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. Below you will find information about three such calls for submissions.
First up is an anthology from Belladonna Publishing. "Black Apples" is looking for "gothic fairytales starring the classic fairytale princess – but her ending is maybe not so happy, her quest is perhaps more grim and the darkness of the tale might just come from within." This anthology is not restricted to classic princess characters nor is there a restriction that the stories can't be set in the future as long as the core fairytale princess element is present. This submission call runs through January 15th, 2013. They pay a flat rate of $120 for stories of 3,000-10,000 words.
The people who run Innsmouth Free Press are working on an anthology called "Sword and Mythos." The theme here is a combination of Cthulhu Mythos and Sword-and-Sorcery elements. Submissions for this project are open from January 15th-February 15th, 2013. Do NOT send stories before January 15th as they will not be considered. The pay rate is 5 cents per words for stories of up to 5,000 words.
Finally, the Summer 2013 issue of Spellbound, a fantasy magazine aimed at 8-12 year old readers, will focus on the theme of "Dragons." The reading period for this theme runs from January 1st-March 31st, 2013. Payment is 2.5 cent per word for stories of up to 2,500 words.
As always, please make sure to read the
linked guidelines pages closely to ensure that you understand details
of the submission guidelines, terms, payment information, etc.