From Darkness into Light

From Darkness into Light
From Darkness into Light by Dall'ombra Alla Luce courtesy of WikimediaCommons

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Website!

My new website can now be found here:
The Speculative Worlds of Liz Colter

It's still under construction, so please excuse any rapid-fire changes going on over there. There's a blog section included on the website so the fate of this blog hangs in the balance a bit but, for now, I plan to maintain both.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My First Blog Interview

Fellow V30 Writers of the Future winner, Stuart Hardwick, has kindly hosted my first ever blog interview here:

Meet the Winners: Liz Colter

and here are interviews with some fellow winners for V30:
Leena Likitalo
Amanda Forrest
Oleg Kazantsev

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Year One Anthology from Plasma Frequency Magazine

Plasma Frequency's Year One Anthology has just come out. There are 12 stories from the first 6 issues, one from each issue chosen in a reader's poll and one from each issue chosen by the editor, Richard Flores IV. I'm happy to say, my flash story "Midnight Calls" has been included as a reader's choice selection from V2. The anthology will be available in print or kindle format and can be found on Amazon here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

ASIM issue #58 is out!
I'm pleased that my flash fiction "Voyager" was chosen for inclusion in the 168 pages of fiction, poetry, features and art that make up yet another great issue.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Going to Hollywood

It’s with good reason that the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition has been called the American Idol of science fiction and fantasy writing. Not only do the winners get published in the Writers of the Future anthology, but the prize package includes generous payment for the story, a week in LA at a writer’s workshop taught by well-known and New York Times bestselling authors, and a black-tie awards gala in the old Academy Awards Theater. And I get to go. (Think big smiley face here.)

I got my second call from Joni at Writers of the Future last week. It still feels a bit surreal to say, but I've taken second place in the winner’s circle of top three stories. The past few years of me imagining winning this competition just become a reality.

There are a lot of great pro magazines and anthologies out there where aspiring writers might get published but, like American Idol, this competition provides so much more. It gives twelve people a year the experience of practicing for the possibility of success. Read any past winner’s blog and you'll see, not only were they taught by well-known writers at the workshop, but spend evenings chatting with them. They're exposed to photographers, prepare for interviews and for their speech in front of a crowd of hundreds, do a book signing and have the opportunity to meet others in the industry. Scary stuff, but it’s exactly why I've always known that winning this competition is so special. It’s an amazing opportunity for authors at this level, and the contest is free and open to submissions world-wide. If you’re a writer and haven’t yet attained SFWA pro qualifications, I’d definitely encourage you to enter the competition. Look what might happen!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

An Unexpected Phone Call

More than two years ago I wrote a post titled "The Waiting Game" about the trials and tribulations of waiting on replies to submissions. Since that time, I have found that the more I continually and doggedly submitted my stories, the less I obsessed over the capricious whims of editorial response times and preferences. Joining a new writer's forum helped even more. I now keep company with a group of folks whose goals are the same as mine -- constantly keeping rejected stories in motion to new markets, while generating new stories on a regular basis. A community where we all commiserate over rejections and celebrate the rare successes. Seeing a group of folks all going through the same trials has helped me to focus less on the what-if's and just keep moving forward.

That is, until this past Wednesday, when I got a most unexpected phone call.

The phone rang, sometime after 10:00pm and my husband picked it up as I was getting ready for bed. He handed the phone to me, deadpan. I answered and heard "This is Joni Labaqui with Writers of the Future."

I hadn't been monitoring the contest on the WotF forums or Duotrope because I fully expected another one to two month wait for results to start coming in -- especially in light of the serious accident involving the son of coordinating judge, Dave Farland, during this quarter of the competition. A whole cascade of thoughts went through my mind at once, including why would Joni Labaqui be calling me?and wondering if something was wrong with my submission or the contest. But foremost, was the knowledge that Joni always made phone calls to all the finalists during the judging period. My erudite response to her was "Oh my."

Turns out, yes, she was calling to tell me I was one of the eight finalists for the 2nd quarter, though the rest of the conversation is now a bit foggy. I'm not naturally talkative, but I remember chatting on about this and that for awhile and she patiently waited until I was ready to end the conversation before signing off. She is absolutely the gem of a person everyone says she is.

And now I am faced with a three to four week wait to find out who the three winners will be out of the eight finalists. Well, so much for not obsessing over responses.

For anyone who isn't familiar with Writers of the Future, they're pretty much the American Idol of speculative fiction writing. The biggest SF&F contest I know of, open to submissions from around the world and now in its 30th year.

So here it is -- the official Writers of the Future press release for the 2nd Quarter finals:

Let the nail-biting begin!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I was absolutely delighted to receive an e-mail the other day stating that Pseudopod has picked up my flash-fiction story "Penance" for audio publication, describing it as "short, nasty fun." Not only am I happy to be a contributor to one of the "Pod" family (Pseudopod, PodCastle and Escape Pod), but as I do nearly all my reading in audio, it's a special treat for me that the story will come out in podcast format. It isn't scheduled to appear until sometime next spring, though the editor mentioned there is a possibility that some flash stories might be moved up.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

June 18th Release for New Neil Gaiman Novel

As proof of just how much I enjoy Neil Gaiman's work, today I pre-ordered his new novel "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" on CD from Amazon. I don't remember ever pre-ordering any book by any author, but Gaiman's first novel written for adults in nearly ten years seemed to warrant it. From the sound of things, the novel leans more toward horror than some of his work and, after doing a little internet surfing, I found that it is already planned for a movie adaptation as well. With "American Gods" slated to be an HBO series soon, I have a lot of Neil Gaiman to look forward to.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"The Unseen Truths" out today in Emerald Sky

The new issue of Emerald Sky is out today along with the reprint of my story, "The Unseen Truths."

The editorial introduction had wonderful things to say about all three stories in this latest issue and I hope folks will check it out, as well as TM Publishing's previous issues of Emerald Sky, Crimson Fog, Azure Valley and Burgundy Grove.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"The Big, Bad Wolf" Published

My short story "The Big, Bad Wolf" has been published today at Enchanted Conversation.

This story went full circle. I wrote this for a Little Red Riding Hood theme call at Enchanted Conversation but, computers being computers, my story somehow failed to arrive during the two-day submission period. EC went on with other themed calls and then closed for a time to restructure. When the magazine re-opened, without specific themes this time, my story was subbed elsewhere. The stars finally realigned in February this year, I resubmitted to EC, and the story was picked as one of the two monthly winners. It's gratifying to see it published in the magazine for which it was originally written.

Fairy tales, tales of the faerie, and mythology are all special interests of mine and I'm delighted to  be published in Enchanted Conversation for the first time. Kudos to editor, Kate Wolford, for keeping fairy tales alive and promoting the tradition to her students and readers.