Women in Film & Diversity in Entertainment!

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Roman Media Inc.

 

Heads up, Everyone! Hollywood is going to be giving a shout out to Women in Film on February 21, 2017.

This isn’t a “horror” exclusive event, rather it’s about acknowledging all the women who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the entertainment industry.

“We are championing Women in Film and Diversity in Entertainment. Our goal is to celebrate with the Los Angeles Genre Film community and create an environment where filmmakers, producers, decision makers, and actors can network, discover new opportunities to grow, and continue to make more meaningful films,” says Michelle Romano, actress, producer and CEO of Roman Media Inc..

This sounds like it’s going to be an awesome party. There’s going to be the red carpet, award show, and then the fashion show. Some of the sponsors include The Independent Cinema Foundation, Breezeway Productions, and ChicArt Public Relations.

Submission Call! Interfictions

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Have a New Weird cross-genre rotting on your hard drive? You have until 8/31 to submit it to Interfictions Magazine. Up to 5,000 words, paying .10 cents/word.

Rather than defining “interstitial” for you, we’d like you to show us what genre-bending fiction looks like. Surprise us; make us see that literature holds possibilities we haven’t yet imagined. We’re invested in helping to foster a diverse and inclusive literary culture, so work from writers of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds is welcome. Previously unpublished stories only, please. We prefer stories under 5,000 words, but are open to submissions of up to 10,000 words long. Pay rate is 10 cents/word USD. We accept simultaneous submissions. Please submit only one story during this window.

A little froufrou, yes, so I recommend checking out archived issues before submitting. But 10 cents/word is not bad, fam! Good luck!

Snowpiercer (2013) Great if you like trains, meh if you don’t.

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Director: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, and Kang-ho Song

 

Korean movies/dramas are another guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve been watching Kang-ho Song since I was a wee kid. Loved him in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Gwoemul (2006). Didn’t know he was in Snowpiercer (2013) until that first snort of kronol. A happy revelation, to be sure, because Chris Evans’ halfhearted “I’m not a leader!” proclamations (despite being the only white dude with the most lines/action sequences and prophetic-like story arc) was starting to bore me. Can we also give a hand to Octavia Spencer and Ah-Sung Ko? Well-done.

This is a KOREAN movie. Don’t let the big-name American actors fool you. The phenomenal, racially diverse cast are a refreshing change of pace. The fighting sequences are glorious, the wacky plot gnaws on big ideas concerning class and privilege, and Tilda Swinton was bloody fantastic. And there’s trains. And pregnant ladies with machine guns. And Ed Harris. What’s not to like?

Well, there’s quite a bit not to like after 2/3 of the movie. The ending was phoned in. I rolled my eyes several times. The story isn’t great, OK? But who cares? It’s an action movie masquerading as transgressive filmmaking. Just roll with it (pun intended…cuz we’re talking about trains, remember?)

I don’t know whether to give this a B or C. Snowpiercer aimed too high and missed the mark for me, but I was never bored while watching this film and despite the plot-holey ending, I enjoyed the ride. Oh, hell. Let’s just give it a B. If you’re in the mood for a peculiar and funny thriller, Snowpiercer (2013) is for you!

Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror

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Southern gothic horror is uniquely (under-appreciated!) American literature, and too often written by white men. Imagine my surprise when stumbling across Eden Royce’s self-published anthology collection on GoodReads. A  black horror author with roots in Hoodoo/Conjure. Yasssss. I downloaded her book without hesitation and read it while listening to my old delta blues records. The proper way to enjoy a southern gothic is on a porch swing while the sweet, idle songs from grasshoppers rise up from the brush. Unfortunately, congested, downtown Chicago makes that impossible. So listening to Skip James was the next best thang, y’all. I’m also a little homesick and I miss my Gulf side of Texas. Reading “Spook Lights” was the perfect escapism for this reluctant city gal.

Connect with the author on

@edenroyce on Twitter  or her website, edenroyce.com, or blog

Or better, just buy her book on Amazon  or Lulu

There are 12 short stories in all, but my three favorites were “Doc Buzzard’s Coffin,” “Hag Ride,” and “The Choking Kind.” Royce’s melodic writing is full of texture, atmosphere, and characters that invoke the South. I felt the swelter and stale, human sweat rise through each word. Descriptive language meets Black folklore to create a leisurely atmosphere. Think ghost stories told around the campfire. Think of the fairytales your grandmother read to you when you were a child. Reading Spook Lights is more of an experience best enjoyed when not rushed. The horror element is subtle, often ironic, and I found myself able to predict most of the stories’ conclusions, however, the author’s charm and folksy delivery kept me squirming in my seat until the end of them. Most of the short stories are cautionary tales, where the main character often does something stupid, only to be punished or chastised by a vengeful spirit or magical spell later. There’s Hoodoo, Voodoo, murders driven by passion, and quests for revenge.

There’s also strong thread of female (often motherly) wisdom and jilted love in this collection. I appreciated the strong female protagonists of color. The women were often victims of their own making, but learned along the way how to find themselves. You don’t have to be from the south, Black, or a woman to understand the overall concept of this book, which I love. The author does a lovely job blending mythology for contemporary tastes. This is a book to kick back with and savor, bit by bit. It’s down-to-earth, like crackling bacon grease in a hot pan or like cold, tap water from the kitchen sink. Let the stories do the heavy lifting for you–Royce’s subtlety is masterful.

I enjoyed Spook Lights for its storytelling, not necessarily for innovation, horror, or plots. That said, I’m giving this anthology collection a solid 5/5. I heartily recommend Spook Lights to those looking for an enjoyable read rich with Southern atmosphere and non-traditional folktales told from Native American, Black, and a Caribbean perspective. Eden Royce’s ability to entertain is a dream. I will be reading more of her work.

 

Submission Call: Mothership Zeta!!!!

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Mothership Zeta is OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS from July 12 – July 25. They’re particularly interested in horror and sci-fi from diverse authors. What constitutes diverse?

Mothership Zeta welcomes submissions from writers of all backgrounds. We are especially interested in seeing more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, LGBTQ or non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States.  Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human race, so we strongly encourage submissions from these or any other underrepresented groups.

Submissions up to 6,000 words. Paying $0.06/word for original short stories and $30 flat rate for original flash fiction.

They do NOT want:

  • Graphic horror
  • Erotica
  • Fanfiction
  • Rape, torture, child abuse, etc.

So…get cracking this weekend, minions! May the odds be ever in your favor. Check out the links for more information and good luck. 🙂

Submissions OPEN for Fantasy Magazine!

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Are you a queer writer? This submission call is specifically for YOU! Submissions open through May for “Queers Destroy Fantasy!” at Lightspeed’s imprint, Fantasy Magazine. They’re paying 8 cents per word and are expecting fantasy submissions between 1500-7500 words. Christopher Barzak is guest editing. So…get crackin! And good luck!

Taken from their submission guidelines:

    • Who can submit stories for consideration for the special issue? Anyone who identifies as queer.
    • How do you define queer? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer–if you fit within the QUILTBAG, we want you. Identity is what matters for this issue. (Please note that the “A” in QUILTBAG is for “ace/on the asexual spectrum,” not “ally.” We hope allies will support this special issue, but if you are not yourself queer, please do not submit.)
    • I’m queer. What can I submit? Original fantasy short stories, 1500 – 7500 words.
    • How much are you paying for stories? 8 cents per word for original fiction.
    • How queer does my story need to be? We very much want to see diverse queer representation and queer themes, but we are focused on the identity of the authors and the quality of the story, not the “this much queer content per story” meter.
    • When can I expect a response to my submission? We will endeavor to reply as quickly as possible to submissions, but since assembling the special issue is similar to assembling an anthology, stories being seriously considered may be held until July 1, 2015 to allow our editors to consider everything before making final decisions.
    • How many stories and how often may I submit? Our usual policy of allowing authors to only submit a story once every 7 days is lifted for this issue; so while you may only submit one at a time, you can send in something else as soon as we pass on the first one.
    • What about reprints? Reprints for this issue are by solicitation only.
    • Can I submit a rejected story to LIGHTSPEED (or NIGHTMARE) in the future? All stories submitted to Queers Destroy Fantasy! will also simultaneously be considered for regular issues of LIGHTSPEED (or NIGHTMARE). So if you receive a rejection for Queers Destroy Fantasy!, you can consider that story having been rejected by LIGHTSPEED/NIGHTMARE in general. If we end up with so many good stories we can’t fit them all in the special issue, we’ll take such “overflow” for regular issues of the magazines.
    • Can I submit a story previously rejected by LIGHTSPEED or NIGHTMARE to QDF? Yes. Since it’s a different editorial team, it makes sense to allow them to consider such submissions. So if you have a story previously rejected by LIGHTSPEED/NIGHTMARE, feel free to resubmit it.
    • What kind of fantasy? All types of fantasy–high fantasy, contemporary urban tales, surrealism, magical realism, science fantasy, folktales…and anything and everything in between.
    • Is there anything you’re explicitly NOT looking for? Other than the fact that (a) the story needs to be by a queer author and (b) it has to be fantasy, please abide by the regular LIGHTSPEED/FANTASY guidelines. The only two things that our guidelines for this or any issue of LIGHTSPEED/FANTASY explicitly forbid are (a) erotica and (b) media-based fiction and/or fan fiction. Anything else is fair game.