Grumpy Old Flash Fiction: Pesky Pestilence (Halloween Edition) DEADLINE: August 15, 2022!

Who loves the creepy, spooky fun of Halloween? 

These ladies right here, your friendly neighborhood staff of Stormdance Publications and the purveyors of the Grumpy Old Anthologies!

Of course, we’re all about the goofy side of creepy fun, not the existential terror bits. 

Laughing at what scares you = good

Existential terror = bad 

We’re also completely done with covid – and everything that goes with it.  It nearly got us, and it was a long hard slog to get back to a place where we could do what we do again.  It’s scary and we’re frankly tired of being scared.  So, (mostly under the idea that writing is the best therapy) we’re going to take this bull by the horns.

Grumpy Old Gods Flash Fiction:  Pesky Pestilence. 

But what sort of flash fiction works for Pesky Pestilence you might ask?

Why, we’re glad you asked!   

Halloween flash fiction– Halloween flash fiction with a Grumpy TWIST.   

That’s right!  The Grumpy Old Gods are ready to take on the difficult task of writing great flash fiction. 

We’re searching for stories to delight and amuse for the upcoming Halloween season:  Does your healing God in training keep accidentally raising zombies?  Did a sun God accidentally set off an apocalypse and try to hide it?  Is there something giving a divine pantheon the sniffles with hilarious results?  Is Death taking a much-needed vacation in the mortal world – but keeps bringing his work along for the ride?  Did a prankster imbibe a bit too much ambrosia and create something that he shouldn’t have?  Has your fertility deity spent the entire pandemic at home with her cats and now is unwilling to get back to work?  Make the pestilence bend to your will.  Make it spooky.  Make it Grumpy.  Go nuts! Feed that Muse Pixi Stix and let her/him/they/it go wild. 

What we’re looking for:  Short twisty tales with plenty of hijinks where the consequences are real but FUNNY.  Bonus points for stories stop a plague before it begins or the ‘sickness’ cartoonishly ridiculous.  Extra bonus points if it only harms the rapey deities. 

Shenanigan’s people!  Give us as much epic action as you can fit in 500-1500 words, let the good guys come away alive (if not necessarily unscathed), and make sure the naughty bad guys get what’s coming to them. 

And most of all write a bunch of stories because we are taking up to TEN submissions per author.

That’s right, we said ten.

Send us up to ten of your best Grumpy Gods flash fiction stories featuring gods and mortals getting into spooktacular trouble with the deities that control pestilence, plague, life, death, healing, or anything in between. 

Give us stories with plenty of chaos, mischief, and mayhem.  Blend the mystical with the mundane and let all those minor frustrations of the past two years just kind of flow out.  It’s cathartic. 

Don’t know how to write flash fiction or you’ve never tried it?  Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. 

If you don’t know where to start, we’d like to wholeheartedly recommend Holly Lisle’s kickass FREE flash fiction course (appropriately named How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck). She walks you through the process of producing five to ten stories in three weeks

Do you have to take the course to submit a story?  Absolutely not.  We’re not going to judge based off of who took the course; it’s simply that the course produces the kind of flash fiction (and fiction in general) that we want to read.  If you already write flash fiction with a beginning, middle, ending and a twist, you don’t have to bother with a course (it’s a great course though, and completely FREE, so you might want to consider it). 

You never know, you might see some of the Grumpy Editors and a fair number of Grumpy alumi in the forums. 

What’s the catch / why are you promoting Holly Lisle? 

First of all, Holly is a great writing teacher.  Two of the Grumpy Editors met on one of her forums and have taken a number of her courses.  TWO of them (looking at you Vanessa Wells and Juneta Key) have taken ALL of them. 

Secondly, the course is also completely free, no strings attached, and we’ve taken it, so we know this. 

And third, we have found that people who can write great flash fiction make great scenes, and great scenes lead to great short stories, which can lead to great novels. 

Consider spreading the word about this an investment in our future reading, because the editors here at Stormdance are readers first.  And we’re pretty wholeheartedly dedicated to ensuring that our supply of good fiction stays fresh and funny, even if we have to publish the books ourselves. 

Speculative Fiction.  (What is Speculative Fiction? Well, Wikipedia says… “It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism.”)

Words: 500-1500

Writers may submit up to TEN flash fiction pieces. 

Rating: PG13-PG17

Deadline for Submissions: August 15th, 2022

Submission Format:

Word Doc RTF or Adobe PDF (No Google Docs please, but we’re willing to work with you if you need to submit in a different format.

Just contact us at the submit to email below: subject line: Question ABOUT (which anthology.)

What rights we are asking for?

We prefer first run rights, but will consider truly perfect stories if they have been published elsewhere. 

Payment: Profit share. 

Submit to:
Put in the SUBJECT line of your email: Grumpy Old Flash Fiction. We get a lot of emails, so make sure your subject line has this to be considered for that anthology.