19 July 2016

abaft the scenes

The deadline for the awesome August 2016 issue of Electric Spec has passed. But, don't fear, we're accepting submissions for our November 2016 issue.

'What's going on abaft the scenes' you ask? Well, I'll tell you. We are going through our mountain of slush. (Thank you for sending us your stories!) We have 3 editors and 2 associate editors and we need every one of them. Please don't query us on the status of your story; we don't have the manpower to answer queries. We make every effort to get back to you as soon as possible. We got an email last week that a particular rejection seemed pretty nice, and they were wondering if we were sincere. If we send you a nice rejection we're being sincere. We have sent out our share of not-nice rejections, don't worry!
In other miscellany, our email autoreponders were kind of problematic so I got rid of them. So, if you sent us something and didn't get an autoreponse--that's why. Apologies, if that leaves you wondering if we got your story... Most do get to us!

Authors should hear back by ~July 31 with a "no thanks" or a "hold-for-voting." We will email all hold-for-voting authors back before ~August 9 with a final decision.

And then the editting begins! :)

Please note, we do tend to keep art submissions hanging around for a while. So if you don't hear from us, we're probably still considering your piece.

Finally, there is a chance the awesome August issue may get pushed a week or two and become the spectacular September issue. Stay tuned for that info.

I better get back to slush!

12 July 2016

do what works

Once in a while I get together with other writers to talk writing. (I recommend it.) I did this recently and was struck by how different everyone's writing process is. One writer plans and plots and outlines everything out before writing a word. I'm at the opposite extreme. I just start writing. Neither of these approaches is right or wrong.

I've learned the hard way to do what works for me as a writer. Don't get me wrong, you should try new things. You should be willing to put these new things into your writer's arsenal. But if you try something and it doesn't work, if it prevents you from putting down words, stop. Don't do that thing.

This advice is relevant to all aspects of writing. One writer friend has a huuuuge list of tasks and projects--that she likes to tell everyone about. Telling everyone makes her feel accountable. Multiple tasks gets her writing juices and optimism flowing. If I made a list like hers my head would explode. It's difficult to write with an exploded head. So, I do not do that. It would not work for me.

Bottom line: do what works for you

The submission deadline for the awesome August 31, 2016 issue of Electric Spec is on July 15, 2016! Yes, that is in a couple days. Get those stories in!

05 July 2016

slush tip: hook me

THe next submission deadline is coming up: July 15, 2016! Get those stories in to be considered for the awesome August 2015 issue. :)

We, the Editors, are deep in the throes of the slush pile. It is a deep and dangerous beast, threatening to swallow us up. If you've submitted to us before, you know our reponse times can vary. A lot. This continues to be the case. (Sorry.)

In my forays into the pile, I realized I can be a bit impatient when reading a story. Thus I say to you: hook me!
Maybe this is an obvious tip but some writers seem to get lost in setting the scene. Or giving us the backstory of the characters. Or other looong setup details. Or extensive descriptions.
Don't do this!

Our culture has changed and it's faster-paced now than it was even a few years ago. Hook me immediately. This means your story has to start on the first page. This is particularly relevant for on-line 'zines. Readers want to be hooked immediately, so editors need to be hooked, as well.

Good luck!

28 June 2016

good enough is good enough

I knew a lot of writers. Do you? (If not, find some! Check your local library...) Some writers are perfectionists. Some writers edit and edit and polish and polish and don't submit stuff. As writer Aaron Ritchey says on the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog Halfway and Unfinished Good enough is generally good enough. and If you don't finish the book, no one will ever be able to read it.

I'm not a perfectionist but I have this problem with both novels and short stories. I keep thinking one more revision will make them better than ever. I work on some pieces for years.
Don't be like me. Be smarter than me. Finish your stuff.
Submit your stuff!

Speaking of which, the submission deadline for the awesome August 2016 issue is coming up soon!
July 15, 2016! Send your good stories in!

In the meantime, I'm going to go try to take my own advice and submit something...

21 June 2016

writing for joy

Recently, one of my writer friends shared a project. It wasn't what I think of as his usual genre or topic--which I said. He agreed and said he'd combined a bunch of things he loved. As I watched him talk about it, I could tell he'd been writing for the pure joy of writing. His whole face lit up. And the joy, the passion was very evident in the piece. Wow.

I highly recommend this. Try writing something for the joy of writing. Don't think about market. Think about what you love, what you're passionate about. It can really rejuvenate your writing juices.
I bet the result will be beautiful!

Good luck!

Think about sending us your joyful writing. :)
The submission deadline for the next issue is July 15, 2016.

14 June 2016

Summer vacation -- not!

I know many writers from around the world. (Writers rock!) And I've been noticing a tendency now that summer is upon us (in the Northern hemisphere)... Some writers have stopped writing. Oh, no! Say it isn't so! I'm not the only one who's noticed this. Writer Dean Wesley Smith has been blogging about it for a while. An example is, Either/Or Thinking. Dean says some writers think they have to choose between family time and writing time, especially in summer.

Don't do it! Writers need to keep their writing muscles primed and ready, in shape. Writers need to write.
That's not to say you shouldn't take a break on a fun vacation. But in your everyday life: keep writing! Do not take the whole summer off.

Send us the fun new speculative fiction stories that result from your continuing hard work. We're starting to think about the awesome August 2016 issue...

Good luck!