September 2012

Engrave this in your brain: EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTED. You will be no different.”- John Scalzi


Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romantic Suspense line is looking for authors. To find them, the editors are hosting a Fast Track submission process during October. Submit your first chapter and synopsis and get a read in one month. Send your first chapter, two-page synopsis, and a query letter stating how much of the manuscript is complete to between October 15 and October 26. You’ll have a reply by November 26. Love Inspired Suspense features romantic suspense with a Christian faith element. Stories are equal parts romance and compelling suspense, with a faith message woven in. Completed books are 55,000 to 60,000 words. See the guidelines here. Find more details about the Fast Track Submissions here.


The Journal of Unlikely Architecture is accepting submissions of stories in all genres in which “something pertaining to buildings is integral or significant in your story. The building element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof. Your story may focus on a single building, or a city, but the constructed environment must be crucial to the narrative.” Stories may be up to 8,000 words, though around 5,000 words is preferred. Payment is 1 cent a word, up to $50. Submissions will remain open until filled. Find all the details here.


If bugs are more your interest, sister publication The Journal of Unlikely Entemology accepts all genres of fiction featuring bugs — literal, metaphorical, fantastical, metaphysical, etc. The guidelines are the same as for The Journal of Unlikely Architecture. Find the details here.


Chicken Soup For the Soul is always on the lookout for new stories for its many anthologies. Currrently, the editors are seeking stories on the following themes:

Devotional Stories For Wives — 500 word devotionals showing how faith in God has shaped your role as a wife.   Deadline Feb. 28, 2013

Holiday Stories — stories about Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Deadline Feb. 28, 2013

Lemons to Lemonade — How you made the best of a difficult situation. Deadline Feb 28, 2013

Raising Kids on the Spectrum — Stories about parenting children with Autism or Asperger’s. Deadline September 30, 2012.

Unless otherwise indicated, Chicken Soup stories are true, emotional stories up to 1,200 words. Find the submission guidelines here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint or copy — just be sure to give me credit as the source and include a link to this blog. Thank you, Cindi Myers.




You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London


Flash Fiction writers, here’s your chance to capture a national audience. National Public Radio’s All Things Considered is sponsoring its ninth Three Minute Fiction competition. Submit your story of approximately 600 words by September 23rd. Your story should revolve around a U.S. President, either fictional or real. Find all the contest rules here.


Harper Voyager is launching a new digital publishing venture and is seeking submissions from new writers. For a limited time they are setting aside their agented -only policy and opening to submissions from unagented authors. The editors are seeking both adult and young adult works, particularly “epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural.” The open submission period is October 1 to October 14 only. They want completed, polished manuscripts of between 80,000 and 120,000 words. Find more details here.


Harlequin, Mills & Boon is once more sponsoring their So You Think You Can Write competition. Currently, on the So You Think You Can Write website, 50 editors are participating in the Writers Boot Camp, with blogs, podcast, and chats about Harlequin’s 19 series romance lines. Between September 23 to September 30, you can submit your first chapter (up to 5,000 words) and 100-word pitch. After two rounds of public voting (plus input from Harlequin editors) one winner will receive a publishing contract. Find all the details at So You Think You Can Write.


Entangled Publishing is looking for sexy Valentine’s Day stories for its Brazen line. Stories should feature an Alpha male in a high-powered or heroic profession, maintain strong sexual tension, and revolve around a tried-and-true romance trope such as friends-to-lovers, office romance, mistaken identity, etc. Submit your 45,000 to 65,000 word story by November 25, 2012. Winning stories will be released at the end of January 2013. Find more details here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Please give me credit as the source and include a link back to this blog. Thank you. Cindi Myers


The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”Linus Pauling


I’m back after a couple of weeks of chaos, with more market news to share. This past weekend I attended the wonderful Colorado Gold conference put on by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Always a terrific con and this was no exception. I sat in on an editor panel and wanted to share what I learned there.

Erika Imrany from Mira Books works on upmarket women’s fiction for this trade paper publisher, a division of Harlequin. She looks for complex plots with strong female protagonists, with more literary writing that will appeal to a mainstream audience. She’s drawn to strong voices and strong characters. She only works on about a dozen books a year, so she’s able to give a lot of attention to her authors. She’s not interested in chick lit or light mystery. While Mira’s official policy is to not take unagented submissions, she will read a short email query, and will only answer if she’s interested.

Liz Pelletier from Entangled Books almost needs no introduction, since I’ve written often about Entangled. Entangled currently publishes 9 category romance lines in digital only, a single title romance and a teen line in both digital and print. The company is growing and actively acquiring. The editors are especially interested in seeing contemporary romance, YA, and fiction with strong romantic elements. She’s not interested in urban fantasy. Entangled’s guidelines are here.

Peter Senftleben, Kensington Books edits mainstream and women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, gay fiction and young adult fiction. He’s not interested in seeing any “terrorists, sci-fi, fantasy or westerns.” He’s open to unagented submissions. Query him via email, and don’t spend a lot of time in the query on your credentials. “I want to know what the book is about.” Find Kensington’s guidelines and Peter’s contact info here.

Jim Minz, Baen Books loves strong, epic fantasy, action adventure and urban fantasy with strong heroes. Baen has found many bestselling authors through its slush pile; they have dedicated slush readers and are wide open to unagented submissions. Send the complete manuscript, not a query. “The bar is very high” for military fantasy and science fiction — Baen’s list on these is very full, but he’s always looking for other stories that fit Baen’s action-adventure focus. Baen’s submission guidelines are here.


Kensington Books also launched a digital first imprint this summer. eKensington plans to publish three to six titles a month, with a mix of originals and reprints. eKensington does not pay an advance; authors earn 30 percent royalties on the first 10,000 copies sold and 50 percent after that. If Kensington later decides to put out a print edition of the book the author will receive an advance against the print royalties. Editorial director Alicia Condon heads up the eKensington program and is open to submissions from both agented and unagented authors.


Nightmare Magazine reopens to submissions beginning September 15. Nightmare publishes horror and dark fantasy stories, 1,500 to 7,500 words (under 5,000 words preferred). They strive to publish a diverse group of stories and pay five cents a word, on acceptance. See their guidelines here.


Liternational is hosting a contest for previously unpublished writers of fiction and creative nonfiction. The Santa Claws contest is seeking both horror and suspense stories and fantasy stories for two different anthologies. The deadline to submit horror and suspense stories is October 1, 2012. Do not submit holiday fantasy stories before October 15 — the deadline for these stories is December 1st. Stories should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. The editors prefer horror stories in the psychological thriller or “weird fiction” vein, as opposed to gore; the holiday fantasy stories should present a new take on Santa Claus. There is no fee to enter the contest, and you can submit your stories online. Winners will receive cash prizes of $500 for the first place winner and $250 for a runner-up in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Find all the info here.


As always, feel free to share the information from this blog, reprint it and pass it on to others. Please give me credit as the source and provide a link back to the blog. Thanks! Cindi Myers