Sunday, February 1, 2015

short story collection: forest avenue press

Submissions just opened for a short story collection I'll be editing for Forest Avenue Press. I'm so excited to dip in and see what stories come to us. Here's the description of the project from FAP's website:

Forest Avenue Press is open for its next short story project from February 1 to April 15, 2015. The collection, edited by Gigi Little and slated for a 2016 release, will celebrate Portland’s weird and wonderful spirit with tales of the fantastical.

The many-tentacled beast that lives under Burnside Bridge. The break in the space-time continuum hidden in the back corner of the Vacuum Cleaner Museum. Spacemen and sasquatches, mad scientists and devils. We’re looking for short stories that take the tropes and turn them on their ear. Smart stories that honor the fiendish whimsy of old pulp magazines like Weird Tales and Amazing Stories—but also surprise with their depth and complexity. All pieces must take place in Portland, Oregon, or be connected to the city in a meaningful way.

I grew up loving The Twilight Zone and lovely, campy old movies like The Village of the Damned. I loved the kooky melodrama of pulp magazines like Weird Tales and Amazing Stories. Not to mention the covers. Just look at these!

Clutching hands of death!

As I'm reading submissions I'll be looking for a grand mix - stories can be campy, serious, funny, dark. They can surprise me and break my heart. But I want all the stories to be weird and to be Portland and to hearken back to these wonderful pulp tales of the fantastical.

You don't have to be from Portland or live in Portland to submit. But you'll want to be able to really evoke the city I love in your story, and that means more than just mentioning the White Stag sign or Powell's City of Books. And don't be afraid to pick one specific locale. I'll be hoping to represent lots of different parts of the city in this collection.

I love good storytelling, but I also love language. I am not of the school of thought that the writing should hide in the background and let the storytelling do all the work. I love to be dazzled by a wonderful and particular voice. I love a voice that doesn't sound too written. I love burnt language. Also, don't think that because the collection will be paying homage to magazines like Weird Tales, you have to emulate the language and times of those stories.

And, of course, every editor has pet peeves. I thought it would be helpful if I listed a few of mine.

I don't like writing that's full of adverbs.

I don't like it when every attribution comes with a different synonym for said. I particularly don't like retorted, exclaimed, proclaimed, asserted, declared. What I do like? Said.

I don't like this sentence structure: she said, getting up from the chair. He yelled, shaking his fist. It's an example of the type of style that feels too written to me, sounds cliche to my ear. I know this type of sentence structure is in most of the writing out there, but it's one of the things that bugs me.

I don't like the vulgar names for body parts.

What else bugs me? If I think of more, I'll add them here.

I'll be reading blind, so I can't chat or email with anyone about their piece, but if you are interested in submitting and have questions, feel free to check in with publisher Laura Stanfill at:

Send us something! The submittable page is here!

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