Watershed Books Submission Guidelines
What we are seeking:
- All stories must be Christian fiction between 25,000 and 65,000 words.All stories must be written for a target audience of ages 14 to 19, but with an appeal that will transcends the teenager.
- Mystery, (amateur sleuth or other)
- Sci-fi / Fantasy / Supernatural
- Suspense, crime drama, police procedural
- Teen angst / coming-of-age
The focus of a Watershed story should be conflict experienced by the main characters. These stories encompass teen-aged protagonists who may or may not be spiritual at the onset, but come to realize through the progression of the plot that faith is a necessity. Protagonists should be layered, three-dimensional, people who struggle with age-appropriate decisions on a regular basis, but who also may be thrust into more "adult" situations. Protagonists will use their existent or burgeoning faith to augment their growth both as individuals in the world and as Christians. Remember, Christians are emboldened by their faith, not burdened by it.
Watershed books should convey life as it is lived, or can be lived, by people of faith. Because life can be humorous, mysterious, hazardous, and even a bit otherworldly, with angels popping in at times, Watershed books can encompass a variety of elements. The setting for Watershed books can be contemporary, historical or futuristic. They may even feature supernatural elements; however, an element of faith must be present in all Watershed stories without becoming overbearing or preachy. (Please take note that supernatural themes are not the same as paranormal themes. Supernatural themes must be limited to Christian elements [e.g. Angels would be acceptable; a talking witch's familiar would not.])
Watershed books should be character-driven stories that have an emotional rise and fall. Feel free to delve into sensitive topics (e.g. drug/alcohol use, bullying, terminal illness, peer pressure), subjects that affect real people, but without profanity or nudity or adult-only themes.
Protagonists should be Christian, or should be discovering Christianity. Elements of non-Christian faiths may be present in the story, but issues which deny the essence of mainline Christianity must not be conveyed as acceptable. (e.g. Denying the Trinity [One God in Three Persons] or denying the divinity of Christ, etc. would not work if conveyed as acceptable; however, showing someone struggling with these beliefs, and then coming to realize the truth of Christianity, might work.) Please specify in your query if your story includes elements of non-Christian religious beliefs, and briefly describe how they are handled within the story, and why they are essential to the plot.
While Watershed Books are written for a teen reader, each title should have a transcendent quality that will also appeal to an adult reader.
We may publish what some would call edgy, i.e. stories that fall outside current CBA guidelines, however, please note that edgy doesn't mean profane. It means gently colouring outside the lines because the story demands it.
If you are ready to submit, please use the submission form.