Posts Tagged ‘meta’

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Ten Years of Wonder – III


Continuing on from the previous post, here are our spotlight stories from the last five years of Cast of Wonders!

Year 6

Our back catalogue story for year 6 is one of my all time favourites, Mr Quacky in Space by Amanda Helms, narrated by Katherine Inskip. A sinister, demonic alien force possesses a mechanical… duck? In a space station amusement park? This story was a sheer delight to narrate, and it’s one I come back to time and time again.

Our editor’s pick is Blood and Water by Jason Kimble, narrated by Paul Cram. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous teen romance. Bring tissues for this one – it’s an absolute masterclass in grabbing the reader by “the feels”.

(Continue Reading…)

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Ten Years of Wonder – II


Over the last few days, our twitter account has been highlighting some of our favourite stories from the last ten years. If you’ve not read/listened back that far, they’re all well worth your time!

Year 1

Cast of Wonders’ very first story is A Suitable Pet , by Abigail Hilton, narrated by Summer Brooks. This tale of princesses, knights, and dragons is really all about cages. Some are more comfortable than others, but all kinds hold us back from our potential.

For each year, we’re also highlighting an editor’s choice story. From year one, To Be True (part 1) (part 2), by Jess Hyslop, narrated by Graeme Dunlop. Karima, the young protagonist of this story, learns some hard truths about her world but finds the courage inside herself to take a stand against corruption and dishonour.

(Continue Reading…)

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Ten Years of Wonder


Ten Years of Wonder: what wonder means to us.

Cast of Wonders is a pro-paying, SFWA qualifying market and part of the Escape Artists family of podcasts, but beyond that we are principally a Young Adult speculative fiction market. Generally speaking, we aim to produce stories that a 12-year-old reader would have no trouble following, but that a 17-year-old wouldn’t find childish. We hope adult readers would enjoy our stories, too.

Being a Young Adult, speculative fiction podcast means we want to receive stories that include the hallmarks of Young Adult fiction. One of the chief characteristics of the YA genre is that its stories generally contain a sense of “wonder”. It’s no coincidence that “Wonder” is in the title of our podcast. (Continue Reading…)

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.

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.

    Genres: ,

    Cast of Wonders 297: Where You Get Your Ideas (Artemis Rising 4)

    Show Notes

    Cast of Wonders is proud to present the fourth annual Artemis Rising event through March 2018! We have four original stories for you this year, guest-edited by assistant editor Katherine Inskip and associate editor Alexis Goble. This year’s artwork by Geneva Barton.

    Artemis Rising is an annual month-long event across all four Escape Artists podcasts, celebrating the voices of women, non-binary, trans, and marginalized gendered authors in genre fiction. The resulting lineup is an incredible collection that celebrates the strength, ingenuity, and brilliance of the artists, the characters they create, and the performers that bring these stories to life. It also features the hosting, editing and production talents of a rotating cast. Part of the project’s mission is to give opportunities and experience in these publication roles traditionally held by men.

    Don’t miss the full month of Artemis Rising stories across the Escape Artists podcasts!


    Where You Get Your Ideas

    by Megan Lee Beals

    Bells chimed in the empty storefront that waited for us at the top of the stairs. The boss closed her eyes and tilted her head to assess their tone.

    “Iron, pitched low, minimal tuning. It’s probably high fantasy up there.”

    I shrugged over the collection of banshee skulls I was cleaning for a future wind-chime. “Cool.” I was her subordinate, and the fantasy upstairs would need a young apprentice to cast aside before she could make a grand entrance as some wizened old shopkeeper.

    Were it the eerie insectoid hum of space-opera, I’d answer as the rookie, but the roles are pretty much the same.
    (Continue Reading…)