This post has been edited. Last edit 12/26/11.
Hear ye, hear ye.
The theme for our next anthology will be “While You Were Out: Stories of Life and Death and Life.”
The rule is simple, something in your story must temporarily die and be revived. That’s it, and as with all of our themes, we hold it with a very loose hand.
The temporarily passing thing does not have to be your main character, and it does not have to be the focal point of your story. The action does NOT have to take place while the character is temporarily dead.
We will accept characters who are perceived to be dead, or erroneously believe themselves to be dead. We will also accept metaphorical death (emotional, etc. – when she left me, I was dead inside), but you’d better sell it hard. We will also accept the death of an object, or even something intangible.
We will define “death” as “permanently ending a life.” So a character who abandons an old way of life or paradigm can qualify as “dead.”
You may write a supernatural story about the character’s experience half way on the other side (God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, Heaven is for Real), you may write a story about a character who is killed and then revived (basically every season of 24), you may even write a story about a man who believes his dog has died, but comes home to find out it was actually his neighbor’s dog (thus his dog is back alive) and he realizes marrying a mail-order Russian bride who knows very little English was not such a good idea… or anything in between.
You can write a story about a character that leaves his old way of life (socially, culturally or geographically), and then returns, or a character who experiences a religious death and new life (baptism-esque).
Also, feel free to be creative with your timeline so that the audience perceives something to be dead, and then alive again.
As with all of our anthology themes, the idea is not to box you in, but to inspire you and give you the freedom to take this in any direction you’d like. The sky is the limit on this one.
Submissions open January 1, 2012 and close on February 10, 2012. If you get started now, you’ve got some time to really make it shine. Don’t wait, write today.
Happy writing! Please contact us with any questions, or if you have an idea for a story that you’d like to confirm will qualify within this theme.