Open Call for Submissions

Merciless Mermaids: Tails From the Deep

The call for submissions for the 2023 Western Colorado University & WordFire Press anthology is open… the theme revealed. So, put on your author caps and break out the keyboards, and submit your story today. Professional rates paid. Read full guidelines here:

MERCILESS MERMAIDS: Tails from the Deep 

Think deep—the deep of the sea, the deep of space, the deep of our souls, our fears, ourselves. Here, it’s not the monsters under your bed; it’s the mermaids under your boat.

Can you see the shapes in the waters that watch you? Can you hear the mermaid’s call?

Old sailors tried to warn us. You can find their stories in water-stained journals and letters throughout histories and cultures. People of the land laughed at them, calling their stories mere legends and fairy tales. Now it’s your turn to tell the real stories behind these tails found in the deep, the dangers in dark waters.

Will the merfolk prey on humans once the land-bound civilizations fall? Do they snatch men for research? What of the siren who is wildly tone deaf? Does your merman surface on some faraway planet, stare through mists at the newcomers and think Never. Again.

We’re sounding the ship’s bell for stories about malevolent and merciless merfolk of all kinds. Give us your mermaids who fought for the wrong reasons, made tough by their circumstances or by their own choices. Show us their schemes and villainous wiles, the fairytales that end in blood. Or laughter. Tempt us with their twisted workings across time and space, colors and creeds.

Deep down you know that the darkness has a tail.

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Allyson Longueira with an editorial team provided by Western Colorado University Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Publishing MA students. Anthology made possible by a generous contribution from Draft2Digital.


Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


Left to Right: Kevin J. Anderson, Kaye Lynne Booth, & Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Yep. That’s me in the picture above with Kevin J. Anderson and Mark Leslie Lefebvre after my graduation ceremony. Obviously, I survived all the craziness of summer residency and graduated with an M.A. in publishing, but there were moments. Western’s summer residencies are always pretty intensive and this one was no exception. The whole week was a bit of a whirlwind. Classes began on Monday at Western State University, and I arrived on campus just in time for the first class at 9 a.m.

We each got publishing cohort tee shirts, which made us all the coolest cohort on campus. On the back it says, “A Rising Publisher Lifts All Books” with the image of a hot air balloon with the Western insignia on it. During the lunch break, I went and checked into my motel, before returning for the afternoon sessions, and it seemed like it was nonstop from there.

Gilded Glass & Weird Tales: Best of the Early Years 1926-27

Wednesday evening, we held our big in person book launch at the Gunnison Arts Center. It encompassed all of my cohort’s solo projects, plus the launch of the group produced anthology, Gilded Glass: Twisted Myths & Shattered Fairy Tales, which includes stories by big name authors such as Michaelbrent Collins, Jonathan Maberry, Kristine Katheryn Rusch, Allen Dean Foster, and Sherrilynn Kenyon, along with many talented new authors, for an exceptional science fiction and fantasy anthology. It was also announced that the Weird Tales: Best of the Early Years volumes that Justin Craido and I put out with Jonathan Maberry will be republished through Weird Tales and Blackstone Publishing, which makes the volumes featured for the book signing limited editions which will only be available for a short time through WordFire Press. You can still get these books or any of the books of my cohort here: . The signing did quite well, and we sold out all of the books we brought to the event, with sales which I consider to be phenomenal, $25,000. The proceeds go to the University to fund future publishing cohorts, which is very cool.

This was exciting for me, as it was my first book signing. I did do a poetry signing once at a all local writing fair, but it was nothing along the scale of this event. I was amazed when people came up to me, wanting my autograph on the books which I created. Wow!

Afterward, we celebrated at the Old Miner Steak House. We had the whole top floor reserved, but their grill broke, so they couldn’t cook any meals. So instead, we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The staff did a bang up job of putting together a menu of salads and sandwiches for us, and I thoroughly enjoyed a delicious French dip.

I was almost totally brain dead by the time Friday rolled around, it was time for the commencement ceremony and time to say goodbye to my fellow authors and publishers. It was emotional as my instructor and mentor, Kevin J. Anderson, offered each of my cohort a special edition, embossed copy of his Clockwork Angels story collection, which he wrote with Neal Peart of Rush. He describes these stories as steampunk Canterbury Tales, and I can’t wait to read them, although I’m almost scared to open it, because it’s so beautiful.

Kaye Ready to Graduate (or fall asleep?)

I managed to make it through the graduation despite the heat sitting in cap and gown and mask. Of course, I was my usual, graceful self, bumbling awkwardly through my commencement. When I was announced by the program director, I started across the stage, but he added in my first M.F.A., which made me hesitate and stop in my tracks. As I was the only one to have such added information delivered, I felt I should allow him to finish before going into motion. That delayed start flustered me, so when I got over to Kevin to be hooded, I forgot to bend down, but he managed to get it over my head anyway. Realizing I had messed up flustered me even more and Kevin had to tell me to come back for a hug. But I made it through to the final photos without any more blunders.

Saturday, I arrived home to find that there were monsoon rains everyday while I was gone, and my yard and garden had exploded with greenery and other bright colors, including one monster cherry tomato plant, which grows in a large pot on my porch and a single gigantic mullein plant that I let grow in the front yard. Oh yes, and while I was gone, the bear which has frequented my neighborhood for as long as I can remember paid me a visit and scattered my garbage across my property. He’s a big brown bear and he pulled my garbage can over my wire fence, demolishing it. So, after unloading everything, I got to drag myself out and pick up trash before finally collapsing, exhausted. It had been a long and exciting week, but it was good to be home.


Kaye Lynne Booth lives, works, and plays in the mountains of Colorado. With a dual emphasis M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a M.A. in Publishing, writing is more than a passion. It’s a way of life. She’s a multi-genre author, who finds inspiration from the nature around her, and her love of the old west, and other odd and quirky things which might surprise you.

She has short stories featured in the following anthologies: The Collapsar Directive (“If You’re Happy and You Know It”); Relationship Add Vice (“The Devil Made Her Do It”); Nightmareland (“The Haunting in Carol’s Woods”); Whispers of the Past (“The Woman in the Water”); Spirits of the West (“Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs”); and Where Spirits Linger (“The People Upstairs”). Her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets, and her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, are both available in both digital and print editions at most of your favorite book distributors.

In addition, she keeps up her authors’ blog, Writing to be Read, where she posts reflections on her own writing, author interviews and book reviews, along with writing tips and inspirational posts from fellow writers. Kaye Lynne has also created her own very small publishing house in WordCrafter Press, and WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services, where she offers quality author services, such as publishing, editing, and book blog tours. She has served as a judge for the Western Writers of America and sitting on the editorial team for Western State Colorado University and WordFire Press for the Gilded Glass anthology and editing Weird Tales: The Best of the Early Years 1926-27, under Kevin J. Anderson & Jonathan Maberry.

In her spare time, she is bird watching, or gardening, or just soaking up some of that Colorado sunshine.


Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.