Mysterion has open submissions and pays professional rates of 6 cents/word upon acceptance (3 cents/word for reprints). For our first volume, we received over 450 stories covering a broad range of themes, and published twenty that we felt best reflected the sort of deep, probing exploration of the faith that we were looking for.
The first Mysterion anthology:
What Makes Us Different
Mysterion is the only short fiction market that specializes in Christian-themed speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror) and pays professional rates.
Unlike many pro-paying anthologies, we don't reserve most of our space for established authors. The first Mysterion was assembled entirely from open submissions. This gives newer writers a better chance of acceptance, and gives us the freedom to select stories entirely on the basis of how much we like them and how well they fit with others we've chosen.
Unlike many Christian publishers, we don't expect all our authors to be Christians. Nor do we maintain strict content guidelines around sex, violence, and language; or around theology. We've published stories written from deeply Christian perspectives, and stories critical of the Christian faith. We're more interested in the questions than the answers, in promoting dialogue than in telling people what to believe.
Our Funding Goals
We're asking for $5000, which is about what it costs to pay our authors for an 80,000 word anthology. Stretch goals include funding for a full wrap-around cover, a higher pay rate, and additional stories.
- $5000 Open for submissions in 2017, publish in 2018
- $6000 Upgrade to full wrap-around cover
- $7500 Payment increases to 7 cents/word for original fiction
- $8500 Add an additional story
- $10,000 Payment increases to 8 cents/word for original fiction
- $11,000 Add a second additional story
About Enigmatic Mirror Press
Donald S. Crankshaw and Kristin Janz founded Enigmatic Mirror Press to publish science fiction, fantasy, and horror not easily categorized as either Christian or general market fiction.
Donald has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, which was more useful for writing fantasy than he had expected, though less helpful for writing science fiction than he had hoped. He has published stories in Nature Futures, Daily Science Fiction, and Black Gate.
Kristin is a Canadian fantasy and science fiction writer and a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her stories have appeared in Escape Pod, Daily Science Fiction, and On Spec. She has an M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist for over a decade.
Donald and Kristin met at a church writers' group in 2009, bonded almost immediately over their shared love of speculative fiction and ancient Roman history, and have been married since 2011. They live in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Our Track Record
We're new to publishing, but the first Mysterion anthology received positive reviews from Tangent Online, Cemetery Dance Online, and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination; and four of our stories made it onto the Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List.
Here's some of what they said:
Whether you are Christian or not, the anthology is worth reading.
- Ben Wheeler at Tangent Online
“When I Was Dead” left me thoughtful, not least of all because its title implies the narrator’s state of death is transitory. If this is only a moment in eternity, where he passes from one state to another, what comes next and how will he get there? Case offers no easy answers but provokes conversation.
- Gillian Daniels at Fantastic Stories of the Imagination
Now comes Mysterion, and in my opinion, it’s an absolute success. One of the things which drew me to this collection in particular is that it’s a collection of “speculative fiction.” Like the Whispers magazine edited by Stuart David Schiff and its “Best of” collections, there’s no “theme” past speculative stories grappling with elements of faith. Stories in Mysterion range from fantasy, to mythic horror, horror, urban fantasy, historical speculative fiction, science fiction to dystopian fiction. All of them well-told and well-written, grappling with different elements of the Christian faith, but not proselytizing or preaching.
- Kevin Lucia at Cemetery Dance Online
Stay tuned for the Mysterion 2 cover art reveal! Until then, we're showing off Rob Joseph's art from the first Mysterion. Our project header image is a preliminary sketch Rob did for us that eventually morphed into the final wraparound cover featured on the book's paperback edition.
Risks and challenges
Any anthology is only as good as its stories, and since we have open submissions, we don't know yet what stories we're going to get. That said, for the first anthology, we only had room for a third of the stories that we would have loved to publish. So, although we don't yet have any authors lined up, we're confident that we will be able to find enough excellent material to put together a second volume of first-rate stories.
As independent publishers, the two of us don't need approval from any outside groups, either for the overall project or for individual stories.
Delays and setbacks are always possible, especially with such a small team as ours. But we've already shown that we know how to bring an anthology project from idea to completion. We know how much work is involved, and are committed to delivering this second installment in our anthology series, and keeping backers informed on our progress along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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