Stage 3 Guidelines

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

To begin: read the prologue developed by author, Chris White. It 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 you’ll find information about the denizens and traders of The Lane and their stories.

Next, take a look at the map for Stage 3 designed by illustrator, author and animator, Terry Whidborne.

We are looking for 13 stories for Stage 3.

Your options

Of the 13 Story Lots available:

  • 6 Lots are allocated for flash fiction stories of no more than 500 words
  • 7 Lots are allocated for short stories up to 3,000 words

Your task

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 antagonist, of course he burns books)
  • a shambling, empty cottage where visitors find that poetry appears on the walls as they wander through.

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.

Authors with stories included in Stage 1 and Stage 2 may also submit stories for Stage 3.

Submission details

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, rtf or pdf 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.

Writers may submit multiple stories, although each story must relate to the prologue, the map and other rules of The Lane we may release from time-to-time.

Submissions must be sent via email to tinyowlworkshop [at] gmail [dot] com. The last date for submissions is midnight 28 February 2017.

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 in zines, scrolls, 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 retain copyright of your material this is a collaborative, world-building venture so be ready for other contributors to make reference to  the characters you develop. This does not mean that Tiny Owl Workshop will permit other contributors to take/use 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 may be submitted at any time up until midnight on 28 February 2017.
  • Flash fiction submissions may be submitted at any time up until midnight on 28 February 2017.

Entries will be judged by Tiny Owl Workshop. Tiny Owl may select up to 6 flash fiction stories, and up to 7 short stories.

Authors will be advised via email on the outcome of their submission no later than 4 weeks after receipt of the submission.

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 $180 (AUD)

Where there are royalties, 10% of the profit pool will be shared by all Authors published as part of The Lane of Unusual Traders.

Should you wish to withdraw a story you submitted, simply contact us via email at tinyowlworkshop[at]gmail[dot]com.

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 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.

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