How to Sell Short Stories to an Anthology By Deborah Walker

milfordsfwriters

2018-Young-Explorers-GenericFirst off, I’ll pepper these words with caution. This is how I do things. You might have a much better way of selling stories to anthologies. And if you do, could you please tell me in the comments.

SELLING WITHOUT SUBMITTING

Sometimes an editor will chance across a published story and decide it’s perfect for their anthology. Make it easy for them. Publish your contact information on the interwebs. A bibliography of your published stories with links is good, too. I speak from experience. A few years ago, I had no contact information on my blog, and an editor had to track me down via Facebook. I could have missed out on a Year’s Best sale. Thank you so much, Mr. Editor.

FINDING ANTHOLOGY CALLS

Search for anthology calls and guidelines on The Grinderhttp://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/. A quick search of markets gives twenty-eight  anthologies paying 1 cent per word or…

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NESTA: Futurefest by Liz Williams

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Tobacco Dock 1I recently contributed to an anthology of women’s SF published by a think-tank (doteveryone, helmed by Martha Lane Fox) and they very kindly gave me a free ticket to an event in Wapping: Futurefest 2018.

This was held in Tobacco Dock, a converted tobacco warehouse which is now a conference centre (an impressive building in its own right, with its long, low stone arched rooms) and it was an interesting setting for a conference on the future, being an old industrial building. The conference itself was run by the innovation foundation NESTA and featured a mix of political thought, technology, and social concepts. Futurefest’s website states:

“This year’s FutureFest came at a time where for many, our relationship with the future felt troubled. From hidden influences over the media and politics to growing threats of terrorism and environmental degradation ,the forces shaping our world seem threatening and remote. FutureFest brought…

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Science for Fiction by Liz Williams

Missed it this year, but loved and appreciated this event over the last couple of years. Keep an eye of for it next year!!

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Imperial CollegeImperial College has been running an annual event, Science for Fiction, for the last few years and many members of Milford have not only attended, but have found this to be an invaluable resource in terms of inspiration and information for their fiction. Run by Professor David Clements, himself a Milford regular, the event runs over 2 days and consists of a series of lectures and discussions on cutting-edge science. In the past, attendees have learned about epigenetics, ethical issues in AI, and tried out a VR device simulating the Mars rover.

Huxley bldg signImperial is one of the top scientific institutions on this planet, a world-leader in physics, astrophysics and AI. It’s fundamentally an engineering college, but some researchers (for instance, Marek Sergot in the AI department) are involved in exploring ethical issues within their fields. Robotics is a major focus and Imperial is involved with the European Space Agency; an…

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You don’t have to be Luddite to work here… by Alastair Reynolds

Thoughts from the master…

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There’s an understandable assumption that someone who thinks about coming technologies must also be something of a gadget-head. I’ve certainly done my share of near-future speculation, trying to imagine plausible extensions of current advances in AI, robotics, virtual reality, telepresence and so on. While I’m fascinated by these topics in an abstract sense, I couldn’t be less interested in terms of my own working environment.

I write in a wooden shed in Wales. I have a kettle in there, and a record player, and not much else. There’s certainly no wifi, and I struggle to get a good telephone signal. Most of my writing (including this blog post) is done on a Dell desktop computer that will soon be old enough to begin driving lessons. Technically it’s on borrowed time – I was assured that the hard-drive is already many years over “MTBF” – “mean time between failures” – yet…

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Northwrite SF Writers Group by Jacey Bedford

This is a really friendly and supportive group where you will receive professional critiques of your work.

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Inspired by our enjoyment and appreciation of Milford’s annual conference and unable to sign up to a specialised SF critique group in our own area, a few writers based in the north of England decided to form a small critique group. Since our founder members were stretched from coast to coast from Lancashire to Yorkshire it made sense to meet in the middle. Since I’m more or less in the middle (on the edge of the Pennines) and have a rambling old house with spare bedrooms and a decent-sized living room to meet in, Northwrite’s inaugural meeting happened here in June 2012, and it has happened quarterly ever since.

The views here aren’t so bad…

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We meet on a Sunday for a full day, and since I don’t have to travel I cook lunch for anything up to ten of us, eleven if I count my longsuffering husband who very…

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BSFA London Meeting 25th of April: Interview with Tade Thompson

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Tade Thompson interviewed by Liz Williams

April’s special guest at the monthly BSFA London meetings is author Tade Thompson. His story The Apologists was nominated for a BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction for 2016 and also selected for Newcon Press’s anthology Best of British Science Fiction 2016. His novel Rosewater is the winner of the inaugural Nommo Awards and a John W. Campbell Award Finalist; his first novel,  Making Wolf,  won the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award. The Murders of Molly Southbourne, his latest work, has recently been optioned for screen adaptation.

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Tade Thompson will be interviewed by Liz Williams, a multiple nominee for the Philip K. Dick Award and the author of many novels such as Winterstrike, Nine Layers of Sky, Banner of Souls (which was also shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Ghost Sister, Empire of Bones, Darkland, Bloodmind, The Poison…

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The Silicon Critic by David Langford

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Milford participants often have distinctive personal crotchets when commenting on stories, and John Brunner’s (as I remember from the 1980s) was a particular sensitivity to repetition. Sometimes it seemed that the unintended re-use of a significant word too soon after its last appearance pained him more than a gaping plot hole. The “deliberate repetition for effect” card could be played only so often, especially if you hadn’t noticed the repetition of “repetition” and the fact that it’s now appeared four times in one paragraph.

Terry Pratchett was another author who worried about such things. In 1998 he invited me to write a little Windows application to monitor his own use of favourite words. This, he stipulated, was to be named Bicarb because the idea was to stop you repeating.

The computer screen here ripples and blurs to indicate a flashback. With (as we later decided) more enthusiasm than common sense…

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Response to a Flashy Challenge by Jim Anderson

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So this past weekend (7 and 8 April), I’ve been taking part in Sci-Fi-London 48 Hour Flash Fiction 2018.  On the Saturday morning, I was given the title for the story I would write (Fully Immersed), along with a line of dialogue that must be included (“Think of the good times, when we thought it was never going to end.”) and an optional scientific idea (Earth starts receiving transmissions from the multiverse) to use if I so desire.  I then needed to write and submit my story, between 1000 and 2000 words, by Monday morning.

It was interesting ride.  As I write this, back during that weekend, the story is done, barring one last pass for proofreading, and what I find most entertaining is that the finished story bears little resemblance to my first musings of Saturday morning.

Typewriter 3There are a lot of things I don’t know about the…

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Men in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Jacey Bedford

A comedy panel at Eastercon 2018 with Jaine Fenn (moderator), Juliet McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jacey Bedford.

Comedy panel on Youtube

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Imprecise Words and Their Allies by David Gullen

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Typewriter 3I have fulminated about this at least once before. I’ve been doing a fair amount of critical reading recently and while my opinions on many things have changed over the years the ways some words are used still bug me for the same reasons. Here are a few of them and why they rattle my cage.

Almost, Seemed, Appeared
Pwimula Nesbytt pulled the saddle from Bismarck, her faithful battle-mole. She seemed to be upset about something.

Only seemed to be? And only about something. Do we care, do I need to worry? Either Pwimula is upset, or she isn’t. If she isn’t, don’t mention it. If she is, then you should say so, say why, and describe how she is upset – angry, tearful, irritated. Not doing so creates a false tension that implies the author, rather than the characters, is uncertain about what is happening.

Pwimula brushed away a…

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