Call for Submissions— “Asteroids” Science-Fiction Anthology

[UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who submitted stories to this anthology! The submissions period is now closed. Sign up here if you want to be kept up to date.]

Attention Authors!

We are soliciting short stories by new and established authors in the science-fiction genre, between 3,500 and 7,000 words in length. (Shorter or longer works will be considered in cases of exceptional merit.) The goal is to select at least ten entries for publication* in a short-story anthology.

Accepted authors will receive an advance of $25 against a percentage of the first year’s royalties (paid quarterly), to be determined once the total number of included stories is known. Do sign up here if you want to be kept up to date.

(Our first Call for Submissions, in the military-fiction genre, can be viewed here. The associated Kickstarter met its goal, resulting in the authors being paid $100 each; ultimately, the anthology was placed under contract by an independent publisher. Our second, fantasy anthology has been indie-published under the Lagrange Books imprint, and we are eager to see which anthology does better.)

Submission Rules

How to submit: Email your manuscript (acceptable document formats: Word, PDF, Pages, TXT, RTF) to the following address: submissions at orenlitwin dot com. Begin the subject line with “[Asteroids Submission]”, and make sure to list your contact information in the email itself. (Also, please mention how you heard of this anthology!)

Submission deadline: March 1, 2019.

Genre: Science fiction, broadly defined. This includes “hard” sci-fi, “twenty minutes in the future,” “space opera,” or any other flavor that includes an advanced technological element. (If you are interested in other genres, please suggest them for our next project!)

Theme: “Asteroids.”

Your story must include as a significant plot element an asteroid. The asteroid need not actually be present in the story, so long as people are reacting to it or living lives that have been influenced by it. The form your story takes—1950’s-style space miners, modern tech oligarchs sending robots to mine the asteroid belt, an interstellar ship made out of a hollow asteroid, a mass-casualty event caused by an astroid strike (Heinleinesque or otherwise), a discussion of how previous economic structures are upended by asteroid exploitation, etc.—is totally up to you.


Entries must be your own work, must be previously unpublished, and may not be plagiarized. You must own all copyright to work submitted. No exceptions!

Read this post for a discussion of my editorial preferences.

Works must show adequate command of the English language, grammar, and punctuation. Rule-breaking for effect, as with stream-of-consciousness writing or the use of a Flowers-for-Algernon type of narrator, will have to show particular merit. Otherwise, do your editing in advance!

Works with strong thematic elements are encouraged. Characters must face significant obstacles to be overcome (whether they succeed or not). Nihilism can be part of the setup, but should not be the conclusion—the characters should push through nihilism to the other side, whatever that is.

Religious themes are acceptable, but should be broadly drawn: using a character’s religious beliefs to illustrate the virtue of faith, or commitment, and so on—or conversely, using a character’s religious beliefs to illustrate the dangers of unthinking obedience, or us-versus-them attitudes, or whatever—rather than the specific endorsement or criticism of a particular religion or sect. (There is a difference between opposing barbarity that is motivated by a religion, and opposing a religion in toto.) Works that are overtly proselytizing, or overtly bigoted against a particular religion or against religion in general, will be rejected out of hand.

Story length between 3,500 and 7,000 words, except in cases of exceptional merit.

PG-13. Swearing should be mild, sex of the fade-to-black variety; gore can be present if justified by the plot and theme, but should not be luridly emphasized.

Good luck!

* Selected authors will be asked to sign a contract granting exclusive publication rights to their story in print and electronic media for a term of 12 months from publication; and further allowing us to continue keeping this anthology in print even after other rights have reverted back.

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