Not since the first Freakpunk (think carnivals and clowns) issue has The Were-Traveler had such a popular theme for writers. "My Job is a Hellhole!" closed submissions last night at midnight with 121 stories in the queue. I'm going to need some slush-reading help with this one. If you are an author who submitted a story to this, please be patient with me, it's going to take some time.
The theme is devils, imps, demons, etc in the workplace or working for Old Scratch hisdamnedself. I need to narrow 121 spots down to about 12 or so...ain't gonna be easy!
Why this theme? In two parts: I once submitted a story to a general demon anthology about a demon who got cast out of hell and de-horned who becomes a babysitter for Satan's half-human daughter...never got published. I'm not putting it in this issue. I need to revisit it and revise it and submit it to a magazine other than my damn own. So that story started the seed idea. Then a few months ago I watched an old X-Files episode with a similar premise .
As far as when the issue will be published on the site, we'll have to see how long it takes to get through these submissions.
This is a preview of one of the possible images for the issue art.
Current Submission Call is open (until filled) for Curst & Twysted Tarot. I am not opening for submissions for any other issues until Hellhole is published.
In the past, I published an issue that required the authors to select an image as a prompt and then write a story based on that prompt.
Sometime soon after 2021 hits, I will place a call for submissions that will ask authors to select an image of a creature tarot card (from a pre-determined page of them on a paid graphics site that I happened to run across in my search for Were-Traveler images to buy). The image used for this post is not one of them, but from an image search in Weebly, much thanks to Jayde Genira of Flickr). I will post the link for the images once I put up the call for submissions. This Call will be open until filled, meaning once I have enough suitable stories for the issue, I will close it down.
I'm looking forward to this one folks. The creative potential for this one is unlimited in the telling...it's in the cards!
Submissions Open for "My Job is a Hellhole!" Submissions for "Women Destroy (Retro) Sci-Fi..." is Now Closed
"Women Destroy [Retro] Sci-Fi" call for submissions has ended . I'm looking forward to reading all of the great stories by women authors re-envisioning science fiction's not so glamorous past (especially when it came to publishing women authors). Many women authors of early American sci-fi had to go under unassuming letter names (and some like myself still do) or male pseudonyms in order to see their words in print.
In fact, there's a whole award given by the Hugo Awards now to rectify the inglorious past: The James Tiptree Jr. award. They recently changed the name of the award to the "Otherwise" award, to include other expansions of gender expression in speculative writing.
Meanwhile, The Traveler is now OPEN for submissions to the "My Job is a Hellhole!" This title is tentative. The themes for this are "working for the devil," "my co-workers are demonic or possessed," that kind of thing. Please see the description on the Submissions Call page for details of what I would like to publish for this one.
All of the slush reading is finally done on "People of Color Destroy Lovecraft." All acceptance and rejection emails have been sent.
I will start putting together story order and TOC links and begin creating the TOC page soon. I am planning on uploading the issue by the end of the month. Sooner, if I can.
Meanwhile, I am now accepting submissions for "Women Destroy Retro Science Fiction."
Women authors and authors who identify as women are welcome to submit.
Reading for POC Destroy Lovecraft & the Issue with the Submission Form is RESOLVED...
Hello, readers and writers, Travelers of the Realm.
This here is just an update, to let you all know what's going on.
Thanks to the first author to submit to "Women Destroy Retro Sci-Fi" for letting me know the submission form was broken. It should be fixed now, ladies, if you want to send your stories in. If for some reason it still is wonky, please shoot me an email to let me know and you can submit your story, bio, etc. at the same time. Sorry it went belly up there.
I'm currently in the process of reading submissions for "People of Color Destroy Lovecraft." If you have submitted to this issue, expect to hear from me soon. The issue should be uploaded to the site before the end of August.
Superfreak: Freakpunk Issue 2 Released: With Sweat and Tears and Runny Clown Make-up...
Welp, the first issue of the new Were-Traveler is out of the funhouse, running amongst the fairgoers and the festival attendees and the carnival freaks. I am happy to have gotten it out the gate, but it was the hardest magazine I ever published.
It was the first time I had to say No and reject a writer friend of mine. His story was good, but I had no room for it. It happens. It didn't make me happy, but I felt it helped me to grow on this rough path known as publishing. One of the painful hurdles I knew I had to jump over, no matter how high and difficult.
I want so much for this little magazine. So much. I hope I can grow it into something wonderful and good. I want to have writers win awards for having their stuff printed here, whether they win it from here or from being reprinted somewhere else. I would say that it doesn't matter to me if this little rag never gets noticed for anything, but I'd be flat out lying. Of course, I'd like it to be successful! I'm going to put a great deal of effort into making it succeed.
UPDATE: The Calls for Submissions for People of Color Destroy Lovecraft hasn't gotten but one damn submission yet. Just one. I hope that is because authors are busy penning stories for it. It's early yet so I won't completely lose my shit until the last couple of weeks before the deadline. At that point, I may have to pull it and put up the call for the Women Destroy Retro Sci-Fi. But I am hoping I don't have to do that.
I got a response recently from my post on future themes from someone who really wants the "My Job is Hell" theme. So be it...Jedi. I'll run that theme after Women Destroy Retro Sci-Fi.
To all of you reading this little zine, I appreciate you.
See you in July sometime, if I get some submissions for POC Destroy Lovecraft.
The new Were-Traveler has been officially released from the depths, and we are now awaiting the first submissions for the first new issue, SuperFreak! Freakpunk 2.
Freakpunk stories are ones that take place at roadside carnivals, town festivals or state or county fairs, traveling circuses, and the like. Clowns can feature as part of the horror, but they don't have to be present for the story to be considered "freakpunk." Creepy carnies (people who work at the carnivals), ride operators who enjoy terrorizing the riders, freak show people...all of these factors encompass the genre of "freakpunk."
I got the idea for freakpunk from the scary tales my grandmother used to tell me about traveling carnivals in in the country areas of the midwest and midsouth (Kentucky, Tennessee) from her childhood. Apparently, these carnivals would pop up in fields on country roads anywhere, stay for a few days and then just disappear. The whole concept seemed creepy as hell to me. I asked her all sorts of the most morbid questions after these stories. Did anyone disappear? Did bad things ever happen? Were there freak shows? She didn't know if bad things ever happened, or if people or kids ever disappeared (opportunity missed to keep a kid like me behaving if you ask me), but sometimes there were freaks. I liked to let my mind wander about the rest. Early plot bunnies that fueled the fantasy and horror writing of my youth.
For more about freakpunk, read the first freakpunk issue from the old Were-Traveler site, found here: Southern Fried Freak Show!
I hope to read your unique and special and creepy freakpunk stories soon.
Possible Future Themes...
I've been considering future themes for issues. Sometimes the old publisher bunnies get breeding like mad in my brain and I have to stop at some point and say..."Whoa! Only a few at a time please!"
Here are some themes being considered for future issues:
We shall see. First we need to get started with the themes we have now.
The Were-Traveler is Re-Born!
The original The Were-Traveler fiction eZine was first published in October 2011. The first issue was Hundred Word Halloween, a celebration of horror drabbles just in time for Halloween. There were fifteen drabbles published in that virgin voyage, by five authors. Not too bad for a first issue.
The Traveler grew after that. Authors and poets from all over the world have been published on this little modest speculative fiction site. The site author, publisher, and editor, Maria (M.X. or Reo) Kelly took care of everything alone for six years while working two-to-three jobs and trying to stay healthy.
In late 2017/early 2018 she had a health scare. She got sick and thought it might be cancer. She [finally!] was able to get tested [colonoscopy] in 2019 and the results came back negative for cancer...just a bit of diverticulosis.
Needless to say, she was exhausted physically and mentally for a long, long time. She put the eZine on hold and focused on surviving [financially and physically and mentally]. Recently, her main part-time gig offered a chance for a full-time promotion position. She went for it, and got it. She is now in a position to start this modest internet speculative fiction magazine back up again and make it even better. She is in a position to offer authors pay for their work now.
M.X. is looking forward to taking The Were-Traveler even further! I hope you enjoy reading the NEW and Improved Traveler!