Carnivah House submission guidelines will vary from project to project. Below are the guidelines for our first anthology, “The Infinity Swords.”
“The Infinity Swords” will be a themed anthology. We will pay $50 flat rate for original fiction of 2,000 to 6,000 words, paid on acceptance. Writers may submit up to two stories.
We will accept submissions from Jan. 1 to Jan. 15, 2008. Do not send us stories earlier than that — we’ll delete them unread. We will accept email submissions (pasted into the body of your email, please; we’ll request an .rtf file if we need one) at email@example.com. In the subject line, please use this format: “Submission/Your Title Here.”
What is “The Infinity Swords” about? Read the prologue, then see the notes below:
OK, you’ve read the prologue, right? So what are we looking for? We want you to write a fantasy story, set in any original universe of your creation, in which one of these swords is a driving part of the narrative. Or both swords, if you like. Plop one of these swords into your protagonist’s hands, or send your hero to wrest it away from someone else. Have a wizard try to unlock the sword’s secrets. Put one of these blades at the center of an epic struggle, or at the end of a puzzling quest. Have your characters meet up with one of the “ethereal agents” searching the multiverse for these swords.
The swords give us a “brand,” so to speak, but we don’t want to constrain writers. Use your imagination and have fun with it.
We’re open to sword-and-sorcery, high fantasy, humor, flat-out adventure, mysteries, etc. We’re not looking for hard science fiction, but if you want to try an Edgar Rice Burroughs-style mix of high technology and barbaric adventure, give it a shot. If you want to try something in a modern setting, that’s OK, too, although we prefer sword-slinging fantasy worlds. Be as deep and literary as you like, or simply blow our socks off with a ripping good tale. It’s up to you.
Some ground rules:
- If you have previously published stories about serial characters or a world you’ve established and think this concept would fit with them, give it a try.
- The swords may not be destroyed.
- Your character does not get to keep the sword and use it to rule the universe or destroy creation — unless, of course, you make it clear that the godhood will be short-lived or that a new creation will arise from the ashes, and that the sword eventually will go spinning off through the multi-verse once again.
- The swords may manifest themselves in different ways in different universes. They may be amulet-sized in one story, or tower-sized in the next. Their magic may operate differently in different universes, as well. Imagine that the swords have a vast slew of different powers, but the characters in your story are aware of only some of those powers, or that some of those powers do not operate in your fictional universe. In other words, let us sweat those kind of details while you just write a good story.
- Some authors were invited to submit before this open call. If you are one of them and we did not buy your story, feel free to try again.
- Things to avoid: a plot in which your character gains the sword and decides to give it up; elf detectives; anything Tolkien or Howard already wrote; sex and gore that goes much beyond a PG-13 rating for no good reason.
- We realize typos happen to everybody, and that some writers are great storytellers but lousy typists and spellers. We won’t dismiss a story simply because of a flub or two, but we’ll toss it in an eyeblink if it appears you made no effort to clean up your manuscript. If you’re not adept at spelling and grammar, have someone who is adept at those things look at your work before you send it to us.
- If you have questions, please post them here but realize we may be a while in answering. And if your questions are of the “can the swords do this or that?” variety — relax. We’re purposefully giving writers as much leeway on such details as we can. If you want the sword to turn someone into an aardvark, simply convince us it can happen through the power of your story.
That’s all for now. Get to writing!
— Carnivah House