Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'anthologies'

Bubble and Squeek for 29 Jun 2022

As the world continues to spin and time slips away, life happens. I'm back to writing as well as editing while trying to ignore social media. In the meantime, here's what's crossed my desk.

Awards: BattleTech: Crimson Night, Rogue Academy Three, has been nominated for a Scribe award! It's always an honor to be nominated, but just look at that lineup. I'm in such good company.

Interview: I was interviewed on the Douglas Coleman show. This was a fun one. Listen to it on Youtube or in Podcast form.

Open Call: Announcing the 99 Fleeting Fantasies anthology open call. All genres of flash fiction fantasy. One month open call from July 15-Aug 15. (Also, might I  direct your attention to: Round One of Slush Reading from the 99 Tiny Terrors call. Or The Reinvented Detective Slushpile Tweets round up for insider tips and hints on making it through a slushpile.)  

Publication: For the HWA Of Horror and Hope anthology: Words to Fill the Well. I wrote this one because I was in a terrible mood and needed to write it out. It did me so much good.

Released: New thing I edited now for sale from Priebe Press... 2d6 Superfast One Shot character sheets and game mechanics! It's a fun, quick system to use.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Leeloo in my suitcase, trying to make sure I don't leave without her.

 

Bubble and Squeek for 6 June 2022

There is much that goes on in a writer's life. Here's some of things I've been working on in the background.

Open Call: Announcing the 99 Fleeting Fantasies anthology open call. All genres of flash fiction fantasy. One month open call from July 15-Aug 15. (And might I also direct your attention to: Round One of Slush Reading from the 99 Tiny Terrors call. Or The Reinvented Detective Slushpile Tweets round up.)  

Interview: The ever-talented Cat Rambo interviewed me for Horror Tree and I got to tell one of my most favorite stories about frightening an entire room of convention goers.

Interview: My Favorite Bit about The Reinvented Heart anthology. Sometimes, the best part of the project is the people we work with.

Interview: Bookish Brews asked me and Cat Rambo what we love about The Reinvented Heart anthology. There is so much to love in this anthology.

Interview: From Nerds of a Feather… Six Books with Jennifer Brozek. Six is not enough. Some many books have touched my life.  

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Three kitties who did not want to get off my lap.

Bubble & Squeek for 5 May 2022

Time is always getting away from me these days, but not because I'm doing nothing. This Bubble & Squeek is mostly interviews with me (and with Cat Rambo) that have happened over the last month or so. Enjoy!

• Article: The Reinvented Heart anthology was listed in 52 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books for Your May Reading List on Gizmodo.

• Interview: With Scifi Pulse magazine. Jennifer Brozek discusses writing styles and creating engaging characters.

• Interview: Horror Tree Presents… An Interview with Cat Rambo and Jennifer Brozek.

• Interview: 2 Part interview with Signals From the Edge. The Reinvented Anthologies: Conversation with Cat Rambo & Jennifer Brozek, parts one and two.

• Interview: Author interview with Prachesta Magazine.

• Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Bubble & Squeek for 30 Mar 2022

This Bubble & Squeek is brought to you by many many release, re-releases, and reviews! Plus, bonus pictures.

Print Release: Here's the public print release of  THE LAST CITIES OF EARTH anthology by me and Jeff Sturgeon.


Review: Literary HubMarch's Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books: THE REINVENTED HEART anthology by me and Cat Rambo. It's always a joy to be on a "Best" list.

Review: nerds of a feather… Here's a good review of THE REINVENTED HEART anthology. Didn't tick all their boxes but did tick a lot.

Re-release: Speaking Volumes has re-released my Bram Stoker Finalist YA novel...THE LAST DAYS OF SALTON ACADEMY. Come read how I murdered all my friends in a zombie apocalypse. Also, that cover!


Re-release: Speaking Volumes has re-released my short story collection…APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING. This is my first short story collection. And again, that cover!


Publication: After 5 months of wrangling with Amazon, 99 TINY TERRORS, is published there, too. (The physical version will show up eventually.) Here's the universal link.


Publication: My latest Shadowrun novel: ELFIN BLACK is in the wild! How do the powerful deal with being powerless? Badly. Then with malice and forethought. I'm so pleased with this novel.


Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

The Reinvented Heart eBook is Live

Life is exciting. Time is a construct. Schedules get changed. Things get forgotten. This post is about all of those. Due to life being as it is, we have the wonderful opportunity to have two release celebrations for the same anthology! THE REINVENTED HEART anthology had its ebook version released on time yesterday (Mar 10, 2022) and, due to supply chain issues, its print book version will be released on May 31st .

The Reinvented Heart is released in eBook form now.
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Reinvented-Heart-Jane-Yolen-ebook/dp/B092JNGX85

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-reinvented-heart-jane-yolen/1139229735?ean=2940165273438

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-reinvented-heart

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1562923075

The print copy will be released on May 31st. It can be pre-ordered now.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-reinvented-heart-caezik/1139312391?ean=9781647100421

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=9781647100421&ref=nb_sb_noss

What happens when emotions like love and friendship span vast distances — in space, in time, and in the heart?

Science fiction often focuses on future technology and science without considering the ways social structures will change as tech changes — or not. What will relationships look like in a complicated future of clones, uploaded intelligences, artificial brains, or body augmentation? What stories emerge when we acknowledge possibilities of new genders and ways of thinking about them?

The Reinvented Heart presents stories that complicate sex and gender by showing how shifting technology may affect social attitudes and practices, stories that include relationships with communities and social groups, stories that reinvent traditional romance tropes and recast them for the 21st century, and above all, stories that experiment, astonish, and entertain.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Cat Rambo
HEARTS
Poem: They: A Grammar Lesson by Jane Yolen
Retrospect by Seanan McGuire
Lockpick, Locked Heart by AnaMaria Curtis
Touch Has a Memory by Lisa Morton
Ping-Pong Dysphoria by Madeline Pine
In Our Masks, the Shadows by Sam Fleming
Ships of Theseus by Felicity Drake
With All Souls Still Aboard by Premee Mohamed
More than Nine by Beth Cato
HANDS
Poem: There Is a Hand by Jane Yolen
The Shape of the Particle by Naomi Kritzer
No Want to Spend by Sophie Giroir
Little Deaths and Missed Connections by Maria Dong
Sincerely Yours by Lyda Morehouse
Photosynthesis, Growth by Devin Miller
No Pain but That of Memory by Aimee Ogden
Go Where the Heart Takes You by Anita Ensal
MINDS
Poem: Mars Conquest by Jane Yolen
The Star-Crossed Horoscope for Interstellar Travelers by Fran Wilde
Canvas of Sins by Mercedes M. Yardley
If My Body Is a Temple, Raze It to the Ground by Lauren Ring
PerfectMate™ by Xander Odell
Etruscan Afterlife by Rosemary Claire Smith
Our Savage Heart Calls to Itself (Across the Endless Tides) by Justina Robson
Afterword by Jennifer Brozek

I am super proud of this anthology. I've enjoyed the heck out of working with Cat Rambo and am happy to being working with her again on THE REINVENTED DETECTIVE.

The Reinvented Detective Slushpile Tweets

Early in my writing career (and even now), I was fascinated by editors who talked about slushpiles as they went through them. I learned a lot—both good and bad—about the submission process. The Reinvented Detective will be the 22nd anthology I’ve edited or co-edited. (Though, I don’t think it’ll be the 22nd anthology released. The publishing industry is complicated.) I figured that if I got something out of that kind of information, I should past it on and share some of my thoughts as I read 20-40 subs a day. I tweeted these out on my Twitter account: @JenniferBrozek.

Note1: These “Editor Tips” are not picking on anyone in the slushpile. Some submissions reminded me of issues as I went through. If you submitted a story, do NOT assume a tip is about you. Please. I’ve read a lot of slush (Apex Magazine, Edge of Propinquity, 22 anthologies…) and my thoughts are linked to all of them.

Note2: These are my opinions. I’m made them as generic as I could with an effort to not name names. These are based on experience and my likes/dislikes. “No shit, there I was stories” need to be in person with a libation in hand.

1. From the Slushpile: While you won't be rejected for a typo in your second sentence, it doesn't look good on you as a writer. Spellcheck is not your friend. It is a double agent who will let you write "barley" when you mean "barely." Do not trust it!

2. From the Slushpile: If the story is so generic that I can't tell what genre it is supposed to be, the writer has not done their job. Body language and descriptive word choice is worldbuilding. Details matter—even more so in short fiction.

3. From the Slushpile: If you use track changes in your document, please remember to accept all changes before you turn in your story. I really don't need to see your edits. This happens way too often.

4. From the Slushpile: If the guidelines say original fiction only and/or no reprints, that means NO REPRINTS. If the story has been sold/printed/posted anywhere, it does not qualify per the guidelines. If the writer still submits the story, it does nothing but wastes the editor’s time.

5. From the Slushpile: When the guidelines ask for a specific type of story, especially genre (IE: SF), a writer’s story, no matter how good it is, will not qualify if it is the wrong genre (IE: Fantasy). It is a waste of time on both sides to submit it.

6. From the Slushpile: Don’t begin a short story with historical backstory or an infodump. Begin your story in a way that catches the attention, necessary details can be sprinkled in later like spice. Trust the reader to keep up.

7. From the Slushpile: While every anthology may have its theme, many of the choices are subjective and based on the Editor’s likes and dislikes. Sometimes it is good to know what kinds of stories the editor loves or hates. (IE: I love “hidden world” stories. I hate “hurt the woman/child to turn on their power” stories.)

8. From the Slushpile: Beginnings are extremely important. Hooking the reader with emotion, a provocative thought, or interesting action allows the writer to pull the reader along as the story unfolds. Start with what is important.

9. From the Slushpile: Endings are as important as beginnings. Learn when and how to end a story without cutting it off too quickly or stringing it out too long. This is the last impression the story will leave on the reader.

10. From the Slushpile: I don’t care how avantgarde the writer wishes to be, writing a story with little (or no) punctuation is going to be a HARD sell. It is difficult to read and even more difficult to edit.

11. From the Slushpile: Stereotypes and cliches are not usually a good look in a story. They are often too familiar, trite, and boring. If the writer is going to use one, make it different and interesting.

12. From the Slushpile: Cover letters should be simple and to the point without extraneous information. Also, don’t say “aspiring author” in a cover letter. The writer is an author by the mere fact that they have submitted their work. Doesn't matter if they are unpublished.

13. From the Slushpile: A short story title is a promise from the writer to the reader. Don’t make the short story title too generic. Make the promise and give the reader something to look forward to.

14. From the Slushpile: Sometimes a brilliant first line/first paragraph is all that’s needed to keep me reading through the parts that need to be edited. Though, a brilliant first line won’t save a story that isn’t right for the anthology.

15. From the Slushpile: Flashbacks in a short story are hard to do well. More often than not they are infodumps or backstory that could be told in better ways. Consider that for future stories.

16. From the Slushpile: Using specific, named media/personalities (TV shows, movies, songs, actors, politicians, CEOs, etc…) or modern day slang in a short story can date them quickly. Try to avoid this unless this is part of the anthology call.

17. From the Slushpile: Humor and sarcasm are subjective. Understand the reader is not in the writer’s head and may not understand what was meant. Deploy with care.

18. From the Slushpile: Seriously, learn how to write a simple, effective cover letter. All the writer actually needs: Writer’s name, the story’s title, word count, (optional: anything else specifically asked for,) thank the editor for their time. The end.

19a. From the Slushpile: Now that I’m done reading slush for The Reinvented Detective, here is a controversial topic: reading stories from writers the editor has met. There is a certain joy or pain that comes from name recognition in the slush pile. This emotion can bias the editor towards or against the writer.

19b. Often, if the editor knows the writer in a favorable context, it will make them more patient with the story they are reading. More willing to consider edits. This includes reading stories from writers who have been in classes, workshops, and/or kaffeeklatsches with the editor. Or bought them a drink/meal and picked their brain.

19c. The converse is true. Editors can be more impatient with stories or less willing to entertain edits if the writer is known in an unfavorable context. Especially if the writer is a known “repeat offender” (virtually or in person) for whatever reason.

19d. That said, if a story does not stand up against its peers in an anthology, it doesn’t matter how much the editor likes the writer, the story must be rejected as it is unsuited to the work in progress. I speak as someone who has rejected Ed Greenwood and Seanan McGuire. (Ya'll know I adore both Ed and Seanan. Ed was one of my first co-authors and taught me a lot. Seanan...one of my best friends.)  

19e. Editors want to publish you, /if/ the story is good and suits what they need. Editors love finding new talent or that story that wins the awards. Editors are human with likes, dislikes, and inherent biases. I try to be as fair and professional and transparent as possible.

19f. I hope this peek into my editorial thoughts has been helpful. Don’t forget that you can pre-order/buy The Reinvented Heart anthology, edited by me and the ever-talented Cat Rambo, now. (https://www.arcmanorbooks.com/reinvented) The Reinvented Detective will be released in 2023.


 
Here’s a cat picture (a blast from the past) to sooth author anxiety.

Planning for 2022

In a previous post, I said that I’m going to slow down in 2022. I really need to. I ended up taking an unintentional vacation over Christmas week. The words just would not come and I didn’t have the motivation to force them. The last couple years have taken their toll emotionally, physically, and mentally. I’m feeling better now and getting back on the wagon, so to speak.

Here’s what I have planned for 2022, broken up by type of work. Some dates are subject to change due to the vagaries of the publishing industry.

Writing Projects:

  • FiveFold Universe project (Jan, actually quite excited about this project)
  • 3 contracted short stories (2 in Feb, 1 in ?)
  • Shadowrun YA novella #3: Unrepairable (3rd quarter 2022)
  • Shadowrun YA novella #4: The Kilimanjaro Run (Bonus points if I do it at all in 2022)


Editing (This is where I’m going to be resting):

  • Shadowrun: Elfin Black (final polish/proof, Jan/Feb?)
  • The Reinvented Detective anthology (Jan-Jun)
  • Freelance editing (recurring gig, Mar-Aug?)


PR (Social media bits):


Conventions/Events (*Planned for, not yet official):

  • Rainforest Writing Retreat (Feb)
  • Norwescon (Apr)
  • Origins Game Fair* (Jun)
  • Gen Con (Aug)

From one point of view, this is still a lot and it doesn’t cover any pop-up requests or the classes I will teach. What is important is that after January, I have no long fiction writing projects planned until the third quarter of the year. The recurring freelance editing gig actually is rest. I’m working, yes, and it is detailed work, but it isn’t hard.

I need these months to not be under contract. I need to rest and refresh the creative well. I need to let my mind wander and gambol and drift. I’ve been telling all my mentees for years to remember to rest. Mentor, listen to thyself. Besides, there’s an unwritten story I’ve been flirting with for years that has become more insistent and I want to think about it. It might be fun to just play for a while.

Of course, if my fabulous agent sells one of my books currently in circulation…all bets are off.

Bubble and Squeek for 22 Dec 2021

The last Bubble & Squeek for 2021 on the first day of winter!

•    Open Call: The Reinvented Detective anthology, edited by me and Cat Rambo. Closes on Jan 15. SF crime and mystery stories set in the future.

•    Podcast: I voice one of the characters. The Paperflower Consortium: The Value of Patience. A great little podcast with 20+ episodes. By Elizabeth Guizzetti.

•    Published: 99 Tiny Terrors anthology, me as editor. Flash fiction horror from all over the world.

•    Published: Me as author: “Seven Steps to Immortality” in Daily Science Fiction! This is one of my favorite little stories in one of my bucket list venues. I’m so pleased with this.

•    Review of Me: Publisher’s Weekly Review of Last Cities of Earth anthology edited by me and Jeff Sturgeon. They liked it!

•    Writers: Right. So I'm going to take Sandra Wickham's Word Warriors 14 Day Quest in January. Want to join me?

•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

2021 Eligibility Post

Despite the fact that 2021 was another emotional kick in the shins for me, I did produce a number of works I believe are worthy of notice.

 Short Fiction
Seven Steps to Immortality” – Daily Science Fiction
Science fiction/Fantasy
(I am particularly pleased with this one.)

 “Unsavory” – Boundaries: All-New Tales of Valdemar anthology, DAW
Fantasy, Tie-in

Novella
Shadowrun: See How She Runs, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, SF, Tie-in

Novel
BattleTech: Crimson Night, Rogue Academy 3, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, Military SF, Tie-in

 Anthology (edited)
99 Tiny Terrors, Pulse Publishing
Flash fiction horror anthology

Audiobook
BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, Military SF, Tie-in

If you are on the jury for anything you believe these works qualify for, contact me and I will send you an electronic version of the work.

Two October Events

First, I have a class with Cat Rambo’s Academy for Wayward Writers on Sunday, 24 October 2021 -  Class: Self-Editing: From First Splat to Professional Finish. Slots and scholarships still available. Also, if you don’t need the scholarship, still tell Cat that you heard about the class from my newsletter and you will get $20 off!

http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/class-self-editing-from-first-splat-to-professional-finish/ 


Second, I have a brand new Kickstarter that just started. It’s a short one. From today until 31 October 2021 for my 99 Tiny Terrors anthology. I’m super proud of this anthology. I hope you support me in this endeavor.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1133704229/99-tiny-terrors-an-anthology

 

There’s nothing better than a short, sharp slice of flash fiction to get the mind working. 99 Tiny Terrors is an anthology that the reader can dip into for something deliciously dangerous in a short amount of time or spend an afternoon trolling through blood soaked stories from all over the world including Canada, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United States, and Wales.

Featuring stories from the devious minds of Seanan McGuire, Ruthanna Emrys, Meg Elison, Wendy N. Wagner, Scott Edelman, Cat Rambo, Tim Waggoner, and more. 

“99 TINY TERRORS is an absolutely wild ride through some truly weird territory. Fast, freaky, furious, and fun! Highly recommended!” --Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of INK and V-WARS