“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

Submission Call: Garden Stories

For stories about gardens, and what happens in them.

Deadline: This call is now closed.

Word count: 1,000-20,000 words

Submission fee: standard (see submission guidelines).

Payment and rights: standard (see submission guidelines).

How to submit: Read the submission guidelines, then send us your story through our submission form. Choose the ‘Garden Stories’ submission type at the top of the form.

Many of us have spent the last few months in various forms of social isolation or quarantine, and our worlds have been a little smaller than usual. We covered homes and housing as a submission theme last year, so now it's time to step outside.

This is a call for stories involving gardens. Private gardens, public gardens, or shared gardens. The neighbour's garden, or gardens of the rich and famous. Secret gardens, exotic gardens, well-kept gardens, forgotten gardens, haunted gardens, dangerous gardens, gardens of the past or of the future. What do they mean to us? How do we use them - or not use them? What might happen in them - or not happen?

Your story could be specifically about a garden, or gardens could be part of the background, adding context and depth. To encourage a diverse selection of stories, writers should feel free to interpret the theme as tightly or loosely as they like: any stories that stray too far will still be considered as general submissions.

If you're in need of inspiration, we'll be exploring aspects of this theme between now and July on our website. Sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed.

As always, we welcome writers and stories from around the world.

The stories we select from this submission call will feature in a future Fiction Desk anthology. If you've not yet read one of our anthologies, it’s worth picking up a recent volume before you submit, to get an idea of the range of styles we feature in our pages. Our latest, Somewhere This Way, is out now.

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