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YA anthology “That Moment When”

Update submissions are closed and this YA anthology is published! Stay tuned or join the  AAYAA on Facebook if you want to apply for the next one.


The Alliance of Young Adult Authors and The YA Shelf are now accepting short stories for our next YA anthology. – NEW Submission End Date: TBA

Greetings! This is Derek Murphy. I’ve been asked to organize an anthology by the AAYAA and The YA Shelf. This is the next anthology, and we want to do it well: so it will be heavily screened and edited – you’re welcome to apply but no spots are guaranteed.

This is the next of probably many, because I love the idea of authors working together to build a platform and connect with YA readers; but it has to be done well enough that everyone’s reputation is raised by the association – which means it needs excellent production quality.

As a designer, I can make it look amazing; as an editor (and now PhD in Literature) I’m qualified to make sure all the stories included are powerful and compelling.

Sci-fi, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Theme

This time around we want to narrow down the next anthology to the YA sci-fi, dystopian/post-apocalyptic sub-genres.

We will maintain the same overall theme, which is “That moment when…”.

All the stories will still include the common YA denominators (teenage protagonist, relationships, rebellion, self-discovery, etc.) and focus on a moment when the curtain drops: the illusion is shattered, the reality is revealed. This should work well, since you can build up an apparent setting just to surprise readers with the truth.

We’re shooting for stories of about 5,000 words (keep it within 4k to 6k), which would be enough to establish a scene, introduce conflict, and reach a peak moment of surprise – doing this well will be challenging, but will add a lot of impact to the stories, since readers will keep reading knowing they’re being set up, and wondering how the author is going to surprise them.

ALSO, I think it’s fine if you want this to be the beginning of a story or novel – so you could end with a cliffhanger surprise and then say “get the rest of this story by signing up on my website.” That will help build your list and incentivize readers to take action and follow up with the authors they enjoyed (but, it would be better if you give away the rest of the story as an optin bonus, rather than a first chapter in a story for sale).

I’m not going to limit the number of stories; ideally we’d get up to 30 and make it a much bigger launch (more authors=more success for everyone). However, as I said, we need to be picky and selective about submissions.

If your story is interesting but needs work, I’ll post comments on it (privately). If your idea is brilliant but the writing needs polishing, I might help to improve it. If, of course, you don’t like my changes, you can withdraw the story from inclusion.

As the editor/organizer, my duty is to the young adult readers, and making sure they are blown away by the writing and stories.

Listed Price

For me it’s better if this is free – so we don’t need to worry about the money, and because it will mean more downloads and exposure for everyone. I can add a very short bio after every story with a link, and maybe at the end a list to all of our social media profiles or something…

This should be great for authors who have just one or two books out but nothing permafree yet.

I’m flexible, and if we do more anthologies in the future we might want to charge. If any of the anthologies I organize make any money, I’ll invest it all in building up the YA author alliance platform or advertising to promote the anthologies.

What you get / Promotion

If selected, you’ll be expected to promote the launch with your audience at least once (but you won’t need to pimp it like you would one of your own books). I’ll promote it on my platforms and lists (over 15K young adult readers and growing) and use my blog network to make sure it ranks on the first page of Google for relevant keyword searches. (I’ll also link to your site from a few of my blogs to boost your rankings).

I’ll also make sure the free anthology hits #1 in its categories on launch day and stays pretty high in Amazon rankings long term. So, for your 5000 word story, and very little effort on your part, you’ll get a considerable, long-term visibility boost that will make your writing buddies jealous.

Stay Up To Date

Please join us in our AAYAA Facebook group as well as in our YA Anthology Facebook group.

How to Submit

Please fill out the form below and that is it!

Stories will be chosen on the quality of the writing and the quality of the story (some stories may be great, but the writing mediocre, some writing may be great but the stories mediocre… most will probably be somewhere in between, but I’ll try to assist each author make their story as amazing as it can be).

At the top of your submission, please list your name, story title, website. Make sure it’s YA and matches the current sub-genre, and make it clean (no swearing or overt sex, though you can use swearing substitutions, and long, lingering lustful glances are fine).

The final cover design will depend on which genres are more represented.

Deadline = TBA

We’d like to publish in (TBA).

Legal Stuff

We are not responsible for the writing you submit through the Jotform submission process. Make sure you receive an email confirmation for a successful submission. Only those with the link can access the folder, but make sure you keep a back up of your story in a different place on your computer.

If we don’t use your story, you’re free to publish it elsewhere. Even if we do publish your story, you will keep all the rights – you can publish it somewhere else or on your website.

We are casual about legal stuff, so if you are not and are worried about someone stealing your hard work, don’t submit: we aren’t prepared to make any promises or guarantees that would make us liable… we will do the best we can to help all authors involved, and will try to alleviate any concerns you have, but we hope you’ll see this is a fun exercise to give away and build your platform, rather than something you need to defend and protect legally.

Please share!

If you have YA authors friends or are part of other communities, please let them know about this anthology!

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