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An Interview with Carol L. Wright

September 2, 2018 by in category Interviews, Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , , ,

Jann Ryan is still on vacation this month, so we’re running an interview from our archives. The interview with Carol L. Wright first posted April 2, 2017.

Carol L Wright

My first interview on the new A Slice of Orange is with Carol L. Wright, editor for Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC. Carol is a recovering lawyer and adjunct law professor who traded writing on law-related topics for writing fiction. She has published several short stories in a variety of genres and is the author of the Gracie McIntyre Mysteries. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and Sisters in Crime, a member of SinC Guppies, and a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. You can visit Carol’s website at http://carollwright.com, or follow her on Facebook at https://goo.gl/TtR9JL.

Jann: Welcome to A Slice of Orange, Carol. Tell us a little bit about Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC.

Carol: Thanks. I’m very happy to be here.

The Bethlehem Writers Group started out eleven years ago as a drop-in critique group at a local bookstore. While some of our regulars had several published works, many were writers who were just getting started, still learning the basics. As our membership grew, and our skills developed, we began taking on group challenges, such as meeting minimum word counts. That grew into accepting the challenge of compiling an anthology. Since we were based in Bethlehem, A Christmas Sampler Cover Pennsylvania, also known as “Christmas City, USA,” we decided to make it a Christmas anthology. Our writers work in many different genres, and had equally different takes on the theme, so when we decided on a title, we called it A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE HOLIDAY TALES. Sweet, funny, and strange pretty much describes our merry band of writers, too.

Since then, we have published three more anthologies, each with different themes, and are in the process of compiling our fifth anthology, UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL, forthcoming in 2018. In addition, many of our members have published their short works elsewhere, and we have many who have published novels, nonfiction, or memoir.

In addition to our anthologies, in 2011 we began publishing an online literary magazine. Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Shortly thereafter, we started an annual short story contest that offers cash and publication to the top three winners. But through it all, we have never forgotten our continuing mission of meeting as a group of mutually supportive fiction and nonfiction writers to help each other perfect their craft.

Jann: BWG publishes a quarterly e-zine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, are you accepting submissions?

Carol: We are always open to submissions of prose or poetry. We limit submissions to no more than 2000 words, and the work must be previously unpublished.

In addition to publishing stories and poems, we have other features, including an interview of a writing professional, a column on commonly confused words, and another column from the mythical “Betty Wryte-Goode” (BWG!) with links to useful websites for writers.

Jann: Must the author be published or unpublished?

Carol: We are happy to accept good work, whether the author has been published before or not. We have had the pleasure of publishing award-winning authors, as well as writers who have never published before. Our goal is to bring good work to the attention of our readers—it’s as simple as that.

Jann: Is this a paying market?

Carol: Yes,Let It Snow as of this year, we are happy to be able to offer payment for published work. Our Featured Author receives $20/story. Those whose work we publish, but who are not featured, receive $10/story. Poets receive $5/poem.

Jann: How does an author submit?

Carol: Submissions are through our online form at https://sites.google.com/site/bethlehemwritersroundtable/submissions.

Jann: Where can we read the e-zine?

Carol: It is published quarterly at https://bwgwritersroundtable. Our Spring issue just came out on April 1. No fooling!


Jann: What about The Best of Bethlehem Writers Round Table Winter Collection?

We have been fortunate enough to get some really terrific stories to publish on Roundtable through the years. A couple of years ago, we compiled several in one volume: LET IT SNOW: THE BEST OF BETHLEHEM WRITERS ROUNDTABLE (Winter 2015 Collection). It’s available in print or ebook formats through Amazon.com. (And also in the A Slice of Orange Book Store.)

Jann: As one of the Roundtable editors, what are you looking for in a short story? A poem?

Carol: We describe what we’re looking for on our submissions page, but briefly, we are looking for great stories. We often receive the equivalent of a “still life” in words—mood pieces or character sketches. But unless they are part of a true story, we’re not apt to accept them. We’re looking for three things: character, conflict, and resolution. We want to see that the main character has changed because of the events told in the story. A great story beats flowery language every time.

For poetry, we want emotion, imagery, musicality, and great use of inventive language. Poetry is a subjective genre, but what we don’t want is flash fiction with line breaks, or awkward or worn phrases. If it’s hard to make sense of your lines, we’re not apt to accept them. But if our editors feel your poem, you’ll be published.

Jann: Any writing books that you would recommend? How about classes?

Carol: There are so many great books out there. As a mystery writer, I’ve found the books by James N. Frey (not to be confused with James Frey) to be particularly helpful. He has a series of “Damn Good” books, including HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD MYSTERY. He also has one for novels and another for thrillers. I found his discussion of mythic characters and themes to be particularly useful. Another great resource is the books by James Scott Bell. He has written on every aspect, from writing to editing to marketing. I’m not a horror fan, but loved Stephen King’s book ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT. Great books about being a writer include the classic BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott.

I think every writer also needs a ton of reference works—both about writing and about the subjects they choose. My shelves are full of books on psychology and forensics because I write mysteries. But I also have a number of style books that I use—but only during the editing process. When I’m writing a first draft, I try not to let my inner editor get in the way of my muse.

There are also a plethora of great classes for writers out there. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get some terrific instruction. If you write genre fiction, such as romance, mystery, or children’s

A Readable Feast

fiction, there are strong, vibrant, national organizations for your genre. They frequently offer their members low-cost or free classes on a variety of writing subjects. For instance, as a member of Sisters in Crime (sinc.org), and its Guppies subgroup, I have access to low-cost classes on all aspects of mystery writing.

There are also “free” webinars offered by self-proclaimed experts on a variety of aspects of writing. These might offer some useful information, but in reality, they are ill-concealed advertisements for their extremely expensive services. They will often tell you just enough to make you want to learn more—for only $99/month for six months!

BWG is now developing workshops for writers, and hope to be ready to offer them to the public later this year. So, if you’re in the Bethlehem, PA area, they might be a good place to start.

When the budget allows, I’m a big advocate of going to writers conferences. You learn a lot from other writers, but you also have a chance to make contacts with people who “get” you. Writing is a solitary profession, and it’s nice to get out there and discover you’re not the only one who is weird like that. I mean—how many of your friends will spend a good portion of their afternoon figuring out how to get rid of a body without leaving trace evidence behind? (Uh–if they aren’t writers, maybe you should find other friends.) I always come home from a conference with renewed energy to write.

But the best thing for any writer to do is to read—a lot. It might be trite, but it’s true. By reading, you learn what does or doesn’t work. You improve your vocabulary, and expose yourself to a variety of voices. Reading opens the world up to you, both as an individual and as a writer. There is no substitute.


Jann: BWG also publishes the Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales Anthologies. Tell us a little bit about these books.

Carol: As I mentioned, it all started with A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE HOLIDAY TALES. We were so excited when it won the 2010 NEXT Generation Indie Book Awards in two categories: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

When wOnce Upon a Time Covere first published A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER, we weren’t sure whether we would ever do another, but after a couple of years, we wanted to do it again. Having published a Christmas book, we wanted to compile one for other holidays as well. Soon, we had ONCE AROUND THE SUN: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR ALL SEASONS which was also a finalist for Best Anthology.

Two years later, we published a collection of food-related stories entitled A READABLE FEAST: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR EVERY TASTE, which earned another finalist medal from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Our most recent anthology just came out last fall: ONCE UPON A TIME: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR ALL AGES. It’s a book of children’s stories ranging from the preschool through middle school target audience—and their parents, of course.

Our next anthology, UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL, is due out next year.

Jann: Do you accept submissions?

Carol: With one exception, the stories in our anthologies are by active members of the Bethlehem Writers Group. That exception is that the first-place winner of the annual Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Award competition is considered for inclusion in the upcoming anthology. For some of our anthologies, though, it takes us two years to put out the book. For those, we may have two successive contest winners’ stories included in the book.

Jann: A contest? How does that work?

Each year, we offer a SHORT STORY AWARD to the best story submitted to that year’s contest. As it happens, we are currently accepting submissions of original, unpublished, paranormal stories of no more than 2000 words. Our submission deadline is April 30. Members of BWG do the preliminary round of judging, then pass off the finalists to a guest judge.

Jann: Who is the final judge?

Carol: This year, we’re honored to have New York Times bestselling author, Carrie Vaughn as our Guest Judge. She will determine who our winners are.

 

Jann: Where do you enter?

Carol: All entries must be submitted through the form on the contest page of Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Payments are via PayPal. There is a PayPal link on our website to make payments easily.

Jann: How much does it cost?

Carol: There is a $10 entry fee per story.

Jann: What are the prizes?

We offer cash and publication to our winners. First place wins $200 and consideration for publication in our upcoming anthology. Second and Third places win $100 and $50 respectively. Both of these stories are offered publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Honorable Mentions (if any) receive a certificate, and might be offered publication at the discretion of our Roundtable editors.

Jann: When will the next anthology be released?

Carol: UNTETHERED is slated to be published in the fall of 2018.

Jann: Take off your editor’s hat for a minute and put on your author hat and tell us what you have planned for 2017.

2017 is a busy year. I have just had a short story published in the anthology THE WRITE CONNECTIONS put out by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. Another story is due out in July in the anthology DAY OF THE DARK, edited by Kaye George and published by Wildside Press, LLC. All the stories included are related in some way to the total solar eclipse that will be visible in North America on August 21, 2017.

In August, I anticipate the publication of my novel, DEATH AT GLENVILLE FALLS. It is the first of my Gracie McIntyre Mysteries. The story is about recovering lawyer, Gracie McIntrye, whose newly-opened bookstore is vandalized. She is disturbed when the responding officer is strangely indifferent to the crime. When she discovers that he did not file a police report on the incident, she suspects he might somehow be involved. She complains to the police chief, but gets no satisfaction, even as violence against her escalates. She investigates, only to discover that it is all tied to the 18-year-old murder of her former client that everyone thought was solved.

I hope your readers will look for it, and enjoy it.

I would like to thank Carol L. Wright for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have comments or questions for Carol, please use the comment form below. 

Jann Ryan

Jann Ryan

Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.

Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

If you are an author, editor, agent, or other publishing industry professional and would like to be interviewed on A Slice of Orange please contact us using the Contact Form.

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Time Is Running Out

April 25, 2018 by in category Writing tagged as , , ,

Short Story Award | Bethlehem Writers Group | A Slice of Orange

 

Time is running out to enter the

The DEADLINE is APRIL 30, 2018
 
We are looking for unpublished stories 
of 2000 words or fewer on the theme of
 
 
Send us your sweet, funny or strange stories about wizards, clairvoyants, other-worldly creatures, vampires, werewolves, telekenetics, ghosts, goblins, witches, mediums, poltergeists, the supernatural, and other paranormal experiences.
Our 2018 Guest Judge 
Kimberly Brower of
Brower Literary & Management, Inc.
 
Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge, and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Although she loves all things romance, she is also searching for books that are different and will surprise her, with empathetic characters and compelling stories. She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NY Times bestsellers, and likes to consider them all her favorite authors. 
Connect on Twitter:  @KimberlyBroweror on their website: http://browerliterary.com 
For more information see Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Website.
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Got Magic? Enter Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2018 Short Story Award

February 18, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , ,

Got Magic | A Slice of Orange

Got Magic?

Enter Bethlehem Writers Roundtable

2018 Short Story Award

Sweet, Funny and Strange Tales of the Paranormal

Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2018 Short Story Award is accepting entries. Send us your stories about wizards, clairvoyants, other-worldly creatures, vampires, werewolves, telekenetics, hosts, goblins, witches, mediums, poltergeists, the supernatural, and other unexplainable experiences.

The First Place winner will receive a $200 cash award and publication of the winning story either in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s upcoming anthology of paranormal stories, Untethered: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of the Paranormal, or as a featured story in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. (Publication anticipated in late 2018).
For more information and to enter please got to Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 

 

The 2018 Guest Judge 
Kimberly Brower of
Brower Literary & Management, Inc.
 
2018 Short Story Award
Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge, and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Although she loves all things romance, she is also searching for books that are different and will surprise her, with empathetic characters and compelling stories. She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NY Times bestsellers, and likes to consider them all her favorite authors. Connect on Twitter:  @KimberlyBroweror on their website: http://browerliterary.com 
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An Interview with Jonathan Maberry by Diane Sismour @dianesismour

October 17, 2017 by in category Interviews tagged as , , , , , ,

Jonathan Maberry | A Slice of OrangeWriting is a solitary profession except when you meet someone like Jonathan Maberry.

 

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning suspense author, editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries. Not only is he an exemplary author, he’s also part of a group known as the Philadelphia Liars Club. An organization known for helping writers become authors through workshops and meetings.

 

Long ago in one such workshop, I met Jonathan and he’s been one of my mentor ever since. I’m pleased to introduce Jonathan to my readers.

 

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to answer a few questions. The Bethlehem Writer’s Roundtable has a Paranormal Short Story Contest starting on January 1st, 2018 and I would like to give my readers and the participants a scope of what to expect from the genre.

 

DIANE SISMOUR:  How would you describe Paranormal as a genre compared to Horror or Fantasy? 

 

JONATHAN MABERRY: Paranormal is often confused or conflated with supernatural, but they’re significantly different things. The supernatural refers to things like vampires and werewolves, demons and those kinds of monsters. Paranormal refers to things that may appear to be magical but are likely to be aspects of science as yet unquantifiable, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and other kinds of ESP.

 

The word ‘paranormal’ is frequently misused in fiction, as seen in –say—paranormal romance, in which angels, demons, vampires, and so on are romantic figures. That’s actually supernatural, but try and get a publishing marketing exec to change the wording! Not a chance.

 

Supernatural elements fit very well with all kinds of fantasy storytelling, because fantasy has always been concerned with monsters, dragons, sorcery, gods, and so on.

 

Horror is a much broader category and there are no limits to what can fall under that umbrella. Horror can as easily be used to accurately describe a serial killer novel (Silence of the Lambs comes to mind) as a werewolf thriller or a Gothic ghost story.

Rot & Ruin | Jonathan Maberry | A Slice of OrangeDS: There are so many crossover genres in today’s fiction. Do you feel this has helped the paranormal market and why?

 

JM: The paranormal fiction market was created when romance became heavily associated with typically monstrous elements of fiction. Books like Interview with the Vampire helped give birth to what we now call ‘paranormal romance’. TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Forever Knight, Charmed, True Blood, Vampire Academy, and so on, really propped this genre up; and novels by Laurell K. Hamilton, L.A. Banks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rachel Caine and many others have established it as a huge moneymaker.

 

All trends wax and wane, and one of the ways to keep them fresh is to spice them up with elements of other genres. Buffy is an example, because it is ostensibly a story about teenage angst and social anxiety wrapped up in a heroic battle against monsters. It’s also a coming of age story, an urban fantasy, a dark fantasy, a family drama, an action series, a comedy series, romance, and –well, I could go on and on. Every time they wanted to make it fresh they threw in some other genre elements –even a space alien (no joke). And…it worked.

 

The fanbase is easily jaded and wants more, which is why those writers who can bring in those other genre elements are the one who most often manage to surprise and intrigue their fans.

 

One show (and subsequent series of comics, games, anthologies and novels) that has very successfully combined paranormal, supernatural, horror, science fiction and fantasy genres is The X-Files. Week-to-week you never quite knew from which direction the punches would be coming. Which made the original series so much fun; and now it’s back.

 

DS: What hero and villain would you most like to write a battle about for world dominance?

 

JM: I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a story in which Nikolai Tesla and Dr. Moriarty team up to conquer the world. That would be a whole lot of fun to write. It would also combine science, science fiction, mystery, thriller, Steampunk, and action into one wild ride.

 

Patient Zero | Jonathan Maberry | A Slice of OrangeDS: Your paranormal series, Rot & Ruin, gained huge acclaim in the Young Adult market, and the Joe Ledger novels continue as a fan favorite. Which character is your favorite and why?

 

JM: Actually the Rot & Ruin novels are straight science fiction. There are no paranormal or supernatural elements to them because the cause of the zombie plague is an old Cold War bioweapon based on actual parasites found in nature. I just finished a new novel in that series, which is the first of a spinoff storyline with a Latina bisexual teenage main character, Gabriella ‘Gutsy’ Gomez, who is a hell of a lot of fun to write.

 

But my all-time favorite character to write is Joe Ledger. His novels are predominately science fiction with some paranormal elements, and (in some books in the series) a taste of the supernatural. Ledger is a character I can throw into any series or any story. Between the ten novels in the series, two collections of short stories, a guest appearance in a comic book (V-Wars) and an upcoming anthology with original Ledger stories by my writer colleagues, Ledger has faced corrupt scientists, terrorists with cutting-edge bioweapons, secret societies, genetically-engineered vampires, werewolf super soldiers, changelings, ghosts, alien space spiders, and even H.P. Lovecraft’s elder god, Cthulhu. And he guest-stars in the Rot & Ruin novels.

 

DS: You have written short story fiction and novels. What elements should a short story contain compared to works of longer fiction?

 

JM: Short fiction is often similar to the third act of a novel. We typically hit the ground with events already in motion and don’t always pause to explain everything. Much is implied. There are fewer character and the character relationship arcs are less deeply explore, though again, much can be implied to suggest greater depth of that relationship. In a novel, for example, you might explore how a couple falls in love, some highs and lows of that budding relationship, interactions with other people, and view the whole process through the filters of different scenes that put different kinds of stress on those two characters. In a short story we might step in when one of them is lying in an empty bed; or driving away from a burning house; or trying not to sign the divorce papers; or at a funeral; or in the delivery room. We join their lives in progress.

 

My personal style for writing short stories is episodic. I break my short fiction into several mini-chapters. Micro-chapters, really. These allow me to build scenes and then jump to the next important story moment without having to write the transitional material between scenes. I also use those mini-scenes to allow me to establish dramatic beats even within a larger overall scene. In that way I’m using a condensed version of the same style I use for my novels.

Unstoppable | Jonathan Maberry | A Slice of Orange

DS: What pitfalls should a writer avoid when editing the final draft?

JM: It’s never a good idea to rewrite anything before a first draft is done. It packs on time, frequently derails the whole project; shifts focus from one skill set (storytelling) to another (revision), often to the detriment of mental focus and overall momentum; and often results in an uneven story, with the early sections more overwritten then the later.

 

I advise my writing students to draft the story out into a logical plot outline. However I remind them that it’s illogical to assume that you’re going to have all of your best story ideas the day you write out that plot. So, be flexible. Allow for organic growth in both plot and character evolution. Having the plot roughed out, though, is smart. Plots are the mathematical equation of cause and effect that establishes the internal logic. Without knowing how a story ends you can properly foreshadow, built tension that supports the conclusion, and so on; and you often waste time writing scenes that don’t serve the story and will likely need to be cut.

 

DS: Which authors most inspired you, and why?

 

JM: I have the great good fortune as a young teen to meet, get to know, and be mentored by Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson. They were very kind and generous with their support and advice. They taught me to make serious studies of both the craft elements of writing as well as the policies and practices of the business of publishing. They also advised me to be generous and compassionate –both to other writers and in general. That was key advice for a troubled teen who need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

 

DS: What’s new that you’d like to share with us?

 

JM: I’m in the middle of one of the busiest years of my career. I’m about to start writing my third novel this year (#33 overall). I have a standalone novel, GLIMPSE, coming out in March that is getting a lot of advance buzz from folks like Clive Barker, Scott Smith, James Rollins, Charlaine Harris and others. And it’s being considered for TV. A couple of my other projects are also heading to film or TV. So that’s exciting. I just finished writing Broken Lands, the first of a new spinoff of my Rot & Ruin series of post-apocalyptic novels for teens. Next up is the 10th Joe Ledger thriller, and then I jump in to writing the first in a new teen series of mystery thrillers. I’ve also got an anthology, JOE LEDGER: UNSTOPPABLE, debuting Halloween day, with original stories using my characters written by a slew of other authors. And just after that my dark fantasy/urban fantasy/mystery genre-mashup anthology, HARDBOILED HORROR debuts. Really looking forward to seeing that launch. And I’m editing KINGDOMS FALL, an anthology of epic fantasy. So…I’m driving in the fast lane and having a hell of a lot of fun.


Readers will find a selection of Jonathan Maberry’s titles below:

GLIMPSE

Buy now!
GLIMPSE

JOE LEDGER UNSTOPPABLE

Buy now!
JOE LEDGER UNSTOPPABLE
PATIENT ZERO: A JOE LEDGER NOVEL

ROT & RUIN

Buy now!
ROT & RUIN

X-FILES: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

Buy now!
X-FILES: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

 


Diane Sismour | A Slice of OrangeJonathan Maberry was interviewed by Diane Sismour. Diane has written poetry and fiction for over 35 years in multiple genres. She lives with her husband in eastern Pennsylvania at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Diane is a member of Romance Writers of America, Bethlehem Writer’s Group LLC, Horror Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. She enjoys interviewing other authors and leading writer’s workshops.  Diane’s shorts stories are available on A Slice of Orange

Her website is www.dianesismour.com, and her blog is www.dianesismour.blogspot.com. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter at: http://facebook.com/dianesismour, http://facebook.com/networkforthearts, https://twitter.com/dianesismour

 

We would like to thank both Jonathan and Diane for contributing to A Slice of Orange.


Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2018 Short Story Award
 
Opening on January 1, 2018
 
Bethlehem Writers Roundtable is looking for unpublished stories of 2000 words or fewer on the theme of Tales of the Unexplained.
 
 
Contest closes March 31, 2018

Interested writers can find more information in The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Fall issue.

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Calls for Submissions: Turning up the Heat!

January 31, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

This month’s Calls for Submissions column features some exciting markets with cash prizes, payments and advances. As writers, we definitely like that!

The 2013 Short Story Award from Bethlehem Writers Roundtable
First prize is $200 and consideration for publication in BWG’s upcoming printed anthology titled: Once Around the Sun. The stories should be “Winter Tales” or “Spring Stories” of 2,000 words or less and unpublishedanywhere print or on the web and any fiction genre.  The author, however, can have other stories or novels published. Second and third prize are $100 and $50 respectively plus publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable e-zine. 
Final round judge is author, Hank Phillippi Ryan.
Again the anthology will be an actual book you can hold in your hands. The last anthology BWG published won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction. 
Deadline is February 15. Here’s the contest link  
Also, we publish short fiction each and every month on the e-zine.  We don’t pay, but it is a publication credit.   Here’s the submission guideline link http://bit.ly/IuVSls.  The zine also does author (or editors or agents) interviews each month. Here is the link to this month’s interview with Lee Lofland http://bit.ly/uvQALJ .  By clicking the Archives button authors can check out past interviews.
Writers’ Success Stories Anthology
We want to hear real success stories from writers who didn’t give up.
It’s tough to be a writer.  Most people quit.  But some people do not, or cannot, and those people change the world, whether for many people, or simply for themselves.
Whether you’ve published, are still chipping away at your magnum ops, have written the book that freed you from a demon, or have simply scratched the itch that all writers know, we would love to hear your stories of strength, hope and success in a world that is so often painted as hopeless, and foolish – the writer’s world.
Topics can include :
●     Success: professional, personal, spiritual, etc.
●     Community impact/change
●     Anything that might inspire a fellow writer whose spirit is flagging.
Editors:
Submission Guidelines:
A. Word Count: 500-1500 words (No reprints)
B. Please include a short blurb/bio, no longer that 2-3 sentences, along with links to your website and/or blog.
C. Email all submissions to weirdnessquared@gmail.comwith Anthology Submission in the subject line.  Attach submission as a Word document AND paste in the body of the e-mail.
D. Rights: Non-exclusive right to publish in print and digital. If selected, you will be contacted and asked to sign an agreement granting permission for essay to be published.
E. Deadline: May 1, 2013
F. If selected, you will receive $50.00, and two (2) free copies of the anthology.
Questions?
Direct all queries to Chad Carver or Lena Corazon, weirdnessquared@gmail.com.

COWBOY HEAT

Editor: Delilah Devlin 
Publisher: Cleis Press Deadline: March 1, 2013. COWBOY HEAT is open to all authors.
Editor/Author Delilah Devlin is looking for hetero cowboy stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled COWBOY HEAT.
Following the success of COWBOY LUST, Delilah’s ready to construct the next delectable anthology of cowboy heroes. They may ride into the sunset, but cowboys never go out of style. They embody the fiercely independent, earthy alpha male and a hero who isn’t afraid to show the gentle, nurturing side of his complex nature when he’s faced with a woman or an animal in need.
Even when he’s coated with dust from riding behind a herd of cattle, or up to his knees in mud freeing a calf from a wallow, his image doesn’t tarnish. A woman’s imagination sparks, filling in the details—the scent of horse, cow, and crisp, clean sweat; the sight of sun-leathered skin and crows feet; the feel of work-hardened thighs and arms; and the sound of a deep-voiced, drawl.
COWBOY HEAT will seek stories that satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that gruff, capable man while exploring stories set in the American West with a few exotic International settings thrown in for fun! The stories will be primarily contemporary with the possibility of a few historical Westerns. While traditional themes will be featured, writers are encouraged to dream big to create tales that surprise.
Be sure to check the descriptions of stories already featured in the previous volume, COWBOY LUST (http://cowboylust.net/about/). Delilah doesn’t want repeats. She’s seeking unique stories from authors with unique voices, and above all, she’s looking to be seduced by tales filled with vivid imagery and passion.
Published authors with an established Western world may use that setting for their original short story.
This is erotic romance, so don’t hold back on the heat. Stories can be vanilla or filled with kink, but don’t miss describing the connection between two strong-willed individuals learning to trust and love one another. A deep sensuality should linger in every word. And just think about the sexy possibilities of a cowboy’s accoutrements. They have to know their wicked way around ropes, buckles and spurs. Not to mention how sexy one might look in just his chaps…
Exotic locations and scenarios are welcome. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters, and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. We are seeking original stories.
How to submit: Prepare your 1,500 to 4,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12 point, black font Word document with pages numbered (.doc, NOT.docx) OR rich text format. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.
In your document at the top left of the page, include your legal name (and pseudonym, if applicable), mailing address, and 50 words or less bio in the third person and send to cleiscowboyheat@gmail.com. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. Delilah will respond in July 2013. The publisher has final approval over the stories included in the manuscript.
Payment will be $50.00 USD and two copies of the published book upon publication.
Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at cleiscowboyheat@gmail.com.
Magic & Mayhem
Theme:Halloween
Witches, warlocks, goblins, and ghouls. Bonfires, hayrides, and apple bobbing.
Spells whispered in the darkness. Screams heard in the still of the night. Magic sizzles in the air. Are those the screams of fear—or of ecstasy?
Submit your stories that involve the Halloween season (All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Day of the Dead… or by any other name).
Dangerous, daring, sweet or sexy, the intensity and scare-factor are up to you. 
Must have some romantic elements and either a happily ever after (HEA) or a happy for now (HFN) ending, but the scare factor is completely up to you.
Release: October 31
Submission close: July 15
Cover: Shared cover, individual release
Length: 5-18k words
Heat rating:  Any
Combinations:  Any
Masque Books Space Opera/Planetary Romance
Spaceships. Alien planets. Strange creatures. Action-packed adventure. Does your novella have all that and an emotionally satisfying romance too? That’s what we’re looking for!
Submissions must:
â—¦.  Have a well-developed external conflict with believable world-building
â—¦.  Be more like Bujold’s Shards of Honor than Heinlein’s Friday
â—¦.  Be filled with action and romance–HEA/HFN required
â—¦.  Be 25,000 – 30,000 words
â—¦.  Original stories only, no reprints
Submission Deadline: April 15, 2013
Collection Announced: May 1, 2013
Masque Books will select up to four novellas for its first Space Opera/Planetary Romance collection [Title to be announced]. Selected stories will be released digitally as individual titles and as collection in July or August of 2013. An advance of $100 will be paid for selected stories against royalties of 50% net of all digital receipts.

— Louisa Bacio
http://louisabacio.blogspot.com/louisabacio
http://www.facebook.com/louisabacio
http://www.twitter.com/louisabacio 

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