Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

Tarot Writing Prompt: Ace(s) Up Your Sleeve

TAROT ACES ARE CONCENTRATED UNITS OF PSYCHIC ROCKET FUEL! The Ace of Wands, for instance, blazes with a fire that impels action. The Ace of Cups drips with the sweet honey of love. The Ace of Swords slices swiftly to the truth, and the Ace of Pentacles fills our bags with the gold of family, health, and financial well being.

And then there’s flash fiction. This super-concentrated form of story-telling could easily be called the “Ace of Drama.” Typically between fifty and a thousand words (depending on your definition), flash fiction propels readers through dramatic situations at warp speed. To do so, it challenges its writers to create characters, setting, conflict, and some sort of resolution all within its super-tight framework.

Want to give this literary form of nitroglycerin a try? Check out the prompt below, inspired by my flash-fiction-writing tarot pal Bonnie Cehovet!

Tarot writing prompt

Pick a card, any card
First, choose your Ace.

If you chose the Ace of Wands, write a hundred-word action/adventure story.
If you chose the Ace of Cups, write a hundred-word romance.
If you chose the Ace of Swords, write a hundred-word story of double-dealing or deceit.
If you chose the Ace of Pentacles, write a hundred-word family drama (add an inheritance to the mix for extra credit!).

I’ll go first. I picked the Ace of Swords.

Thomas watched his brother’s fiancée from the perimeter of a dozen parties. Her gleaming hair. Her ridiculously long neck. The maw of her mouth issuing dark laughter. Whenever he got close enough, he wondered, was she laughing at him? He’d redden, unsure. Then his brother’s brakes failed. And his airbag. (Tragic, right?) When the fiancée was released, Thomas swooped in. Who better? She’d recover. They’d circle those same parties. They’d laugh. And, later, they would wrestle in sweaty pleasure, reviling their evening’s casualties. He woke from dreams of it, dark laughter in his mouth. If only she would stop crying.

My Swords-y idea was that Thomas tampered with his brother’s car. Is that clear? I dunno. Anyway, it’s a hundred words. So there’s that.

Flash fiction inspiration

Need more information or inspiration? Click on the links below for further guidelines and places to “flash” your short-short work.

FLASH FICTION ONLINE offers a ton of resources, from excellent examples, to how-to tips, to submission guidelines. Once you’ve tried this exercise, you might consider submitting the results to them!

NYC Midnight has an annual short story challenge that proceeds in heats: from a 2500-word story, to a 2000-word story, to a 1500-word story (aka, flash fiction!).

For more about writing flash fiction, check out this post: “Writing Short.” 

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Thanks to U.S. Games Systems, Inc., for kind permission to use the images of the Ace of Wands from the MORGAN GREER TAROT

Thanks also to book shepherd Tia Levings—who placed third in her first heat this year!—for the 4-1-1 on NYC Midnight.

Tarot Prompts You to Submit Your Writing: Contests and Calls for Submission

SWIFTNESS, CHANGE, OPPORTUNITY, MESSAGES ON THE WIND. Tarot’s Eight of Wands speaks to all of these. It’s a communicative card. It can signal the sudden appearance of new connections, information, or direction.

If you got the Eight of Wands in a tarot reading, the turbaned, hoop-earringed Gypsy turning your cards might say, “Favorable circumstances are flying toward you! Avail yourself of them, and positive changes are likely to occur.”

I’m not (currently) wearing a turban—or even my hoop earrings—but accept this message as if I were. Because, with this post, the Eight of Wands is delivering a quiverful of opportunities: It’s time to send your writing soaring out on the winds of literary chance!

Writing contests

Forthwith, in the spirit of the Eight of Wands, I present to you eight (and a half) writing contests—in order of deadline.

1) The Roswell Award, presented by the Light Bringer Project

The Roswell Award for short science fiction is an international competition. Finalists are read by celebrity guests at LitFest Pasadena. Submission closes January 28, 2019.

2) The Masters Review Winter Short Story Award for New Writers

This prize recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers. In addition to cash prizes, winning stories and any notable Honorable Mentions will receive agency review. Submissions close January 31, 2019.

3) New Beginnings Short Story Competition

Accepting short stories in English from anywhere in the world in any genre. 2500 word maximum. Submissions close January 31, 2019.

4a) FanStory 100 Word Writing Contest

Write a flash fiction story on any topic that uses exactly 100 words. $100 first-place prize. Feedback on all stories. Submissions close February 12, 2019.

4b) FanStory 20 Syllable Poetry Contest

Write a poem—any structure, any word count—with exactly 20 syllables. $100 first-place prize. Feedback on all poems. Submissions close February 17, 2019.

5) Snowbound Chapbook Award, presented by Tupelo Press

Includes a cash award of $1,000, publication by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution. Submissions close February 28, 2019.

6) 2019 Screenwriting Contest, presented by Script Pipeline

Now in its seventeenth year, the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition seeks talented writers. They focus on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing unique storytelling, and pushing more original projects into production. Early submissions close March 1, 2019.

7) Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, presented by Aesthetica Magazine

The award celebrates excellence in poetry and short fiction, supporting new writing talent and presenting writers with a fantastic opportunity to further their involvement in the literary world. Submissions close August 2019.

8) Poets and Writers

And if that weren’t enough, the P&W writing contests, grants, and awards database has details about the creative writing contests—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, and more—that have been published in the magazine during the past year. They carefully review each contest before including it. Theirs is the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

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Consider this a literary public service announcement from the Eight of Wands: Submit your poetry, short stories, flash fiction, chap books, screenplays, personal essays, and novels, now!

Thank you to U.S. Games Systems, Inc. for their kind permission to use the image of the Eight of Wands from the RIDER WAITE SMITH TAROT.

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Children’s Book Authors Needed

KELI SIPPERLEY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of Rourke Educational Media, sent this wonderful want ad: Rourke seeks experienced writers for work-for-hire book projects. We publish fiction and nonfiction for school and library markets. Authors must be able to research Everyone_Goes_to_School_COVand write engaging content to specified grade levels and deliver clean, fact-checked manuscripts to specs on tight deadlines. We are expanding our fiction collections and especially need writers who write with voice and humor. Nonfiction writers who are simultaneously fun and informative are always in demand.

Send a resume, a brief unedited writing sample, and a letter of introduction that lists your subject-area interests to keli@rourkeeducationalmedia.com. Previously unpublished writers are welcome. If you are serious about your craft and work well with editors, they want to hear from you. Visit RourkeEducationalMedia.com to see current titles and learn more about them.

Rattled

headRRATTLE PUBLISHES POETS. To be specific, they’ve published a total of 2,005 poets, including 380 first-time published poets, thirteen Pulitzer-Prize winning poets, ten National-Book-Award winning poets, and eight U.S. Poets Laureate.

Published quarterly, in print, RATTLE is a journal with a mission that’s hard to argue with:

. . . to promote the practice of poetry. We feel that poetry lost its way in the 20th century, becoming so obscure and esoteric that mainstream readers have forgotten how moving language alone can be. . . .

Submissions are open year ’round (hint, hint).

The Sunshine State of Poetry

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! DURING NATIONAL POETRY MONTH (April), the Poetry Foundation invites Floridians to share our favorite poems as part of the Favorite Poem Project.index Just click the pretty yellow banner and enter the title of your favorite poem on the form you’ll find on the site. Selections from our submissions will be used to create a mini-documentary series that will air later this year. The Favorite Poem Project: Florida is part of a nation-wide program created by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Its purpose is to celebrate and encourage poetry in all American lives. And it gives us a chance to celebrate the particularities of the fresh-squeezed poetry goodness that sweetens our Sunshine-State lives.

Whistling for Submissions

NEW PAGES lists literary magazines, alternative periodicals, contests, and more. Visit their classifieds for submissions calls.

POETS & WRITERS has an excellent classifieds section, too, with calls for anthologies, books, chapbooks, and work for magazines.

Finally, THE REVIEW REVIEW helps writers identify appropriate markets—and also provides a way for writers to keep in contact with editors! As site creator Becky Tuch says, A story might not be right for a magazine, but [writing] a thoughtful review will be sure to make editors aware of your writing skills. Great classifieds, too!

Center for Women Writers Contest

THANKS TO DANIELLE MOROUX FOR LETTING ME AND HER writing Sisterhood know that The Center for Women Writers at Salem College, in Winston Salem, North Carolina, has announced an international literary contest with awards in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

The contest deadline has been extended to January 31st, so click here and take a look-see! Best of luck!

2015 Short Story Contest

AS PART OF THE LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY BOOKFEST 2015, Writers One Flight Up is sponsoring a short story contest. Each of the three, top-placed contestants will win a fifteen-minute interview with both agent Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency and Random House author Amy Christine Parker.

Stories must be 2500 words or less in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal, or romantic fantasy. Find more information at the events page of Writers One Flight Up.  Deadline for submission is midnight, February 13, 2015.

Urban Mythical: The Emma Press Calls for Poetry Submissions

THE EMMA PRESS, WHOSE CHARMING SUBTITLE IS “SMALL PRESS, BIG DREAMS,” seeks submissions of poems about “urban myths and legends,” for a new anthology inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Poets are encouraged to send in poems which tell new stories and include some kind of transformation, as a nod to the original text.

Publisher Emma Wright says, “The Metamorphoses is often considered Ovid’s masterpiece. The requirements are quite exacting, but I think poets like a challenge and will hopefully come up with some brilliant stories.”

The deadline for submissions is December 31st. To submit, you must be a member of the Emma Press Club, which involves buying a book, ebook, or set of postcards from the publisher’s website. Find full submissions guidelines at the Submissions page.

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