Monday, June 14, 2010

Call for Ficton: Main Street Rag

Main Street Rag Fiction Anthologies (see themes below)
To submit a manuscript for consideration for an anthology, please be sure to address the envelope to:
The MSR Short Fiction Anthology
PO BOX 690100
Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.

Also important: Since we have more than one editor reading fiction for us and each is assigned a specific project, please be sure to MARK ON THE ENVELOPE which theme the author is targeting. Authors who want to submit work to more than one theme, please make each submission in a separate envelope. Anything that arrives without a specific destination ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE will be sent to the editor in charge of selection for The Main Street Rag--our quarterly literary journal--and not considered for anthology publication at all.

For those who may have skipped over the General Guidelines on the Submissions Page where it says "NO EMAILED SUBMISSIONS," that guideline applies to the short fiction anthology as well unless you LIVE overseas (Canada is not overseas, by the way) or are a subscriber to The Main Street Rag. Even so, those who want to submit this way need to QUERY FIRST so we can instruct them on how the manuscript should be sent and where. Unsolicited manuscripts that arrive as attachments are sent to the trash can unread.

Authors may submit as many as 2 stories at a time per theme; maximum length: 10,000 words (each). Please wait until we report on that submission before sending additional stories for consideration.

Please double-space on 8.5 X 11 paper using 11 or 12pt serif font (Times, Times New Roman, etc.). We can report by email to save return postage, but if you want your manuscript returned, be sure to include an SASE that is large enough to fit the manuscript and be sure it has the proper amount of postage. Report Time: We will try to report in 2 months or less, but prose does take longer to read than poetry and the Associate Editors who select manuscripts for our anthologies do so around teaching duties. We appreciate your patience.

Also of note:
Because our literary magazine does not consider previously published or simultaneous submissions, the most frequently asked question for anthology submission has been: Are previously published stories eligible for the anthologies?

The answer is a not-so enthusiastic, "Yes." Yes, but with conditions mostly centered around who owns the rights, where it has been previously published and when. We'd rather not publish a story that already appears or is scheduled to appear in a journal, collection or other anthology that will be available for sale at the same time as our anthology and anything that has been published online is not eligible. We know that sounds unfair, but what is really unfair is trying to compete with FREE when we are publishing a product that actually costs money to produce. If you think you have a previously published story that fits one of the themes for which we are reading, please email a query first to:
editor(at)mainstreetrag.com (replace (at) with @). Include where it was previously published and when and we'll let you know if it is something we will consider.

No simultaneous submissions for our anthologies. We are usually pretty good at our turn around and we read on a particular theme for as long as a year, so if you have a story submitted elsewhere that you think will fit our theme, either wait for the other publisher to respond or withdraw it from wherever else it has been submitted before sending it here.
Thank you.

Current Themes:
* * * NEW THEMES (posted 12/11/09) * * *

The following are two new themes we will be reading for 2010. The official open date is May 1, 2010, since both editors teach and we would like for them to have the summer months to do the bulk of the reading. Early arrivals will still be considered, but we will hold onto them longer since our readers are not available until May 1.

Altered States. We're looking for science fiction/fantasy stories that concern changes in the physical, psychological, geographical, planetary, political, dimensional states of being.

The Book of Villains. Give us your evil, your plotting, your cruel. Give us your vengeful, your jealous, your cold. Give us your villains! Not anti-heroes or flawed characters or the morally questionable--leave no question about it: we want to populate a book with the truly malicious. Whether you create an original villain, use one of the timeless archetypes, or offer a new tale about an already famous or iconic villain, we want you to send us works of short fiction in which you shamelessly indulge in all things villainous.

Sports. “Sports,” Haywood Hale Broun remarked, “do not build character. They reveal it.” Thus have we witnessed the transcendent courage of Lou Gehrig, the impeccable dignity of John Wooden, and parents brawling in the mud while their astonished eight-year-old kids stand in their soccor gear and watch. We are looking for fiction that takes the idea of sports and competition past the mundane barroom—water cooler clich├ęs into the epiphanies of the human heart or aberrations of the human mind. Make it about sport (you decide whether “curling” is a viable option), but craft it towards what competition reveals.

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