Short Story Anthology: Call for Submissions

Update, June 1st 2015: The submission window is now closed. Click here for the latest update.

In memory of Sir Terry Pratchett, we are putting together an anthology of short stories to raise money for one of his favourite charities. If you are an author (or suspect you have the makings of one!) and are one of the millions of readers out there who has been touched in some way by the writings of Sir Terry, then read on.

We have reached out to Alzheimer’s Research UK, offering to put together a fan tribute anthology on the theme of Memory. The book will be dedicated to Sir Terry Pratchett, with all proceedings going to the charity. They were thrilled and have offered their support.

If you’re up to the challenge, here are the details:

Short Story Guidelines

  • The story should follow the theme of Memory
  • The story should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words
  • Humorous writing is preferred, given the nature of Sir Terry’s work
  • The genre can be any flavour of fiction that tickles your fancy.

Submission Rules

Send your submission to WeLikeThemShort (at) gmail (dot) com between April 25 and May 31. One submission is permitted per author. If your submission is accepted, we will contact you and ask for the complete text, with a deadline of June 30. Your initial submission should include:

  • A brief author biography
  • A short synopsis (no more than two lines) of what you will write about
  • A writing sample: up to 500 words of your original published or unpublished work.

Legal Terms and Payment

  • All profits will go towards Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Authors are not expected to contribute to the publishing costs
  • Authors will receive an eBook of the full anthology, and may purchase up to four printed copies of the book at cost price (plus shipping)
  • The costs of final editing and artwork will be covered by the organisers. Note that final short stories are expected to be in a suitably publish-ready state, and the organisers reserve the right to dismiss or return works if they do not meet this requirement
  • Authors retain the right to be recognised as creators of their work.
  • Authors do not have to be residents of the UK—the organisers certainly aren’t!

Who We Are

Your humble anthology orchestrators are Sorin Suciu, author of The Scriptlings, and Laura May, author of Pickles and Ponies.

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39 comments on “Short Story Anthology: Call for Submissions
  1. Stephen says:

    What a super idea. I hope it is hugely successful.
    May I just confirm one thing? Would you let us know what your position is on the copyright on works submitted/published, please.
    Many thanks, Stephen.

    • Sorin Suciu says:

      Thank you, Stephen.
      We haven’t got the Legalese ready yet, but the way we see it, the stories belong to their authors. You can re-publish the story at any time. At the same time, once published in this story collection a story can’t be removed.
      In terms of payment, the account will be set up to wire everything directly to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

      I hope this helps,

      • Stephen says:

        Hi Sorin,
        Thanks for the prompt and helpful reply. I’m no expert, but that sounds great to me.
        Thanks too for taking on the job, for such a good cause. Once again, best of luck with it.
        Regards, Stephen.

  2. colettecoen says:

    Am I just being daft, but I can’t see what the entry fee is. It’s a great cause though – I will get to work and hopefully submit.

  3. Carolyn. says:

    Ooh, sent you my submission – this is exciting, and an excellent project from you guys – well done!

  4. Stephen says:

    I’m guessing that as it is a Fan Tribute anthology, no-one will object if stories feature some of Sir Terry’s characters?

  5. Kyra says:

    Should the two-sentence summary include the ending of the story, or is it more like a hook/teaser?

    • Sorin Suciu says:

      Either way 🙂
      We are interested in the summary from an overlapping perspective – so as not to have two authors writing the same story.

      • Kyra says:

        Okay. 🙂 And just to be absolutely clear, the required writing sample is supposed to be an excerpt of the story we’re submitting, right? Not something from another work?

        • Sorin Suciu says:

          It doesn’t have to be. But it helps if the sample is in the same style as the story you’re planning to write. For instance, if you’re planning a Humorous SF, then Historic Drama might not be the best sample.


  6. I have a published story about a woman, the caregiver of her mother who has Alzheimer’s, but it is not humorous. The setting is a beach; the woman is watching her mother who is standing at the water. The daughter weighs memories of the past (when her mom was a brilliant linguist) against her desire to distance herself from the pain of care-giving and, ultimately, from her mother. The word count for “No Magic Words” is 1,852. It’s been published in an anthology titled THE BEACH HOUSE.
    If I offer this story to you and you decide to put it into your anthology, I will still retain the rights to it? [I also have to check this with my publisher, but I thought I’d see if you are interested in the story.]

    • Sorin Suciu says:

      If you have doubts, why not write a new story?
      The low word count alone would be enough to disqualify an otherwise potentially good submission. As for humour, while encouraged, is not an absolute must-have.
      Of course, authors retain the rights to their stories.

      I hope this helps,

  7. Cheryl says:

    Do you know whether Alzheimers Research Charity use animal testing? I am very fussy about supporting charities being an animal lover.

  8. Point of clarification please regarding:

    A short synopsis (no more than two lines) of what you will write about
    A writing sample: up to 500 words of your original published or unpublished work.

    You do not wish the entire piece sent at first only a brief synopsis plus 500 words of it? or is the 500 words just showing writing style?

    Thank you

    • Sorin Suciu says:

      Hi Andrea,
      You are right, we don’t wish the entire story at first.
      The writing sample doesn’t have to be from the story, but just as I told Kyra – it helps if it is at least in the same style as the story.


  9. NMB says:

    Footnotes are included in the final word count, right?

  10. This is such a great idea. I’ll get my submitting hat on right away!

  11. Kyra says:

    Just had a few thoughts: is there anything specific I should put in the subject line of my emails? And do I need to include my full contact info in my initial submission, or will my email address alone be enough?

  12. Hi Sorin,

    In regards to the five hundred word sample, should that be sent as an attachment or in the body of an email?

    Many thanks!

  13. Sophie Crocker says:

    Hi! I’m really hoping to do this but I’m wondering if it’s international? I’m from Canada. Thanks so much for doing this! It’s wonderful to know that Sir Terry is being remembered like this.

  14. Hannah says:

    The first 300 words of the story I want to submit might have been published on a website as part of a competition. Is the whole thing still eligible to appear in the anthology?

  15. Hello there 🙂

    I’ve written and had published a number of opinion pieces and reviews, and I love devising and writing short stories, but I’ve never actually entered a competition like this before. Can I still enter?

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