Saturday, October 27, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors Podcast

Writers – Podcast Your Spooky Stories!
Go to

How cool, I'm podcasted for posterity! Smoke and Mirrors just ran a reading of my monster story 'Glory Days' in their October 26, 2012 edition. 

Dennis Miller, is “impresario” producer, host and instigator of a great on-line opportunity for writers.  Smoke and Mirrors is his website which podcasts (up to) 1-hour-long shows of short story readings.  Friday nights at 9:00 PM.   Ya know, just like radio but you log on with your computer and tune in any time you want.  

Dennis is always looking for new writers, readers, musicians and fresh material.  No particular resume or previous accomplishments are required.  He has a personal assistant to help him screen stories for “appropriateness to his niche,” but he is the final word, governing if a story progresses from ‘submission’ to ‘show.’  If he likes the piece – it’s in.  He is generally seeking work of 1000 – 9000 words, with a 55-minute maximum of oral reading time.  He will also do compilations of shorter flash fiction, or excerpts if they can stand alone as a story. 

He leans toward dark, spooky, edgy material but the show has a sense of humor too.  His stated preference is sci-fi and/or stories of the macabre.  Think: The Twilight Zone 
 Alfred Hitchcock.  Specific submission guidelines are spelled out on the website.  

Dennis has been telling stories since he was seven years old.  “Lying is such a judgmental word…” he tells me with a grin.  In his youth he was inspired by those old Twilight Zone episodes.  When they went away, he thought ‘I guess I’ll just have to do this myself.’

This is a high-energy guy, clearly passionate about his work.  He began the Smoke and Mirrors site in January of 2011.

Over 90% of the readings come from new and unpublished authors.  There is a precise disclaimer on the website for submissions, but essentially, authors maintain the rights to their own material.  While other publisher/producers may have pesky objections to ‘simultaneous submissions,’ Dennis does not.

The Smoke and Mirrors studio is small and simple-– a backyard shed with a desk and hybrid mixer that takes analog sound and converts it into digital signal for e-broadcasting.  

Dennis prefers that readers have their own equipment.  Not as intimidating as it seems-- Required only are:  a computer, a microphone, and software that digitalizes sound.  Amadeus-for mac, Sound Forge, and Cubase are three programs that he mentioned.  Dennis is the one that needs the added mixer.  His readers send him a raw e-file of their voice reading the story, and he polishes it off for podcasting.

So far, there are no submission fees collected or salaries/payment offered.  Currently money comes in via the website from much-appreciated donations.  Dennis is also seeking sponsors for the venture.  The payoff for both readers and writers is exposure and expanded resume/platforms - the bigger Smoke and Mirrors gets, the better the resume/bio entry!  Dennis happily supports his crew onward and upward. 

Write to Dennis at:    attn: Editor

1 comment:

  1. Ahoy,
    Dennis is a great guy. I'm pleased to know one of your tales is up on Smoke & Mirrors. I've had a great time narrating a couple stories for Dennis.
    Keep it up!