Call for submissions – new anthology

Candlemark and Gleam is proud to announce an anthology of Alternate History: Substitution Cipher, a collection of tales of deceit, betrayal, and espionage, in worlds that could have been our own.

Sun Tsu said: “The end and aim of espionage in all its five forms is knowledge of the enemy; this knowledge can only be derived from the double agent.” The crucial knowledge a spy obtains can change the course of history; or show, through a dark mirror, the shape our own world could have taken.

We invite authors to submit completed original stories of between 6,000 and 20,000 words, in any genre appropriate to espionage: psychological or action thrillers, war stories, dystopias, and picaresques are equally valid submissions. All stories must take place on an alternate Earth, and the changed timeline must have some bearing on the plot of the story. Any historical time period and geographical area is acceptable, from the invention of war up to the present day.

Original stories are preferred. Please query for reprints.

No simultaneous submissions please.

For multiple submissions, please query first.

Submissions open: October 17, 2011

Submissions close: January 15, 2012

Anticipated publication date: July 2012

Electronic submissions only. Please send your story as an RTF or DOC attachment to kaye.chazan [at] gmail [dot] com, with the subject line: SUBMISSION: Title of Story.

Please ensure your story file includes your contact details, including postal address and email address.

Please submit only final, proofread copy.

Payment will be a flat $75 and two contributor copies of the print book (the anthology will be published in both print and digital form). There will be a bonus payment when/if the anthology sells 1,000 copies in print.

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  • Killian

    Would I be correct in assuming the submissions close January 15, 2012 rather than 2011 as the post says?

  • Candlemark & Gleam

    That would be correct, and I’ll edit it with the appropriate year now! Thanks for the catch!

    (although, given that we’re doing alternate history, I would be inclined to automatically accept any submission that manages to turn itself in in January 2011…)

  • Dan Tannenbaum

    Well, some alternate time line have a retarded progression as compared to ours…

  • Timtjf2003

    I’ll have to think on this one.  I always happy to see a new publisher and new ideas in the fanatastic fiction field.  Good luck with this anothology and all your publishing endeavirs

  • Timtjf2003

    Now if I could only prooofread before hitting the submit button,,,my real comment. 
    I’ll have to think on this one.  I’m always happy to see a new publisher in the fantastic fiction field.  Is it all right to submit stories with maybe traditional types of characters (with new twists to them) doing somewhat tradition types of actions (in a non traditional manner)?

    Good with the anthology and all your publishing endeavors.

    (makes more sense when you read over and correct first…a writers rule)

  • Candlemark & Gleam

    I’m not entirely certain what you mean by this.

    It’s perfectly acceptable to have “traditional” spies engaging in “traditional” espionage, as long as it’s within an alternate-history scenario; is that what you mean?

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  • Will Entrekin

    Is this a print-only anthology, so authors keep digital rights after first publication in print?

  • Candlemark & Gleam

    No, this is a print and digital simultaneous publication. Digital reprint rights after a certain window could be arranged, however.

  • Rakshablue

    Hi guys,
    Are the spy stories you’re looking necessarily sci-fi in nature? Just wondering what you mean by ‘changed timeline’… 


  • Candlemark & Gleam

    They’re not necessarily – or even desirably – “science fiction”. We’re looking for alternate histories – histories that MIGHT have been, but aren’t. For instance, what if Hannibal had succeeded on his campaign? What if the Vikings colonized the New World? What if Stalin hadn’t led Russia? These scenarios do not depend on a sci-fi setting or twist; they’re a matter of imagining what might’ve happened in our own past if some crucial bit had been changed. Sci-fi or fantasy could work into this, but so could steampunk, cyberpunk, or simply alternate imaginings of the past in a realistic mode.

    Hope this helps!

  • John Hilario

    Any progress in selecting the stories to be included in the anthology? Thanks!

  • Candlemark & Gleam

    The stories have already been selected; you should have been notified by the editor as to the status of your submission.

  • L Hughes

    I never received a response either. I recently queried when I noticed the above post but have had no reply. I only waited this long because the original acknowledgement email said there would be a response after the deadline had passed. I we’ve had no response, can we just assume a rejection? :)

  • Candlemark & Gleam

    Yes, I’m afraid you would have received a response had you been accepted. I apologize that the editor did not contact you to let you know that your submission had been received, reviewed, and not chosen!