personal favorite (because I’m studying Chinese, I suspect) is a yet-untitled Wuxia anthology, which is a labor of love-type project meant to generate familiarity with Chinese Wuxia, a word that roughly means “hero” or “knight.” As a genre, Wuxia refers to stories that are a bit like crossing the much-romanticized U.S. Old West with Chinese sword fighting and martial arts. The editor, John Dishon, has a much better explanation of the genre here: http://wuxia.genreverse.com/what-is-wuxia/.

From his submission guidelines:

If your story is a borderline case, or you’re not quite sure if it’s wuxia, then send it in anyway. The worst that can happen is it gets rejected.

The guidelines exist over at http://wuxia.genreverse.com/submissions/ and payment is set to range between 1 cent per word and 5 cents per word. If you’ve never even heard of Wuxia, this is a fantastic opportunity (and dare I say motivation?) to learn about a new genre.

Absolutely write hard, write true, and write on!

-BK

A Quick Note

Just wanted to let you guys know I’m down with the flu, right now. On the mend, but still not anything like functional.

In the meantime, just in case you didn’t realize these resources are out there, let me direct your attention to these two writing-related and markets-listing sites that can save you hours of chasing around on the Web:

Duotrope’s Digest
“a free writers’ resource listing over 2750 current Fiction and Poetry publications. Use this page to search for markets that may make a fine home for the piece you just polished. Use the menus at the top and right to explore the rest of the free services we offer writers and editors, including a free online submissions tracker for registered users.”

Ralan.com
“This web site is about writing, mine and yours. In 1994 it started as an exercise for myself, to promote my work and find writing speculative and humorous fiction writing links and markets for my work on this new-fangeled Internet thing, because they weren’t to be found. As it got bigger, I decided to share what I had with other writers who, like myself, might be in a place where finding markets was not that easy. Pretty soon these other writers started helping me right back, by pointing out new markets and changes in listed ones. That two-way interaction is still going on today. There are other e-places to find markets now, but thanks to you, this is still one of the most up-to-date.”

Resources like this are often found through word of mouth, and it’s a privilege to get to point new writers in helpful directions. I’ve used both of these sites, especially for fiction and poetry markets, and found valuable, up-to-date information. When I can, I support the tremendous amount of work they do, via paypal.

Hopefully, you’ll find them as helpful and worthwhile, in pursuit of your own markets.

Tor Books Internship

Internships are a standard part of how people learn the publishing business. When you work at a major publisher, you’re gaining experience, insight, and making contacts that can eventually serve you for your entire career as a writer, editor, or even as an agent.

If you’re interested in working in publishing, and you’re in the NYC area or willing to relocate, Tor/Forge is currently seeking two editorial interns:

Tor Books is seeking two editorial interns for the spring 2010 semester. The interns in this position will gain insight into the process of publishing a book at every stage, from acquisition and contracts through production and, finally, the finished product. They will learn about acquisitions, editorial review, scheduling, rights and territories, catalogue, and sales. There will also be opportunities to read and evaluate unsolicited manuscripts. While this is an editorial internship, the position will involve interaction with other departments including Production, Marketing, Ad Promo, and Publicity. Our interns have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of genre fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, mystery, and romance.

This has been a friendly-neighborhood boost-the-signal announcement.