As I’ve mentioned before, writing short stories and novellas can be a great way to jumpstart your muse, refine your craft, build a readership and augment your writer resume.
But if you’re thinking about wading into the short fiction market, where should you start?
Finding General Calls for Submission
A google search is an obvious place to begin. Try searching ‘calls for submission’ and add something about your genre. You’ll likely find a lot of options, including some that pay professional rates (better than a penny a word), some that pay…less than professional rates (anything at all), some that are kind enough to at least throw you a bone (a complimentary author copy of the collection) and some that are, ahem, just for fun. Depending on your motives, any of these may be worthwhile.
There are also some great databases and email discussion loops out there focused solely on listing calls for submission for short fiction. Duotrope and Absolute Write have entries for all genres and all pay scales, and the Creative Writers Opportunities List on Yahoo! Groups is a reliable source of information that I’ve been subscribed to for years.
Special Focus: Calls for Submission in Romance and Erotic Romance
You’ll probably have the most success looking for places to query your short stories if you get to know your genre. My genre happens to be romance, and the hotter the better, so that’s where I’m most knowledgeable. I frequently scout sites such as the Erotica Readers Association. I also check out the individual pages for publishers I know to be in need of short fiction, such as Xcite Books, Total E-bound, and Dreamspinner Press.
And lucky for you, I also happen to collect calls for submission and share them with my Bad Girlz.
Here are a few that may interest you, all with deadlines in the next couple of months:
Dressed to Impress: Outfits for Special Occasions and Steamy Liaisons
Submission Deadline: November 1, 2012
The Baby Is A Secret!
Submission Deadline: November 15, 2012
How could he not know? After all, he’s the father of a child…but he doesn’t, because it’s been kept a secret from him—sometimes for years. Now it’s your chance to put your own twist on the ever-popular, ever-perplexing ‘secret baby story. We’re looking for short contemporary novellas, 20-25,000 words that will convince us that a baby really can be kept a secret!
Snow On The Roof
3,500 – 12,000 words, Male/Male pairing
Submission Deadline: November 19, 2012
“Just because there’s snow on the roof, doesn’t mean the fire’s gone out in the furnace.” There’s something to be said for maturity and experience, and in all of these relationships, at least one of the lovers is over forty. Whether it’s a May/December romance, a second chance at love, or finding a soul mate later in life, these stories prove that it’s never too late for love.
Editor’s Note: At least one of the couple must be age 40+.
Hopefully those get you thinking! From time to time, I’ll update you on additional opportunities in the genres of romance and erotic romance, but in the meantime, don’t let that keep you from hunting down your own.