Sword & Sorceress 22

Sword & Sorceress returns!

I’m sure others of you remember this anthology series. I won’t go so far as to say it had a huge effect on me, but it certainly had one; among other things, I was vexed when I saw teenagers getting published in it, thereby highlighting my failure to become a Child Prodigy. (Alas, I didn’t write any non-crappy short stories until I was twenty.) Anyway, it’s good to see that it’s back.

But what to send, what to send? (The reading period doesn’t open until March, but I’m looking ahead.) “Stories should be of the type generally referred to as ‘sword and sorcery’ and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about.” Clear enough, but where do I go with that?

Well, for starters, it turns out I’ve got a dearth of female protagonists on hand at the moment. Of the fifteen stories I’ve got in circulation, four and a half meet that criterion. (The half is “Driftwood,” which splits pretty equally between two characters, the other of which is male.) So the initial list is:

  • “The City’s Bones”
  • “The Drowning Ships”
  • “La Molejera”
  • “A Mask of Flesh”

TCB is urban fantasy, therefore probably out. La M is one of my strongest candidates for the label “interstitial,” which puts it pretty far away from sword & sorcery. That leaves me with TDS, which is not one of my stronger stories, and AMoF, which might count as having “explicit sex,” depending on how explicit they mean.

Which leaves me with stories not yet in circulation. (I’m very glad, now, for that recent short story census.) “Sciatha Reborn” isn’t ready to see the light of day, though I could try to get it there. “On the Feast of the Firewife” isn’t s&s enough. “The Last Wendy” isn’t what they’re after. “Kingspeaker” could go, but it isn’t my best bet. The faerie trouble story, even if I knew what to do with it, also probably fails the s&s test. I could try to go with “Once a Goddess,” if I can figure it out . . . or with the one story I forgot to include in that list, “The Waking of Angantyr.”

Which is based on an Old Norse poem and has a strong female protagonist dragging up the ghost of her father and brothers so she can get revenge for their murders.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner — if I can get the story working, which it isn’t at present. akashiver gave me some good advice on it, but I foolishly didn’t make use of that advice while it was still fresh in my mind, so I’m not sure where I stand. But I’ll give it a shot, I think.

What about you all? Anybody else thinking of submitting?

0 Responses to “Sword & Sorceress 22”

  1. catrambo

    I’m thinking about digging out one of the several half-finished S&S-type stories I have squirreled away from several hard drives ago and rewriting/finishing it.

  2. ombriel

    I don’t think I have a damn thing that is s&s.

    • Marie Brennan

      If the new antho is going to be anything like the rest of the series, their definition of s&s will be flexible . . . but having said that, most of your stuff isn’t their type, no. Might be worth sending whatever is the closest, though, just on the off chance; they’re a pretty high-profile market.

  3. deedop

    I don’t think I’ve got anything remotely S&S at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I won’t before April 20th. It’s definitely worth a go.

  4. shalanna

    Thank you for the info about where to submit!

    I do have a story that I wrote about eight years ago and sent in to the last known anthology, but mostly that was by invitation and I don’t think they considered my submission very seriously, as they had Important Published Authors’ work to look at. And this story really won’t fit anywhere else, as it’s kind of S&S flavored. I will send it, because I am one of those hopeless eternal optimists who just cannot stop Believing although I am constantly being told that if I only WOULD stop Believing, I could finally be happy. However, there’s really no hope. *gloom*

    I don’t suppose there is anyone out there who’d be willing to take a look at the story and see if it’s hopeless? You could even steal it and send it in under your own name. At least then it would get to go out and be a bride for a change. The story is entertaining, or at least I claim it is. But I think I am a jinx and a Jonah and probably won’t sell until I create that alternative identity. I really should do that, but then I’ll probably get taken down by Homeland Security. . . .

    • Marie Brennan

      Re: Thank you for the info about where to submit!

      Online writing workshops are a good way to go, if there isn’t a good community of writers in your physical vicinity.

  5. oneminutemonkey

    Wow, cool.
    I spent my high school years submitting my godawful attempts to S&S and getting horribly rejected by MZB.
    I may just have to try this again. :>

  6. jimhines

    I’m toying with an idea … I’ve been novel-obsessed for a while now, so I don’t have anything appropriate on hand. But it’s Sword & Sorceress! I’d really like to send them something.

  7. snickelish

    Hmm, I don’t have *anything* that it is even remotely close. My one S&S story ever is completely dominated by its male characters. However, I really would love to try. Maybe I’ll try to cook something up between now and the deadline.

  8. lowellboyslash

    I don’t have anything yet.
    But I have a month, right? <g>

  9. prosewitch

    I loved those freaking books! I even had a few stories rejected, one with an “almost” from MZB. πŸ˜€

    Not sure if I have anything around these days to submit, though…

  10. selenya

    I had an almost way back when…

    And Dude.

    I’m so gonna try. ^.^

    Thank you!!!

    *squee*

  11. d_c_m

    I really like Sword & Sorceress! Good news to my ears!!

  12. diatryma

    MZB is responsible for me sending stories out to begin with, which led to me writing short stories instead of great long things shaped roughly like novels. I never got a rejection from her, though, always Rachel Holmen. I feel like I missed out on something.

  13. Anonymous

    I have a friend who wrote two stories saying “if only S&S was still around, I could submit these to them.”

    So she’ll be thrilled when she reads this entry. πŸ™‚

    C. Rooney

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