Sunday, September 08, 2013
Request for Submissions: Winter Anthology
Submissions are now open for the 2013/14 Winter Anthology.
Regrets, I’ve had a few…
To be human is to have regrets, to question decisions, even to doubt our own abilities and capacities. Whether it’s because of a path not taken or a decision made for selfish or – perhaps worse – unselfish reasons, we all have had moments we regret. We might regret not recognizing an opportunity. Or we regret being too quick to clutch a seemingly easy victory that left us unable to grab the better opportunity behind it. I’ve known folks who have later regretted making the right decision. Of course, like most things in life, the difference between a right decision and a wrong one can be a matter of perspective.
That’s where you writers come in. The theme for the winter anthology is “regret.” We’re looking for stories that, in some sense, convey regret. As always, we’re looking for quality short stories, but this time the theme is a little different. As in the past, stories can be in almost any genre: no erotica.
I suspect we’ll see a few romance stories, and certainly some young adult and maybe some new adult pieces. I could also imagine some middle grade stories. Children can learn about regret in such poignant ways, after all. And of course, I’m a sucker for traditional contemporary and literary fiction as well as science fiction.
With the flood of submissions we received for what became the two summer anthologies, we’ve decided to change things around a little. First, the word limit is now 5,500 words. (I almost trimmed it to 5,000, but sometimes a story is well-served with a couple more pages.) Second, given that we’re launching our first novel, in October, we’re that much more time-pressed than we’ve been before, so don’t be shocked if it takes several weeks before you get a decision about whether your story has been accepted. I think it may easily be 4-6 weeks before we send you a yes or no. We’ll try to let you know earlier.
We’re looking for one submission per author. And we're unable to pay for stories, though published authors will receive a copy of the anthology. No previously published stories. If it’s appeared on your blog already, let me know, but that is not an automatic kill in my book. Send submissions to email@example.com. The deadline is October 15.
For ease of formatting and time-saving on the copyediting and final proofing, please adhere to the following format styles:
§ Use Times Roman;
§ 12 pt. type;
§ 1" margin all around;
§ Double-spaced lines;
§ Do not add extra line between every paragraph;
§ When you want to denote a scene break, please use a single “#”;
§ Paragraphs indented 0.5". Please use the autoformat settings on Microsoft Word for paragraph indentations rather than manually inserting a tab or individual spaces. This feature is found under the ‘Paragraph’ format window;
§ Use a SINGLE SPACE following a period at the end of a sentence, NOT two spaces;
§ Use STRAIGHT QUOTES rather than SMART QUOTES. This is an autoformat/autocorrect feature in Word that, if checked, turns straight quote marks and apostrophes into ‘curly’ quote marks and apostrophes. This can cause formatting issues when the text is converted to a final font and style for publication. Under WORD OPTIONS, click on PROOFING, then on AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS, then make sure the line that says ‘Replace straight quotes with smart quotes’ is UNCHECKED.
Should you choose not to adhere to these guidelines, your story will still be considered. It’s a potential annoyance and challenge for some of the e-publishing formats, but it’s not a deal breaker. We’ll work with the copy. But the more you can do in advance, the faster the editing process will go and the cleaner and more consistent the final published book presentation will be.
Because that’s part of what we’re always looking to create – a clean, consistent book that readers enjoy by authors whose work they want to read again and again. Ideally, you’ll discover that Elephant’s Bookshelf Press produces books and anthologies that entertain the reader and keep them thinking – and when appropriate, laughing too.
And if you're on the fence about whether your story is good enough, do your best not to regret your decision, whatever it may be.
Thanks in advance to everyone!