One of the tools I've used sometimes to help myself get started on writing is writing towards prompts or themes for upcoming publications, either anthologies or themed issues of periodicals. Every Thursday, I'll be posting two or three such submission calls which I find of interest. There may be a somewhat heavy speculative fiction bent to these lists, but I'll endeavor to mix it up a bit for those who write mostly in other genres.
I'd be remiss if I didn't make my very first such item "UFO: Unidentified Funny Objects." (Full disclosure: The reason I'd be remiss is because I'm one of the associate editors and this project is being run by my friend Alex Shvartsman. Note that any submissions which the associate editors see come without the writer's name(s) attached, so no worries that I'd be biased in my reading.) This call is for humorous speculative fiction stories and runs through August 31st, 2012 and the anthology will be paying professional rates (5 cents per word for stories of 500-4,000 words).
A call with a very close deadline is "Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction." This project's call runs through June 30th, 2012 and they will be paying $200 for stories of up to 6,000 words and $25 per poem.
The third submission call for this week is from "The First Line." This periodical has quarterly prompts where the first line of the story is provided and they look for the best stories growing out of that first line. Their current call runs through August 1st, 2012. The supplied first line is "A light snow was falling as Charlie Reardon left the diner and made his way down Madison Street." They pay $30 for stories of 300-3,000 words.
Please make sure to
read the linked guidelines pages closely to ensure that you understand
details of the submission guidelines, terms, payment information, etc. It's always possible that I misinterpreted something or that something would have changed since I researched the information.
Stop back next Thursday for more Upcoming Deadlines!