The Spotlight (Info & Guidelines)

Writing’s a hard business. Just ask any novice writer, seasoned wordsmith, or soulless Faustian hack. Unless you’re locked into a comfy seven-figure contract with a movie deal on the way, you’re always gonna be chasing your next book. Your next sale. Even some successful traditional authors still grind away at day jobs to make ends meet. And others make sacrifices to live the dream of being a writer. Eating ramen noodles and deciding which utilities to pay at the first of the month.

Why? Because making a living writing is just plain hard.

At the end of the day, most of us are struggling to be successful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe we can help each other.

I ain’t Steven King or J. K. Rowling. Sad as that makes me. And you probably never heard of me before today. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help spread the word about you and your writing. So I’m gonna pay it forward. Maybe you’ll promote me in return, maybe you won’t. Either way, I’m gonna dedicate a slot on my website (“The Spotlight”) to regularly feature fantasy and sci-fi writers through their flash fiction and short stories.

As long as I have stories available, I’ll feature a guest story on the 2nd and 4th Mondays every month. The most beneficial way to do this is to reblog it. I’ll write a few sentences of promotional commentary, and then post the first 300 words of your piece, along with the title image. Below that, I’ll include a link to your site for the rest of the story. That way you get through traffic, and all comments on the story end up right where they should. With you.

You can find a link to an example of exactly how I’ll handle your material here.

The Guidelines are as follows:

1. No fan fiction. Fan fiction is great, it’s wonderful. It’s also technically copyright infringement. So sorry, no fan fic.

2. Secondary Publication is fine. I don’t mind if your story has been published before. Just as long as you aren’t breaking any contracts by submitting it to me. In fact, if you like I can mention the publication.

3. Science Fiction and Fantasy only. This includes everything from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars. Indiana Jones to X-Files. As long as it has some aspect of sci-fi, fantasy, or urban fantasy we’re in good shape.

4. 5,000 word limit. I know this is short, but the shorter I keep ’em, the more of ’em I can read. I’m willing to be a little flexible with this cap but I only have so much free time.

5. No erotica. Romance is great. I’m even okay with some suggestive content, but erotica just isn’t what I’m looking to promote.

6. No discrimination. No racial slurs, hateful comments or discrimination of any sort against real people or peoples. Exceptions include fake races (aliens, elves, etc. . .) or if your main character is on the other side of said discrimination. I’m okay with stories pushing equality, but wholeheartedly against stories pushing hate.

7. Must resemble a story. No poetry. No experiments that have no plot. Whatever you submit has to feel like something is happening. I will accept excerpts from books. But make sure something HAPPENS in the excerpt. If you send me 3,000 words of the main character going about his normal life and nothing happens to ’em, I’m probably not going to feature it.

8. Must be free AND on your website. Sorry, I’m currently only looking to help promote authors who have (at least some) work available for free on their website. Here’s the bottom line, I don’t want to feature stories that require readers getting out their wallet to read to the end. If your story is part of a larger anthology, or an excerpt/chapter from a novel that’s perfectly acceptable. I’d even be happy to plug your book. Just as long as the featured story, excerpt, or chapter is available for free on your website.

If you’re interested in being featured, post a link to your short story in the comments below. Or email me here! I’ll take care of the rest!

Go forth and conquer,

J. D.

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    • Howdy! I appreciate the interest. Unfortunately, I completely failed to outline my guidelines for submission. My apologies. I went back and updated them. Your story is much longer than I’m looking for! Feel free to review the guidelines and let me know if you have another one I can feature.

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