Fifth Annual Los Angeles NaNo Anthology—Call for Short Stories

Please note, the region is not directly affiliated with the anthology, we are just passing along the information. For more information or questions concerning the anthology use the contact email for them below. -Xander

We’re looking for your short stories!

Join us for the fifth annual edition of the Los Angeles NaNo Anthology: a collection of stories edited by NaNoWriMo participants and published on Amazon. Every year, our editors vote on a new title, theme, and prompt for the anthology. We consider stories from all writers who see our submission call, regardless of where they live.

We’re currently accepting submissions for our 2018 anthology: Shadowed Doorways. Our theme is Darkness and Concealment. The prompt is that the story must contain a mirror. We’re open to broad interpretations of these ideas, so feel free to use your imagination.

If you’re interested, you can take a peek at last year’s anthology, We’ve All Been There, on Amazon. It was professionally reviewed by Portland Book Review, which gave it four stars and called it “a great book of light and easy to read stories” and “an example of the NaNoWriMo movement and how it can inspire writers.”

Story submission guidelines:
– We’re open to all genres, so long as the stories are fictional.
– One entry per author. No previously published stories, please.
– Your story must have a title. Please put it both on the first page of your manuscript and in the body of your email.
– Please do NOT put your name or contact info in the manuscript itself—only put that information in the body of your email. We judge objectively, based on story quality.
– Maximum length: 4000 words. Shorter is perfectly fine. Make each word count!
– 12-point type, Times New Roman, double-spaced
– Proofread your story and also have a friend read it before you submit.
– Grammar check using the Chicago Manual of Style or Grammar Girl.
– Send as .doc, .docx, .rtf, or plain-text attachment. Don’t copy and paste the text directly into the email.
– If you’re submitting as a younger writer (17 and under) and would like us to take that into consideration, please tell us your age in your email.
– We’ll confirm receipt of each submission and give you our decision by two weeks after the contest deadline.

Here are the details you need to remember:
Deadline: Friday, March 23. (We love early submissions as we have more time to read them!)
Theme: Darkness and Concealment
Prompt: The story must contain a mirror.
Open to: Everyone who reads this submission call. Feel free to pass it on to other writers.
Submit to: (Please put “Anthology 2018 submission” in the subject line.)

We look forward to your submissions!

Best wishes,
The Los Angeles NaNo Anthology editing team

One (Pep Talk) for the Road

When I discovered I would be bringing up the rear in pep talks this year, I wondered if it was just a coincidence or if my fellow MLs had voted me most likely to still be writing at the eleventh hour. In any case, here I am and, although I am now on track with my word count, it took 28 days of slogging along behind the pack, waving away the dust, to get here. The irony is, now, with the end game in reach, I see the true unimportance of word counts and those pats on the back we will get from winning.

Sure, on the surface NaNoWriMo is all about cranking out 50,000 words and throwing a big party but, if you look a little deeper, you see the true genius of the effort – the stories that are shared with humanity. At the Night of Writing Dangerously this year, my family sat with a transgender millennial, a teacher from an economically challenged town, and a young teenage writer and his mother. Theirs are stories that need to be told, perspectives that deserve to be shared, and there are millions more, including yours.

Through the habit of daily writing, our voices become stronger. In 30 days, we will have sharpened the tools we use to show who we are and what we contribute to the world. So whether you are closing in on this year’s 50k, or hovering at the bottom of the chart, what’s important is that you keep on going.

Hone your voice, tell your tale and send it off to join the wild, swirling mass of stories that become life lessons for us all. As my autocorrect would say, “Duck the word count!” Let your voice be heard.


Pep Talk

There are eight days left. Eight days.

How have we come so far so quickly? Blast off seems like ancient history and yet the end of the month seems impossibly close. It’s the NaNo time warp, I suppose. If you are done already or so close you have no doubts, you probably aren’t even reading this. And that’s fine.

This is for the rest of us. The ones who agreed to go for the impossible, and even if it feels impossible still, we are still showing up. There is magic in that. Do you feel it?

Think back to when you thought doing NaNo was a good idea. Take a few deep breaths and remember. The joy, the excitement, the trepidation, the thrill of embarking on a dream. Settle down with those feelings and breathe.

Close your eyes, and let your characters gather around you. See their faces and hold their hands. Why did you fall in love with them in the first place? Take a few more deep breaths, and just listen to them for a moment. Let them tell you why they chose you.

Breath deep and remember the story burning inside you. Did it creep into your dreams? How many years has it been percolating in your thoughts, niggling at the back of your brain. What twists did you plan? What message did you want to share?

Take another deep breath, and utter the words “I AM a writer.” Whisper them if you have to, “I AM an author.” Let the words wash over you and seep into your being. “I AM an author.” Now take another deep breath and let the truth of that sink in.

Adjust yourself in your chair. Wiggle those fingers. Stretch or crack your back. And come back to the pages of your novel.

Your story awaits you. It’s yours; you are the only one who knows how to write it. In just eight days, you’ll be able to say “I wrote a book.”

You are an author and you can do this. You ARE DOING this. Keep going.

Write on! Jules

PS Think of your favorite book. Now imagine a world where that author gave into self doubt and never wrote it.Who are you to deny the world your story? Write on….