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Improbable Press Blog — Atlin Merrick

A Short Story is a Seed: Plant as Many as You Can

Atlin Merrick Call for Submissions Short Stories Tips for Selling Your Writing

A Short Story is a Seed: Plant as Many as You Can

By Atlin Merrick I was editing an anthology some years ago and the book needed one more story to round it out, but needed it fast. I reached out to a writer I knew through their online writing and asked if they wanted to write a short story for us quick. They said yes, so I told them the parameters – theme, length, due date. Then something happened. A rare thing. A good thing. The writer sent us exactly what we asked for. The theme, the length, on the date it was due. The publisher bought the story and do...

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Musings on a Collection of Cryptids

Atlin Merrick Cryptid Anthology

Musings on a Collection of Cryptids

I've always loved cool-creepy cryptid stories. That's why Improbable Press is doing a cryptid anthology in 2021, and why I encourage you to submit a story (after checking out our guidelines above). What I'm encouraging me to do is read again, about these creatures I loved so much as a kid. The Loch Ness monster (Nessie, I still have the artwork I drew of you when I was eleven!), Bigfoot (you're famous in Oregon, where I used to live), and jackalopes (hello Moon, spokes cryptid for our pending anthology). Do I believe in these creatures? Yes. Also no. See, it's...

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Why Write What You Know Also Means Write What You Don't

Atlin Merrick Encouragement Natalie Conyer

Why Write What You Know Also Means Write What You <em>Don't</em>

Write what you know. Before I get to the debate I had with award-winning crime novelist Natalie Conyer on the ridiculous advice above, I'm flapping my arms over a lovely example of why you should write what you don't know: Úna Woods' Have You Seen the Dublin Vampire? Look at that cover! People rushing across Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge, while a glorious vampire in full regalia stands in their midst. Why I find this book a sweet encapsulation of write what you don't know (while building from what you do) is that Woods set her story in and around Dublin –...

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Super Secret Tips For Getting Your Short Story Published

Atlin Merrick Publishing

Super Secret Tips For Getting Your Short Story Published

Super secret tips! GETCHER SUPER SECRET TIPS RIGHT HEAH! *Ahem* Okay, here's a thing: Improbable Press (IP) is putting together a new anthology, and delightfully someone emailed asking if I had any super secret tips on how they could get their story accepted for it. BOY HOWDY YES. Super Secret Tips For Getting Your Short Story Published Actually, there aren't tips plural, there is tip, as in one, and that is this: Get out your magnifying glass. Squink one eye closed. Then peer through that glass at the submission guidelines for the anthology. I'm talkin' close. Read them. Absorb them...

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Three Trick Questions About 'Cheating'

Atlin Merrick Encouragement

Three Trick Questions About 'Cheating'

This is inspired by a Neil Gaiman blog post and something I wrote for the Spark writing/fandom newsletter, and it's about cheating. But first, the three trick questions: Did Shakespeare cheat when he wrote real person fic about Richard III and Henry V? How about Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, or the hundreds of others who've made bank writing books about vampires? Did the Disney animators cheat when they paid people to model for their animations? Did all the winners of the Great British Bake-Off cheat when they adapted recipes they learned from cookbooks? These are all trick questions...

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