Short Fiction Markets



This week I’m continuing my recaps of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in New York City with a look at Pocket and Gallery Books.

The Spotlight on Pocket and Gallery Books featured videos, podcasts snippets, games and giveaways. Editorial Director Lauren McKenna, Executive Editor Adam Wilson, Executive Editor Miki Nuding and Editor Abby Ziedel presented the workshop.  Pocket and Gallery are divisions of Simon and Schuster.

Adam Wilson spoke about Gallery Books. Gallery publishes a number of best-selling authors. He spoke about these authors and their upcoming books. Gallery publishes a lot of pop-culture and celebrity non-fiction, but they also do a lot of romance, both historical and contemporary.

Lauren McKenna talked about Pocket Star, Pocket Gallery’s digital first division. They publish four to five titles a month. Each book has its own publicist and marketing plan. They do originals and reprints. They publish romance, erotica, urban fantasy, new adult and some mystery and thrillers.

Abby Ziedel talked about XOXO After Dark, Pocket’s romance website.  This includes a showroom for Pocket Star. The website encourages reader engagement with free reads and excerpts, contests, and author blogs. They also do a weekly podcast in which the editors talk romance, pop culture and anything that captures their attention. Sometimes they interview authors.

Miki Nuding talked about Pocket Books, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. Pocket publishes all different genres of romance. She, like the other editors, reviewed a list of Pocket authors and their new releases.

The editors spoke briefly about their wish lists.

Abby doesn’t like kids in books, but she loves dogs, cats and horses. She would love to see a story about a virus in a submarine.

Lauren loves “hot, dark, screwed-up heroes” in any genre. She likes paranormal, though it’s a hard sell these days. She loves contemporary romance.

Miki loves a really good, emotional story – especially if you can make her laugh.

Adam also loves humor. He would like to see more stories out of geek culture.

Pocket Gallery accepts agented submissions only.


My free online read, Black Canyon Betrayal, continues this week with Chapter Two. You can read all the chapters posted to date at any time here. Black Canyon Betrayal is part of my Ranger Brigade miniseries for Harlequin Intrigue. bookbanner


Lee and Low Books is sponsoring a New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult writers of color. First prize is $1000 and a publishing contract with Tu Books, Lee and Low’s YA and MG imprint. There is no fee to enter. Manuscripts should be appropriate for children 8 to 12 or young adults 12 to 18. The work may be in any fiction genre, but the editors are particularly interested in science fiction and fantasy. Each author may submit up to two entries. For detailed how-tos and more about Lee and Low Books, go here. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2015.

*************************************** is sponsoring the RRofihe Trophy short story contest. Submit your previously unpublished short story of between 3,500 and 5,000 words by the deadline of October 15, 2015 for a chance at the $500 prize and the Rrofihe Trophy. There is no fee to enter the contest, which will be judged by multi-published short story author Rick Rofihe. For all the details go here. .


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. For more about me, visit my websites here and here, or check me out on Facebook. 

Make everyone fall out of the plane first and then explain who they were and why they were in the plane to begin with.” Nancy Ann Dibble

Romance website Heroes and Heartbreakers welcomes submissions of 15,000 to 30,000 word short stories and 30,000 to 50,000 words novellas for publication on the website. The editors are open to all sub-genres of romance — contemporary, paranormal, historical, chick-lit, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and erotica. The work must be previously unpublished. Payment is $1000 to $2000. For details, check their guidelines here

If you’ve written an original Jack the Ripper story, editor Maxim Jakubowski is looking for you. Jakubowski is assembling the Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales and needs fiction based around the story of Jack the Ripper, but with your original twist. Stories should be between 4,000 and  7,500 words. Payment is $215 and the deadline is April 1. Find out more here.


Meerkat Press has issued a call for speculative fiction romance stories for an upcoming anthology “Love Hurts”.  Submit your 1,000 to 5,000 words story dealing with broken love — cheaters, love triangles, dating haards, etc. All speculative fiction sub-genres are welcome, from steampunk to space opera and everything in between.  Payment is up to 4 cents a word and the deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015. Find more details here. 


East of the Web publishes suspense and crime fiction short stories, 7,000 words and up. They pay five cents a word, or you may choose a combination of advance and royalties. They accept new as well as previously published stories. To find out more, go here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint, retweet. Please credit me as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. Find out more about me on my websites here and here, or on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter@CMyersTex. Thanks!  Cindi

East of the Web publishes

I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.” John Updike


If you know anything about beekeeping or have an interest in the hobby, this may be the contest for you. WicWas Press is assembling a bee-keeping themed anthology and they are looking for short stories and articles revolving around beekeeping. Submit your story of up to 1,500 words by March 1 for a chance to win the $500 first prize. There is no fee to enter. Find more details here.


One Teen Story is acquiring literary short stories for young adults. One Teen Story publishes nine issues a year and each issue includes one short story, 2,000 to 4,500 words. From their guidelines: “stories should deal with the teen experience (issues of identity, friendship, family, coming-of-age, etc.) and should be geared primarily toward an audience of teen readers. With that in mind, gratuitous profanity, sex and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of literary fiction” They are open to submissions now through the end of April. Submit your story for readers 13 and older. They pay $500 per story. Find the guidelines here.


Ellora’s Cave is searching for novellas for some upcoming anthology collections. Ellora’s Cave is a digital publisher known for “romantic” – erotic romance. They’re interested in the following themed submissions:

Screamers – erotic horror, 10,000 words + . Deadline, March 1, 2015 for publication in October 2015.

Women With Whips – FemDomme, 10,000 words +. Deadline August 1, 2105 for publication in March 2016.

Windswept Women – Erotic Gothic Romance, 18,000 words +. Deadline December 1, 2105 for publication in July 2016.

Find more details here.


Romance Writers of America is assembling its second anthology to showcase work by RWA member. If you are a member, you may submit your romance short story, 5,000 to 7,000 words by March 12, 2015. The stories may be in any romance sub-genre, as long as they follow the theme of second chances. Sylvia Day will edit the collection, which will be released in the Spring of 2016. All proceeds benefit RWA programs. For more information go here.


Rocky Mountain Getaway, a novella in my Eureka series, will be released May 26, but is available for pre-order now. This story features seven original recipes from the Last Dollar Cafe. Don’t miss it!


Bouchercon, the annual convention for mystery writers and fans, is assembling an anthology of mystery short stories, “Murder Under the Oaks.” The only stipulation is that the story must contain a crime, not necessarily murder. Award-winning author Art Taylor will edit the collection. Stories should be between 3,500 and 5,500 words and should be made as blind submissions (instructions are in the guidelines). The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015. Profits from this anthology benefit Wake County, North Carolina libraries. Get the details here.


Fictionvale is a quarterly publication devoted to genre fiction. Most issues feature two genres of fiction, though some are open to all genres. Currently, the editors are open to submissions for the September 2015 issue, which will be devoted to Horror and Humor. Submit your story of up to 5,000 words by March 15, 2015. (Changed from the original March 1 – see the home page for details.) Payment is 2 cents a word. Get the guidelines here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint, retweet. Please credit me as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. Find out more about me on my websites here and here, or on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter@CMyersTex. Thanks!  Cindi

I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”  Harper Lee


Fiery Seas Publishing publishes a variety of fiction for adults and young adults, including romance, mystery and science fiction/fantasy. They publish both ebook and paperback editions of their titles.  Right now, the editors are particularly interested in holiday stories — Beach Reads (deadline March 1, 2015), Halloween (deadline May 1, 2015), Christmas (deadline August 1, 2015) and Valentine’s stories (deadline October 1, 2015). These stories may be romance, or any other genre Fiery Seas publishes, and should be between 15,000 and 45,000 words. Read the details for these Special Calls here, or fFind their submission guidelines here.


Canadian romance ebook publisher Morning Rain Publishers is temporarily closed to submissions.


Diversion Books publishes contemporary and historical romance, thrillers, mystery, young adult, new adult, science fiction/fantasy and women’s fiction in both digital and print. Their slogan is “Great reads to distract the mind.” The editors accept submissions from both agented and unagented authors. Their catalog includes both new material and previously published work. They pay quarterly royalties and do a lot of online marketing. Find out more here.



The first volume in my Titled Texans trilogy, To Love a Lady, written under my historical pen name, Cynthia Sterling, is currently free at Amazon, B&N and most e-book retailers. Check it out, along with the two other titles in the trilogy,

Educating Abbie and The Runaway.


Only a short time left to enter the Denver Women’s Press Club Unknown WritersContest. Previously unpublished Colorado residents 18 and older may enter a short story or nonfiction article up to 2,000 words or a poem of up to 40 lines. The deadline to enter is February 17, 2015. First prize is $125. The entry fee is $25 for fiction and nonfiction and $15 for poetry. For more info, go here.


A heads-up for my UK readers — Author Christopher Fielden maintains a comprehensive list of short story and novel writing competitions for UK writers or all sorts. Many of these competitions are free to enter and some offer prestigious prizes. Check him out here.


The Next Novelist hosts an online writing competition for aspiring thriller, mystery and crime novel writers. Submit your novel of between 50,000 and 150,000 words to be read and voted on by the online public in elimination rounds each week. The winner receives a publishing contract and $5000. The book will be published as an ebook and you will receive royalties. Get the details here.


Thuglit ezine accepts original crime fiction stories between 3,000 and 5,000 words. Payment is $25 plus 50 percent of digital sales. Check out the detailed (and profane — just warning if you’re sensitive to foul language) guidelines 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 to this blog. To find out more about me and my books, visit my websites here and here. Or find me on Facebook.

Writing is an exploration; you start from nothing and learn as you go.” E.L. Doctorow


We Need Diverse Books is sponsoring a short story contest for middle grade stories. The winner will be published in an anthology “Stories For All of Us”, from Crown Books For Young Readers in January 2017. In addition to publication in the anthology, alongside writers such as Matt de la Pena and Grace Lin, the winner of the contest will receive $1000. Stories may be up to 5,000 words long, suitable for readers ages 8 to 12,  The story should be written by a writer from a diverse background ” including but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities currently marginalized in North America.”  Your story should include diverse characters, and must relate to the prompt “Once I began to read, I began to exist.” There is no fee to enter the contest. Entries must be received between April 27 and May 8, 2015. For all the details, go to the story page here. 


The HerStories Project is seeking essays for a new feature, HerStories Voices. if you are a woman writer, you may submit your personal essay of up to 2000 words about an experience or moment that was transformative or that made you realize something important. Payment is $40 per essay. For more details, go here. 


My first new historical romance in several years, written under my pseudonym Cynthia Sterling, is now available at your favorite ebook seller. Purchase Loving the Outlaw at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your favorite ebook retailer.


Spinster seamstress Laura Brown has a secret. Once the spoiled, privileged daughter of a banker, her life was destroyed by scandal when she fell in love with an outlaw. Disgraced in the aftermath of her lover’s arrest, she ran away and started life over in the small town of New Spring, Texas, where she’s slowly regained the peace and respectability she craved.

But her former lover Cole Randall is out of prison now and has tracked her to New Spring. Unnerved by her lingering attraction to Cole, Laura resists his attentions. But when a bullet meant for her strikes Cole, Laura finds herself back under his spell. Will loving the outlaw destroy Laura again, or will it restore her to the only life worth living?

Mystery/Crime writers who live in Connecticutt, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts or Rhode Island may be interested in submitting to Level Best Book’s 2015 Short Story Anthology. The editors are interested in crime stories by writers from these states, ” mystery, thriller, suspense, caper, and horror. (No torture/killing of children or animals.)” Stories may be up to 5,000 words and may not have been previously published. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015. Payment is $25. For more details go here.
 Canadian publisher Morning Rain is actively searching for romantic short stories between 5,000 and 10,000 words, for a Valentine’s Day anthology, to be published February 13, 2015. The deadline for submissions is January 26, 2015. The stories should be romantic and passionate, but no erotica, please. They only accept submissions from Canadian writers. For more information, go here.
As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others– reprint, repost, retweet. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog. Thank you!  Cindi

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen


Happy Thanksgiving to all my US Readers. I hope you have a peacful, rewarding holiday. This is a slow time of year for market news, but I do have a few items to share:


For writers of horror fiction, Blumhouse Books is a new imprint of Doubleday books, set to publish dark fiction and horror from both new and established writers. They plan to launch in the summer of 2015 with an anthology, The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City. Right now they’re sponsoring a short story contest — the winner will be published in the anthology. Submit your urban horror story of less than 2,000 words by December 1, 2014. Six finalists will be posted online for the public to vote on, with the winner announced in early January. Get all the details here.


Month9Books, a published of speculative fiction for teens and tweens, is accepting unagented submissions for its Month9 and Tantrum imprints. Month9 focuses on YA fiction,while Tantrum publishes for middle grade readers. The editors are interested in ” fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, steampunk, dystopian, etc.” Submit your query via Facebook. Find all the details here. 


I’ve reissued all of my historical romances in new ebook editions, under my pseudonym, Cynthia ToLoveALadyOTHERSITESSterling. If you enjoy historical western romance, check out my titles on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other e-tailers. One title you might start with is To Love A Lady, the first in my Titled Texans trilogy, about three British brothers who establish a cattle ranch on the Texas plains, and the women who love them. Combining humor, emotion and rich historical detail, these books have long been fan favorites. To Love a Lady is only 99 cents, or you can purchase all three titles in a boxed set for $5.99. I also have a number of other Cynthia Sterling titles available, so check them out. And thanks!


Do you have a romantic, post-apocolyptic story? Good Mourning Media is assembling a collection of post-apocolyptic romantic short stories for an upcoming anthology “No Place For Us.” Submit your story of up to 15,000 words by the deadline of January 31, 2015. Payment is $30 per story. Get the details here. 


“Love in the Time of Coffee” is another anthology looking for romance short stories. Send your romantic story of 2,000 to 4,000 words that involves coffee — a coffee shop, brewing coffee, a coffee plantation — whereever you imagination takes you, to Frisky Feminist Press. Stories may have erotic elements, but it’s not required, and the editors want romance, not erotica. The deadline is December 1, 2014. Payment is $25 plus royalties from the anthology. Find out how to submit here.


As always, feel free to share the items in this newsletter with others — reprint, repost, reblog. All I ask is that you credit me as the source, and include a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me, check out my websites here and here, or find me on FacebookT. Thanks!


If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison


Writers of traditional myteries may be eligible for the  William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers, awarded by Malice Domestic each year. Two grants will be awarded. Each grant consists of $1,500, to be used to offset the cost of attending a writers conference or workshop in the coming year. The winners will also receive conference registration and two nights lodging for the Malice Domestic convention. Unpublished writers must submit the first three chapters and a brief synopsis of a mystery manuscript, along with an application, a resume and a letter of reference. There is no cost to enter. The original deadline for entries (and the date still listed on the Malice Domestic site) is November 15, but the deadline has been extended to December 15. Get all the details here.


The First Line publishes fiction created using first lines posted by the editors each quarter. Submit your story utilizing the designated first line and your story could be published in an upcoming issue of the quarterly fiction magazine. Stories should be 300 to 5,000 words, and payment is $25 to $50. The First Line is open to stories in all genres, but each story must begin with that quarter’s first line. They’ve posted the following first lines for 2015:

Fairy tales hardly ever come true for quiet girls.
Due date: February 1, 2015

Laura liked to think she was honest with herself; it was everyone else she lied to.
Due date: May 1, 2015

The old neighborhood was nearly unrecognizable.
Due date: August 1, 2015

George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”
Due date: November 1, 2015

Find all the submission details here. 


Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is seeking story submissions for its next issue. Stories must include both science fiction and romance elements and must have an upbeat, romantic ending. Send your story of  2,000 to 7,000 words by the deadline of December 1, 2014. Payment is 2 cents a word. Find the details here.


Riptide Publishing, a publisher of LBGTQ fiction, romance and erotica, is now open to unagented as well as agented submissions. Manuscripts should be from 15,000 to 115,000 words and must be complete. In addition to general fiction and romance, the editors have issued special calls for the following themes:

Shifters and Weres – 50,000 to 110,000 paranormal romance stories, any heat level. Deadline Jan 1, 2015

Lesbian romance — any sub-genre, 50,000 to 110,000 words. Deadline March 1, 2015

Shades of the Rainbow — stories featuring trans, bi, queer, etc — any orientation other than gay and lesbian, 25,000 to         110,000 words, Deadline March 1, 2015.

Sweet romance — stories featuring all types of characters, but no sex. Teen-appropriate, though characters don’t have to be teens themselves. 25,000 to 110,000 words, Deadline March 1, 2015

*punk — send your steampunk, diesel punk, cyber punk, etc story of 25,000 to 115,000 words. These should be romances with a HEA or HFN (happy for now) ending. Deadline March 1, 2015

Get all the details about these special calls here. 


For a limited time, the ebook edition of The Mountain Between Us is on sale for only $2.99. Enjoy the holidays in the tiny mountain town of Eureka, Colorado, as the residents ban together to celebrate in style. This book was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award this year. Buy the book at Amazon here, for Nook here, and check your favorite ebook retailer.



As always, feel free to share this information with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and provide a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, check out my websites here or here and like me on Facebook here. 




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