Monday, August 27, 2012

"Hearts Made of Stone"

Last week I saw a posting at the SFWA forum, a call for submissions for an anthology to be called "Song Stories".  This caught my attention.  Over the years I've written a number of stories whose origins were prodded by a song. I did a rewrite on a story I've had sitting around for maybe a year, and sent it off Sunday. I got word today that the editor loved it, and he was taking it.

"Hearts Made of Stone" is another weird Texas tale, set in East Texas in 1955. The protagonist is a small town newspaper editor (any of this sound familiar?) I like it, and I'm glad I found it a good home.

Here is info from the publishers web site, in case you are interested in submitting:

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Music is one of the fundamental experiences of the human condition.  Music has the power to calm or excite, to evoke the full spectrum of emotions as few other tools can.

A few simple lyrics backed by an earnest melody can tell an epic tale of tragedy or triumph.  That is, in part, where the idea for Song Stories came from.  For some of us, music is not just part of life, music IS life.  It permeates our waking thoughts and our dreams and often appears in our stories.

What songs remind you of your childhood? of high school or college?  Your first love and your first broken heart.  Now take those memories and wrap them in your imagination.  Give us your gripping horror, your mind blowing fantasy and your farsighted science fiction and transform those songs into something new.

Call for Submissions
Song Story Press is soliciting short story submissions for “Song Stories” An anthology of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror rooted in music.  Submissions will be accepted until December 1, 2012 or until the anthology is filled.

What We Want:
We are looking for fresh perspectives on favorite songs.  The story should have the following qualities
Non-negotiable
The story must be your own work.   Reprints are fine, provided you hold publishing rights
Multiple submissions are acceptable. Please do not submit more than 10k words at a time
No stories which are freely available online.
The plot should have a strong correlation to the lyrics of the song.  The writer can and should take creative liberties, but the reader should have a clear indication of the base song.  Include the song in  your cover letter.

Not required but strongly advised
The story should be science fiction, fantasy, horror or a related sub-genre
The atmosphere of the story should reflect either the style of music or the singer/composer
Story length may be up to 5000 words in length
Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know immediately if you are accepted elsewhere.

We are looking for excellent cover artwork which captures the essence of the anthology.  We can pay up to $50 for cover art work.  Other artwork may be considered depending on the number of story submissions received.  Query for artwork using the contact page.
What we don't want
Boring literal interpretations of love songs
Porn – if sex is present, it should further the story
Gore or profanity when it is only included for shock value
Illegal content of any kind
Blatant plagiarism
The purpose of Song Stories is to celebrate the power of music. It is not the intention of this anthology to exceed fair use. Only the portions of the lyrics which are necessary to move the story forward should be used and their use should be transformative. For example:
Open Arms by Journey (Perry, Cain, et al)
Unacceptable:
Lying beside you, there in the dark, feeling your heart beat with mine
Acceptable:
Lying beside you...
Terrance smiled when he awoke and found Abigail still sleeping, the morning sun still hidden beneath the horizon. He pressed his chest against hers painfully aware that the challenges of the new day might end the synchronicity of their hearts.
Preferable:
A unique paranormal/alternate tech/fantastical narrative that evokes the essence of the song, while sparingly using key words or phrases to emphasize the connection.

What You Get
Your story will appear in a carefully edited, aggressively marketed anthology.

At this point, we can’t afford to pay top dollar.  Every author will get a contributor’s copy of the eBook and a proportional percentage of the royalties

For published pieces we take First Print and Electronic Publishing Rights. Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint, which severely limits the number of markets that will accept it, and drastically reduces the pay rate it can receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and eBook formats, giving up your First Publishing Right for royalties only, is really what you want to do.

A print version of the book will be made available shortly after the eBook release.  Copies will be made available to contributors at cost.

Editing
No significant alterations will be made to the accepted stories without express approval of the author

How to Submit
Submissions will only be accepted via the  online submission form  If you have any questions, please contact us.

Depending of the volume of submissions, we will try to respond within a few days whether we will pass on your story or hold it for further consideration.

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