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Taking Submissions: Welcome to Miskatonic University
Deadline: June 30th, 2017
Payment: 8 cents per word
With Ride the Star Wind in the editing phase, we are now open to submissions for our next anthology: Welcome to Miskatonic University, an anthology of modern-day weird tales set in good ol’ MU.
Miskatonic University is still going strong in the Arkham Valley (and in various satellite campuses and research stations around the world). Resilient and forward thinking, few institutions can weather the times and adapt like good ol’ MU. It’s a strange brew of conservatively reaching into the past while progressively marching forward. And it’s a hotbed for the weird and the wonderful!
So what might a modern MU look like? What might student life be like today? These tales combine college life and the cosmic weird. Of course, there’s beer, sex, and parties; study groups and all-night cramming; campus activism and impassioned discourse; vital research and faculty struggling for tenure. But also, you know, gruesome and psychedelic cosmic weirdness.
What avenues of study has the university sanctioned either publicly or privately? Where are they getting so much funding? The university’s been around the block and are at the bleeding edge of certain realms of research. Occult studies have seeped, seemingly innocuously, into various branches of nearly all academic departments and inform everything from quantum physics to computer science, sociology to modern American literature. Library studies is hands down the best, most advanced in the world, likely one of the most well funded of sectors at the institution with ever-evolving safeguards and best practices.
But there’s bound to be lingering effects from all the occult activity, like “sensitive” people and locations with breaches to the “other side.” People disappear all the time; sometimes they even come back. Entire wings are off limits to humans indefinitely. As a whole, this anthology is about the angst and drama of college life, the promise of big occult ideas, and the terror and dread (and headfirst exploration) of the unknown, of the forbidden. And some dark humor would not be misplaced.
We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for the weird. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.)
- We want weird fiction set in a modern-day Miskatonic University. Stories should be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted views on race and gender.
- Subversive or experimental stories are welcome.
- No pastiches of previous eras.
- Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
- Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English.
- Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
- Only one submission per author.
- We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.
Submit your story in standard manuscript format as an attachment to submissions(at)brokeneyebooks(dot)com with a subject line of the following: [WTMU] “Your Story Title”.
Submission window open from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. (We are working on streamlining our review process. We will start reading submissions in May after making headway into Ride the Star Wind edits. We cannot confirm receipt of your manuscript.) The published anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit.
- We’re trying to present a living, breathing setting for MU. There’s no requirement or even request for any coordination of story details. We just ask that you avoid the more world-ending (or even university-ending) plots. Sure, people will die, just as new faculty is hired and new students fill empty seats. Buildings will crumble or disappear into wormholes, but there is always new construction. Monsters will come and go, sometimes with fanfare and sometimes not; some even stick around as lab specimens, secret pets, lazing in the sewers, or disguised as faculty. But above all, Miskatonic University persists.
- For this anthology, Miskatonic University is assumed to be a fully modern, multicultural hotbed of cutting edge occult and technological research. In this modern incarnation, we’re assuming that it has fully embraced modern technology and norms and has both a faculty and student body thriving with personalities from all walks of life (no matter race, religion, gender, or anything [so it’s not just a bunch of white dudes])–and it’s been that way for at least decades. Of course, the institution will have its secrets and likely everyone there has their own agendas as well. So while there could certainly be your occasional reactionary character pining for the “old days,” those characters are not the norm. Hope that helps!
Content & Style
- Rape: Avoid rape, especially that intended only to demonize villains or raise heroes to action. Avoid rape victims serving only as plot devices. And on the instances when rape is vital to a story, we need to see the victim’s reactions, their journey after, the consequences. We prefer characters to have agency, not just be plot points and set pieces. If those considerations are unattainable in the writing, no rape. Also, no bestiality or child abuse.
- Sex: Sex between consenting adults is perfectly welcome, regardless of gender, including with aliens and monsters. It doesn’t need to be tasteful, just consensual (though we’re not currently shopping for stories that are solely erotica). Incest, however, should be treated with the same considerations as rape (see above).
- Hate: Vile, hate-filled (such as racist or sexist) characters/speech, that which could promote such hate, should not be reflective of the entire work. Any such characters should not be portrayed as narrators; such speech should not be adopted by the narrator. Such topics would be of interest to us if well navigated, as in LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.
- Style & Theme: We are happy to consider subversive themes, marginalized voices, and experimental styles.
- Editorial: We will edit your work in collaboration with you and “in broad daylight” in accordance withChicago Manual of Style and our experience. We are always open to discussion.
- Current Tropes to Avoid: Forced Motherhood; Chosen One.
Via: Broken Eye Books.
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