AN ALPHABET OF EMBERS submissions guidelines for writers.
UPDATE! UPDATE! if you have submitted a story to AoE and have not heard back, please query immediately – to the editorial address or as a comment to this entry.
I am seeking submissions for An Alphabet of Embers, an anthology of unclassifiables – lyrical, surreal, magical, experimental pieces that straddle the border between poetry and prose.
I am looking for work that is between 500 and 1400 words in length. Ideally, I’d like to accept a mix of pieces that can traditionally be labeled stories, and pieces that defy such definitions. If you’ve been told your piece is ‘too slight’ or ‘more of a vignette’, ‘too poetic’ or ‘too experimental,’ I’d love to consider it.
While I am looking for unusual and striking work that defies definition, I would be happy to consider work that falls within any speculative genre, including science fiction, fantasy, fairytale/mythic retellings, and of course surrealism, magic realism, etc. If it has a speculative element, I will consider it, though any straightforward treatment of genre tropes will likely be a miss.
I am looking for work that is evocative, beautiful, stirring; I envision An Alphabet of Embers as a book that moves us, emotionally and intellectually, to consider the world from angles new and old and new again. I want AoE to resonate with lyrical strangeness, and pain, and vibrancy, and hope. I am always keenly interested boundary-crossing work, and want to showcase a variety of voices and perspectives.
I am NOT looking for pieces that are unambiguously poetry. (Prose poetry is welcome).
I am committed to diversity of voice and theme in all my editorial projects, and this one will be no exception (here are my thoughts on looking for diversity of voice and theme, as an editor). This anthology is not specifically diversity themed; rather, I believe that every editorial project should be diverse, and every editorial project of mine has been, and will be diverse. Examples of my work include The Moment of Change (Aqueduct Press, 2012), and Stone Telling Magazine, which I co-edit with Shweta Narayan.
I welcome and encourage submissions from creators who belong to marginalized groups, including PoC, LGBTQIA creators, people of all ages, people of various levels of (dis)ability and income, people with neuroatypicalities, immigrants, and more. I’d love to see your work regardless of whether you have prior sales. This anthology is open to everyone.
I would love to consider work in a variety of Englishes. Your language variant is welcome here.
Pay: I will be paying SFWA professional rates at 6c a word for originals, and 3c a word for reprints.
Simultaneous submissions: NO.
Multiple submissions: YES, you can send me up to TWO pieces to consider, either in a single submission or in two separate submissions.
Please send me the piece(s) as attachment(s) in doc, docx, or .rtf format. Please use Standard Manuscript Format. If your piece has special formatting that needs a different submission process, please query first.
Please send your submission(s) to email@example.com with SUBMISSION: “Your story title” .
Cover letter: please list whether the piece is unpublished; if it is a reprint, please give full information about the first publication of your submission. I prefer short cover letters – you are welcome to list 2-3 recent publications, but it’s perfectly fine not to do so. Please address your cover letter to Editors, or Ms. Lemberg.
Reading period: OPEN NOW, 7/28/2014. CLOSES ON September 30, 2014.
ETA: Since folks have been asking about rights, here is the relevant information:
Upon acceptance, we will ask for First World Rights in the English Language in both print and ebook versions, plus promotional rights (granting Stone Bird Press permission to use excerpts from the accepted work to promote the anthology). There is an exclusivity period of 12 months from the moment of publication, excluding Year’s Best anthologies. After the exclusivity period ends, rights will revert to their respective authors. We do ask that you credit the first publication of the story as “first appeared in An Alphabet of Embers (2015)”.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I’m looking forward to reading your work!
Submissions guidelines for artists:
I am planning to feature internal black and white illustrations in An Alphabet of Embers; I will be looking for mood pieces that echo and interpret the fiction, rather than straightforward illustrations. I enjoy both digital and traditional media.
Please do not send attachments, but rather send in a cover letter with a link to your online portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org with ART QUERY in the title. Artists of all backgrounds are very welcome.