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Taking Submissions: UnMasked: Stories of Risk and Revelation

October 15, 2020

Deadline: October 15th, 2020
Payment: 6 cents per word
Theme: Secret identities and beyond

UnMasked: Stories of Risk and Revelation


When the mask comes off, can you handle what’s underneath?

When your secret identity is revealed …

When the hero comes out to play …

When the monster is unleashed …

Masks have existed throughout history, from the tribal masks of gods, to the iconic masks of tragedy and comedy, to the iron masks of prisoners. Villains wear masks to commit crimes, heroes wear masks to protect those they love, others wear masks to block disease. Some masks confer power; others rein it in.

Does the true face hide beneath the mask, or is it the mask itself? What happens when the mask comes off? We want you to tell us.

Perhaps your character is a mask collector who buys a mask that is more than he bargained for, or a coroner wearing a protective mask to perform an alien autopsy. The plague mask she inherited from her great-uncle seduces her to evil whenever she puts it on.

We seek stories that explore the masks we wear, the mysteries they conceal, and the price we pay when they’re stripped away. Unmasking, whether literal or figurative, must be integral to the story. Funny or grim, unsettling or cozy, we expect the unexpected. Pull back the mask and reveal your insights, your character-driven tales, and stories that will make us think.

Genre: Original short stories of unmasking, to include a mix of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alien, magical, witchcraft, AI, and romance elements. Must be appropriate for a “PG-13” audience. Please, no copyrighted characters. 

Length: up to 5000 words

Rate: 6¢/word on acceptance.

Rights: First Anthology Rights and audio rights; exclusive publication rights revert to author one month after publication; publisher retains non-exclusive right to include in the anthology as a whole.

Due: We are open to submissions from September 1 through October 15, 2020.

Submit: A Microsoft Word or RTF file in standard manuscript format to [email protected]   One submission per person, please. To review standard manuscript format, please see https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson with an editorial team provided by Western Colorado University Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Publishing MA students. Anthology made possible by a generous contribution from Draft2Digital.

Via: Word Fire Western.


October 15, 2020