Submission Window: June 1st – 14th, 2023
Payment: 8 cents/word for originals, $100/short story or $20/flash piece for reprints
Theme: Guiding Sparks Between the Words: How Stories Illuminate the World Around Us
Every year in September, Cast of Wonders celebrates Banned Books Week, an annual international event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information.
Joining the editorial team for this year’s call is Cast of Wonders Associate Editor, Simon Pan. Thank you, Simon, for the wonderful theme this year!
Guiding Sparks Between the Words: How Stories Illuminate the World Around Us
In times of conflict, division and change, it is more important than ever to build bridges of understanding. We most commonly encounter the stories of others through news articles or in classrooms, kept at a scholarly or journalistic distance and often biased to favour privileged perspectives. Our own truths may also remain unvoiced and unknown, misunderstood even by those around us.
When it comes to illuminating these truths, stories have a key part to play: they help us to learn and appreciate things from perspectives we might never otherwise consider, and allow us to reshape our own experiences within the transformative lens of fiction. When we share our stories, we guide sparks of kinship and understanding, using narrative and emotion to help others experience a small window into another’s reality.
For Banned Books Week 2023, we want to see stories of discovery, of learning, of misconceptions unraveled, and how stories can serve as a guiding light to help us understand a new perspective, or to teach us valuable lessons when all other methods fail us. What that something is…well, that is up to you!
At Cast of Wonders, we welcome stories that portray the full spectrum of human experience. We don’t challenge stories; we want stories to challenge us! Cast of Wonders looks for stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence, or pervasive obscene language.
Preference for this submission window is under 5,000 words with an absolute limit of 6,000 words. Flash submissions under 1.5k are also very welcome!
Submissions must adhere to Cast of Wonders guidelines. Submissions will be accepted from June 1 to June 14 through our Moksha Portal – we can’t wait to read what you send in!