1. We are a Christian publisher. "Christian" can mean a lot of things potentially, but we mean it in a broad sense. Stories
that specifically defame Christianity are not welcome unless they have some other extraordinary merit. A general alignment with Christian morality is appreciated in
something we publish, but we are willing to publish stories in which morality is very subtle, though we do require stories to not be specifically against
Christianity or to be blatantly or subtly promoting other religions. Stories resonate with moral messages in myriad ways, but sometimes a tale, especially a short story, can be read in
multiple ways and winds up having very little moral content. A story with very little moral content, as long as it isn’t blatantly offensive, is something we’re willing to publish if it’s a good
Limited moral content is fine but immoral is not. We do not publish erotica and we prefer clean fiction over graphic sexuality, profanity, and violence. But there is no specific content checklist or doctrinal test for stories we consider for publication. Writing is an art and the rules are variables, not fixed integers. Stories in which some sexuality or graphic language or violence will not be ruled out in advance. If such situations are integral to the story and make internal sense, especially if they are part of an overall positive theme, they may be something we want to publish. We feel we know what is "too much" when we see it. Please note that we will label any such story or collection of stories that has graphic content according to what it contains!
While we deliberately promote the work of Christian authors, we allow authors to self-identify as Christian. We are not going to decide whether or not a writer is genuine in personal faith in Christ or pick favorite denominations. If you say you are a Christian you will be taken at your word unless you give a specific reason for us to think otherwise. If you are not a Christian and want to submit to us, we may be interested in your stories provided they have merit, but you might be more comfortable seeking publication someplace else.
After stating that we might be interested in the work of non-Christians if the stories are generally moral or touch on Christian themes, you might think we are not interested in work that is overtly Christian or evangelistic. On the contrary, we delight in finding stories with overt Christian themes, provided they are well-written. Any evangelism is welcome in a story as long as it is natural to the tale, not dropped in artificially or in a ham-fisted way.
Good writing is priority one.
2. We are a speculative fiction publisher. Like "Christian," "speculative fiction" can mean a wide number of things. Originally coined as a word by Robert A. Heinlein to describe the combination of science fiction and fantasy, those two genres remain our favorites. But speculative fiction can also mean alternate history, paranormal, supernatural, horror, magical realism, and more. We are interested in all of the above at least a bit. Ghost stories are not personal favorites, but there are exceptions to that general rule.
Quality short stories and Novels are what we are mainly interested in. Quality first. We feel we know good stories when we see them and more than anything else, that's what we want.
Our expectations for authors is that you will help us to produce excellent short story anthologies, novels, and non-fiction. We seek works primarily by Christian authors or which generally point the way to God, where being "preachy" is neither artificially forced into stories nor is excluded from them in advance. We believe there is a massive untapped reserve of excellent work that meets this general principle. We believe that finding great stories and non-fiction works and publishing them honors God, even on the occasions when such tales are not specifically or overly Christian.
The "Expectations for Authors" section above explains what sorts of stories we are interested in.
Other questions we'll put in "Frequently Asked Questions" format:
1. I have written a lot of short stories you might like and am interested in an anthology (or collection) of my work. Or I am interested in pitching a novel. How do I proceed?
Start by sending a message telling about yourself a bit (a brief author bio) and include in the same message a description of the specific story or stories you are pitching. The description should be relatively brief. The length of the story, the title, what it's generally about, the genre it falls in, Christian themes, if any.
Will respond with a request to send the actual stories if we're interested. NOTE that we are accepting submissions for author anthologies and novels year round.
2. I have a few stories already written Bear Publications might be interested in--what do I do?
The Mythic Orbits series publishes the best in speculative fiction stories by Christian authors. Check back at this site if you are interested in submissions for Mythic Orbits Volume 3. We plan to release that anthology in May of 2020, God enabling.
3. I'm interested in writing new short stories to be included in upcoming Bear Publications anthologies. How do I do that?
We have planned book projects for the 2020, though these plans are subject to change. The Mines of Mercury anthology, which is part of the Terraformed Interplanetary series, begun by Medieval Mars, is currently accepting submissions, as is Mythic Orbits Volume 3.
Other projects will be announced as they come up.
4. What format do you want submitted stories to be in?
Be sure your story has a header that includes the story title, author name, and total number of words.
5. Which email address should I use for my submission?
The email address email@example.com is specifically for receiving story submissions.