Writing Wednesday – Source Material

It’s been a solid and mostly good week this week. I’ve had mostly good news and a few happy surprises, most centrally an invitation to come chat with a high school GSA. I’m going to pepper them with (I hope) valuable questions and get feedback on what it’s like to be a queer teen these days (especially since the situation is so different from when I was a queer teen). This will, I hope, allow me to add veracity to my YA.

When living, breathing folks are involved, it’s important to get your voice right. Hopefully, these young adults can be source material in tone or content.

Honestly? I’m just stoked they agreed to chat with me.

The “mostly” in the good category up there was offset by bumping into a couple of repeats this week of bi-erasing “gay-for-you” stories, and yet another “surely all queer teens who were kicked out want to rejoin their families!” discussion (and, again: no).

Man I wish people would listen to the source.

Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks


Work goes apace, and like I said I’m over-the-moon about my upcoming chat with some of the students of a local high school. I have so many questions.

Actually, what about you? What was the thing that drove you the most nuts where you were sixteen? (I mean, beyond being queer if you are queer and that was a source of worry or frustration or terror.)

Of Echoes Born


Typa, typa, typa.

The current plan is now this: The collection starts with an Ian Simon story, then four other tales, then a second Ian Simon story, then four other tales, then wraps with a final Ian Simon story. The first dates back to Ian in high school, the second when he has hit a rough patch in his mid-twenties, and the last as he is today, in his mid-thirties, thinking he’s got things on the level finally (and maybe being wrong about that).

From a theme point of view, the progression works with the other stories, and though other tales tie in to the Ian stories here and there or each other, everything will stand alone (including those three Ian stories, if I manage to pull it off right). Ian makes a cameo in “Heart,” so he’ll technically be in four tales, and Bao will have a story of his own as well.

Anyway. Progress is progress.

Open Calls for Submission

Every Wednesday I try to include my list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better.

March has not been my proudest submission month. January was: 6 submissions (4 reprints, 2 new), 1 acceptance; in February was bare minimum: 1 submission (1 new). March has given me 1 rejection, and 1 submission (new). I’m still not quite done another (new). I will get it in under the wire, I swear.

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
  • Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
  • Totally Entwined – Many calls, various dates and lengths.
  • Wet Summer Nights – White collar/blue collar, cross-town, wrong side of the tracks lovers theme; Mischief Corner Books; 10k-18k word count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • Utter Fabrication – Haunted House or other architecturally-themed building; 1st person; 500-8k world count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • A Fool For You – Tales of Tricksters; Less than Three Press; 10k-20k word count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • Renewal – QSF’s annual flash fiction contest, queer content, “renewal” theme, as 300 word count; deadline April 10th, 2017.
  • Chelsea Station – Nonpaying, but a great magazine; deadline May 1st 2017.
  • Alice Unbound – Think Alice in Wonderland, only speculative and may embrace fabulist, weird, myth, SF, fantasy, steampunk, horror, etc. Exile Editions; Submission window: February 1st – May 31st, 2017; 2k – 5k word count limit; Canadians and ex-pat Canadians only.
  • Myths, Moons, and Mayhem – M/M/M ménage; Deadline June 1st, 2017; 4k – 6k word count limit.
  • The Witching Hour – Mythical creature visitation theme; deadline July 30th, 2017; 10k to 40k word count limit.


4 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday – Source Material

  1. When I was sixteen, what drove me the most nuts was that none of my friends shared what I was really interested in. No one did. Not even my family. That’s why I lost myself in books. No internet then, so I felt really apart. Maybe it was good for me. Made me a bit more independent.


    • I moved so much that even when I did find compatriots as strange as I was (D&D geek, anyone?), it was doomed not to last. So I got very good at meeting new people and having breezy, light relationships without depth. It took a long while to realize once I was in control of my own life that I could actually build something more, and reveal more about who I actually was, rather than a persona.


  2. When I was sixteen i was terrified to think I’d become stuck in that part of the “Wonder Bread” society (the suburbs) that made it feel unsafe to be anything other than straight and white. I was a goth-punk kid and that alone was enough to cause one to be singled out for attacks, let alone coming out (or being pulled out) of the closet against my will.


    • That was one advantage to moving so often for me — I could try new places. Against my will, mind you, but at least I got to see that how other people reacted to me had much more to do with them than with me.


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