“The Sea, Our Home” Short Story Collection

Announced September 23, 2020

Quarter Castle Publishing is making a Call for Submissions for a short story collection to honour those who lived and died by the sea.


The goal is to tell the stories of life by the sea. It’s a unique existence, one in which the tides and winds set the pace. There are many joys, hardships and tragedies from living by the constantly changing waters gracing our shores in Atlantic Canada. For families who have spent generations breathing in the intoxicating saltwater-laced breeze, the sea is in our blood; it is our home. We will live here and die here.

The collection is entitled The Sea, Our Home – Honouring the resilient men and women who forged a living along the rugged coastline of Atlantic Canada throughout the centuries.


Submissions will be accepted between September 23, 2020 and March 15, 2021.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to all residents of Atlantic Canada, and those who once lived here and still love and miss the sea. First-time authors and seasoned veterans are welcome to submit their short stories.


Only entries in English are accepted.

What is the length?

Short stories must be between 1,000 and 6,000 words.

Response Time

4 to 6 weeks


$40.00 per accepted short story.

Audience Age

Age 16 and up.

A Word About Theme and Genre

Stories must contain an element of the sea, either honouring it or cursing it. Characters can be fictional or loosely based on a real person.

The story can be set in current times or as far back in history as you want to take it. Preference will be given to stories grounded in the lives of generations of the past, those who lived before year 2000.

We are accepting stories that fit the contemporary genre (No fantasy, science fiction, etc). That said, a touch of either will be acceptable if moderately used within the story and has a relationship to the sea. For example, some may say sightings of UFOs in Shag Harbour is pure science fiction, but a short story around this event is acceptable. Part of living by the sea is acknowledging that sixth sense involving fantastic stories that predict death, tell of seeing the dead after they’ve been lost at sea and that speak of mysterious lights off our shores.

The story must be character driven. In other words, make us fall in love (or in hate) with them.

The story can NOT contain explicit sex or graphic violence.

Preference will be given to stories that showcase traditional family values and ones that highlight family, friends or communities coming together to resolve the conflict. Through the centuries, it was this bonding that held communities together to build and shape Atlantic Canada. The men and women would not have endured the hardships if not for perseverance and reliance on one another.

Swearing/Blasphemy/Cursing: People have sworn since time began; it’s a fact of life. Keep in mind certain words are powerful only when used sparingly. Do not litter the story with F-bombs because with each use, its power weakens.

Unacceptable: Genres and subjects that will NOT be accepted: pornography, erotica, bondage, violence against or sex with minors, graphic violence or graphic sex scenes, bestiality and hateful material. Quarter Castle Publishing reserves the right to refuse any material that does not meet their vision for publishing.

Submission Guidelines

Please read and follow before submitting

Individuals are welcome to submit up to three short stories. Short stories should be edited and polished by the author to ensure they present their best work.

Stories must be original and previously unpublished online and in print.

Submissions are accepted by email (quartercastle@bellaliant.net: Subject: The Sea, Our Home Short Story Collection) and through postal mail to

Quarter Castle Publishing, 1787 Highway 2, Milford, Nova Scotia  B0N 1Y0

Formatting Submissions


Please, do NOT heavily format the document. Plain and simple is best. Do NOT include headers, footers or page numbers. They are unnecessary. Do NOT use page breaks. Use one font type and one font size, preferably something simple, such as Times New Roman or Calibri.

Attached File Formats: MS Word works best, but others are acceptable. If an issue arises, a request will be made to submit the story in the body of an email message.

  • Spacing between sentences: Single
  • Spaces between paragraphs: None
  • Paragraph Indents: 0.5

Postal Mail

  • Font: 12 point, Times New Roman
  • Spacing between lines: 1.5 spacing
  • Spacing between sentences: Single
  • Spaces between paragraphs: None
  • Paragraph Indents: 0.5
  • Margins: One inch on all sides
  • Number the pages
  • Printed on one side only
  • Paper Size: 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Paper Colour: White
  • Include the author’s name in the header or footer of each page
  • Do not send the only copy of your story.

Also Include

Please include a cover letter to let us know who you are, to introduce your story, to state the word count and your connection to Atlantic Canada.

A title page is NOT necessary.

Entries will not be returned. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope, a post card or an email address for a response.

Authors whose stories are accepted must agree to the following:

Send accepted submissions electronically through email upon request if not already submitted.

Provide the author name in which they’d like to use with their short story in the collection. Pen names are acceptable. Ensure the name is spelt exactly as it is to appear with the story.

Provide a short biography (limit 150 words) to be included in the collection in which their short story appears and on Quarter Castle Publishing’s website with regard to the collection. Authors are encouraged to include links to their blog, website or author Facebook page.

Sign a contract giving Quarter Castle Publishing the rights to publish the winning short story as noted below in the Rights and Copyright section.

Rights and Copyright

By submitting to Quarter Castle Publishing’s call for submissions for The Sea, Our Home short story collection, the author agrees to give consent for their story to be edited.

The author grants Quarter Castle Publishing exclusive rights to publish their story in the short story collection for one year, commencing on the date of publication (to be announced). After the one-year period ends (to be announced), rights for the  short story return to the author with the understanding Quarter Castle Publishing has the non-exclusive right to continue publishing the short story in the future in paperback and eBook format.

Authors will be required to sign a contract to this effect before their story is published. Only after the signed contract is received will the short story be included in The Sea, Our Home short story collection.

By submitting to Quarter Castle Publishing’s call for submissions for The Sea, Our Home short story collection, each entrant accepts and agrees to these rules and all decisions of Quarter Castle Publishing, which shall be final and legally binding on entrants in all matters relating to the call for submissions. Quarter Castle Publishing may disqualify any person who violates the rules.

Quarter Castle Publishing is not responsible for lost entries.

Birds by the Sea