Sword and Sorceress 25 just showed up on Ralan. April. April IS the cruelest month ...
I so desperately want to make it into this anthology. Every year, I submit anywhere from two to four stories before one is shortlisted ... and every year, the story they hold for second consideration is rejected. And it stings like little else.
However, I have few stories that I would really consider sword and sorcery. A Flattering Likeness is my first option, though it pushes their upper word limit - it's written from a male POV, but the female protagonist is a force to be reckoned with. Speechless is another option, though I'm less sure about the merits of the story.
The combination of action, personal stakes and - perhaps most tellingly - the magic being in the hands of the enemy, not the heroes, is just not one I approach very often. Even AFL has magic wielded by the protagonist: he's a painter who uses magical paint to capture the true essence of his subjects (and the female MC saves his butt from an irate monarch).
If we ignore that proviso, I wonder if my time travelers would be considered sword and sorcery? Though sadly, their one adventure has pretty important stakes (they're looking for a cure to a pandemic) ...
Looking back at the Sword & Sorceress anthology I have, I see that not all the stories involve professional warriors, so I have options of my herbalist with ... wait for it ... nanny-magic (although that one has rather large stakes), or my merman / harpy halfbreed story, which is an action story but not a swashbuckler: she gets captured by the managers of a zoo. Does anyone who has read any of the previous anthologies have a feel for whether any of these would be acceptable?
I'm going to try and get my hands on a few more of the anthologies. I've read previous editions, so I'm not coming into it blind ... I just have a tremendous amount of trouble translating the niche of something I've read into the niche of something I've written.