Havok Publishing

Season Themes

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 Eight: Vice & Virtue now open for submissions!

You’ve heard of the Seven Deadly Sins. You’ve seen the four Greek virtues. And there are myriad other lists throughout history that define humanity’s positive and negative character traits. But how often have you seen them applied to actual characters? We thought it would be a truly polarizing—and entertaining—experience to slap an entire season’s worth of vices and virtues on those characters we love (and love to hate). So go ahead. Pull out the best and worst your creations have to offer and lay it on thick. But remember to keep things PG-13. After all, too much of a good thing is, well, a bad thing.

Pro tip: mystery, humor, and thriller categories tend to get fewer submissions. Crafting your story into one of those genres will give you a stronger chance at publication. Special insider scoop on what we’re looking for here.

We have prepared a downloadable/printable PDF of the monthly themes and deadlines below, including extra info about what we’re looking for this season. We highly recommend checking out these resources for ideas as you craft your story! Feel free to tag @gohavok on Instagram or email social@gohavok.com with any questions about our themes and guidelines. Sign up for our author newsletter (see sidebar on this page; scroll down on mobile) for tips from our editors and news about author contests.

Download printable theme list PDF

COWARDICE / COURAGE – CLOSED May 1 – Publishes in July

LAZINESS / DILIGENCE
OPEN – DEADLINE: June 5, 2022

As summer comes to an end, most of us are tempted to kick back and soak up the rest of the sun’s rays before the days get shorter and the air gets colder. But this is no time for apathy! So, kick that sloth into high gear as he learns to appreciate the value of a hard day’s work at the local zoo. Light a fire under that retired, overweight prizefighter by pitting him against a genetically enhanced assassin. Or just teach that twenty-something gamer the power of zeal by transporting him into the armor of his favorite video game knight and requiring that he practice daily to survive the boss battle and get home again. (Publishes in August.)

PRIDE / HUMILITY
OPEN – DEADLINE: July 3, 2022

Pride comes before the fall, but this fall we want you to show us the exciting side of humility. Throw cocky millionaires headfirst into the humble lives of blue-collar heroes. Pair a meek sidekick with a mighty superhero and see who really saves the day. And don’t hesitate to feed a world-champion sumo wrestler a slice of humble pie. Again, not too much humble pie though. Gluttony isn’t until November… (Publishes in September.)


The themes below will open for submissions about two months before their deadlines.

RAGE / PEACE (DEADLINE: August 7, 2022)

While some parts of the world see the Halloween season as one filled with wrath and ruin, others see it as a time for patience and tranquility. Thankfully, in this month’s theme, we’re looking for both. Show us the redemptive spirit of a vengeful… well… spirit… when he takes haunting advice from a friendly ghost. Give a barbarian berserker a chance to stop and smell the roses. There may even be time to push peaceful monks over the edge by sending a vexing door-to-door salesman to their Himalayan monastery. (Publishes in October.)

GLUTTONY / TEMPERANCE (DEADLINE: September 4, 2022)

The best way for Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving Day is to stuff themselves like a turkey, right? Well, gluttony may be fun, but it also comes with consequences. Without self-control, even the most renowned war hero will drown himself in the bottle and never return to the battlefield. Even the most powerful world-eating celestial being will lose his appetite for destruction. And yes, you can now have all the gluttonous goats you want and feed that sumo wrestler all the humble pie that he can handle. (Publishes in November.)

SELFISHNESS / SACRIFICE (DEADLINE: October 2, 2022)

If there was ever a time to contrast greed and generosity, it would be during the Christmas season. It’s during this time that the richest pirate on the high seas must learn the importance of a little charity. And a devout demon hunter must learn that it doesn’t matter how many evil souls he captures if he’s unwilling to lay down his own. Even an envious elf can learn the reason for the season when he gives Santa his last candy cane. (Publishes in December.)

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!