May 18, 2020

EC Submission Window Opening in Two Weeks

I’m dispensing with the angel card readings this week to put up a post or two on submitting to EC, plus a post on how to support the site. But the card readings will be back next week, because they seem to be popular with readers. (Although this is not really a card reading site, so …) I do not want any focus taken off of the primary reason for EC this week. 

Anyway, in this post, I offer some tips and reminders about submitting. Later in the week, I’ll have a post on supporting the site.

To begin, please read the submission rules. They are HERE. In no way is this post a substitution for reading the submission rules. 

But here are some additional tips to help with submissions:

First, the window to submit for the month of July opens on June 1 at 12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. It closes at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, June 3. That’s it!

Then the window for submissions for August opens July 1 at 12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. It closes at 11:59 p.m, Eastern Standard Time, July 3. The same kind of thing will happen each month through December for this year’s content.

Next, about the themes for this year: Angels or fairies is the theme for fiction. You can write on any aspect of fairy tales and folklore for nonfiction. Let me be clear that I consider fiction and nonfiction as equally important. The nonfiction is paid less because the length requirements are shorter, and because I expect the competition to be much lighter for the two nonfiction spots each month. The writer whose work is chosen for fiction will face high competition.

On to editing: Please do it. When I find three editing errors in the first two paragraphs, I stop reading. If writers can’t or won’t edit their submissions, why should I? Having said that, an error or two here or there in 1500 otherwise terrific words will not stop me from picking and paying for a story or essay.

Still on editing: Do you have a friend or fellow writer who will look for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes? You could offer to do the same in return. Also, do you read your work out loud to yourself to hear errors in logic, continuity, word choice and overall content? If not, do it. If it feels like it’s “too weird” to read it out loud to yourself, then I say with respect that maybe you aren’t ready for submitting. Writers who are ready to get published don’t worry about stuff like that. They do what it takes.

About writing groups: They’re great! But be careful about being too dependent on them. Your work should have your voice and yours alone. Also, I strongly caution against showing your group a story or nonfiction piece that has already been submitted. It’s a huge turnoff to get a followup email with a new story because “my writing group thought it was better this way.” Nope. (It happens a lot! Really.)

Are you stuck for story ideas? Here are a few that can be used any time this year: 

A retelling of any fairy tale, but instead of having a character like a fairy or a witch or a gnome, make the “magical” character an angel, good or bad.

You can keep the fairy character, but develop an origin story for them.

Have an angel and human romance fairy tale.

Feel free to make up your own fairy tale completely, and do not think that tales must be set in the West. I do caution writers on writing about cultures they are not a part of or have no experience with. Cultural appropriation is a real problem, and I’d rather see, for example, an indigenous writer submitting a story with an indigenous theme rather than a writer who is part of a dominant culture doing so. The same is true for nonfiction.

An angel or fairy does not need to be a dominant character in your story. But I do need to clearly recognize that one is in it.

As for nonfiction, some ideas as well:

A first-person memory of your first encounter with fairy tales and why it was so powerful.

A discussion of why your favorite fairy tale is your favorite.

An interview with a current popular fairy tale author. A Q&A of about six questions is great. Provide links, but not too many. Maybe three to four. In fact, nonfiction should always have a few links. Don’t just throw a bunch in and leave it to me to decide. You pick the three to four you think matter.

You can do the same for a current popular fairy tale/folklore illustrator, but please, no more than three images with any kind of story. You pick the images. 

An examination of current trends in fairy tales and why.

Well that’s it for today. Hope this helped!

Image by Mihaly von Vichy.