Call for Submissions: June 2013 EpiGuide Webfiction Community Podcast

Hi again, webfiction crew! It's that time again -- Michael and I are getting ready to record a new EpiCast, and that means we're putting a call out to webserial writers and readers to submit stuff for our next episode, which will be recorded next weekend (June 3, to be precise). We cover the world of webfiction serials in many formats (text-based, audio, graphic, video...) and share news, installment recaps and story previews, answer questions from listeners, and have a discussion about a topic relevant to the online reading and entertainment community.

Note: all submissions below are due June 1, and can be sent to editor at epiguide dot com. Yes, I know, email! Apparently that's passe, but since the stuff we need is longer than 140 characters, Twitter is out. Sorry gang, better fire up the wayback machine and use Gmail or whatever! :)

So, what are we looking for?

RECAPS: The deadline for getting your recaps to us is Friday, June 1.

For writers who'd like to submit recaps of your recent serial installment(s), please submit about a paragraph (of about 250 words or so) focusing on a single storyline. (Recapping one plot is usually better as it's usually more interesting than less detailed, scattered plot points.) As always we may use your recaps as-is, or as a stepping-off point to look at your serial and add our own spin to things.

Please bear in mind that we can be a bit irreverent, so please don't submit if some light-hearted cracks would bother you. Otherwise, send your recap along with your serial's title, URL, and your name.

Also, if you want to send a line of a preview related to that storyline, btw, please do so! It'll be nice to offer some scoops.

NEWS / TOPICS / QUESTIONS / FEEDBACK - Deadline: Friday, June 1

For news, we're looking for any tidbits that might interest our listeners, whether it's about a single serial or some topic that affects the community. Even if you've just read an interesting article that might be of interest, please send it along. Don't forget to include links to any stories or websites related to the news item.

If you're a reader who has some comments on trends or certain storylines we'd love to hear them, too. Or perhaps you have any questions, maybe technical or writing-related? If you're interested in hearing our thoughts on issues that are relevant to the Eppy or the webserial/writing/webseries world at large, we'll be happy to chat about it.

And as always, if you have a response to something we said on our previosu EpiCasts, we'd love to get your feedback.

In fact we'd love to hear your voices too, so if you have a question or feedback and are able to record audio, send us an MP3! The more voices the better.

Recording time is limited -- we'd like to use less time recapping and more time discussing topics -- so it'll be first-come, first-served as far as recaps go, with preference given to serials we haven't recapped yet, or not that often. That doesn't mean anyone should refrain from submitting, though: if we don't get many new submissions we'll certainly be happy to include those who are enthusiastic to participate again.

To repeat the above, send everything (and you can submit for more than one serial if you write multiple ones) to editor at epiguide dot com.

Finally, as always, whatever you send us, please be sure to let us know if it's okay to use your name on the air, or perhaps screenname / initials if you'd rather. And if you have questions about what to include, please feel free to let me know.

We do our best to support and highlight the fun and diversity in webfiction serials, so I hope we'll get plenty of participants! Thanks, guys.

-- Kira

Shameless bump, because there are a lot of serial writers in this community and few of y'all are taking advantage of this opportunity. Is it because you don't know what recaps are, what kind of news to submit, or why previews are useful? Hmm, yep, that might be why. So let me explain.

  • 1. Giving us a very brief recap of a certain storyline, or your entire story if it can be summed up (and only has one real arc), lets us describe your serial to our listeners. This gives them a taste of what your story's about, and where it is now, and helps them decide whether they wanna give it a look-see. And it ALSO helps a reader jump into the most current installment, which -- while purists may really really want everyone to read straight from the beginning -- is a true boon to newcomers, because not everyone wants to go back to your 1st chapter when you're on Book 2, Chapter 93 of a fifteen book saga.

  • 2. Why provide a little preview? Well, because people who already read your story will love hearing a teaser about what's on the road ahead. Don't many of us love those "Next time, on..." teasers on serialized TV shows? (Well, except for the Mad Men previews, because we all know Matt Weiner is just screwin' with us!) And for those who are potential readers, hearing what's about to happen could be the kicker that makes them want to jump in and see what happens.

  • 3. Okay, now, what about news items? You can look on this in a few ways. If your serial is brand new, here's where you get to announce it. If your serial is about to end, or you're planning to turn it into a series of audiobooks? Those are great tidbits too. Or -- gasp! -- you can even shun self-promotion and point us in the direction of a cool new project (thank you Jim for doing just that!), or an interesting article about the state of digital publishing, or a helpful tutorial on worldbuilding or characterization... Anything that could be considered newsworthy.

  • 4. Finally, you may be wondering: Why participate at all? To support the community of webserial or serialized novel writers, and encourage those of us who want to help serialized writing reach a new audience. All of which helps you, whether you're a writer yourself or just someone who loves the scene.

So c'mon guys, join in! It takes maybe ten minutes to write a 250-word recap of your recent installment, maybe longer if you want to add a little background. Takes even less time to create a preview or submit a few cool articles you've read recently.

The deadline's June 1, so do please send your stuff to me at the address listed above. Be sure to include any URLs I'll need to know, as well as your name if I can use it. And btw, if there are any pronunciation issues either regarding your character names or with your own name, please help a sister out and give it to me phonetically. :)

Any questions? Ask away! Many many thanks to all who help make this a feature-rich EpiCast.

Edited 'cause, wow, UL and OL tags don't work very well here. :(

Sent an email. Thanks Epiguide.

I'm not familiar with podcasts or any of those (hard of hearing)- so please forgive my ignorance, but is the recording date also the airing date?

Thanks so much, Wildbow!

The recording date is usually about a week before the airing date. Michael and I tend to record looooong sessions (we've been friends and community members for ages so we can blab and blab on these subjects till the cows come home), so I end up having to edit the raw material from about 2 hours to under 1, clean up the recording so there aren't too many annoying "ums" or weird noises, add my beloved music cues, insert the sponsor credits, then finally post the darn thing along with all the links to the serials/articles/resources mentioned.

So I'd expect the show to go live around the 10th or 11th.

Good to know, thank you.

Sent in a new serial announcement. Not sure if it's exactly what you're looking, but I included a very brief recap and preview. It's still early days for my serial, so I couldn't really give a 250 word recap/preview without spoiling basically the whole story so far.

Haha, that sounds bad. Oh well. I'M WORKING HARD ON MY STORY, DAMMIT.

I'm really awful at writing summaries/that description bit on the home page or my WFG entry :S

Thanks to those who've submitted so far! George, I'll probably use your entry for the news section rather than the recaps, since as you mention, we don't want to spoil the entire serial so far. :)

One can think of recaps as detailed as you want. They can be spoilerish or nonspoilerish.

Spoiler-free recap of my own double episode, "Operation Mousetrap: The Switch," parts 1 and 2:

Operation Mousetrap was finally underway. At the docks, Nick squared off against his crime boss rival, Hugh Vaughan, while undercover agent Jonnie manipulated the criminals, the DA's office, and the cops in order to gain his freedom from the multiple threats to his safety. By the end, no one's hands were left unstained by blood.

A more detailed version (but still keeping enough hidden so people are still interested in reading):

The night of Operation Mousetrap, Nick ran into opposition from his wife Hannah, who protested his decision to seek revenge on Hugh Vaughan for the assassination attempt that led to Hannah's paralysis. Knowing she couldn't stop her husband, Hannah could only help him say goodbye to their children. Meanwhile, the cops and D.A. Ross waited at the docks to watch the interaction between Nick and Vaughan, expecting a sting that would take both crime bosses down.

However, none of the participants knew that double- and triple-agent Jonnie Adair had a complex plan that would shock them all. Only smart detective Frank Gabriel suspected that Jonnie might have an ulterior motive, and soon he was proven correct. Team Law and Order were left in the dark while Jonnie executed--in all senses of the word--his plan. Before long, two of Jonnie's supposed allies were dead, Frank's instincts left his life in the balance, while Ross's ambition led him to a frightening standoff with the desperate young man--who threatened Ross's life unless Ross released Jonnie from the plea bargain that had forced him into this undercover role.

By the end of the night, the docks were covered in blood--and none of the three sides was left unscarred from this vicious showdown. And Jonnie got a brutal shock of his own.

That's about 220 words and obviously gives away more of the story than the first option. But this pair of episodes is about 22K words, so I still left a helluva lot out. And I think the second version would make listeners more curious to learn the details of this complicated high stakes con game / standoff. Which of Jonnie's allies died? Is Frank safe? Was Hannah right in fearing for her husband's life? Whose side was Jonnie really on? Will over-confident Ross pay for his own hubris? And what happened to Jonnie in the end that was so shocking? And so on.

Anyway, it's a good skill to learn -- teasing without ruining the story -- and if it piques people's interest enough to click over to your site, it's definitely worth it.

Deadline's today (sorry for saying Friday instead of Saturday; the date was always correct), so there's still time to submit. News in particular would be very welcome.

Many thanks to everyone who takes part!

Just wanted to let you all know that the latest EpiCast has been posted! This one's tightly focused on recaps and news, though of course Michael and I gab about everything in between, because we always love chatting about the various installments and news items we've received and/or found over the past few weeks. You'll hear about some new webserials and we take a look at news items, including a couple that I know have been topics here as well.

The EpiCast can be found at the EpiGuide's Podbean site as well as, of course, the EpiGuide itself. We're also featured at the Webcast Beacon Network, though that probably won't be updated with the newest episode for another day or so.

And keep an ear out, 'cause we'll be posting an additional episode in a couple of weeks with more news and a lengthy discussion that I know will be of great interest to many of us here. :)

Hope you let us know what you think! And thanks as always to those who took part.

Great discussion! Congrats to Worm, Legion of Nothing, Bad Influences, and Animal Kingdom for being featured on this podcast. Everyone go listen!