Submissions end, the work begins

We've come to the end of our January submission period. Once again, thank you to everyone who sent us stories. We received 276 stories this time, which is a little lower than the previous submission periods; but there will still be plenty of competition for the seven spots we have.

Usually, we tell you about the trends we're seeing. It's still a little early to do so, but here are some concepts we've seen more than once:
  • A retelling of the Adam and Eve story
  • Stories about selling other people's souls to the devil
  • Cloning stories
None of these things are bad story ideas, and certainly aren't disqualifying. We're just seeing a lot of them, which will make the competition tougher if that's what your story's about.

And now the annoying fundraising part . . .

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is raising its rates. SFWA is an organization for professional writers, and it sets the standard professional pay rate for speculative fiction magazines. No magazine has to pay the SFWA rate, but authors must sell stories at that rate to qualify for membership in the organization, and many writers will only submit to magazines that pay pro rates.

SFWA has announced that pro rates will increase from 6 to 8 cents on September 1st, 2019. Paying our authors is a significant part of our expense, and this increase will be difficult for us to afford. That said, we do really want to continue paying professional rates. For this reason we've added a goal to our Patreon campaign. If we can reach our goal of $250 per month by July, we will pay rates of 8 cents per word for the stories we buy in our next submission period. If not, we will continue to pay 6 cents per word. So we are asking our readers to please contribute--even as little as $1 per month helps--so we can continue to bring you the very best in Christian-themed speculative fiction.