“Sitting up in the dark, he took a deep breath and scented a familiar, beguiling trace in the air…”

Deep Green Leaves, Alex Clark

Houses Borders Ghosts
File Formats

We see a lot of different file formats here at The Fiction Desk. Although our guidelines specify that submissions should all be in MS Word format (.doc or .docx), we do our best to open and read most document types that come our way. Sometimes it’s just not possible, and we have to ask writers to resubmit their story manuscript in an alternative format.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about file formats, so here’s a quick guide to the main document types, where they come from, and their pros and cons as submission formats.

When making a submission it’s important to always follow the individual publisher’s guidelines in terms of the file formats they can accept: after all, only they know which devices and software they have access to. Still, the following should provide you with some insight into why they make the choices they do, and what you can do if your preferred formats don’t match their requirements: (Keep reading …)

New Ghost Stories IV

Our new anthology, New Ghost Stories IV, will be published at the end of April, and it’s available to pre-order now.

New Ghost Stories IV is part of our occasional series dedicated to supernatural fiction, and includes stories from Fiction Desk regulars Alastair Chisholm, Matt Plass, Jo Gatford, Mark Taylor, and Cindy George, as well as a host of new (and new-to-us) writers.

To find out more, or pre-order your own copy, just follow this link.

On Friday the BBC announced the shortlist for this year’s National Short Story Award.

There’s a total of five shortlistees, and we’re delighted to see that two of them are Fiction Desk contributors. That’s almost half the list!

The two writers whose work has appeared in our pages are Danny Rhodes and Richard Smyth.

You can find out more about the award over on the BBC’s website. The winners will be announced on 19 October.

Houses Borders Ghosts

Today we’re announcing the latest winner of The Fiction Desk’s Writer’s Award.

The Writer’s Award is presented to the author of the best story in each anthology we publish, as voted for by the contributors themselves. Because who could be better qualified than the people who write the stories?

This time around the award is for the best story in our latest anthology, Houses Borders Ghosts. With nine excellent stories to choose from, including one by a previous award-winner Alastair Chisholm, competition was tough, but in the end the votes gave us a winner.

So it’s congratulations to Zeph Auerbach, who takes home the £100 prize for his story ‘Desynchronisation at Seven Sisters’.

If you’ve not yet read his story, Houses Borders Ghosts is available now in paperback and Kindle editions.

Houses Borders Ghosts

We’re delighted to announce that our new anthology, Houses Borders Ghosts, is due for publication at the end of this month.

Houses Borders Ghosts contains nine new short stories in our usual variety of styles and themes from new and returning authors; our regular readers will be familiar with Alastair Chisholm, Jacki Donnellan, and Kate van der Borgh, and there are some fantastic talents making their first appearance in our pages.

Copies will be available soon in paperback and Kindle editions. You can find out more about the new anthology, or order your own copy, here.

Various Authors short story anthology

We’re so busy getting our new anthology ready for press that we nearly overlooked our own birthday! This week sees the tenth anniversary of the publication of our first anthology, Various Authors.

In the years since then, we’ve published fourteen volumes, including 149 stories from 108 different authors. And we’ve got plenty more lined up.

So thank you to all of you — readers, contributors, and potential contributors — who have been with us along the way.

(Speaking of our anthologies, watch out for news of our new volume in the next couple of weeks.)

Daffodils

The daffodils are out, the supermarkets are full of chocolate eggs, and there was even half an hour of sunshine last Thursday. This can only mean one thing: our spring reading period is now open.

For this submission call, we’ve decided not to run a specific theme. Instead, we’ll be concentrating on general submissions, open to any of the themes and genres that we feature in our anthologies. So if you’d like to submit something to us, just take a look through a recent volume, and send us whatever you think makes for a great Fiction Desk story.

Submissions are open until 30 June, and you can find out more about the submission process on our submission guidelines page.

To celebrate Halloween (and the opening of this year’s annual ghost story submission call), we’re running a sale on Kindle editions of all our anthologies.

Our three New Ghost Stories volumes are just 99p each, and all other titles are just £1.99.

You can get the whole series so far (all 13 volumes) for just £22.87.

To grab yourself some bargains, just head over to Amazon UK (or Amazon USA, where you’ll find similar prices). Best hurry, though: the sale ends on Wednesday!

Today we’re announcing the latest winner of the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award. The Writer’s Award is presented to the author of the best story in each of our anthologies, and is voted for by the contributors themselves. The winner receives £100.

Our new anthology, Somewhere This Way, features some very strong stories and the voting was close, but for once we didn’t need a tie break: the clear winner is ‘Exhalation’, by Alastair Chisholm.

Congratulations, Alastair!

Find out more about Somewhere This Way or get your own copy right here.

If you subscribe to our email newsletter, you might already know that last week we launched our first themed call for submissions. ‘Houses and Homes‘ is all about the places where we live and the way that they affect our lives.

There should be plenty here for short story writers to get their teeth into: from domestic dramas to haunted houses, it’s an opportunity to explore psychology, class, politics, generational and cultural divides and a whole host of other issues.

In the UK (where The Fiction Desk is based), rising house prices have impacted hugely on the lives of their inhabitants and reshaped whole communities, as have the tensions between the different roles that housing plays: not just homes but investments, refuges, businesses, repositories of family memories. The conversation is by no means limited to Britain, either: as always, international contributions are very welcome.

Submissions to our themed calls work exactly like normal submissions. You submit through the same submission form, it’s still just a £3 fee, and we aim to reply to all submissions within two weeks. We pay at our usual rates for any stories we publish.

The ‘Houses and Homes’ call is open now for submissions, and you can find out more here. The deadline is 30th September. We’ll be announcing more themes over the year, so do sign up for our newsletter if you don’t already get it.

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