Friday, January 13, 2012

Wild at Heart Contest

Recently, I attended a retreat with five other writers from my local RWA chapter at a place called Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The experience was wonderful, as retreats usually are, but this one was different. Each morning we were treated to the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful cats in the nearby sanctuary. When we talked with one of the leaders of the refuge, she shared the most heartbreaking stories an animal-lover would ever hear. How these lovely animals were "adopted" as pets by owners who eventually couldn't abide or handle their special needs in an average they were abused...or how they were left to die. The refuge provides a wonderful place for these cats to go when no one else can help. They give them food, shelter, medical care, and their hearts.

My chapter, Diamond State Romance Writers, is offering an opportunity for writers to help these cats. Please read more below to see how you can help. ---Sandi

Wild at Heart
Editor: Delilah Devlin
Publisher: Diamond State Romance Authors
Deadline: April 1, 2012

Wild at Heart is open to all authors.

Editor Delilah Devlin is looking for stories for a special project to benefit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Recently, six Diamond State Romance Author chapter members spent a weekend falling in love with the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and its exotic inhabitants. The refuge is home to large cats and a variety of exotic animals that would otherwise have to be put down because they aren’t suitable for placement in zoos or to be returned to the wild. The need for financial support was apparent. Our chapter decided to pool its resources and find a way to help.

What we propose is to produce a volume of short stories, all centred around animals in need of refuge. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go directly to the Turpentine Creek Refuge. We will edit the submissions, seek professional cover art and formatting, and assist the refuge by uploading the anthology to online bookstores like Amazon’s Kindle store and Barnes & Noble’s Nook store. Additionally, we will help upload the book to CreateSpace so that printed volumes can be available for sale in brick-and-mortar bookstores throughout Arkansas and inside the refuge’s shop.

This is a national call for submissions of short stories to be donated for the cause. Only the best stories will be accepted. All genres of fiction (contemporary and paranormal, sweet adult romance and Young Adult) will be considered. Please keep in mind that stories must be PG-rated as the book will be two-sided—one side geared toward adult readers and the other toward teenaged readers.

Examples of the kinds of stories we seek:

A maimed Iraqi war veteran learns to accept his disability by working with equally damaged animals
A teenaged girl helps a were-cougar hide his true nature while both hunt for an escaped cat
A teenaged couple encounters a tiger escaped from its private owner’s cage and work together to find help to capture and care for it
A pushy animal psychic must gain the trust of the refuge’s veterinarian to help a depressed bear
A troubled teenager discovers a tiger living in a national forest, then seeks a way to prevent locals staging a hunt from killing it
How to submit: Prepare your 1,500 to 4,000 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12 point, black font Word document with pages numbered (.doc, NOT.docx) OR rich text format. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.

In your document at the top left of the page, include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories.

About the editor: Ms. Devlin has published over one hundred stories in multiple genres and lengths. Her published print titles include Into the Darkness, Seduced by Darkness, Darkness Captured, Down in Texas, Texas Men and Ravished by a Viking. Her short stories are featured in Zane’s Purple Panties, and Cleis Press’s Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Carnal Machines, and Dream Lovers. She is published by Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, Atria/Strebor, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Berkley. In Fall 2011, she debuted her first anthology with Cleis Press, Girls Who Bite.

Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at

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