About Laura K. Anderson

Laura is the editorial director for Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction.

Submission Window Extended!

Good news for those of you who are so close to finishing up that story, but haven’t quite managed to do so yet – we’re extending our submission window! In order to open up the submission opportunity for Fear the Boot listeners, Dan will be making an announcement soon on the podcast. Because of that, our new closing date will be August 31, 2015. All other information remains the same, so be certain to check out Submission Information!

Submissions Now Open

Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction is now accepting submissions for Volume 3. Please remember to submit a pitch to the editors prior to submitting your story. For information on our style guide and theme, visit our “Submission Information” page.

We will be accepting stories at the end of the submission window, so you won’t hear back from us until early June regarding your story, unless we make extensive edits. We’ll definitely edit your story if you get it sent in, but that does not guarantee you a place in Volume 3. We learned a lot about book size in creating Volume 2, and we will be limiting Volume 3 to 25 stories.

We’re excited to read your stories, so get them sent in!

A little teaser

When we put out the call for stories, I had no idea that so many of our authors would respond immediately.  With a little more than three months left in the submission window, we’ve already had ten stories come in.  I wanted to give you a little taste of some of what we’ve had so far.  Please bear in mind that these are early drafts, so there may be some changes when we actually publish these stories, but they’re definitely representative of what we’re getting.  But I do hope they get you excited!

From “The Winter Hungers” by Adam Gottfried:

Academically, 20 below zero is cold and wind-chill makes it colder, bottoming out at around 40 below zero. You can comprehend this, even to some degree prepare for it, but to actually experience it…to feel your skin recoil, even under layers of protection, to see your breathy exhalation of 98.6 degrees freeze to microscopic ice crystals the moment it ceases to be a part of you, to have your nose hairs freeze solid inside of ten seconds and to feel the tears well to keep your eyes from freezing open….

     It is a kind of madness, being outside when it is this cold. Your mind reels as your external senses beg for mercy—trying to think of anything and everything that isn’t how cold it is and invariably returning to: Why the Hell do I live here?

From “Que Deja Deja” by Michael Budd:

A much older man, with just a scraggly horseshoe of silver hair left on his head. He walked with a limp as he entered, probably from a war wound. As old as he was, it might have been received in one of the many wars the old regime waged B.R. That same feeling crept up Warren’s brain stem again as he watched the senior take a seat across from him and rub his left knee through faded jeans. He was about tell Warren not to ever–

“Don’t ever get old, boy,” the old man ordered Warren. “It’s just the same shit on a different day, with more aches, pains, and required medications.”

Warren wasn’t sure whether to laugh or panic.

From “New Year, New Trouble” by Dawn Wattler:

“Mind if I turn on the TV?” she asked, peeking into the cockpit, which was decorated with a combination of grinning family portraits, live plants under a purplish light—including a tiny rose bush—and religious paraphernalia; statues of Jesus and Mary and even a tiny plastic manger set covered her dash; there were even fake candles. She didn’t know much about the religion, but she imagined that like the little garden, it must have some use for Marie when she spent weeks on end in space alone.

     “Go ahead. I’ll want to watch the SSBC at 2300 hours though. Their New Year’s Eve program is always the best.”

     Susan’s eyes widened.

     “New Year’s? It can’t be.”

Winter and Vikings

When we announced Sojourn Volume 2, we also announced that this volume would have a theme: winter.  We told our authors that winter could be literal or metaphorical.  The story could be set in winter or it could deal with the themes of death and cold.  But winter had to be a significant part of the story.

We’re only a week into the submissions period, and I’ve read some amazing stories in this time.  What really interests me is how many of our authors have decided to borrow from Norse mythology and the ancient Vikings to tell their tales.

I suppose this was inevitable.  After all, the Vikings survived some hellish winters, and Norse mythology tells of Ragnarök, where one of the preceding events is the Fimbulwinter, or Mighty Winter.

Each story is absolutely unique, and winter is used in a different way.  But if you like the Vikings or Norse mythology, you will absolutely love Volume 2.  And if you don’t, well – you’ll still fall in love with the amazing stories.

Six submissions in the first week!

I knew the Fear the Boot community was really into Volume 1, but I guess I hadn’t realized just how excited they were about the anthology in general.  When we made the initial announcement that we were already thinking about Volume 2, all fifteen authors from the first volume were interested – but so were at least a dozen more.  So far we have over thirty people who have expressed interest in writing for Volume 2.

The submission period opened up on April 1.  Maybe choosing April Fools’ Day was a bad idea, but I hadn’t thought about that in advance.  But it wasn’t a joke on our end, and I’m pleased to say that none of our authors sent us any gag stories.  We did have one minor running joke about making the entire anthology bodice-ripping romance stories, but that died down pretty fast.

Today is April 4.  That means submissions have been open for less than a week.  And we’ve had six people already turn in their initial drafts.  I cannot express how exciting this fact is to me, especially when you consider that five of those authors are new to Sojourn.  So far I’ve read through three of them, and they’re amazing stories – especially considering that they’re early drafts.

If you’re not yet excited about Volume 2, you should be.