This is the first installment of a new irregular column on my blog where I will highlight promising new short fiction markets that are open or soon opening to submissions
Neverland’s Library – A Crowdfunded Fantasy Anthology
Click here for detailed Guidelines
Submission period: March 5 through June 30, 2013
Length: 2000-8000 words (somewhat flexible)
Pay rate: $0.03/word + copy
Rights: First rights, 6 month exclusivity after release
Estimated response time: 2 weeks
Editors: Roger Bellini and Rebecca Lovatt
Rebecca and Roger are both fantasy book reviews who blog at the Arched Doorway and A Daily Dose of R&R respectively. Their goal in creating this anthology is twofold – to introduce new readers to the genre of fantasy, and to support a worthy cause. The theme for this book, as defined by the editors, is “the rediscovery of the fantastic.”
In addition to the open submission call, some of the authors invited to contribute to this book include Mark Lawrence, William Meikle, and Marie Brennan. The introduction will be written by Tad Williams.
Why rediscovery of the fantastic? What made you select this theme to build the anthology around?
Originally we chose the theme of rediscovery because we wanted people who might have thought they were too old for fantasy. It’s a chance for them to rediscover that passion they once had for imaginative works. We then stuck with it because it worked perfectly with the non-profit organization we wanted to partner with for the project.
What sort of stories are you looking to collect for this project? Are there any genre restrictions? Would you consider urban fantasy, horror, or slipstream, if the story fits the theme of rediscovery?
We’re looking for stories in the fantasy genre, and sub-genres that fit within the perimeters of our theme, which we’ve left very open to individual interpretation. While we’ve opened this to all sub-genres, we’re both more of traditional fantasy fans and that can tend to show up sometimes in our selections. However, occasionally there’s a story that stretches the bounds of what we thought the anthology would entail and we’re compelled to accept it because it’s just “that good!” A great example of this is a Lovecraftian story we recently accepted from a name that you’ll soon be familiar with, Peter Rawlik.
That’s just one example. So in conclusion, we’ll consider horror, urban fantasy, steampunk. We’re very open. If your story is good enough to make us stop and take notice, then we’ll be glad to consider it for inclusion.
What are you seeing too much of in the slush? Have any trends surprised you (in a good way or bad)?
Stories regarding or containing dragons seem to be the most common. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is nice to see a change every now and then. Many of these stories contain a lot of similar elements and can be repetitive at times.
As for things that have surprised us… I’d have to say it’s the lack of stories submitted with female leads. I’m not an advocate for the necessity of the genders being balanced perfectly, but I would definitely love to read a few more well written stories featuring characters that female readers can relate with.
Will you be looking to include humorous stories into NL? What sort of humor works/doesn’t work for your editorial tastes?
In this particular anthology, we are not including humorous stories. However, we’ve not ruled out potentially doing a future volume featuring that type of story.
Roger: I personally enjoy a very dry sarcastic humor. I’d liken my tastes to that which you might see in Indie comedy films such as “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Rebecca: Is this some kind of joke? I find nothing funny. Literally, ever. I am not amused.
What is the First Book charity and how are you hoping to support it via this project?
First Book is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce illiteracy by providing educational texts and books for children of low-income families who may not have access to them otherwise.
We’re hoping to support them through Neverland’s Library in a couple of ways. First, through raising awareness about who they are and what their organization’s goal is. Second, we’ll be splitting all profits from this anthology 50/50 between First Book and the funding of future installments. After having raised enough for the next installments, we’ll then begin donating the entirety of the profits to First Book.
Our goal in this project was never to make a personal profit. We’ll not be personally receiving a dime from this, and that’s the way we want it to be. Our newest update goes into a bit more detail about First Book.
Like so many quality projects this day, Neverland’s Library relies on the generosity of its readers to help get this project off the ground. They recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. Please back their project by following the link below. You’ll be supporting both a creative writing endeavor and a worthy charity.
If you’re launching a new speculative fiction magazine or anthology that is open to submissions and is paying at least semi-pro rates, and wish to be interviewed on this blog, please feel free to contact me.