Saturday, July 19, 2014

Magic in the City - an Anthology in the conceptualisation

Even within the gritty, urban streets, beauty can be found. A daisy, poking its head from a crack in the concrete, a bird, nesting in the eaves of a business's balcony. Children, playing games of make-believe in the gardens or along the river. There is magic to be found everywhere, in the everyday, and it is too often forgotten in the grim and grit of modern literature. When dystopia novels reign supreme, and urban fantasy is filled with inner darkness, treachery and monsters of the night. 

I am planning, in concert with the Christchurch Writers' Guild,  to create an anthology that celebrates the magical side of urban fantasy - the fairies that live in the garden, the imps that steal your socks, the dragon that slumbers beneath the university. Children's tales? Perhaps, but these are tales of a more innocent, whimsical age. An age when children played outside, having adventures in their own backyards instead of staring at screens or leaning over keyboards.

And I would like your help.

Initially, I wanted to have a Christchurch-themed anthology, showing the magic within our broken city, as it struggles to recover from the earthquakes that flattened so much of the central city and devastated the spirits of the community. However, this collection will be open to a wider audience. Here's the low-down:

* Theme: Magical Realism/Urban Fantasy
This does not need to be full-on magic or adding fantastic beasts to the modern city - for example, one of my story ideas involves a girl striking up a friendship with a wild animal - it just needs to be something out-of-the-ordinary and somewhat magical. If you are unsure if your story idea fits the theme, please do not hesitate to ask.
Defintion of Magic Realism:

* Your story must have a positive ending. That does not mean that it cannot have darkness or tragedy occuring, but ultimately the outcome must be the sort that will give the reader a warm glow of satisfaction. It can be funny, it can contain an important moral message, it can be the story of someone rising from darkness and finding a sense of hope and wonderment.

* Word Count: 1,000 - 6,000 words

* Intended Audience: I would like the stories to be suitable for ages maybe 10+, since the theme is likely to appeal to children. This may be changed if a number of submissions are received that lie outside these boundaries. Please limit your language to that which is appropriate for the 10+ market. Swearing or excessive use of "tamer" curse words (damn, bloody, hell etc) may result in your story being rejected or editing requests to be made.

* Your submission should be a highly polished final draft. It should be thoroughly proof-read and spell-checked.
Please note that we will be enforcing the following:
- single spaces after full stops (periods).
- double quote marks used around speech: "like this" (but curling inwards, which blogspot doesn't do).
- please use the double em-dash with one space on either side. —
- please save as a .doc file.
- font size and face does not matter, but book will be printed in Century Schoolbook, my personal favourite.

* Not all stories will necessarily be accepted. We reserve the right to reject your story or request an edit. To this end, we will offer a short critique for every submission.

* We cannot pay you. Proceeds from this anthology will go to help support the Christchurch Writers' Guild and help us to plan some events that you are welcome to participate in (should you happen to live in New Zealand). We can, and will, give you a free copy of the ebook and offer you reduced rates for printed copies, should you wish to purchase any for friends or family. You will also be given a full page biography, including a chance to link your website or promote your other titles, within the book.

* The book will be independently printed via Amazon's CreateSpace program and through Kindle Direct Publishing. I also have access to add it to (for epub) and SmashWords.

* Illustrators are also welcome to contribute. 

Submissions should be emailed to:

DEADLINE: 1st January 2015

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