July 15, 2017

Writing Contest Deadline Extended!!!

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Writing Contest Deadline Extended!!!

Hi all! Just a quick note about our fabulous writing contest. We’ve had a lot of emails in the past few days, all of which run along the same basic theme: Dear (somebody) I really want to submit a story, but it’s not perfect yet. Can I please have a few extra days to finish it up? Thanks (somebody) We’re not monsters. We get that sometimes art takes a little longer than expected. Because of this, we’re rolling the whole contest forward a month or so.   As of right now, the deadline to submit stories to our contest is Friday, August 18th. After that, we’re going to be monsters. At 0001 on the 19th, submissions are closed forever. You have an extra month. Show us what you can do with it.    

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June 16, 2017

The FC Writing Contest: Live Today!

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The FC Writing Contest: Live Today!

As we announced earlier this week, our writing contest opens today! You can click here for the long version of the rules, but here’s the short version. Use the link above to submit your story Unless it’s poetry, art, or flash fiction your tale should be from 2k to 8k words It costs $10 to submit Submissions close on Friday, July 14 Starting Monday, July 17 we run head-to-head elections to see who wins each genre category Winners of 1st through 3rd place go in a print anthology. They win glory, honor, and two free copies! Any questions? Write me here! Get to writing!   Editor’s note: The Fictional Cafe Writing Contest is the brain child of Jason Brick, FC’s Anthology Barista. An accomplished author of fiction and nonfiction, Jason is also a heck of an…

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June 13, 2017

Our Writing Contest Goes Live On Friday!

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Our Writing Contest Goes Live On Friday!

Greetings Fictional Café Readers, Writers, Artists and Members! It is our pleasure to announce the First annual Fictional Café Writing Contest. In celebration of our fourth year of bringing you the best fiction we can offer, we’re expanding our programs to include a print/ebook publication curated by you, our members. Here’s how it works. Part One: Submission Beginning at the end of this week, submissions open. You enter your best piece of fiction via our one-of-a-kind submission form (link will be visible in our official Opening post this coming Friday). Submissions should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words and fit in one of the following categories: Literary Humorous Poetry (word count requirement suspended) Speculative Mystery/Thriller/Crime Western/Historical Flash (word count <1,000 words) Art (photos, drawings, and paintings, no word count requirement) You can submit as many times…

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April 22, 2017

Announcing Our First Annual Short Story Contest

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Announcing Our First Annual Short Story Contest

To celebrate entering our fifth year bringing excellent short fiction to the world, we are opening a new venue for writers: the Fictional Cafe Short Fiction Contest. Here’s how it works: Step One: Over the course of the summer, writers enter their works in one of ten categories for fiction. Entry will cost a nominal fee, to prevent us from getting spammed. FC subscribers get a discount. Step One-and-a-Half: The most-viewed story for each month from January to June, 2017, is automatically entered into the contest for free. Step Two: This fall, our readers vote on the entered stories in head-to-head, double-elimination tournament action. Step Three: We put the first and second place winners for each category into an actual print anthology made out of actual dead trees. And a Kindle edition, too. Step Four: That anthology…

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April 19, 2016

50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #1 (Traditional Book Deal)

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50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #1 (Traditional Book Deal)

Traditional Book Deal (Agented) Part one of multi-blog series by Jason Brick on how many ways there are for writers of all stripes to make a living doing what they love.  Check out #3 over at brickcommajason.com This is what most people think of when they think “published writer.” You write a book. Then you find an agent to represent your book. Then the agent finds a publisher to print and distribute the book. A couple years later, you have a book out. Most books you buy at Barnes and Noble were published this way. Most names you know as published authors got their work out this way. It’s the most familiar model, and the one served by most writers’ conferences. The market for this is huge, and well-serviced. But it’s a competitive field growing…

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March 15, 2016

Craft Notes: Pacing

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One problem with taking on any profession is that it begins to taint how you look at the world. Cops and social workers probably get the worst end of that stick. On the other hand, spending a decade as a professional martial arts instructor gave me a new level of appreciation for film choreography and fight sports. I find the same thing is affects how I read. I just finished the newest Virgil Flowers thriller by John Sandford: Deadline. Sandford’s books – and he’s certainly written his share – can be a mite formulaic, but I love the heck out of them. He’s not saying anything important, nor is he bucking for a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize for literature. He just turns out good stories year after year. Sandford (and, yes I am aware that’s a…

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February 22, 2016

50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #5: Anthologies

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50 Ways to Sell Your Writing — #5: Anthologies

Part 5 of a multi-blog series on how many ways there are for writers of all stripes to make a living doing what they love. Check out #1 here on Fictional Cafe, and #4 on my own blog. Anthologies Anthologies are collections of short stories by several authors, compiled by everybody from major publishing houses to simple Kickstarted projects leveraging the fundraising power of multiple authors. As a reader, chances are you’ve discovered at least one of your favorite writers by encountering her first in an anthology of one kind or another. In a lot of ways, writing a story for an anthology is a lot like writing for a magazine. You find out it exists, you pitch the project, and if they accept you they publish your story in a volume along with several…

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August 28, 2015

Congratulations, Fictional Café Writers!

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Congratulations, Fictional Café Writers!

An experimental new anthology — Baby Shoes — was recently released on Amazon in print and ebook formats. It’s a collection of 100 flash fiction short stories by 100 different authors, including Fictional Café’s own Jeb Brack, Jason Brick, Jenny Cokeley, E. A. Roper, Adam Gottfried and Jack Rochester. The Baby Shoes anthology was experimental in two ways. First, it’s a flash fiction anthology. Because flash fiction is so short, a reasonably sized book requires a lot of writers. That splits the royalties into such small pieces it’s not feasible for traditional publishers. An independent project could afford to give out a larger piece of the pie, making sure authors got a little bit more for their work. Second, the publication costs were entirely crowdfunded via Kickstarter. It’s not the first — nor will it be…

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August 24, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

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“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

This is the conclusion of Adam’s supernatural, gothic thriller. Start from the beginning here.  Mrs. Holmes watched the carriage carrying the two young women away to relative safety. She was not certain what would happen, but she remembered vividly the last night before Dougal McCullagh, then called Fergusson, had… rescued her. From her husband. As the memories began to surface, she swiftly pushed them away again. Now was not the time to reminisce about days gone by. There was precious little time left, and she hoped very much to survive the night, though there was every possibility that she would not. She considered whether or not she had made her peace with that and decided that she had not. Rather, she simply could not accept it as a possibility, so it seemed an unreality to…

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August 21, 2015

Sympathetic Characters by Unsympathetic Folks

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Sympathetic Characters by Unsympathetic Folks

I’m going to let you in on a poorly-kept secret… …I’m a bit of an asshole. I’m insensitive, demanding, revel in crass humor and generally am told that folks put up with me primarily because I’m their asshole and they get to point my assholility at their enemies when they feel the need. But that’s not all of it. I’m sympathetic…not in the “I feel your pain and give a damn” meaning, but in the “If I were in a book, readers would care what happened to me” meaning. My book series, The Farkas Foxtrots features a pair of loser assholes. These are not good people, or smart people. They’re not pretty, or nice. They do things like steal drugs, lie to women and frame a total stranger for bank robbery. They’re stupid with a capital C….

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