Markets For Writers


Iron Press is looking for short stories for a new anthology, titled Aliens. Here are some details for you:

This is not a competition. There is no fee and no prizes. Authors included will receive two free copies. Extra copies can be ordered at trade price and writers may be invited to read their work at launch events.

Please interpret this subject as imaginatively as possible. Aliens can come from outer space, but the word is also used to denote people from a foreign land. These may be cold and hungry, arriving across the channel in a dangerous and leaky boat, or alternatively be rich foreign oligarchs buying up the city of London. The interpretation is yours.’

There is a word limit of 3000 and your stories need to be sent by 31st December 2019. To find out more, click here.


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True Victory

Mountain with the wing

Enjoying victory over her,
He said proudly,
I spoiled her,
She wiped the last drop of tear
Left in the corner of the eye,
And replied,
I am not a piece of meat to be spoiled by your touch
I am beyond your reach,
I am beyond your eye view,
I have thousands of dreams,
I own thousands of thoughts,
And you are not good enough to touch it.
And She walked away….

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Breaking Up With Time

I do not trust you anymore.
You are not nice.
I don’t care how good we used to be together. You are sly and you are sneaky, and you are hurting me.
I go to sleep and you do horrible, cruel things to my body.
The damage you have inflicted on my body, especially over the past year is unbelievable.
Your actions are silent, so I didn’t even realize what you have been up to lately, not until I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I catch a glimpse of myself naked in the new full-length mirror. My first reaction is shock. My second reaction is grief. Tears join the shock and the grief.
When I see what you have done to my backside, I begin gasping for air. My cute little behind is gone, just totally gone. Two empty sacks have replaced the flesh I had considered mine. The backs of my legs resemble cottage cheese that has gone bad. Real bad.
Yes, I lost too much weight, but did you have to twist and punch everything I have left?
The only body parts you haven’t dominated yet are from below my knees to my ankles. (I just checked to make sure you didn’t re-sculpt them while I was writing.)
My hair, my feet, my legs, my breasts, my arms, my neck, my face, my ears, every day I find new damage.
I would like to say I am above pride in my physical appearance, but that would be a lie. I’ve never been a beauty, cute I’m always told, but cute and undamaged was good enough for me.
I trusted you for so long. You were mostly kind to me. You treated me with respect, and you were gentle with my body, for over sixty years.
I was aware that you had a bit of a mean streak, but I trusted you anyway.
Yes, there were many red flags, but I ignored them.
I was only thirty-six when I told you, “I like the grey streaks you painted in my hair. My mom had the same streaks, so I wear them with pleasure.”
You smirked, and I should have left you in the dust right then, but I didn’t.
When you pulled my hair out a few years later, I adjusted. It was never abundant anyway and as it thinned out, I just pinned it up. I asked you to stop and you just smirked, again.
You kicked the heck out of my spine long ago, so I knew you could be extremely cruel, but I thought we had leveled out, reached an agreement to be kind to each other.
When my breasts deflated, almost overnight, I said, “Oh well. I can live without plump breasts and long, flowing hair,” and then, I threw my stupid bras away.
Last summer my young grandson said to me, “Grammy, your arms are wrinkled and soft like Jell-O.” He poked one to show me.
I looked down and sure enough, it was true. Why hadn’t I noticed?
Not done yet, you had redesigned my arms.
I explained to him that it was nicer to tell a woman what was right about her, instead of what was wrong. I told him I was getting older. We agreed to close the subject of my jiggledy arms, and he gave me a hug. I was even proud of myself for handling the discovery so well.
However, my backside is the last straw and now, pulling my hair out isn’t even enough for you.
My hairdresser told me last week that my fake blonde hair is breaking off by the handfuls, no more blonding it. Blonde has been my disguise for thirty years, you jerk.
As I have slept, you’ve ravaged me. You’ve reworked one body part at a time, and I was blissfully unaware that you were indulging your freakish addiction to playing sculptor with my body.
You have gone too far, my old friend.
I’m breaking up with you at once, while I can still walk and still have clothes that fit.
TIME, you can go play your ruthless games somewhere else.
P.S. I placed the mirror on the other side of the bathroom door too. Just in case TIME doesn’t honor the break-up. I have a feeling that I’m going to need a restraining order.


Not All Masculinity is Toxic

Wow! So true…❤


“She doesn’t like when I touch her neck or her breasts anymore.  Kissing is off limits, too.  She has lots of rules.” 

It’s not uncommon for husbands in heterosexual relationships to tell me what their wives don’t like in bed.  Willing to follow her directions, trying to sexually satisfy the women they love, they are frustrated.  These men know much more about what turns their wives off than what excites them.  Their wives are discouraged and exasperated too, opting for masturbation as a more efficient, less annoying alternative than trying to explain the unexplainable.  What would feel good between the sheets?

In truth, she doesn’t know what to ask for, because nothing seems to feel the way it should. 

Communication in the bedroom often fails precisely for this reason.  Just knowing what you don’t want doesn’t make sex great- it just makes sex tolerable.  For many of the couples in…

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The Art of Continuing

The Written Addiction

I must never
lend myself to the ideas that just because I am hurt or tired, or just because
something did not (or will not) go my way, and just because something I invested
deeply, heart and soul in, but yet the outcome fell to pieces before I reached
my goal, I cannot lend myself to the idea that, “This is it!” and it’s over.

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“Persephone’s Child”

Loved this…


Those of you who are familiar with Greek mythology, might have heard what happened to Persephone, a maiden who’s only fault was beauty.
Some say beauty is a curse and I don’t blame them. For Persephone sure it was.
For Hades saw her in a field of flowers and couldn’t imagine his life without her. Thus, he stole her from her mother, luring her in the Underworld, until she saw darkness closing in and her cries couldn’t reach the world above any more.
The girl refused to eat, refused to drink, wishing her mother would save her, take her back to her fields and the beautiful blue sky, back to everything she knew and loved. For how could a girl made of sun thrive in darkness?
Hades was desperate to make her love him, but he was also an arrogant, foolish man, refusing to see…

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Pitch Contests: The 5 Elements of a Successful Book Pitch

Catherine Bakewell

Pitching your book is no easy task–you’re turning your thousands and thousands of words into a few characters. How can you possibly fit all that makes your book your book into a tweet? How can you grab an agent/editor/publisher’s attention?

Read on to see my five elements of a Twitter pitch, as well as some of the things I’ve learned from my own pitching experience.

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