Readers play favorites, you know. Everybody has their favorite genres and our season themes are here to assemble story collections that readers will love. These themes function as story prompts for our author base, suggesting fun mashups and settings for the most creative, hard-hitting fiction. We only accept stories that fit these themes, and we wish you much Havok as you craft your best work!
Season Three: Bingeworthy
There are some storylines and concepts that hook us every time. When done right, they transcend the label stereotype or the dreaded “cliché” and enter the realm of treasured trope and become the formula for a blockbuster hit. Havok’s third season is all about the stories that we watch, re-watch, and stay up all night to binge watch.
NOTE: We do not publish fan fiction, so the examples below are just examples to illustrate the type of story trope we’re looking for.
Strange New Worlds
March 2020 (CLOSED)
The best stories transport us. They captivate us. They keep us awake late into the night, caught somewhere between our own world and somewhere… else. Without a magical wardrobe filled with talking animals, Narnia would have been dreadfully bland. Without an animated bunny, Who Framed Roger Rabbit would have died on the cutting groom floor. Without a color-changing horse and an ill-tempered witch, The Wizard of Oz would have remained dreadfully black and white. And without a desolate red planet, The Martian would have failed to launch. So let your imagination run wild this month. From the ocean’s uncharted depths to the ancient realm’s oldest forests, wow us with stories filled with fresh, thought-provoking settings and exotic beings. Because nothing’s
stranger than fiction.
The End of the World As We Know It
April 2020 (deadline: February 2)
Nothing’s more exciting than impending disaster, right? And there’s no greater disaster than the end of everything we know and love. So this month, put us through the ringer. Take us to the brink of survival, and it’s up to you whether you bring us back. But beware of tired tropes. Wouldn’t a zombie apocalypse be better if it happened in Middle Earth, or if the undead were actually smarter than humans? Wouldn’t a Russian submarine be more intriguing if, instead of threatening the United States with a nuclear warhead, it did so with a captive fallen angel? Wouldn’t a giant meteor be scarier if it were made of ice filled with an alien virus? Wouldn’t an evil wizard make more waves if he threatened to turn the entire realm into codfish? But whatever creative twist you decide to put on the end of the world, be sure it captures the essence of approaching doom. If we’re not racing toward the big finish, we’re likely to wish our existence had never been threatened in the first place.
May 2020 (deadline: March 1)
Heroes and villains don’t need to be from Krypton to have super powers (but it helps). A movie buff can solve the case of the copycat murderer. A reindeer with a glowing nose can save Christmas. A father with a “special set of skills” can save his daughter from kidnappers. A sentient android can broker peace between humans and robots. And, yes, a nearly omnipotent Kryptonian can rescue humanity countless times. So fill this month with the widest variety of super-powers the world has ever seen. Turn the smallest skill into something lifesaving. Take an evildoer’s negative traits and make them positive. Wow us with new perspectives on what it means to be extraordinary, because, as uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
The One Thing
(June 2020 – submissions not open yet)
The MacGuffin isn’t just a ridiculous word. It’s a plot trigger capable of sprouting an entire story. The crystal skull, the Maltese falcon, the Infinity Stones, the raven, the Holy Grail, the Death Star plans, Private Ryan—whether it’s a person, a place, or a ring, the Macguffin will inspire stories worthy to round out our bingeworthy season. As always, get creative. Tilt your head and squint a little. Find those things in everyday life that could unfold into a timeless tale. Dig up unfamiliar objects capable of capturing the attention of your characters and your readers. And then, in 1,000 words or less, allow the MacGuffin to inspire a story that we’ll never forget.
Download and browse all upcoming Season Three themes on this printable reference PDF.
Now Go Write!
Using the season theme above for ideas, go write and then send us your best story that fits any of our Accepted Genres. Be sure to download and use our Manuscript Formatting template and follow the Submission Guidelines!