Call for Dystopian Submissions!

*Submissions for this thread are closed*

Over the last three years, the From the Rock series has become one of the preeminent anthology series’ in Atlantic Canada. We have been home to some amazing established talent and helped some new authors break through that have gone on to dominate their fields, becoming genre bestsellers in their own right. From the Rock is a title readers consistently ask for, review well, and a great way for avid readers to get introduced to indie talent they might find interesting.

And this year, we’re doing it again!

After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock and Fantasy from the Rock the sheer amount of amazing submissions we got for Chillers from the Rock, Engen Books has decided to continue the From The Rock line with Dystopia from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2019 at the 13th annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

“The response to the series has been magnificent,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “What Vance, Curtis, and the talented authors they work with have done is create an incredible ecosystem for amazing stories to thrive, from both established talent and authors just getting their footing. From the Rock is an equal opportunity title, where every entry gets a fair shot — and as a result it’s become an industry standard for incredible genre fiction and the place to look to find the blockbuster talent of tomorrow.”

Though 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, which continued into the third volume, Chillers from the Rock. This new collection will focus more on a specific settings of the genre fiction landscape: Dystopia from the Rock will feature PG-13 future-looking stories set in the sci-fi, fantasy, and thriller genres; exploring the dark futures that our authors may see looming ahead. 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.

29155838In the past few years, Atlantic Canadian talent has become adept at channeling into the popular consciousness of the world’s hopes and fears to bring groundbreaking dystopian tales, including Scott Bartlett’s groundbreaking Out of Dodge series of dystopian satire novels. Atlantic Canadian authors are on the cusp of this in demand market, and the next breakout star could be you!

Other authors have expressed interest, but anyone can submit to be a part of this Spring 2019 collection! Deadline is October 31, 2018 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 dystopia. We define dystopia as an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. However, this leaves room for either of the 3 main genres to take part in your dystopian setting: fantasy, science-fiction, or thriller! Will your story have a hopeful ending or will the dystopia endure? That’s up to each of you. 🙂

Will Non-Dystopian 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, Dystopian comes first.

What *is* Dystopia?

To try and help clarify what Dystopia can mean, we’re developed a helpful guide and reading list for those interested in reading more about it prior to submitting.

What does it pay?

Payments start at a minimum of $0.01 CAD per word to an upper limit of 3000 words. Our pay scale is intrinsically tied to how well the collection did in its previous year of publication, and is intended as a starting point to grow from. Authors may find that when discussing contracts for their stories upon accepting the per-word and word-cap may both be higher than presented here.

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!🙂

Do you accept reprints?

Yes, so long as you hold the copyright to allow us to publish it in the collection and the other criteria for the collection are met.

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, 2018 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.

Banner Photo Credit: Steve Lake Photography


13 thoughts on “Call for Dystopian Submissions!”

    1. We only started paying with the last collection and we’re hoping this year to up the pay, but we are never sure till the numbers come back. Last year was 1 cent per word capped at 3000 words, but this collection may end up being more if we do well. We shall see ❤


  1. So are all applicants contacted via email, or only those applicants whom Engen Books regard as having particularly high potential to be accepted? I imagine there’s probably quite a lot of applicants and so if it turns out that it may take weeks or even months to get an email, I’d understand.


  2. “We regret that due to the volume of submissions we receive we will be unable to acknowledge receipt of entries.”

    I’m curious as to what this means. It’s been over 6 weeks without a peep; will all those who submitted stories still be informed as to whether they’ve been accepted or rejected?


    1. Yes, everyone will be notified if they got in or not. All that means is that we don’t send emails acknowledging we got your email. Confirmation or rejection emails should go out just after Christmas.


  3. Ah, fantastic! So a little more than a week, golden. I’m sure some more flight-related submissions will get sent off as well but the deadline isn’t until around Valentine’s Day as I recall so there’s LOTS of time for that yet. Anyhow, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Thanks a lot for the opportunity to become traditionally published, whether or not it pans out! 🙂


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