CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
This is your chance to be a part of BTSA’s first classic winter anthology,
The Ghostly Challenge
This collection is based on the same premise as that of the Victorian annuals. As one year ends and another begins, these magazines were specifically produced to accommodate the age-old tradition of ghostly story-telling during the winter months. Our theme is meant to be fun and our Guidelines are easy. They’re just like those used when submitting any story to BTSA. But, what your story needs to contain is not quite so easy as it sounds and that’s where the ‘challenge’ takes place. All stories must contain an actual ghost.
This may seem simple, but many fine writers have been known to crumble at the thought of meeting this goal successfully. So, as traditional ghost stories seem to have lost their ghostliness in favour of rational explanation, BTSA is making an effort to revive appreciation of the genre, the way it was meant to be. None of the contemporary ways of explaining away a ghost are acceptable.
The ghost in your story cannot be imagined, dreamed, or hallucinated. It can’t be a prank, a fear induced vision, a mental aberration or optical illusion, nor an hysterical or irrational interpretation. It can’t be proven to be drug or alcohol induced or due to an altered state of consciousness of any kind. Neither can it be a prank or scheme to manipulate the characters. Its presence can’t be anything other than that of a deceased individual, i. e., a ghost.
We will allow the imagination to be stretched, inasmuch as the ghost may be human or animal and it can be either protoplasmic, vaporous, tangible, cybernetic or, even a living being whose ‘soul’ is waiting to be collected as per contract or, a ‘live ghost walking’ (pardon the pun). Or, it may be a haunted item, as well.
Your story may take place during any time in history, past, present or future. It can take place anywhere on earth, in outer space, in an alternate dimension or universe, or even cyberspace. Your ghost may be seen or unseen. It may be perceived through the five senses or through traces or signs of its presence left in its wake. The type of spirit or spirits is your choice.
The only firm and unbending rule is that there must be a ‘real’ ghost
(or ghosts) acknowledged!
Therefore, by the end of your story, no matter what occurred or how unbelievable it may seem, the impression given your readers is that there was an actual ghost present. No doubts!
You may be as ‘classically’ ghostly as you prefer (think M. R. James, Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Onions, Edith Wharton, Elizabeth Gaskell, Vernon Lee, etc.). Or you may challenge us with a ‘new age’ ghost, in ways we’ve never read before! Your ‘real’ ghost should keep us wanting more and, of course, frighten us, if you can! As there is a ghost (or more), we expect there to be a good number of chillingly unnerving moments. You have many choices, so, feel free to baffle, intrigue, frighten us and also, make us laugh!
BUT, as mentioned before the only firm and unbending rule is that
there must be a ‘real’ ghost (or ghosts).
To summarize, please remember; no matter how good the stories may be, any which don’t adhere to this one, sound rule, will be omitted from the challenge. But, as good writing is always appreciated here, we will consider some of those for stories in future issues of Between These Shores Annual.
Here is all you need to know:
Original Work Only. No Previously Published Stories or Poems, unless published in BTS Annuals, and not published since. (The only exception to this rule is ‘any story or poem rejected during our first submissions call for Issue One /2017 and published elsewhere since’). International Subs: Must be in English and if used, must contain name and bio of Translator.
Word Count: 1500 - 3000. ***Contact us for our consideration before submitting anything longer. **
Subject Bar: ‘GHOSTLY CHALLENGE SUBMISSION’.
Include 50 Word, Third Person Bio. and Postal Address in same document as story. Response Time: Two months.
Submission 01, Jan. 2021 - Deadline: 01, August, 2021.
Tentative Publication Date: December, 2021.
Only 20 entries will be chosen including 3-4 poems!
All others will be held over for a second volume. The least number of stories and poetry we will publish is ten.
So start writing! We can’t wait to be scared sleepless!