Open submission period for BIPOC* writers for The Book of Witches

Following on from the award-winning success of The Book of Dragons, Harper Voyager will publish an exciting new anthology, The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan in the Fall of 2023. Like The Book of DragonsThe Book of Witches will be a big, inclusive, illustrated anthology of fiction and poetry, this time looking at “witches” (more specifically your witch and what it means to you).

So far writers who have agreed to contribute to the book include Linda Addison, S.A. Chakraborty, Zen Cho, P. Djèlí Clark, Indrapramit Das, Amal El Mohtar, Andrea Hairston, Millie Ho, Nalo Hopkinson, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Khaw, Fonda Lee, Darcie Little Badger, Ken Liu, Karen Lord, Usman T. Malik, Tochi Onyebuchi, C.L. Polk, Rebecca Roanhorse, Kelly Robson, Angela Slatter, Rivers Solomon, Andrea Stewart, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Tade Thompson, and we are reserving up to three spots in the final book for new BIPOC writers.

If you are a BIPOC* writer – regardless of whether you’re widely published or just starting out – and would like to see your work appear in a major anthology like The Book of Witches, we’d love to hear from you. Just check out the submissions guidelines below and send us your story.

* Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour

Guidelines for open submissions

  • Submissions must not have been previously published in any form, whether by digital-only publisher, traditional publisher, or self-published.
  • Submissions must be in English and be between 1500 and 6000 wordsin length.
  • Submissions must be in a standard word processor format (MS Word or similar). No PDFs.
  • Submissions should be accompanied by a short author bio (no more than 200 wds). You are welcome but not required to share any identity information which you would like to share. This information will not be published without consultation with you.
  • Agented submissions are welcome, but agents are not required. If you do have an agent you should indicate so with your submission and provide contact information for their representatives.
  • Submissions will open on Monday, 14 March 2022and close at 5pm Australian Western Standard Time on Friday, 18 March 2022.
  • Submissions should be sent to thebookofwitches@gmail.com 
  • You will be contacted ONLY if your submission is accepted for inclusion. All responses will be sent no later than Saturday, 30 April 2022.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please do not send multiple submissions.
  • Payment will be a minimum 8cpw and we will be looking for World rights to the story in English and foreign languages for print, ebook, and non-dramatic audio (ie standard audiobook), as part of the anthology only. This will be exclusive for a period of eighteen months from first publication of the book.

29 thoughts on “Open submission period for BIPOC* writers for The Book of Witches”

  1. Do any specific words, like “witch”, need to appear in the story?

    Can sexually explicit content be submitted?

    Is there a specific narrative style Jonathan Strahan prefer?

    Can a substantial rewrite of a previously published work be submitted?

    Do you consider online workshopping to be publication?

    Can a short story version of a published short movie be submitted?

  2. Hi Allex. Some answers to your questions:

    Do any specific words, like “witch”, need to appear in the story?

    No, but there must be something identifiable as a witch in the story.

    Can sexually explicit content be submitted?

    No. This is a standard trade publication, so explicit content is outside the scope of the publication.

    Is there a specific narrative style Jonathan Strahan prefer?

    No.

    Can a substantial rewrite of a previously published work be submitted?

    No. The work must be previously unpublished.

    Do you consider online workshopping to be publication?

    If it has been available to the public, it has been published.

    Can a short story version of a published short movie be submitted?

    No. The story should be unpublished in any medium.

    All best
    Jonathan

  3. Does the protagonist have to be a witch? Does the story have to be about literal witches, or can it be metaphorical? How vital does the witch have to be to the story? Do you have to be Australian to enter?

  4. Hi, I am right in assuming the traditional sense of the word ‘witch’ is accepted? The story I have written for this anthology is highly speculative but it does use the original non-speculative definition of the word ‘witch’ aka a woman who defies the society norms and becomes hunted.

    Also, I’ve noted in the Book of Dragons that most of the stories were SF rather than fantasy, therefore I’ve assumed that SF was accepted for this anthology. Is that right?

  5. Since payment is 8 cents per word, will being published in the anthology make an author eligible to be in the SFWA?

  6. One last question—can there be explicit violence and/or sex in the story, or should it be PG-13 or below?

    Thanks so much for the help!

  7. Hi. It doesn’t have to be PG13. This is book for the adult market. BUT it’s not a horror book. Horror stories are unlikely to be accepted, so I’d avoid anything really explicit.

  8. Hi! Is the bio expected to be in first person like in a cover letter, or in third person for media/pub purposes?

  9. Hi,

    It seems there’s an issue with the email. I have been trying to send my submission, but the mail keeps ending up in my outbox.

  10. Thank you Jonathan. My submission finally went through. Though it was sent thrice. Kindly ignore the other two submissions.

  11. Hi Jonathan,

    I was wondering, have all of the acceptances for inclusion gone out? I thought I’d write to be sure.

    Thank you!

  12. Hi Jonathan,

    Concerning the message above, when you say have everything go out in the next week, would that include rejections to or only acceptances (as stated in the guidelines)? Just wanted to double check!

    Thank you, and I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  13. Hi Ai – I hope to have final selections done this coming weekend. I’ll send all acceptances out by May 15, and will also send a short note to everyone else who was kind enough to send work that won’t fit into the book. So by early next week at the latest, everyone should know the disposition of their stories. Best, Jonathan

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