Deadline: June 30th 2012
Payment: $50 per story, $25 per reprint
Now Open to Submissions
Heathen Oracle is now accepting stories for its Azieran Adventures anthology, “Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery” until June 30th.
Heathen Oracle will be paying $50 per story, $25 per reprint. Payments will be made within 1 month of publication.
For accepted, previously unpublished stories, rights include exclusive publishing rights in all forms for 6 months from release date, afterwards author is free to have story reprinted elsewhere, but Heathen Oracle retains the right to publish the anthology and story in perpetuity in all forms. For reprints, all rights to the story for purposes of reprinting must be retained by the author for publication at Heathen Oracle, during which time the story must not appear in any new publications for the period of 6 months, after which time the author is free to have the story reprinted elsewhere—but Heathen Oracle retains the right to publish the anthology and story in perpetuity in all forms. This will allow us to keep the anthology intact and available to customers. We are paying an upfront fee, rather than paying royalties, as we are a creative operation and have no desire to become accountants, calculating and doling out small sums every period. The anthology will be published as an ebook, with other media options as a future possibility.
Use Standard MS, and format of PDF, .doc, or .rtf. PDFs may be reviewed first due to editor’s preference.
Please send submissions to: email@example.com. Place your story title in the subject line. Include a cover letter in the email if you like. Simultaneous submissions are readily accepted–as a freelance writer, until a contract is signed, it is your right to pursue alternate ventures for your work. Multiple submissions are not accepted.
In an effort to efficiently allocate time, personal replies for rejections will not be sent; there will be an announcement whenever a story is accepted on both the Heathen Oracle website blog, and the Heathen Oracle Facebook page (please join, scroll down on homepage of this website to do so or use the link below). The accepted author will receive notification as well. There will be an announcement whenever the anthology is filled and closed, though we won’t be accepting any more submissions after June 30th at the latest. If we decline to use your story, it should be understood that we will unfortunately likely be declining many, many stories we’d love to accept, however, it is simply not possible to publish all the stories we enjoy. There will be an editing period, with the author consulted on any and all changes.
We are looking for heroic fantasy submissions (in the vein of sword and sorcery, sword and planet, dark fantasy, and high fantasy) of up to 10,000 words (query if over 10,000 but I’m very open to the idea of anything up to 20,000 words). The work should prominently feature a powerful artifact or relic, and include strong characterization, a well developed plot, interesting setting, and a satisfying conclusion. Writers who hit upon all of these points will have a greater chance of acceptance. The story should be set on a secondary fantasy world and include original characters/settings and not infringe upon the copyrights of others (therefore fan fiction is not accepted). Content should be no worse than an R rated movie.
It may be worth noting that the editor is a fan of the following authors’ works from the old (and not so old) guard: Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Karl Edward Wagner, David C. Smith. This should give some indication of the styles and types of stories that would be a good fit for this anthology.
Also, each submission should begin with an introduction of several paragraphs describing the nature and brief history of the artifact or relic. The story may directly relate to this description/historical account, but does not have to—as long as the artifact or relic plays a significant role in the story.
If your story is accepted, before contracts are sent and signed, you will be asked for your written permission via email to allow us to use this introduction to promote the anthology, your story, and yourself as an author prior to release of the anthology, to generate public interest in the anthology.
If your story is a reprint, as an introduction, simply write a few paragraphs detailing and providing a history for the artifact or relic involved in the story.
Examples of Introductions:
It is said that this eldritch longsword was cold forged in the deepest layers of the Abyss by the lesser god Vladdir, to whom the vampire kin, known as dracul, pay homage. It was a blade created solely out of spite, a cruel joke the god played upon his minion, a demonic bat known as Darkannis. The bat-fiend wished to dwell among the dark folk and whisper the evil of its demon lore, guiding them in the seduction of the black arts, terrific brutality, and fabulous iniquity. And so Vladdir allowed it this small favor. But first, in hideous glee, he crucified the demon onto the hilt and crossguard of the sword, which served to both imprison and torture Darkannis. When asked why, Vladdir merely smiled and told his familiar that he loved the dark folk more than demon kind, and he wished to offer them a present, a weapon for their champions across the ages. So the blade and fiend came to share the same name.
Darkannis was sent among the earliest wandering bands of dracul, and chose the renowned Karsith U’laak as its first champion, which, in time, led to the founding of Karsith Keep. Under the guidance of Darkannis, the dracul arose to gluttonous cultural and ceremonial heights. They became strong in the black arts and learned the means to accept even the greatest and most horrific dark gifts of Vladdir, even as they warred with and enslaved the barbarians of The Broken Kingdom. The dracul flourished for untold centuries in exquisite decadence…until the coming of the Oathbreaker.
Darkannis is a sword of exceptional sharpness, and can take to flight on the leathery wings of the demonic bat, attacking of its own volition. It will attempt to psychically dominate and/or persuade its wielder to commit vile acts of evil. If wielded by a dracul (as is almost certain—the bat fiend has never been known to choose a wielder who is not dracul), the dark gifts known to that dracul will be significantly enhanced, and in times of great need Darkannis will also use dark arts parsimoniously. In dire circumstances, it will abandon its wielder in the interest of self-preservation.
Collar of the Dragon Lords
There are several of these collars said to exist, each aligned with the ethos of either chaos, law, good, or evil. They are brilliantly gilded bands of metal meant to be worn around the neck, embossed with a dragon insignia. Their origins are unknown, but the first appearance of one is recorded in the Codex of Colvagne, chronicling the rise of Duke Hyrren and an ancient copper battle dragon during The Great Serpent Wars. They both fell from the sky in battle over the burning plains of Syoss when betrayed by a general, and were lost to history. Other collars have surfaced over the aeons, but all have eventually disappeared in cataclysmic tragedies.
It is said by sages that anyone who even touches a Collar of the Dragon Lords, and is of a different ethos, will instantly die a horrible death, flesh being liquefied in the process. However, if the possessor is of the same virtue, it may be placed upon the neck and its powers called upon.
A Collar of the Dragon Lords allows its wearer to withstand all forms of dragon breath and the breath of all dragon-kin unharmed, will have enhanced physical fortitude and endurance when battling any true dragon or dragon-kin, will exert mental dominance over dragon-kin, be immune to mental dominance by dragons, and has the ability to commune with one dragon of similar ethos that will serve the wearer of the collar faithfully for life. During this communion, the wearer of the collar may attack with a breath weapon once per day, equivalent to the bonded dragon. Once a wearer of a dragon collar is bonded with a dragon, the collar may not be removed short of death, unless the dragon from its bond.
[via: Heathen Oracle.]