Payment: $20 and if the issue your story is included in makes a net profit 50% of this net profit will be shared between the contributors on a per word basis.
Wicked Words Quarterly is looking for previously unpublished works of science fiction, fantasy or horror with a twist.
Each quarterly magazine will include several pieces of flash fiction of any length up to 750 words. It will also include several short stories of between 1,000 and 7,500 words, and in the Winter edition it will include a Novella of between 7,500 and 15,000 words.
All writing will be receive an initial payment of $20, all payments will be made by PayPal, this will be paid in the quarter of first publication. Then if the issue your story is included in makes a net profit 50% of this net profit will be shared between the contributors on a per word basis.
I aim to reply to your submissions as soon as possible, but it is most likely that the reply to your submission will be made in the month that is closed for submissions for that issue.
Full details of terms and conditions please see the FAQ, I will assume that when you send a submission you have read these and agree to them.
To submit by email please send your story as an attached RTF or Word document to [email protected] and include your name, address, contact details, synopsis of the story and a short biography that will be included on the website and in the e-zine to accompany your story (your contact details will only be included if you wish them to).
I’ve had to remove the submission form as it was causing major problems with formatting. I will be looking into other ways for you to submit your work but for now please send me an email with your work attached as an .rtf or .doc file.
Via: Wicked Words Quaterly.
Deadline: September 15th, 2018
Payment: $10 and 60% of net earnings divided evenly among the authors.
Announcing call for submissions for Hollow Grounds: Bikers VS The Undead (tentative title)
All Submissions should meet this criteria:
Works: short stories and flash fiction
Genre and theme: Horror and dark fiction about bikers coming across the undead.
Deadline: September 15th
Format: Attach the .RTF, .DOC, or .DOCX
Word Count 5k – 7k words approx. for short stories, no limit for flash.
Payment: $10 Token payment via Paypal and 60% of net earnings divided evenly among the authors.
Multiple Submissions okay.
Submit a brief bio, we don’t care if you have no work history, give us a brief bio of yourself.
Send submission to
Announcing call for general horror and dark fiction submissions for a FREE to READ magazine.
All Submissions should meet this criteria:
Works: short stories and flash fiction and poetry
Genre and theme: Horror and dark fiction about anything. No limits, even for the extreme.
Deadline: Open year long – three to four slots per issue circulating monthly
Format: Attach the .RTF, .DOC, or .DOCX
Word Count 4k – 6k words approx. for short stories, no limit for flash.
Payment: $5 Token payment via Paypal
Multiple Submissions okay.
Submit a brief bio, we don’t care if you have no work history, give us a brief bio of yourself.
Send submission to
Via: Deadman’s Tome.
We get quite a few submissions, which is as grand as it is overwhelming. We are up to the challenge, but be advised that it may take a while for us to get back to you. In the meantime, enjoy this brief primer about Worlds Without Master and its submission policy.
Worlds Without Master is my own self-publishing endeavor.
Just so we’re clear on my intentions. I have fiction and games that are burning to get published. There are folks out there interested in seeing this fiction and these games published. Together we are also interested in publishing the fiction and games of like-minded individuals, which is where you come in.
The ezine is funded by the Patron Horde.
You can witness the might of the Patron Horde for yourself by going to www.Patreon.com/Epidiah. Patreon is a crowdfunding site that allows readers to pledge to fund each issue of the ezine as it comes out. The number of patrons and the amount of funding available for each is issue can fluctuate quite a bit. Which brings me to my next topic . . .
Each issue is only planned about a month ahead of time.
Fluctuations in funding as well as a number of other concerns make it impossible to predict the size of the issue more than a month in advance. So we cannot accept a piece until the month it will be published. To that end, here is the official Worlds Without Master submission policy:
Official Worlds Without Master Submission Policy
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed. If you wish to submit this somewhere else while you’re waiting, we encourage you to do so.
- If it looks like your piece will be a good match for Worlds Without Master, we’ll tell you when we think it’ll be published. The actual date will depend on many factors, including the extent of Patreon backing and the amount of other stories submitted. This estimate can only be so accurate.
- So as not to keep dragging you along, we won’t actually accept a story until the month we are able to publish it, at which point we’ll ask you for the rights, send it to an editor, acquire illustrations, and so forth.
- Up until that point, you can withdraw your submission for whatever reason and you won’t even hurt our feelings. That way you don’t get punished if the Patron Horde ends up being a bit fickle or for some reason we don’t have enough material to fill an issue.
- Finally, you will get paid within 30 days of the publication date. This allows enough time for the funds to flow from Patreon to PayPal to us to you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send them through the form to your right.
Rights Being Purchased
We purchase the first online and print publishing rights (in the English language in the case of written works) and the exclusive rights for the first six months after publication. We are also purchasing the continual archival rights that will revert back to you upon request after five years. The date of publication being defined as the day the issue containing your work was first made available to the Patreon patrons. These rights cannot be transferred to a third party without your permission.
This means we are buying the right to be the first person to publish the work anywhere, and we want to be the only ones publishing it for the first six months. Among other things, this precludes you from publishing your work first on your blog, to your friends on a social media website, or on any other website in general–without written permission from us. This written permission is not necessarily hard to get, as we see a great value in using such sites to promote interest in your work and by extension interest in Worlds Without Master. But if you intend to sell us rights different than the ones stated above, you must make us aware of it.
It also means means that once we publish the issue containing your work, it will be available for purchase online as a back issue for at least the next five years. After the first six months, these archival rights will be non-exclusive; which means you will be welcome to reprint your work however you wish, but we will still be selling the issue containing it until the end of these five years. After those five years, we will still continue to sell the back issue containing your work until you write us to specifically request we stop doing so, at which point we will happily comply. This will give you the ability to sell more exclusive rights to your work to another party after that date.
If we wish to reprint your work in another format, such as in an anthology or best-of collection, we must purchase those rights separately.
Fiction Submission Guidelines
Worlds Without Master is currently seeking works of fiction totaling 2,500 words or less in the sword & sorcery genre. We will pay $200 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left. Send your submissions through the form above. If special formatting absolutely required, you may send a link to a shared Google Doc of the story.
Sword & sorcery is an often misunderstood genre label that many mistakenly use as a synonym for fantasy in general. Like any genre, it is hard to nail down, being both specific and possessing astounding flexibility. Because we are just as interested in your definition of sword & sorcery as we are our own, we won’t try to define it here. Instead, you will find a few regularly updated lists of some of the personal preferences of our editor-in-chief. You are welcome, but not necessarily advised, to ignore them.
Things Eppy Is Not Particularly Interested In
- Elves and dwarves, at least in the Tolkien or D&D sense, and especially hobbits and orcs.
- Fiction where the hero sets out to save the world.
- Urban supernatural.
- Lovecraft mythos.
- Sexual violence.
- Shallow, uncomplicated or stereotypical depictions of cultures, genders, or sexual orientations, veiled or otherwise.
Things Eppy Is Specifically Interested In
- Strong minority voices, as authors and protagonists.
- Adventure for its own sake or motivated in unique ways; rather than simply for revenge or to save the princess or loved one.
- Weirdness and magic that invoke a sense of awe, horror or wonder; rather than being trite or commonplace.
- Violence that emphasizes the stark, uncaring or brutal reality the characters live in; rather than just for shock or gore value.
Things That You May Think Don’t Belong In a Sword & Sorcery Story, But Eppy Doesn’t Mind
- Robots, aliens, starships, and other sci-fi nonsense.
- Actual, heart-felt romance.
- Extra-industrial settings beyond the post-apocalypse or ancient and medieval world analogs.
A Note on Serialized Fiction
- Due to space constraints, we will not publish serialized novels or the like.
- We have no trouble publishing stories that stand on their own but are part of a greater whole. However, you must trick us into thinking they are not serialized fiction.
Full Game Submission Guidelines
Worlds Without Master is currently seeking complete and functional tabletop role-playing games totaling 2,500 words or less appropriate to the sword & sorcery genre. We will pay $200 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left. Send your submissions through the form above.
Non-Fiction or Article Submission Guidelines
Worlds Without Master is currently seeking non-fiction articles totaling 1,500 words or less. We will pay $100 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left. Please send a query letter about your article through the form above. Do not send the full article right away.
The Sort of Articles Eppy Is Interested In
- Articles on real historical events, cultures, technologies, practices, myths and legends that may be of interest to sword & sorcery gamers, writers and enthusiasts.
- Articles about fictional monsters, creatures, places, or artifacts–but please, nothing based on someone else’s intellectual property.
The Sort of Articles Eppy Is Not Particularly Interested In
Illustration and Art Guidelines
Worlds Without Master is not currently seeking unsolicited artwork. We do commission full-page, black and white pieces based on our fiction. We will pay $100 for the rights to commissioned works of this nature. We also pay $300 for the rights to commissioned full-color covers. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left.
But in order to commission a piece from you, we need to be aware of you! If you’re an artist looking for work of this nature, please contact me through the form above.
Via: Worlds Without Master.
You want a literary agent, right? If you answer yes to all of these questions below then continue to the rest of this blog. If you have answered no to any of these questions go back to your manuscript because you’re not ready yet. That’s not to say you will never be ready, but you just need more time to work on your novel.
- Do you have a fully completed manuscript that meets the word count of your genre (What’s the standard word count of my genre? Glad you asked. Check here for a general guide).
- Have you had a critique partner (CP) read your manuscript and provide feedback?
- Have you made any suggested edits provided by your CP?
- Have you reread and edited your novel at least 5 times? (I say at least 5 times, but I really hope you have read and edited your novel at least 10 times. Yes, I said that – 10. I’m serious).
- Have you thought about the audience for your book, i.e., who will your book appeal to, and are there any comparative book or movie titles to your book?
So, you have a fully polished manuscript. You have edited and edited your manuscript over and over and you are fully confident that plot is tight, the pacing is on point, your main character’s purposes are clear, and that the writing is good. Now, what do you do? Where do you send this thing? WHO do you send this thing to?
Since I’m assuming you’re a horror writer you’re going to want to research which literary agents are specifically looking for horror manuscripts. If you don’t know this already – not all agents represent horror.
Also, if I have not mentioned it, this series is devoted exclusively to novel-length works – not short stories, not novellas – novels.
How do you find which literary agents are looking for horror? I’m glad you asked because there are a few avenues for you to start your research.
A few very important notes before you begin your search: You never have to pay an agent for a fee. If someone said that they will represent you but you have to pay a fee – run away, very far away. If someone tells you that they will represent you but you have to pay for their editing service run away, very, very far away.
If after querying, a literary agent reads your full manuscript and offers you representation, and you agree, you will sign a formal contract, but there is no money exchanged anywhere until your book is sold to a publisher, and that’s a whole other blog series that maybe one day I’ll do if I ever get to that point in my writing career.
To research literary agents who are looking for horror novels take a look through the following:
Why I like this website: Querytracker.net is completely free. I personally pay a few extra dollars for the premium membership ($25/year), but honestly, you don’t have to. All the premium fee does is provide you with some interesting rankings of agents, queries sent, etc., and the only reason I like this is because I’m a researcher by day and obsessed with numbers.
Querytracker.net is very easy to use. You can create a username and once you have logged on, you can click on “Search for Agents.” You can filter the search down to the type of genre (Horror, Mystery, Romance, etc) that the agent accepts.
For example, today when I did a simple search on querytracker.net of agents who are currently open to horror queries I pulled up a list of 67 agents.
Why I like this website:
The Association of Author’s Representative’s is a nonprofit organization. To be a member of AAR, an agent has to meet AAR’s minimum experience requirement and agree to adhere to a code of ethics. So, ideally if you are searching this site the agents listed here are again, ideally vetted.
Using this site is free. You can start a simple search by going to “Find an Agent.” Click on “Member Database” and from there you can search by genre.
Today, when I searched literary agents open to horror novels I came up with a list of 127 agents.
Manuscript Wish List
Both of the websites above are similar in that they list what agents call their “Manuscript Wish List.” These are essentially topics, genres, themes, etc., that they would like to see in a novel.
I don’t like Duotrope.com – I LOVE Duotrope.com. In addition to searching for markets open to short stories, poems, novellas, and novels, Duotrope.com now has an agent database of agents open to queries, and yes, you can search by horror. There is a $5 monthly subscription fee. Or, you can save some money and pay an upfront $50 subscription fee for the year.
PitDark is run by Jason Huebinger. There are a lot of Twitter pitch parties. A twitter pitch party is an online event where you tweet your pitch along with a hashtag of your genre. On the designated days of those events agents will be scanning Twitter and if they like (heart) your tweet you are formally invited to query them. Now, there are a lot of twitter pitch parties, ones for young adult work, diversity work, and so on, but PitDark is just for horror writers and that’s why you should care. Agents scanning twitter pitches on this day will specifically be looking for horror manuscripts.
Hopefully, you now have a few places to start your research, but hold on actually querying any agent until you get your query letter polished. We’ll talk about that next time.
Deadline: September 30th, 2018
Payment: 1 cent per word
Autonomous Press seeks submissions of poetry, short fiction, and short memoir pieces for an upcoming anthology, Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime.
Scheduled for publication in Spring 2019, this fourth volume of the Spoon Knife Anthology series follows The Spoon Knife Anthology: Tales of Compliance, Defiance, and Resistance (Spring 2016), Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber (Spring 2017), and Spoon Knife 3: Incursions (Spring 2018).
Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2018.
What We’re Looking For
As people, we’re drawn to both telling stories and listening to the stories of others. Navigating life can be joyous, frustrating, frightening, sorrowful, and complex. Among all these realities we usually find one truth that always remains: the unknown. And what do we do when confronted with the unknown? We might fear it, try to avoid it entirely, or charge towards it with aplomb or gusto.
Speculative fiction has long dealt with themes surrounding the unknown. Sci-fi and fantasy themes have allowed their creators to conceptualize how space and time can exist, merge, warp, or even disappear in strange and terrifying ways. How in the hell do you map a black hole? Can you really kill your own grandfather? And what happens if your past self travels forward and meets the present iteration of you? What do past, present, and future even mean?
Those are just a few thoughts, but we’re basically looking for work that examines and explores two fundamental ideas: time and space. Moreover, we want work that engages with themes of neurodivergence, queerness, and/or the intersections of neurodivergence and queerness. These might include, but are not limited to, themes such as:
- Travel through time and space via technological methods (vortex manipulators, star ships, big blue boxes, etc.)
- Involuntary acts of time travel through PTSD-related mental/emotional trauma
- Deliberately journeying/revisiting through memories in one’s own timeline
- “Slipping” through time and/or space via astral projection, quantum jumping, or other non-tech means (such as in Octavia Butler’s Kindred)
- Outcomes and consequences of changing past events
- Meeting one’s past/future selves
Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime will be edited by N.I. Nicholson.
N.I. Nicholson is collectively four cats in a human suit, as well as a legal and pen name under which members of the Teselecta Multiverse publish poetry, creative nonfiction, and essays. Nicholson’s work has appeared in publications such as GTK Creative Journal, Alphanumeric, and Assaracus. Editorial work includes collaborating with V.E. Maday to produce Barking Sycamores, a journal for neurodivergent literature, and bringing transformative works to print on Autonomous Press’ NeuroQueer Books imprint. Stay tuned for Nicholson’s first full length poetry collection, Time Travel in a Closet.
Format and Length
Fiction and Memoir: We’re looking 10,000 words or less of fully-polished prose, submitted in standard manuscript format (title page with contact info, double-spaced Times New Roman 12-point font, pages numbered with either title or author’s name in the header.)
Poetry: You may submit up 5 pieces of any length and style, provided they fit the theme of this collection.
All submissions must be in a Word-compatible format (.doc, .docx, .odt).
When and How to Submit
Submissions are now open. Please submit your work no later than Sunday, September 30, 2018.
Authors will be notified of their acceptance or rejection around the end of the year.
Payment for accepted submissions will be 1 cent per word, to be sent by check during the first quarter of 2019.
Email all submissions to [email protected].
When submitting your work, please put in the subject line one of the following:
- “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Fiction”
- “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Memoir”
- “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Poetry”
Also, please include a cover letter that clearly specifies the name under which you want to be credited, along with a 3-4 sentence bio written in the third person. The name and bio should be typed exactly as you want them to appear in the book.
Via: Autonomous Press.
Payment: $75 for fiction, $35 for flash or reprints
Are you Black? It doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re from, or where you are now–as long as you’re Black and you write horror, you are welcome to submit!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Short story submissions should be between 4,000 and 5,000 words.
- We may occasionally do flash fiction episodes, so feel free to submit shorter stories–it just may be a bit longer before your story airs.
- We’ll pay you when the story is narrated. This typically happens 2-4 weeks before the episode with your story goes live. You can offer to narrate your own story, but keep in mind we may choose another narrator if we feel sound quality or style doesn’t match our brand.
- Simultaneous submissions are okay, but we respond pretty quickly (currently 5-7 days). Just let us know if you found another home for your work ASAP.
- We pay for exclusive audio and electronic publishing rights for 6 months after the air date.
- We also reserve the right to continue to broadcast, promote, and/or link to your story on our website/podcast, but after six months, you can publish your story in any format elsewhere.
- We accept reprints that have not been published in audio format previously. Just let us know your story has appeared elsewhere and where so we can credit properly.
- We do have plans to eventually publish “Best Of” anthologies. Should we decide to include your piece, we’ll ask your permission first and you’ll be paid for inclusion.
If you have any questions, hit us up on Twitter @nightlightpod.
HOW WE PAY
- If we accept your short story, we’ll pay you $75. We send money via Venmo and the Cash App, but can also do PayPal if you don’t have Venmo or Cash (but we super don’t want to).
- Flash fiction is paid at $35 per story.
- Reprints are paid $35 per story.
HOW TO SUBMIT
To submit your story, email tonia [at] nightlightpod.com with the subject line NIGHTLIGHT: Submission [Story Title].
Please make sure you attach a PDF or Word doc of your story in standard manuscript format, although you can omit your mailing address.
You don’t need to say anything fancy in the email. Just tell me your name, which of your birth parents are Black (we not doing any Rachel Dolezal ish up in here), and anything else you think is interesting about you.
Want to Perform a Story For Us?
If you want to apply to be a narrator for NIGHTLIGHT, email tonia [at] nightlightpod.com with the subject line NIGHTLIGHT NARRATOR: [Your Name] with a link to a sample of your work. Please let us know if you are a member of another marginalized community (LGBTQIA, Muslim, Disabled, etc) so we can reach out to you for stories which feature characters in your community. Voice actors are paid $25 per episode.
Via: Nightlight Podcast.
Deadline: October 15th, 2018
Payment: $20 per story
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.
Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three and a half 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 eleven 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.
- While we do not acknowledge story receipt, we have a quick turn-around time regarding publication. We do not hold any stories longer than 135 days without contact. If you haven’t received an email with a ‘reject,’ ‘accept,’ or ‘hold-for-voting’ message something may have gone awry ==> you should resubmit.
- We love authors because we’re authors, too. All of the editors are published speculative fiction authors.
Art Submission Guidelines
We are currently accepting art submissions for our issues.
Please do not submit the same artwork more than once.
Please submit artwork separately from stories.
We will consider any picture with a speculative fiction element for issue cover art. Look at previous covers to ascertain our tastes. We prefer energetic pieces that narrow the boundary between realism and fantastical, both in genre and style. Consider that our readers come to Electric Spec for stories; we want to see story portrayed by your imagery. Art may be re-sized to fit standard browsers; we will not crop or alter the piece without your permission.
No over-the-top sex or violence, or fan fiction characters or settings, please. Though we appreciate the form, we don’t use caricature or graphic novel style art for our covers.
We pay $20 for each piece of artwork we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months and non-exclusive rights thereafter. Please note this means we want art that has not been published elsewhere. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal.
To submit your art to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: ART SUBMISSION: Title by Artist’s Name. We prefer standard electronic formats such as jpeg or gif files.
Unless you receive a note indicating otherwise, your work may be considered for any future issue. We have, rarely, commissioned original artwork for the cover; if we ask, please be honest about how fast you can work. We operate under tight deadlines for publication.
We respond to most submissions within a month. We do not send messages upon receipt of submisisons. Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months. For art work sometimes we consider submissions after the three months has passed, i.e. we consider art work for more than one issue. If we do not reject a piece, it is still under consideration. Of course, in the meantime, if you place it elsewhere, please let us know.
If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com.
Via: Electric Spec.
Deadline: November 15th, 2018
Payment: $30+ and contributor’s copies, details below!
It’s time: We’re requesting stories for the seventh volume of feminist bicycle science fiction series Bikes in Space.
The fifth volume, Bikes Not Rockets, is funding on Kickstarter through August 8th. The sixth, with the working title Dragon Bike, is in edits. This seventh volume is scheduled to come out in early 2021.
For the first time we’re excited to welcome a guest editor to the series: Lydia Rogue, who stepped in to edit the most recent issue of the Taking the Lane zine, True Trans Bike Rebel, pitched the theme for this volume and we couldn’t resist.
Without further ado, here are the submission guidelines:
The theme for this issue is: trans and nonbinary characters and writers. Working title: The Great Trans-Universal Bike Ride
Story length: 500 to 8,000 words (shorter stories means we can publish more!). Submissions of black and white illustrations or comics are also welcome.
Deadline: November 15, 2018
Format: Email a Word, Google, PDF, or txt/rtf document to lydia at takingthelane dot com. If submitting art, email first to ask about dimensions and format.
Pay: A percentage of net profits from the Kickstarter project used to fund the book will be split evenly between contributors, if the project is successfully funded. This payment will be at least $30 per story, plus 10 contributor copies per printing.
More about the themes: For this issue, we’re looking to feature trans and nonbinary writers writing trans and nonbinary characters. At least one trans or nonbinary character should be a protagonist and centrally featured, though they don’t have to be the POV character. Their gender can be integral to the story or can be mentioned in passing, but please make the theme clear.
Stories can be in any science fiction or fantasy – ish genre: high fantasy, hard SF, space opera, fairy tales, solarpunk, spec fic, slipstream, you name it—anything but fanfic. Note that we aren’t looking to ‘bury your gays’ (or trans/nb characters). And sorry… we also aren’t looking for erotica.
All stories must contain bicycles—the story doesn’t need to be about bicycling, but this element must be central enough that removing it would change the story significantly. Same goes with feminism.
We are especially looking for stories by writers from other minorities whose experiences aren’t often reflected in mainstream science fiction and fantasy.
Via: Taking The Lane.
Important things first. Belated Happy Birthday to Richard J. Meldrum, one of our more prolific submitters. Look out for his stories in August and September. Also, lovely to see @SophieKearing celebrating the publication of her story, Servitude, in TWF on twitter and the responses from people to this. First publication is always a huge step for anyone, I know it was for me, and it’s great to see writers cheering each other on.
There are many other firsts to come as well following on from publication and something I have still not got used to is the online interview. An accepted story will often go hand-in-hand with a request to answer questions ready for promotional purposes. I’ve done a few, not loads, but they always make me cringe inside (possibly a British thing). I don’t know about anyone else but this is often the time I feel like a fraud. Other interviewees declare how they knew they would be a writer from the age of five, loved horror in all its forms and proceed to quote classics, use long, ‘intelligent’ phrases … and then there’s me. I’ve always loved reading but never considered writing until a few years back, never crossed my radar as a career, the onus being to get out and work. Horror films – enjoyed Hammer Horror in 70s, saw all those 80s horror films, then went off them. Read Stephen King and Poe but on the whole did not delve deeply into the genre until more recent times when my writing took me that way, although the books I did read always had a dark undercurrent; never was a Mills & Boon fan. What has always affected me more is the dark nature of music and the atmosphere of places, whether twilit fields or old ruins. So, do I try and be part of the club or do I be myself? Well, I’ve opted for the latter, better to be true to yourself than say what you think people want you to say. I might not sound as ‘learned’ as others but at least it’s me.
Talking of music, I was about 13yrs old when punk (and later, new wave) hit Britain and I was a big fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees (her music was always dark – Juju was a classic album), The Stranglers, Magazine, Joy Division. These days I listen to a lot of the darker side of metal and I often share it with people on twitter, just because I love it. The emotions in the music and the story in the videos can often be as powerful as any book or film, two favourite videos being Behemoth – O Father O Satan O Son, which has a hypnotic quality to it and Rotting Christ’s 666, nor should you forget Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams. So if you can’t find inspiration in book or film, turn to music’s darker side. It’s a wonderful world out there. (And just to clarify, I am not a devil worshipper!) Stephanie Ellis
At the time I wrote this there were a few days left on extended contracts for our anthology from last year. At the time you’re reading this we’ve closed up shop and have a solid idea of whose work will be included! This means that if all goes well, I’ll be ordering a proof copy for both Steph and myself by the end of this coming week and we might actually get this thing out and into the world soon!
I’m not going to hint at a release date quite yet as we need to make sure everything looks good first but hopefully, at long last, this is happening! (I promise you that this years release won’t take nearly this long to release and the year after Steph and I are already discussing on how to mix things up even further!)
‘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
A line of cards with prints of flowers and comforting messages stand uniformly along the mantelpiece above a warm, crackling open fire. Orange flames dance between charred, splintered logs sending spirals of incandescent sprites twisting up the chimney flue.
I sit on the sofa, eyes wandering between the flickering images on the TV screen and my dad, sat snug in the recess of his favourite chair. He stares blankly across the room barely registering an acknowledgement to what is happening.
It’s been six months since the accident and I think dad still hasn’t come to terms with the unfortunate situation. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing has hit him badly.
Mum, sitting beside me on the sofa, places a hand on the back of my head and gently strokes and toys with my loose, blonde curls. She hasn’t done this since I was a little girl and the whole thing brings back a flood of memories of happier times. Baking cakes, going on picnics, dressing up and inventing fun games on soaking wet Sunday afternoons.
The TV show draws to a close as the credits role steadily up the screen. A musical crescendo finishes everything off. It’s time to go.
Mum stands up, straightens her skirt and offers me a comforting smile as she walks over to the television. A soft, white light appears. The brighter it gets the more transparent mum becomes until she disappears completely.
I get up from the sofa and cross the room towards dad’s chair. He’s still staring with sunken, empty eyes towards the TV. I bend down and kiss him gently on the cheek. A translucent tear builds in the corner of one eye then spills over the aged, wrinkled creases around his eye and rolls down his cheek. I’m touched by his sadness. With an emotional lump in my throat and a heavy heart I turn to leave the front room.
As I approach the door I hear a rasping, hushed voice. Dad is calling my name, Jane.
He calls again, this time he’s closer. Jane.
I turn to see my dad standing before me, his eyes are looking pleasingly brighter.
“Wait for me,” he says, holding out a fragile hand.
I gently take his hand in mine and together we turn and walk towards the living room door.
A the warm, inviting, bright light appears and hand in hand we continue on our way.
Dad has made his peace and now, despite the accident that stole the lives of mum and I, we’ll all be together once more.
With two novels to his name and when not watching soccer Gary enjoys writing short horror tales. He lives a hectic family life outside of a small town in the north of England.
Another Nail In Your Coffin
Another nail in your coffin, every lie you ever told me. Each time you put me down when you made me feel as if I was not good enough. You never will see who I have become.
Red hot love, now just bitter ashes. Used to burn bright enough to light up even the darkest of nights. Now your screams will rip open the skies as I slam the lid shut. Each nail is a dream I had, now my dream is your death.
Your death is my freedom, I shall walk away knowing you will suffer as I did.
Kim Plasket is a Jersey girl at heart relocated to sunny Florida. She enjoys writing mainly horror and paranormal stories and lives with her husband and 2 kids. When she is not slaving away at her day job, she can be found drinking coffee with fellow author Valerie Willis and planning the demise of some poor character. Currently she has several short stories featured in anthologies such as ‘Demonic Wildlife’ and ‘The Hunted’, also has a story in an Anthology Titled Fireflies and Fairy dust she also has had a story featured in Shades of Santa with more to come.
Down in the sewers, fat and wet wipes collect, combine, grow grotesquely in the darkness, merging with layer upon layer of filth. And, so fatbergs are formed.
Workers, masked and suited, with high pressure hoses, grudgingly descend into the malodorous darkness and set to work breaking it up.
Muttered curses and the whoosh! of water muffle sounds in the shadows, soft whispers like running water.
Oblivious, the men prove easy prey for the viscous darkness that flows from shadowed pipes, sometimes liquid, sometimes plastic, reaching out with crude and temporary limbs.
The men vanish and the fatberg continues to grow.
DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines around the world, such as Chilling Horror Short Stories (Flame Tree), All The Petty Myths (18th Wall), Steampunk Cthulhu (Chaosium), What Dwells Below (Sirens Call), The Mad Visions of al-Hazred (Alban Lake), and EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness (Otter Libris), and issues of Sirens Call, Hinnom Magazine, Ravenwood Quarterly, and Weirdbook, and in addition, has a novella available in paperback and on the Kindle, The Yellow House (Dunhams Manor).
DJ Tyrer’s website is at http://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/
The Atlantean Publishing website is at http://atlanteanpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/
“Where’s my supper, woman?”
“You’re late, deadbeat.”
“Watch your lip.”
“Or I’ll make it fatter.”
“Dinner’s cold now.”
“It’s food, ain’t it?”
“All I could scrape up.”
“What’s in it?”
“Broth and desert sage. And reptile.”
“You couldn’t find a bird?”
“Slim pickins along that road.”
“Slim pickins when I married you.”
“You lose tonight?”
“Who says I wagered?”
“That fucking casino!”
“It’s my money!”
“Never for long.”
“Watch that lip!”
“You can’t make me any uglier.”
“I can make you hurt.”
“Dish up your own stew.”
“What the—Something’s moving in this pot.”
Please share using any of the links below and scroll down a bit further to leave a comment as to which of these works you enjoyed and why!
Ruschelle: Thank you for sitting down to share a little about yourself with us.
Debra: I’m thrilled to get the chance to interview with you. We all love The Horror Tree!
Ruschelle: You’re written a few books on the paranormal, two of them being memoirs. Tell us a little about the events in your life that motivated you to pen your stories.
Debra: I think the thing that affected me most, was spending three years in a haunted house. I was a fairly normal kid until we moved in. Whatever it was, the invisible thing living there with us seemed to focus on me in particular and unleashed a lot of poltergeist-style terror. This was the beginning, for me, of realizing there might be things out there we weren’t being told about by the grown-ups! Since that early age of fourteen, I’ve dealt with many similar experiences, and tried to help others who didn’t know where to turn. (I even worked a bit for California Psychics-and yes, they actually make you go through testing with two different managers before you’re hired) Eventually, this evolved into deeper understanding of hauntings, people involved with them, and learning the parameters of psychic abilities. Somehow, from all this, I also developed an understanding of the psychology of people in general, their motivations, both good and bad, and their triumphs and tragedies.
Ruschelle: You refer to yourself as a ‘reluctant psychic.’ Your books, A Haunted Life: The True Ghost Story of a Reluctant Psychic and The Dead are Watching: Ghost Stories from a Reluctant Psychic- splash your feelings out on their covers. Why reluctant?
Debra: Some of the female line of my family had psychic abilities. They were also very religious, so “psychic” wasn’t in their vocabulary. We heard the word demon bandied about enough that it terrified me to admit to having abilities, let alone using them! My mother’s family is also descended from Alice Nutter, one of the Lancashire Witches, who was executed by King James I in August of 1612. I don’t believe she actually was a witch of course, but then again, it has made me wonder if she had these same psychic abilities. Back then it was enough to get you executed.
Ruschelle: Have you embraced your psychic insight, your ‘gift’?
Debra: I have, and I haven’t. Yes, they can be a good thing and can help others. But over the years, I’ve come to believe they can attract negative energy, sometimes in the extreme. I think everyone has them to some extent, but some people shut them off young—especially if your family of origin is not accepting of it. I’ve also found the so-called right brained types have more experiences. This may be due to the creative person’s greater ability to adopt a childlike openness and viewpoint, which I believe is necessary in order to write, paint, play music, or act, well.
Ruschelle: Have you met others like you and have you thought of working with them to write another book on the subject of the supernatural?
Debra: It’s funny, but people seem ashamed to talk about this for the most part. They’re afraid of being called delusional or whatever. Once my books came out and I was doing a lot of appearances and events, I heard story after story from folks who had seen spirits, or had a deceased parent come back to them after death, or they lived in a haunted house. Once you break the ice discussing this stuff rationally, you would be surprised at the huge number of people who’ve had these experiences. I recently did a regional book on hauntings, mostly a labor of love for my area history and legends. I love the subject, the research, and would always be willing to write more nonfiction paranormal books. I’ve also done some smaller articles for charity and so forth. I am a big believer in giving back whenever possible.
Ruschelle: You have written fiction as well. What did you find easier to pen, fiction or your own experiences?
Debra: I love writing fiction too. Somehow, letting my imagination run wild and creating unlimited story ideas is so freeing. I love to write what scares me. So, monsters, both human and cryptid, Post Apoc and SHTF, ghosts, demons, and almost anything that would pit people against something scary, is fair game for me. Writing nonfiction is easier in some ways, since it’s merely retelling what happened. So, I think that making it up out of whole cloth, so to speak, is more exciting!
Ruschelle: Have any of your real-life experiences with the supernatural oozed into your fiction?
Debra: Yes, since feeling that heightened terror at a young age, I think I’ve been affected in many ways, and I can’t help but pass it on in my writing. That sense of possibility, of the existence of unseen things in the dark, or in the light, is always with me. We read horror to get that thrill. When we put the scary book down, doesn’t it make us want the lights on a little longer? That’s what I mean by affecting me. I want others to suffer with me. Ha ha, just kidding, sort of… I just finished edits on a book that will be coming out with Digital Fiction Publishing in the next couple months, titled “The Evil in the Tower”. It’s got a lot of personal experiences within it. Obsession, possession, and evil from the past get triggered by circumstances that mirror the original traumatic event which caused the haunting. It flips back and forth in time, to the California Gold Rush days, retelling the story.
Ruschelle: Red Death and its sequel Red Death Survivors take place in a post-apocalyptic world. What inspired you to create a world filled with different ’ghosts’?
Debra: Oh man, I’ve always been two things–a bit of an armchair prepper, of the what–if mentality, and a total germaphobe. So, combine those two things and add an Ebola Zaire pandemic, and you’ve got “Red Death: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller”, released by Severed Press. I loved the research that went into that stuff. How many microns of virus can live on the seat of an airplane, for how long, that sort of thing. The premise of those books, is what would a couple of normal people do if most of the world died? How would you avoid the virus? What would you eat? Can you hunt? Trap? How would you gather water and the firewood needed to boil it? What about the gangs of starving madmen you see chasing down the neighborhood cats to cook and eat them? I did learn you can eat any variety of Hosta—those green and white striped plants you see in everyone’s yard. I actually went out back, dug up daylily roots and roasted them in olive oil and salt. Yummy. Yes, I’m one of “those” writers…experience it all, live it, soak it in, whenever possible-except the chasing cats to eat part.
Ruschelle: Here’s a fun question. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken or the Ghost and Mrs. Muir? The young’uns might have to Google this. LOL
Debra: Oh yeah, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken! I was flipping through channels not long ago and saw that one. I watched the ending, and it sure brought back good memories.
Ruschelle: Some of us have a book inside us we’d love to write or think we should write but it just eludes us. Mine is romance. I think I can write it but…blood and guts end up happening. Carnage is always a mood killer. LOL Is there a genre you’d LOVE to write to but aren’t sure if you can or should?
Debra: Wow. Now that sounds familiar! I started trying to write a cozy mystery, and blood and guts and possessions started happening to me too. So I went with it, and that’s the book I mentioned above, The Evil in the Tower. I’d love to write some YA or midgrade. There are parameters I’d have to research, or maybe one of my writer friends could give me guidelines on rough patches. I’d still like to try the cozy mystery though, if I can tame the monsters inside. LOL
Ruschelle: Are you lucky enough to craft your books quickly from beginning to end or are you a writer that let’s things stew, steep and bubble before it sees the light of the moon?
Debra: You know, I think I am sort of a hodgepodge type, using whatever comes to mind. I usually start with an idea, as most of us do, then I start a file on my desktop, adding scene ideas, or whatever as I go. Then at some point, when it looks as though there’s enough of an idea there to make an entire book, I will start it. When I first began all this, I found a book on a screenwriting style of novel writing, called “Story Engineering”, by Larry Brooks. It was very helpful, and I always see my scenes in my head first, so it made sense. I do think I did it all a bit backwards though-most of my friends started writing short stories first, then moved on to full length works. I’ve written eight books, and just recently started on short stories. I’m really enjoying writing them too. There are so many great anthologies coming out this year alone-The Twisted Book of Shadows, Lost Highways, New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Monsters of Any Kind, Haunted are These Houses—wow. I can’t wait to read them all.
Ruschelle: Writing music is a different art form from writing books. Lyrically, one can be more cryptic and sentence structure isn’t always followed which can be very liberating. How do you tackle writing each art form?
Debra: Songwriting really helped me lay the foundation for writing novels I think. The Nashville songwriter mantra is “Paint a picture with words”, because you only have three or four minutes to tell the story in a song. So you end up trying to be more descriptive, choosing words carefully to convey exactly what you want. No extraneous words, because every single one counts. I find in songwriting, I look at it as, every line counts, whereas in novels, it can be looked at more as every paragraph. Some may quibble with me on that one, but the songwriting rules are so exacting sometimes, you can’t deviate. In novel writing, it feels freer, like you can mess around a bit without getting into too much trouble.
Ruschelle: Since you are an author and therefore a wordsmith, when you concentrate on songwriting do you write the lyrics first or is it the music that spurs the lyrics?
Debra: For me, they’ve always come at the same time. It might be just a single line, which comes to me along with a melody. Then I work on the melody most, adding the lyrics as I go along, changing them as needed. I’ve also found a little trick, for the songwriters out there: always write the melody in your head first. If you sit down to a guitar or piano, your melody will be limited to the chord structures you know, and sometimes we get into a rut with those. Go for the soaring new melody, then try to find the chords that fit with it afterwards.
Ruschelle: One of your songs was featured in the movie Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey. Could you tell us what the process of submitting music is compared to submitting a story or book to be published?
Debra: I’ve had several music publishers over the years, and signed many single-song contracts. (as opposed to being what’s known as a staff songwriter) The Nashville publishers bleed over into the Los Angeles music scene these days, whereas not so long ago, they were more separate. I’ve signed several songs with a publisher who had many #1 hits in his catalogue, both country and pop. He teamed up with an LA music publisher (Pen Music Group), who specialize in TV, and Film, doing everything from commercials to movie soundtracks. I have about twenty songs signed at the moment being pitched for various things. The way it works is, I record something I like or think is right for a certain star, or for TV or whatever, then I send it via MP3 to him. If he likes it, he signs it, and starts pitching it. (I have my own recording studio in my basement, so that makes it nice) So in a way, the book publisher pitching is similar. I think I had the edge on what to expect when I started writing for print publishers. I’m a little new to print publishing, my first book having come out in 2013, but as far as rejection goes, it comes with the territory in both music and print publishing!
Ruschelle: You’re a blues gal with a sultry, rich voice. I love it. Other than your voice being perfectly suited for the genre, why else did you choose to write and perform the blues comparatively to other genres?
Debra: Thank you. Honestly, I love singing all kinds of styles. In live performance, I sing everything from Adele to Joplin, Stevie Nicks, to Carrie Underwood. People comment on the bluesy voice, and I like singing (and writing) blues, but it apparently comes natural, and it chose me, rather than the other way around.
Ruschelle: Could a concept blues album based on the supernatural be on the horizon? New things could happen at the Crossroads. LOL
Debra: Ha, ha. Never say never! I am always up for a challenge. Now you’ve got the wheels a turning.
Ruschelle: You set up a scholarship fund in memory of your son. That’s a beautiful yet meaningful gesture to those you are able to assist. Could you tell us a little about the scholarship?
Debra: Yes, I am excited about the scholarship. My son James was killed by a drunk driver in 2009. He was an only child, so it’s a devastating thing, all around. Rather than wallow in the grief-which believe me, is easy to do- I wanted to try and somehow turn a negative into something positive. So, eight years ago, we started an annual aggressive roller blading contest and music festival. All proceeds went into an account to fund this music/arts scholarship. The contest itself grew huge, and many people helped donate their time to achieve the final result. In May, 2018, this year, the first scholarship was given out. Long after we are gone, it will continue to help a young person going into the arts, music, or writing. It’s self-sustaining now, so all the work was worth it. My son James (a pro roller blading musician) would be happy.
Ruschelle: You just had a story in Killing It Softly 2. Congratulations! What can you share with us on your future offerings? Books, music?
Debra: I’m busy pitching short stories at the moment, and three are shortlisted with publishers, so wish me luck! I expect my book “The Evil in the Tower” with Digital Fiction to be out very soon. I also signed a two book paranormal suspense series with them, which will follow late this year or early next. I continue to perform locally, at my favorite gigs, and my publisher also continues to pitch songs. You just never know what will happen, and that’s the beauty of both songwriting and print writing. If you do it for the love of it, anything else that happens is a bonus!
Thank you so much for sharing a little of your life with us. We look forward to hearing your music and reading your tales!
If you want to find out more about Debra and her work you can find her via the below links.
Goodreads: https: //www.goodreads.com/author/show/6981130.Debra_Robinson
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Debra-Robinson/e/B00BMHA032/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0