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Andrew Hook
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 03:59 am:   

Our submission period for single-author short story collections starts from 1st May and finishes on 30th September on an annual basis. So as you can see, we're currently closed for subs at the moment.

However, we are currently seeking stories for a music-themed anthology: Extended Play. The guidelines for that book are posted below.

Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music

Edited by Gary Couzens


For most of us, music plays an important part of our lives. We use it as an art form, as a mood enhancer, as a way of remembering significant times in the past. Elastic Press is pleased to call for submissions for Extended Play, an anthology of short fiction in which music – any kind of music, or a particular piece or song – plays a vital part in the story.

Extended Play (EP) is also a term for a record that was longer than a single but shorter than an album. In story terms, this anthology will be showcasing stories that you could call long shorts or short novellas or novelettes. For this anthology we’re looking for stories in the range of 8000 to 15000 words. The greater length gives you greater scope for characterisation and depth of theme and complexity of plot, while still benefiting from the conciseness and focus of short fiction as opposed to a full-length novel. It does not mean a padded short story, or an underdeveloped novella. Writers who often work in this length range whose work I particularly admire include Elizabeth Hand, M. John Harrison, Ian R. MacLeod, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Geoff Ryman and Lucius Shepard. That should give you some idea of my tastes, but I’m not asking you to copy any of them. In general, a strong authorial voice and some depth of characterisation will work more for me than a fast-moving plot written with little style and flat characterisation.

1. Stories should be written in English and be between 8000 and 15000 words. Any genre or theme or style will be considered. Originals only, though work previously published in another language will be considered. First English-language Anthology Rights will be bought.

2. Most important: authors are responsible for obtaining permission for, and paying for, reprinting copyright material such as song lyrics. In general, it’s probably best not to do this – instead you could make up your own lyrics or quote material that is in the public domain. Song titles are not copyrighted. If an author cannot clear rights, then Elastic Press reserve the right to edit the story or not to publish it.

3. Please submit only in hard copy and in standard manuscript format, though an electronic version will be asked for if the story is accepted. Any manuscript that is hard to read will be rejected unread.

4. Stories will be read anonymously, though those accepted will be published with author’s bylines. Please include your name and contact details on a title page, but not on any pages of the manuscript itself. This information will be removed by Elastic Press prior to sending me the story to read.

5. Please include either a self-addressed envelope with sufficient return postage (UK stamps or International Reply Coupons) or alternatively send a disposable manuscript with a valid email address.

6. Any story which is inappropriate will be returned as soon as possible. Stories which are being seriously considered will be held for further consideration. If you wish to know if your story is being held, please indicate on your covering letter and enclose a further SAE or provide an email address. No other correspondence will be entered into regarding the acceptance or rejection of stories and no comments on rejected stories can be guaranteed.

7. The deadline for submissions is 30th April 2006. At the moment, the likelihood is that payment will be one copy of the anthology only, although in the event that we are able to pay our contributors then the guidelines will be amended accordingly.

8. Elastic Press will publish Extended Play in late 2006/early 2007 and there will be a public launch at a date and venue to be advised.

9. If for any reason the anthology cannot be published, then stories and all rights to them will be returned to the authors.

10. In the meantime, feel free to buy any other Elastic Press books!

Submit all manuscripts to: Elastic Press, 85 Gertrude Road, Norwich, NR3 4SG, ENGLAND.
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Andrew Hook
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 02:36 am:   

This statement should be read in conjunction with the guidelines for “Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music” which can be found either above, or here on the Elastic Press website.

The deadline for submissions for this anthology is 30th April 2006, and to date we’ve had an encouraging and steady influx of stories, with the overall quality quite high. Perhaps unsurprisingly several stories are about being in/hanging around with local/amateur/student bands in the recent past (which presumably corresponds to the author's late teens or early twenties), and whilst we’re not discouraging any more of these stories – we’re not making any firm acceptances until the deadline passes – to avoid the repetition of theme such stories will need to beat a lot of competition to make the final cut.

Secondly, we’re finding there are quite a lot of stories about rock music (and everyone's taste is oh-so-credible at that!). Naturally, the quality of the story will take precedence over anything else, but where are all the good classical stories, or dance stories, or something about world music? Or how about a story about a nine year old girl who was into Busted but is now into McFly? And what about when Take That split? There is a place for naff music if you can find a great angle upon which to hang a story!

With four months to go there is still plenty of opportunity to gain a place in what we hope will be another groundbreaking anthology from the award-winning Elastic Press. Write your story now!
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Andrew Hook
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 12:08 pm:   

We've been receiving some great stories for Extended Play and it's exciting to see the book take shape. Several stories have been held for a second reading, and the final decisions will be made shortly after 30th April 2006 when the deadline closes. However, we're still looking for new stories, and with 7 weeks to go there's still plenty of time to write and mail your submission. Refresh your memory with our guidelines and get scribbling!

We're also looking for some reasonably well known musicians to provide some comments to intersperse with the fiction. Should anyone be in contact with anyone famous, please email me :-)

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