“The Touch of the Taniwha” by Tracie McBride (Fish) is

“The Touch of the Taniwha” by Tracie McBride is a finalist for the 2013 Aurealis Awards, in the category of “Best Fantasy Short Fiction”. The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards.

Fish was edited by Carrie Cuinn and KV Taylor, and published in 2013. You can learn more about the anthology here, and read Tracie’s author interview here.

The ceremony will take place April 5, 2014 in Canberra, and we wish Tracie the best of luck!

Poll: How often do you want to get your fiction?

Though news of our upcoming short fiction magazine is starting to leak out around the edges, we’re keeping a lid on it until we have a few more details settled. The biggest one is deciding whether to have the magazine go out to subscribers on a monthly or quarterly basis.

We plan to offer an annual subscription that would email you an ebook (epub or mobi format, DRM free) of the zine. This means you’ll either get the June issue or the Summer quarterly issue, depending on what we decide. If you get the June issue, for example, you’d have all of the June fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and art in advance, usually a day or two before June begins. That content (except for a few choice pieces only available to subscribers) would be posted on the website for free throughout the month. If you don’t subscribe you can still read, but you have to come back to the site over the whole month to get it all. This way we can meet the needs of people who want their content in one easy-to-get package, and those readers who don’t subscribe can still read our offerings, with a little more work.

We did an informal poll on Twitter and respondents were almost evenly split between those who would want to get their e-zines delivered monthly, and those who wanted a bigger chunk sent to them all at once each quarter. Since we’re publishing short fiction, 1500 words or less, this isn’t as overwhelming as three months worth of larger pieces, though we will be offering a more stories in the same amount of time.

As a comparison: Lightspeed (a great genre magazine you should be reading) sends out monthly ezines, with two original fantasy and two original science fiction stories, along with an equal number of reprinted stories, plus interviews, and a novella for the ezine subscribers that doesn’t appear on the website later. We will offer 8 or 9 original short fiction stories, plus four pieces of original genre poetry, plus four non-fiction essays, plus contributor interviews, plus art. And the ezine subscribers will get extra content. It’s about the same as Lightspeed in terms of words, but it’s broken up differently.

So, which would you prefer? Monthly or quarterly?

Submission Tips

While most publishers share some basic submission guidelines, each company has their own particular style, and is looking for different things in a submission. Please consider the following guidelines when submitting to Dagan Books:

  • Submit through the appropriate channels. Short stories are submitted through our portal, hosted via Submittable. Check here for open anthology submissions, and here for novels and novellas. To submit a story, you have to follow that link; you can’t email your story to us. Regardless of how familiar you are with various members of our staff, please do not contact them to submit your story. By using our portal, we can ensure than each submission gets a response, gets looked at (usually by multiple readers), and is sorted through to the appropriate title.
  • If your story fits the stated requirements as to word count, subject matter, and so on, don’t query. Just send it in. If the story does not fit into those rules, absolutely do query before sending it in. Queries should be sent to submissions [at] daganbooks [dot] com. A query should not contain a detailed synopsis. It should simply state the way in which your story does not fit, and ask if we would read it anyway. We’ll let you know.
  • Do not, ever, under any circumstances, query to ask whether we’d like your story. There is no way we can tell you without reading the whole thing. Sometimes, inexperienced authors will do this thinking that it will save them time, and that they’ll only be submitting to editors who are predisposed to buying the story. Occasionally they will offer an excuse as to why they’re asking. Trust us when we say that we can tell why you’re asking, and the answer will always be the same. Send it in, or don’t send it. It’s up to you.
  • Use a 12 point font, preferably Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial. Don’t get fancy. Black type on a white page only. Follow the instructions to make sure that you’re submitting the correct document format, but in general we prefer .doc or .odt files. We’d rather not get .rtf files.
  • Do not put an extra space between paragraphs. Use the tab to indent the beginning of paragraphs. Put only one space between sentences.
  • Double space your submission.
  • Use italics or bold or underlined where you mean them. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to, you must note this at the BEGINNING of the story, so we understand that as we read it.
  • Make sure that your story is aligned-left, or justified – never aligned-right or centered. That’s hard to read.
  • Proof your story before submitting it. We suggest reading it aloud. That works for us.
  • When we say no simultaneous submissions, we mean it. We’re not saying it would definitely prejudice us against buying future work from you, but it probably will.

Our guidelines are based on our experience turning your submission into a print or electronic book. Making it easier to read your manuscript or saving us a little time when we’re formatting your story for publication makes our editors happy, and happy editors buy more of your work.

Updates and random data for BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA:

  • so far, we’ve received 110 submissions, and sent responses to all of them. If you have NOT received a response to your submission, please check your spam filter. If it is not there, please contact us.
  • of that total, we’ve passed on 90 and have kept 20 in the pool of stories we’re seriously considering.
  • of those 20, 11 are by men, and 9 by women.
  • of those 20, 6 are by Canadians.

Keep those submissions coming!

More information (and the submission form) can be found here: http://daganbooks.submishmash.com/submit

Bibliotheca Fantastica Anthology is Now Open For Submissions!

You may now submit your stories for our upcoming Bibliotheca Fantastica anthology! If your story is ready to go, please see our submission form at:


Looking for the guidelines for this project? Please see our post about it HERE.

We will accept submissions from December 15, 2011, at noon EST, to midnight EST on March 31, 2012.

Answers to Some Questions About Our Submissions Process

We’ve recently gotten some questions about our submissions process and have put together a few answers for you. If you’re thinking about submitting a novel to us, or a short story to one of our open anthologies, please read on.

Q. Who should I address my novel submission to?

A. All novel submissions are read by our Publisher and Head of Acquisitions, Carrie Cuinn. At this time she would be the person who would make a decision on your novel, novella, or short story collection, so please put your cover letters to her attention.

Q. What about Don Pizarro or K. V. Taylor?

A. K.V. Taylor is a frequent contributor and the co-editor of FISH, but is not an employee of Dagan Books. Don Pizarro is an editor on multiple projects, but is not currently reading novel submissions.

Q. If you turn down my novel, can I rewrite my query letter and try again?

A. Unless your novel has drastically changed from our first rejection, please don’t resubmit it. We do keep track of the queries we receive, and while multiple queries makes you memorable, it isn’t for a good reason.

Q. Why don’t you accept romance novels, sword-and-sorcery fantasy novels, works with religious themes or [insert other genre here]?

A. Because we don’t want to publish those things. Partially it’s because they’re not genres that we read much of, for fun, and partially because by limiting our books to the genres we truly love, we can make better decisions. We’ll be comparing your work to a wider range of books, because we’ll have read more in that genre, and we’ll know what’s selling, what’s lacking in the market, and so on. There are plenty of other publishers who would be interested in your manuscript about the power of Angels to bring you romance, for example, but that’s not what we’re looking for.

[Read more…]

NEW ANTHOLOGY: Bibliotheca Fantastica opens for submissions Dec 15, 2011

We are pleased to announce that we will be publishing a new anthology for 2012, edited by Don Pizarro! With an original cover by Art Director Galen Dara, and a commitment to bringing the same kind of diversity and originality that you’ve come to expect from our publications, we are sure this anthology will be wonderful. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of it? Details are below:

Bibliotheca Fantastica

What we want: Stories having to do with lost, rare, weird, or imaginary books, or any aspect of book history or book culture, past, present, future, or uchronic. Any genre. Although the fantastical is not essential per se, stories should evoke a sense of the fantastic, the unknown, the weird, wonder, terror, mystery, pulp, and/or adventure, etc.

Originals only, no reprints. No simultaneous submissions. Prose fiction only (no poetry). Accepting stories of up to 10,000 words in length. We will accept two submissions per author.

Do not describe the story in your cover letter. Please put the word count on the first page of your submission. Please format italics in italics (no underline).

We will accept submissions from December 15, 2011, at noon EST, to midnight EST on March 31, 2012. We are taking submissions through an automated system that will not allow you to submit before December 15, but the link to do so will appear here: http://daganbooks.submishmash.com/submit

Dagan Books is paying 2 cents per word for each accepted story, plus contributor copies. Bibliotheca Fantastica will be available in both print and ebook, and is scheduled to be published Fall 2012.