Taking Submissions: Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3: 2017

Deadline: December 31st, 2017
Payment: 1 cent a word


Is your story too heavy and hardcore for other “best of” anthologies? Then you’ve come to the right place because Comet Press is now accepting stories for YEAR’S BEST HARDCORE HORROR VOL. 3, a yearly collection intended to give recognition to the extreme, harder side of horror, stories that break boundaries and trash taboos.

Editors: Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax.

Requirements: The story was (or will be) published in a 2017 anthology, single author collection, magazine, or online magazine. Self-published anthologies and collections are acceptable as well.

Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Length: Short stories/novelettes.

Payment: 1 cent a word.

What to Send


In the body of an email:

  • Author name
  • Story title
  • Name of anthology or magazine or online magazine it was published in:
    • If the book is available on Amazon and your story credit appears somewhere on the page, send us the link. If not, send a link to the best source with that information (publisher’s page, etc).
    • If the story was in a magazine, send us a web link to the issue TOC where your story appears, or if that’s not available send us a scan of the table of contents (print magazines, etc.).
  • A bio
  • A short synopsis.
  • Attach the entire manuscript in rtf, doc, or pdf format. Note: please make sure this is the final version of your story, exactly as it appears in the published version.

Important Note: Make sure your contract allows you to publish the story in a “best of” anthology. If you’re not sure, check with your publisher. If necessary, ask them for a waiver.


In an email include the following:

  • Author name and story title(s) for consideration
  • Name of publication and publisher, date published and format (print, ebook, magazine, etc)
  • A pdf or text document of the publication.

Include in the Email subject line: HARDCORE ANNUAL – Your Story Title

We’ll send a notification within 48 hours that we received your submission. If you don’t get this, please inquire. We may not have received it.

Email to randyman [at] cometpress [dot] us .

Via: Comet Press.

Taking Submissions: Planet Scumm Issue #1

Deadline: February 5th, 2017
Payment: Royalty Split

Submissions Call! Jan 5th – Feb 5th

Spark and Fizz Books is accepting submissions to the inaugural issue of its quarterly science and speculative fiction zine Planet Scumm. We’ll be accepting submissions January 5th to February 5th, or until we fill the collection.

What We’re Looking For

Previously unpublished short fiction that doesn’t lean heavily on genre tropes. Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, sci-fi that melts in your mouth-brain not your hand-brain. Speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream, glitterlit, analogpunk. Basically anything that pleases Scummy, our megaphone-toting slime buddy.

Include submissions as an .RTF or .DOC attachment sent to [email protected] along with a brief cover letter in the email body. Stories, or collections of flash fiction, should be 1000-7500 words in length, and submitted in standard manuscript format. Use the subject line “Planet Scumm Submission” followed by your story title.

Submit only one short story or flash collection. We will not accept multiple submissions from the same author in one reading period.

Simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as you promptly withdraw a story accepted elsewhere. Submissions that are too long or short will be rejected immediately, as will those that are incorrectly formatted. In addition, submissions covering the topics below aren’t likely to play well with our slush readers.

The No-No List

  • Zombies, vampires, werewolves, pirates, ninjas
  • Cthuloid/Mythos tales
  • Straight horror without a clear speculative element
  • Erotica
  • Fan fiction
  • Sword-and-spell fantasy
  • Steampunk
  • Anthropomorphic animals
  • Stories that end with “It was all a dream” or “Turns out they were in a simulation”

Use With Caution

  • Time travel
  • Political allegory
  • Satire/Comedy
  • Lasers (pew-pew handheld ones, and big blue planet-killers)
  • FTL travel

Schedule, Rights and Payment

Issue 001 will be released July 4th, 2017 as an e-book with a limited print run. Most accepted stories will also be published on our blog.For accepted stories, we’re asking for first world print and electronic publishing rights for six months and non-exclusive rights thereafter. Profits will be split 50/50 between the publisher and all contributing authors, after production costs have been paid.

Authors will receive their first payment within 6 months of their issue’s release date, and an annual residuals check. Contributors will also receive a free digital copy of the issue.

Via: Planet Scumm.

Ongoing Submissions: Gathering Storm Magazine

Payment: $25

We are all addicted to conflict, which is what makes our hands turn the page.  We want you to start with a bang and end with the reader finally taking their next breath.  We want your submission to have an impact.  Take us away from the known world for a few minutes and make us forget what we are doing.

The central idea for every submission should focus solely on one of the themes for that issue.  Embrace the theme.  Love the theme.  Breathe the theme.

Short Story (Pay is 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Gathering Storm Magazine (GSM) publishes fictional short stories of 2,000 words or less based on the themes for that issue, always an old saying, proverb, or maxim.  If your story takes you a little over the word count, then entangle us in a web of creativity.  If your story does not meet the theme for the respective issue, then it will be rejected.  Most genres welcome (fantasy, horror, science fiction, steampunk, weird, Lovecraftian, sword & sorcery, etc.), the only rule being that it is new, original, weird, fun, scary, exciting, or another emotion that invokes something out of the reader.

Art (Pay is 25.00 for each story/cover art; 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Everyone likes to look at engaging art.  Submit it to us and let’s see if we get engaged by it too.  We want to see your portfolios too, so send us a link to that as well if you can.

Poetry (Pay is 10.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Give us something good.  Tell a story.  Pull at our hearts.  Make me turn the light on.  Make us think.  Poetry is a tough sell, so sell it well.

Comics (Pay is 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

If you have something that is interesting, we will consider serializing it over multiple issues.

Other Tidbits & Masterpieces:

Everyone has something interesting hiding somewhere.  If it doesn’t match the guidelines above, but you still want the world to see it, we’d be happy to share it on our social media.  From time-to-time, we will publish something so out of the ordinary, it does not fit into any category but it’s certainly worth putting in our publication.  If you have something truly neat, let us take a look at it.  For example, any snippets of fun, like a fantasy recipe for a good meal that may be unknown to other universes.  On even rarer occasions, we will take non-fiction, such as reviews, essays, etc., but at the moment there is no pay for nonfiction.  We can certainly add a link to send some visitors your way, just provide us with your contact/portfolio/website.


Most submissions that are published will be adapted into an audio version based on the approved, final edits between GSM and the author.  The pieces may or may not include sound effects, musical accompaniments, etc., based solely on the imagination and creativity of the GSM editors.

Interactive Fiction:

Known in the old days as “choose your own adventure”, we are happy to accept one piece of interactive fiction each issue, but please remember the themes.  Please visit Inkle Studios (@inklestudios) below for more information and to use their free software to write your very own interactive fiction.  Inkle makes narrative games and interactive fiction.

It’s fun!  Just submit the story link in the appropriate category in Submittable rather than uploading a document.


  • First and foremost, have fun writing.  If you absolutely love what you wrote, then you have good chances.  If you trudged through it just to get it done, it may not be suitable for us either.

  • This is a themed publication, so make sure your story fits within the respective theme of your choice.  The theme must be written verbatim somewhere in the  submission and should not be the title.  It can be listed in anyway you deem is worthy (a thought, part of the dialogue, or even the name of a road sign).  Be creative.

  • If you haven’t got us in tears, sweating from excitement, fearing something dreadful, or laughing so hard we fell out of the chair by halfway through your story, then stop, revise, and submit when you’ve accomplished this.

  • Submit all writing in either .rtf or .doc/.docx (prefer Microsoft Word).

  • Submit all art/comics in an appropriately sized file format, prefer .jpeg/.jpg.

  • Follow a proper manuscript format. (Hint, hint)

  • Submit a cover letter with a small bio.  This same bio will be included in any advertising we use if your story is selected for publication.

  • Check spelling and grammar…three times.

  • Always send a cover letter and contact info for who you are and where readers can spend more time looking at your work.  We aren’t just about publishing original work; we want you to gain followers as well.

  • MIND THE DEADLINES as once they are closed, no more submissions will be accepted for those particular themes.


  • Above everything, don’t try to impress us with clever fonts, colors, flashes, or out-of-the-norm formatting.  If it doesn’t follow a very standard submission guideline, it probably will be immediately rejected.  We certainly encourage you to check out what formatting style is acceptable here.

  • Don’t send us something that has been previously published unless we specifically asked for it.  Don’t send us a revision of the submission that we previously rejected.

  • Don’t be overly vulgar, graphic, or gross.  If that needs to be defined any further, or if you are wondering if your piece might get through, then keep it.

  • Don’t send your submission via email, fax, postal service, UPS, FedEx, etc.  Use our Submittable only.

  • Don’t query why a submission was rejected as we do not have the time to answer these requests.


We will read everything as long as you follow the above guidelines.  With this in mind, it takes time because we get a lot of submissions.  Responses can generally take 30 days and we aim to give you a response by then.  Unfortunately, we are unable to give personal responses due to the volume that we receive, unless your submission was super special, then we will write you a personal rejection note.

Payment (USD only):

Paypal is our payment method for everything (see above sections for payment rates).  You can expect payment within 30 days of GSM receiving the edited and approved version, signing the contract, and publishing your submission.

What We Buy:

Everything we publish will be line-edited for grammar, punctuation, and clarity.  The author will be contacted for a final review of the edits before publication.  Upon the author’s acceptance of the edits, payment will be made per the contract.

For payment of your submission, we purchase the following rights:

First World Serial Rights
First World Electronic Rights
Non-Exclusive World Audio Rights
An Option to buy Non-Exclusive World Anthology Rights

In other words, we buy the rights to publish your story on our website, in our eBooks/PDF’s/other forms of digital copies, and to publish an audio podcast version of your final, edited submission (if we choose to use it in our podcasts) for a period of 180 days from the date of publication.  In the case your submission is selected for reprinting in a future anthology or collected works by us, which will be detailed by the original contract you signed, to be published anywhere in the world.  With this in mind, you can’t publish your submission as a new, original, or “first-run” story anywhere in the world, it can’t appear in print, online, or in any audio form, within 180 days of publication date.  After the 180 days, it can be submitted wherever you’d like as a reprint, non-exclusive version.

By submitting to us, you also agree to sign up for our newsletter.  Don’t worry, you can always remove yourself from it at anytime.

Submit At Submittable.

Via: Gathering Storm Magazine.

Taking Submissions: Electric Spec May Issue 2017

Deadline: April 15th, 2017
Payment: $20 usd

Please don’t query us about your story submission. We don’t have the manpower to answer such queries. An editor will email you back as soon as possible with the decision about your story. This can take a few days, or, up to three months. We make every effort to get back to authors in a timely manner but we get a lot of submissions so sometimes it’s not possible.

A note on our editorial policy: before publication we may edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story.

Issues are published at the end of February, May, August, and November. We reserve the right to shift publication date slightly, as necessary.

We have reading periods for each issue, though we never close to submissions.

February closes January 15

May closes April 15

August closes July 15

November closes October 15

Please do not submit the same story more than once, and please submit only one story at a time.

We consider any story between 250 and 7000 words with speculative fiction elements. We prefer science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we’re willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres.

We do not consider poetry, stories with over-the-top sex or violence, serials, novels, fan fiction, or non-fiction. We don’t accept multiple submissions; in other words, only submit one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know up front and tell us as soon as it’s accepted elsewhere. We do not publish reprints, including anything that has appeared on a website.

We pay $20 for each story we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal. We encourage our authors to establish a PayPal account if they don’t already have one.

We prefer to read submissions in traditional manuscript format. This means indented paragraphs instead of left justification, and Courier or Times New Roman font in 12 pt, double-spaced. Also, please include the title, your name, address, and word length on the first page of your story.

To submit your story to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment in Rich Text Format (RTF) to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: SUBMISSION:Story Title by Author’s Name (Word Count). In the body of the e-mail, include writing credits, if any, and the word count of the story. With the proliferation of viruses on the Internet, we do not open attachments unaccompanied by a cover letter.

We respond to most submissions within six weeks. Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months to make a final decision, but we will let you know if your story is being held for voting. Please note we do not send out messages upon receipt of stories.

If you want to withdraw a story from consideration, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com and include the word WITHDRAW in the subject line. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at our submissions address and include the word QUERY in the subject line.

Why Submit to Electric Spec?

At Electric Spec, we encourage authors to do their market research before submitting work. Electric Spec stands out from other markets because:

  • We pay for stories and artwork.
  • We don’t have slush readers. At least one of our editors looks at every story that comes in.
  • We’ve been around for over ten years – and we’ve never missed an issue, deadline, or author payment.
  • We actually edit the stories we publish. Our experienced editors work with authors to make their stories the best they can possibly be. Many magazines out there don’t do that – and it shows.
  • We have a quick turn-around time regarding publication. We try to send out rejections in 30-40 days. Acceptances take longer, but we will let you know if your story is in the running (i.e. held for voting) in that same time frame.
  • We love authors because we’re authors, too. All of the editors are published speculative fiction authors.

Via: Electric Spec.

Trembling With Fear 01/15/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Welcome to the second week of ‘Trembling With Fear’! We’ve actually been getting quite a few amazing submissions so far and I hope this continues as I’d love to keep this going. A small change from last week in that we’ll be adding in a 4th drabble going forward. So, 1 short, 3 drabbles, and a 4th drabble always from a staff member.

Also, we’ve made some changes to the submission guidelines!

I hope you’re hungry for more!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

“Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meats

By Carl R. Jennings

Hello friends! Do you find yourself unwilling or unable to pay the outrageous prices for the more traditional sources of meet such as beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, and venison? And don’t even get me started on veal—that is if you can even find it! Nor do you want to risk using another source to feed your family, such as rats or insects? Do you have any idea how filthy the average rat is? Disgusting!

I was in the same boat as you not too long ago, that’s why I started “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat! Before you press that skip button I’m not talking about those soy-based “fake meat”, like some dirty vegetarian. I’m talking about good, old-fashioned flesh-and-bone meat.
But, I hear you thinking in puzzlement, I’m not using any of the usual meat sources, what is actually in “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat? I hope you’re sitting down for this revelation because it’s going to knock your socks off! “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat uses only the best, responsibly sourced human remains!

But, I hear you cry in astonishment, why would I ever eat human meat? Therein lies the brilliance of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat! Have you had a look around lately? Getting a little crowded in all the habitable areas on this planet, isn’t it? I mean, how do you think we came to this shortage to begin with? With sheep fields being converted to low-income housing, cattle ranges being used for prisons, and pond farms being filled in for retirement villages? How could we not find ourselves in danger of losing the venerable institution of the carnivore!

“Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat, like a rising phoenix, pulls from all of those sources—the prisoners, the destitute, and the old—in order to fill the gap in the market and your stomachs. All of the dregs of society, the drains on all of our hard-earned money, can now serve a purpose once again! And, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?

If social responsibility isn’t enough to convince you to take out your credit cards just yet, let me give you and your growing hunger even more reasons to buy as many pounds of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat products as you can afford.

Years ago, my great grandfather, Pappy Carey, owned one of the Midwest’s premiere cattle ranges. As a young kid I would sit on my father’s knee as he told me story after story of delicious cows in fields as far as the eye could see; of juicy, succulent steaks and hamburgers that they, and their wallets, all thrived on after a slaughter.

After much searching of the internet and libraries, I can proudly say that I have replicated the best practices of Pappy Carey’s cattle farm! All of our meat is as safely and cleanly prepared as it was in the good old days.

But let’s say you aren’t convinced yet; that my excellent lineage and exhaustive research hasn’t assured you of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meats’ tastiness and fitness for consumption. “But ‘Dr.’ Carey,” I hear you cry, “I don’t want to eat the same thing as a filthy and worthless Wastelander—killing and eating each other to survive!” Well do I have good news for you: All of our alternative meat products are tested for diseases such as A.I.D.S., H.I.V., all forms of cancers, viral infections such as the flu, and much, much more. Such dedication to the safety of my customer has lead, I can now reveal, to having secured the world’s first approval to serve our alternative meat products by the U.S.D.A.! That’s right, folks, your own government has placed its stamp of blessing upon all of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat products.

But, I hear your stomachs wail, how would I even prepare human meat? Well fire up those burners and ovens, get out those pots and pans, because “Dr.” Carey has taken care of that for you too, folks. With each order of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat I’m going to throw in a downloadable copy of our new e-cookbook, “”Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat Preparation Guide”. In it I have recorded over two-dozen ways to cook our products as developed by the world-renowned chef, the late Phillip de la Nourriture. Now you too will be able to cook a scrumptious, delectable, and hearty alternative meat meal for yourself and your family.

And if you still don’t find yourself sold on the viability of my alternative meat then listen to this: if you order one pound of “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat today you will receive not one.
Not two.
Not three.

But four pounds of alternative meat for the price of one! There are many choice cuts to choose from: thigh, calf, buttock, breast, shoulder, and more! You may also choose from our line of budget processed alternative meats, including the triumphant and along awaited return of the traditional American hot dog!

And, for those of you that have already ordered “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat products from your local grocery warehouse and have found it to live up to the hype and more, why not try our brand new Customer Loyalty Program? For an insanely low monthly fee you can have your favorite cuts delivered directly to your home, straight from our facilities, by our high-tech fleet of drones. From the basic Standard Level to the exclusive Gastronomer Level, with which you’ll receive pictures and videos of our choicest stock so that you may pick out your source personally!

I’d like to see a kale farmer do that!

All of our products are backed up by our satisfaction guarantee: if you are not completely satisfied by your alternative meat product for any reason then call our fast and friendly customer representative hotline to receive a credit on your next order.

Remember “Dr.” Carey’s Hygienic Alternative Meat the next time your stomach growls for something red blooded. You owe it to society but, more importantly, you owe it to your own taste buds.

Carl R. Jennings is by day a thickly Russian accented bartender in Southwestern Virginia. By night he is the rooster themed superhero: the Molotov Cocktail, protecting the weak and beer-sodden. While heroically posing on a rooftop in the moonlight in case a roaming photographer happens by, he finds the time to write down a word or two in the lifelong dream that he can put aside the superhero mantle and utility comb to become a real author.



by Patrick Winters

It’s ten o’clock and my husband won’t stop pounding on the front door.
He’s been out there for the whole last hour, calling out to me, begging for me to let him in and take him back. That he still loves me. He promises that we can go back to being how we once were. I want to believe that, but I know better.
I’d shouted at him to go away, to just leave me alone. He started to get angry after that, shouting louder and knocking harder. It’s scaring me.
My husband’s been dead for over a year now.

Patrick Winters is a recent graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, The Sirens Call, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles.


Program Delete

By: Robert Allen Lupton

Jim was a hacker, a former Catholic, and a drunk, not necessarily in that order. He hacked into the Vatican and fought his way through security and found a file called. “Intelligent Creation – Control Data.” While he was searching the file, alarms went off and the Vatican system started to access his computer and location.
“Screw this,” said Jim and he hit the key to delete the Vatican’s files. The percentage deletion popup raced across his screen and when it showed eight-five percent, his desk, computer, and room disappeared.
Jim’s last words were, “Damn, I wish I hadn’t done that.”

Robert Allen Lupton is retired and lives in New Mexico with his wife, Sally, where they are commercial hot air balloon pilots. Robert runs and writes every day, but not necessarily in that order.

Good Reads.


By: B.B. Blazkowicz

Benny liked him some coffin nails. He would take two, four, sometimes even more.
Friends implored he take no more. Lest he would win, a one-way vacation to the morgue.
Benny loved those coffin nails, even when his health it failed.
Woke up one morning feeling sore.
He saw his stomach by the door, with skin and hair on the floor.
To no avail and to his dismay, he saw a ribcage full of nails
A skeleton, he was begotten!
So Benny bought himself a coffin
For he knew his ship has sailed, built out of his favorite nails.

My name is Cameron Gass. I have had short stories previously published in Bloody Disgusting and Horror Writers.com under the pen name B.B.Blazkowicz. I am a budding amateur horror fiction writer from a cultural dead zone in the middle of nowhere Ohio. I enjoy drinking Tom Collins with a zany straw and binge watching whatever happens to be on the Home Shopping Network.


The Cinema Experience

By: Nicole J. Simms

Nicholas laughs, eyes fixed on the big screen. The cinema had always amazed him even when they were simple silent movies. He had adored the Charlie Chaplin movies, City lights being his favorite.
He sips his drink and frowns. Removing the lid, he studies the empty drink container.
He pokes the slumped girl next to him; their eyes lock. “I need more,” he says. The girl sits up and raises her arm. “Thank you, darling.” Baring his fangs, Nicholas pierces her flesh. He then holds the girl’s wrist over the drink container.
The girl whimpers.
Yes, Nicholas loves the cinema.

Nicole J. Simms is a UK horror writer, who also likes to explore other genres, such as crime and fantasy.

So far, she has had her stories published on websites such as Spinetinglers, where she won second place. Her story ‘The Snowflakes of Time’ can also be found in Firewords Quarterly magazine’s fourth issue.

Nicole is a regular contributor to the Horror Tree website. She writes self-doubt fighting blog posts aimed at writers, and shares tips and advice.

When she’s not writing, she loves to bake.


Six Hundred Sixty Six Bottles of Blood on the Wall: Crossroads and Intersections

It’s been a long time since I’ve written something for Horror Tree. Once upon a time, I wrote weekly about the struggles and insights of a newbie writer still working things out and learning a lot by writing about writing for a lot of people who were probably experiencing lots of the same things I was. A couple of you may remember me, and wonder where I went, but most of you probably have no idea who the hell I am.

In the past I swore a lot, made a lot of inflammatory comments, had a lot of fun. I got a lot right, and I also got a lot wrong, but I was ALWAYS honest with myself, and my audience.

So it’s time to be honest once again and say that at least for now… I’m done. And I’ve been done for long time. I lost whatever it was I had, but I’m not sad or upset. If anything, I’m completely indifferent to it all. I just don’t care any more.

For the better part of the last year, my focus shifted almost completely to reading, and believe me, I have been fucking murdering books and loving it. Feels great, especially seeing friends and other writers who started around the same time as me putting out good quality shit.

I beat myself up about my literary lethargy for a long time, but then I realized, what’s the fucking point? A lot of the void writing filled in my life has been filled with other things (not an increase in drugs or alcohol, I swear), and I’m happy.

If I wanted to write, I’d sit down and write. You won’t hear me moping about how I lost my mojo or how I’ve had writer’s block for a whole year or some shit like that. Nope. No way. I’ve been living new aspects of my life and writing just hasn’t been a priority.

Do I have an hour a day to sit down and write? Of course. We all do.

Do I want to spend an hour doing that each day? No. Right now, I honestly don’t. Even writing this post is something I put off until the last minute.

Am I going to regret it? Probably. Maybe. I don’t know. I’ll worry about that when it comes.

Am I done forever? I sure don’t think so, but a lot happened to me really fast when I got started and I turned that initial spark of creativity into a goddamned juggernaut, and then my life, time, values, priorities, whatever you want to call it, went in a different direction. We all come to the crossroads, and we all make our decisions. I think I’ll be back in full swing someday, but until then there are a few things I’ve committed to permanently like a series of novels co-authored with Ken MacGregor, the first of which will drop later this year, and a few anthology invitations I have accepted and will not run from.

In a few of my old posts that are probably still floating around on this site I probably called everyone who doesn’t write every day a pussy, or talked out of my ass about output and excuses and god knows what else, but now I’m a little older and a little wiser and things make a little more sense to me.

What it boils down to is this: Do whatever the fuck you wanna do. If you see 10 good anthology calls you want to hit, hit ‘em, smash ‘em, give ‘em your best. If you only want to write novels or flash fiction or whatever, then do that. If you just wanna write for yourself and bury it on your hard drive, do it. If you just wanna read for a while, fucking do that, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Make yourself happy, cuz ain’t nobody else gonna do it for you.

Don’t over commit, and remember it’s okay to say no to people.

But make sure you honor the commitments you make, especially to good friends, and you make sure you give them your very best.

This post here was prompted by a commitment I made well over a year ago to one of my best friends on this planet. His name is Rob Boley. He and a good friend of his, New York Times Bestselling romance/horror/erotica writer Megan Hart wanted to put together an anthology of novellas all themed around an Ouija Board. They recruited some serious talent in Chris Marrs, Brad Hodson, and the inimitable Sephera Giron. They threw me a bone, and I became a part of this book titled Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror.

Nearly my only/entire writing output for 2016 is collected in my 20,000 word novella, titled “Ghosted.” It’s the single longest piece I’ve published to date. I also think it’s my best.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know everyone says that about everything, but I had something to say in “Ghosted” and I think I said it loud and clear while simultaneously and intentionally leaving all kinds of blurred lines. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not too big on the supernatural, and I tackled this story in the only way I feel that I could have. I wrote a dating/relationship story, and god do I love writing dating/relationship stories.

So basically what this post boils down to is that at least for the indefinite future, I don’t have much planned on the writing front. Other than the novel(s) with Ken, I’ve got nothing else coming and nothing else submitted. I’ve made peace with that, and with the early 2017, yesterday, Friday the 13th release of Intersections, and the story I wrote, the talent I’m standing beside, and the product itself, I can’t think of a better way to walk away. At least for a little while longer.

In the last year, I haven’t plugged a single thing haha, so nothing would make me happier than getting as many eyeballs on Intersections as possible because I think we’ve created one hell of an anthology. Get lost in the words and decide for yourself: You can snag it on Amazon!

Rob and Megan read all the stories and decided to put mine at the beginning. I couldn’t be more honored. I always thought I made a better opening act than I would a headliner. Nothing more satisfying than dropping a jaw and having someone ask “Who the hell is that?”

I am Kerry Lipp.

I am proud.

I am happy.

I hope this one fucking drops jaws.

And I hope, Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror only gets better from there.


Keep reading, keep writing, and keep it real,


Taking Submissions: Piece by Piece: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Horror Anthology


Deadline: February 1st, 2017
Payment: Split Royalties

Do you remember that guy or girl you did everything for? The one you walked on water for, bent over backward for and sacrificed your own happiness to please them… The one who ended up leaving you distraught, numb, and dying on the floor? Revenge of love is the best remedy to soothe your burning soul! Piece by Piece is an Anti-Valentine’s Day Horror Anthology for short stories. Massacres, heartbreak hotel, obsessive love; the one thing they all have in common: The color red that smears the walls and allays the maniacal laughs of the once dying and broken soul.

3k-10k word count
Times New Roman 12 pt font
Deadline: February 1st
Crisp, clean, polished work

Must be Valentine themed

Please send submissions to [email protected]

Split royalty payment

Via: Azoth Khem Publishing.

Taking Submissions: Gaslandia: A Dieselpunk Anthology

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Deadline: March 1st, 2017
Payment: $0.01USD per word, optionally more for certain factors

Announcing Radiant Crown Publishing’s upcoming anthology of dieselpunk fiction, featuring art from the premiere dieselpunk artist, Gaslandia!


January 1st, 2017- March 1st, 2017

Anything submitted outside of this window will be deleted unread.


ISBN-13: Coming Soon

ISBN-10: Coming Soon

Gaslandia is an upcoming anthology of speculative, mysterious, and romantic dieselpunk adventures! Framed as a book of legends told during an air raid, each story should have a 1920s-1950s pop culture aesthetic not necessarily restricted to a North American audience. Critical nostalgia is key. Don’t feed us the same old tired tropes without engaging the past in new ways. We want sprawling metropolises teeming with innovation, undiscovered frontiers in the depths of the oceans, and the vastness of the open skies re-imagined. Pack your stories full of locomotives, speakeasies, radios, spies, telegraphs, gangsters, submarines, world fairs, skyscrapers, inequality, warfare, and magic that dazzled and divided the world. Deadline March 1st, 2017 11:59 EST.


Snowpiecer (Movie)


Last Exile (Animation)


Children of the Sun (RPG)


Jean “Mœbius” Giraud (Comics)


Sunrise: A Dieselpunk Fantasy (CYOA)


Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual (Illustrated Serial Fiction)



  • Non-exclusive archival rights as long as the website(s) hosting the work are online
  • If an audiobook is produced, payment is $0.01USD per word for non-exclusive electronic audio rights
  • First world electronic and print rights in English with exclusivity for 8 months from the date of publication
  • Copyright remains with the author at all times

Please query if anything listed is of concern. Here is a good explanation of what this entails.


SHORT STORIES: 1001 to 7,499 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

NOVELETTE: 7,500 to 17,499 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

NOVELLA: 17,500 to 40,000 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

SPOTLIGHT SHORT STORY: 1001 to 1500 words. One story involving an air pirate with a prosthetic limb as a central element of the plot. Paid $0.02USD or $0.03USD per word.

All payments made through PayPal. Please note that these are not professional rates. Fiction can only be resold as a reprint after publication. Decide if you want to take this payment scheme or submit to another market.


  • Poorly formatted and edited work
  • Overtly racist, sexist, violent, etc. works without adding value overall
  • Works above the word counts and/or untitled


  • Fanfiction of any kind
  • Excerpts out of a novel
  • Taboo elements (rape in all forms, incest, pedophilia, etc.) in almost all cases


  • Pushing the boundaries of genre and form
  • People of Color, disabled people, women, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized groups at the forefront
  • Pulp fiction, Decopunk/”Ottensian” Dieselpunk, Diesel Noir, Diesel Weird War, Diesel “Piecraftian” Dystopia, Weird Western, Dying Earth, Raygun Gothic/Atompunk, Slipstream, Ancient Aliens, Hollow Earth, and so on




  • The subject line should read GASLANDIA: CATEGORY: TITLE (WORD COUNT) ex). GASLANDIA: SHORT STORIES: Super Story (1001)
  • A short cover letter is required. Please include your legal name, pen name (if relevant), contact information, recent publications/awards (if any), and a bio of 50-150 words. Interview questions will be sent to accepted authors. A photo of you is required


  • Submissions should be attached in the email as a .rtf, .doc or .docx
  • Shunn’s manuscript style for fiction required (double-spaced, 12 pt standard font, page numbers, etc.)


  • Reprints encouraged!
  • Translations into English are welcome
  • Up to two submissions in total allowed
  • Simultaneous submissions to other markets are accepted! Alert RCP immediately should your work be accepted somewhere else (congrats in advance!)


Currently around two months after submitting. Do not query before then. We do not send out notification that the piece has been received, only when it is accepted or rejected. We will try to answer all submissions with an acceptance or rejection letter.


Any personal information collected (including but not limited to your name, address, email, social media links, and pen name) is held in strict confidence and not shared with anyone else unless compelled by law or in the event threats are leveled against the staff.

If a third party contacts RCP interested in an author’s or artist’s work, the author/artist will be contacted first to ask permission to share details.


By sending us your work you understand and agree that:

  • You are the original creator and copyright holder of the work submitted;
  • You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of exclusive electronic & print rights in English, first world translation rights into English, reprint rights, and/or non-exclusive audio rights to the work;
  • All information submitted is accurate and truthful; and
  • You accept sole responsibility for any false statements upon rights not disclosed.

If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will sign your contract and accept your payment on your behalf. Finally, if accepted here and then republished, you are required to add the title of this anthology as your previous place of publication.

Via: Radiant Crown Publishing.

Taking Submissions: Retro Future Issue #2


Deadline: February 1st, 2017
Payment: Unlisted but “will always meet or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines”

Retro Future is a bi-monthly pulp magazine that searches for diverse, surprising, and progressive science fiction in art, prose, essay, and comics.

Issue #2: “Love” – February 1, 2017

Issue #2: Relationships and love in the future.

Submissions Guidelines

We welcome submissions of art and writing that approaches retrofuturism through a progressive lens. Essays and flash fiction of approximately 250-500 words is especially welcome; longer works may be serialized.

Comic submissions should be 1-8 pages of finished work. Anything longer may get serialized across multiple issues. Please note that inside art should be in grayscale (please refer to art and comic templates for details.)

Galileo Books acquires first serial rights; upon publication, these rights revert back to you, the author. We ask that you acknowledge Retro Future (Galileo Books) as the venue of original publication when the work appears in your book or is otherwise collected.

If a work becomes unavailable while under our review, please contact us via email. Submitted work for specific issues may be considered for other issues if themes fit.

Art and comic templates are located here.
(Dropbox will ask you to join, you can ignore that and click the ‘continue to download’ link)

Retro Future is a progressive publication. Subjects such as sexual violence, un-examined racism, and other potentially offensive material are often used as fodder for exposition in genre stories–this is not appropriate for inclusion in Retro Future.

We are looking for forward-looking and optimistic science and science-fiction. Sensitive topics can be part of a good story, but a vision of a future better than our present is the focus of Retro Future. Keep this in mind when submitting.

Submission Email

[email protected]
In the subject, please format as follows for artwork:
          Full Name, artrf, Your Project Title
In the subject, please format as follows for writing:
          Full Name, litrf, Your Project Title

This will help our filters organize better! You can expect a response up to a month after the deadline date.

We will always meet or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines.

Via: Galileo Games.

Taking Submissions: Their Coats All Red: Dark Tales of Empire


Deadline: April 15th, 2017
Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.

o the office of the Prime Minister:

As you have no doubt been made aware from previous correspondence, Mr. Gladstone, problems of an unusual nature still arise in the further reaches of Her Majesty’s empire.

You remember the transport we lost in the Chinese seas, and manpower spent keeping it from the press. One of the officer’s wives, a Mrs. Kathleen Morland, was found drifting in the same waters. Yes, two years later. She wore strange finery, speaking in a language that we still haven’t placed, and only telling a broken story through far more broken English. She complains of voices from some long ago time, saying things she wishes she could forget. The ship which rescued was followed to port by strange lights.

One exploratory party Africa reported total darkness for a period of 106 hours. No trace of the sun. Light suddenly returned around noon. When their guide returned the following day, he was nearly mad with grief. “The darkness now resides within us. Our light has faded.”

Just as I was about to hand this to my secretary, one more report arrived. Trouble along the Indian border, as ever. Word is fragmentary, also as ever, but suggests something unhealthy and alive in the biting wind.

While troubling, I don’t believe there is anything the foreign office can do at this time. We’ll continue to look into these on a case by case basis—but the difference in geography, actors, and dates seems to suggest we can do little but watch, record, and pray.

Yours truly,

[The signature is missing, crumbling away to a burnt-out blackness. The letter shows signs of having been thrust into the fire, but saved before the letter was wholly consumed.]

What We Want

Their Coats All Red: Dark Tales of Empire is seeking strange stories which are steeped in the history of the British Empire from about 1880 to 1905. These must be tales which capture the feel of the high Victorian era.

We don’t want stories of the Empire itself—we want stories of the weirdness underneath. Ghosts, spirits, madness and monstrosities are all welcome. Make it psychological or physical, but make it good.

Crucially, every submission must contain an element of the weird, the uncanny, the supernatural, or the paranormal. This may be in the form of spirits, hauntings, monstrosities, folklore and folk-horror from the region in question, or simply the completely inexplicable. Dark, foreboding, or unsettling are good keywords. Weird fiction also encompasses dark fantasy, of a sort, opening the door for dark historical fantasy a la Manly Wade Wellman, Neil Gaiman, or Tim Powers.

We are looking for stories which reflect the vastness and variety of the Empire, and so suggested geographical settings include, but are not limited to:

  • India and the Raj
  • The East Indies in general
  • China up to and including the Boxer Rebellion
  • Egypt and the Sudan,
  • West Africa and the later Ashanti Wars
  • South Africa, both the Zulu Wars and the Boer War
  • At sea, around, or going to or from, any of the above

We want to see the impact of Empire and its infrastructure, from any viewpoint. The military side of life on the frontier is an obvious one, and an encouraged one, but not the only approach.

We will check your history.

Characters of any relevant culture, ethnicity, or allegiance are welcome, not only the British soldiers. The lost, bewildered British soldier or colonial administrator; the embittered Indian servant or Rajah; the scorned Egyptian woman and the dying Boer farmer are all equally possible protagonists. What we do not want are stereotypes. Think real people in strange situations. No cartoon racists or noble savages.

Farmers marching under a parched South African noon to fight the Boer, with whom they often had more in common than they had with their own officers. Young London women shipped with their husbands to quarters in Calcutta with little company save their Indian servants. Traders and planters in Malaya, fighting the monsoon shadows, and the forlorn garrisons in the Sudan. The sailors of the West Africa squadron, seizing slave ships off the Gold Coast.

The Bombay char wallah, beaten once too often by the English Major for being too slow with his tea. The Zulu who trades his iklwa for a Martini rifle. The Egyptian woman who finds her officer lover will not acknowledge her in the street.

Complex and human are the watchwords. Be sensitive to the humanity of characters on all sides.

We would also like to encourage stories with female central characters. The high Victorian era is when modern women began seriously entering their own careers, studying science, and starting their own businesses. While there were many problems in the era, it would be exciting to see achievements celebrated, in fiction, instead of the era’s failings presented as the only path for women. This is, after all, also the era of Nellie Bly, Annie Oakley, Mary Kingsley, Isabella Bird, Marie Curie, Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso, Harriet Martineau, and Jane Addams, among many, many others.

Using the Cthulhu Mythos is acceptable, however we do not want simple retreads, pastiche, or Lovecraft-lite. Write something fresh, creative, and, of course, deeply embedded in the Empire if you choose to try this route.

If you would like to write a story regarding an earlier event (such as the Sepoy Rebellion), please query the editors.

What We Don’t Want

Don’t rely on ahistorical cliché. Corsets weren’t that tight (except for a hot five minutes in 1850s France). The English weren’t repressed, and all the evidence usually carted out to prove it is a hoax (“Lie on your back and think of England”) or a joke that started about Americans (“They cover the most scandalous, shapely legs in their house—the piano legs!”). Falling into ahistorical cliché is a serious black mark against stories.

We’re looking for realistic takes on the Empire itself. In other words, the Empire was neither cartoon monstrosity nor entirely wonderful. Like so many things, it was a mix of positive and negative. If stories try to address empire as a concept, or the English Empire in particular, it’s essential to keep this in mind. Stories which fail to keep this in mind will be an increasingly hard sell.

This does not mean we’re looking for stories where “The English only thought they were doing positive things in their Empire building.” We’re not interested in anything so dismissive of the past. We’re not looking for comments on Empire along the lines of “actual evil” versus “perceived good,” but the much more difficult and human, “actual evil” vs. “actual good.”

A general historical story of the period, however weird and unnatural, will not cut any ice—it needs to be rooted in the Empire.

We are not interested in political screeds for or against the English Empire, or empires in general.

We’d rather not receive missionary stories. It’s an over-used take on colonial issues, and unless it’s astonishing or very, very different, we’re not likely to let you get away it.

Stories set in locations such as America, Canada, Australasia, and the West Indies are also feasible, but they will be a harder sell unless they have directly relevance to the theme of Empire. Stories may be set in Britain, but they would have to relate to an aspect of Empire. No Victorian gents merely musing how they got shot in the leg in Afghanistan, please.

Sundry Details

Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.

Rights: First World Digital and Print.

Deadline: April 15th, 2017

Word Count: 4,000-16,000

How to Submit your Story:

  • All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to [email protected]
  • The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
  • The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font).
  • Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. If you already have tabbed or spaced indents, please remove them first. Please use full em dashes (—).
  • At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
  • Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.
  • Place the collection you’re submitting to, your name, and your story title in the subject line of your email. For example, “Their Coats All Red / Rudyard Kipling / The Mark of the Beast.”

John Linwood Grant is a writer of strange period tales and dark fiction, author of the Tales of the Last Edwardian series, including A Study in Grey, and co-editor of Occult Detective Quarterly.

Matthew Willis is a journalist and writer, author of a period sea novel Daedalus and the Deep, and editing credits include the recent Stalking Leviathan anthology.

Via: 18th Wall.

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