I am so excited to announce a call for submissions to Natural Writer Coaching’s first anthology. I am pairing up with Katrina Carruth, editor and writer, to compile and present this writing competition and anthology, Nightmares When I’m Cold.
This has been a goal and dream of both Katrina’s and mine for a long time. In the long bygone days of being an English and Philosophy student, I wanted to start a publication, just so I could have the opportunity to ready others’ fiction. So bringing about this idea is something I am nothing short of thrilled about.
The goal of this anthology is to showcase the creepy and chilling tales that come from your beautiful brains under the writing prompt “Nightmares When I’m Cold”.
This competition will open on July 1, 2021, and the deadline is August 15, 2021 at midnight, PST.
Nightmares When I’m Cold
This is what we are looking for:
- A horror story revolving around the prompt “Nightmares When I’m Cold”
- 3,000 to 6,000 words. Anything above 6,000 or below 3,000 will be discarded.
- Any subgenre of horror, though horror must be the main genre
Please note that just because the prompt is in the first person doesn’t mean that the story itself needs to be in the first person.
Something we strongly encourage is really pushing your creative self. Try the third-idea method, in which you throw away your first two ideas and go for the third or fourth. This can help you move past possibly thinking of something you’ve seen or read already and really get to something juicy.
What we do not want:
- Gratuitous violence, abuse, or sex
- Anything to do with rape. This is a big NO. While we know this is a book of horror, we would like to avoid needing to put Trigger Warnings at the top of any story.
- Anything to do with the mutilation or harm of children. This is a big NO.
- Gratuitous gore.
Who is eligible:
- Adults 18+
- Contestants from the US, Mexico, and Canada*
* One day we hope to expand this to include other countries, but for now, we are keeping this continental local.
While we want to put together a collection of stories that not only the authors can be proud of, but that we can be proud to showcase, we also wanted to make this a little more fun and give it a competitive edge.
Please know, all of the prizes are redeemable within 12 months of the publication date of the anthology.
- All short-listed stories will have a place in the anthology, Nightmares When I’m Cold
- Each contributing writer will receive a hard copy of the anthology itself
- Each contributing writer will receive 30% off any of Natural Writer Coaching’s services
- Bragging rights
- A great gift idea for the holidays (Please see the nitty-gritty)
- The winner of the 3rd prize will receive a 20,000-word critique of a current or finished WIP
- This involves reading the section twice while making notes on the document, and writing a detailed email involving the critique
- A basic line edit of the 20,000 word segment
- A 1-hour call via Zoom, Skype, or Telegram discussing the critique
Valued at $250
- A 4-pack of hour-long coaching calls
- Each call we talk about your work in progress, difficulties you might be having, character and plot development, writing blocks, etc.
- Calls held via Skype, Zoom, or Telegram
Valued at $325
- The Full Month Coaching Package
- 4x 1-hour sessions (weekly)
- Limitless emails between each session to discuss your project
- A developmental editing approach to 15000 words of your story. This will be done by the third week of the month, and feedback will be emailed to you so we have the option of discussing the feedback if you want on the fourth week.
Valued at $1235
Nightmares When I’m Cold
As I’ve already mentioned, this is a non-profit. That means that we will be donating anything we make over the cost of production, however, there is still a cost of production to take into consideration. To help with that, there is a $10 Submission Fee per submission.
We also believe in amplifying and lifting BI&POC and LGBTQIA+ voices. As an honor system, that fee will be waved, no questions asked.
If you would like donate extra to help to cover the cost of this book, or to simply donate the cause, please contact me.
That aside, here are the rules of submitting your work:
- $10 submission fee per entry*
- The story must be between 3,000 and 6,000 words, no more, no less.
- A separate cover letter document must be included with your submission
- Your submission must not include your name anywhere on it other than the email you send us and your cover letter. This is so we can ensure that we are reading each piece blind, so we don’t favor those we know consciously or unconsciously. We want to be as fair as possible
- Documents must be saved as a .doc or .docx. Please no PDFs
* We are more than happy to read as many pieces as you provide, however, only one of your pieces will be selected if you make it to the shortlist.
A Note on the Cover Letter
I don’t know one writer who likes to write cover letters. So I thought I would tell you exactly what we’re looking as a guideline (though we’re far less strict on your cover letter than on your actual submission:
- The name of your story and your name
- A little bit about your story, and if you did choose the third-method, feel free to share what your first two ideas were (though this isn’t essential, just a fun way for us to get to know you)
- A little about yourself as a writer
- A little about you as you
That’s it. It’s that simple.
There are a few things that should be mentioned.
- Our approximate timeline is as such:
- Open for submissions July 1 – August 15, 2021
- Announce the short-list on September 21, 2021
- Announce 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes on October 31, 2021
- Release the anthology December 1, 2021
- The timeline we have set is tentative. It is our aim, though we may have to push it back. We appreciate your patience.
- This is a non-profit. Whatever is left over from the production costs of this anthology will be donated
to a charitable cause assisting BI&POC and/or LGBTQIA+ writers and/or communities, and/or the environmental causes, or a combination of all of the above. The cause will be announced closer to July 1.the Sentient Squid Scholarship made available through Writing the Other.
- If you are short-listed and thus included in the anthology, we will have the rights to your story for six months after publication purely for promotional purposes. After that, you may submit it wherever else you’d like. We won’t do anything with your story other than publish it in an agreeable manner in the anthology.
Ethics of Writing + Having Sensitivity Readers
Both Katrina and I have strong ideas of contributing good to the world. As a result, we have a few stances we are taking with this contest/anthology.
Marginalized Voices & Sensitivity Readers
We believe in uplifting and making space for marginalized voices, which is why we are waving submission fees for BI&POC and LGBTQIA+ folx, no questions asked. This is a trust and honor system, and we would appreciate that this is respected.
Likewise, we also acknowledge that we aren’t qualified to ensure that the content of all the stories that are selected won’t be problematic. As a result, we would like to have sensitivity readers on board with this project.
If you are a sensitivity reader and would like to be a part of this contest/anthology, please feel free to contact me via IG DM, or though the contact page. We would love to talk to you.
Anything beyond the production costs will go toward a charity or scholarship. We are dabbling in a few ideas at the minute, but one that is feeling good is to put the money toward a scholarship for underrepresented writers.
Again, if you would like to donate toward this contest/anthology to help cover the waived entry fees of marginalized writers, please get in touch! We would love to hear from you.
EDIT: Furthermore, if you would like to donate directly to Writing the Other, you can donate here. To read about why we feel so strongly about the services Writing the Other provides, check out Writing the Other & Our Responsibility as Writers here.
Alright, there you have it—we have a contest on our hands. At the time of the publication of this post, you have two weeks to start thinking about and writing your story.
So you have a few pieces of homework in light of this:
- Start thinking about your story prompted by “Nightmares when I’m cold.”
- Start writing your story!
- Share this post with friends who might be interested in entering this contest
- Visit Writing the Other to see how their workshops, classes, and free resources can help you and your writing.
Remember, we are open for submissions between July 1 and August 15. We will have a page for entries up by then. Please feel free to comment below with any questions, or use the contact form.
We are so excited for this contest, and hope you are too!
Are you thinking about working with me, but just aren’t entirely sure? Fill out the form, schedule a call, let’s talk. This is a no-pressure, non-sales-pitch call, where we talk about you and your writing, and whether or not you want to work with me. Let’s chat!