Expiring Calls

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We’re collecting calls for submissions for LGBT sci fi, fantasy and supernatural stories here. If you know of one, let us know at scott@queerscifi.com.

These are calls with expiration dates. If you are looking for ongoing Calls for Submission, click here.

Submission Deadline: 9/30/17

Fantastic TrainsTitle: Fantastic Trains: An anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders
Genre: fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic
Word Count: Up to 5K, shorter works preferred
Publisher: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Editor: Jerome Stueart Lachausse
Contact: editors@matadorreview.com
Payment: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words

Does a train whistle in the distance make you excited, wistful, or afraid? Trains have fired the imaginations of many people, especially writers. Anna Karenina, Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Signal Man, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Murder on the Orient Express all use trains as their main setting, not to mention the trains in children’s books—like Thomas the Tank Engine, The Little Engine that Could, and The Polar Express.

As travelers, we’ve been spurred to go farther because of trains, see new things, take chances. Trains have also, sometimes, pushed us too far, sliced the wilderness, inserted us into places to draw out resources, assisted in invasion. Trains, in a sense, even created Time as we know it. Trains altered our perceptions of identity, place, even of destiny. Suddenly, people could travel far away quickly, leave their families and homes for a better life, or opportunity—or people could escape the destiny of location. Step on a train, and you never know what you might find, or with whom you might cross paths. In essence, trains are Change.

We’re looking for your stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place,—we’ll buy a ticket on all of them. We’d like to see what you can do with a train. A good part of your story should take place on a train—or most, if you can do it. We don’t care what era, what planet, or how the train might look differently there (it might even be alive!) or even if the train is moving. We just want that train—what you do with it is your magic.

This book will be both for lovers of the fantastic, and train aficionados. Think about how trains change the lives of people who travel on them, or how trains are used. Think about those people who love them, and know so much about trains, and why as children we were amazed. We want good character stories. We also want to see that you’ve thought about how your train runs. Make us feel like we’re on it. Make it fantastic!

THE TWIST: The Locomotifs

We’re looking for an author to choose one or more archetypal minor characters from the following list and interpret them through the lens of their story (their time, place, genre, etc.) as purely background characters, or, if you want, a main or POV character.

They can be combined too into a composite type character. An author would not HAVE to choose more than one, but one of these must pass through your story. (You will need to mention who you’ve chosen on your submission, under your contact information, using the letter(s) appropriate.) These characters are not named, nor is there any requirement for nationality, gender, race, ability/disability, gender expression, etc. You are free to interpret.

Here are the ten we’d like you to consider:

  • A) The Schemers: a couple with a plan
  • B) The Dreamer: someone who speaks about, or gives value to, his/her dreams;
  • C) The Detective: a person trying to solve something—a riddle, a puzzle, a mystery;
  • D) The Reluctant: someone who doesn’t want to get on, or perhaps, leave the train;
  • E) The Adventurer: someone who believes they are on an adventure;
  • F) The Guide: a mentor, a knowledgeable person about place, trains, etc.
  • G) The Box: a mysterious piece of cargo with important implications to someone.
  • H) The Lovers: a couple at any stage of love
  • I) The Knight: someone who will fight for a cause, theirs, or one they are given
  • J) The Seeker: someone who doesn’t know, but who wants to learn

We think the recurring nature of these “locomotif” characters through the collection will have an effect on the reading brain. We think readers will create connections and stories of the minor characters between these very different stories; they will link them up like train cars. Readers will make connections and see arcs by the juxtaposition of stories. (Think Cloud Atlas.)

You are invited NOT to take them literally. The Detective probably shouldn’t be a detective, but someone who is trying to solve a puzzle, a personal mystery, with a detective’s sensibilities. (And damned if Murder on the Orient Express’ trailer didn’t just use a similar concept by introducing characters as “types”—ignore that. We’d love to be original, but archetypes are very very old, and they’re not necessarily job-oriented, as they are in that trailer. But Christie’s MotOE is a great example of a train story!) Also, do not think that you need to try to fit in all ten. That’s like trying to meet everyone riding on your train. You can do it, but it takes too much time away from you.

Authors, of course, are free to develop their story on their own—but they should allow one of these kinds of characters to board their train, even if for a fleeting reference.

If you have a “train trunk” story and can retcon one of these characters into it seamlessly, without it looking like a shoehorn, awesome. Ultimately, we’re looking for you to tell us a good story.

We invite you to take us on a journey.

More info at the link below.

Website: edgewebsite.com/books/fantastictrains/fantastictrains-catalog.html

Submission Deadline: 9/30/17

Title: Party People
Genre: Any
Word Count: 10-40K
Publisher: MLR Press
Editor: Kris Jacen
Contact: submissions@mlrpress.com
Payment: Currently, TMR is not a paying market.
Description: Laissez les bons temps rouler!It’s Mardi Gras! Watch the krewes and
their parades followed by THE BALLS! The period of time through Twelfth
Day through Ash Wednesday — the culmination being the celebration of
excess on Fat Tuesday before giving it all up for Lent. Whether you’re
religious or an atheist, the celebrations of Mardi Gras are legendary.

But what if you just want to go on with your routine without being
interrupted? A college student at Tulane on scholarship just trying to
keep his head above water? The bartender in the Quarter that has had
enough of drunken frivolity but makes was too good money to leave? An
EMT that thinks he’s seen it all but then…what the hell did that guy do?
A Louisiana native that has decided to go to school in the North and
attends a Fat Tuesday celebration — what, that’s not right? A historian
researching the history of the first parade — what do you mean it didn’t
start in New Orleans?

Submissions should:

The setting of the story should center around the celebrations between
Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday for Mardi Gras — stories do not have to be
set in New Orleans but do have to have a connection to Mardi Gras

Website: http://www.mlrbooks.com/Submissions.php

Submission Deadline: 10/1/17

Mischief Corner BooksTitle: A Holiday to Remember Bundle
Genre: Any
Word Count: 5-15K
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Contact: submission.mischiefcornerbooks@gmail.com
Payment: 5-8.5K, $80; 8501-12K, $100; 12001-15K, $120
Description: Do you have a queer Holiday short story you’re itching to tell? Mischief Corner Books wants it. We’re looking for diverse Holiday stories from the entire rainbow spectrum — gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual spectrum, pansexual, transgender, genderfluid (any and all members of the sexual and gender minority community) — as well as racially diverse characters for our readers to enjoy.

A Christmas ball? Fabulous.
A special Winter Solstice between star crossed lovers? We want it.
A bewitching Yuletide? Send it in.
Give us your best shot of “A Holiday to Remember.”

What do we want from the story?

A romantic, positive, and uplifting tale to share with our readers, stories, just like the holiday, they will remember for years to come. Bring the emotion, bring the big events or the quiet moments everyone remembers, and give your characters happy ending they deserve. It needs to have a solid beginning, middle and end, as well as romantic involvement.

Website: http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/submissions.html

Submission Deadline: 10/12/17

gold - pixabayTitle: Miner Detours
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Word Count: 2-8K
Publisher: Placer Gold Writers
Contact: submission@PlacerGoldWritersInk.com
Payment: $20-30 Sliding Scale
Description: This anthology (working title “Miner Detours in Reality”) will collect a miner’s dozen or more fresh stories that showcases regional locations and talent. PGWI is focused on family-friendly writing that entertains, excites and entices the readers to want more.

Our anthologies always follow a theme or common thread. This time:

  • Location must be set in California “Gold Country” — in the past, present or future.
  • Use the word/concept of “gold” as some minor or major plot point.
    ►Note: “gold” does not have to refer to the precious metal!

Website: http://placergoldwritersink.com/current-projects