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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

    Artemis Rising 5 Guest Editors


    We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s guest editors for Artemis Rising will be Amy Brennan and Karissa Sluss, with assistant editors Alexis Goble and Katherine Inskip.

    Amy Brennan is a huge fan of all manner of fiction and non fiction writing, music, art, basically anything even mildly creative. A geologist by training, holding a masters in Geoscience from Keele Unversity she used to make mud pies for a living. It is a job that is both enjoyably challenging and at times mind-numbingly repetitive. She devoured audiobooks at a rate of knots to get her through the day – until she discovered podcasts and hasn’t looked back since.  She lives in Cambridgeshire with her partner, and three floofs of the cat and rabbit type. She occasionally blogs, and you can follow her on Twitter.

    Karissa Sluss 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.

    Full details of the submission guidelines will follow.

    2018 Sunburst Award Longlist


    Congratulations to all the Sunburst Awards longlist finalists, including Rati Mehrotra’s Hacker’s Faire, narrated by Wilson Fowlie, and PodCastle associate editor Naru Dames Sundar’s The Weight of Sentience.

    The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is an annual award celebrating the best in Canadian fantastika published during the previous calendar year. Winners receive a medallion that incorporates the Sunburst logo. Winners of both the Adult and Young Adult Sunburst Award also receive a cash prize of $1,000, while winners of the Short Story Sunburst Award receive a cash prize of $500.

    The Sunburst Award takes its name from the debut novel of the late Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction. Past winners of the Sunburst Award include Ruth Ozeki, Guy Gavriel Kay, Cory Doctorow, Nalo Hopkinson, Charles de Lint, Thomas King, and last year’s winner Claire Humphrey.

    For additional information about the Sunburst Award, the nominees, juries, as well as previous awards, eligibility, and the selection process, please visit the official website at www.sunburstaward.org.

    Announcing Assistant Editor Alexis Goble!


    We’re pleased to announce that Alexis Goble, long-time slush pile wrangler, has taken the editorial leap and will be joining Katherine Inskip as co-assistant editor of Cast of Wonders.

    Alexis cut her teeth this year as assistant editor for 2018’s Artemis Rising showcase, working with Katherine and Dani Daly, who will remain Cast of Wonders’ community manager while focusing her energies on StoryTime Soap Company (check them out!)

    Dani says:

    I would like to say that being part of the editorial team of Cast of Wonders has been incredibly rewarding, and I am both honored and humbled to have been provided the opportunity. I have learned a lot and interacted with some fabulously talented people, some of which I am now thrilled to call friend.

    And head over to our forum this autumn, when Dani will be running the Cast of Wonders flash fiction contest.

    Cast of Wonders’ 2017 Award Eligibility


    Hello everyone. In case you are eligible to nominate and/or vote for genre fiction awards, here for your consideration are the stories first published by Cast of Wonders in 2017.

    All of these stories fall into the Short Story category for both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

    Cast of Wonders is eligible for the Best Semiprozine Hugo award. Our editor, Marguerite Kenner, is eligible in the Best Editor: Short Form Hugo category.

    2017 reprints:

    2017 first publications:

    Open For (Story) Business November 15th!


    The gates are prepped, the clock is ticking down; Cast of Wonders opens to general submissions on November 15th!

    Brush up on the submission guidelines and send us your best up to 6000 word story from mid-November through the end of December.

    And if you’re an author who likes to plan further ahead, check out our annual schedule. It covers when we’re planning to run our special calls and general windows in 2018.

    We look forward to reading your work!

    Marguerite, Dani, Katherine,
    and the entire Cast of Wonders crew