The Guidelines

The story of Midlfell begins in a lane known only as The Lane of Unusual Traders (LoUTs).

While Stage 2 has now CLOSED, Stage 3 is in planning.

If you want to check out the guidelines for Stage 2, we’ll leave them here for a while though:

To begin: read the prologue developed by Brisbane author, Chris White. The prologue provides essential information to orient you to The Lane of Unusual Traders. You may also wish to check out the Midlfell Wiki started by LoUTs author Tom Dullemond; there’s heaps of information about Stage 1 authors and their stories.

Next, take a look at the map of The Lane designed by illustrator, author and animator, Terry Whidborne. There are 13 Story Lots available in Stage 2.

The Story Lots coloured in blue are already taken.

Your options

Of the 13 Story Lots available:

  • 6 Lots are allocated for flash fiction stories of no more than 500 words (now closed)
  • 7 Lots are allocated for short stories up to 3,000 words (deadline 31 May 2015)

Your task

So, this means you:

  • choose a Story Lot you would like to write a story about
  • decide whether you’d like to submit a flash fiction or short fiction piece
  • begin writing.

Your task is to choose a Story Lot and write the story of your chosen Lot and its resident/s (if there are any). For instance, your Lot could be:

  • a shop that sells short visits to ‘the real world’
  • a theatre known for its truly dreadful plays
  • a bookshop that sells the souls of books burned by the Kraken (our evil guy, of course he burns books)
  • a shambling, empty cottage where visitors find that poetry appears on the walls as they wander through.

Authors with stories included in Stage 1 may also submit stories for Stage 2.

The Rest of the Guidelines (you do need to read them)

The maximum length for flash fiction submissions 500 words,

The maximum length for short stories is 3,000 words, the minimum length is 1,500 words.

The audience you are writing for is adults or young adults (YA), although your protagonist may be a child.

There is no geographical restriction on entry although submissions must be in English.

Your submission must be formatted using a simple font, such as Times New Roman/Courier 11 pt. Submit as either a .doc/docx of rtf document, but contact us prior to the deadline if this is a problem.

Your name and contact details should only appear on the first page of the story.

The only thing that should appear in a header or footer is a page number.

Entrants may submit multiple stories, although each story must relate to the prologue.

Submissions must be sent via email to tinyowlworkshop [at] gmail [dot] com either on or before the due date.

Entries must be wholly the work of the entrant/s and must not have been previously published, in print or online (including websites, blogs, etc).

We will acknowledge receipt of your submission/s via email.

If accepted, where/how will my story be published?

Because of the nature of the project it’s difficult to predict what stories will be submitted, what storylines may develop and how the stories submitted may fit together. The aim is to publish a Lane of Unusual Traders Annual (physical book format), BUT as we like to do things a little differently you may find your stories published on postcards, scrolls (of the parchment not bread variety), paper napkins or in some other form that presents itself and which fits the project. Tiny Owl Workshop will, however, negotiate this with authors prior to publishing.


While you, of course, retain copyright of your material this is a collaborative, world-building venture so you must be ready for other contributors to make reference to or interact with the characters you develop. This does not mean that Tiny Owl Workshop will permit other contributors to purloin or change your work and develop it as their own, merely that other contributors may reference your work in some way. E.g. Georgia strode by the rancid inn (a reference to Tiny Owl’s own Lot 1) and on toward the fen.

Tiny Owl Workshop will keep, and publish, a schedule of who owns what as the story grows. This will also help us and contributors to keep track of intellectual property (IP).

Deadlines and Judgement

  • Short story submissions have now CLOSED.
  • Flash fiction submissions have now CLOSED.

Entries will be judged by a panel of readers, enthusiasts, grammar pedants and writers. The judging panel may select up to 6 flash fiction stories, and up to 7 short stories.

Flash fiction entrants will be advised on the outcome of the judging process in early June 2015 and short story entrants will be advised on the outcome in early July 2015.

The panel’s decision is final and, due to the number of submissions, feedback on unsuccessful submissions will not be given.

Payment for flash fiction stories accepted for publication is $60 (AUD).

Payment for short stories accepted for publication is $300 (AUD)

Where there are royalties, 10% of the profit pool will be shared by the Authors published in Stage 2.

Should you wish to withdraw a story you submitted before the close date, please contact us via email (otherwise we won’t know).

We can’t make you read these guidelines, but we will assume that those submitting stories for consideration have read and understood them.


If you have any questions please contact Tiny Owl Workshop via Twitter @tinyowlworkshop or email tinyowlworkshop [at] gmail [dot]com or on Facebook.

BUT, make sure you’ve read the guidelines first, otherwise we can’t be friends.

Enjoy The Lane and remember the deadline:

  • Short story submissions have now CLOSED.
  • Flash fiction submissions have now CLOSED.

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