Call for Submissions

FREE Anthology contest $50/$25 Prize + editor interview–Candlesticks and Daggers, DEADLINE: Nov. 1, 2016

candleCandlesticks and Daggers is an anthology of mixed-genre mysteries–meaning mysteries that also include another genre, such as romance, science fiction, fantasy, etc. (No erotica.) 

I wondered how and why this anthology came to be, so I asked Candlesticks and Daggers editor Kelly Ann Jacobson a few questions to find out. See my interview with Jacobson and a link to their submission guidelines below.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Candlesticks and Daggers.

JACOBSON: Candlesticks & Daggers will be an anthology of mixed-genre mysteries. The anthology will include mostly fiction but also a few poems and potentially a few nonfiction pieces. My anthologies are solo projects--so I receive the manuscripts, read them anonymously, select the pieces that will go in the book, and create the book itself--but I do always ask a guest judge to decide who wins the contests (winner gets $50 and finalist gets $25). All contributors selected for inclusion will receive one copy of the book.

HOPKINSON: How/why did Candlesticks and Daggers come to be?

JACOBSON: Whenever I decide to put out an anthology, I try to find a niche of a current genre that hasn't been done yet. For example, previous anthologies included Dear Robot, which was epistolary science fiction, and Magical, which was fairy tales for adults. In this case, the idea actually came to me at the launch party for Unrequited, which was a book filled with love poems about inanimate objects. People kept asking me what I planned to do next, and I had this idea that I wanted my next launch party to be mystery-themed and to involve many different types of writers, both fiction and poetry, so I came up with mixed-genre mysteries as a way to bring all of the things I love together in one book (and have a fun launch party in the process!)

HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?

JACOBSON: I'm looking for any short story or poem (or even personal essay!) that tells a mystery story. As long as it's mystery + another genre, it's fair game for this anthology. I always read anonymously, so no personal information on any of the attachments. Short stories have to be shorter than 7,500 words and poems no longer than three pages each (poets can submit up to three poems), but I prefer shorter works. Stories can't have been previously published before the book comes out, though afterward, writers are of course free to republish wherever they would like.

HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?

JACOBSON: I love local lit mags and journals, especially Northern Virginia Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Barrelhouse, District Lit, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. My favorite from outside the DMV is Iron Horse Review (getting a short story published with them was pretty much the highlight of my life).

HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?

JACOBSON: The email for all Candlesticks and Daggers submissions is CandlesticksAndDaggers (at) gmail (dot) com. As I mentioned, please make sure your name isn't on any of the attachments, and make sure you explain in your email letter why your piece fits the theme of the book. It's also great if writers include a brief (three sentences or less) bio about themselves. All submissions must be received by November 1. More submission details can be found at

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

JACOBSON: The best way to reach me quickly with time-sensitive questions is at my author email, kellyannjacobson (at) gmail (dot) com. However, any submissions sent to this email address will be discarded.

Click here to read submission guidelines.

DEADLINE: November 1, 2016


PRIZE/PAYMENT: Winner = $50, Finalist = $25, all accepted contributors receive a copy of the anthology

FORMS: fiction, nonfiction, poetry

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