Today we’re taking a look at a little something for the ladies: Sword & Sorceress 33! I’d heard of the anthology before, but I wasn’t aware of the history of the publication. Check out the primer below, which I shamelessly pulled from Wikipedia:
The Sword and Sorceress series is a series of fantasy anthologies originally edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and originally published by DAW Books. As she explained in the foreword to the first volume, she created the anthology to redress the lack of strong female protagonists in the subgenre of sword and sorcery. At the time, most female characters in sword and sorcery were little more than stock damsels in distress, or pawns who were distributed at the conclusion of the story as “bad-conduct prizes” (Bradley’s term) for the male protagonists.
- In their own words: “Stories should be the type generally referred to as “sword and sorcery” and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about…We are willing to consider stories set in modern times (urban fantasy), but we don’t buy more than one or two of those for the anthology. We always want something short and funny for the last story.”
- Genres they accept: Fantasy, and occasionally urban fantasy. Sword and Sorcery preferred, obviously.
- What NOT to send: “We do not want stories with explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or profanity. We are NOT a market for poetry, horror, or dark fantasy.”
- Word count limit: 9,000 words or less. “Preference given to shorter stories. The longer a story is, the better it has to be. Long stories should be submitted early in the reading period.”
- Payment: $0.06 per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.
- Simultaneous Submissions*: No.
- Multiple Submissions**: “With regard to multiple submissions, do not submit more than one story at a time. If we’ve rejected your first one, you may send one more, as long as it’s before the deadline. We have occasionally bought someone’s second submission. We have never bought a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth submission. If you send us two stories, and we don’t hold either of them, wait until next year to try again. Please do not re-submit stories we have already rejected (including stories rejected in previous years).”
- Reprints: No.
- Schedule: Monday, April 23 to Sunday, May 13, 2018. Stories received before or after this period will be deleted unread.
**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.Bonus content:The guidelines page has links to two pages by Marion Zimmer Bradley:
The titles are a bit misleading – while they sound like basic tips for new writers, the articles go in-depth regarding what they’re looking for in a story. They include tips on how to read your work critically and revise so that your piece is in its most saleable condition. (I wrote a similar piece in checklist form if you want to check that out.)
Go take a look; anything you can do to read up on the publisher’s preferences will give you a leg up on the competition and help improve your submission preparation for other markets.
Reminders when submitting:
Read the publication: Their published stories are available here. You have no excuse not to do your research and see what kind of style gets their attention. It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar.
Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics. Furthermore, this is a static post. Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.
Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this? Don’t send pieces over the word count. Don’t send content they specifically warn against. Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions. “But Liz, I–” Nope! No, no, no. If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.