Call for Fantasy submissions!

Sci-Fi from the Rock (2016)After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock this past 10th Anniversary weekend, Engen Books has decided to continue the line with Fantasy from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2017 at the eleventh annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

“The response from fans was enormous and overwhelming,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “We we able to publish a number of first-time authors alongside established pillars in the Newfoundland science-fiction community like Kenneth Tam and Scott Bartlett, of Iceberg Publishing and Mirth Publishing, respectfully. Engen Books has always been a fan of placing new talent alongside established talent, giving those new voices a chance to shine in a way they may have have otherwise.”

While the inaugural volume was titled Sci-Fi from the Rock, it in fact told PG-rated stories from the fantasy, science-fiction, and thriller genres. This new collection will focus more heavily on genre-specific stories, with each successive volume then showcasing different talent within the Canadian writing scene.

Editors Ellen Curtis and Erin Vance are scheduled to return to helm the project.

As Fierce as SteelAs Fierce as Steel author Christopher Walsh has already expressed interest in returning his fantasy series, The Gold and Steel Saga to the collection. “[Engen Books] has created a place, at least locally, that helps local writers get a foothold in that world and gives the advice and encouragement needed to convince them to try at all,” said Walsh. “If not for Engen, I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of young writers telling stories outside of the local publishers scope that would not have any platform at all to try or would have given up entirely already.”

Other authors have expressed interest, but anyone can submit to be a part of this Spring 2017 collection! Deadline is December 31, 2016 but get your stories in as quick as you can, as it gives our wonderful editors more time to work with you and make sure it is as good as it can possibly be!


What is the target audience?

For this specific collection, we’re going for an equivalent of PG. Rather than limit our authors creatively, we encourage them to write from the heart and allow us to work with them to fine-tune the work after the fact.

Example: for Sci-Fi from the Rock, Christopher Walsh’s story had featured a fair amount of cursing. As a compromise, we settled on switching it out for classic-comic style “#@$#” bleeps. We feel it captured the classic all-ages style we were going for while remaining true to his work, and both parties were happy with the arrangement.:)

What genres will be accepted?

This year we will be focusing on fantasy. Fantasy can actually be broken down into several sub categories, such as High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery Fantasy, Modern Fantasy, Fae Stories,  and more. We hope to have an eclectic mix of the Fantasy genre represented, and encourage people submitting  to find new and exciting ways to use the genre as well as using the standard storytelling mechanisms of the genre.

Will Non-Fantasy Stories be accepted?

As a general rule, Engen Books has a policy against turning down a good, well-written story; but we will be giving clear preference to stories that fit the genre. People submitting who we do not feel fit the genre may be informed that Engen would like to hold back the story for a later collection. Regardless, for this collection, Fantasy comes first.

Are there minimum/ maximum word limits?

There are not minimum word limits. In the past we have had stories as short as 700 words. We have set 20,000 words as a maximum word limit, only because we anticipate many submissions and want to fit as many as we can in.:)

Can someone submit more than one story?

Of course! We may take one or both! We have had the same author in the same collection multiple times in the past.

Who can submit?

Any Canadian author with a link to the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention, which is our partner. This link does not have to be substantive! It can be someone involved with the convention, an Engen Books author, an author from Newfoundland, an author from Atlantic Canada, or any author looking to celebrate great Canadian genre writing!

Example: In Sci-Fi from the Rock, Peter Foote wrote “The Silence Between Moons” and asked if, even though he had never been to Sci-Fi on the Rock, if he could submit. We said as long as he wanted to help celebrate the genre and the act of coming together as a community around stories we all love, he was welcome, and his tale is one of the best in the collection!

There is also no age restriction. Anyone over Canadian Age-of-Consent (16 years of age) can submit and sign the print release on their own. Entrants younger than that will have to sign the print release with a parent of guardian.:)

Who keeps the printing rights?

You do! Engen merely gains the right to print your story in this one collection. You keep the rights to your story and property: so if it takes off and becomes a huge hit, you keep all the benefits!:)

How do I submit?

All submissions should be directed to and should be sent from a reliable email address that you check regularly (we will contact all applicants through email with the status of their submission once the deadline has passed).

When do submissions close?

December 31, 2016 11:59 PM Newfoundland Standard Time.

Do you have questions?

Ask them below by commenting on this post, we will answer you post haste!:)

Happy Writing!

Carrots by Colleen Helme | Other Indie

Carrots is a 2011 mystery novel written by Colleen Helme and published through the Amazon CreateSpace platform, which allows original work to be published in a print-on-demand format. This is the first novel to feature the character of Shelby Nichols, who has since become a sort of avatar for Helme’s work. There are currently eight books in the Shelby Nichols adventure series, with a ninth available for pre-order now.

This book is part Janet Evanovich (of the Stephanie Plum novels) and part Brian Michael Bendis (of Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers fame).

Continue reading Carrots by Colleen Helme | Other Indie

Chris Walsh wins the nobel prize: Dream Journal

Oscar Wilde once wrote: ” A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave,” and I firmly believe that to be true. My mind misbehaves. My mind puts thing together in weird, creative, terminally-f’ed-up ways that make people look at me with their heads tilted and their eyebrows raised: especially when I say those thoughts out loud, which I often do, and which often makes me “that guy” at the party. But this is normal for an author: see people like new things in their fiction, and when we make new fiction we get positive reinforcement in the form of money and recognition: so our brain learns to do that messed up thing it did. It’s like Pavlov’s Dog meets Cards Vs Humanity: just a very bad positive feedback loop.

I say all this to prepare you for what may be an ongoing segment: Matt’s Dream Journal. We all have messed-up dreams, that’s true of us all. Dreams are our mind misbehaving, finding connections where there were none before… for someone who has taught their mind to be this way 24/7, this takes on some new meaning. You were warned

Continue reading Chris Walsh wins the nobel prize: Dream Journal

Sam Bauer reading Rocks Waterloo!

Samuel Bauer, reading at the University of Waterloo from “The Locket”

Samuel Bauer performed a reading of his short story, The Locket, to a full house of participants of the Lloyd Auckland Invitational Mathematics Workshop at the University of Waterloo on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016. The young author read his short, which appeared in the 2016 anthology collection Sci-Fi from the Rock, to a reaction of “stunned silence and applause,” one attendee stated.

The Auckland Workshop is a week of mathematical stimulation for young intellectuals from all over Canada and across the globe. It features various activities, trips, lectures and problem solving workshops. Students are invited based off their performance on the CEMC’s Cayley and Fermat contest, further proving Samuel Bauer’s unique status as a mind in science fiction: the sort of intellectual-creative double-threat mixtures that created the liked of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick.

The University of Waterloo has already produced some of the best modern voices in Canadian fiction, such as Kenneth Tam (His Majesty’s New World, Defense Command) and Conor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare), and continues this trend by continuing to foster young smart-creatives like Sam Bauer.

Be sure and support Bauer as well as sixteen other Canadian authors by picking up Sci-Fi from the Rock, available now.:)

Sci-Fi From the Rock (Paperback)
Ellen Curtis & Erin Vance (Editors)

Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016


Sci-Fi from the Rock (
Sci-Fi from the Rock (

Sci-Fi from the Rock(
Sci-Fi from the Rock (Barnes&Noble)

Kindle EBook: Sci-Fi from the Rock (
Kindle EBook: Sci-Fi from the Rock (


Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1926903293
Release Date: April 01, 2016
Status: Available
Book Type: Paperback (5 x 8 in)
Price (CAD): Buy Local: $20 / EBook: $3.89
Page Count: 280

 Related Titles


Whitecoat Light-Dark Super Galactic Space Explorers - Volume 2


Sam Bauer on Sci-Fi from the Rock

sammyYoung author Sam Bauer, who debuted in 2016’s stellar anthology collection Sci-Fi from the Rock has taken the time to share his thoughts and feelings about his neighboring stories in the collection.

Whitecoat by Kenneth Tam:
“After reading this, I definitely need to pick up a copy of the novel itself. Set in an alternate Newfoundland, with a somewhat nebulous difference from our own, the quality of this story promises great things from the novel.”

Sunny Days by Jennifer Combden:
“I love a good hard sci-fi piece. With this dealing with our own sun destroying us, it certainly fulfills the author’s purpose of informing people with literature.”

The Shoe by Matthew LeDrew:
“A brilliant story. This piece reminds us about how we may be viewed many years from now with other than human eyes.”

Sci-Fi from the Rock (2016)Immune by Jennifer Combden:
“Perspective plays a big role in literature, and the perspective chosen for this piece is excellent. The perspective of a child in a disaster is not one I often see, and it was used phenomenally in this piece.”

Hag Ridden by Tara Murphy:
“I love horror, as can be discerned from the fact I wrote a bit of horror in this anthology. This one is frightening because what happens in it could happen to anyone, without you being able to stop it. Brilliantly done!”

Invasion by Matthew LeDrew:
“Another chilling story by Engen’s resident horror writer. One of two horror stories by Matthew in this anthology, its unnerving tone and final reveal sent shivers down my spine.”

Continue reading Sam Bauer on Sci-Fi from the Rock

Buy Local with Engen Books

Engen Books recognizes that every dollar counts. As such we’re proud to announce our Buy Local campaign, which encourages readers in the St. Johns metro region and beyond to enjoy their favorite literature without paying excessive shipping or processing fees.

If you live in St. Johns or the immediate region, your books can be delivered to your door as well as signed and personalized, if so desired, for only $20 a book. This is all a part of our reader-first initiative that exists at the crux of all Engen Books ventures.

Available titles are listed before and will be kept up-to-date.  People outside the St. Johns region may be charged a small shipping fee depending on the location, with all payments to be made prior to delivery via PayPal except in special circumstances.

Continue reading Buy Local with Engen Books

Sinister Intent

Thomas Horton was a good cop.

Faced with early retirement as a result of his affiliation with the secretive and sometimes violent vigilante named Xander Drew, he tries to settle into civilian life: but there remain three unsolved cases from when he was on active duty. The facts of these three unsolved cases still keep him up at night.

Now in the short time since he left his position, one of the killers he could not catch has resurfaced: a serial killer who flaunts his sinister intent in front of the Los Angeles Police Department for all to see, making it so that no one is safe.

Unable to convince the rest of the LAPD of the connections between the two cases, Horton must again ally himself with Xander Drew, entering in a game of quid-pro quo in exchange for information about a dangerous gang-lord.

Without the badge to shield him, can Horton’s moral certainty survive another encounter with Xander?


Sinister Intent (Paperback)
Matthew LeDrew

Sinister Intent by Matthew LeDrew


Sinister Intent (
Sinister Intent (

Sinister Intent (
Sinister Intent (Barnes&Noble)


Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1926903262
Release Date: November 21, 2015
Status: Available
Book Type: Paperback (5 x 8 in)
Cover Price: Buy Local: $20 / EBook: $3.97
Page Count: 302

Related Titles

Chains The Long Road Cinders (Xander Drew, #1)


“It made for an interesting perspective of Xander as he continues to grow and change from someone hell bent on finding and punishing a single person, to someone who is willing to pause their own mission to help with the mission of another. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am hoping that Horton keeps showing up as the series continues. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait for the next one to come out.” – Kelly, GoodReads reader.


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