Tag Archives: workinprogress

Grimbold Anthologies – fantasy!

Grimbold’s got three new anthologies open to submission!

I’m ridiculously excited about these; they’ve been in the works for about a year, and it’s great that we’re actually able to do them. Nele Diel, who did the cover art for the three sci-fi anthologies, has turned up trumps again, and while I’m not involved in the editing this time (let’s be fair, I kinda got the lion’s share with the last three) we’ve got six amazing editors for these. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what stories turn up!

SUBMISSION DETAILS! Please do share and we actively invite questions and interest in these projects.

Unexpected Heroines:

Why is it always the teenage girl who is the heroine?
These are the stories of female protagonists who are never cast in the feature films. The awkward, the old, the forgotten, the different.
Their adventures were never meant to be. Their save-the-world expeditions shouldn’t have happened. They are the ones who stepped forward when no-one else would.
Our unexpected heroines.

Forgotten Sidekicks:

We all know what happens when the hero saves the day, but what about their sidekicks?
Too often the hero is held high and celebrated whilst their sidekicks and comrades are brushed to the side; their own battles forgotten, and their actions airbrushed to nothingness from the tales of victory.
These are the stories of the ones who aren’t remembered; the ones who helped save the day, and got cast aside; the ones who don’t want the applause, and the ones who deserved the applause and never received it.
These stories didn’t make the headlines – but they happened, and they’re glorious.

Lost Gods:

They have slept for centuries. Buried. Forgotten. Lost.
Until they awake. Or are awoken.
When the deities of old return, will they bring blessings or destruction to a time that no long remembers them?
Should they be left to lie in peace, or used for our own ends? Are they gods, or monsters?
What lies out there in the realms of the lost gods?

Submission Guidelines:

The submission window will run from 1st September until the 30th November inclusive.

Submissions to be emailed to:

Lost Gods – lostgodsanthology@gmail.com

Forgotten Sidekicks – forgottensidekicks@gmail.com

Unexpected Heroines – unexpectedheroines@gmail.com

All sub-genre and styles will be considered – comedic, epic, grimdark, noblebright etc. We are particularly keen on diversity – think older characters, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities

Submissions should be (ideally) between 4-7,000 words (10% leeway given either side) and either 1.5 or double spaced and in an easy to read font such as Times New Roman or Arial size 12/14. Please include your contact details at the end of the story, along with a short bio and details of any writing credentials and/or social media handles.

We are aware that this is a long submission window, but hectic lifestyles for both writers and editors means that we must be patient. Editors will be reading submissions as they are received but final decisions are unlikely to be publicised until the end of December 2018 at the earliest. This allows there to be a reasonable amount of time for reading and selecting the final line-up.

Payment will be £15 per story and a physical copy of the final anthology for which the story appears and, should you also wish, copies of the eBook for your own private use and not for resale or lending.

Any questions relating to submission guidelines – please do ask away!

Writing snippets – when it’s not really working

I (try to) do a little writing group on Thursday evenings – it’s just a Facebook chat with a few of us encouraging each other on. I missed the week before last due to work, so I was determined to try to write something. Problem is, I’m feeling stuck on the new No Man’s story; it’s bitty and I can’t get any sense of what I want to happen to the characters. I’ve got a vague plot but no detail, and that means no scenes.

So I picked a couple of prompts from the Wattpad #urbanfantasy, just on the offchance that they’d work; sometimes things do just fall into place for short stories, and I end up with a random one! However….neither really worked, and so I’m putting them on here to say – yes, this happens. This is my version of stop-start-stop, when the stories just won’t come, when something doesn’t fit. This is one of the stages of writing something; this is when an idea gets turned and twisted and ends up as one of the random hundreds of files I have in my writing folder, with a snippet that might end up in something else, or might not.

The first prompt was, “I would never bring my mobile to a demon hunt ever again.”

I picked my Dresden fanfic world for this, because a) snark, and b) demons. However, the specification was that the prompt had to be the last line (or paragraph), and frankly, I was struggling to work out what problems a mobile could cause on a demon hunt! Someone else trying to get in contact constantly? The mobile itself sends out signals that disrupt things somehow? I just couldn’t pin anything down as being the problem that needed to be overcome, and that meant that the story itself wouldn’t resolve.

“This is your idea of a date?”

I raise my eyes from my phone and look at the scarred, lanky, pissed-off form of the Winter Knight. From battered trainers to battered t-shirt, topped with a battered – well, scarred – face, he’s the picture of grumpiness.

“If I’d known it was going to be this romantic,” he continues, “I would have brought you roses.”

I open my mouth to say something snarky, but someone gets in ahead of me.

“This is not a date.” It’s laced with as much disapproval as a Fae Marshall can output – which is, it turns out, quite a lot.

“Dollface invited me here,” the Winter Knight points out, shoving his hands into his pockets and smirking. “And she didn’t state that she wanted to hit me. Therefore, it’s a date.”

“I can rectify that second criteria if it helps,” I say mildly.

“Your levity is out of place,” the Marshall grinds on, ignoring me. “We have a serious purpose.”

…and then I couldn’t work out what they were doing, apart from ‘fighting demons’. It may turn into a short with them fighting vampires, or just generally arguing, but the mobile phone was giving me problems.

However! That doesn’t mean that the prompt isn’t any use – and if you’re ever in this situation, my sincere advice is to go off the rails. Abandon the prompt! Write whatever comes to mind! It just so happened that I huffed, tried another prompt (see below) and then got caught up in something else…so I may come back to this one sometime.

“Couldn’t you have just broken my heart like any normal guy/girl?” I asked with tears in my eyes, leaning over him/her and his/her blood – so much blood.

I considered this, and considered how dramatic it was on the surface… so I promptly went light-hearted.

And I couldn’t hold back the laughter any longer.

[NAME] turned, her expression turning from shocked to bewildered, and then to horrified realisation.

And then she spun back to [BOY], dipped one long finger in the blood, and tasted it.

I sat down on the edge of the stage, my stomach hurting, yet unable to stop the howls of laughter that were shaking me. My cheeks were wet with tears, and I laughed and laughed.

Pippa turned and stormed out.

[BOY] started to pick himself up as I regained control of myself, and met my eyes as I pushed myself up and wandered over.

“Can’t you just break my heart like any normal guy?” I ask with tears in my eyes, leaning over him and his blood – so much blood. That should have been her clue.

He grinned up at me. “It’s more fun this way.”

“You’re a dick, [BOY].”

“And you love me for it. Here, help me up, and let’s go post the photos on the web!”

For this one, frankly, there’s no way anyone in the Dresden universe would go that light (I did play with some Kindred/Dini stories but ugh for drama and that’d be seriously depressing, and just…no) so it ended up being random. That said, I don’t necessarily like it. It doesn’t fit anything existing and it’s not a story that I want to tell in a new world.

And that’s the thing with prompts, for me. Sometimes they do lead to stories that I do want to tell, just from that one snippet – and sometimes, like these two, they just end up as scraps.

So it’s still writing progress, even if it’s somewhat dead-ended!

A Snippet of a New Story

A random snippet from the new No Man’s series story…

“I am the Emissary of the Elven Kingdom of the Golden Sycamore.” The sylph turns her head back to Luk. “We wish you to deny Stromberg the lives. When previously informed of this situation, the Merlin was accepting of the urgency and problematic nature of this.”

“Which Merlin was this?” Elise asks, in her sweetest and most confused elderly-lady manner.

The sylph shrugs. “Human names are not memorable to me.”

“Nevertheless,” Luk puts in. “Stromberg is going to, at some uncertain point in the future, try to…what? Kill a bunch of humans? And that somehow powers their Castle?”

“Steal,” the sylph corrects. “We do not know what they do with them, only that they are taken into the Castle and Stromberg’s power is renewed. We do not want this to happen.”

“Yes, I got that. So, the million-dollar question: why should I care?”

Rachel’s sigh is strong enough to blow biscuit crumbs off the plate. Elise reaches out and carefully brushes them up, before standing to deposit them in the sink.

“The previous Merlin considered this-”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Luk says. “But I don’t care. Stromberg can’t have been kidnapping ridiculous numbers of humans, otherwise the rest of Faerie and most of the human world would have taken steps, so I don’t see why you’re trying to get me involved in something that’s obviously a power play between two Courts.”

“If they’re kidnapping people, Luk…” Rachel starts.

“People die every day. The Fae kidnapping humans is nothing new. I’ve got enough to do without getting my ass put on the line by a power that’s perfectly able to deal with it themselves if they wanted to.”

“Do young humans going missing not bother you?”

“Children?” Rachel says, giving Luk a glare. “They’re kidnapping children to somehow power their Castle?”

Luk rolls his eyes. “Go join a charity commission if you’re going to be that much of a preacher! If they’re still powerful it’s obviously not the first time they’ve done it, so there’s still no reason why I should care.”

“If you do this,” the sylph says, “then the Elven Kingdom will consider one of your debts to us paid.”

Luk pauses, and then says, “Well, that’s just fucking bollocks. I don’t think I-”

“Fickin bullcks?” a small toddler’s voice says from the doorway.