This is what they're looking for: (click here for the full call for submission at Pill Hill Press).
Fem-Fangs is an anthology of short stories, allowing readers to delve into the alluring lore of the female vampire...While the traditional aspects of vampirism are interesting and fun, try to make your character(s) and/or setting (can be past, present or future) unique. Try and make a new twist to the classic vampire tale.
So I started writing my next short story. And I'm having a lot of fun with it. But (yes, there's a but), while I'm working on this, my main WIP, my novel, sits exactly as it has been for the last couple of weeks...stuck in the middle of chapter three. So I have to wonder: should I work on this short story, or should I force myself to work on the novel?
Pros for writing the short story:
- Any writing helps improve my writing. Short story writing in particular is good for helping me learn to write more concisely, using fewer words with more impact.
- Finishing a piece is huge. It takes a long time (at least for most of us) to write a novel. It takes a little less time to write a short story (at least for most of us). Sometimes the satisfaction of finishing a piece is enough to re-energize me to get back to the bigger project.
- Getting some short stories published could help build the resume, so to speak. Until "Runaway" was accepted (and will shortly be published) I had no publishing credits to my name. Nada. Zilch. At least now when I'm pitching my novel I can actually mention some "previously published works."
Cons against writing the short story:
- In a lot of ways it's just one more distraction. The time I'm working on this piece is time I could be spending on the novel.
- This particular submission, if accepted, is not a paid publication. It's a "for the glory" publication. In some ways it's like a contest--the editor's top three picks will be paid, the rest will not. There are some that believe that any published work should be worth some kind of money, and that submitting your work, and getting it published without even minimal compensation is a waste of time and talent.
- Just because I finish the short story, doesn't mean that it will actually be accepted for publication. So it could be a doubly bad waste of time.
Just for fun, here's some of what I have so far. It's a little rough (I haven't really proofed it much yet). I'd like to know what you think...should I keep going? Is there potential there? Any criticism would be welcome (be brutal, I can take it!).
Also, I've heard several people mention that they have several works currently in progress. What are you working on? Do you do one thing at a time, or do you have different things at different stages of completion all vying for your time?
Untitled Female Vampire Story
She was the worst vampire ever. She’d known it from the start, of course, but that didn’t make the realization any more comforting.
She’d been perfectly normal—read: boring—before the bite that changed her life. And that bite, by the way, did not come from some uber-sexy vamp from one of the paranormal romances she loved so much. No, the bite came from…wait for it…a mosquito. Yep, that’s right, a mosquito.
As if the stupid blood suckers weren’t bad enough, what with the malaria and West Nile diseases and those itchy bumps and all, it turns out they could transmit vampirism. Who knew?
She had hoped that that her new undead life would somehow make things better, or at the very least more exciting, but no, she was still just plain old Jamie O’Rourk, 32 year old customer service rep (now on the night shift) with no life. The only thing (besides her work schedule) that did change was her cat. She’d had to get rid of Felix when he’d gone from an aloof furry friend, to a possible midnight snack.
Jamie contemplated her new unlife-style from the inside of her coffin. It was the economy model, practically made of plywood and without cushions of any kind, and was hardly conducive to sleep. Her future looked decidedly bleak. Here it was, six hours and twenty-three minutes until sun-down, and instead of being dead to the world, she had insomnia. Knowing the exact timing of dusk and dawn was kind of neat, but other than that, she hadn’t found too many benefits to her unlife. It was worth repeating, she thought as she shifted in her dark enclosure, as a vampire, she was abysmal.
Take her present location, for example. Locked in a box in the cargo area of an ocean liner, on her way to a top-secret vampire training facility. She’d gotten the invitation three days ago. It turns out that uninitiated vampires, those that were not selected and groomed for their new role in advance of the change, were required to undergo a three-week crash course in all things vampiric. The invitation had included, among other things, detailed instructions for booking passage on the U. S. S. Vladimir, a packing list (coffin, SPF1000 sun block, number two pencils, etc.), a course syllabus and an emergency directory for local blood banks. Her first class was “Biting with Care: Guidelines for the Responsible Diner.” It made her cringe to think about it.