Rhonda Parrish's Blog

May 7, 2019

F is for Fairy

F is for Fairy is officially out today!

This release has been different from most of the releases that I’ve done in that supporters of my Patreon at the Corvid level and higher got access to the electronic copy of this book a couple weeks ago and this title has been available in the Bad Fairy book bundle for almost as long.


But.


The book is officially out today — and that includes in paperback!


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“Anyone who believes that faeries are wee, golden-haired creatures with dragon-fly wings and sweet intentions has never met a real faerie.” –Suzanne Willis, “A Silver Thread Between Worlds”


Retellings of familiar favourites from new perspectives, and brand new stories share the pages of this fairy-themed collection. Within these offerings you’ll find fairy music and food, contracts (making and breaking them), changelings, circles and curses–these stories deliver all the things you already love about fairies and a few new tricks as well.


A dusting of dragons, shapeshifters and ogres accompany these tales which include feminist fairies overcoming trauma, Norse fairies breaking the rules to interfere in human affairs, intergalactic fairies hitching a ride to a new home, political satire featuring an idiot king and talking animals, a new Robin Archer story, fairy run nightclubs and so, so much more.


Altogether this anthology includes twenty-six brand new tales–one for each letter of the alphabet–from contributors Pete Aldin, Steve Bornstein, Andrew Bourelle, Stephanie A. Cain, Beth Cato, Sara Cleto, Cory Cone, Danielle Davis, Megan Engelhardt, Michael Fosburg, Joseph Halden, Lynn Hardaker, L.S. Johnson, Michael M. Jones, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, Jonathan C. Parrish, Alexandra Seidel, Michael B. Tager, Rachel M. Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Brittany Warman, Lilah Wild, Suzanne J. Willis and BD Wilson.


For a limited time I’ve dropped the price on the book to $2.99, which means right now you can get 26 awesome fairy stories for less than what many of us might spend on a nice coffee.


(I don’t drink coffee, but you know what I mean LOL)


The price will be going back up on Saturday, May 11th so don’t miss out on this great deal

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Published on May 07, 2019 10:17

April 9, 2019

Patreon

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Real talk.


There’s this conversation that always happens when you put myself and some of my writerly friends together in a room. It’s the ‘what we do has value, we have value’ conversation.


It can take many forms. Sometimes it’s the ‘This industry is so broken’ conversation, sometimes it’s ‘Hey, my royalties bought me a coffee this month!’ said with sadness-tinged humour, sometimes it is a straight-up talk along the lines of ‘Why do we do this?’ or ‘How do we fix this?’ or ‘Look, this is how much I made last year — am I a failure?’


It’s a conversation that wears many faces, and touches on different aspects of the thing, but at its center it’s about worth and value.


Partly it’s about money because, like it or not, our society does judge people based on how much money they make and we are a part of our society. And I, personally, make far, far less working in publishing full time than I would if I had a part time job making minimum wage.


That’s just a fact.


I’ve been doing this full time for… oh, ten, twelve years now? I have not one, but two ego shelves full of books I’ve had a hand in creating (contributed to, written, edited or published). I work hard. Hard. 40 or more (usually more) hours a week, every week. And I would make more money working at McDonalds part time.


But it’s not just about money.


This job is tough. It erodes you. People talk about needing to have a thick skin to work in publishing, but that’s not really accurate. You need to have a thick skin, and armor, and a shield, and… you get the idea.


Or do you?


If you work in publishing you probably have an idea of how it goes, but in case you don’t, let’s look at just a wee part of the life cycle of a book…


You write the book — in itself a huge feat — but you get it done. And edited. And polished up to be as good as you can make it. The first time you do this probably takes years. After that, when you get more practiced you may be able to do it in months.


You start submitting the book — maybe you’re querying agents, maybe you’re pitching it to publishers. Whoever you are submitting your book to you’re going to start collecting rejections. Probably a lot of rejections. A lot of people saying no — some more kindly than others. A lot. Rejection %s will change depending on what specific path you take here but they will be high.


But then, Hallelujah! Someone says yes and agrees to publish your book. You get the contract and everything looks good (though sometimes you get the contract and it’s obvious you’re being preyed upon and you have to go back to submitting…) so you sign it and you’re on your way. Yay! The rejections can stop, right?


Uh. No.


After you go through the editing process (which can definitely feel grueling, especially if it’s your first time through) you finally have a finished product. Your book. Yay!


Now you need to get blurbs for it. And reviews. So you try giving it away. You pay people (Goodreads, NetGalley, BookSprout) to help you give it away… but for every 20 people you ask only 1 accepts a copy of your book. The one you worked so hard for. The one you put your heart on the line for. The one you cried for. And then, of the hundred or so people you are finally able to get to accept a (free) copy of your book only 1 leaves a review for it after they read it.


But at least you got a couple reviews, right? So that’s a tiny victory. But now it’s time to sell your book. The one you struggled to give away…


And that’s as far down that road as we’re going to go in this blog post. And every path is different — not just for every author but for each specific book — but you see it, don’t you? How every step of the way we’re dealing with rejection in crazy amounts. With disheartening situations.


I think, no matter how confident  someone may be when they start down that road, it eats away at you. And then when we reach the end of that path and our book is out in the world and we’re promoting it and hoping it will find its audience what do we do? We start writing the next book and do it all over again…


Is it worth it? For me, right now, it is because I’ve met some amazing, amazing people in these word trenches that I’m proud to call friends. But it’s still hard. And I still feel the need to qualify my answer to questions like ‘Is it worth it’ with ‘for now’. Yes, for now. Because you never know…


Which brings me to why I started a Patreon. I started a Patreon to slow the ride, or at least add an extra layer of padding between my skin and my armor. The trickle of money will be nice, there’s no doubt about it, but I’m most excited about the possibility that the next time I’m feeling down and questioning the value of these things I do I’ll be able to look at my Patreon and say, “It’s tough, this path I’ve chosen, but look, Rhonda. These five, ten, thirteen people, they think what you’re doing has value enough that they are supporting it not just verbally, but financially.” And that will be huge.


But I’m also terrified that I’ll announce this, that I will try to make this Patreon work, and I’ll fail, and that rejection will hurt the hardest.


I hesitated even to type that because I don’t want it to sound like a guilt trip but I promised real talk from the very first line of this post, and that’s it. Real talk. The realest talk.


Some people’s Patreons make them thousands of dollars a month and while that would be amazing I’m not foolish enough to think it’s reasonable for me and my audience. My dream is to reach 50 patrons and whatever numbers of dollars a month that equals ($150?).


And I feel weirdly greedy and unrealistic when I say that? Even though I’ve created some great reward tiers for people who sign up to support me over there.


Patronage begins at $1 a month and will get you access to exclusive stories, poems, audio books, polls (to pick what I work on next), behind the scenes content and see cover and TOC reveals before the general public.


Other tiers reward patrons with advance copies of my ebooks, signed paperbacks, my editing your stories, surprises in the mail and more.


If you’re even a little intrigued please check it out here –> https://www.patreon.com/RhondaParrish


Pledges aren’t billed until the end of the month so you can try it out for free for nearly three weeks and see if you feel I’m offering you enough value for your money before the time comes to be charged. Like a free trial.


For the foreseeable future I will be moving most of my blogging over there (calls for submissions and such will be available to the public, not just my patrons). I’ll mirror calls for submissions and such here for now as well, I would eventually like to move all my blogging to Patreon so everything is all in one place but I have issues giving up control of my blog so we’ll see what happens — which side of my brain wins this battle.


In the meantime, thank you for reading this — whether or not you checked out my Patreon link. Every acceptance is a win, and you reading all the way to the end of this very long, somewhat depressing, post is definitely an acceptance, and I appreciate you making the road a wee bit smoother.

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Published on April 09, 2019 10:36

April 2, 2019

Grimm, Grit and Gasoline Table of Contents

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Two young women defy the devil with the power of friendship. The pilot of a talking plane discovers a woman who transforms into a swan every night and is pulled into a much more personal conflict than the war he’s already fighting. A pair of twins with special powers find themselves in Eva Braun’s custody and wrapped up in a nefarious plan. A team of female special agents must destroy a secret weapon–the spindle–before it can be deployed, but when they discover one of their number has betrayed them, things get messy. The daughter of a gangster is being held hostage on the top floor of a hotel and, now unbeknownst to her, the secret that had been keeping her safe has been revealed and her time is running out. These and over a dozen other dieselpunk and decopunk fairy tales can be found in this anthology.


Retellings of The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Monkey King, Swan Lake, Pinoccio and more are all showcased alongside some original fairy tale-like stories. Featuring stories by Alicia K. Anderson, Jack Bates, Patrick Bollivar, Sara Cleto, Amanda C. Davis, Jennifer R. Donohue, Juliet Harper, Blake Jessop, A.A. Medina, Lizz Donnelly, Nellie K. Neves, Wendy Nikel, Brian Trent, Alena Van Arendonk, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Sarah Van Goethem, Robert E. Vardeman and Zannier Alejandra.


That right there is the unofficial description of Grimm, Grit and Gasoline: An Anthology of Dieselpunk and Decopunk Fairy Tales. I think it does a really good job of describing what you can expect from this anthology but it’s missing one word. Awesome. Because this anthology is awesome.


Check out the Table of Contents:


Circles and Salt by Sara Cleto

Salvage by A.A. Medina

The Loch by Zannier Alejandra

Evening Chorus by Lizz Donnelly

To Go West by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Bonne Chance Confidential by Jack Bates

늑대 – The Neugdae by Juliet Harper

The Rescue of Tresses Malone by Alena Van Arendonk

Daughters of Earth and Air by Robert E. Vardeman

Easy as Eating Pie by Amanda C. Davis

Accidents are not Possible by Sarah Van Goethem

A Princess, a Spy, and a Dwarf Walked into a Bar Full of Nazis by Patrick Bollivar

Steel Dragons of a Luminous Sky by Brian Trent

Ramps and Rocket by Alicia K. Anderson

As the Spindle Burns by Nellie K. Neves

Make This Water No Deeper by Blake Jessop

One Hundred Years by Jennifer R. Donohue


If you like fairy tales, I think you’re gonna love this book. Coming in September!

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Published on April 02, 2019 21:39

March 19, 2019

Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul

Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul is out today and I am so excited about this release!


I’ve been excited about this series since the first query for it landed in the World Weaver Press inbox — in fact, I fought/made a deal with another editor in order to be the one to acquire it. I love this world that K. Bird Lincoln has created. I love the characters that inhabit it. I love her writing style. I just love it.


Especially Kwaskwi.


So maybe it seems a little odd that I’m so stoked about this book, because it is the end of the series. It means saying goodbye to all those things that I love…


But I am.


And maybe because I know those things will always be there, on my bookshelf, waiting for me to revisit them, but also because I think this book nails it. It works as a stand alone, but it also ties up the series in a really good way. A way that I can appreciate. 


Series (in books or television) which go on and on just because they can drive me a bit bonkers. I really appreciate things that have a solid arc and then end. Things that know when and how to say goodbye.


This series does that. There’s loads of room if K. Bird Lincoln ever wants to do another stand alone, or a spin-off series or whatever but this trilogy is done. And it’s done right. And that feels good.


So yes. I am ridiculously excited about this release. And I hope everyone who has read the whole trilogy will enjoy this final installment in it. And for anyone who is brand new to the series — whether you are being introduced to it via the first book or this one, you are in for a treat.


And just wait until you meet Kwaskwi!











 


Even a dream eater can’t escape the final sleep…


After her trip to Japan, the Head of Portland Kind calls Koi home to help solve a murder. The body of a powerful magical being was found in the witch’s hut in Forest Park, along with a strange, haunting quotation about dreams and death written in blood. Can Koi discover who seems to be calling out a Baku before others from her new-found family die?


Buy it Now!


World Weaver Press


Amazon


B&N


Kobo

















“Koi, who can enter and manipulate other people’s dreams, comes into her own in Lincoln’s capable third urban fantasy…series fans will enjoy watching Koi learn to control her abilities and sort out her romantic life along the way.”



Publisher's Weekly
















Though Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul works as a stand alone title, you will definitely get more out of it if you have read the first two books in the series as well. Check them out at your local library or pick up a copy online at all the usual suspects. 


Clicking on the cover below will take you to the book’s official page on the WWP website which will tell you all about it and give you links to purchase

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Published on March 19, 2019 13:44

February 19, 2019

Quick Change

Quick note to let you know about a quick, and hopefully short term, change to this blog.


The previous theme I was using started messing with my pages so I have temporarily switched over to this theme until I find the time and space to hire someone to do the full make-over this website needs (which requires stuff done on the back end which is beyond my abilities).


However, this theme displays things somewhat differently than the old one did so posts made before today (2/19/19) may be formatted somewhat oddly.

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Published on February 19, 2019 09:40

February 12, 2019

Cover Reveal: The Cassandra Complex

Why restore the timeline when you can create a better one?


Cass is a 22nd century university student who – like most young adults – has always believed her parents were a bit stuck in the past. But on her eighteenth birthday she learns exactly how true this is: not only are her parents time travelers, living in an era different than either was born in, but now, to ensure that history plays out as it’s supposed to, she must travel to the year 1914 to live out her adult life.


Cass isn’t the type, though, to just sit back and watch while all the tragic events she’s learned about in her history courses play out in front of her. Not when she’s the only one in the world with the foreknowledge – and determination – to change it.


The Cassandra Complex is the third novella in the Place in Time series, which began with The Continuum and The Grandmother Paradox.


I’ve had the pleasure of editing this series and I love it. The Cassandra Complex picks up where The Grandmother Paradox left off and brings us another awesome adventure in a different time period than our main characters are from, but it also totally stands alone. So even if you haven’t read the first two books you can totally pick up this third in the series and enjoy it unreservedly. Wendy is kind of a magician in that regard

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Published on February 12, 2019 08:54

February 6, 2019

Cover Reveal: F is for Fairy

Check it out!


F is for Fairy, the sixth installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, has got a cover! Yay!


As always with this series, the cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish.


 


“Anyone who believes that faeries are wee, golden-haired creatures with dragon-fly wings and sweet intentions has never met a real faerie.” –Suzanne Willis, “A Silver Thread Between Worlds”


Retellings of familiar favourites from new perspectives, and brand new stories share the pages of this fairy-themed collection. Within these offerings you’ll find fairy music and food, contracts (making and breaking them), changelings, circles and curses–these stories deliver all the things you already love about fairies and a few new tricks as well.


A dusting of dragons, shapeshifters and ogres accompany these tales which include feminist fairies overcoming trauma, Norse fairies breaking the rules to interfere in human affairs, intergalactic fairies hitching a ride to a new home, political satire featuring an idiot king and talking animals, a new Robin Archer story, fairy run nightclubs and so, so much more.


Altogether this anthology includes twenty-six brand new tales–one for each letter of the alphabet–from contributors Pete Aldin, Steve Bornstein, Andrew Bourelle, Stephanie A. Cain, Beth Cato, Sara Cleto, Cory Cone, Danielle Davis, Megan Engelhardt, Michael Fosburg, Joseph Halden, Lynn Hardaker, L.S. Johnson, Michael M. Jones, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, Jonathan C. Parrish, Alexandra Seidel, Michael B. Tager, Rachel M. Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Brittany Warman, Lilah Wild, Suzanne J. Willis and BD Wilson.


Though it’s not going to be available until May 7th, F is for Fairy is currently available for pre-order:


Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)


Kobo


B&N


Apple


OR


If you’d like to read a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review you can get a free review copy on BookSprout.


Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to Read’ shelf on Goodreads!

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Published on February 06, 2019 22:01

January 17, 2019

Setting Goals for 2019

At the start of each year I set goals for myself, then at the end of that year I look back at them and assess how well I’ve done at reaching those goals. In theory, throughout the year it helps me keep my magpie energy in check by showing me the things I ought to be focusing on and by sharing the goals publicly it gives me a sense of accountability as well.


Usually I mostly share my work related goals here, but in the spirit of ‘Work/life balance’ (what even IS that?) I’ve decided to put them all here. And make fewer of them, maybe? We’ll see… I’m going to start writing and you and I will find out together if I managed to cut back at all.


2019 Goals

Stuff:



Finish playing Divinity 2

I love this game but I keep taking loooooong breaks from it because reasons. Well, mostly because work reasons. I’d like to finish it so I can finally begin playing Dragon Age: Inquision in earnest… ya know, so I can maybe finish it before the next one comes out LOL


Get good at making chicken/chorizo gumbo

Like really good. I want to like, craft a master recipe for my ultimate chicken/chorizo gumbo. I’m starting by mastering stock. I’m not even joking. See? I can over-complicate anything. It’s a skill, really.


Have a successful ‘Depth Year’

Jo and I decided to have a ‘depth year‘ this year, which basically means we aren’t buying anything that isn’t consumable. There are a few additional exceptions — for example I’d really like to fix our broken-ass back fence so home maintenance things don’t count — but mostly we aren’t buying things. The idea is it will eliminate impulse buying, stop adding clutter to our home, save us some money and help us appreciate the things we already have.


Empty a box every month

We’ve spent the last couple years on a serious de-clutter and purge mission, and it’s gone very well. There are still little piles here and there, though, so Jo and I have each got a banker box in our offices and the goal of filling it with things we can get rid of and then actually getting rid of them. Every month. We’re both really good at putting things in the box, it’s the moving them from there to out of our house part that is going to be the most challenging.


Take a vacation

Every year I book the month of July off to vacation with my family, and every year I end up working… just less. This year I want the only work I even think about doing in July to be occasionally reading Swashbuckling Cats submissions. That’s it and that’s all.


Set up a Patreon

Related — sit down and schedule which promo dice I’m going to commission and when.


Establish and write down five and ten year goals
Create, schedule and effectively host the anthology book club on my Facebook group.
Take two walks a day

They don’t need to be long, but I need to get up from my desk at least twice a day for at least twenty minutes and go for a walk. Inside on the treadmill, outside running errands or catching Pokemon, it doesn’t matter. I just need to do it. The idea is that it will break up my day and also get my blood moving a wee bit.
Note to self: Don’t even begin to pretend these little jaunts can take the place of actual workouts. They are in addition to, not instead of.


Read 40 books

Books I begin in good faith but just can’t bring myself to finish totally count


Host another Giftmas Tour to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank

Releases:



Release Grimm, Grit and Gasoline

September.
I would like this anthology to have my best launch yet–beating all my other WWP anthology launch numbers. To pull that off I am going to need to come up with a great promo plan, and figure out how to give it an awesome launch outside of a convention setting.


Release F is for Fairy

May 7th
I want to feel good about this release, to feel as though I’ve given the book the time and attention that it deserves and not just sort of thrown it to the wolves. I will need to assess and set some concrete, measurable goals for this and record them in my records for the book.


Release Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles

August.
The timeline for this anthology is a bit shorter than usual but I want to make it work and give it a great launch, matching the success that we found with Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns


Release Shadows

Date TBD
Will be self-published and require production and promotion. This will need to be fitted in around other projects but I don’t want the results to feel like they’ve been fitted in around other projects.



Submission Periods:



Have a successful submission period for Swashbuckling Cats

Submissions for this one end July 31st. I would like to have a Table of Contents decided by the end of August.


Have a successful submission period for Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles

Submissions close on February 28th. I would like to have a Table of Contents by the end of March. This may be unreasonable, but that’s my goal.


Hear Me Roar

This anthology closes to submissions in September. I would like to have the Table of Contents decided by October.



Writing and Editing



Finish writing Eerie Edmonton
Complete edits on Hollow and hand those in to my publisher on time
Complete edits on Shadows
Edit the next book in E. C. Bell’s Marie Jenner series
Copyedit and assist in the promotion of The Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul by K. Bird Lincoln
Copyedit and assist in the promotion of Book #3 in the Place in Time series by Wendy Nikel
Outline the urban fantasy series I already have covers for

I don’t usually outline but for this project it just kinda feels right that I try it. So I’ll give it a whirl and we’ll see what happens.


Finish the NovPad poem a day project I started and failed to finish last year
Finish and begin querying Arcana

Deadlines:



Submit Eerie Edmonton on schedule

The manuscript is due on April 15th. I want the first draft done by my birthday (March 15th) so there’s time for polish before I hand it in


Submit Grimm, Grit and Gasoline on schedule

The manuscript is due on April 15th. I would actually like to have it handed in by the end of February in order to free up space in my brain and on my desk for other projects. This means getting my butt in gear with regard to edits.



Okay… so I know it doesn’t look like I did very well at the ‘cutting back’ thing, but honestly a lot of these points are almost repetitions. For example, having a good submission period for Earth, handing in Earth and launching Earth are all individual points up there, but they all add up to one thing — make a great anthology and share it with as many people as you can. So perhaps the format I’ve chosen this year makes it look like there’s more up there than there is.


And also, Future Self, in my defense, there were lots of things I thought about adding and then decided not to… so it’s not as much as it could have been? And I love my job. Surely there are worse things than being so excited you set a lot of goals for yourself?


It’ll be fun to look back at the end of the year and see how many of these I got to check off

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Published on January 17, 2019 13:33

January 7, 2019

Cover Reveal: Last Dream of her Mortal Soul

Writing cover reveal posts are difficult, because you just KNOW the reader’s eye has gone to the cover before it focused on the words… or at least I assume that’s the case because that’s what always happens to me LOL So given that, there is no point in writing long introductions to the cover, or the book, and trying to be like, ‘Drum roll please…’ because everyone has already seen the cover.


Though apparently that didn’t stop me from rambling a bit just now.


But here it is! The cover for Last Dream of her Mortal Soul:


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Designed by Sarena Ulibarri, I think this cover is the perfect addition to the series, and a wonderful way to end the trilogy.


What trilogy, you ask? Well, let me tell you about it

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Published on January 07, 2019 22:25

January 1, 2019

Earth Open to Submissions

It’s today! Today is the day that Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles opens to submissions! This will be the second volume in my elemental anthologies series and I’m really looking to build on the awesome that was Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns.


Call for Submissions: Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles

Keep your feet on the ground. Sink in roots. Stay grounded. Mother Earth. We come from dust, and to dust we return…


Earth is steady. Solid. Reliable. It is the source of life and the thing which sustains it. But it’s not always serene and peaceful. It takes a lot to stir the earth but when it does, things get dramatic. Quakes swallow cities. Oceans rise. Mountains crumble. Earth is not weak, and it knows no pity.


In this, the second installment of the Elemental Anthology series, I want to explore the many facets of this often under-estimated element and the creatures associated with it so Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles will be filled with stories about every kind of earthy creature you can imagine, not only those listed in the subtitle. I’m looking for trolls, dwarves, earth dragons, goblins, ogres, orcs, grotesques and earthen beasts no one has ever heard of before. And of course this anthology will not be complete without at least one giant, golem and gargoyle!


Rights and compensation: Payment: $50 CAD flat fee and a paperback copy of the anthology. In exchange we are seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.


Open submission period: January 1, 2019 – February 28, 2019


Length: Under 7,500 words


Submit here: https://niteblade.submittable.com/submit/131075/earth-giants-golems-and-gargoyles


No simultaneous or multiple submissions.


No reprints.


Canadian spelling, please.


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Published on January 01, 2019 11:48