Sad News from Meisha Merlin

April 26, 2007

Saw this on Locus, and had to check for myself. I couldn’t find the announcement, so I went to MM’s newsgroup, and found out you can’t see the announcement unless you have Internet Explorer. I use Firefox or Netscape. However, because people couldn’t see it, the announcement was posted in the newsgroup. Here it is:

Dear Fans,

I am sorry to say that due to major distribution problems Meisha Merlin Publishing,
Inc. will be closing their doors in May 2007. Both Kevin and I along with the
entire staff here at Meisha Merlin want to thank all our fans, customers, authors,
& artist for your support over the past eleven years. We are sorry to have to
do this, but events beyond our control have forced us to make this decision.

ATTN: For those of you who have purchased The Virginia Edition. The Robert A.
& Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust has worked out an agreement to continue publishing
The Virginia Edition. You can expect a letter from them within the very near
future & volume seven will be arriving to you in late May or early June.

Laura J. Underwood

This is very sad news, indeed. One thing we don’t need is to lose such a major publishing force in genre fiction. I’d like to wish all staff and supporters of the company the best of luck in their future.

For those with Internet Explorer, or anyone who just wants to see the site and not necessarily the announcement, here is the Meisha Merlin website.


The Shared Worlds summer camp

April 26, 2007

I saw the note on Locus Online regarding the ‘Shared World Camp’, so I had to check it out. It’s one of those ‘Gee, I wish I were still in high school’ things, though — otherwise, it looks really cool.

At this 8 day camp, you can learn how to write stories (fantasy, science fiction, or horror), design games, or illustrate. Classes include alien biology and history as well as creative writing, game design, and art. The list of Visiting Speakers includes several published authors, game designers and illustrators, including Laura Resnick, Greg Keyes, Ken Hite, and Doug Chaffee. I’d be interested in seeing the names of the teachers, which are ‘Coming Soon’.

In any case, I’m far too old for this, but it looks like it could be worth the $1250 — remember, that’s 8 days in residence.

Hmmmm… I wonder if I could rent a time machine for a week or so…

Wofford College’s Shared Worlds camp

Afterburn SF

April 26, 2007

For those who don’t read comments (yes, I know you’re out there!), I received this comment on my previous post:

Nat Says:
Hello, I’m Nat, the new Executive Editor/Owner of Afterburn SF. I really appreciate you helping spread the word about needing resubmissions. I also wanted to let everyone know that we have also increased our rate to $30 per published article and we are decreasing our publication frequency for now to a quarterly publication cycle.

Thanks again for your help and support!


Good information there, Nat! Thanks!

The Word in Writing Update – April 25, 2007

April 25, 2007

Now, I’ve been on hiatus for a few months. Rather than try to catch up on everything I’ve missed, I’m just going to give April’s news to date, over the next few days. Most of today’s information came from or through Thanks, Ralan!

I do not guarantee ANYTHING

New Markets:

Drollerie Press is looking for “fiction works of all lengths that examine fairytales in unique and unusual ways. We are also interested in re-tellings of, or stories using characters from, Native American myth and legend.” Guidelines

Cat Tales: Fantastic Feline Fiction is a new anthology series being put out by Wildside Press, publishing “fantasy and suspense stories of 500-5,000 words involving cats.” Guidelines can be found at and Wildside Press.

Staffs & Starships Magazine is a PDF magazine of “literary quality speculative fiction”. Guidelines.

Tower of Light Fantasy, a new online magazine, is looking for “almost any kind of fantasy especially stories that blend genres, such as dark fantasy, science fantasy, and superhero fantasy.” Guidelines.

Blazing! Adventures Magazine will open to submissions on August 20, 2007, and will close again on September 20. “I’m bringing back the good ol’ style of writing that was made popular by the Pulp.” Guidelines

Hayseed Novellas will publish novellas in most styles and genres. “We want rich characters, interesting plots, and a developed voice. Unlike some small publishers, we don’t think commercial is a bad word.” Guidelines

Goblin Reader is currently accepting “Science Fiction (Cyber Punk ), Horror, Anything strange and unusual that is not in the mainstream.” Guidelines

Market Updates:

Backroom Publications says “Beginning in April, we will be reading submissions of novella and collections of fiction and poetry up to 50,000 words.” Guidelines

Withersin is open to submissions until September 1, 2007. Guidelines

Due to increased popularity, Aberrant Dreams has taken on a number of new editors. For a list of the new editors, check their news blog. Guidelines

Trabuco Road is open to submissions until May 3, 2007. Note that response time is now 6 weeks, and they now pay 5 cents per word. Guidelines

Interzone will be open to e-mail submissions during the months of May and November, 2007. Guidelines

As Hub is becoming a free e-zine, author payment rates have declined. Guidelines

Ralan’s says that Atomjack is going quarterly, but is doubling its pay rate to $10 per story. This isn’t reflected in Atomjack’s guidelines yet, though.

Afterburn has a new owner/editor, but somewhere along the way all previous submissions got lost. If you’ve got a sub in there, please resubmit. Guidelines

Electric Velocipede is open to all submissions, and has a new URL:

Flytrap is open to submissions until May 31, 2007. Guidelines

Closed Markets:

Shadowed Realms is closed to submissions, and the next issue will be their last. Read the announcement on the Shadowed Realms Readers Forum.

Walking Bones is gone.

Hub is closed to fiction, except flash fiction between 800 and 1500 words. Guidelines

Rogue Worlds is closed to submissions until August 15, 2007. Guidelines’s Featured Fiction is closed to submissions until January, 2008. SpecFicWorld’s Guidelines

Dark Energy SF is not accepting any submissions until September 1, 2007. Dark Energy SF website

Dated Markets (Anthologies, Contests, Special and Themed Issues):

Ticonderoga Press is looking for speculative “which focus on the migrant experience, both from the experience of the migrant and resident, stories of forced refugees and voluntary migrants” for an anthology entitled Belong/A Place Called Home. There will be two volumes: one containing stories by Australian authors, and the other by international writers. Deadline: September 1, 2007. Guidelines


AnotherRealm is having a run of bad luck. Earlier this month, the website “was hacked by some not so nice people.” Now, as they rebuild their site, they are being sued by a certain unpopular agent, because they ‘mirror’ the Preditors & Editors site, and P&E says this agent is ‘Not recommended’, among other things. You can get more info at AnotherRealm’s website.

Noctem Aeternus

April 24, 2007

Noctem Aeternus is a new e-zine featuring horror with plot and characters. It will open to submissions on June 1, 2007 — DO NOT SUBMIT EARLIER. The first issue will be out January 1, 2008. Check out the Web site and Submission Guidelines.

Welcome to The Word in Writing Blog

April 24, 2007

What is The Word in Writing? A few years ago I started writing a markets column for my writers group newsletter. A lot of people found it useful, so every week I wrote at least 1000 words of researched market news. That became a lot of time that I just didn’t have. After too many late nights before a deadline, I decided to put the column on hiatus.

It had been suggested to me that The Word would be better off as a blog. It had been suggested I charge for it, as I had when I’d put it on my website, but for now I think I can do without the added stress of making sure it’s done because someone’s paid for it. So, I open it up to the world for free — for now, anyway.

As mentioned earlier, the column was originally written for the Zentao7 Novel Writers Workshop. It’s a good group, and I owe a lot to it. I’m also currently the Acting Leader of the group. This particular version of Z7 is open to applications from middle to advanced skilled writers, published or unpublished. Check out the site, and if you’re interested, you can send questions, or an application which includes a 2000 word sample of your best writing, to me.

Z7 also has a public version – The Z7 Writers Group 2007 – which is a “professional working writers, authors, & poets forum”, open to all creative writers. Feel free to check it out, too.

Another good site to check out is The Deepening, an e-zine showcasing “the best short stories & fiction”. Check out the free stories, for a taste of what you can find if you subscribe.

Hmm. I think I just might get to like this blogging business…