Secant Publishing, an independent publisher in Salisbury, Maryland, and Book Bin, an independent bookstore in Onley, Virginia, announce a contest to find the year’s best short stories devoted to the theme of global climate change and its human impact.
We are interested in literary interpretations of how individuals and families, societies and economies, cities and nations are bearing the brunt of a world dominated by new extremes of weather, seasons, and ecological disasters. The emphasis must be on people, their emotions, their decision-making and their forced adjustments, not on scientific theories or advocacy positions. This is a platform for insightful and empathetic fiction about individuals and communities caught in inexorable change, not nonfiction essays or scientific exegesis.
Submissions (in English) are welcome from any writer aged 18 or above.
A panel of independent judges will vote on one Gold Medal, one Silver Medal, and one Bronze Medal, with cash values as set out below. The judges are Ron Sauder, owner, Secant Publishing; Philip Wilson, owner, Book Bin; and Karen Gravelle, author of more than 20 books.
We seek the submission of original pieces of short fiction in the English language, not previously published in either print or digital form, from 500-3,000 words long.
Winning entries will be compulsively readable and emotionally affecting. They can belong to any genre, from literary and mystery, to romance and paranormal, to adventure and science fiction/fantasy. Humor is welcome if such is to be found, be it dark or farcical. Stories may or may not have conventionally happy endings.
We are looking for literature that will engage readers from young to old and from varied societies and cultural backgrounds. In our authors, we seek diversity of color, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and place of national origin.
As we aim to reach the widest possible readership, our bias is against explicit sex, gratuitous violence, and casual profanity. Think PG-13, not R.
We accept multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if a submission is accepted elsewhere. Reader fees will not be refunded.
Authors chosen for prizes and/or for inclusion in the anthology will be required to sign a standard contributor’s agreement prior to public announcements and publication.
Winners will be chosen by a panel of three judges:
- Karen Gravelle has authored seventeen nonfiction books for children and teens, including perennial bestseller The Period Book and What’s Going On Down There?, both of which have been translated into multiple languages. She has also written two adult books, a graphic novel for older elementary school readers, and a middle school novel set on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
- Philip Wilson owns and operates a 43-year-old treasure of Virginia's Eastern Shore, the Book Bin in Onley. He became a bookseller after serving for more than twenty years as a professor of medical, scientific, and British history, primarily at Penn State. He also makes time for assisting students in the Learning Resource Center of the Eastern Shore Community College.
- Ron Sauder is owner of Secant Publishing, LLC, located in Salisbury, Maryland, USA. He was the publisher and editor of The Year’s Best Dog Stories 2021, which won a Silver Medal in the 2022 national IPPY Awards competition. Secant Publishing is a small, independent publishing house on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with a special focus on regional authors and books. See secantpublishing.com.
One Gold Medal, worth $1,000 in cash, one Silver Medal, worth $500 in cash, and one Bronze Medal, worth $250 in cash, will be awarded on completion of the contest. Prizes are sponsored by the Book Bin.
In addition to the three prize-winners, up to 30 entries will be published in a book-length anthology by Secant Publishing in time for the fourth-quarter holiday season, 2024. Contributors will retain copyright but Secant Publishing will reserve first worldwide publication rights.
All contributors will receive two complimentary copies of the book upon publication along with the right to buy as many additional copies as they wish at the standard author discount of 50%.
Anyone 18 and above is eligible to enter. There will be a reading fee of $10 which is payable at the time of submission. We will accept multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if a submission is accepted elsewhere. Reader fees will not be refunded. Authors chosen for prizes and/or for inclusion in the anthology will be required to sign a standard contributor’s agreement prior to public announcements and publication.
Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2024.
All entries will be taken through the Duosuma submissions platform. Registration to become a user of Duosuma (through Duotrope) is free. There will be a $10 reading fee for submissions. Incarcerated persons (and they alone) will be able to submit entries without paying a reading fee and by mailing their entries to Secant Publishing, PO Box 4059, Salisbury, MD 21803 USA.
Ron Sauder, email@example.com (410) 845-3193