An Anthology of Not So Normal Narrators
Genre: Short Story Anthology of diverse YA voices
with stories by
K.C. Finn, Kell Cowley, Eddie House,
Mary Ball Howkins, Tonia Markou, Jack Bumby,
A Rose, Colby Wren Fierek, Oceania Chee, Catherine Johnson
In every new story we pick up, we’re seeking an exciting original voice. So why are there still voices we don’t hear from nearly enough? Why are there characters that so rarely take centre stage? In this collection from Odd Voice Out press, we discover the stories of twelve teenagers who stand out from the crowd and who’ll not easily be forgotten.
With settings that range from Scotland to Syria, Mexico to Mauritius, Africa to Russia, these stories take us to all corners of the globe and into the lives of young people with their own unique circumstances and perspectives. Characters dealing with issues of culture and class, exploring their sexuality and gender identity, or letting us into their experiences with illness, disability or neurodiversity. Their tales span all genres and can’t be reduced to labels. These are stories about bending the rules and breaking the law. Stories of fighting for survival and finding your place in the world. Stories of family solidarity, unlikely friendships and aching first love told by teenagers who don’t always fit in and aren’t often heard.
With a foreword by award winning YA author Catherine Johnson, this anthology brings together the top ten stories of Odd Voice Out’s 2019 Not So Normal Narrators contest, as well as bonus stories from in-house authors Kell Cowley and K.C. Finn.
My advice to anyone creating a different and distinctive character remains the same. When I read, I want to be swept away by the story. That’s all I ever want. Whether it’s a book that I pick up off a Waterstones shelf or an unpublished story by a mentee – that’s what I want. All stories are character and situation. Your characters have to be three dimensional, they have to have wants and needs. And the best way to get to know them is by seeing them in action. If you were making a friend, then you wouldn’t present them with a list of statistics or ask what they have in their pockets. Let’s see what they do and how they talk. That’ll tell us who they are. I absolutely believe all our stories should be diverse – and this isn’t a stick to beat new (or old) writers with. It’s a widening of the playing field and offers more opportunities to many, many, more sorts of stories. Trust your story and trust yourself. Tell the sorts of stories you’d like to read, and more importantly than that keep writing. It’s most often not your first story that will find an audience but your fourth, your fifth, or your eleventh. Just keep going!
Teens of Tomorrow Writing Contest Information:
YA Fiction's March into the Future
Open for Entries: Friday 21st February, 2020
Deadline: Monday 31st August, 2020
Prompt: Future-Focused Diverse Teen Fiction
Prize: £200, £100, £50 (First, second and third prize respectively)
Publication: A dedicated anthology will include the top ten tales, available winter 2020/21.
Wordcount: 2000 - 5000
Internationally open to entrants aged fourteen and above.
We stand at the dawn of a new and uncertain decade. Here at Odd Voice Out press we are calling for short stories that reflect the socio-political issues that young people are dealing with now and will continue to tackle in the coming years. Entries submitted to our Teens of Tomorrow contest can be any genre - fantastical or realistic - and they may be set in the future, the present or even the past, provided that they centre on forward-looking teenage characters grappling with the world around them, the times ahead of them and the roles they personally aspire to play. Send us your utopias, dystopias, protest stories, political thrillers, social satires, climate fiction and prophetic steampunk.
Turn the hashtags trending today into a powerful YA story of tomorrow!
Enter @ http://contest.oddvoiceout.com
Any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Full Details
Your short stories with ‘odd voices’ must be written for a YA audience (that’s around 12 to 19 years old), but other than that they may be set in any genre or time period. This means that relevant content which is sexual, violent or contains extreme language will be accepted, provided it is somewhat moderated for a teen audience, rather than for adults (think about movies rated 15, compared to 18).
Our contest is open to writers aged fourteen and over from all nationalities and backgrounds (you should be at least fourteen years old by the closing date for entries). Entries must be no more 5,000 words long and be a minimum of 2000 words. Your entry should not have been previously published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, or have won or been highly placed (e.g. shortlisted or semi-finalist) in another competition at any other time. Longlisted stories are acceptable, provided they have not been in print or online in full.
After our closing date of Monday 31st August, we will select ten finalists to feature in an anthology collection that will be made available in ebook and print editions, to be released alongside our usual book range. The winning entry will also receive a £200 cash prize, whilst second and third place will receive £100 and £50 respectively. All ten finalists will also be invited to participate in social media promotions, live events, interviews and broadcasts as per the promotion schedule for the anthology.
To cover prize fees and reading time, there is a small entry fee of £4 per story, payable via PayPal at the time of entering. Authors may enter up to five different stories, but must pay the entry fee for each one as a separate entry and transaction.
Co-authored stories are accepted, up to a maximum of two authors per story, and in the event of winning, authors would share the prize money evenly.
Odd Voice Out is an independent literary press, publishing YA and crossover stories filled with unique characters thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Our genre-bending books take contemporary social and political themes and explore them through a range of historical, futuristic, surreal and supernatural settings. Our diverse young heroes are never your typical leading guys and girls, but are flawed insecure misfits struggling with everything from racial and sexual identity, to body issues, disabilities, mental health and worst of all, being teenagers growing up in worlds gone mad.
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