Hi. Paul Hughes here. It's been a while. If you're wondering why Silverthought hasn't been updated in almost a year, the reason is that the recession has forced me to start picking up cigarette butts at the railyards, stand in line at soup kitchens for half of each day, and go on cross-country road trips with Henry Fonda. No, the real reason appears over there in that photograph. I've been on paternity leave. It's been difficult being away from the Silverthought community and setting projects aside, but becoming a father has been the most intensely rewarding event in my entire life, and I wouldn't trade one dirty diaper for all the vampire stories in the world. Okay, so maybe I would. The point is that I've been busy and other things have taken priority over publishing.
During Silverthought's year of silence, exciting things have continued to happen. Thank You, Death Robot received the silver medal at the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Fantasy/Science Fiction, Silverthought's sixth IPPY. Victor Giannini and Dan Kopcow, both contributors to TYDR, attended the awards ceremony.
In my absence, I appointed Mark R. Brand to the position of Editor. He has been doing a fantastic job not only improving his own writing practice and assembling top-notch anthologies but also spreading the word about Silverthought and developing new initiatives for marketing and social networking. This update features the debut of "Breakfast with the Author," an episodic, guerrilla-media-style video podcast show developed by Mark featuring independent writers, critics, and industry professionals having breakfast and talking shop. The guests on this month's episode are Ben Tanzer and Jason Fisk.
I've worked diligently these last months to strip the Silverthought site down to its core and rebuild it in a familiar yet subtly different image (beyond the obvious switch from a black to a white motif), a leaner and meaner presentation. Our goal in this year off has been to assess what we've been doing right and where we could improve. On the surface, Silverthought is still largely the same beast with some minor cosmetic changes. However, some of the structural (and some could argue cultural) changes are significant.
Beyond the revised motif we have updated the submission guidelines for both the online and print divisions. Please review both sets of guidelines prior to submitting new material to Silverthought. The most significant change to the submission process is the fact that we will no longer be accepting unsolicited manuscripts via postal mail or email. We have partnered with SubMishMash to present you with a submission management system that will streamline and simplify the process of submitting work. You may now upload submissions online and receive automatic updates on our staff's review process. This will give the staff the opportunity to offer far more feedback and communicate with submitters much more easily than the email-based system of the past. In addition, we have updated the compensation rates for submissions to the online division from a flat fee of $10/short to a variable fee depending on submission category (micro, flash, short, novella, etc.). Writers accepted into the print division will continue to receive 50% royalties.
I'd like to make this clear--Silverthought has been and will remain open for submissions to both our online and print divisions. It has been difficult to sort through the slush pile given my other obligations for much of this year, but we are still accepting submissions, and the new SubMishMash system will make the selection process much easier for both the staff and submitters. In fact, I would like to offer an open invitation to anyone who submitted material within the last year who did not receive a response to resubmit the work through our new submission manager system.
As the year winds down, I am working frantically to have two books ready for holiday release. Excerpts from these novels, The Damnation of Memory by Mark R. Brand and Human Sister by Jim Bainbridge, appear in the latest ST Online update. This update also features short fiction from Victor Giannini and Dan Devine and a novel by yours truly. We also have the winner of the Silverthought "Birth" contest, "Visitation" by Roger Haller.
Speaking of contests, we have two new ones currently running. The fourth-annual Win EVERY SILVERTHOUGHT BOOK EVER Contest gives you the opportunity to win EVERY SILVERTHOUGHT BOOK EVER published or that we ever WILL publish. Yes. The Silverthought Sparkly Vampire Jamboree Contest is about vampires, which I hate. So if you can write a short story about vampires that I actually like, I'll give you a free book and $100 and include your story in a future update. Check the contests page for full details.
So yes, Silverthought is back, although we've never really gone away. Sometimes things just need to simmer awhile, like soups or divorces. I'd like to encourage you to join us on the Silverthought Forum, and you can find us on an increasing number of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, so book our face and ter our twit.
Thanks for your patience and continued support. Enjoy the update, and tell your friends.