07 April 2013

On the Premises Super Secret Mini Contest

It takes me a while to clue in sometimes. Ever since I signed up for On the Premises' snazzy newsletter, I've been scanning them to see what their current contest is, but missing the fact that they run a mini contest too. Wee!

OTP is fun because every four months they run a contest that invites you to write a piece of fiction on a very specific theme. It is free to enter and the first place winner gets 180 USD. They don't place any limits on genre: anything goes, from literary fiction to pulp to high concept sci fi or whatever.

Mini contests are super tiny, but still come with a $15 prize for the winner. If you're like me and you're looking for a quick way to boost your writerly self-esteem by submitting some work, this could be it. The current contest has a 25-word limit (and yes, the theme is something you can reasonably complete in 25 words). Deadline is April 28, 2013.

To get the theme for the mini contest, you have to subscribe to the newsletter, which is infrequent and succinct and purple toned (just in case the colour of the newsletter has any bearing on your desire to receive it). OTP uses the newsletter not only to let subscribers know about what's going on with the magazine and contests but also to brag about writers who have been part of their contests and who have gone on to find success elsewhere. They also recommend stories published in other venues, just because they love stories. I think that's sweet.

(I won't say what the current theme is because I think you should just get the newsletter if you're interested, but let's say it's really ripe if you're into horror, suspense, or creepy stuff.)


02 April 2013

"We Obey Some Secret Command; We Sail Under Sealed Orders"

Okay for my money Vincent O'Sullivan's 1921 story "Master of Fallen Years" is pretty much what you want in a weird tale. It's weird: the central problem in the story is not quite a haunting, but more like a reincarnation glitch / possession? The central problem goes unexplained / underexplained, which offers a maximization of the heebie-jeebie effect. In terms of execution, it is gloriously consistent with itself and with certain cognitive experiences that we all have on a regular basis, but which may have sinister explanations. This is probably saying too much about my personality, but the ending also made me lol.

If you're a slowish reader like me it will probably take you 20 minutes to read it? Go now go. I hope you like it.

(p.s. I found this story via the exquisite Century's Best Horror Fiction, edited by John Pelan. I've written about it before, but I can't recommend it enough. Ask your Sugar Daddy / Sugar Mama / Dark Lord Who Rules You to buy you a copy.)


01 April 2013

April Challenges Bring May Tears and Recriminations

Wee! It's April. In my blogrolls those A to Z posts are starting to crop up like the lovely spring crocuses in my backyard. I see the signup list is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE again this year. I had planned to join in with some graphics-based posts, but alas, it just didn't happen in March and I'm camping right now, in addition to trying to get some short stories off my hard drive and out into the world, not to mention that pesky novel I've been trying to revise since January. 

What I will do is use that A to Z linky list to find new blogs to follow. Even if you're not into writing 26 blog posts in April, A to Z is a fabulous resource for meeting other folks who are looking to network. A to Z-ers tend to be interesting folks with things to say, and they tend to follow back, and we all can use a little follow back now and again. 

Happy April, everybody, no fools.