Ready, set, create for Harvard Book Store anthology before Feb. 13 deadline arrives

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Harvard Book Store's first “Microchondria” collection of short fiction
The Harvard Book Store’s first “Microchondria” collection of short fiction came out in 2010.

It’s not just short fiction the Harvard Book Store wants for its latest sprint toward a local fiction anthology. Artists also get to participate in “Microchondria II: 42 More Short Short Stories Collected by Harvard Book Store,” with editors saying they’ll select three for use when the collection is printed in-house for sale next month.

The submission period started today and ends at 11:59 p.m., Feb. 13.

The store ran the first “Microchondria” contest in February 2010, vowing to create an entire book in 28 days. The micro-fiction by writers across the country was published on the store’s state-of-the-art print-on-demand machine, “Paige” – now replaced by a machine editors say is “statelier-of-the-art.”

Stories can be no more than 500 words. Store staff get two weeks to review the submissions, pick 42 favorites and assemble them with the winning art into a book. The first copy of “Microchondria II” will be printed on or before March 1, with an in-store launch party and reading scheduled for March 7. Staff will print copies during the event with whichever cover buyers want from the winning three.

The rules:

bullet-gray-small Stories must be original, previously unpublished and composed between Feb. 1 and the close of submissions. All styles and genres will be considered. Stories may not exceed 500 words. Writers may submit up to three stories. Stories must be submitted as individual doc, docx or pdf attachments. Writers should include a 30-word-or-less bio to be used as a contributor note if their work is selected for publication. (Canadians allowed!)

bullet-gray-small Front cover art designs must be original and produced in the submission period. They must include the text “Microchondria II: 42 More Short Short Stories Collected by Harvard Book Store” in the design. Artwork should not contain copyrighted images or images the artist doesn’t own. It must be 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches with a quarter-inch bleed, submitted as a 300 dpi pdf file. Artists may submit up to three designs here.

Writers and designers whose original work is selected (and agree to give the store first-publication and some reuse rights) will get a contributor copy and an encouragement to use Paige on their own publishing project – a promise to waive a $50 setup fee for the device.

Read more here.

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