The first officially published picture book I illustrated got released last month and I finally received my author’s copies which I’m super happy with. :D
‘Mother Cary’s Butter Knife’ was written by the wonderful Nicola Davies and is part of the Shadows and Light series published by Graffeg.

You can get a copy either on amazon or directly at the publisher’s website.

Okay, so, I see a lot of problems with people getting works stolen off the internet because the art is in a “public space.” While yes, that is true, the internet is public space and art is posted there, but that doesn’t make it public property, properly known as “Public Domain.”

Public Domain:

“Art becomes public domain only after 70 years after the artist who made the work has DIED, 95 years after publication, or 120 years after creation, which ever comes first”. (Source). This is why you are allowed to use famous works like Van Gogh’s “Starry Knight” or Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” freely with out copyright issues, the artist have died well over 70 years ago, thus the work they have produced is now free for the pubic to use.


Posting art on the internet is not considered published works. “Published works are works that are made into copies able to distribute to the public.” (Source). Posting art on a site like tumblr, deviantart, message boards, youtube, vimeo, or any other number of websites are meant for display, not for redistribution unless the artist as stated that: “This work is available for redistribution.” However, if you do not see that sentence anywhere, then that art is purely for display only and you must ask that artist permission to use that work unless you are favoriting it on deviantart, reblogging/liking on tumblr/blogspot, adding the video/song to a playlist on youtube, etc.

Intellectual Property:

Now, until the art work is under public domain, the works in question are protected under “Intellectual Property.” Where artist, inventors, writers, creators in general, are protected under the constitution and have full ownership of the works they have created from the moment it is created. (Source). Taking someone’s work that does not belong to you is considered theft and punishable by the full extent of the law. Meaning, the case can be taken to court and serious repercussions will ensue for the offender. (Source). The works are not just protected in the US, but world wide, and outlined in “article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (Source).  

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. (Source).

TL;DR: Yes the internet is public space, but that does not mean the works on the internet is considered public domain. All works are protected by Intellectual Property until it has been 70 years after artist’s death, 95 years after publication, or 120 years after date of creation; whatever comes first. Posting works on the internet does not count as publishing.

It is safe to say, any works created now will not be free to use publicly in your lifetime unless stated otherwise by the creator them self.


Public Domain:


Copyright/Intellectual Property: 

Publishing for Fun and Profit

So there was a list going around tumblr for a while that made it to my dash of literary journals that accept open submissions (and will pay!), but upon inspection about half of them were closed indefinitely, and I found quite a few other places that looked interesting through further research, so I wanted to post my own list. 

I tried to focus on things that paid professional grade (at least 6 cents per word), were friendly to speculative fiction, and specifically encouraged diversity and writing about marginalized groups.

(Please note that as of right now I have never submitted or been published with any of these, so if anyone has experience with them, good or bad, please feel free to message or reblog this with your experiences.)

Speculative Fiction

  • Strange Horizons — Speculative fiction (broadly defined) with an emphasis on diversity, unusual styles, and stories that address politics in nuanced ways. 8c per word. Up to 10,000 words, under 5,000 preferred. Responds within 40 days. LGBT+ positive.
  • Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine — Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc. 7-12c per word. Up to 25,000 words. No response times listed.
  • Asimov’s Science Fiction — Primarily sci-fi but accepts fantasy and surreal fiction, but no high fantasy/sword and sorcery. Prefers writing that is character driven. 8-10c per word. 1,000-20,000 words. Responds in about five weeks.
  • Evil Girlfriend Media — Horror and urban fantasy centered on female empowerment and defying gender stereotypes. $100 flat payment. 4,000-7,000 words. No response times given. LGBT+ friendly.
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies — Fantasy with a focus on secondary worlds and characters. 6c per word. Up to 10,000 words. Average response time 2-4 weeks.
  • Fantastic Stories — Speculative fiction with an emphasis on diversity and literary style. 15c per word. Up to 3,000 words. Responds within two weeks. LGBT+ positive.
  • Fiction Vortex — Serialized fantasy and speculative fiction. $300 for featured stories, $50 otherwise. 3,500 words or less. No response times given.
  • Shimmer — Speculative fiction with an emphasis on diversity, strong plots, vivid characters, and beautiful writing. 5c per word. 7,500 words or less (will consider longer words with query letter). Usually responds within two weeks. LGBT+ positive.
  • Clarkesworld Magazine — Sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. 10c per word up to 5,000 words, 8c per word after. 1,000-16,000 words. Responds within days usually, gives a tracking number.
  • Apex Magazine — Speculative fiction of all kinds. 6c per word, +1c per word for podcast stories. Up to 7,500 words, all submissions over will be auto-rejected. Responds within 30 days.
  • Heliotrope Magazine — Speculative fiction of all kinds. 10c per word. Up to 5,000 words. Responds within 30 days.
  • Lightspeed Magazine — Speculative fiction of all kinds, with creativity and originality in terms of style and format encouraged. 8c per word. 1,500-10,000 words, under 5,000 preferred. LGBT+ positive. Submissions temporarily closed for their main magazine but is accepting for their People of Color Destroy Science Fiction special.

General Fiction

  • The Sun Magazine — General fiction, likes personal writing or writing of a cultural/political significance. $300-$1500 flat payment  and a one year subscription to the magazine for fiction (also accepts essays and poetry). No minimum or maximum lengths but over 7,000 words discouraged. Responds in 3-6 months. Physical submissions only.
  • One Story — Any and all varieties of fiction, “unique and interesting” stories encouraged. $500 payment plus 25 contributor copies. 3,000-8,000 words. Usually responds in 2-3 months.
  • Camera Obscura — General fiction. $1000 for featured story, $50 for “Bridge the Gap” award, no payment for other contributors. 250-8,000 words. Response time vary, running just over two months as of now.

Flash Fiction 

  • Daily Science Fiction — Speculative flash fiction (including sci-fi, fantasy, slipstream, etc.). 8c per word. Up to 1,500 words, but shorter stories given priority. Response times not listed.
  • Vestral Review — General flash fiction. 3-10c per word depending on length to a max of $25. Up to 500 words. Response within four months.
  • Flash Fiction Online — General flash fiction. $60 flat payment. 500-1,000 words. Response times not listed.


  • Riptide Publishing — Any LGBTQ manuscripts between 15,000 and 150,000 words. Currently especially interested in lesbian romances, trans stories, asexual/aromantic stories, romances with a happy ending, and genre fiction such as urban fantasy. Also has a YA branch.  LGBT+ positive.
  • Crimson Romance — Romance stories of all kinds, currently seeking LGBT+ stories with a focus on emotional connections and relationships, especially m/m romance. Novel (55,000-90,000 words) or novella (20,000-50,000 words) length.  LGBT+ positive.

Kindle Direct Publishing 

  • Kindle Direct Publishing — Allows you to set your own prices, create your own cover art, and make royalties off of each sell. Any and all genres are welcome and if you’re prolific and smart about how you’re publishing you can make pretty good money.
  • General Guide to Kindle Publishing — Gives a good rundown of the publishing process on Kindle.
  • 101 Guide to Kindle Erotica — Great guide with lots of resources about how to make money publishing erotica on Kindle.   

Publishing Comics/Graphic Novels

  • Here is a list of potential comic companies and what kind of open submissions they accept.  
  • Here is a list of literary agents who accept graphic novels. 
15 comics about queer witches of color, created by 17 women, demigirls, and bigender people of color.

POWER & MAGIC is a comics anthology about queer witches of color for teens and adults ages 14-and-up. The book is over 160 pages long, black and white, and contains 15 original stories blending fantasy, drama, humor, and romance.

On January 27th, I asked if any women of color out there were interested in making comics about queer witches of color, an archetype near and dear to me… The answer was a resounding yes. POWER & MAGIC is brought to you by a team of 17 women, demigirls, and bigender creators of color.

The witch is an icon of power. She represents transcendence, healing, insight, defiance, feminine monstrosity, and a sacred relationship to the self, the community, and the universe. From the euphoria of holding the stars in your grasp, to the sacrifices we make to reach them, POWER & MAGIC explores what it means to be a person of power in all its complexity.

After 7 months of hard work to complete the anthology, we’re ready for your orders! Every dollar we raise here on Kickstarter goes toward covering print costs, paying the creators, and rewarding you with limited-edition extras and ever-increasing book quality! Read below to learn more about our backer rewards and about our system for paying creators.

POWER & MAGIC is edited by Joamette Gil, a queer Afro-Cuban cartoonist and founder of P&M Press. You can learn more about P&M Press, our mission, and our journey at PowerAndMagicPress.com.

Back POWER & MAGIC on Kickstarter today to make the magic possible!

Masterpost of Writing Advice

For a full and updated list of writing advice, click here.
All advice is by Marina Montenegro and originally posted on Writing the Words blog. (This list is updated to include August’s Romance section)

Getting Started

Prewriting 101
Setting Up Your Space
Starting Again (if you’ve stopped)
Where to Start
Writing the Beginning
Writing What You Don’t Know
5 Truths About Being A Writer


Character Building
Non-Binary Characters
Writing A Hero
Writing Non-Humans
Writing Women
5 Ways to Name Your Character
5 More Ways to Name Your Character


Improving Dialogue: Eliminate Exposition


Tips & Tricks for NaNoWriMo

Planning & Outlines

How to Start Outlining
Is My Idea Good Enough?
Should you Outline?
7 Things to Do Before You Start


Fight Scenes
Sex Scenes
Sexual Assault in Literature
Story Arcs


When and Where to Publish
Rejection Letters

Romance:  *new!*

LGB Relationships
Romantic Subplots
Writing a Romance Novel


When Setting Really Matters

World Building:

Creating World Maps
World Building


Making Time to Write
Point Of View

Why I Write
Writers Block
Writing with Sound
5 Signs You Treat Your Reader Like an Idiot
On Editing

This was forwarded to me by a former colleague who attended a course on how to publish/edit a book. You probably already know most of these tips, but there might be something you’ll find helpful, who knows…


GENERAL STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK (what the story is and how it is being told):

  • What is the book about? What is the driving force behind the narrative?
  • Who is the audience for this book?
  • Is it based on real experience?
  • Does the story work? Are there any parts that feel unconvincing or where the narrative drags? 
  • Are there any parts I don’t understand?
  • What is the trajectory or the shape of the story?
  • Does the story start in the right place?
  • How quickly do I become immersed in the book?
  • Are there any points where my immersion in the story is broken, or I lose interest?
  • Do I believe in what I’m reading?
  • How satisfying is the ending? Does it feel inevitable?
  • Does it feel like anything is missing?
  • Is there anything extraneous (characters, detail, unnecessary plot points)?
  • What is the narrative point of view (first person, second person, third person)? Does it change? Is it consistent? Does it work? What might be lost or gained if the story were told another way?
  • Is the tense consistent? If it changes, is it necessary?
  • Does coincidence feature as a plot device? If so, is there another way to engineer the same events?

Keep reading

So, You Want to Work in Publishing: Advice from a Chronicle Books Editor

By Ariel Richardson

When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to work in children’s literature but I had no idea how to go about doing so. What does this thing called editing actually involve? How does one get started in the industry? Where should I look for job postings? Feeling pretty lost, I spent every spare moment over the course of several months researching the answers to those questions.

Since I love chatting with people just getting started in the industry, but don’t always have the time to do so in my day-to-day, I wanted to share some resources I find valuable—and resources I regularly pass along in informational interviews.

This is a competitive industry; landing your first internship or your first job can be tough! I’m hoping these tips will help you out on your path.

What kinds of jobs?

There are SO many cool jobs within publishing. Here are just a few of the many departments: Editorial, Managing Editorial, Design, Production, Digital, Marketing, Publicity, Subrights, Sales, Web/IT, Contracts, Finance, and Operations. Do you love international travel? Perhaps Subrights is the right fit for you. Do you lust after foil covers and painted edges in the book store? Perhaps Production is where you’re meant to be.

Although this post is about working at a publishing company, I want to point out that there are so many other jobs within the book pipeline that may also be of interest: artist (writer/illustrator), agent, reviewer, blogger, bookseller/book buyer, librarian, reading specialist/teacher, and professor. Publishing wouldn’t exist without these smart and passionate partners.


So often I’m asked whether you need a publishing or copyediting certificate or a masters degree to get a job in publishing. Definitely not! Publishing is a mentorship industry—the only place you can really learn the job is on the job.

But extra credentials can help your resume stand out from the pack by showing your commitment and knowledge; the other perk is that your time in a relevant educational program can be incredible for networking! When you graduate, you may suddenly have friends at major publishing houses, and when you need help, they’re only a phone call away. Only pursue if you’re interested, but if you are, you have a wide variety of options to choose from.

You can consider a publishing course—usually a time commitment of one to several months—like the publishing courses at Columbia, Denver, and NYU. You could consider a copyediting certificate (usually made up of several courses, often offered online) from places like Editcetera or UC Berkeley Extension. And finally, you could consider an advanced degree, like a masters in publishing at NYU or Emerson, or a Children’s Literature masters at Simmons College, and many more.

Read the rest of the post here!

How to Improve Written Dialogue in 6 Steps

Dialogue is often one of the clunkiest elements I read in a requested manuscript. It’s difficult to balance the nuances of real-life speech and the guidelines for written conversation, but it doesn’t take much to improve the dialogue you have already created. Here are six steps to improving written dialogue: 

Step 1: Sit at a coffee shop and listen to conversations.
Write down fragments of what you overhear. This is the best way to get real-world inspiration for your dialogue. For example, if you’re writing a book about teenagers, then listen in on a conversation between teenagers. No matter your protagonist, you can find real-world inspiration for how they talk, what they care about, and how they connect with other people through conversation. If a coffee shop doesn’t work for your research, then pick another public location. Parks, libraries, bookstores, restaurants… almost anywhere will work. 

Step 2: Avoid dialogue tags.
Dialogue tags are almost always unnecessary. If two characters in your book are having a conversation, readers don’t need to know who said what after each line. Your readers can assume that the speech is moving back and forth. Dialogue tags can make your writing look clunky and also waste your allowed word count on absolutely nothing. 

Step 3: Look up other ways to say “said”.
Even when you try to avoid them, sometimes you will need to use dialogue tags in order to let the reader know who is speaking. And when you do, occasionally find different tags than “said” to keep things interesting. 

Step 4: Remove (almost) all name mentions.
Most writers have a bad habit of including characters’ names in speech in the early drafts of a novel. People rarely call each other by name in real-world conversation. Don’t let every line of dialogue start with someone’s name because it’s unrealistic. 

Step 5: Get rid of the small talk.
Many people will tell you, when advising how to write dialogue, to make it sound as close to real-life speech as possible. This is one exception. Small talk happens a lot in real-life (how many conversations about the weather have you had in your lifetime?), but it shouldn’t be in your novel. No one wants to read small talk; readers are looking for interesting dialogue that is engaging and moves the plot forward. 

Step 6: Read all dialogue out loud.
Go ahead. Do it. Read every single line out loud. Pretend your dialogue is the script of a play and act it out. The way you’ve written it (and the words around the speech) should include hints at the emotion behind the words. Reading your dialogue out loud is the best way to catch errors, judge its compelling nature, and check that it sounds authentic.

Now go forth and write great conversations! 

I am your editor: submitting your novel
by Caro Clarke
By This website was designed and built by Caro Clarke

I have been in publishing for over ten years, mostly as an editor. I am the person who accepts or rejects your manuscript. Here is how I make my decisions.

I look at the envelopes I am opening as I work my way down the slush pile. Sloppy presentation is not a good sign. Neat, clearly labeled parcels give me hope. I haven’t even seen what’s inside, and already I’m making judgements.

Out come the manuscripts. I check each one for a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage attached or with enough international postal reply coupons (if it comes from overseas). Is the SASE big enough to hold the whole MS? Or is there a letter-size SASE for my reply? Good in both cases. I keep this submission on my desk. No SASE? I put the MS to one side. Maybe I’ll read it. Probably I won’t. I’ve had writers who’ve said: ‘You won’t find an SASE here because you won’t be rejecting this novel.’ Yes, I will. He just won’t be seeing his MS again, because I won’t be paying to mail it back. I also say goodbye to submissions without return addresses and submissions from overseas with their local postage attached. If the writer makes it too difficult or costly for me to contact him, believe me, I won’t. Why would I give him more consideration than he has given me, an overworked editor? He’s not that special. I am not that into him.

The submissions with proper SASEs are sorted again. Most rejections happen right then. Why do I reject them?

Read More →

The publishing industry can look impenetrable to a young writer, but with VerbalEyze it doesn’t have to be. We’re a non-profit that exclusively publishes authors between the ages of 13-22. 

  • Have a full-length manuscript, graphic novel, or collection of poems/stories story ready for publication? Submit a query. We’ll walk you through the process!
  • Or would you rather just dip in your toes? Submit a short story to our Young Writer’s Anthology.

Once you submit your manuscript, we’ll guide you through the all the confusing aspects of publishing like the licensing agreement, royalties, the editing process, and even marketing and promotion — and all while maximizing the benefits you receive!

Still refining your craft? Check out our mini-lessons, writing tools, get connected with other writers, or start your own writer’s workshop with our curriculum!


Book 1 of my comic KILL SIX BILLION DEMONS is now available in print form!

You can get it from your local comic shop, amazon, book depository, and elsewhere (though I recommend trying your local comic shop first!).

Kill Six Billion Demons is a weird fantasy comic I started as a webcomic three years ago. This is the first volume of hopefully four more. If you like bizarre, inter-dimensional fantasy, gangster demons, and kung fu angels, this might be right up your alley.

Diversity is not enough.

   We’re right to push for diversity, we have to, but it is only step one of a long journey. Lack of racial diversity is a symptom. The underlying illness is institutional racism. It walks hand in hand with sexism, cissexism, homophobia, and classism. To go beyond this same conversation we keep having, again and again, beyond tokens and quick fixes, requires us to look the illness in the face and destroy it. This is work for white people and people of color to do, sometimes together, sometimes apart. It’s work for writers, agents, editors, artists, fans, executives, interns, directors, and publicists. It’s work for reviewers, educators, administrators. It means taking courageous, real-world steps, not just changing mission statements or submissions guidelines.

   Maybe the word hasn’t been invented yet – that thing beyond diversity. We often define movements by what they’re against, but the final goal is greater than the powers it dismantles, deeper than any statistic. It’s something like equity – a commitment to harvesting a narrative language so broad it has no face, no name.

   We can love a thing and still critique it. In fact, that’s the only way to really love a thing. Let’s be critical lovers and loving critics and open ourselves to the truth about where we are and where we’ve been. Instead of holding tight to the same old, failed patriarchies, let’s walk a new road, speak new languages. Today, let’s imagine a literature, a literary world, that carries this struggle for equity in its very essence, so that tomorrow it can cease to be necessary, and disappear.

How Do You Know If Your Writing Is Any Good?
The Blunt Instrument is a monthly advice column for writers. If you need tough advice for a writing problem, send your question to blunt@electricliterature.com. Dear Blunt Instrument, My questions …

We get asked this. A lot. Here is one clear perspective, as well as a few tips for when you’re starting to think about publishing.

In 2012, Harvard University said the growing cost of journal subscriptions was an “untenable situation” for the school’s library, which shelled out $3.5 million a year for them.

“Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices,” an internal Harvard memo read.

It’s not just Harvard struggling with these costs. An analysis from the University of South Florida found that “American research libraries spent 227% more for their journal collections in 2002 than in 1986. The CPI increased 57% during the same period.”

The frustrating irony is that universities have to pay these sky-high prices despite the fact they are the institutions funding the research in the journals. Similarly, taxpayers spend $140 billion every year supporting research they can’t easily access.