Update 6/2018: Submissions are closed. Check here for the latest news!
We are soliciting short stories by new and established authors in the fantasy genre, between 3,500 and 7,000 words in length. (Shorter or longer works will be considered in cases of exceptional merit.) The goal is to select at least ten entries for publication* in a short-story anthology, to be funded with a Kickstarter project.
At least two entries will be selected from among those received before the Kickstarter goes live.
[UPDATE May 4th: The Kickstarter project is live! Check us out.]
Payment to the selected authors will depend on the success of the Kickstarter. If it funds, authors will receive a minimum of $100 each (max $500). If it fails, authors will receive $25 each, paid out of my pocket. (Sign up here if you want to know when the Kickstarter goes live, as well as other project milestones.)
(Our first Call for Submissions, in the military-fiction genre, can be viewed here. The associated Kickstarter met its goal, resulting in the authors being paid $100 each; ultimately, the anthology was placed under contract by an independent publisher. While we can’t promise similar results this time, we are hopeful.)
How to submit: Email your manuscript (acceptable document formats: Word, PDF, Pages, TXT, RTF) to the following address: submissions at orenlitwin dot com. Begin the subject line with “[Magick Shoppe Submission]”, and make sure to list your contact information in the email itself. (Also, please mention how you heard of this anthology!)
Submission deadline: June 1, 2018.
Genre: Fantasy, broadly defined. This includes traditional high fantasy, urban fantasy, or any other flavor that includes a magical or fantastical element. (If you are interested in other genres, please suggest them for our next project!)
Theme: “Ye Olde Magick Shoppe.”
There need not be a literal shop; however, your story must include as a significant plot element the selling of a magical good or service, by someone whose profession this is. Whether this is interpreted positively or negatively (legitimate business, black-market dealer, magical arms merchant, monkey’s paw, etc.) is entirely up to you.
Entries must be your own work, must be previously unpublished, and may not be plagiarized. You must own all copyright to work submitted. No exceptions!
Works must show adequate command of the English language, grammar, and punctuation. Rule-breaking for effect, as with stream-of-consciousness writing or the use of a Flowers-for-Algernon type of narrator, will have to show particular merit. Otherwise, do your editing in advance!
Works with strong thematic elements are encouraged. Characters must face significant obstacles to be overcome (whether they succeed or not). Nihilism can be part of the setup, but should not be the conclusion—the characters should push through nihilism to the other side, whatever that is.
Religious themes are acceptable, but should be broadly drawn: using a character’s religious beliefs to illustrate the virtue of faith, or commitment, and so on—or conversely, using a character’s religious beliefs to illustrate the dangers of unthinking obedience, or us-versus-them attitudes, or whatever—rather than the specific endorsement or criticism of a particular religion or sect. (There is a difference between opposing barbarity that is motivated by a religion, and opposing a religion in toto.) Works that are overtly proselytizing, or overtly bigoted against a particular religion or against religion in general, will be rejected out of hand.
Story length between 3,500 and 7,000 words, except in cases of exceptional merit.
PG-13. Swearing should be mild, sex of the fade-to-black variety; gore can be present if justified by the plot and theme, but should not be luridly emphasized.
* Selected authors will be asked to sign a contract granting exclusive publication rights to their story in print and electronic media for a term of 24 months from publication, or 48 months from the close of submissions, whichever comes first; and an irrevocable nonexclusive license to publish their story in all print and e-book markets as part of this specific anthology, and no other, which will persist after other publishing rights revert.