Taking Submissions: Spooky Isles Book of Horror

Deadline: July 31st, 2017
Payment: 4 contributor’s copies

We’re looking for short stories and non-fiction articles for the Spooky Isles Book of Horror anthology, to be published later in 2017 in both paperback and digital formats. ANDREW GARVEY tells you want we want…

The Spooky Isles Book of Horror will be a collection of short fiction, paired with their real-life inspirations. Read on to discover how you can be part of this terrifying journey into the macabre!

We are after 2000 to 3000 words for short stories and 1000 words for non-fiction articles. We are quite flexible about word counts but please, no 14,000 word epics and no 200 word flash fiction.

What kind of horror are we looking for?

The Spooky Isles is concerned with British and Irish horror. You could send us the best wendigo or Chinese hopping vampire story ever written and it won’t be published. Keep it British and Irish. If you have a story you want to tell but aren’t certain it quite fits the guidelines, just email and enquire.

We want short stories paired with a non-fiction piece on the ‘real-life’ inspiration behind your story.

Real life here may not be the most helpful term but… let’s say you’ve sent us a short story on the myth of Herne the Hunter.

Your accompanying non-fiction article should discuss the origins of the legend, the basic facts or characteristics of it and a brief discussion of how you’ve been inspired by it or adapted it.

Basically, someone who has never heard of Herne should be able to read your article and get the basics of the story. Look at the articles on www.spookyisles.com for an idea of the kind of non-fiction we want – straightforward, accessible reads, basically – just a bit longer than we usually have online.

Actual real life historical events – if they’ve gone down in British or Irish folklore – are fine too. The obvious example here would be Jack the Ripper, the Pendle witches or Dick Turpin. But be careful, this is not a Jack the Ripper anthology. If you’re going to base your story on such an obvious/infamous figure it will need to be exceptionally good and/or original to stand out.

Remember, this is a horror anthology and our expected audience is an adult one. Your stories need to be horrifying, scary, disturbing, creepy etc. but we aren’t particularly looking for extreme gore, detailed sexual violence or anything that graphically victimises children and animals.

You must submit a short story and an accompanying article to be considered.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is Midnight, Monday 31st July 2017 UK time (but please try not to leave it to absolutely the last minute, eh?)

Please use the contact form on this page to send your submission.

Please send stories and articles together, in one attached document (any kind of Word .doc should be fine).

Use the contact form for any questions about what you’re thinking of submitting..

Payment and copyright information

Contributors will receive four copies of the paperback edition of The Spooky Isles Book of Horror for their efforts.

All work you submit, whether non-fiction or fiction must be your own. Your non-fiction pieces must be at least somewhat referenced. If you lean heavily on a particular source/s for your article then say so. You retain copyright of anything you send us and, once these books are published you are free to re-use your stories and/or articles in any way you see fit.

No fan fiction. No thinly disguised fan fiction, either. That includes characters/stories that have fallen into the public domain. Vampires are fine but only rooted in British/Irish folklore.

Multiple Submissions are fine. Just don’t try and swamp us with mediocre stories/articles in the hopes one sneaks through. Quality, not quantity is always your best option.

We’re not too fussy about formatting, just make sure your story and article are double-spaced, in a clear, legible font. Arial, Calibri and Helvetica make us happy. Oh, and don’t bother with italics, bold, underlining. Just keep everything nice and clean and clear.

Check your spelling and basic grammar too. Everyone makes mistakes now and again but repeated, blatantly obvious misspellings and shocking grammatical errors won’t help your case.

We will acknowledge all submissions. We will also try to give useful feedback if your work is not successful but please note, that may not be possible if we are overwhelmed with entries. It also may take some time. Please be patient.

Your work, if chosen, will be edited. We are more than happy to discuss revisions but please remember, the editor isn’t just thinking about your work, there are other authors to consider, too. If things seem to be taking a while, again, please be patient.

Thanks and good luck.
Note: Contact form is at the bottom of the link below!

Via: Spooky Isles.

Trembling With Fear 05/21/2017

So we’ve had one potential co-editor step up who I need to get back in contact with which means things for next year could be moving forward. BIG THINGS, assuming we end up on the same page. I’ll let you know more about that hopefully soon so I don’t have to be vague on any Trembling With Fear expansions.

For submissions, we actually had a few Drabble come in this week! We’re still low on them but I feel like I can breathe on next weeks for a very welcome change.

‘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.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

The Lights

“There’s no such thing as monsters, Champ,” Benji Friedman’s father, Issac, informed him from behind the Sunday Times.

The five-year-old was sure that there was something beneath his bed at night that meant to devour him and had just given a voice to his nocturnal concerns over Eggo waffles at the family breakfast table.

“They quite simply do not exist,” the Friedman patriarch added, shaking his paper out flat to punctuate his point.

Unable to get a read on his father’s face, hidden as it was behind a phalanx of newsprint, Benji looked to his mother for confirmation.

“It’s true what your father says, Ben, under-the-bed-monsters don’t really exist,” she said.

Even Nana, present for her monthly visit from the Willow Glen retirement community, nodded her old head in agreement from across the table.

But Benji was far from convinced. He’d heard the sound of strange scratching noises coming from below him last night. Like sharpened claws scrabbling across the faux wood tiles. And the noise had carried too much weight behind it, too much heft, Benji knew, to be the mere scuttling of some tiny house mouse or even the largest of rats. Whatever it was, it was not small.

“The thing is, Champ,” Mr. Friedman said as he folded up his paper and set it aside, barely missing his plate of syrupy remains. “You’re five. And five-year-old boys have very active imaginations. I should know because I was one once.”

“Oh, and it’s not just the boys,” Nana piped in with that croaky old voice of hers. “Why, this one here was so afraid of the ol’ Boogey Man that she would weep like the prophet Jeremiah every time we sent her off to bed,” she said, referring to Benji’s mother.

“I still remember that!” Mrs. Friedman remarked with the muted half-chuckle of someone slightly embarrassed.

“And do you remember what I used to tell all of you kids whenever you were scared of something in your room at night?” Nana asked her.

“I do, I do,” Benji’s mother said, reaching across the table to wipe a dribble of maple syrup from Nana’s furry chin. “You told us that all we had to do was to turn on the lights and that all of the monsters would go away.”

“It was all we could do just to get you kids down for the night. You, and your brothers, all of you were quite the handful, oh yes you were…” Nana said, trailing off into memory.

“Well, there you go, Ben,” Mrs. Friedman said, turning her attention back to her son. “If you find yourself getting scared then all you have to do is go and turn on the overheads. And you just leave them on for as long as you need, sweetie.”

“Sounds like sage advice to me,” Mr. Friedman said, disappearing behind his paper once again. “You just go ahead and hit the lights next time you start to worry about monsters under the bed again, okay, Champ?”

Of course, he’d said it in a tone of voice that suggested he’d be more than a little ashamed if Benji were to do any such thing.

With breakfast finished, Benji’s mother cleared the plates and then ushered him off to his room to get ready. They had a big day ahead of them. Nana wanted to stop by the farmers’ market and the antique mall, and afterwards she had an appointment with the eye doctor. His mom had to drive her, and Benji was forced to accompany them because his dad had a football game to watch and didn’t care to be disturbed.

But all throughout his boring day, sitting and waiting while his mother and his Nana cooed over shiny aubergines or vintage China patterns, Benji couldn’t shake the feeling of impending doom. When the lights went out that night, he knew there’d be something waiting for him.

#

When bedtime rolled around at last–and after the area beneath his bed had been thoroughly inspected and deemed monsterless–Benji’s mother tucked him in beneath his Boba Fett sheets and comforter and kissed him gently on the forehead.

“Now, you remember what to do if you start to get scared, honey? You just get yourself up and go turn on the lights, and then poof! no more monsters, just like that!” she said, smiling down at him in the dim light.

Benji nodded slowly in response, still incredulous as hell.

With that, his mother left his room and shut the door behind her. And once more, he found himself surrounded by darkness.

#

Terrified, Benji lay there completely still for what felt like well over an hour, listening only to the soft cycling of his own breath and the night wind rustling through the trees outside his window. He listened intently, waiting upon the horrible scratching noises to commence, but he couldn’t hear a thing from under his bed.

After a while, his eyes began to adjust to the dark and Benji was soon able to make out the lumpy shapes of his bedroom furniture in silhouette all around him. But nothing seemed untoward or out of place.

In fact, he was starting to wonder if perhaps his father hadn’t been right after all, and that this whole “monster business” was simply his imagination on overdrive.

Little by little, Benji began to relax, and soon his eyelids grew heavy as sleep’s siren call beckoned him downward into its arms. But just as he was all but set to be spirited away to dreamland, he felt himself jostled from his somnolence by a familiar noise. A noise like the sound of a rusty nail being dragged down the side of a corrugated tin shack.

The scratching had returned.

Benji felt his blood run cold and panic set in. He didn’t know what to do. He lay there frozen with fear, his tiny hands white-knuckled around two wadded clumps of bed sheet, too frightened even to call for help. Not that his parents, planted firmly, no doubt, before the blaring television downstairs would have heard him, anyway.

The scratching gave way to a low, slithering sound and then a sharp and violent hiss like water being poured into a pan of hot grease. And then something bumped up against the bottom of Benji’s bed hard enough to lift it momentarily from the ground.

A wave of adrenaline surged through Benji’s body and his heartbeat grew loud enough to hear. He remembered what his family had told him about the lights and wondered if it would actually work. If the darkness brought the monster, could the light really send it howling in defeat back to whatever nightmare world had spawned it? It had to work, he thought.

It was his only chance.

Summoning every ounce of courage inside him, Benji threw back the covers and bounded from bed, the soles of his bare feet touching down upon the cold tile. There wasn’t much distance to cover and he was almost certain he could pull it off.

But as he ran for the light switch upon the far wall, a giant arm–impossibly long and almost skeletal in form but for a hideous layer of mottled flesh–shot out from beneath the bed and snatched him by the ankle. With a vice-like grasp, and its claws sinking deep into his tender flesh, the arm pulled Benji backwards, yanking him from his feet. He went down fast, his chin striking hard against the floor and pain blasting through his skull like a bolt of lightning. He attempted to scream only to find that the impact had caused him to bite his tongue nearly in two leaving his cries muffled by its mangled obstruction. And as his mouth filled with the copper taste of blood, and his fear reached a peak previously unknown, the monster began to pull him closer.

Benji thrashed about, his free leg kicking out into empty space, as he fought desperately to break the monster’s hold. His fingernails squealed against the vinyl tiling, looking for purchase, as it dragged his flailing form across the floor. He twisted from his belly and looked towards the place where he was being pulled. There in the dark below the bed was a circle of even blacker darkness, and as his body slid towards it he realized that it was ringed by rows of razor sharp teeth. A stench far fouler than any he’d ever smelled issued forth from this gaping maw, and thick ropes of saliva dripped from every tooth. Once again, he tried to scream, and once again, he found that he could not.

.           And so, in the final moments of his all-too-short existence, while this monstrous dentition sunk deep into the marble white flesh of his naked thigh, Benji cursed his parents and their awful advice in the forefront of his screaming mind. He cursed his stupid Nana, too.

Why hadn’t they believed him about the monster? And why, WHY hadn’t they realized the simple flaw in their stupid, stupid plan?

Sometimes, you don’t make it to the lights.

 

 

Matthew Gorman

Matthew Gorman is an author of horror and other speculative fiction residing in Seattle, Washington. His work has appeared in several anthologies including the latest Supernatural Horror anthology from Flame Tree Publishing.

Matthew is a huge fan of classic horror in the vein of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert W. Chambers, as well as a steadfast acolyte of such modern horror luminaries as Clive Barker and Stephen King.

Necrovore

 We are the secret ones who haunt your lore.

Our kind has walked beside you from the first,

Spawning your legends of a race accurst

Who feed and thrive on Death and human gore.

Unlike our cousin vampires’ sanguine thirst,

We crave the meat, the taste of human flesh,

The thrill of killing—and when kill is fresh—

The savor of the feast when blood has burst

Forth from the rend and bite of claw and tooth.

We roam your world, ne’er long in any place,

Looking enough like you that, face to face,

In passing, none can see the hidden truth:

Behind those lips that never smile, the fangs;

Inside those gloves, the curve of razor claws.

With many of your missing—we’re the cause,

And take the greatest pleasure from your pangs.

At each new hunting ground, we find a spot,

Secret and dark, to have our grisly meals.

The bones are picked clean, and the blood congeals.

Then—to be sure our kind are never caught—

What’s left is safely hidden in the ground

Of some deep nearby wood and buried deep,

Where Earth will long and long the secret keep.

And rarely—very rarely—are bones found.

We roam among you through this world of woe.

Few live who ever see us come or go.

When—if we meet—you see me bare my smile,

You have life left—for but a little while.

Frank Coffman

Frank Coffman is Professor of English, journalism, and creative writing at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. A published poet, author, and researcher, his emphasis of late in literary criticism has been on the poetry of Robert E. Howard [edited Robert E. Howard: Selected Poems]. His weird/supernatural poetry has appeared in Spectral Realms, Skelos, and other journals. He is the founder of the Facebook site: Weird Poets Society. He has a keen interest in all of the genres of popular imaginative literature.

Kaidan

Yoshi awoke suddenly, unable to move, unable to scream. And scream he would’ve, for his wife hung above him—pale, moaning, and dripping wet.

She glared at him in mournful loathing, her mouth gaping, a choked gurgle coming out of her bloated throat. A torrent of frigid water came raging out of it, shooting across his face, down his nose, into his mouth.

Yoshi could not get out from under the horrid flow.

He died, drowned in the same waters that he had forced Akari under a month before, leaving her body to sink into the pond beside their hut.

Patrick Winters

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 MagazineThe Sirens Call, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles.

You can find out more about him at his homepage.

Mother Knows Worst

Little Maisie was a bad seed.
She was evil.
That’s what her mother would say.
And Maisie believed her.
She came home bloody more than once, more than twice, with a skinned cat staining her lap.
Hunks of flesh turned up often through her hair and between her teeth; sometimes belonging to an animal and sometimes…not.
She was the neighborhood terror and a bane to the school bully.
Her mother said she was bad to the bone.
But which bone was it that made her bad?
Curious, she took out a kitchen knife.
And decided to start with her toes.

Ruschelle Dillon

Ruschelle Dillon is a freelance writer whose efforts focus on the dark humor and the horror genres.  Including the novelette “Bone-sai” as well as the video shorts “Don’t Punch the Corpse” and “Mothman”.
Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and online zines such as Strangely Funny III, Story Shack, Siren’s Call and Weird Ales- Another Round.
 
You can find out more about her at her homepage

Taking Submissions: Still Waters

Deadline: July 1st, 2017.
Payment: Royalties and contributor’s copy

Details:

  • Stories can be 2500 words to 10,000 words.
  • The anthology will be published in ebook and paperback formats.
  • We pay shared royalties (royalty split info available upon acceptance of story and before signing of contract). Authors will receive the e-book and one print copy of the anthology, plus wholesale pricing for additional print copies. This is considered token payment.
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • We are seeking twelve months of exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights and non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights in perpetuity.
  • Multiple submissions are fine, but simultaneous submissions are discouraged. Please don’t re-submit a rejected story unless we request revisions.
  • We hope to have responded to everyone within one month of the submission window’s closing. Feel free to query if it’s been longer than two months.
  • Stories must be double spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font (or something similar). Do not submit in Courier. The story title, your byline, a word count, and contact information should appear on the first page, and your last name, story title, and page number should appear in the header information of all other pages. We’re not particular about whether you use italics or underlining for emphasis, how many spaces are after the period, or whether you use straight or smart quotes.
  • Submissions may be sent to the email address: Submit your stories via email as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. The subject of your email should be SUBMISSION: <story title> by <byline>. The email body should contain a short list of your publishing credits and any pertinent biographical details.
  • The submission period ends July 1, 2017.

 

Theme guidelines

  • The story must have a fantasy/speculative element. Science fantasy is ok, but we’re aiming for fantasy rather than straight science fiction. We prefer “clean” stories and strongly prefer noblebright stories. For more on noblebright, please see noblebright.org.
  • The story must address the “Still Waters” theme in some way. Creative interpretation of the theme is encouraged. Some ideas are:
    • Still waters run deep.
    • He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. -Psalm 23:2
    • Water creatures (mermaids, naiads, kraken) and their environment.

Via: Spring Song Press.

Taking Submissions: Allegory Volume 32/59

Deadline: June 30, 2017
Payment: $15usd

FORMATTING GUIDELINES

This is proving to be a recurring problem, so we’re putting it up front. Please, for all our sakes, read this next part carefully.

All submissions should be sent by e-mail (no letters or telephone calls please) to [email protected]. Below are some formatting rules to help us process your submission more quickly.

Email and Cover Letters

Email is accepted in both text and HTML formats. When submitting, please put this in the subject line:

Submission: (Title) – (First and Last name)

Include the following in the body of the email and in the attached submission:

Your name
Name to use on the story (byline), if different
Your preferred email address
Your mailing address
The story’s title
The story’s word count

You may also include a cover letter in the body of the email. We get a lot of strange stuff in cover letters, so if you’re unsure of what goes in them (and especially what doesn’t) please refer to these cover letter tips:

How to write a cover letter | What not to put in a cover letter by Jed Hartman

Submission Formatting

We ONLY accept submissions as attachments!

All stories submitted as an attachment must follow standard manuscript formatting. We will no longer read any story not properly formatted. (And we much prefer Courier New to Times New Roman) For explanations and tips on what SMF is and how to do it with word processing programs, please see this article.

Please send your submission as an attachment in Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX) or Rich Test Format (RTF) only. Other formats, such as Works, WordPerfect, Open Office, etc., have proven difficult to open.

Please note that we no longer accept “inline” submssions – that is: submissions with the stories pasted directly into the body of the email.

Fiction Guidelines

We’re looking for good, solid fiction. We specialize in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres. We will consider other genres, such as humor or general interest, provided that the work possesses an original, “quirky” slant in the Northern Exposure, Ally McBeal vein.

Here are some basic “do’s” and “don’ts”.

DO give us strong characters and good plotting. DO put clever, but logical twists on the end of your tales. DO experiment with new ideas and unusual writing styles, but without falling into traps of contrivance and cliché.

DON’T submit any stories based on movies, television or any printed media not your own. DON’T submit reprints without including the name of the publication in which the work first appeared, along with the date of publication. DON’T send more than one story in the same submission.

There is no minimum or maximum length for fiction. But bear in mind that short-shorts (less than 500 words) and flash fiction (less than 100 words) are usually hard sells for us, as are stories longer than 5000 words. We’ll consider them, but they will have to be exceptional.

We pay a flat rate of $15 (U.S. dollars) for each story.

Payment is made upon publication, either by PayPal or personal check, based on the author’s wishes.

Non-Fiction Guidelines

We publish one or two articles an issue. The subject matter MUST involve the art or business of writing. Research, editing, characterization, narrative style, query letters, cover letters, dealing with editors, agents or publishers – virtually any topic that concerns writing is fair game.

The maximum length for non-fiction is 2000 words.

We pay a $15 (U.S. dollars) flat rate.

Payment is made upon publication, either by PayPal or personal check, based on the author’s wishes.

General Stuff

We publish bi-annually, on the first of January, May and September. The order in which stories and articles appear on the site is solely arbitrary and should not be construed in any other way. All works that are accepted for publication remain on the site for the full four months. With the publication of the subsequent issue, all rights to the works previously displayed revert to the author. We buy First World Rights and World Reprint Rights. Bylines are most certainly given.

Most submissions are reviewed within 4-6 weeks. If the story shows merit, we will respond with a “maybe” letter, explaining that the submission is in the running for a spot in the next issue. At the end of the submission cycle, which is always two months before the next issue comes out, all “maybe” submission are re-reviewed, and the top eight selected for publication. At that time, all accepted authors receive contracts to sign. Since these contracts and, later, the payment checks, go out by snail mail, it is VERY important that all submissions include a snail mail address.

We don’t “buy ahead”. By that, we mean that ALLEGORY purchases only the stories it needs for the current issue, rather than stocking up for the next and the next. This means that every author who received an acceptance from us will see their work on this site with the next new issue.

Simultaneous submissions are “OK”, provided that you let us know at the time of submission that other editors are reviewing this work.

That’s about it. Good luck.

Ty Drago
Editors
Allegory

Via: Allegory Ezine.

Taking Submissions: Intelligence in Fiction

Deadline: July 15th, 2017
Payment: 8c/word, up to 5000 words

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute has put out a call for intelligent stories illustrating concepts related to (artificial or natural) intelligence. Guidelines are quite specific; read below.

This call is intended to reward people who write thoughtful and compelling stories about artificial general intelligence, intelligence amplification, or the AI alignment problem. We’re looking to appreciate and publicize authors who help readers understand intelligence in the sense of general problem-solving ability, as opposed to thinking of intelligence as a parlor trick for memorizing digits of pi, and who help readers intuit that non-human minds can have all sorts of different non-human preferences while still possessing instrumental intelligence.

The winning stories are intended to show (rather than tell) these ideas to an intellectually curious audience. Conscious attempts to signal that the ideas are weird, wonky, exotic, or of merely academic interest are minuses. We’re looking for stories that just take these ideas as reality in the setting of the story and run with them. In all cases, the most important evaluation criterion will just be submissions’ quality as works of fiction; accurately conveying important ideas is no excuse for bad art!

To get a good sense of what we’re looking for, we recommend you read some or all of the following:

Submission Details

  • Purchasing First Publication Rights
  • Pay Rate: 8c/word, up to 5000 words
  • Multiple Submissions ok
  • Simultaneous Submissions ok
  • Submissions window: Open until July 15

Withdrawal policy:

After you submit a story, we prefer you don’t withdraw it. If you withdraw a story, we won’t consider any version of that story in the future. However, if you do need to withdraw a story (because, for example, you have sold exclusive rights elsewhere), please send an e-mail telling us that you need to withdraw ASAP.

Important Notes:

MIRI is neither a publishing house nor a science fiction magazine and cannot directly publish you. However, MIRI will help link a large number of readers to your story.

We frankly do not know whether being selected by MIRI will qualify as a Professional Sale for purposes of membership in the SFWA. We suspect, through readership numbers and payscale, that it will, but we have not spoken to the SFWA to clarify this.

If you have a work of hypertext fiction you think might be a good fit for this call, please query us to discuss how to submit it.

To submit a work, send your submissions as .DOC or .DOCX email attachments to [email protected], with your cover letter in the email body, and a subject line of SUBMISSION: (Title).

How to Contact Us:

To contact us for any reason, write to [email protected] with the word QUERY: at the beginning of your subject line. Add a few words to the subject line to indicate what you’re querying about.

Via: The Machine Intelligence Research Institute.

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