Clockwork Phoenix guidelines

 

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5 is closed to submissions.

Thanks to everyone who made our Kickstarter a success!


 

Cover art by Paula Arwen Owen.

Cover art by Paula Arwen Owen.

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Clockwork Phoenix

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Clockwork Phoenix 2

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 2 trade paperback

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Clockwork Phoenix 3

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3 trade paperback

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Clockwork Phoenix 4

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CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5 is the next volume in the anthology series edited by Mike Allen, tentatively scheduled to be published by Mythic Delirium Books of January 2016. It is open to the full range of speculative and fantastic genres.

Editor Mike Allen emphasizes, “We are committed to diversity, and are open to and encourage submissions from people of every race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, political affiliation and religious belief.”

Allen says CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5, like its predecessors, “is a home for stories that sidestep expectations in beautiful and unsettling ways, that surprise with their settings and startle with the ways they cross genre boundaries, that aren’t afraid to experiment with storytelling techniques. But experimentation is not a requirement: the stories in the anthology must be more than gimmicks, and should appeal to genuine emotions, suspense, fear, sorrow, delight, wonder. I will value a story that makes me laugh in its quirky way more than a story that tries to dazzle me with a hollow exercise in wordplay.

“The stories should contain elements of the fantastic, be it science fiction, fantasy, horror or some combination thereof. A straight psychological horror story is unlikely to make the cut unless it’s truly scary and truly bizarre. The same applies to a straight adventure fantasy or unremarkable space opera — bring something new and genuine to the equation, whether it’s a touch of literary erudition, playful whimsy, extravagant style, or mind-blowing philosophical speculation and insight. Though stories can be set in this world, settings at least a hair or more askew are preferred. I hope to see prose that is poetic but not opaque. I hope to see stories that will lead the reader into unfamiliar territory, there to find shock and delight.

“Over the course of reading for the first volume, I developed some criteria for stories that aren’t likely to interest me (though exceptions are always possible). These include straightfoward retellings of well-known fairy tales; stories in which a Machine Discovers Its Humanity; stories that aim to prove Christianity/Religion Is Bad; stories about a Privileged Schmuck who comes to understand Oppression Is Bad; stories whose entire plot can be described as X Commits a Murder; stories of wish-fulfillment with little complication — i.e.: character longs for something; character is granted that something; end of story.

“My aim with the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX books is, somewhat selfishishly, to create books that satisfy my own tastes as a reader. And as a reader, I enjoy stories that experiment, that push the envelope, that dazzle with their daring, but I’m often personally frustrated when an experimental story ends without feeling complete, without leaving an emotional crater for me to remember it by. At the same time, I find myself increasingly bored with the traditional, conventionally-plotted and plainly-written Good Story Competently Told. For better or for worse, I envision the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX books as places where these two schools of story telling can mingle and achieve Happy Medium; where there is significance to both the tale that’s told and the style of the telling.

“For the second and third volumes, I received few stories with the rococo sf elements I enjoy seeing. I hope more people will try their hand at them this time around.”

UPDATE FOR 2015: “For Clockwork Phoenix 4 I saw more of the kind of sf I like, and hope the trend continues with this new book.”

RIGHTS PURCHASED: First English Language Rights, print and electronic. We will ask writers not to allow reprints for a year after publication, with exemptions made for “Best of the Year” anthologies. We do not ask for audio rights.

PAYMENT: $0.06 per word on return of counter-signed contract as an advance against royalties, then an evenly divided share of royalties after earnout, plus one print contributor copy and electronic copies in preferred formats.

WORD LENGTH: Stories should be no longer than 10,000 words; stories under 5,000 words STRONGLY PREFERRED.

READING PERIOD: closed to submissions.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Submissions are electronic only. Please submit your story via e-mail, as an RTF or DOC file attachment. (Please do not send DOCX files; we can’t read them.) Your e-mail subject line should say “Submission: Story Title”. Include a brief cover letter in the body of your email. It should have your name, address, e-mail address, title of story, number of words, and brief biographical information in case we don’t know you, with most recent publishing credits, if applicable. We are open to new writers and seasoned veterans alike. We do not accept reprints.

WILL MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS BE ALLOWED? Yes.

WILL SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS BE ALLOWED? No. “No one is going to get a formal acceptance from me until after the reading period ends. If you can’t wait that long to find out what I think, then please don’t waste my time or Inbox space.”

EDITORIAL ADDRESS: clockworkphoenix@gmail.com

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