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March 2017 is Artemis Rising 3!

2017 marks the third annual Artemis Rising event across the Escape Artists podcasts – and this year, includes us! Join us for four stories across the month celebrating women and non-binary authors in speculative fiction. We’re bringing you four great stories demonstrating the depth and range of YA, by known favorites and new voices. We’re also proud to feature a special guest host for each episode who will share their perspective on the story and women in YA.

This year’s fantastic cover art is by Ashley Mackenzie. Ashley is an artist and illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta. She was born in Victoria, BC and grew up between Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB. After studying online for a year through AAU in San Francisco, CA she moved to Toronto to pursue a degree in Illustration at OCADU. Though she loves the challenge of creating complex conceptual illustrations and finding new ways to navigate ideas visually she also enjoys making concept art and decorative illustration. When not drawing she can be found reading, playing videogames or thinking about her next project.
Thanks for listening!

Reopening for submissions December 15th!

Grab your favorite wintery drink (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) and your works in progress, we’re reopening for submissions! Our Submittable portal will once again accept your up to 6000 word offerings starting 15 December.

Full details including payment terms, blind manuscript format requirements, and sample contracts available in our freshly updated submission guidelines. Now’s a great time to make sure you’ve read them recently.

Don’t self reject! We publish a wide range of speculative fiction, from horror to superheroes, steampunk to hard scifi. Want to know what we’re looking for – start with our Staff Picks episodes!

Cast of Wonders is dedicated to publishing fiction that reflects the entire spectrum of the human experience. We acknowledge the realities of unconscious bias and make our best effort to account for it during our review process. Read our fuller statement in support of lowering publishing’s barriers to entry for authors from historically underrepresented backgrounds in our full guidelines.

We look forward to reading your stories!

Marguerite Kenner, editor and host
Dani Daly and Katherine Inskip, assistant editors
and the entire Cast of Wonders team

Down for Maintenance (13 November 2016)

Hello all, a quick note to let you know we’re taking the site down for a few hours to try and repair the RSS feed issues. You may have difficulty accessing some or all of our stories while the work is ongoing.

Thanks for your patience! In the meantime, have you checked out the great personal essays over at the Pseudopod Kickstarter? A pledge as little as $10 gets your a digital copy of ‘Of Mortal Things Unsung’, their first anthology.

Where to find Cast of Wonders at WorldCon

Hello everyone!

Cast of Wonders’ editor and host, Marguerite Kenner, will be at WorldCon in Kansas City, Missouri this week. You can find her on the following panels as well as roaming the halls. Come say hello, and get a Cast of Wonders badge ribbon!

Creative Commons Rights for Creators and Fans

Artemis Rising 3

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For the last two years, February has been Artemis Rising month across the Escape Artists’s podcasts. The event returns in March 2017, and for the first time Cast of Wonders will be joining the month-long showcase of stories by women and nonbinary authors in genre fiction.

Submissions for new short fiction will run September 1st through 30th at our Submittable portal. Anyone who identifies as a woman, to whatever degree they do, and non-binary authors are welcome and encouraged to submit a story.

Our fellow EA podcasts are also taking original submissions for the event. Please visit EscapePod for science fiction, Pseudopod for horror, and Podcastle for fantasy.

As always, we strongly encourage submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded in 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. Cast of Wonders strives to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human race, so we strongly encourage submissions from these or any other underrepresented groups.

Here’s a summary of the details:

  • Payment at $0.06 per word. Please see our general Submission Guidelines for a description of the rights we purchase and our sample contracts.
  • Original stories only.
  • Word count: 2000 – 6000 words. We’re looking for stand-alone short stories, not flash.
  • Submit using a BLIND manuscript format. Check here for an example.
  • No multiple submissions. One story per author.
  • No simultaneous submissions. Decisions will be finalized by December 1, 2016.
  • Submission window runs September 1-30.

We look forward to reading your fiction!


Marguerite Kenner, Editor
Dani Daly and Katherine Inskip, Assistant Editors,
and the entire Cast of Wonders editorial team – Elvis Afriyie, Olivia Denholm, Sally Gill, Alexis Goble, Andrew Kim and Setsu Uzume

The TriWonders Flash Fiction Contest Is Here!

We are to have the honour of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held since the dawn of 2016. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the TriWonders Flash Fiction Contest will be taking place at Cast of Wonders this year!

It’s true! The time for the next Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest is here!

Cast of Wonders is happy to announce we are running the next installment of the much loved Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest. We’re opening a special submission window from August 15 to September 30, and invite each author to submit a single brand new 500 word story. Our normal submission guidelines apply but instead of our slush team, it will be judged by our forum members.

Sharpen your pencils and get your 500 word story ready! Visit our forums to register as a member. Then, between August 15 and September 30, visit our Submittable page for contest rules and to submit your story. Voting will open to registered forum members only, so first publication rights are not spent for the stories that do not ultimately win. The three stories that receive the most votes will be purchased by Cast of Wonders and run as a Little Wonders episode in early 2017.

Voting will open on Sunday October 9, 2016. Again, only registered members of the forums will be able to read and vote on the stories!

Please blog, share on Facebook, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, text, light smoke signals, and otherwise get the word out!

Announcing assistant editors Dani Daly and Katherine Inskip!

Hello everyone! Things have been quieter than I’d like lately at Cast of Wonders. Part of that has been some behind the scenes changes. Our good friend Jeff Hite has stepped away from the show to spend more time with his family and his own writing career, and we wish him all the best.

In addition, I am thrilled to announce that two long time and hard working members of the team will be stepping up into assistant editor roles. A giant hug and welcome to Dani Daly and Katherine Inskip!

Dani DalyDani has been involved with Cast of Wonders in various roles since it’s inception in 2011. In fact, she’s the only member of the team who predates me!

She narrates stories, reads slush, is the community manager on our forum and now is overwhelmingly proud to take on the role of co-assistant editor.

Dani says fiction, especially fantasy, science fiction and weird stories, has been important in her life since she was a child. So while she works with numbers all day to keep the lights on at home, it’s always been words and reading that kept the light on in her heart and mind. She also narrates audiobooks through ACX.

Katherine InskipKatherine teaches astrophysics and spends her (infrequent) spare time populating the universe with worlds of her own. She is a mother to two delightful boys, narrates for a variety of podcasts, and says she wishes she’d started slush reading decades ago.

You can full bios, and Twitter links, for both Dani and Katherine on the About Us page.


Closing to Submissions April 15th

Hi everyone, your editor here. Thanks to the HUGE influx of stories we’ve received over the last three months we’ll be closing to submissions on April 15th. In the meantime, polish up your ideas for our Banned Book Week call, dates for which we’ll be announcing soon.

As always, thanks for listening!

Writers, Start Your Engines: Submission Call Alert

September 25 through October 1st is Banned Book Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information. We’ve run special episodes spotlighting the event in the past, such as Alex Shvartsman’s The Things We Leave Behind.

To celebrate, later this year (tentatively scheduled for April/May), Cast of Wonders will hold a specific submission call for new YA stories focusing on themes of overcoming censorship, access to information and the transformative power of literature in all its forms.

Full details will be availaible before the submission window opens and will include:

  • Two week submission window to be announced in April or May 2016
  • New stories only
  • Open to both flash and short fiction
  • Our regular pay rates ($0.06/word), submission guidelines and contractual terms will apply
  • We plan to purchase up to seven stories to showcase the week

We hope this inspires you, and we can’t wait to see your stories!


Artemis Rising 2 Print Available Now

Artemis Rising is the month-long celebration of female and non-binary authors in genre fiction run across three Escape Artists podcasts PodCastle for fantasy, EscapePod for science fiction, and PseudoPod for horror.

This year we have commissioned a special art print by legendary ilustrator Galen Dara. The print will be available for purchase through Society6 until March 31, 2016.

Artemis Rising 2 FINAL
Galen likes monsters, mystics, and dead things. She has created art for Uncanny Magazine, 47North publishing, Skyscape Publishing, Fantasy Flight Games, Tyche Books, Fireside Magazine, Lightspeed, Lackington’s, and Resurrection House. She has been nominated for the Hugo, the World Fantasy Award, and the Chesley Award. When Galen is not working on a project you can find her on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, climbing mountains and hanging out with an assortment of human and animal companions. Her website is plus you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @galendara.

For Your Consideration

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Hello everyone, this is Alasdair, the voice of Escape Artists. This is our 2016 metacast to present the stories we ran in 2015 which are eligible in the upcoming Hugo nomination season.

First, a quick plug four ourselves. All four EA shows – Podcastle, Pseudopod, Escapepod and Cast of Wonders – are themselves eligible in the SEMIPROZINE Hugo category.

Not Fancast. Not Fanzine. Semiprozine.

Yes, the categories are confusing and often overlap. Fancast as a category is traditionally dominated by commentary shows and sketch based audio programs. Take at look at the finalists over the last couple of years. Whereas the Semiprozine category is home to the types of publications we consider our publishing peers.

While there’s an argument to be made we could split the shows and compete in multiple categories to increase our chances, we don’t think benefits anyone. The division would be artificial at best, extremely difficult to explain given all four of our shows have harmonized pay rates and submissions policies, and smack of gamesmanship which doesn’t interest us.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVED seeing Podcastle and Escapepod on last year’s Hugo long lists, and we’d be honoured for one of our shows to be a finalist. But that’s a decision that rests solely in the hands of you, our fans and supporters.

And just a note, Mothership Zeta doesn’t qualify this year because they’re too new.

Update: all of our editors (Graeme Dunlop and Rachael K. Jones at PodCastle, Shawn Garrett at Pseudopod, Marguerite Kenner at Cast of Wonders and Norm Sherman at EscapePod) are themselves eligible in the Editor, Short Form category.

These show notes contain links to a few different aggregation projects, where fiction fans are building cumulative lists of those eligible in the various categories. They’re great tools, and we’d like to thank David Steffen in particular for his efforts. We’ll also link to our Wikia page, containing links to all the stories mentioned.

And with that, we present the following for your consideration:

Editor, Short Form:

Marguerite Kenner

Cast of Wonders 2015 Short Story first publications:

Aisha Bets Her Life on Magic by Jarod K. Anderson
There Are No Marshmallows in Camelot by Christian McKay Heidicker
Lost Socks by Lisa Montoya
Above Decks by Terry Ibele
Fairy Bones by Guy Stewart
A Troll’s Trade by Sandra M. Odell

2015 reprints:

The Mothgate by J.R. Troughton – originally published by Shimmer
The New Kid Is Not An Alien by Bert Lowe originally published in the July 2015 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk

A Huge Announcement: Cast of Wonders is joining Escape Artists!

Hello everyone, Marguerite here!

Two years ago, Graeme and I had an idea. I was taking over as editor and host, and along with Barry we were trying to come up with ways of expanding our audience as well as the formats and types of episodes we could produce.

Some of those changes you’ve already seen, like the introduction of the Little Wonders flash episodes and our Camp Myth serial. Others haven’t been as visible – bringing aboard additional audio producers and slush readers. We stepped up our convention presence in 2015, with appearances at Nine Worlds in London, WorldCon in Spokane, and we’ll be at FantasyCon later this month in Nottingham.

All leading up to what today I am thrilled and humbled to announce. Cast of Wonders is about to take one giant step out into the larger genre fiction world, arm in arm with some of the best respected podcasters in the business. In 2016, Cast of Wonders will be joining the Escape Artists family of podcasts, home to Podcastle, Escapepod, and Pseudopod. Did you know that the three shows combined currently have a listenership of over a quarter of a million downloads a month? Combine that with the newly launched Mothership Zeta digital magazine, and EA is one of the largest genre fiction markets out there. There’s no place better suited for Cast of Wonders’ unique and wonderful young adult stories.

You can listen to EA’s owner, Alasdair Stuart, and myself talk about the announcement in Part 1 of their annual metacast. (Listen to Part 2 and Part 3 as well – free stories!)

This also means that, as far as I know, Cast of Wonders is about to become the first PRO RATE paying young adult short fiction audio market. That’s right everyone, once the transition is complete, Cast of Wonders will be offering SFWA pro rate payments on all new fiction. Plus stepping up our reprint rates. We’ll have new contracts as well, which we’ll post an example of for our authors to review as part of the migration.

We don’t have exact dates available to share just yet. To prepare for the change-over we’ve closed to submissions, and we’ll announce when we’ll be re-opening as soon as possible; I’m thinking December is likely right now. There are lots of details still to iron out, and I’d like to prepare a list of great example stories for the EA audience to get to know what we’re about here at Cast of Wonders. If you have some favorites you think should be included, let us know.

Thanks everyone. From all of us, we hope you’re as excited as we to finally be able to take Cast of Wonders to a new professional level of audio fiction and entertainment. We’ll keep you posted as the details are confirmed. And as always – thanks for listening!