28 September 2021

Let's have a good author-editor relationship!

The deadline for the notable November 2021 issue of Electric Spec is coming up: October 15, 2021! Get those stories in!

As editors, we sincerely appreciate you sending us your stories. We also appreciate you following the rest of the rules we've set up, based on years of experience:

  • send an rtf file in an attachment
  • use standard manuscript formatting
  • include a short cover letter in your email
  • use the appropriate email address
  • do not query us about your submission. Please recall we publish 4 issues per year, so we don't keep your sub for longer than 4 months maximum without contacting you. If you haven't heard from us within 4 months, something went awry.
  • upon acceptance, please return the contract in a timely manner
  • stay open to critique from your assigned editor. Please note we will not force any manuscript changes on authors.
  • return your revised story in a timely manner
If you do these things, we will have a good author-editor relationship! Woo hoo!

21 September 2021

Show me the story!

The deadline for the notable November 2021 issue of Electric Spec is coming up: October 15, 2021! Get those stories in!

This means we have started working on the new issue; specifically, we are going through the stories in slush. (Thank you for sending us your story!) Hopefully, if you're submitting to us, you read this blog at least occasionally. One of the things I've said is market is important. Luckily, it's easy to get a handle on this market. You can read previous issues of Electric Spec for free. Woo hoo!

Thus, for this market, we like some showing. I've read quite a few stories in slush lately that have little, or no, showing. Rather than exclusively telling me the story, show me the story! This means show the dialogue, thoughts, feelings, and action in the moment. Do not narrate everything for the reader. If I read a story that is exclusively narration, telling, with no showing, I will likely reject the story.

Good luck with your story!

14 September 2021

From Author Cleden

We're excited to feature "Phantom Limb" by David Cleden in the August 2021 issue of Electric Spec. Here's what the author has to say about it:

The urban city setting for “Phantom Limb” could probably be any large city a few years hence, but it was actually inspired by London. At the time the story was written, I was working in central London and the streets, park and metro mentioned were all traced out (in my head, at least) based on real places. (The Soho Square area, to be exact). I’m pretty sure at some point on a lunchtime walk, the well-known Boomtown Rats song “I Don’t Like Mondays” must have been playing on my iPod and then I basically had all the ingredients I needed for the story.

The first draft was written on the morning commuter train into London. It amused me greatly that while my fellow passengers sat reading somber newspaper stories about declining share prices and the latest crisis being mishandled by the government, I was bringing havoc and mayhem to London’s streets. For a time I worried about fellow passengers shoulder-surfing my stories and wondering about the sanity of their fellow passenger, but if anyone ever noticed, it was never reported to the authorities.

Interestingly, in my many lunchtime walks around the area, I realized that area truly is the hub for post-production and video-graphics companies. I counted a dozen or so (including big name companies) all within a few blocks) and so somewhere along the way bits of the story started to fall into place. However, there are no surveillance drones patrolling London streets (yet) and I’m pretty sure the Metropolitan Police aren’t using the tactics described in the story.

For the record, I would also like to state that any chips that may have been inserted in my own head during this time were purely of the carbohydrate variety.

Thanks a lot, David!
Check out "Phantom Limb" and the rest of the stories in the awesome August 2021 issue!

07 September 2021

From Author Heynen

Hopefully, you've seen the awesome August 2021 issue of Electric Spec! We're excited to feature "Waking the Bear" by I.S. Heynen. Here's what the author has to tell us about the story:

This story is a retelling of the old Norwegian fairytale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” which my dad read to me several times as a bedtime story in early childhood—early enough that I only half-remembered it as an adult (“what was that story again? The one with the bear and the girl?”). I rediscovered it in 2020 after some Wikipedia sleuthing. I was going through a phase of obsession with myth/fairytale retellings at the time, and decided to develop a modern take on this cozy, folkloric Scandinavian odyssey.

My project started out nice, but grew more and more pagan and American Gods-ish the more I wrote. Before I knew it, I was researching old Saami animist beliefs and shamanism, and had somehow rewritten my favorite childhood fairytale to center around a sketchy human sacrifice.

This was also one of the first times I’d run a story through the Critters critique workshop’s gauntlet, a very humbling experience that connected me with about 20 different reader/reviewers who didn’t pull punches. Rewriting my already-bizarre story afterwards turned out to be one of the trickiest writing exercises I’ve tried this year.

A huge thank-you to Electric Spec for selecting my work! It’s an honor to be featured here.

Thank you, I.S.!
Check out "Waking the Bear" and the rest of the great stories!