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Introducing The Charles Carter: a working anthology’s ‘Letters from Postapocalpyse’ Contest!


“The bunker,” she says, “will be dark. Be careful when you go down the steps.”

Footsteps echo in the metal corridor, two sets of them, but echo weak—in the tunnel, sound does not so much reverberate as sink. Rumbles in the earth, are they bombs? Are they buildings? Is this what it feels like when buildings fall? It could be an earthquake.

“Will it be safe?” he asks.

It’s a good question, and she has no true answer. “Yes,” she decides. “Just a little farther, now.”

Rumbling louder. From far behind them, a shout that peals down the metal walls. He flinches as she urges them faster, as heat crashes over his back in a short wave. It is there and it is gone, the end of a blast. “Will they follow us? Will the door hold?”

“Yes, I—yes. Yes it will.”

“Will—”

Another shout. Pain. The smell of burning.

“No more,” she says. “No more questions, please. Hurry.”

The door looks like a wall, but it has a keypad. Her fingers trace the magic strokes and the wall slides back, and she is right. She is right about the darkness behind the door. “Down the stairs. Watch your step.” Before they reach the bunker floor, the entrance has slid back, and all is silence. All is black. A whimper from him. “Keep going,” she tells him. “Don’t stop.”

Soon they sit together at the center of their haven, kneel in the quiet at the end of the world. She sparks the lantern she has stored here in preparation for this moment, and the thin blue light reveals herself, and him, and the box.

“What’s that?” he asks, and she says nothing. The box is of middle size and metallic. It radiates heat. “Hey,” he insists, “what’s in th—”

“Hush!” She draws her necklace out of her shirt and inserts the key into the little metal lock. The box is definitely hot. Warmth comes out of it like from something alive. “It’s the stories,” she says. “The poems, the letters. This is where we keep them. They are going to help us get through this.”


Content

Welcome, creators, to the contest of end-time letters. What happens when everything ends? What happens far after? With a story, a poem—any form of anything written, capture for us the Postapocalypse. Show us society’s reconstruction. Show us its final collapse. Bring us your take on the grand finale, and may your entry, above all others, survive.


Entry Fee: None!


Dates

09/10/17 – Submissions open

11/15/17 – Submissions close

12/01/17 – Winners announced


Formatting

Accepted file types: .docx/.rtf/.pdf

Length must not exceed 5000 words

Documents should be double-spaced, 12 size font, Times New Roman

Include name on submission form but not in body of document

No limit to submissions!


Prizes

1st

  • Publication
  • Piece featured for 6 months
  • Meet&Greet with Charles Carter staff (in person or electronic)
  • Author Interview
  • Prize Money! ($15.00 USD)

2nd

  • Publication
  • Piece featured for 3 months
  • Meet&Greet with Charles Carter staff (in person or electronic)
  • Prize Money! ($5.00 USD)

3rd

  • Publication
  • Piece featured for 1 month
  • Meet&Greet with Charles Carter staff (in person or electronic)