Featured Market: Neon Reply

This week our featured market is Neon – an independent UK-based literary magazine which publishes a selection of fiction and poetry three times each year. Each edition combines magical realism with horror, slipstream and literary writings. Neon have a particular taste for the surreal and strange.

The digital edition of the magazine is available for free online, and the print issue can be shipped to anywhere in the world.

Neon have very free submission guidelines. Here’s what they ask for:

There is no set word limit, but please send enough work to cover approximately three pages of the magazine. This could be one story, a couple of flash fictions, or several poems. I prefer darker pieces, especially those with an element of the surreal or speculative. I am open to reading anything, however, and am often surprised by pieces that don’t fall into these categories.

You can see their full guidelines on how to submit here.

 

 

Featured Market: Bombay Gin Reply

This week’s featured market is Bombay Gin.

 

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Started in 1974, Bombay Gin is the literary journal of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics—co-founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman—at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Edited by department faculty, students and staff, Bombay Gin publishes innovative poetry, prose and hybrid texts as well as art, translations and interviews. Emerging from the “Outrider” or left-hand lineage, which operates outside the cultural mainstream, Bombay Gin honours a heritage of powerful scholarship and counter-poetics through the publication of work that challenges the boundaries of language, form, and genre.

Bombay Gin have published the likes of Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs in their 46 years of publishing. But that’s no reason to be deterred – they also publish new and emerging writers. If anything, the prospect of getting published alongside the names of such writers should serve as encouragement to get your writing into the magazine!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 OWT Short Fiction Prize Reply

Here’s something else I never thought about before we founded a writing competition: competition isn’t very nice. We’re now ready to announce that three people will receive prizes, knowing that more than 140 people have been disappointed along the way. We’ve tried to make our decisions as fairly and diligently as possible, but disappointing news isn’t nice to receive or deliver. While some authors may have been disappointed not to make the longlist, and twenty of those longlisted may have been disappointed not to make the shortlist, it may be that the most disappointed are those who made the shortlist but aren’t among our three winners. To those who didn’t make the longlist, that may seem greedy, but it’s fair and proper to want to win – that’s what competition is for.

In our society, competition is often championed for economic reasons. An investment-based economy requires perpetual growth, and a major stimulant to growth is to create situations in which individuals and institutions have to compete. In many ways, this is obstructive to human happiness. It has given us hundreds of thousands of cold callers whose misfortune it is to cajole consumers into switching mobile phone operator or utility provider. It has left us unprecedentedly unequal, alienated from each other, working for more hours than ever before, and seeking treatment for mental health problems from depression to anorexia. Its main achievement has been to produce loads of stuff, much of which has value only when accrued competitively.

I’d go so far as to suggest that competition damages relations within a community. This is why, for thousands of years, civilisations have created designated times and spaces for competitions. The social function of pankration, duelling, jousting, boxing, rugby, chess, and writing contests is to allow people to practice competition in ways that don’t have negative effects on the wider community. A recurring theme of the etiquette associated with competition is that when the competition is over, regardless of the result, the contestants cease to view each other as competitors and treat each other as friends and colleagues. The competition has to stay in a designated space because anybody who devoted their life to “the activity or condition of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others” would be behaving like a total dick.

For this reason, I think designated competitions are healthy. When one enters a writing competition, one hopes to win, one wishes to achieve at the expense of others, and if one doesn’t, one reasonably concludes that the judges are a bunch of sub-literate charlatans. Then, later, we can go back to supporting each other and caring for our fellow writers. We might write alone, but literature is a necessarily shared endeavour, and we’re stronger and healthier when we cooperate rather than compete. Meanwhile, you send your story off to the next competition – within which space it’s fair to assume that yours is the best, and that anyone who doesn’t get that is a total moron.

On this occasion, our three winners are:

3rd place (£25): Luke Harris

2nd place (£50): Darlene Campos

1st place (£150): Julia Thomson

Congratulations to all of the above, who will receive their prize money this week. In a close contest, Canadian author Julia Thomson clinched first place with her short story “Roached.” It impressed for the complexity of its themes and its skillful characterisation. The story benefits from its vivid setting on the small Bahamian island of Eleuthera, and it features a protagonist who is idiosyncratic and flawed but entirely sympathetic. We asked for stories that would make us laugh or cry or both, and this one combines comedy and pathos. It’s richly layered and full of subtext. It’s an absolute zinger and we’re thrilled to be publishing it on the site next Monday.

Thank you again to everyone who entered – judging hasn’t been easy, but it has been a treat.

Featured Market: 101 Words Reply

This week’s featured market is 101 Words, where one of our judges for the Short Fiction Prize, Keely O’Shaughnessy, works as an editor. The featured stories are of a consistently excellent standard, and it’s fascinating to see how the writers can manage to evoke scenes, characters and conflicts in so few words.

The site – as you probably guessed – seeks flash fiction pieces of 101 words exactly. Not 100, or 102. 101. Got it? Apparently a lot of people get that bit wrong! You can submit one story a week. Their full guidelines can be found here.

101 Words are currently running a flash fiction competition – deadline 23rd March 2016. Your story could be published with them, or, if you make the editor’s choice, you could win a big box of books!

The site also offers a mentor service. Packages vary, from 7, 14, to 30 days and offer one-to-one feedback on your writing, as well as providing photo prompts to ‘tickle your brain’. More info here.

Don’t hesitate to get your writing submitted to these guys. They even offer feedback on submissions for free – which is a rare find.

Featured Market: Influx Press Reply

This week we’re looking at a great opportunity for those of you that have finished a novel, but not yet found a publisher. Influx Press is an independent press publishing stories from the margins of culture, specific geographical spaces and sites of resistance that remain underexplored in mainstream literature.

Influx Press

So here’s how Influx detail their latest opportunity:

In 2017 Influx Press would like to publish two novels. We wish to receive completed manuscripts or proposals. We welcome work from emerging writers and established authors alike.

We want work that investigates and interrogates culture and life under-represented in mainstream literary output – like all of our previous, non-novel publications.

We want exciting, original stories of characters and places that make us see things in a new light, see things from a different perspective, encourage us to think in other ways.

If you would like to send a proposal please email Kit on kit@influxpress.com. You must already have some work published so we can assess your writing as well as your ideas.

If you would like to send a manuscript submission please send a synopsis and the first 30 pages of your book to submissions@influxpress.com, marked ‘Novel Submission’.

We welcome submissions through agents and writers without agents.

 

The submission deadline is 1st March 2016, so you have little over a week to get those manuscripts polished and sent in to these guys. We wish you the best of luck – now get submitting!