Trailblazer

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WELCOME TO TRAILBLAZER WESTERN FICTION

Once upon a time, America LOVED westerns! The genre dominated cinema and television screens while authors like Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Max Brand dominated bookstore shelves. Characters like Hopalong Cassidy, Zorro, and Shane lived in the hearts and minds of adults and children alike. But time passed, and the heyday of the western seemed to pass with it. New content in the genre became an anomaly rather than the norm, despite the fact that lovers of westerns still crave new stories, characters, and adventures.

Enter Trailblazer Western Fiction. Trailblazer is the newest imprint at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. We seek to recapture the glory days of the Western, but with an updated feel that will ignite the hearts and minds of a whole new generation of readers. Trailblazer Western Fiction offers stories that combine the action, adventure, mystery, and romance of the American West, all wrapped up in the rugged men and brave women who left the comfort of life back east to discover and settle untamed lands in the West. Whether historical or contemporary, our westerns tell the stories of those who braved rugged terrain and insurmountable obstacles to make a life in the beauty and vastness of the western frontier.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL TRAILBLAZER WESTERN?

  • Strong, brave, and/or spunky heroes and heroines
  • Villains we love to hate
  • Solid character development and realistic motivations
  • Strong, believable, authentic plotlines that keep readers engaged until the story’s satisfying conclusion
  • A firm sense of setting
  • An emphasis on morality and heritage, regardless of the characters’ race or background
  • Stories that don’t whitewash bad choices or evil, but don’t glorify them either
  • Great storytelling with a fresh, interesting voice
  • Well-researched details of historical events, people, details, and cultures
  • Clean writing free of profanity, graphic sexual content, and gratuitous violence*
  • 90,000 words or less
  • Completed manuscripts only, please

TRAILBLAZER WESTERN FICTION IS OPEN TO HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY WESTERNS. WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN A FRESH NEW TAKE ON THE GENRE. SOME EXAMPLES:

  • A blending of the western genre with other popular genres. Examples might include:
    • A mystery or suspense set in the historic west
    • A contemporary humorous novel with a cowboy hero and/or western setting
    • A timeslip or dual-time novel with a strong western thread
  • A more complex storyline with several plots that weave together into one
  • An ensemble cast novel (no single hero or heroine, but a large cast with equal emphasis on each character)
  • The inclusion of the many cultures found in the west (details should be well-researched and not stereotyped, please)
  • Less popular settings for westerns—places like Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Washington State, or other interesting locales
  • Other new and interesting take on the western genre that you can dream up

PLEASE SEND PROPOSALS AS AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT TO MANAGING EDITOR  JENNIFER UHLARIK AT TRAILBLAZERWESTERNS@GMAIL.COM

Proposals should include the following items in a single Word document (.doc or .docx):

  • A brief (1 paragraph) summary of the novel
  • A 2 to 3-page synopsis, including how the plot is resolved
  • The first three  (3) consecutive sample chapters
  • A detailed marketing plan
  • Author bio, including publishing history
*Because the western genre often includes gunplay, military action, and other potentially violent moments, there will be scenes depicting what is necessary to further the story while remaining true to the genre. Gratuitous violence is graphic depiction that goes beyond what is needed to craft a compelling scene that serves the story well.