Contracts and subs

I’ve been off the short story subs roundabout for much of last year, but in the last few months, I’ve been determined to rectify this.

I’ve had two subs rejected for fair reasons (off target subject and a rights issue), and another yesterday rejected (in part) because it was a little offensive. Not bad for a 200 word story! The slush readers reactions varied, but I think the brevity and the possible offensiveness were the culprits. It’s actually a fairly innocuous piece (it’s not even horror!) – unless you’re a devout Catholic. Not to worry, you’ll catch that story, “Virgin in the Mist” in the early pages of Shards.

The last few days have brought some welcome good news on the short story front:

1. “The Cutting Room” has been sold to horror podcaster Pseudopod. This story is available in print form in the truly outstanding Apex anthology Gratia Placenti, and is also due to appear in the Spanish horror anthology Paura 4. Pseudopod described it in the acceptance email as “delightfully filthy”. As far as compliments go, you can’t get much better than that!

I subbed to Pseudopod after Trent Jamieson’s success there with his excellent story “Tumble” (which also appeared in Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006 edition and was my favourite story from 2005). It’s always been a dream of mine to have one of my stories podcast, so receiving the acceptance news was brilliant!

2. I received the contract for my involvement in an upcoming anthology from Morrigan Books. Editor and publisher Mark S. Deniz is like a man possessed with the number of book projects he has on the go. I’m really looking forward to stretching my writing muscles on this story.

3. Dark Wisdom magazine has changed format into a proposed anthology series and online magazine. After querying about my four (!) stories in the ‘accepted’ pile there, editor William Jones very promptly let me know (tentatively) that three stories will likely go in the anthologies and one (“On Dark Clouds Borne” – flash fiction) will go online. Some might think the end of Dark Wisdom is a bad thing, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Elder Signs Press team come up with in the new formats. Books are their forte, so seeing more anthologies come from ESP should be a good thing!

Aside from the subs stuff, I’m having a great time with the AHWA mentor program. Clint, the writer I’m working with, has a bucketload of talent and great potential with horror fiction. Now, I just have to finish off some critiquing and everything will be zen.

Listening to: Home by The God Machine