Introducing The Garden Gnome Publications Biblical Legends Speculative Fiction Series
Garden Gnome Publications is launching a digital short story anthology series with a speculative twist. Each anthology uses a Biblical passage as a springboard to a broader spectrum of imaginative possibilities. Stories can be orthodox, unorthodox, heterodox, or off the docks.
Each anthology will include flash fiction, short stories, and narrative poetry – with unique opportunities for essayists – that cast the Biblical passage or theme in new light.
For each anthology, I want to receive the following types of submissions:
- Flash Fiction – 300 to 1,500 words
- Short Stories – 1,501 to 10,000 words
- Narrative Poems – 50 to 500 lines
- Essays – 1,000 to 2,500 words
Flash fiction stories should fit the theme of the anthology and fall within the specified word count. A miss on either point will lead to an automatic rejection. Give us a glimpse into the life of a character with a focus on some aspect of the theme, or surprise me with something unique and different. No rules. You’d break them anyway.
Short stories must fit the theme of the anthology and fall within the specified word count. Failure to comply on either point will result in automatic rejection. Present a situation that fits within the theme or highlights some aspect of the Biblical passage.
Only one poem per anthology will be published. The word count is negotiable to a small degree (in other words, if you send me a great poem of 48 lines, then I’ll consider it, or if you send one that stretches to 555 lines, OK; however, I don’t want short forms, 22-line free verse confessionals, or 100,000 line epics). The poem must contain a narrative structure. Also, shorter lines (30 characters or less) are preferred; otherwise, longer lines will look prosaic on digital devices. But if you send a poem with long lines and I like it, I won’t rule it out.
Poetic elements within the poem are up to the writer, but I favor a blend of formal elements and avant-garde. The poem should fit into the theme of the anthology.
Garden Gnome Publications will publish one essay per anthology. The essay must conform to the parameters of the theme and fall within the stated word count. A miss on either point will result in automatic rejection. Essays should address some aspect of the theme in a personal or powerful way. I am looking for something creative and insightful, something you won’t find anywhere else, which means I’m not really sure what I want. Surprise me.
HINT: By “essay,” I’m thinking broadly. It could be a personal essay, creative nonfiction, or something indefinable. It can be anything other than fiction or poetry.
Authors of flash fiction pieces in each anthology will receive $3 compensation. Short story authors will receive $7 each. Poets will receive $13. Essayists will receive $11 and a pat on the back. All contributors will receive a digital copy of the anthology in which their accepted manuscript is published – in the format of choice (Kindle, ePub, or PDF).
All payments will be made through PayPal.
What I’m Buying
Upon acceptance, you understand that I am buying first worldwide digital publication rights and reprint rights. Author retains all other rights.
How To Submit
Previously published material not accepted. Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please notify me if accepted elsewhere.
Submit your manuscript with a bio not to exceed 200 words to gardengnome @ allenleetaylor.com. Bios may have one link. Writers may submit up to 3 flash fiction pieces AND/OR 1 short story AND/OR one poem AND/OR one essay per anthology.
All manuscripts must be submitted as an attachment in a Word document (do not include your manuscript in the body of an e-mail). The following formatting guidelines should also be followed:
- Single-space your manuscript in Times New Roman 12-point font
- Titles should be Times New Roman, 14-point, bold
- Double space between paragraphs
- Do not indent paragraphs
- Your name (or pen name) should appear two spaces below the manuscript title in Times New Roman, 12-point font, bold
- The first line of your manuscript should be two lines after your name or pen name
- Your bio should appear two spaces below the last line of your manuscript in Times New Roman, 12-point font
In the body of your e-mail, tell me your real name and give me your PayPal address (you must have a PayPal address to get paid). Specify the format you prefer for your copy of the anthology (Kindle, ePub, or PDF).
The subject line of your e-mail should have the following information in the following format:
TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT – Type of submission – Author’s last name – Word Count
MY STORY – Flash Fiction – Taylor – 830 words
How To Approach The Themes
Think broadly. Think imaginatively. You can interpret the Biblical passage literally, figuratively, or both. The facts of your story must conform to the facts as presented in the text. In other words, you can’t change the details of the Biblical passage to suit your story. That said, characters can interpret those facts any way they want. You have broad license here as long as you don’t, for instance, say that Abraham married Hagar instead of Sarah.
You can include elements from any genre. Your story may be a fantasy story with absurdist elements or it may be a horror narrative with science-fiction elements. It could be a hard-boiled detective story or a romance. Intrigue us with mystery. Shed light on the human existence. Make the reader laugh, shriek, or recoil in horror. You can be romantic or serious, dramatic or funny, or scary as hell, but make us react to your characters within the stated setting.
Allusions to the characters and events in the Biblical passage are allowed but not required.
Deadlines and Anthology Themes
Please submit your manuscripts for the following anthologies with the following themes:
- Garden of Eden – In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden somewhere in space and time. What was it like? Who else was there? Imagine the broadest interpretation of the story possible. Heaven and earth were created in six days, or was it six eons? You decide. Give us a situation that happened in the garden, according to your narrative eye. Neither Adam nor Eve nor the serpent may appear as characters.
Biblical Passage: Genesis 2:4-3:24
Deadline: November 23, 2013, midnight EST.
Sodom and Gomorrah – Sodom and Gomorrah are well known for being the cities God destroyed long before the great deluge. But why?
Do you interpret the story in the popular way – that God destroyed the cities for their homosexuality? Tell us about some characters and how they dealt with impending doom. Or maybe you subscribe to the other interpretation – that God destroyed S&G because the people were inhospitable. Tell us the story of some of the characters and how they dealt with sulfur falling on their heads. Or maybe there’s another interpretation entirely different. Give the reader a glimpse into the lives of the characters in that setting – either before, during, or after the actual destruction.
Your mission is to tell the story of someone living or visiting Sodom or Gomorrah just before its ultimate destruction, during the event itself, or immediately afterward. Who are they? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? No Biblical characters allowed as characters in your story.
Show us the depravity, the humanity, the ingenuity of Sodom and Gomorrah through your characters.
Biblical Passages: Genesis 10:19; 13:1-13; 18:16-19:29
Deadline: February 23, 2014, midnight EST.
- The Flood – Noah built an ark on dry land. Then it rained. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The first day and night was a soft drizzle. No big deal. But the rain soon fell harder, faster. And it wouldn’t stop. The man and his family entered the boat, taking animals with them. But why? It soon became evident why. The rain wasn’t going to stop. It would flood everything in sight.
Tell us a story of survival instinct. Who is trying to escape the flood? How do they do it? Do they succeed or fail? Be resourceful, be creative, go crazy.
Biblical Passage: Genesis 6:1-8:22
Deadline: May 23, 2014, midnight EST.
The Land of Nod – After Cain murdered Abel, he fled to the Land of Nod. He married, but where did he find a wife? He had children. One of his sons built a city by the name of Enoch. Pick any time prior to the Flood and tell us a story about the Land of Nod. Do not use Biblical characters. Allusions to Biblical characters are allowed as long as they do not alter the textual accounts of the Old Testament or related legends. Your setting could be Enoch, another city that predates or postdates Enoch, one that exists simultaneously with Enoch, or it could be the wilderness. Show us a glimpse of the ancients – the good, the bad, and the absurd.
Biblical Passages: Genesis 4
Deadline: August 23, 2014.
Any questions regarding these guidelines or the upcoming anthologies may be presented to me by e-mailing gardengnome @ allenleetaylor.com.