Sunday, January 31, 2016

Announcing the Next EBP anthology: Urban Fantasy

As someone who has always read a lot, I am sometimes dumbfounded to learn that there are genres that lay claim to books I enjoy. Perhaps I’m naïve, but I tend to separate books between fiction and nonfiction and then add poetry and plays; I read them all. I don’t worry about genres and subgenres when I’m reading. I simply love quality writing.

Still, as I’ve gotten deeper into publishing, I have recognized the value of genres and subgenres. And as a lover of mathematics, I also enjoy the Venn diagram aspect of those genres. A book can be both Young Adult and science fiction, for example. I know a few steampunk writers who happily added romance – or was it vice versa? – to their repertoire.

It is with this spirit of experimentation and love of quality fiction that Elephant’s Bookshelf Press announces its next anthology: Urban fantasy.

To me, it’s a challenging genre to nail down. Of course, the “urban” element is vital. The idea of the city standing as a character in its own right has appealed to me ever since I seriously studied authors and literature. While there may be similarities, I think any native of New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Amarillo, Chicago, or Detroit – to say nothing of London, Dublin, Venice, or wherever – would argue their city is more different than like the others.

I regularly commute into New York City and my mind is often awhirl with ideas about the people and situations I see almost every day. I’ve traveled throughout the U.S. and much of the U.K. and Ireland, and I’m always amazed at how an urban center can vary regardless of the size of its population.

The fantasy aspect is every bit as important to the story as the city in which it takes place. As a reader, I’m intrigued by the ideas of angels and demons walking among us, commuting and communing with “ordinary” humans. But what happens when a gargoyle take flight from its perch atop a building? How might an ancient curse affect the urban denizens? Lately, I’ve been reading so many fairy stories to my girls, and I’ve been curious how I might place some of their favorite pixies into New York. Indeed, the possibilities are endless.

For our anthology, the urban fantasies can be up to 5,000 words long. Still no erotica. The deadline is July 11; there is no payment, but published authors will receive a paperback edition of the completed anthology. We are aiming for publication in late September, though it might end up being October.

You can send your submissions to

Our team will review the stories as they come in. If history is a judge, some stories will be obvious decisions, but other decisions might be held until we’ve seen enough submissions. I expect we’ll publish no more than twenty stories and it’ll probably be fewer than that.

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