sci-fi anthology seeking subs

Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction

edited by Hannah Strom-Martin and Erin Underwood

seeks young adult science fiction stories and poetry

accepting works which “…sparks the imagination, twists the heart, and makes us yearn for the possibilities of a world yet to come.”

deadline June 30, 2012

details

I share “no fee” writing opportunities and contests: gathering this information from various sources. I advise “caveat emptor” or in this case, let the writer beware when a venue is unknown to you.

If you know of a venue open to subs contact me: roxiewillbe(at)live(dot)com. In the subject line please state: “writing opportunity”

For more opportunities check ‘Quick Finds’ or ‘Want More?’

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Top Twos-day: k is for kiss and kids

stock photo: Office.com

Each Tuesday I’ll bring two items or people into focus. They may be books, authors, lists, whatever turned my head, landing on my radar.

Stay tuned as each TOP TWOS-DAY unfolds…

Kiss the Sky (Telemachus Press: POD)  by debut author and artist D. C. Gallin is the connection between 60s hallucinogenic and 90s environmentalist bundled by music spanning the generations. Gallin’s first-person narrative fiction will leave you wondering as one risky behavior tumbles naturally to the next. Read an excerpt…   Interview at Tribute Books…

How?: The Most Awesome Question and Answer Book About Nature, Animals, People, Places – and You! (Owlkids Books, May 2012)  is the sequel to Catherine Ripley’s 2010 children’s work Why?: The Best Ever Question and Answer Book about Nature, Science and the World around You. Ripley’s fast supply of knowledge earned her a place as editor at ChickaDEE Magazine which led to various other writing gigs and books. Check out Kirkus Reviews thoughts…

 

More Top Twos-days…

Top Twos-day: Mountains and Monuments

Each Tuesday I’ll bring two items or people into focus. They may be books, authors, lists, whatever turned my head, landing on my radar.

Stand Up That Mountain: the battle to save one small community in the wilderness along the Appalachian Trail by Jay Erskine Leutz (Scribner: imprint of Simon and Schuster) released this month. Leutz is an avid outdoorsman and local lawyer living in the most remote and misunderstood region in our country. This true story takes readers from the moment a fourteen year old phones Leutz to the last battle cry. “Jay helps assemble a talented group of environmental lawyers to do battle with the well-funded attorneys protecting the mining company’s plan to dynamite Belview Mountain, which happens to sit next to the famous Appalachian Trail, the 2,184-mile national park that stretches from Maine to Georgia.”

Lyricist, actress, and screenwriter Emmy Laybourne’s post-apocalyptic YA debut novel, Monument 14 (Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan imprint) introduces us to fourteen high school students, eighth graders and elementary children trapped by devastation as they begin a typical school day. The students must come to grips with their group dynamic, survival, and bleak future. Read an excerpt…

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Spotlight: Ashley Howland

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ashley Howland, author of Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. The inspiration for this first in a series of children’s books came from Labs ‘n Life, a nonprofit organization in Australia, where Labrador retrievers work with children diagnosed with autism.

Q) Tell us about your children’s book, Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. Where did you find the story’s inspiration, and how much of it is based on your own experiences?

A) Obi is my beautiful Labrador; he will be ten this year. He is a remarkable dog and through coming to school with me and now working with Labs ‘n Life he has really changed the lives of so many people. Everyone remembers Obi. I wrote this story as a tribute to all the crazy things he does to show off. As a puppy he was incredibly clever, but also very obedient. He would be the clown of the class, but turn it on when he needed to work. Obi completed dog school by the age of nine months, despite everyone telling me that “Labradors are stupid until they are two”! He was anything, but stupid.

He is still very much the class clown. The ideas for this story really came from watching him at dog school, retrieval trials and just generally in the backyard. I had great fun going over old puppy photos and remembering everything he did. It was so much fun to watch him play and to play with him. I spent a lot of time training him, not only in obedience tasks, but tricks as well. He can wave, roll, dance, open doors, crawl and speak on command. Obi is so smart that the kids at one school even taught him to count.

Most of the locations and actions are from my experiences with Obi. We took him everywhere. He was in a few shows as a younger dog. Competed in the occasional obedience trial and we also tried retrieving. He wasn’t too keen on picking up the dead bird. Through Obi we have met a lot of people and have had some fantastic experiences. Some of our closest friends have come through Obi and the other Labradors in our lives.

Watching Obi as a puppy, and now as an adult, I have always imagined that he had reasons for doing the crazy things he does. I’m pretty sure he thinks he is a super hero. I’m also completely sure lots of the kids he has worked with think he’s a super hero too. Maybe there is some truth to this story.

I am so glad that I have been able to share Obi with students and teachers in various schools. He always made sure everyone was included and has cured many people of a fear of dogs. He also always manages to find the kid that really needs to laugh or a cuddle. No one misses out when Obi is around.

Q) How has your work with Labs ‘n Life influenced your narrator’s voice, what’s a typical day like and why did you want to integrate your work into children’s books?

A) Labs ‘n Life is the most amazing organization and I am very privileged to have been a part since the beginning. It certainly has had an effect on my writing and in fact is one of the reasons I write. These amazing characters are there, in front of me, weaving their magic every day.

I don’t really think there is a typical day working for Labs ‘n Life. Generally you start by collecting various Labradors. Sometimes they get dropped off, sometimes you get them from people’s backyards and sometimes you meet them at the school. Once the very excited dogs are organized it’s time to get the students ready. Most of the time they beat you to the program as they are so keen to work, which is truly amazing as lots of these kids would never be anywhere on time. We work with young people to train the dogs as companions for children on the autism spectrum. So we will complete tasks of basic obedience and specific companion skills. Labs ‘n Life prides itself on the sneaky learning that occurs during our sessions. Students not only learn how to train a dog, but they learn a lot about themselves. It’s a lot of fun, kids, dogs, staff and volunteers all work together to produce dogs that change the lives of families in need.

Everyday our dogs make these young people smile, give them a sense of achievement and help to increase their self-esteem. The passion these young people develop for their dogs certainly helps aid my passion for writing. It’s great to see a really good side of these students and bring out their best qualities on a daily basis.

Obi has always enjoyed coming out to Labs ‘n Life sessions. He no longer works, but he is still very much a part of the program. Obi is there if students are upset, or need a companion for a walk, or to demonstrate how things are done to all of our younger dogs. He loves to show off and get fussed over all day. He certainly deserves his celebrity status amoungst my students. They all love the opportunity to spend time with Obi and he loves being with the students. He is still learning new tricks and will take any opportunity to make someone’s day.

I started writing Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist before I had my own children. I always wanted to find a way to share Obi with more children.  The first book is all about Obi’s first adventure and how he became a super puppy. Obi relives this adventure by talking to my two daughters, Maddy and Aijay. My girls will always love their very own super puppy.

Working with children has encouraged me to integrate my two passions, my dogs and writing. It just seemed natural to write about life from Obi’s point of view and was fun to include my own kids. They certainly enjoy being part of Obi’s adventures.

Q) What’s next for Obi, and will we see other Labs ‘n Life dogs as stars in your stories?

A) I am currently working on a sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. His second adventure will feature a few of his friends from Labs ‘n Life, who are all amazing characters. Once again he will be reliving the experience with Maddy and Aijay, but this time he also has to educate the new puppy – Stitch about what it means to be a super hero.

Stitch is another yellow Labrador; he is almost two years old now. He absolutely idolizes Obi and they make quite a pair. They have very different personalities. Obi is extremely confident and will always want to be the first to do a task. Stitch is much more cautious, but hates to be outdone. They work really well as a team and it’s fun to incorporate this dynamic relationship into my writing.

The sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist will also involve the development of Labs ‘n Life according to Obi. There will also be a few extra characters. One of the favourite Labs ‘n Life dogs (if there is just one) is big Rigger. He is one of the biggest Labradors I have ever met. Rigger was such a goofy puppy, but he and Obi were instant mates. They remain best friends today. Rigger is really just a big teddy bear; he too was one of our original Labs ‘n Life dogs. I’m pretty sure Obi thinks he trained Rigger. I know he thinks he trained Stitch and is pretty proud of his efforts too.

There will certainly be more than one sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. Obi and his friends have had so many adventures, I have a lot of work to do, but I can’t wait to get them all down and in print.

It’s great work that you are doing working with the dogs with children on the Autism spectrum. Thanks Ashley, for taking time to introduce us to Labs ‘n Life, Obi and your work. We’ll watch for the upcoming sequel! In the meantime, check out the book trailer:

 

Purchase a copy of Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist

 

Find Ashley at her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Top Twos-Day: BEA Buzz – Fabulous Fall Releases

Each Tuesday I’ll bring two items or people into focus. They may be books, authors, lists, whatever turned my head, landing on my radar.

Meet Stefan Bachmann, debut author of The Peculiar, due in September (Greenwillow Books, imprint of HarperCollins). Bachmann’s middle grade gothic-steampunk fantasy is tearing up stat lovers at BEA, comparing his work to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. Hear from Bachmann about his work, The Peculiar:

 

Also, watch for My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, edited by Ronald Rice with illustrations by Leif Parsons releasing November (Black Dog & Leventhal, Workman) See the complete list of authors here (scroll down). ABA announced, “A portion of My Bookstore authors’ fees is being donated to a fund set up by the publisher to support bookseller scholarships to ABA’s Winter Institute, and a portion of the publisher’s revenue is being given to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship.” Read an excerpt…

More Top Twos-Days…

 

Spotlight: Eleanor Bennett

Today I welcome 16 year old photographer phenom Eleanor Bennett to the spotlight. She began her craft at the age of 12, collecting recognitions ranging from the only UK individual to have her work presented in the National Geographic and Airbus run, to the youngest artist displayed in Charnwood Art’s Vision 09, and New Mill’s Artlounge Dark Colours Exhibition. Numerous exhibits dot the globe in the UK, France, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, and Australia, plus she’s racking up copious contest and publication credits including the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the BBC News Website, while simultaneously snagging books and magazines covers in the United States and Canada. Bennett’s style and approach is 100% serious, her camera focused on her subject and her eye on the finished project.

Q) Tell us what’s been the best subject or your favorite, and what’s a theme or topic you don’t think you’d like to capture again?

A) I find one of the best subjects to be ruined objects. “Situations which make me reflect and ask why the hell do humans do this type of thing?” If you find beauty in all of that you must be achieving stuff. I don’t want to capture flowers and grasshoppers again. I want to stretch my creativity.

Q) You’ve certainly done that! With your considerable resume, do you ever stop and wonder where you’ll be in five or ten years?

A) Mainly front covers, trying to get taken more seriously. A few interviews and artist featuring. I’ve no idea where it is all going to take me but I work hard and wake early. There is an opportunity just waiting for me to claim it. I’m good at being there to grab something.

Q) All the work you’ve done is paying off. What’s your latest project, and where do you see this one taking you?

A) I was recently offered a flight to NYC by a contest run by a magazine I was due to be published in. You have to reach out those feelers and connect. I sold a few prints with the saatchi gallery last year (gilt groupe sale). I’m just waiting to get my claws into an education grant for all this hard work.

Q) Exciting! Keep us posted on that one. Switching it up, what would you say influences your choices as subjects when you are out seeking a great photo shoot?

A) Has it been taken before? Do I feel it, is it bad luck if I don’t shoot it? well I’ll grab it. What setting? Its low light flash burst I think. I want that grain , not minded about the lost of quality. Can’t do raw , my software won’t let me. Take about 50 of this, up, down, around, below. I just need one good frame. All the effort is worth it.

Q) Many shots just to equal one good frame, sounds like you’re relentless. What do you do if you’re not satisfied with a shot?

A) I took a frame a couple of months ago, only turned out 500kb. Enlarged it to 8mb and now it’s the front cover of the Delinquent (starfish).

Q) It turned out better that you would have imagined! What do you recommend for people who are interested in achieving ideal photos?

A) Irfanview is a life saver when resizing for those not able to afford photoshop.

Thanks, Eleanor! Good luck with all your projects and we look forward to following your amazing career as it progresses.

To find Eleanor Bennett’s work check out Motley Press, Able Muse, Educe Journal, Penduline Press, and Polka Dot Punks. Read more about Eleanor Bennett at her website, Idol Magazine, and on her Facebook Fan Page.

Read more Spotlights…

on this day I pause…

humbled and heartfelt thanks to all our veterans

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