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The 2020 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 August 15-August 31st, 2020 (12:00 am GMT), via Moksha.

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 MS Word.

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The story must be original and previously unpublished.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 Karissa@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 Karissa@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 $40, making this a pro sale of at least eight cents a word.

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

March 2020 Metacast


Transcript

(Alasdair) Hi everyone, Alasdair here.

We’re not going to ask how you are right now, because we have a pretty good idea. You’re fine. You’re FINE. You’re the same version of fine as everyone right now, the one Aerosmith sang about. The one where you’re alternately anxious, terrified, furious and calm.

We empathise. We’re the same. (Continue Reading…)

For Your Consideration 2020: original stories from Cast of Wonders in 2019


It’s that time of year again, so here are all the award eligible original stories that Cast of Wonders published in 2019.  All 34 of them!  You can hear more about which ones meant the most to the team as part of our Staff Picks episodes throughout January (and there were some rather rambunctious back-stage fights over who would get to pick some of them… oh, the drama!)

We’d also love to know which episode you’d pick as your favourite. Add your thoughts via the google form here (Continue Reading…)

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.