|IT’S FINISHED! On Tuesday night, I finished How To Write a Howling Good Story. This, after pushing through long-COVID brain fog for many months that dropped my output from 2000-3000 words per day down to 220/day. But done is beautiful! Weighs in at 37 chapters, 100,000 words. A big book! Now to get this to my publisher, Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Stark Publishing Solutions. Kickstarter backers get it first, but it’s coming soon to your favorite retail platform in e-book, trade paperback, and hardcover! I’ll let you know when it’s available for the public to purchase. I’m so happy to bring this to all of you!|
Ready for a seaside adventure? My dark fantasy story “The Saltmarsh” is a tale about a deadly game between a Nereid and a goblin, based off a poem by H. Munro. It will be published in the anthology GAME ON! by publisher Joshua Palmatier of Zombies Need Brains, a SFWA approved professional market!
And what a great list of authors in the table of contents, including David Hankins, a writer I’ve mentored in my Wulf Pack Writers group! You can preorder today and you’ll be first to get the early release on July 15th in trade paperback or e-book! If you’d like the trade paperback, at present I’ve only seen it listed in the ZNB online store, so do order it there. Release dates are still being updated on the various platforms, but it’s definitely available on July 15th, 2023. Here’s where to order!
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/game-on…/1143551652…
ZNB online store: https://zombies-need-brains-llc.square.site
Want more details? Here’s the publisher’s comments:
What if future criminals played games of skill for their freedom? Would spellcasters dare use magic to skew chance in their favor? What if aliens judged us based on the games we play? Can a dying woman literally cheat Death?
Games are about more than winning and losing. They’re about risk and reward, strategy and blind fortune, our need to win and our fear of being outplayed. And when magic and science infuse a game, the stakes can be of cosmic importance. Each move could decide life or death. Are you ready to play?
In this anthology, seventeen of today’s leading fantasy and science fiction authors explore the role games play in worlds both seen and unseen. Join Aliette de Bodard, Jennifer R. Povey, Ed Greenwood, Cory Swanson, David Hankins, Cat Rambo, Wulf Moon, Jo Miles, James Alan Gardner, Karen Aria Lin, Mike Rimar, Eric Choi, Tris Lawrence, Mark Silcox, Melissa Yi, Michael Picco, and Sean Williams as they share with us games played for unimaginable stakes.
The board is set, the cards are dealt—now it’s GAME ON!
I received this certificate the other day from Danny Hankner, publisher and editor of Story Unlikely. My gargoyle urban fantasy story “Stone Cold” placed in the top twelve out of 927 entries in the Story Unlikely Annual Short Story Contest–2023. There were three prize winners, and nine honorable mentions. So close! But at least I made the top 1% of all entries. And got this fun certificate to prove it!
As Mal from Firefly would say, “Shiny!”
This Flow State masterclass is a new workshop in my Super Secrets of Writing series. I taught it as a webinar this year as a donation to DreamForge magazine’s Kickstarter, and that one sold out at 50 participants! I’m so happy about that. Last year’s webinar sold out at 50 as well, helping DreamForge keep their fires lit. This year, it actually helped DreamForge move to a new level–paying writers seven cents a word for their stories. That’s a respectable rate! And DreamForge produces a magazine filled with brilliant stories and gorgeous art. I do hope you’ll check them out at DreamForge Magazine!
I teach the 4-hour masterclasses to help writers advance their professional skill levels so they can create work that sells and gets published. This one teaches the best-kept secret of bestselling writers. Writing in Flow will transform your writing. And I teach you how to do it.
Sign up for my Wulf Pack Club Letter and you’ll never miss one of my workshops again. Well, if you hurry. Whenever I announce them, they quickly SELL OUT!
You’re still here? Hop on over to my Super Secrets page, scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll find the box to sign up for the Wulf Pack Club. It’s free! Click HERE.
KYD or Kill Your Darlings is a writing exercise I developed to win writing contests and craft potent vignettes used to build winning stories. I taught it to members of my Super Secrets Workshop, and had them practice the exercise at least once a month. Amazing–some would say miraculous–results followed. Almost all of the writers were unpublished when they began, but their writing transformed. Workshop members ended up either becoming a Finalist in the international Writers of the Future Contest, winning the Contest (four to date), winning the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for New Writers, or achieving their first professional sales in magazines and anthologies.
The editor of DreamForge Anvil magazine was so impressed with the results in my workshop, he commissioned me to write an article on the subject. Here’s his introduction to the article:
Stephen King said it best. “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” We need to be ruthless with our work— every word we write is not sacred. Get your words on the page, but be sure to go back in and give them a cold hard stare, knife in hand.
It’s free to read at the DreamForge website. Improve your writing by clicking HERE!
This article gives the basics you need to craft leaner, meaner stories. If you’d like to learn the actual exercise to transform your writing, you need the workshop I teach on it! I’m conducting a virtual KYD: Kill Your Darlings Exercise master workshop at Fyrecon Online this year! Here’s the details:
KYD: The Kill Your Darlings Exercise
5 Hour Live Online Master Workshop for $119
(includes Whole Conference general admission to Fyrecon Online , a $60 value!)
Class is limited to 20 students
November 21, 2021, 11:00 AM to 3:50 PM Mountain Time at Fyrecon 5
Twenty-five years ago, I developed a writing exercise to help me win what was likely the largest international flash fiction contest ever held. The contest was the brainchild of Dan Hurley, famous as the Sixty Second Novelist. For one year, writers from around the world submitted their 250-word flash stories each week, and professional judges awarded prizes for first, second, and third place. 500 to 700 writers entered each week. At the end of the year, twelve professionals judged the 52 first place winners for the grand prize.
Two of my first place winners placed in the Top 10. One of those took Grand Prize, earning me the title of Writer of the Year. Number One … out of some 30,000 total entries.
This is the system I developed to help me win that contest. I call it “Kill Your Darlings.” Many writers I coach say it’s the #1 reason they obtained their first pro sales, made it into Best of the Year anthologies, and were finalists and winners in major writing contests like Writers of the Future. The first place story that won the Mike Resnick Memorial Award? That was crafted from a KYD.
The system works.
Want to shave years off your learning curve? If you take this workshop, I can teach you how.
“Wrangling your first professional short story sale is a lot like catching a fish with your bare hands. Sure, it can be done, but you’re going to need to know the secrets unless you want splash around like a fool for an embarrassingly long time.
Moon promised me that if I put in the work he gave me, I’d reduce my time to publication. His KYD exercise has helped me move from not even sniffing a sale, to winning the Mike Resnick Memorial award.
Moon is not just a keeper of (super) secrets. He is a keeper of promises.”–Z.T. Bright, author
I sold my Writers of the Future Workshop 24-hour story to a pro-pay anthology! In case you don’t know this famous WotF exercise, author Tim Powers walks around the Hollywood classroom with a top hat pulling out cool items you write a story on in–you guessed it–24 hours. Yeah, I’m the lucky dog that got handed a blank 3×5 card, both sides white, for my story prompt. Talk about a challenge! I’ve been so busy since returning from the workshop, I never bought out the time to touch the story up and send it to a market. I know, bad boy! But the right pro-paying anthology appeared, and I knew this story could hit the mark. Boom. Sold first time out!
This story explores relationships between sentient buildings along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It will be published by Third Flatiron Publishing and the anthology’s title is THINGS WITH FEATHERS: STORIES OF HOPE. In both trade paperback and Kindle version on October 15th, 2021. Free to read to those with Kindle Unlimited.
My short story’s title? “Sophie’s Parisian Stationery & Parfumerie Magnifique.”
Click HERE to order! Merci beaucoup!
Now that the contract is signed, I am happy to announce a new sale to Galaxy’s Edge magazine! This is my science fiction story, “Sharnathium.” It’s the tale of an ethereal astralmancer that is tempted to leave his stellar body to taste the pleasures of mortal flesh once again. Will he enjoy the heavenly bliss of a night with his cobalt-branded concubine, or will he be damned by the trap waiting for him by the galactic mechan-witches? Read to find out! I’ll keep you posted on the publication date. Don’t miss it!
The editor of DreamForge Anvil magazine, Scot Noel, asked me to go on a journey with him. He told me he had a new focus to his magazine this year, his goal being to publish hopeful writers that may have never been published before. He was aware of my work with my award-winning SUPER SECRETS workshops. He knew many writers from my workshops had won major international contests and had obtained their first pro sales after taking them. He asked me if I’d like to write articles for his magazine based on the Secrets I taught in my workshops. I agreed.
This is the article that was published on April 21, 2021, in their first official issue of this new venture. It’s free to read. And it’s a good example, both of how I teach, and of one of the chapters from my upcoming books through Mark Leslie’s Stark Publishing Solutions. I trust you’ll enjoy it. And if you enjoy the sample, I hope you’ll join my Wulf Pack Club. You’ll be first to know about the Kickstarter event leading up to the books.
Here’s the editor’s forward to the article:
“What is an inciting incident? How do you know when your character has “crossed the threshold?” And why does “driving to the story” create a 12 car pile up every time? With this essay from Wulf Moon’s SUPER SECRETS series, you learn how to start your story at the right place and keep up the pace until the conflict reaches its height!”
Click HERE to read the article for FREE! (But I do hope you’ll subscribe to keep their flame alive!)
I suppose I should post something about this on my blog, now that the year is about to end, and a new awards’ season begins. I actually won four readers’ choice awards for 2019. I announced a couple because it’s important to thank the voters and those writers nominated with you who also produced worthy work. However, I never posted how many categories I won. Frankly, I was in shock. It’s not like I’m a famous bestselling writer; I’m not. It’s not like had a huge newsletter fan list; I had none. So I kept quiet. It wasn’t because I was too shy, it was because I was having an “I’m not worthy” moment. Even though I had been writing for over forty years, even though I did accomplish major things in 2019 (like winning the Writers of the Future Contest), I felt that I’m just Wulf Moon, why should anyone care about me and what I did?
And that’s a mistake. We should acknowledge our accomplishments, and when we’ve worked our asses off and dealt with hundreds of rejections and ‘almosts’ and all the other life trials you have to endure to keep believing in your writing, accolades from your peers and fans should be graciously accepted. You did earn them. It’s why people took time from their busy schedules to vote for you and your work. They didn’t have to do it. And they could easily have voted for someone else’s work–there’s a lot of brilliant, beautiful stories and articles being published each year by excellent writers.
So here is what I won in the 2019 Critters Readers’ Choice Awards, where over two thousand readers from around the world voted for their favorites in the various categories in the speculative fiction publishing industry. I am deeply grateful to all those that deemed me worthy.
- Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story: “Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler” published by Writers of the Future, Vol. 35. Reprinted in Future Science Fiction Digest, Issue 3.
- Best Author: Wulf Moon. This one surprised me the most, until someone told me it’s not just about a writer’s stories, it’s about how you are viewed by the writing community and how you give back.
- Best Nonfiction Article: “Never Let Go” in the anthology How I Got Published and What I Learned Along the Way by Camden Park Press.
- Best Writing Workshop: Wulf Moon’s Super Secrets Writing Workshop.
More news about “Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler”! I am happy to announce that my hard science fiction story about a disabled girl and her life support rapper robodog won BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY SHORT STORY OF 2019! This was in the Critters Readers’ Choice Awards, where over 2,000 readers from around the world voted for their favorite things in publishing in 2019. With so many great stories published over the course of the year in both of these genres, it is a very difficult honor to win. This is a huge category! I have now won this award two years in a row.
I already did my thank-yous when I won Best Author of 2019 (see blog below), so I won’t belabor this one. But I will thank Alice Wang, that youngest winner in the history of Illustrators of the Future–just fifteen years old!–that did the amazing illustration of Dixie the Moongirl and her spunky Moon Dawdler. I also wish to posthumously thank Mike Resnick. He was one of the four Writers of the Future judges from my quarter that unanimously voted that “Super-Duper Moongirl” was a winner and should be in the Volume 35 anthology. I had so looked forward to meeting Mike and thanking him in person at the awards gala, but that was not to be. So I will thank Mike Resnick here for all the good things he did to use his power to help aspiring writers. It is a great part of his legacy.
Finally, I thank all of the readers that voted and commented on how my story touched their hearts. When Locus magazine reviewed it, they said this story had “a tearjerker of an ending.” Dozens of fans wrote and said, “You made me cry.” Normally, that’s not a good thing.
In writing, that is the greatest compliment.
The awards season continues on, and many writers are casting their ballots for other distinguished awards. If you’re one of them, I hope you will remember this story about a spirited disabled girl that refused to let her circumstances keep her from reaching for the Moon. The comments from the polls are included below. Thank you, my fans, for your belief in this story and sending me comments like these and more! Cheers!
This story was very touching, and well-written. It spoke right to my heart. And made me cry. True literature!
I like that the story is about a disabled child and how she overcomes her disability in order to live on the moon.
An amazing story by Wulf Moon. A must read for all ages.
An amazing, heartwarming tale that will make you cry at the end. You must, MUST read the story to the last page. The emotional payoff is incredible, and you will be talking about this story for years to come. Enjoy!
This story is the best science fiction first-person I’ve read in decades.
This story warmed my heart. The best of SF in the modern era. Kudos!
Wulf Moon’s voice is a consistent and positive reminder that there is good in the world, and ‘Moongirl’ is a heartwarming story.
Moon’s story was and still is breath-taking. It has stayed in my mind for months since reading it. A tear-jerker, a heart-softener, and a courage-revealer, Super-Duper Moongirl is a must-read.
This story put me through the ringer on emotions, I laughed I cried. It also hit many socially important topics, all the high notes of a good story, and of course the dog was the best!
Wulf moons language is awesome and I like the way in which the author weaves the story
I loved this story. It takes an unexpected character and whops a huge emotional punch. The kind of story that sticks with you.
This story is special. My kids haven’t stopped talking about the story since we pulled it out last summer. And it makes me cry. Seriously!
Excellent, top notch story! Highly recommended.
This is a great story, well crafted with no wasted word count. Great characters which draw the reader in and compelling futuristic setting. Smart imaginative science fiction concepts. Most important, this story leaves me wanting more with its characters and narrative style. Can’t wait to read more from this a author.
The super duper moongirl was just such a unique take and so much ‘story’ and emotion was expressed in so few words – a great delight reading it and would love more of this author’s work. It was fun, emotional without being silly – great writing skills.
Really loved this story. Great job!