2014 Convention Schedule

Here are the conventions at which I’m planning to appear in 2014:

Steampunk Empire Symposium: April 25 – 27, Cincinnati

Mo*Con 9: May 2 – 4, Indianapolis

MARCon - May 9 – 11, Columbus

DetCon 1: July 17 – 20, Detroit

GenCon: August 14 –  17, Indianapolis

ConText 27: September 26 – 28, Columbus

TeslaCon5: November 7 – 9, Madison**

**This is very tentative. If I manage to get a teaching job it may be out of the question.

You may note that the Origins Game Fair Author Library is not listed on my convention schedule for this year. I have not received any communication about this convention from the organizers. If you’re an author-friend who is going to be in town for Origins, however, I’d love to get together! Drop me a line so we can schedule a lunch/dinner/play date. I can bring Munchkin! ^___^

February Deadlines

Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales  - March 1

Penumbra: Superheroes – March 1

Aercastle Narratives: Issue 2 – May 1

Thresholds - TBD

Fantasy Scroll Mag – ongoing

Interzone - ongoing

Black Static – ongoing

The Fog Horn – ongoing

Aghast - ongoing

These deadlines are, as always, Submitter Beware, because I can’t vouch for any of these publishers. This is basically just a place for me to deposit short story deadlines to which I would like to submit work, so all the markets are paying (usually at least $.01 a word, although I’m getting a lot pickier about pay rates lately) and accept electronic submissions. They’re all genre markets of some kind (horror, science fiction, steampunk, fantasy).

Please be sure to check Horror TreeRalan and Dark Markets for more publications looking for submissions.  This list is by no means exhaustive. Oh, and don’t forget to check posts from previous months (they’re all categorized under Upcoming Deadlines) for publications that are still open.

If you’re an editor or publisher and you’d like me to feature your deadline here, you can email me at sarah.hans at gmail dot com with the details.

Happy Submitting!

Campaigns Worth Supporting

Now that Steampunk World has funded, it’s time to find other worthwhile projects to back! I’d like to suggest the following (which I’ve separated into convenient categories for you, because I couldn’t resist):

Charity Projects:

The SteamAble Wheelchair Project: providing a steampunk wheelchair for a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy. This project’s success means enough to me that I convinced the publisher of Steampunk World to donate some copies of the book as backer rewards. They’ve been snatched up, but the project is still worth backing.

Fundraiser to help Jay Lake afford travel to NIH for medical trials that may save his life. Jay is an all-around fabulous guy and the first person to agree to submit a story for Steampunk World. This campaign has already funded, but that doesn’t mean your pledge won’t help!

Blasphemous Coloring Projects:

Never Pray Again: an irreverent coloring book produced by my favorite pastor and two of his friends. That’s right, I’m a Buddhist, and I have a favorite pastor. Check out the project and you’ll understand why.

Books and Magazines:

Icarus: A graphic novel by Gregory Wilson and Matt Slay. Greg is a really lovely person and talented author whom I always look forward to seeing at GenCon and Origins Game Fair. Matt produced the incredible illustrations for Time Traveled Tales.

Streets of Shadows: An anthology of paranormal noir stories edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon. The lineup of authors for this is, so far, pretty fabulous, and if it funds there will be an open call for stories.

Dark Trails: An anthology of weird western stories, edited by Michael Knost and featuring a story by Lucy A. Snyder. Michael Knost is one of the kindest, friendliest, most supportive authors I’ve ever met. Lucy, who is an incredible writer and even better friend, has a story in Steampunk World.

Women Destroy Science Fiction: A special issue of Lightspeed dedicated just to women writers. And now also special editions of Nightmare Magazine and Fantasy Magazine!

Hopefully you’ll find something worth backing on this list. Back on, my friends!

A Look Back At 2013

2013 was a big year for me with a lot of successes. I’m going to make a bulleted list of them, because I love bulleted lists:

  • In March, I saw the publication of my first anthology, Sidekicks!
  • Three new stories appeared in print, and one was rereleased 
  • I sold quite a few other stories and an essay which should appear in 2014
  • I quit the job I had grown to despise in order to move on to better things, like teaching and writing
  • I was a panelist at the GenCon Writer’s Symposium for the first time
  • In December, we launched the Kickstarter for Steampunk World, which was funded in a matter of days
  • Thanks to said Kickstarter, my dream project appeared on Boing Boing and io9, and my squees were heard round the world
  • I managed to maintain my above-4.0 GPA despite being overwhelmed much of the time
  • I started the paleo diet in the hopes of improving my health
  • I wrote about half a novel that I’m hoping to finish as soon as the editing for Steampunk World is complete
  • I made a small profit on writing and editing this year for the first time!

Some not-so-great things happened too, like dropping out of Dragon*Con even after wheedling my way onto panels because it was giving me stress-induced vertigo attacks. I also upset a writing colleague whom I considered a friend because, let’s face it, my combination of GAD and OCD sometimes mean that I’m not great at letting things go and tend to over-explain myself, especially via email. My brain believes that if I just say the right words, the person I’ve offended will see that I never intended to offend them at all! Stupid brain. This is not how human interaction works. My one comfort is that, even though I’m over 30 now, I’m still learning a lot as I go, so hopefully this is a mistake I won’t make again. I may not be able to repair this friendship, but at least I can learn from this experience and prevent myself from bungling things in the future. The experience with Dragon*Con taught me, similarly, that I have certain limits, and I need to be better at listening to my body so I’ll know when I’m pushing those limits too far.

Despite these few setbacks, I think I have to put 2013 down in the WIN column, overall. The beginning of the year was rocky, but the end of the year, with quitting my job and seeing the Kickstarter achieve ~200% funding, was spectacular. And I learned a lot about myself, my limitations, my talents, and exactly what I’m capable of given the right resources. Perhaps most importantly, I kept writing, and my writing got better. In three years my stories have improved drastically. Hopefully soon I’ll have some examples in print so you can see for yourself.

Since 2013 was so great, I’m looking forward to 2014. Steampunk World will appear in print, I should get my teaching license, and hopefully I’ll finally get a novel or two done and crack the SFWA-approved markets.  This is my year. I can taste it.

So, dear reader, how was your 2013? What are you looking forward to in 2014?

A Big Thank You

When you’re a depressive, even one in remission, extreme highs in emotion–the kind that can result from a month that included both the holidays and a successful Kickstarter campaign–can result in extreme lows, too. So I apologize for the delay in posting this. My only excuse is that my disorder had me by the throat. Fortunately, copious amounts of chocolate, tea, pet snuggles, period dramas, and time with good friends are bringing me back up for air.

The Steampunk World Kickstarter was successful beyond my wildest dreams. We didn’t quite get to Volume 2, but we exploded the two stretch goals that were most important to me, netting ourselves a fancy custom cover by James Ng and interior illustrations for every story in the book. This is so much more than I could ever have hoped for. (Before you ask: don’t worry about Volume 2, that will probably happen anyway. But that’s a blog post for another day.)

Yes, I’m the editor of Steampunk World. Yes, I conceived the idea for the anthology, invited authors, chose stories, found a cover artist, and created the backer levels. I am still editing the stories but I’m nearly done. Yes, I did or am doing all of those things, and, as my friends point out, I should pat myself on the back for doing all that. I deserve a little credit, they remind me. I shouldn’t give it all away. Consider my back patted. Go me.

But no woman is an island. I could not have seen this project succeed without help from a lot of people. And I certainly would not have seen it leap from the tracks and go flying into the stratosphere without so many people feeding coal into the burners of this train metaphor that I’m starting to regret. At the risk of this blog post sounding like an award acceptance speech, I need to thank some people, and this seems like the best way to do it.

Thank you, Steven Saus, the man behind Alliteration Ink, who took a chance on a relatively unknown writer and completely untested editor. You may not realize this, but I pitched Steampunk World to Steve before Sidekicks!, so he agreed to it before he knew that I could follow through. That’s the kind of faith and trust that makes me all verklempt if I think about it too hard. I hope I’ve paid back that faith and trust and will continue to do so. Steve also ran the Kickstarter, for which I am eternally grateful, because I have no desire to be saddled with that responsibility.

Thank you, Jay Lake and SJ Chambers, for being the first two big-name authors to agree to submit stories for the anthology. I met these two fabulous writers at WorldCon in 2012.  That convention changed my life, in no small part thanks to their kindness and willingness to take me seriously even though I was dressed like a weirdo and they’d never heard of me before. They gave me the courage to ask other big-name people to participate in the anthology. They lent credence to my belief that I had something special that might actually succeed. And, perhaps more importantly, they taught me that people will say yes, if you just ask. Always ask!

Thank you, James Ng and Diana Pho, for agreeing to supply the cover art and introduction, for mobilizing your scads of followers into backing the Kickstarter, and for being flexible and completely delightful in every way to work with. These two were my first choices for the art and the introduction, and emailing them both was incredibly intimidating. In the end, Diana and her fiancee proved instrumental in creating the Kickstarter video, and James agreed to do not just a custom cover, but all the interior illustrations as well. Basically, everyone has blown me away with their enthusiasm and generosity. Especially these two.

Thank you, to all the authors who submitted stories for the anthology, even those whose stories I rejected. Please keep writing. When I started writing again four years ago, I couldn’t have imagined the incredible places this path would take me. And I’m only at the beginning of my journey, really. Don’t be defeated by rejections. Keep going.

Thank you, to all the authors whose stories I did buy for the anthology. You are all so talented. Sometimes your stories leave me breathless with wonder, and it is such an honor to put them in a collection and present them to the world. I can’t wait until people get to read the anthology.

Thank you, to all my friends and writing colleagues who backed the project, tweeted, retweeted, posted, and talked about the anthology. It is because of you that we were fully funded within a couple of days and achieved two of our stretch goals. You were–and are–a part of this, as much a part as the editor and the publisher and the writers and the cover artist. What’s the point of putting together a collection like this without an audience? Thank you for being that audience. No–thank you for being more than an audience. Thank you for actively making this project succeed.

Finally, thank you, all of you, for being part of a project that celebrates humanity in all its variations. Thank you for giving me hope that maybe someday the world will follow suit. Thank you for showing me that there are people out there who want to read the kind of stories I want to write and curate. Thank you for teaching me that I should always ask. Today the world seems like a bigger, better, brighter place than it did just a few months ago.

Thank you.

January (2014!) Deadlines

Happy New Year! I’ve got lots of shiny new deadlines to celebrate.

Jamais Vu: The Journal of Strange Among the Familiar - January 15

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens - January 31 (reprints only)

Death’s Realm – January 31

Boroughs of the Dead II – February 1

Aercastle Narratives:  Speculative Fiction Magazine – February 1

Lightspeed Magazine: Women Destroy Science Fiction – February 14 (women only)

New Myths – February 28

XIII – March 13

Penumbra: Isaac Asimov – April 1

Spellbound & Spindles – April 30

Southern Haunts 3: Magic in the Moonlight - May 1

Zombified II: The Second Time Around – May 15

Diabolic Tales IV: The Psychology of Death – June 1

Shimmer Magazine – reopening January 6

DarkFuse Anthologies – ongoing

These deadlines are, as always, Submitter Beware, because I can’t vouch for any of these publishers. This is basically just a place for me to deposit short story deadlines to which I would like to submit work, so all the markets are paying (usually at least $.01 a word, although I’m getting a lot pickier about pay rates lately) and accept electronic submissions. They’re all genre markets of some kind (horror, science fiction, steampunk, fantasy).

Please be sure to check Horror TreeRalan and Dark Markets for more publications looking for submissions.  This list is by no means exhaustive. Oh, and don’t forget to check posts from previous months (they’re all categorized under Upcoming Deadlines) for publications that are still open.

If you’re an editor or publisher and you’d like me to feature your deadline here, you can email me at sarah.hans at gmail dot com with the details.

Happy Submitting!

Steampunk World Table of Contents

The Kickstarter for Steampunk World is inches away from fulfilling our second stretch goal: interior artwork for each story by cover artist James Ng! We already funded the anthology and a brand new Kickstarter-exclusive cover. Well done!

So without further ado, the much-awaited table of contents for Steampunk World*:

“Shedding Skin; Or, How the World Came to Be” by Jay Lake

“Hidden Strength” by Jaymee Goh

“Promised” by Nisi Shawl

“The Firebird” by Emily Cataneo

“The Little Begum” by Indrapramit Das

“One Thousand and One Pieces” by Lucien Soulban

“Hatavat Chalom” by Lillian Cohen-Moore

“The Leviathan of Trincomalee” by Lucy A. Snyder

“The Hand of Sa-Seti” by Balogun Ojetade

“The Omai Gods” by Alex Bledsoe

“The Governess and We” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

“Tangi A Te Ruru/The Cry of the Morepork” by Pip Ballantine

“The Construct Also Dreams of Flight” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

“Budo, or the Flying Orchid” by Tade Thompson

“The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour” by SJ Chambers

“The Emperor Everlasting” by Nayad A. Monroe

“Mary Sundown and the Clockmaker’s Children” by Malon Edwards

“Good Hunting” by Ken Liu

I can’t wait to see the incredible illustrations James is going to do for the stories in the book, but that means first we have to fund interior illustrations! If you haven’t backed the project yet, please do so now, so you can snag exclusive rewards like downloadable wallpapers and the exclusive cover. If you have backed the anthology, THANK YOU, now please tell your friends! Everybody wins if we hit our stretch goals.

And don’t forget, if we make it to our third stretch goal YOU can submit a story for Volume 2, because that volume will be open to submissions from anyone.

*I reserve the right to rearrange this TOC before the book is printed. Editor’s prerogative! Also, it’s possible that some of the titles may change between now and printing. But the stories will be same, I promise.

Steampunk World is Funded…What Now?

**Sorry about the weird formatting, WordPress is being a beast. Please read this anyway!**
Holy steamcow. In under a week…
First off, I need to say a big thank you to everyone who participated in this effort: Steve Saus, for his brilliant job managing the Kickstarter; the authors, who so kindly offered backer rewards on top of writing stories; and of course our backers, without whose pledges and posts we never would have achieved funding so quickly.  I’m going to point a big brass finger at Diana Pho and Tony Ballard-Smoot, two good friends, who have really gone above and beyond in the promotion department, without whom this would not have been possible.
I’m thrilled to tell you that, while this has been successful beyond my wildest dreams already, Steve and I have been prepared all along for the possibility that we would reach funding and we have a number of really exciting overflow goals and rewards associated with them.
That’s right, THERE’S MORE.
Cover artist James Ng has kindly offered to paint us an original cover for the anthology if we can raise enough money for his usual fee. That’s our first overflow goal. Because we want to reward all our early-adopters, this cover will be a Kickstarter exclusive. You heard me correctly. You and the other backers will be the only ones to have the book with this custom cover. 
Our other overflow goals include interior illustrations and the possibility of a Volume 2. Volume 2 would be an open-call edition, so any author would be invited to submit. We’d still be paying pro rates for that anthology too. Best of all, the new volume would be added to the existing backer reward levels. 
So if we meet all of our stretch goals, your rewards will double. Are you as excited about that as I am?!
If you backed at the $5 level, you will receive TWO Steampunk Samplers featuring five stories from each volume. If you backed at the $10 level, you’ll receive Steampunk World Volume 1 and 2 ebooks. If you backed at the $20 level, you’ll receive Steampunk World Volume 1 and 2 paperbacks. And if you backed at the $50 level, you’ll receive Steampunk World Volume 1 and 2 hardbacks.
TL;DR: If we achieve all our overflow goals, you will receive twice the rewards for the same pledge. 
So now is the time to promote, promote, promote. Tell your Mom, tell your Dad, tell your friends and your dentist and your postal worker and your dog walker. Because the more people sign onto this thing, the bigger and better the rewards will be for you.
Thanks again for your support. I can’t wait to see how far we can go!
Love,
Sarah

Steampunk World: The Kickstarter

I owe you an apology, dear reader. I’ve been neglecting you this last month. But I promise, it was for a very good reason. I needed to take some time away from the blog so that I could bring you…

The Steampunk World Kickstarter!

The anthology features 18 stories of multicultural steampunk by some of the biggest names in science fiction, including Jay Lake, Ken Liu, Nisi Shawl, Lucy A. Snyder, and Lillian Cohen-Moore, as well as some huge names in steampunk like Jaymee Goh, Balogun Ojetade, Pip Ballantine, and SJ Chambers. We also have an introduction by Diana Pho and cover art by the incomparable James Ng. The stories take place all over the world, from Sri Lanka to Russia to the Belgian Congo, and feature characters both human and automaton.

There are two ways you can help the Kickstarter if you want to see this project succeed. The first is, obviously, to become a backer. Give us your money. Though the ebook for Steampunk World requires a pledge of $10, there is a reward for backing as low as the $5 level. That’s less than the cost of lunch, and you’ll get five really excellent stories for that amount. I haven’t selected which stories will be in the Steampunk Sampler for $5, but I promise they’ll be worth every penny. Of course, for twice as much, you get nearly four times as many stories, but I understand that sometimes you just can’t afford the upgrade.

The second way you can help is to tell your friends. I especially need people to talk about the project on Steampunk social media groups, like on Livejournal and Facebook and Google+ and Tumblr. I don’t participate heavily in online Steampunk groups (I just don’t have time) and I don’t believe in joining such groups purely to spam everyone asking for their money. So if you think the project is worthwhile, and you already participate in such a group, please post about it. Just do a quick check to be sure nobody else has already posted about it, and please don’t join any groups just to post about it. We’re not looking to spam and annoy people!

Thank you for any help you can give. This project would never have happened without the continual support of my friends and readers. Now it just needs one final push in the coming weeks, and then our screaming clockwork infant will be born into the world.

Art by James Ng, layout by Steven Saus

Art by James Ng, layout by Steven Saus

November Deadlines

Flash Fiction Challenge: On the Frontiers of Madness – November 15

Betwixt - November 30

One Night Stands – December 1

Demon Rum – December 30

Enter at Your Own Risk, Volume 4  - December 31

Cosmic Horror Anthology  - January 1, 2014

Local Magic – January 15, 2014

Shadows and Tall Trees - February 1, 2014

Spellbound and Spindles – April 30, 2014

Diabolic Tales IV – The Psychology of Death - June 1, 2014

That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do – January 1 – June 1, 2014

Ares Magazine – ongoing

These deadlines are, as always, Submitter Beware, because I can’t vouch for any of these publishers. This is basically just a place for me to deposit short story deadlines to which I would like to submit work, so all the markets are paying (usually at least $.01 a word, although I’m getting a lot pickier about pay rates lately) and accept electronic submissions. They’re all genre markets of some kind (horror, science fiction, steampunk, fantasy).

Please be sure to check Horror TreeRalan and Dark Markets for more publications looking for submissions.  This list is by no means exhaustive. Oh, and don’t forget to check posts from previous months (they’re all categorized under Upcoming Deadlines) for publications that are still open.

If you’re an editor or publisher and you’d like me to feature your deadline here, you can email me at sarah.hans at gmail dot com with the details.

Happy Submitting!