Douglas Smith's blog

New German Short Fiction Market: Pulpcore

I just added an entry on my Foreign Market List for a new short fiction market in Germany, called Pulpcore. They take stories in English from 2,000 to 6,000 words and translate to German at no cost. They also take email submissions. They pay $20 per story, which isn't great, but since you'll already have sold the story in English (you know that, right? If not, read this), then it's found money and another country that can discover your work. Check out their entry on the FML here. Happy submitting!

An Italian "Symphony"

Symphony ebook coverNo, not Mendelssohn's 4th (didn't know I had culture, did you?). My short SF story, "Symphony," will appear in an upcoming "SF and Music" issue of the Italian magazine, Quasar, likely this fall.

Earlier this year, Quasar published my Aurora-winning story, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," and I'm thrilled to be appearing in the magazine for the second time. This will be my fifth publication in Italian.

"Symphony" first appeared in the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, in 1999, where it won second prize in the magazine's SF contest to commemorate Canadian SF writer, A. E. van Vogt. The story was a finalist for the Aurora Award in 2000.

If you'd like to read "Symphony," it's included in my collection Chimerascope and is also available as a stand-alone ebook.

Announcing a New Book: Playing the Short Game

Playing the Short Game coverI am thrilled to announce that I have a new book coming out in September, my first non-fiction project. 

If you follow this blog, you'll remember that I wrote a 32-part blog series for Amazing Stories from 2012-2013 aimed at helping writers learn how to best market and sell their short fiction. I have now repackaged those posts into a book titled Playing the Short Game: How to Market Sell Short Fiction.

The book is completely updated and reorganized, with new material not in the blog series, plus an introduction from multi-genre, multi-award winning writer and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Here's an extract from Kris's intro:

Douglas Smith is the best person to write this book. ... He’s one of the few people who has probably published more short fiction than I have, and in more countries, and more high-paying markets. He loves the short story as much as I do, and he’s good at writing them.


He’s just as good at the business side of the profession. He knows more about marketing short stories to other countries than I do. He understands how to manage short fiction contracts very well. He’s up-to-date on 21st century publishing practices, and he has a toughness that the best business people need.


We short story writers have needed a book like this for decades. I’m glad Doug decided to write it. Read and reread this volume. Because you’ll learn something each time you do. And take Doug’s advice. It’s spectacular.


Don’t take my word for it. Turn the page and dive in. By the time you’re done, I’ll wager you’ll be recommending this book to your writer friends—just like I have.


—Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Thanks, Kris!

Playing the Short Game will be coming out this September, but you can pre-order it now at a reduced price from select sites listed below.

Now, here's a summary of what the book covers.

About the Book

Take your first step to becoming a professional short fiction writer—Buy this book!

In an engaging and conversational style, award-winning author Douglas Smith teaches you how to market and sell short stories—and much, much more:

The Fundamentals: The different types of writers. The benefits of short fiction. Rights and licensing.

Selling Your Stories: Knowing when it's ready. Choosing markets. Submitting stories. Avoiding mistakes. How editors select stories. Dealing with rejections. When to give up on a story.

After a Sale: Contracts. Working with editors. What your first sale means. Dealing with reviews.

A Writer's Magic Bakery: Selling reprints. Foreign markets. Audio markets. Selling a collection. The indie option.

Becoming Established: Leveraging your stories. Discoverability and promotion. Career progression in short fiction.

Buying Links

The book will be released in both ebook and print editions in September 2014, but you can pre-order your copy now at the reduced prices shown below.

Ebook (Pre-order now):

For the month of August, you can pre-order the ebook edition at the reduced price of $7.99 (reg price $9.99): 


Trade paperback (Pre-order now):

For the month of August, you can pre-order the print edition from my bookstore at the reduced price of $17.99 (reg price $19.99): 


Trade paperback – autographed & personalized (Pre-order now):

For the month of August, you can pre-order a personalized and autographed print edition from my bookstore at the reduced price of $24.99 (reg price $29.99): 


FML update: New Russian market "Kosmoport"

I've added a new market to the Foreign Market List. Kosmoport is a new Russian magazine. I'm still tracking down some details, but you can check it out on the FML here. If your Russian is better than mine (or better than the Google translation), I'd appreciate it if you can glean any more info from their website than I could, especially regarding their maximum length for submissions.

"The Walker..." published in Quasar #2 in Italy

Quasar 2 coverI wrote recently about the upcoming publication of my story "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" in the new Italian magazine Quasar. The issue with my story (issue #2) is now out (see the cover at the right).  

"The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" won the Aurora Award in 2013, and I'm pleased to see that my tale is appearing with a Hugo-nominated story by Mike Resnic and one by Robert Silverberg. This is my fourth publication in Italy. 

If you'd like to read "The Walker...," you can pick up an ebook version in my bookstore here.

Playing the Short Game: University of Toronto course

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be teaching a course this fall at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. The course is called "Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction" and is part of the certificate program that the U of T offers in their Creative Writing program.

The course is based on the popular blog series of the same name that I did in 2013 for Amazing Stories. My upcoming book, also titled Playing the Short Game, will be released later this summer and will form the textbook for the course.

If you live in Toronto and are interested, here’s the registration link for the course.

Also, if you know of a short story writer in the Toronto area who might be interested, please feel free to forward this information to them.

The course will run for ten weeks on Wednesdays, from October 1 to December 3. Details are as follows:

Course Description

A wealth of courses and books exist to teach you how to write stories. But what happens when you've finished writing? Do you know how to sell what you've written?
In this course, you will learn everything you need to know to sell your short stories to professional markets and to build a career as a short fiction writer.

Learner Outcomes

This course teaches you the business side of short fiction. By the end of the course, you will understand the benefits of short fiction for a writing career, rights and licensing for short fiction, how to find the right professional markets for a story, how to submit and sell to those markets, mistakes to avoid in submitting your work, how editors work and why they choose or reject stories, what to look (and look out) for in short fiction contracts, how to work with an editor, and how to handle rejections and reviews. Most importantly, this course will teach you how to use your short stories to build a career as a writer.


Students should have at least one story completed and ready to send out to market.

And here again is the registration link.

The 49th Shelf reviews THE WOLF

The Wolf at the End of the World coverSteve Stanton has a nice review of The Wolf at the End of the World up on the "Recommended Reads" page at The 49th Shelf, the site dedicated to Canadian books. Here's a brief excerpt from his review:

"An excellent debut novel. … Modern controversy over aboriginal land claims is mixed with a romantic embellishment of ancient stories. … Staccato pacing and multiple POVs with a hook at the end of each short segment [keeps] the energy level perpetually high."

Check out more on The Wolf, including an excerpt and full buying links, here.

The terrible legacy of residential schools: Moose River Crossing

I had the opportunity recently of viewing the film "Moose River Crossing" at the Reel World Film Festival. Through the voices of six characters, all survivors of the residential school system, we are given a glimpse into the terrible impact that this shameful program had on our native peoples. I wrote more on the residential schools here earlier

The movie is wonderfully done, but powerful and (as it should be) disturbing. The film's writer and director, Shirley Cheechoo, herself a residential school survivor, attended the screening and the Q&A after, as did the producer and some of the actors. When asked by an audience member what could be done to make more Canadians aware of this sad chapter in our history, Ms. Cheechoo asked for help in getting the film to be included in our public school curricula, so that our children will at least know what our own government and churches did to several generations of native children. 

So if any of you are reading this and are a teacher or educator (or know someone who is), please point them to this movie and ask them to help. A contact page for inquiries about the movie is available here.

George Monbiot on "rewilding the world"

One of the key themes in my novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, is that of protecting our natural environment and specifically the habitats of our wild animals. If that topic also concerns and interests you, then I think you'll enjoy (and be encouraged) by this fascinating TED talk by George Monbiot. Monbiot discusses the many postive and seemingly (at first) counter-intuitive benefits that occurred when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the US.

As Wisakejack tells Zach in my novel, "everything's connected." We humans don't yet understand how complex the natural food chains in this world are (or were). His talk and his suggestions that we need to "rewild our world" give some hope that we can restore the complexity of these chains and in so doing heal the natural environments that we have ravaged--the environments that we rely on as well.

Author Cory Redekop interviews me

The excellent and award-winning Canadian author, Corey Redekop, recently interviewed me on my novel, The Wolf at the End of the World and on writing topics in general. I even managed to work in a discussion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because, well, because Buffy.

Check out the interviews here:

The Conscious Interview, Part 1

The Conscious Interview, Part 2

The Sub-conscious Interview (and Buffy)

And please check out Corey's novels, the award-winning Shelf Monkey and his latest, Husk,


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