Still on Patrol

The Concept – Still On Patrol

There is a tradition in the United States Navy that no submarine is ever truly lost at sea. Those boats and the crews who don’t return to port are considered “still on patrol” in perpetuity. Active duty sailors would never dream of leaving their still on patrol shipmates behind, so every year, usually at the Christmas holiday, sailors manning communications hubs ashore and at sea send out a message. They send holiday wishes for health and happiness to those they know will receive it, and the same wishes to those listed as still on patrol.
What if those submariners who never returned are still out there? What if it’s the energy of the yearly good wishes that keeps them going on their eternal patrol? And what if their eternal patrol protects the living against threats more otherworldly than mundane wars between nation states?
What about other military men and women, disappeared or lost at sea, in the air, or on land? Is there a Roman Legion still manning Hadrian’s Wall? Are there ghostly flight crews who herd hapless aircraft away from the Bermuda Triangle? Tell us stories about military men and women who continue to protect humanity long after they’ve taken their last breath. Tell us what happens when they take the oath to protect their people not just from threats foreign and domestic, but supernatural as well.

What we don’t want to see:

  • Disrespect for the military – our intention with this anthology is to honor the best in the military forces, the ones dedicated enough to continue to protect humanity from beyond the grave.
  • On page sexual assault, child abuse, or animal abuse – this is an immediate rejection.
  • Gratuitous anything – violence, sex, profanity, doesn’t matter. If it is not integral to the story and it’s not advancing the plot or character development, we don’t want to see blood, gore, or sex just for shock value’s sake (this goes for language too). We are not opposed to violence, sex, or profanity – as long as it belongs in the story and it’s not just there to shock and titillate. And we know we are dealing with fighting men and women who may or may not be locked in combat with something otherworldly. We expect a certain amount of profanity and violence goes with that. Think of how far we’re willing to go based on the well-known movie rating system – if it would qualify for a PG, PG-13, or R rating, we’ll look at it. If it would be NC-17 or up, we’ll have to pass, thank you.
  • Thinly veiled fan fiction of another author’s world and characters. We’re looking for your original work.
  • Poorly researched magic systems or magical creatures from a culture you are not familiar with. If you are going to venture into new worlds or cultures, make sure you’ve done your research and you know all the rules, taboos, and how to pronounce the names.


What we do want to see:

  • Diverse protagonists – While a United States Navy tradition sparked the idea for this anthology, there are still many military cultures and traditions outside of one country and one service of that country. When coming up with your unique idea, don’t forget to look at other countries and cultures, perhaps even a country or culture that no longer exists. What happens to military personnel who are on eternal patrol when the country that birthed them no longer exists? Where do their allegiances now lie?
  • Diverse Settings and Genres – We know this call lends itself well to horror and all types of dark fantasy, but we’d sure like to see how the concept of eternal patrol would play out in a science fiction universe or on alternate worlds.

Word Count:

We’re looking for stories that fall in the 3,000 to 10,000 word range. We will consider looking at stories outside this range, but they need to be just too good for us to pass up. You have a much better chance if you keep the word count within our range. Please query us before sending a story outside of the word count guidelines.


We prefer unpublished, original fiction. However, we will consider including one or two reprints in this anthology, but only if they are overwhelmingly fantastic. Make sure you let us know if your story has been published elsewhere before.


We wish to purchase exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights for one year, and non-exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights for a period of five years after that, with the option to re-negotiate additional years of rights after that. We are asking for audio rights because if we can get funding, we also want to produce an audio version using professional voice talent.


Unpublished stories earn a onetime fee of $25 plus one contributor’s copy for the original terms of the contract. Reprints earn a onetime fee of $10 plus one contributor’s copy for the original terms of the contract. Payment is within 90 days of publication.

Sending your submission:

We will be accepting electronic submissions only. Make sure you put “Patrol” in your email subject line. No simultaneous or multiple submissions please. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf file to submissions at otterlibris dot com.

Submission Window:

We will be open for submissions for the anthology beginning on 9/15/2018 and close to submissions on 12/15/2018. Any submissions received outside of this window will be deleted unread. We expect to respond to submissions throughout the window with a “no, thanks” or “we’d like to hold this for further consideration,” with final decisions going out approximately six to eight weeks after the closing date.

Expected Publication Date:

We will be running a Kickstarter to generate interest and word of mouth in April 2019, and we expect to release the anthology for Memorial Day weekend 2019 (05/24/2019)


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