Call for Submissions: Autumn

Kawartha Lakes is home to a lot of talented writers.

This anthology aims to showcase writing talent across genres. Often, genre literature is able to tell stories and present issues that might not otherwise be told. It is hoped that fictional stories from genres such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, action-adventure, romance, and mystery will help form and inform the culture of Kawartha Lakes. Using Kawartha Lakes as a setting will also give opportunity to engage a wider audience with this beautiful city.

Story setting must be within Kawartha Lakes. Stories should be works of fiction of about 3000 words. Shorter works will be accepted. Longer works will be considered (up to a maximum of 7000 words, but query before sending.) Stories must fit the theme: autumn in Kawartha Lakes.

Writers do not have to reside in Kawartha Lakes.

I am purchasing non-exclusive, first world anthology rights both electronic and print in English. Payment for stories is one-time $25 CAD on publication, plus contributor copy. (Selected stories will be edited, and writers will be expected to adhere to all deadlines.)

Excerpts from longer works will not be considered at this time. I want stories with beginnings, middles and endings, and characters I want to spend time with.

Open to ALL genres. Fiction preferred. Non-fiction will be considered, if it meets these guidelines.

Submissions deadline: July 31, 2021

To submit, send a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your submission attached as a Word document (.doc only) in standard manuscript format (12-point Times New Roman. See here for explanation of standard manuscript format.) Your cover letter should be short and include relevant experience and publishing credits, if you have them. (See here for examples of cover letters.)

Here are some examples of what I’m looking for, but the possibilities are endless:

  • a ghost story set in the Academy Theatre or the old Lindsay jail
  • a fairy encounter along the Omemee Hogsback/Esker
  • a werewolf story set in the woods near Bobcaygeon
  • an alien attack in Kirkfield
  • a feud between cottagers where the cottagers are witches
  • a murder mystery set at a local bed & breakfast

I want characters with agency and stories with conflict.

For more examples, check out Kawartha Lakes Stories and Kawartha Lakes Stories: Winter

Manuscript Format

While other markets have their own guidelines for how they want manuscript submissions, here’s how to format your work to submit to Kawartha Lakes Stories.

Font: Times New Roman, 12-point

Spacing: double space between the lines; single space between sentences

Indents: indent paragraphs 1/2-inch

Breaks: indicate breaks in the story with # centred on a line of its own

Page One

  • Top Left Corner: your real name, mailing address, phone number, email address (single-spaced between the lines)
  • Top Right Corner: approximate word count (round up or down to the nearest 100 words)
  • Halfway Down The Page: story title, pen name
  • Story

Page Two and subsequent pages

  • Top Right Corner: last name / title / page #

Have a look:

Page One:

page one

Page Two and subsequent pages:

page two

File Format
Send manuscript as Word .doc file or Pages file.

Do not send .pdf or any other type of file.


Submit Questions in comments below.

The Real Sam McGee is from Kawartha Lakes

You’ve probably heard of the poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service. If not, enjoy this version read by Johnny Cash with paintings by Ted Harrison:

Here’s what you might not know: the titular character, “Sam McGee” was from Kawartha Lakes.

Robert Service was a clerk for CIBC in Whitehorse, when a form crossed his desk with Sam McGee’s name on it. The rhythm of the name captured Service, and he knew it would fit a ballad. So he wrote to Sam McGee, a prosperous builder of roads in the Klondike, to ask about using his name. McGee said yes, and the rest is poetry. (

Now here’s the history.

“Sam McGee” was born William Samuel McGee on August 28, 1868 on a farm just outside Lindsay. In fact, that farm was in (at the time) Fenelon Township, just up the road from Cameron, and registered in his mother’s name, Ellen McGee. (

William Samuel McGee married in Peterborough in 1901:

William Samuel McGEE, 32, miner, Cameron – Victoria Co., Whitehorse Yukon, s/o Joseph McGEE & Ellen McCULLOUGH, married Ruth WARNER, 20, Liverpool England, Harvey twp., d/o James WARNER & Betsy JENKINSON, witn: George WARNER & Mrs. Annie EARL, both of Harvey twp., 5 June 1901 at Peterborough (

More about Sam McGee (with photo):


Borrow The Cremation of Sam McGee from the library.


Upcoming Events for Authors and Writers in #KawarthaLakes

Here’s a list of the upcoming events for authors and writers in Kawartha Lakes. Click on the links for more information.


Workshop – Ann Douglas – “Get That Book Out of Your Head: A Workshop for Authors-to-be” – $299
Poetry – every Wednesday – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – Carpe Diem Cafe
Writers Group – every second Thursday – 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM – Peterborough Speculative Fiction Writers Group
Writers Group – every second Wednesday – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM – Lindsay Library


Monday, April 1 – 5:00 PM – DEADLINE – submissions to Playpen, Mysterious Entity Theatre’s script development program
Thursday, April 11 – 7:00 PM – Bobcaygeon Library – Local Author Series: Jean Booker
Saturday, April 13 – 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM – Lindsay Library – Book Sale
Tuesday, April 16 – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM – Lindsay Library – Book Sale


Friday, May 10 – 6:00 PM – DEADLINE – submissions to Lakefield Literary Festival’s Young Writers Contest


July 15 – Lakefield Literary Festival

Sharon Overend

SHARON OVEREND is an award-winning author whose short stories have appeared in several Canadian and international literary journals and anthologies.  A graduate of the University of Toronto Continuing Studies creative writing program, Sharon’s short story, “For Sale”, won the 2010 Random House Student Award. In 2011, she was named a finalist for the same award. In 2014, her short story, “Step Away”, was nominated for a Journey Prize. Sharon’s first novel, Look Over Your Shoulder, is currently on submission. She and her husband recently moved to Kawartha Lakes where she plans to let nature inspire many more writing projects including her latest work-in-progress, Stillwater Lake.

Matters of Time, an anthology