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Announcing the new editorial team for Cast of Wonders!


This summer has brought a few changes to the editorial team at Cast of Wonders. Alexis Goble has stepped back to concentrate on episode artwork and her own projects, including her pin badge business. Katherine Inskip has joined Marguerite Kenner as co-editor. And, we have two new Assistant Editors joining the team. There were a number of very strong contenders for the role, and Marguerite and Katherine didn’t have an easy time with the final decision. So, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that that the new Assistant Editors for Cast of Wonders are Andrew K. Hoe and Karissa Sluss!

Image of new assistant editor Andrew K Hoe Image of new assistant editor Karissa Sluss

Andrew teaches and practices Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and Tai Chi in Southern California, where he also writes speculative YA fiction. He has been a high school English teacher, an Assistant Language Teacher in Japan, and a college professor. His academic work in children’s literature can be found in The Looking Glass. Follow him on Twitter.

Karissa lives with in North Carolina with her family and a hairy husky named Bonnie. Her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, Star Wars, and Princess Bride. By day she wrangles cases and hearing schedules for a small administrative court. At night, after cooking dinner, checking homework, and walking the dog, she writes and reads as much as possible. You can find out more about her writing online at karissalaurel.com, and she loves making friends on Twitter @karissalaurel.

Our audience will already be familiar with Karissa from her work with the editorial team during Artemis Rising 5 earlier this year, and if you’ve not heard Andrew as a narrator or host yet, check out his previous episodes. What you won’t necessarily be aware of is how much amazing work they’ve done in the Cast of Wonders slushpile for the last few years – their comments and insights have always been tremendously useful, and Andrew has read just about every story submitted! As well as their breadth of expertise, their sheer enthusiasm and love of YA fiction is priceless, and we’re really proud they’ve agreed to join us backstage.

Here’s what they both have to say about their new roles:

[AKH] I first encountered CoW after an internet search for venues that published YA fiction. I couldn’t believe what I’d found. I’d been only looking for print venues, so the idea of a podcast and electronic magazine blew my mind. There was a Banned Books Submission call for 2017, and I decided to go for it. That began a journey with the coolest people around who also love YA fiction. I’m honored to become an assistant editor for my favorite podcast. I look forward to continuing to curate story submissions, but also stepping out from the curtains and hosting episodes, representing CoW in communicating with authors, and learning the other myriad tasks of running a SFWA-qualifying market.

[KS] One of my favorite things about being on staff at Cast of Wonders is our community. The sense of fraternity we have here at both Cast of Wonders and among the entire Escape Artists Community has been so empowering, encouraging, and welcoming. I think a strong community helps with communication and an overall sense of satisfaction and well-being among our staff and authors that winds up being reflected in the excellent quality of stories we produce. Stories are my passion, and going forward, I hope to participate in more forms of storytelling, not only as an author putting literal pen to paper, but as part of a team that finds great stories and helps build the path that brings those tales into the world for others to enjoy.

Content warnings update


Hi everyone, we’ve made an addition to our content warnings – the death of pets. Thank you very much to the listener who passed along this feedback. We provide further detail on our approach to content warnings on that page. If you have further questions, feel free to contact our editor directly.

We haven’t applied this change retroactively except for the episode in question. We’re happy to update an old episode on request.

We hope this helps more listeners make the right choice for them about when or whether to listen to a particular story.

RSS Feed Update


Cast of Wonders will be moving its RSS feed to LibSyn at the end of October. And soon after, our episodes should be available on Spotify.

For 99% of our audience, the transition should be transparent – tech things will happen behind the scenes, and your podcatcher will continue to receive new episodes every week. If you’re using a hand-crafted podcatcher, you may need to update your feed location.

We’ll keep you posted as the change approaches.

On Inclusion and Artemis Rising: An Apology


It has come to our attention, through multiple channels, that the current incarnation of Artemis Rising 5 has caused harm to members of our community.

Thanks to Bogi Takács’s eloquent explanation of how to bring more voices to the table, we are examining the best way to repair the trust we’ve broken. We appreciate the conversations happening on various platforms and thank you for allowing us to participate in them.

Artemis Rising’s aims have always been to highlight the work of underrepresented genre authors and provide training and progression opportunities to junior members of the Escape Artist family who are members of traditionally marginalized groups. The underrepresented groups that we’ve chosen to focus on have changed over time and are likely to continue to change from year to year.

This year, we failed to consider the effect this change would have on people who were previously eligible to submit but were not eligible this year.

Artemis Rising’s submission portals will remain open and stories are being read while we consider how best to move forward, but we feel it is imperative to urgently acknowledge our mistake.

We apologize for the exclusion and hurt caused by this year’s call. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received; to everyone who voiced their objections, thank you for giving us a chance to correct our error. We hear you.

Escape Artists editors

Escape Pod: S.B. Divya & Mur Lafferty
PseudoPod: Shawn Garrett & Alex Hofelich
PodCastle: Jen R. Albert & Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (and assistant editor Setsu Uzume)
Cast of Wonders: Marguerite Kenner

The 2018 Artemis Rising editors

Escape Pod: S. Kay Nash & Laura Pearlman
PseudoPod: Cecilia Dockins & Tonia Thompson
PodCastle: Krystal Claxton & Elora Gatts
Cast of Wonders: Amy Brennan & Karissa Sluss

The Cast of Wonders Flash Fiction Contest is here!


With a whisper of magic, the portal begins to open. Travel through, fellow wanderers, and tell us of the stories you find.

Submissions for Cast of Wonders’ Flash Fiction Contest will run from September 1-30, 2018, via Submittable.

To be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

  • The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.
  • The story must adhere to the general Cast of Wonders Submission Guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to evoke a sense of wonder and be appropriate for a YA audience. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language.
  • The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the Escape Artists forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.
  • The person submitting the story must be the story’s author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previously published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) may be fine, assuming doing so isn’t in violation of copyright, obviously. This is a grey area – a retelling of a classic tale, or popular culture references, are likely to be fine, but other forms of fanfiction would probably not be appropriate. If in doubt, please send an email to katherine@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY” and ask before submitting.
  • If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please send an email to katherine@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY” and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest, or that are under submission elsewhere.
  • The story must be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.
  • Each author may submit only ONE story.
  • Included in the body of the submission must be the title and the text. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes. Please also be sure to include an email address!
  • Authors under 18 are very welcome and encouraged to submit their work. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract on behalf of the author.
  • Winners will be paid $30, making this a pro sale of at least six cents a word.
  • Please blog, share on Facebook, tweet, email, send owls, telephone, text, light smoke signals, and otherwise get the word out.

    Artemis Rising 5


    In March 2019, Escape Artists will bring you ARTEMIS RISING for a fifth year. This special month-long event, across all four Escape Artists podcasts, is a celebration of stories written by women, in the broadest definition of the word. This year, Cast of Wonders is excited to introduce guest editors Amy Brennan and Karissa Sluss, with assistant editors Katherine Inskip and Alexis Goble.

    ARTEMIS RISING specifically highlights women in genre fiction, a demographic that has been underrepresented until recent years. This showcase helps to address that historical imbalance and correct the impression, which continues to persist in some social circles, that women cannot write excellent genre fiction.

    Who Can Submit

    Submissions are open to anyone who identifies as a woman to any degree.

    In past years, we have specifically included the term “non-binary” in our Artemis Rising submission calls — you may notice it is missing this year.

    English is flawed in its ability to accurately represent the breadth of human genders, and as such the language we use is always evolving. We respect the feedback that we’ve received regarding our use of “non-binary” as a catch-all: that it erroneously tilts the perception of non-binary people in a feminine direction.

    In a continuing effort to support diversity and inclusivity, we’re changing the language of our ARTEMIS RISING call. Non-binary authors who identify as women are welcome to submit. Your gender is for you to determine, and we support you and take you at your word. If you feel you have a story that helps cast light on the multitudinal existence that is womanness, please don’t self-reject.

    Please note we’re talking about author identity here, not pen names. We fully respect the right of authors to use whatever pen names they like. However, as we note in our Legalese, we require information in the submission form be accurate and truthful.

    As always, we strongly encourage submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional speculative fiction, including, but not limited to, people of color, LGBTQ authors, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States. Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human race, so we strongly encourage submissions from these and any other under-represented groups.

    What to Submit

    Send in your best speculative fiction between 1,500–6,000 words. Original fiction as well as reprints are welcome this year. Payment will be USD $0.06 per word for original fiction, $100 for reprints, and a $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1,500 words).

    You can send in one submission for ARTEMIS RISING to each of our podcasts (Escape Pod for science fiction, PseudoPod for horror, PodCastle for fantasy, and Cast of Wonders for young adult), but please don’t send the same story to more than one podcast at a time.

    If you have another story under consideration already in the general submissions queue, you are welcome to submit an additional story for ARTEMIS RISING. One submission per portal for a total of two under consideration.

    Multiple and/or simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

    While we’ll be accepting a limited number of stories for ARTEMIS RISING, all stories will also be considered as general submissions as well, in the event that we simply have too much awesome to contain in one month.

    What We’re Looking For

    Amy and Karissa are particularly interested in stories with protagonists in non-traditional female roles, disabled protagonists and relationships between women (mentorship of a younger protagonist by an elder woman, asexual and aromantic relationships, etc.). As with all submissions we are also looking for the deep emotional resonance and that critical spark of wonder that defines all Cast of Wonders stories.

    How to Submit

    Start writing now! A special ARTEMIS RISING Submittable portal will open September 1. Submissions will be open for the month of September 2018. Stories will air in March 2019.

    Thanks, and we look forward to reading your stories!
    Amy Brennan, Karissa Sluss, Katherine Inskip, Alexis Goble,
    and the entire Cast of Wonders team