September 25 through October 1st is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information.

To celebrate this year, Cast of Wonders is holding a specific submission call for new YA fiction focusing on themes of overcoming censorship, access to information and the transformative power of literature in all its forms.

What We’re Looking For

Stories should center on the power of literature to enrich, inspire and support. Fiction comes in many forms, and your story can showcase more than printed books. Think of all the ways you consume fiction on a regular basis; from eBooks and movies, videogames and audio, to whatever cutting edge technology the future may bring us.

This week is our love letter to fiction as a transformative power, and the lens through which we are motivated towards our best selves. As a result, we’re looking for stories with if not happy, then at least hopeful endings. Splattery horror, unchanging dystopian futures, and slapstick comedic romps will be hard sells. Send us instead your triumphs over adversity. Religious and political themes are welcome, but must not present as dogmatic.

We have scope to purchase multiple stories for the showcase, depending on submission quality. That means we’re looking for a wide range of genres and subject matter.

The Details

Our regular submission guidelines will apply, with two exceptions highlighted below. We have a strong desire to showcase the work of authors under 18, and take our diversity pledge seriously. Nothing would make us happier than to showcase an entire week’s worth of fiction from these groups! Make sure you’ve read the guidelines recently as we’ve added new sections addressing fan fiction, subject matter we don’t want to receive, and a few other points.

  • We’re a YA podcast, and choose not to feature stories which include explicit and gratuitous violence, language and sexual content.
  • The “What We’re NOT Looking For” section of our guidelines absolutely apply. Submissions showcasing these elements will be rejected. If you wouldn’t give your story to a teenager to read — or the activity in question is unlawful — it doesn’t belong in our slush pile.
  • Stories may be up to 6000 words in length. We’ll happily accept flash fiction. We have a preference for self-sufficient stories 3000-4500 words long.
  • Manuscripts should continue to be submitted blind; you can find an example manuscript here.
  • Only one story may be submitted per author. Multiple entries received from the same author will result in all stories being rejected unread.
  • Exception 1: New stories only; reprints will not be accepted. We won’t be accepting stories previously made available on Patreon, Goodreads, author websites, Amazon singles or other public online locations this call.
  • Exception 2: No simultaneous submissions will be accepted. We’re working to a quick turnaround; you will receive a response on your story no later than mid-July (see the Timeline below).
  • Our standard SWFA-qualified rates of $0.06/word for new fiction will apply, as will our standard contract.
  • Don’t self­-reject. If in doubt, send us your story!

Always query if you have any questions on the above before you submit. If in doubt, ask, and make sure you ask in time to receive a response! No extensions will be granted for pending queries, but we tend to send answers quickly.

Some Example Episodes

The following episodes are examples of the type of stories we would like to receive.


  • Call announced February 10th
  • Full submission guidelines made available April 23
  • Submission window May 15 through May 31 through Submittable portal
  • Responses to all stories by mid-July, with contracts to follow shortly
  • All stories will air during the week commencing September 25th

Ready to Send Us Your Story?