Call for Scary submissions!

After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock and the sheer amount of amazing submissions we got for Fantasy from the Rock, Engen Books has decided to continue the From The Rock line with Chillers from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2018 at the 12th annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

“The response from fans old and new over the course of this year has been overwhelming,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “Last year 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. This year we’ve got some equally stellar talent on board, as the formulae of combining new fiction writers with established fiction writers has worked out to the benefit of both and made for really great, new, dynamic collections that are at the top of everyone’s reading lists.”

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. Fantasy from the Rock shifted to genre-specific fantasy stories to great success. This new collection will focus more on a specific tone than locking authors down to one particular genre: Chillers from the Rock will feature PG-13 thriller, chiller, creepy, and scary stories that will range over a broad mix of genres and show off our author’s abilities to excite and thrill in any setting. Each successive volume of From the Rock will showcase different talent within the Canadian writing scene.

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

Smoke and Mirrors coverSmoke and Mirrors author Matthew LeDrew has already expressed interest in returning to his thrillers series, Black Womb, for the collection.”One of the great things about what Vance and Curtis have done is made this platform where readers can feel safe trying indie fiction: they can get a little of everyone, a buffet of fiction, and decide what they like, secure that until their guidance the collection as a whole will be stellar. I’m looking forward to introducing people that may never have checked out my thriller series to some of its charms, and bringing old fans back for a little more of what they loved.”

Other authors have expressed interest, but anyone can submit to be a part of this Spring 2018 collection! Deadline is October 31, 2017 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 to PG-13. 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.

What genres will be accepted?

This year we will be focusing on chillers. We define chillers as being less a set genre than it is a tone, and our authors will prove that said tone can be applied to any genre, including science-fiction, fantasy, contemporary fiction, or any genre in between. Thrillers and chillers are about making you audience uneasy and tense for eventual dramatic payoff: less about gore than it is about suspense!

Will Non-Chillers 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, Chillers 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 10,000 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 looking to celebrate great Canadian genre writing! We do this as a link to our partner, the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. 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 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?

October 31, 2017 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!



We regret that due to the volume of submissions we receive we will be unable to acknowledge receipt of entries or respond to ineligible entries.

Banner photo credit: Steve Lake.

17 thoughts on “Call for Scary submissions!”

    1. Currently we don’t pay for submission for the “From the Rock” series, although submitters do receive discounts when ordering books. It’s seen as a tool to get your work out to a wide audience and possibly lead to your own collection or novel, which does make revenue 🙂


      1. I’ll also add, the discounted rate for ordering print copies is specifically designed to allow authors to earn revenue while selling the book themselves. We have found this is the best way to accommodate both the established authors who submit and who write as their career, and the emerging authors looking to test the waters in the industry.


  1. Somebody recommended that i submit a story to this collection and im looking at doing so, but the piece i had been working on that i thought about submitting is a little heavy in the ‘language’ department. Should i submit the piece as is and then we can work to change some of the language during editing to get it down to a PG 13 level or try and change it all first?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this happens often. We often reach a compromise with the author in which curse words get “bleeped” out with symbols, like the old Archie comics used to do. (Example: “$&@! You!”) 😉


      1. Excellent. I just finished the piece, which is sitting at around 8400 words. Going to give it some pass throughs and have some fresh eyes read it over the next few days and then i will submit!

        Liked by 1 person

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