Cast of Wonders is open to submissions for stories of up to 7,500 words to run on our podcast as either part of a show, a whole show, or a series of shows. We follow the SFWA guidelines for story length, and will reject unread any submissions exceeding the 7,500 word cap if you haven’t previously contacted us for permission. If you have any questions, please contact us for assistance before submitting.
Please note we have a strong preference for stories between 3000 and 4000 words in length: they best fit our target episode length of 20 to 30 minutes.
As a young adult fiction podcast, we’re looking for stories that evoke a sense of wonder and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without explicit sex, violence or strong language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
We like fiction that makes us think, but the main element should be thrilling entertainment and adventure. We prefer high fantasy — elves, dragons, secondary worlds, and magic — to the more cerebral forms of fantasy you find in adult markets. We like all forms of science fiction: far-future, near future, space opera, “hard” sci-fi — but it must be accessible to our target audience. The same goes for horror, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and other genres. Try us!
We accept multiple submissions from an author at the same time. Likewise, we don’t mind if you submit your story to us and other venues at the same time, as long as you withdraw the work if it’s accepted elsewhere.
If you’ve have a submission accepted by us before, or are resubmitting in line with feedback you’ve received from us, please make that clear in your cover letter! It’s the first thing we read from you. The same goes if you’ve been encouraged to submit to us from another source. Please let us know so we can thank them!
Cast of Wonders is also open to nonfiction and artistic content to accompany our stories. Examples include cover art, poetry, author interviews and reviews. Nonfiction is a new category for the podcast, and like our stories we’re looking for writing that communicates a sense of wonder. Have you written about a moment of sudden realization, such as with a lesson or when gaining a new skill? Please share it with us! We’re experimenting with how this new content will be incorporated into shows. If you have a suggestion let us know!
Cast of Wonders welcomes and encourages submissions from writers of all backgrounds, and would like to see more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing. Some examples include people of color, LGBTQ or non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States and Western Europe. We want to publish YA fiction that reflects the entire spectrum of the human experience, so we strongly encourage submissions from these and any other underrepresented groups. (Special thanks to the Escape Artists podcasts for sample language on this laudable mission statement.)
We like a proper narrative structure and a unique prose style not laden with clichés and overworn idioms, but ultimately, you’re the writer, you know what works and what doesn’t, so we’ll trust your craft.
We accept reprints, as long as we’re allowed to use them. You may find that you can sell a story for more elsewhere first, so we encourage you to try that before coming here, but we most certainly do not value reprints more. The story is all that counts.
We accept stories from around the globe, and are particularly interested in considering stories and content from younger writers. If you are under 18, please let us know your age when you submit your work. If your submission is part of a school project, please let us know that as well and we’ll work with you to provide proof for your teacher.
At the moment we are are only able to pay a flat rate of £5 for stories. Most of the time we’ll pay £5 for flash and longer works of poetry too, but at only at our discretion. If the work is exceptional, and in order to bring our audience great fiction, we will occasionally pay higher rates. If a work stretches across a number of shows, we’ll pay £5 for each show. As our audience grows we will be able to increase these payments. We believe authors should be paid for their work, and we’ll try our best to support and help them. By encouraging people you know to come to the site and join in, you’ll be increasing your future chances of being paid more.
Payment on acceptance, by PayPal only.
On acceptance you’ll be sent a One-Time Rights contract, entitling us to use your story as an audio reading in one or more episodes of Cast of Wonders (which will be available for free download indefinitely), to post the text of your story on our website (this is non-exclusive, and you can request to have the text taken down if you need to sell it to a publisher requiring exclusivity), and the right to include your story in an anthology to raise money for the show, and further increase our payments to authors.
Cast of Wonders is open to new writers, we are looking for new talent and original stories. We also occasionally run public domain classics.
Cast of Wonders runs a subscribers-only newsletter featuring author interviews, so we’d appreciate it if you agreed to be interviewed over email upon acceptance. We encourage our authors to promote their stories on our fan site and be involved once the episode is out. This is the 21st century, and now authors are expected to do their own promotion; we’ll help you with that. For more information, and advice about the business, technical, and lifestyle aspects of being a modern writer, visit www.wolfsbanepublishing.com
How To Submit
You’ll find more specific guidance regarding the length and style of submissions, along with instructions, at our submissions portal.
Comments and Suggestions
If you have any questions, feel free to query the editor, Marguerite Kenner, about anything!