24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 23rd Day of Writing: PORTALS

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December 23rd 

Hi friends! I’m currently in Nova Scotia visiting family. I love any kind of travel, even if it’s only a few hours away. I find when I drive, I’m able to think about life and the stories I’m working on.

Today’s opportunity is for PORTALS. Keep reading to learn more!

PORTALS

They seek fantasy or science fiction stories that contain a portal between two different worlds. They want stories that feature twists on typical portals and interesting settings. Try not to write a story about a door in the back of a wardrobe 😉

They also aren’t seeking stories that open a portal from one time to another. They’re interested in stone archways in the middle of the forest, cracks in reality, and wormholes. They seek both humorous and dark tones. Read more here!

Submission Guidelines

Stories shouldn’t be longer than 7,500 words and must satisfy the theme.

The deadline is December 31st, 2018. Decisions will be made by the end of February 2019. Send your submissions to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com

Any questions you have may be directed to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com.

Happy Writing

Hope you have fun with this prompt. Tomorrow is the last day of this blog series!

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

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24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 22nd Day of Writing: Havok Flash Fiction

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December 22nd 

Hi dear friends, there are only two more days left of this blog series. Thanks for joining me ❤ 

Today’s submission opportunity is for Havok. They are an ezine, and seek flash fiction. Keep reading to learn more 🙂 

Havok Publishing

Havok looks for memorable, and well-edited fiction between 300-1,000 words. It can be across a variety of genres. Science fiction, comedy, thriller, and fantasy. They want stories that take people away from daily troubles, bringing them into a new world. 

Recycle – February 2019 

Submissions are open now for this opportunity. This is an interesting prompt and they explain it well on their website. 

They aren’t looking at recycling in the way we usually think of it. Think outside the box. They gave a few examples on their website. Why is Jack the Ripper collecting organs, how do the fae turn baby’s laughter into magic? Whose stealing your newspaper and swapping it with paper mache swans?

Strange, eh? It’s going to be a fun opportunity. March’s theme is: Relocate. Both February and March are open for submissions.

Read about the submission guidelines here. 

Good Luck

Happy writing, friends! Tomorrow, I’m off to Nova Scotia to visit my family for Christmas. Can’t wait. 

Until next time,

Loie xo

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

Flash Fiction: Santa’s Secret

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December 21st

I wrote this short story for the Weird Christmas flash fiction contest. I wanted to continue the story of my characters, Beira and the stag. You may have met them in The Winter Crone.

What happens to Beira and Alaor when they find Santa Claus? Who do they unexpectedly discover behind the fluffy beard :)?

Enjoy ❤

Santa’s Secret

The white stag hated Christmas lights.

It reminded him of the dreary Hallmark movies his mistress enjoyed so much. She wept and scratched her watering nose at every cheesy ending while he wondered when the filmmakers would hire a better writer.

His mistress begged to differ.

“What are you brooding about now, Alaor?”

Beira, the Winter Goddess, leaned towards him and draped an arm around his neck. “I can see that scowl from a mile away.”

“Why is he here?” Alaor asked. “Parading around as the jolly Santa Claus?”

Beira shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine. I thought I got him for good. Maybe my Granny magic didn’t work.”

She sniggered to herself but Alaor shook his great head, upsetting a child carrying a tray of hot chocolates. He hardly regarded the spilled brown liquid or the tears in the boy’s eyes. Beira leaned down to help the little boy.

Alaor had greater matters on his mind.

Jolly St. Nick. The stag wanted to rush in and spear the bugger in the belly with his antlers.

If the children only knew who was really behind the mask.

Beira popped back up and flicked his ear gently. He didn’t look away from the imposter.  Her gaze softened as she regarded him a moment too long. “Stop worrying.”

“I’m not worrying,” he snapped before stalking forwards through the evergreen decorated gate.

Passersby’s exclaimed as they took in his majestic white coat and amber antlers. A little girl darted forwards, a dingy carrot in her hand.

“Beira,” he snarled, and she laughed in ringing booms before swooping down to catch the little girl’s arm.

“That’s so sweet of you but my friend doesn’t like carrots. He’s – um – allergic.”

Alaor snorted, streams of white clouds exiting his nostrils. Trying to feed him like a second-rate mule. He was the Winter Goddess’ protector.

“Hmph.”

Beira sunk her fingers into his fur and purred, “Don’t be so uptight. They think you’re pretty.”

Alaor choked and she nudged him forwards, grinning. “Come on. We need to go see Santa.”

He followed his Winter Goddess before stopping at once.

Santa sat on a scarlet velvet chair. However, behind the white beard and embarrassing red broadcloth, the Sun King glared at him and Beira.

“You tried to kill me,” he grunted.

Alaor raised an eyebrow at the Sun King and his ridiculous disguise.

“Least you managed to survive, Santa. I’ll make sure to pay a visit to the North Pole. Looks like you’re in my realm now,” Beira said sweetly.

The late Sun King gritted his teeth and Alaor stamped his hooves.

Winter reigned with fury.

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 21st Day of Writing: Triangulation Dark Skies

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December 21st

Triangulation is Parsec Ink’s speculative fiction annual. They’re in their 15th year. They seek science fiction, weird fiction, fantasy, and speculative horror from established and new writers.

Theme: Dark Skies

This theme celebrates the natural awe and beauty of the night sky. They seek tales that feature a sky full of stars as a meaningful part of the story. Take them to another time or world. Write about the universe and going out into the depths of space.

What would it mean to lose that ability?

They’re joining forces with the International Dark-Sky Association. This group raises awareness of the dangers of light pollution.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions opened on December 1, 2018 and close on February 28, 2019. They will consider stories that are 5,000 words long but the favored spot is 3,000. There isn’t a minimum word count.

They won’t consider stories without a speculative element. Send them your sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or a blend of all three!

The pay is semi-pro: 4 cents a word. Authors receive one print copy of the anthology and an e-book.

They don’t accept reprints, simultaneous submissions, or multiple submissions. However, if they reject one story before the end of the reading period you can send another one.

Submit your story here.

Manuscript Format

Use industry standard manuscript format.

Good Luck

Happy writing, friends! I hope you have fun with this submission opportunity.

What have you worked on this month? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 20th Day of Writing: Mslexia

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December 20th

How are there only four days left of this blog series and five days until Christmas?! Where has this month gone?

How are you all making out? I would love to hear what you worked on this month. On the last day of this series, I’ll show a tally of what I finished.

Mslexia Magazine

Today’s submission opportunity is for an online magazine, Mslexia.

This magazine includes interviews, news, reviews, grants, and competitions. It’s read by beginners and top authors. It’s an amazing magazine for women who write. They aim to promote established and new voices.

Themed Writing

They ask for theme prose and poetry twice a year. Winners are selected by guest editors and are sent a small payment.

Mslexia seeks stories up to 2,200 words, poems up to 40 lines long, and short scripts up to 1,000 words. This includes character names and stage instructions. They only accept four poems, two short stories, and two short scripts per entrant.

Issue 82: Clothes

For this submission, send poems or stories on the theme of clothes. Costumes, uniforms, clothes of the future compared to clothes from the past, are a few examples. You could write about the material, sewing, etc. Read more about the theme here.

Send it by March 11th, 2019.

Good Luck

Happy writing, friends! Let me know what you’re working on in the comments below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

Author Interview: Canadian YA Author Mere Joyce

Introducing Mere Joyce

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Mere Joyce is a Canadian author of books for young adults. Her writing includes contemporary tales, high-action mysteries, and her personal favorite–ghost stories. When she’s not writing, Mere can be found recommending books as a librarian, or spending time at home with her husband and two sons. She’s also been known to be a selective, yet highly enthusiastic fangirl.

Mere’s novels include Blank Canvas (Evernight Teen, 2015), Getting the Brush Off (Orca Book Publishers, 2017), Shadow (Orca Book Publishers, 2018), and Shade (Oracle of Senders book 1 – 7S Pub, 2018).

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Welcome to another addition to Canadian Author Interviews. Today, I’d like to welcome Canadian YA author, Mere Joyce.

Loie: Welcome to the blog, Mere! So lovely to have you here. Can you please share about your journey as a writer to published author? When did you start writing and why? When did you decide you were ready to try and have your book published 😊?

Mere: Thank you for having me! I can’t precisely remember when I started writing, but I can trace it back at least to my tween years. Writing has long-since been an important part of my identity (my high school yearbook actually says my future goal is to become the female Stephen King, :P), but it wasn’t until I finished schooling and began working as a librarian that it went from being a hobby to being something I was serious about. It’s always easy to say ‘I’ll get to it eventually’. But being surrounded by books each day at work made me realize I needed to make an honest effort at getting my own writing on the shelf as well. I sent out my very first query in January 2012, and spent three years working on various projects before finding a home for my first novel.

Loie: YES! Love your high school yearbook goal 🙂 I know that way of thinking too, getting to it eventually.

Can you share some of the inspiration behind Blank Canvas? It sounds so complex and amazing 😊

Mere: Blank Canvas actually came from a dream I had when I was fifteen years old! At the time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the creepy man who painted everything and kept me captive, so I wrote a story called The Painter. It was a fairly short tale, and more of a horror/thriller. But unlike some of my other earliest writings, I never gave up my conviction that someday the story would make it into book form. Nearly a decade after first writing it, it occurred to me that the story could be told in a totally different way, focusing less on the imprisonment/escape and more on the life lived afterwards. I started to explore the character of Maddie more thoroughly, making connections I’d never realized before (for instance, that she herself was a painter), and I ended up rewriting the entire thing from scratch. The story gained depth, and the character of Maddie truly came alive for the first time, which was awesome.

Loie: Wow! Some dreams are truly powerful. Love the story behind Blank Canvas! Can’t wait to read it. My copy is on its way:)

What is your favorite genre to write and why?

Mere: I love horror, and would be thrilled to write more YA horror stories. But I actually find myself often drawn to writing YA contemporary tales. I love exploring the possibilities of ordinary teens facing extraordinary dilemmas (big or small), as well as the complexities of “normal” life.

Loie: Yes! I love contemporary as well. I’m working on a Bluebeard fairytale retelling. I’ve never written horror or creepy stories, so it’s been kind of fun.

Do you have any new projects on the horizon in 2019 that you can hint at 😊 ?

Mere: I have a couple! In addition to continuing with my Oracle of Senders series with the upcoming Revenant, I also have a new YA Contemporary called Things That Fall, which will be released in August by Dancing Cat Books! Two very different stories that are both immensely near to my heart – including a varied mix of ghosts, cousins, romance, and mystery.

Loie: Eeee! I love the title, Revenant! Also, your new contemporary sounds fantastic. Ghosts 😀

With your experience, how have you found the Canadian publishing industry?

Mere: The Canadian publishing industry is really interesting…it can be a challenge, as there aren’t a ton of publishing houses/agencies, and many of the ones that do exist have very specific areas of interest. But I absolutely love the dedication of the Canadian industry to publish and promote Canadian authors and Canadian content, especially in regards to YA—I grew up not even knowing Canadian YA existed! There is a lot more visibility for our works now, and there is a sense of community among both publishers as well as authors that is fantastic.

Loie: Thank you for sharing 🙂 I always love to hear authors perspectives on the industry. I see the dedication too and its lovely. Super encouraging for up and coming authors and writers.

Who’s your favorite author and why?

Mere: I actually find this an incredibly hard question to answer, because I collect favourite stories far more often than I do authors! However, if I were to choose one, I’d have to reach back a ways and go with Frances Hodgson Burnett. She had a way of writing stories that were grounded in reality but completely magical all the same.

Loie: Oooo! She’s a fantastic author.

Favorite 2018 read?

Mere: I really liked Kiersten White’s The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, an unexpected enjoyment that’s rekindled my interest in the original tale.

Loie: I can’t wait to read that book!!! Any tips for aspiring authors 😊 ?

Mere: When you read (both in your genre and outside of it), pick out the things you absolutely love about the stories—especially the little things. Metaphors or descriptions, character interactions or settings…delving into the intricacies of stories will help you learn what kinds of things you love (and, conversely, what things immediately make you roll your eyes with annoyance or dismay). There are so many “rules” out there for writers, that it’s easy to feel like you have to write in a certain way, or avoid a type of story because it’s been done before. Always keep the magic of reading alive, and write the kinds of things you love/wish there was more of as a reader—without worrying if it follows the rules or is going to be seen as cliché!

Loie: That is great advice! I actually was planning a series for January where I’ll look at examples of characters or setting in various stories and share what I love about them so much.

It’s like studying craft more directly:) Mmmm. I love that – keep the magic of reading alive. I agree one hundred percent.

Thanks so much, Mere! Fab to get to know you more and highlight Canadian YA authors<3

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 19th Day of Writing: Beneath Ceaseless Skies

December 19th

Hi friends,

Do you write literary adventure fantasy? Then this opportunity is for you ❤

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies seek stories with traditional or classic fantasy with a secondary-world setting.

What is a Secondary-World Setting?

Tolkien called it this. It’s a world that’s different from our primary world. It might be different in terms of ecology (climate), zoology (non-human creatures), or physical laws, AKA, the presence of magic.

The story could be set on Earth but a different Earth in terms of history (alternate history) or time (pre-modern historical past). Pre-technology levels of technology like magic, steampunk technology, or anything not as advanced as modern technology. The setting should have an element that’s fantastical.

People in this world should have developed their own culture. The people should fit in the culture.

They aren’t seeking urban fantasy or other stories in our modern real world.

Characters

They love stories focused in on character. Characters should yearn for something, internally or externally, driving the characters towards it.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies love characters who are ’round’. Ones that change and grow, instead of remaining the same.

Prefer limited or close POV. It can be 1st or 3rd.

Originality 

They prefer original stories. Stories featuring elves, barbarian swordsmen, or opening in a fantasy tavern, unless done uniquely, are unlikely to catch their eye.

Good Luck

Good luck with this submission opportunity! This is a SWFA qualifying site. Read more about their submission guidelines here.

Until next time,

Loie xo