Deadline: November 15, 2012
One of the most enduring factors in human existence, yet one of the most mysterious and least domesticated, is the concept of luck. Call it fate, fortune, chance, serendipity, karma, or superstition. We have a thousand rituals to ward off bad luck and bring on good luck, not to mention that “getting lucky” is an idiom for having sex. How often do we unthinkingly say “It must be my lucky day?” or “As Fate would have it…” or even “Better luck next time?” For good or bad, this intangible force surrounds and influences us, often in ways we can’t explain. Whether we’re talking about lucky pennies or Lady Luck, black cats or Friday the 13th, we know something out there is trying to keep things…interesting. In this anthology explore the sexy side of fortune and fate. Was it happenstance that brought two lovers together, or a carefully manipulated skein of probability? Did that winning lottery ticket come by accident, or design? Did a miscast spell or whimsical genie alter the course of some poor sap’s life? Is our hero a coin flip away from the hottest encounter of his life?
All stories must have three central components:
1) The element of chance, fate, fortune, karma, serendipity, luck, or what-have-you. It can be good, it can be bad, it can be indifferent, but the element must be present and visible.
2) A science fiction or fantasy element that is essential to the story. Lady Luck could be real, or a machine designed to affect probability. Spells could be cast, or magical creatures involved. I want stories where a coin flip has actual consequences, where there’s a mystical rationale at play, where the real becomes unreal, and the natural becomes supernatural.
3) Hot, explicit, intelligent, mind-blowing sex. If the characters can’t thank their lucky stars afterwards, something’s gone horribly wrong.
This is a wide-open concept with a great deal of abstraction at play, and that means writers will have to really have to stretch their imaginations. We’re looking for stories which embody serendipity–that is, they truly are “pleasant surprises.”
Length: Our preferred length is approximately 3500 to 7500 words, but we will consider the range from 2000 to 10,000 words.
How to submit: Send plain text, .rtf, or .doc to Michael M. Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
About the editor: Michael M. Jones is a frequent contributor to Circlet Press’s anthologies, is Circlet’s microfictions editor, and has edited a few previous anthologies, including Scheherazade’s Facade and the book of erotic trickster tales, Like a Cunning Plan.
Only email submissions are accepted. Submissions sent to other addresses/other editors at Circlet Press will not be considered. Standard manuscript formatting rules apply even though sending as an attachment (MS Word .doc or .rtf preferred). Please note that this means your name, address, and email contact must appear on the manuscript itself and not simply in your email message. (If you’re not sure what a standard short story submission format should look like, Google is your friend.)
No simultaneous submissions (that is, don’t also send your story elsewhere at the same time, and don’t send it to multiple Circlet editors, either), and no multiple submissions to the same book. One story per author per anthology, thanks.
All stories must include explicit sexuality and erotic focus. Romantic content is welcome, but in a short story remember to keep the details on the action and its effects on the main character’s internal point of view. We favor a strong, singular narrative voice (no ‘head hopping’ or swapping between different character’s points of view within a scene). For more details on our editorial preferences, see the general submission guidelines on circlet.com. We highly recommend reading the guidelines, especially the “do not send” list, to increase your chances of sending us something we’ll love. Try to avoid cliches. Fresh and direct language is preferred to overly euphemistic. Sex-positive, please, no rape/nonconsensuality/necrophilia or other purposefully gross topics. We do not publish horror.
Originals only, no reprints. We purchase first rights for inclusion in the ebook anthology for $25, with the additional rights to a print edition later which would also be paid $25 if a print edition happens. Authors retain the rights to the individual stories; Circlet exercises rights to the anthology as a whole.