Guidelines – Trail of Tears

History is written by the winners.

They came from the skies; unlike anything we’d seen before. Their ships, sleek and silver, beweaponed with magic unlike any we had known. Their proclamation was simple – “Submit or die.” Many of us took up arms, refused to stand down, to let these strange gods befoul our lands. Our most powerful mages threw the very heavens at them in a war that scorched our lands. In the end, we lost. Their weapons, their numbers were superior. That was ages ago, before we learned how technology worked, how to travel the stars ourselves. Now no one has heard of the N’tari. The name is lost to history. No one will forget the Valdis, though. No one will stop the Valdis ever again.

  • Highlord of the Valdis Elves Obolith – Beyond the Trees.

What We Want

In “Trail of Tears,” we want to examine the nature of the relationships between native inhabitants and the human settlers who come to live on their world. The title, obviously, is taken from the story of the forced resettlement of Native Americans by the U. S. Government. History repeats—and the idea here is that it will also repeat on other worlds, if given the chance. And yes, we would regard something like the Holocaust as suitable for Trail of Tears—however, this must occur on some other world. This is science fiction and fantasy, after all. It will be necessary to SHOW the effects of the resettlement, as it pertains to the events and circumstances in your story. Avoid TELLING. Actions have consequences – SHOW those. We want strong plots and subplots if you need them, and great descriptives that draw the reader into the world you’ve created, as well as characters we care about and want to see win, even if they don’t always make in the end.

Note: It is conceivable that someone could write an acceptable story that takes place here on Earth—past, present, or future. However, stories that take place on other worlds will be given priority.

Publishing Details

Lead editor for this anthology is Karen Otto. The anthology is open to submissions now and will close when filled. This is a single anthology that has no regular release date, though we may use the idea again in the future.

Its format is perfect-bound magazine, 6 x 9, color cover and b&w interior.

Submission Details

  • Stories
  • Stories should not be shorter than 3000 words or longer than 10,000 words and be fiction. However, we may consider works longer than 10,000 words. We are interested only in original fiction and will not accept reprints.

  • Poems
  • Poems should be between 12 and 100 lines long. Again, we are interested in original work and will not accept reprints.


  • Stories: $30 for original work.
  • Poetry: $8 for original work.
  • Each contributor will receive one copy of the issue in which that person’s work appears.

    For original work we purchase FNASR.

    How to Submit

    Submit your work to

    Be sure to put TRAIL OF TEARS and the title of your story in the subject line. As we use this address for most of our anthologies now, we need to know which anthology you are submitting to. If we don’t know, we will probably just delete your submission out of hand, without response.

    Here’s an example: “TRAIL OF TEARS – Merseal – Drea’s Final Dream”
    Submit stories and poems as .doc or .rtf attachments. Please send only one work at a time for consideration.

    Next, make sure your contact information is in the upper left corner of your manuscript and in your email. Put the approximate word count in the upper right corner of your manuscript.

    Contact information example:

    Andrew Jackson Word Count: 3427
    4580 Rachels Ln
    Hermitage, TN 37076
    PayPal [if any]:

    If your submission does not include your contact information, Alban Lake Publishing reserves the right to delete your submission unread and without notifying you.

    Please, do not put any fancy formatting into your submissions, such as adding your name, title and page number randomly throughout the story, headers and footers, or anything else that might take away from reading and editing.

    An example of what we don’t want:

    Story story story story. “Story, story?”

    Author Name / Story Title / Page Number

    Story. Story story story story.

    It is important to note that style is much different than the above, and centering certain parts, bold, or italicized type is acceptable.

    It takes a great deal of time to read and edit things properly, so if we see things like this Alban Lake Publishing reserves the right to delete your submission unread and without notifying you.