Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

WORLDCON 76 SAN JOSE 2018

WorldCon76

San Jose, California was selected to host the 76th Worldcon on August 16th through 20th 2018. Worldcon is an annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, scientists, and other creators.

GUESTS OF HONOR

  • Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo Award- and Nebula Award-winning science fiction author.
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is an American author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and thriller novels, and winner of Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.
  • John Picacio is an American artist specializing in science fiction, fantasy and horror illustration. He has won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist twice!

There are over 300 authors, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, and scientists attending. You’ll find David D. Levine, Peter S Beagle, and many more as featured participants! So, you never know who you’ll be having coffee with in the morning. Check out the complete list here.

If you want to go, rooms are filling up fast at nearby hotels. So, hurry if you plan on attending. As always, have fun and happy mingling and learning.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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#SFFpit Pitch Event on Twitter

sffpit-contest

It’s that time of year again for science fiction and fantasy writers to polish their pitches for Dan Koboldt’s #SFFpit writing contest on twitter! It runs on June 28, 2018 between 8am-6pm EST. This contest allows 10 pitches total and Dan asks that you use them wisely! As usual, it needs to be a 280 character pitch for twitter and includes the hashtag #SFFpit. For all the rules, including how to properly insert the age group and category, go here. And remember to research any agents or editors that favorite your tweet because ANY ONE can trawl the feed!

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

PitDark Only Has a Few More Hours!

PitDark-May-October

 

Somehow I managed to schedule this post for a different day. It was brought to my attention that I had the wrong day when I got a “fave” from an editor from an older pitch. (Needless to say, I was excited and then disappointed when I saw my blog didn’t post.) So, here is the info incase you’re not aware. There are only a couple more hours left in the contest!

This cool twitter pitch party is today May 17, 2018! Author Jason Huebinger is the host of #PitDark. This is one of my favorite contests because it’s strictly for manuscripts with darker elements, which is soooo down my alley. The event is between 8am and 8pm EST. Authors may pitch once an hour per manuscript. Please do not clog the feed by over pitching so agents don’t get frustrated and quit reading.

Hashtags for AGE CATEGORIES

  • #MG – Middle Grade
  • #YA – Young adult
  • #NA – New adult
  • #A – Adult

Hashtags for GENRES & SUBGENRES

  • #H – horror
  • #PH – psychological horror
  • #GH – gothic horror
  • #CSH – cosmic horror
  • #BH – body horror
  • #CH – comedy horror
  • #DC – dark comedy
  • #DR – dark romance
  • #SFH – science fiction horror
  • #PNH – paranormal horror
  • #ZH – zombie horror
  • #MH – monster horror
  • #GRH – graphic horror
  • #MM – murder mystery
  • #FA – fantasy
  • #DF – dark fantasy
  • #T – thriller
  • #EF – epic or high fantasy
  • #HF – historical fantasy
  • #LF – literary fantasy
  • #AH – alternate history
  • #PN – paranormal
  • #PR – paranormal romance
  • #UF – urban fantasy
  • #MR – magical realism
  • #SF – science fiction
  • #AF – apocalypse fiction
  • #ML – military science fiction
  • #PA – post-apocalyptic SF
  • #CP – cyberpunk
  • #SFT – sci-fi thriller
  • #SH – superhero / superhuman
  • #SO – space opera
  • #DS – dystopian
  • #SP – steampunk
  • #TT – time travel
  • #WW – weird west
  • #SPEC – speculative fiction
  • #NF – non-fiction

For complete rules, go here. (Note: If your curious about previous agent, editor, and film company participation, there is a link on this page.) As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Contest 2018

pnwa

The deadline for Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest is approaching. All unpublished entries must be received by March 23, 2018. This is also a chance to get feedback on your work. There are twelve categories:

  1. mainstream
  2. historical
  3. romance/women’s fiction
  4. mystery/thriller
  5. sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal
  6. young adult
  7. middle grade
  8. nonfiction/memoir
  9. poetry
  10. short story
  11. children’s picture/chapter book
  12. adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)

There are three monetary prizes:

  • FIRST PLACE: $600
  • SECOND PLACE: $300
  • THIRD PLACE: $100

Eight finalist will receive two critiques on their submissions. The agents and editors participating in the PNWA‘s summer conference will pick winners out of the finalists. Go here for complete details. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

#SFFpit is Tomorrow!

sffpit-contest

Hello my lovelies! Tomorrow (December 14, 2017) on twitter is #SFFpit hosted by Dan Koboldt. This is for Sci-Fi and Fantasy manuscripts only! Please do not pitch if your manuscript is not finished, polished, and unpublished.

Now that twitter has expanded most tweets to longer characters, the limit of 140 is no longer necessary. Tweet the full 280 if you have the ability! Just make sure that your pitch includes the hashtag #SFFpit. Additional hashtags that can be used are:

AGE CATEGORY
#PB – Picture book
#MG – Middle grade
#YA – Young adult
#NA – New adult
#A – Adult

GENRE/Subgenre
#FA – fantasy
#CF – contemporary fantasy
#DF – dark fantasy
#EF – epic or high fantasy
#FR – fantasy romance
#HF – historical fantasy
#LF – literary fantasy
#AH – alternate history
#MYF – mythic fantasy
#PN – paranormal
#UF – urban fantasy
#MR – magical realism
#SF – science fiction
#AF – apocalypse fiction
#ML – military science fiction
#PA – post-apocalyptic SF
#SFR – sci-fi romance
#SFT – sci-fi thriller
#SH – superhero / superhuman
#SO – space opera
#DS – dystopian
#SP – steampunk
#TT – time travel
#WW – weird west

The contest will run through 8am to 6pm EST. Also note the change of allowed pitches! Writers will only get 10 pitches (that’s one per hour). For more information check out the #SFFpit webpage. To show Dan Koboldt your appreciation for throwing together this awesome contest, be sure to follow his blog, twitter page, or buy his books.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

#PitDark Pitch Party Is Soon!

PitDark-May-October

A cool twitter pitch party is coming on October 26, 2017 and I’m excited! Author Jason Huebinger is the host of #PitDark. This is one of my favorite contests because it’s strictly for manuscripts with darker elements, which is soooo down my alley. The event is between 8am and 8pm EST. Authors may pitch once an hour per manuscript. Please do not clog the feed by over pitching so agents don’t get frustrated and quit reading.

Hashtags for AGE CATEGORIES

  • #MG – Middle Grade
  • #YA – Young adult
  • #NA – New adult
  • #A – Adult

Hashtags for GENRES & SUBGENRES

  • #H – horror
  • #PH – psychological horror
  • #GH – gothic horror
  • #CSH – cosmic horror
  • #BH – body horror
  • #CH – comedy horror
  • #DC – dark comedy
  • #DR – dark romance
  • #SFH – science fiction horror
  • #PNH – paranormal horror
  • #ZH – zombie horror
  • #MH – monster horror
  • #GRH – graphic horror
  • #MM – murder mystery
  • #FA – fantasy
  • #DF – dark fantasy
  • #T – thriller
  • #EF – epic or high fantasy
  • #HF – historical fantasy
  • #LF – literary fantasy
  • #AH – alternate history
  • #PN – paranormal
  • #PR – paranormal romance
  • #UF – urban fantasy
  • #MR – magical realism
  • #SF – science fiction
  • #AF – apocalypse fiction
  • #ML – military science fiction
  • #PA – post-apocalyptic SF
  • #CP – cyberpunk
  • #SFT – sci-fi thriller
  • #SH – superhero / superhuman
  • #SO – space opera
  • #DS – dystopian
  • #SP – steampunk
  • #TT – time travel
  • #WW – weird west
  • #SPEC – speculative fiction
  • #NF – non-fiction

For complete rules, go here. (Note: If your curious about previous agent, editor, and film company participation, there is a link on this page.) As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

#SFFpit is Tomorrow!

sffpit-contest

Hello my lovelies! Tomorrow (June 22, 2017) on twitter is #SFFpit hosted by Dan Koboldt. This is for Sci-Fi and Fantasy manuscripts only! Please do not pitch if your manuscript is not finished, polished, and unpublished.
As all twitter pitch contests, you need to have 140 character pitch ready that includes the hashtag #SFFpit along with:

AGE CATEGORY
#PB – Picture book
#MG – Middle grade
#YA – Young adult
#NA – New adult
#A – Adult

GENRE/Subgenre
#FA – fantasy
#CF – contemporary fantasy
#DF – dark fantasy
#EF – epic or high fantasy
#FR – fantasy romance
#HF – historical fantasy
#LF – literary fantasy
#AH – alternate history
#MYF – mythic fantasy
#PN – paranormal
#UF – urban fantasy
#MR – magical realism
#SF – science fiction
#AF – apocalypse fiction
#ML – military science fiction
#PA – post-apocalyptic SF
#SFR – sci-fi romance
#SFT – sci-fi thriller
#SH – superhero / superhuman
#SO – space opera
#DS – dystopian
#SP – steampunk
#TT – time travel
#WW – weird west

The contest will run through 8am to 6pm EST. Also note the change of allowed pitches! Writers will only get 10 pitches (that’s one per hour). For more information check out the #SFFpit webpage. To show Dan Koboldt your appreciation for throwing together this awesome contest, be sure to follow his blog, twitter page, or buy his books.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

 

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest

pnwa

The deadline for Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest is approaching. All unpublished entries must be received by February 17, 2017. This is also a chance to get feedback on your work. There are twelve categories:

  1. mainstream
  2. historical
  3. romance/women’s fiction
  4. mystery/thriller
  5. sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal
  6. young adult
  7. middle grade
  8. nonfiction/memoir
  9. poetry
  10. short story
  11. children’s picture/chapter book
  12. adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)

There are three monetary prizes:

  • FIRST PLACE: $600
  • SECOND PLACE: $300
  • THIRD PLACE: $100

Eight finalist will receive two critiques on their submissions. The agents and editors participating in the PNWA‘s summer conference will pick winners out of the finalists. Go here for complete details. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

“DEAR LUCKY AGENT” CONTEST

DearLuckyAgent24

Chuck Sambuchino announced Writer’s Digest is hosting the 23nd “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest. The agent judge is Marisa A. Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

marisa-corvisiero-literary-agent

Marisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency and their Senior Literary Agent. Before starting her own agency, Marisa worked at the L. Perkins Agency, where she learned invaluable lessons and made a name for herself in the industry. Marisa is seeking creative stories with well developed plots and rich characters with unique voices. She will consider  Contemporary Romance, Thrillers, Adventure, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, or any combination thereof, unique concepts in Fantasy, Adventure and Science Fiction for middle-grade and Picture Books with special stories to deliver a subtle non didactic message. In non-fiction, she enjoys out of the box and high concept spiritual, self-improvement, science, and business books for all ages. You can visit her on Twitter at @mcorvisiero.

Even though you can query Marisa with different age groups that interest her, THIS contest is for completed MIDDLE GRADE novels across all genres — from realistic to contemporary to speculative sci-fi and fantasy. The contest is now live and runs through the end of September 19, 2016 (PST). There will be three winners! First place wins a critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work by your agent judge (and she reserves the right to request the full manuscript). Second place gets a free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)! And third place gets their choice of any of Chuck’s two new books coming out in September 2017 (the Guide to Literary Agents 2017 or the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2017).

Be sure to check out the submission guidelines and pay close attention to a few things you need to do in order to be eligible. And as always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Ren Warom: Author of THE LONELY DARK

If you’re in need of an eerie tale but short on time, Ren Warom‘s THE LONELY DARK will be a perfect fix. This sixty-eight page novella leaves you questioning the darkness surrounding you at night and pulling the blanket over your head. You can follow the story of Ingmar’s journey as a Cerenaut aboard the Irenon where she must cope with isolation and a “danger that cannot be seen, quantified, or understood” here (US) or here (UK).

The Lonely Dark

1) Will you share with us when you first realized writing was your thing?

I’ve written for as long as I could form words. I used to write actual stories when I was a little girl. I wrote quite a few about a character called Jennifer (I think it was) and the Mugwumps, which were these white, fluffy, forest dwelling creatures. My sister mocked it horribly. I learned to read very early and read widely from an early age, so I think that was the real driver behind my interest, not to mention the fact that I was perpetually in my own little dreamworld. But the moment I realised writing was my thing? Gosh. I don’t think there ever was a moment, not a single one. I first loved to read, then to write, then gradually, over the years, writing became breathing. That’s it. If I don’t write, I don’t breathe.

2) Have you had a smooth ride to publishing or a bumpy road? (Us writerly folk love hearing other’s journeys.)

This one’s complicated. I found the publisher for my novella myself. Fox Spirit had already published some stories of mine, and the market I had written the novella for sort of vanished (it’s more complicated than that but I won’t go into it), so when I needed a publisher I thought of them. To my delight they wanted The Lonely Dark and so that was that. Some edits, proofreading and one gorgeous cover later and I have a book baby out. It’s scary but exhilarating!

With regards to trad deals, via my agent, that’s still an ongoing battle. I had a book out on sub (COIL–you might remember it from litopia, as it did the rounds in the Houses) and that generated a lot of interest but no offers, though it got to a couple of seconds reads, which is a living nightmare of hellish waiting. I think that’s all but dead in the water now, but it’s a book I want out there and it’s the first of a trilogy, so if all else fails I will self publish at some point.

I have another book going out on submission rounds soon. Equally hard to define. I’m hoping that, if it doesn’t find a home, keeps editors interested in me. That’s the important thing, keeping yourself and your work on the radar of editors and hoping, eventually, you produce a work they can throw their enthusiasm behind. Editors want to love books, just like agents do, it’s just a case of writing the book they can love or, in my case, finding the editor who loves the weird book you’ve written.

2) Can you tell us about how you found your agent? 

I started looking for an agent in mid-2011. I subbed to about five agents in my first round, collecting a few rejections pretty swiftly. In late November, I happened to be on twitter and noticed that Stacia Decker at Donald Maass, one of the agents on my list but as yet un-subbed to, was closing to subs at the end of that month. So basically I went into a panic and sent off my submission package, which I always personalised because it’s rude not to. Don’t send mass form subs.

Anyway, Stacia requested a partial, then within days of that being sent I received a request for the full. At this point you’re hoping and trying not to hope, but in late Jan 2012 I received an email from Jennifer Udden, also at Donald Maass and more interested in repping sci-fi, who’d been passed my MS and loved it and wanted to talk exclusive revisions. We had a phone-call to discuss said revisions, and came to an understanding about what Jen wanted and what I could do. I then revised over a couple of months and sent the revised MS back. To my utter astonishment Jen was pleased with the revisions and basically offered representation in a phone-call cramped in between her office hours in New York and me needing to rush off out to meet friends for the afternoon. Very, very exciting, surreal, and strange, so much so it took me all evening to tell one of said friends that I’d just got myself an agent, because it really did not feel real. I expect every first step is like that. I know getting The Lonely Dark published felt like that, so I fully expect any luck with the trads to be the same. It’s your dreams, you know? When they come true it’s kinda bonkers.

4) Do you have a creative process/ritual you do on a daily/weekly basis?

No. I sit my bum at my desk or at a desk somewhere, and I write. It’s taken me a long time to just get disciplined about it. It wasn’t that I believed in a muse or any of that, I don’t, but I lacked discipline. Not in the laziness sense but with regards to levels of seriousness–I imagined myself to be way more serious about writing than I in fact was. In truth I was terrified of being serious, even with the fact of representation meaning that I was, perhaps, capable of doing this. It’s that whole don’t try, can’t fail thing. Now I know it’s all about the work, so I do it. Simple as. There’s no trick to it.

5) You open THE LONELY DARK with a paragraph of Ingmar packing, leaving the reader intrigued to know where she is going and why. Do you find the opening of books the most difficult to write, since so much emphasis is put on this paragraph being the “attention grabber”? 

Beginnings are nightmares. I loathe them. Finding my way into a story is always the most painful part. I quite literally agonise over it. I fumble, stumble, write and rewrite and generally get my brain in a right old pretzel over it all. I don’t imagine that part of it will ever become easy for me, because it remains the same whether I plan or not. The only thing changing is the length of time it takes to stumble upon the right beginning for each story. Thankfully that is shrinking. I think I’d go crazy if it weren’t. Needing months to find ingress to a story is taking the Michael just a touch!

6) Your main character, Ingmar, has an unusual and unique talent of “perceiving the remnants of the dead”. (BTW, I love that phrase!) How did you come up with the idea to not have her see actual ghosts?

When I began writing The Lonely Dark I had been inspired by ghost stories set in that region with very real, tangible entities. But when I got to talking of the entities in Ingmar’s life, they came as remnants. It made perfect sense to me to do that, because of how Ingmar would be in the Irenon: there, but invisible. I felt it was perfectly appropriate to have her understand that state and yet fail initially to apply that knowledge to her own state. I like repeating patterns and parallels. It’s basically metaphor 101 to me, an easy way to create depth. They pop up on purpose and by happy accident. I think my brain is wired to look for them and seed them throughout whether I’m paying attention or not. Luckily though, this was one I did purposefully. I don’t think you can take credit for the happy brain accidents.

7) Perhaps everyone at some point in their life has a moment they’re afraid of the dark and then gets over it. But THE LONELY DARK is a story of Ingmar’s decline from embracing the darkness to fearing it. Any personal experiences that you used to twist into Ingmar’s life for this experience, or was this a product of your brilliantly creepy mind?

I’ve always been afraid of the dark. I’ve always felt it had presence. Weight. It’s not a huge step from that to a Lonely Dark, though it was very much more inspired by the picture of the map of the universe side by side with a map of the brain. That got me thinking about space being alive in a very real way. Not in a human way, but entirely aware, capable of abstract thought, of philosophy, and tortured by a longing for company.

8) After Ingmar boards the Irenon, she realizes Cerenaut training didn’t prepare her for the truth that unravels about darkness. And her copilotnaut (yeah, I made that up) shares similar experiences. Did your characters ever battle with you about taking away the good parts of their memories, or if they’d share more than dark occurrences? (Because every writer understands characters sometimes guide the story for the writer.)

I love the made-up word! No, my characters never battled with me about losing their good memories. My characters never argue, finished. They behave exactly as I expect they will, whether they follow the rules or break them unreservedly. That doesn’t mean I drag them along in the wake of the plot, it just means I make sure I’m true to their approach. It’s not always easy, sometimes you have to stop and listen hard, but I have yet to encounter a full-scale character revolt in anything I’ve written. They seem happy to leave the reins in my hands. J

*And that’s it! Thanks for having me on your blog, Pam; I really enjoyed answering your excellent questions!*

RenWarom

Ren’s a writer of weird things, not known for an ability to fit into boxes of any description. Published in various places, including anthologies by the fabulous FoxSpirit and Anachron presses, and THIS IS HOW YOU DIE, from Grand Central publishing. Her dark sci-fi novella THE LONELY DARK is out now on Amazon, both in the UK and the US! Represented by the fabulous Jennifer Udden of Donald Maass Literary Agency, Ren’s looking to invade book shops near you very soon. Find her on twitter, facebook, instagram and youtube, and on the web at http://renwaromsumwelt.wordpress.com.

Thank you Ren Warom! May you continue to write disturbing tales for twisted readers! (Me included.) To go directly to the webpage that has links to all her published stories, go here.

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA