Stories must be the previously unpublished, original work of the submitting author.
Your story must be written in English, double-spaced in 12pt. Times New Roman font, and submitted by email as a .doc or .docx file attachment, or copied directly into the body of the email to [email protected]
Your story must be complete, edited, and publication-ready, between 3,000 and 10,000 words.
Your story must be written (fully or partially) from a cat’s point of view. The cat (or cats) does not need to be a principal character, but its character should impact the plot in some manner.
All genres and time periods will be considered excluding erotica, but including mainstream literature, romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, steampunk (or any “punk” sub-genre), humor, paranormal, or horror. Achieving a variety of genre will be a component in selection.
Most adult language is acceptable, but indiscriminate or extreme usage may affect selection.
Multiple stories by the same author will be considered but each story must be submitted separately and will be treated contractually as a separate submission.
Simultaneous submissions are okay; but, please notify us immediately if your story has been picked up by another publisher. (This is a generous provision, and failure to advise us that your story is no longer available can jeopardize your future standing as a contributing author.)
You will be notified of your submission status within thirty days of receipt. If your story is selected, emailed notification will include an attached Publishing Agreement for your review and signature.
The following summarizes the major terms in the agreement, but the summary is not part of the agreement nor intended to replace the necessity to read the agreement in its entirety prior to signing.
Publication: The story will be included in an anthology book (to be named) and published in ebook format (and print formats at the discretion of the Publisher) to Amazon (Kindle), and may be published to other online retailers, such as Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple iBook, and Kobo, at the discretion of the Publisher.
Payment: All payments will be made to contributing author by check or Paypal (preferred method) within thirty days of the ebook publication date (or sooner at Publisher’s discretion). Payment shall be in the amount of $25.00 for each submission selected by Publisher.
IMPORTANT: For published pieces, Post-To-Print takes Electronic Publishing Rights and First Print. Note that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web. Once your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint, which severely limits the number of markets that will accept it, and drastically reduces the pay rate it can receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and/or eBook formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for a token payment, is advisable.
Other consideration: If the anthology is offered for sale in paperback format (excluding reprints and box-sets), each contributing author will receive one paperback copy at no charge.
Contributing Author Warranties: The contributing author must warrant that s/he owns the copyright for each individual story submitted, and that the submission(s) is the original work and creation of the contributing author and only the contributing author.
Copyright: The Anthology will be copyrighted separate from each individual story, and individual copyright notices for each story will be printed on the appropriate front page of the publication(s) (or other location depending on the publication format).
Author Credit: In addition to the customary copyright notice, each contributing author’s story title, and byline will be listed within the pages of the anthology book in the order of the story’s appearance, and on other pages as appropriate and customary. The presentation order of individual stories will be determined at the discretion of the Publisher.
Author page(s), not to exceed five hundred words, will be allocated at the end of the anthology for each contributing author’s biographical information, referral to his/her website, blog or similar online site and social media accounts, and the promotion of other published works by the contributing author, if any. No advertising or promotion unrelated to the author’s internet presence or published, or soon to be published, works will be allowed.
IMPORTANT:This anthology may contain a story (or stories) written by Post-To-Print’s staff; however, staff submissions will never constitute a majority of stories selected and will be considered as a means to fill the publication if the desired number of stories is nearly met at submission deadline. Our approximate goal for publication is 80,000 words.
Cost of Publication: The Publisher will absorb all costs of production and publication, if any, i.e., costs associated with editing, cover art, and formatting. The Publisher has final say in selecting and approving cover art and cover design.
Personal Information: Each contributing author is required to provide the following personal information to the Publisher upon signing the Publishing Agreement:
Full legal name and all pen names
Physical address, including zip code
Cell and/or home telephone number(s) (and the best times to reach you)
A list of all URLs/addresses to your personal website(s) and/or blog(s), and social media accounts, including Amazon author pages, Facebook, Flicker, Goodreads, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Meetup, Pinterest, and Twitter—whatever applies.
Please feel free to email me directly if you have questions that aren’t answered above. I’m looking forward to receiving your submission.
Deadline: February 28th, 2018
Payment: Contributors will share equally fifty percent of the royalties received.
Scheduled for release in late spring of next year and timed for summer reading, this anthology will feature cozy to cozy-noir stories featuring libraries and librarians. Extra points will be shamelessly awarded to writers with personal ties to libraries.
The submission period for this anthology runs from November 1st to February 28th, upon the last stroke of midnight, Pacific Standard Time.
We are looking for stories from 2500 to 5000 words, but will consider stories outside that range, at our discretion. Contributors will share equally fifty percent of the royalties received. We expect between fifteen and twenty stories to be accepted and are aiming at a volume length of around eighty-five thousand words, and around two-hundred and thirty pages—all dependent, obviously, upon the length of the material chosen.
We will accept work previously published, provided it was not published after May of 2017, and that you hold the rights. Simultaneous submissions are fine, with the usual proviso that we should be notified should the work be accepted elsewhere, so that we may withdraw it from consideration.
Deadline: February 1st, 2018
Payment: Split royalty payment 10% retained by company for publishing costs.
Do you remember that guy or girl you did everything for? The one you walked on water for, bent over backward for and sacrificed your own happiness to please them… The one who ended up leaving you distraught, numb, and dying on the floor? Revenge of love is the best remedy to soothe your burning soul! Piece by Piece is an Anti-Valentine’s Day Horror Anthology for short stories. Massacres, heartbreak hotel, obsessive love; the one thing they all have in common: The color red that smears the walls and allays the maniacal laughs of the once dying and broken soul.
3k-10k word count
Times New Roman 12 pt font
Deadline: February 1st
Crisp, clean, polished work
Word Count: 2500-6000k max
The year is 2025. The planet has been riddled with radiation and in an effort to sustain life the world’s leading scientists have come up with a new procedure to keep humans and animals alive. The success rate was high … until the new creatures began to show signs of rot. Genetically and physically enhanced, these monsters begin to turn on each other and their makers.
Genre: horror, science fiction
Submissions of high quality should be original, unpublished works.
‘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.
Editor, Horror Tree
I know they are out hunting again. I hear their scampering’s and scuttering’s as they sneak ever nearer, waiting in the dark. Stalking. Watching.
It’s at this time of year that they hatch. They travel with the blowing leaves, a twitch in the corner of your eye, a blur across your vision, masking the sound of their clawed feet under the rustle of the leaf.
It sounds insane to those who do not know: who have not been blessed or perhaps cursed, with the sight. The ugly realisation that we are not alone in our cruel intelligence.
They bide their time as summer dies and look for an opportunity.
Let me ask you a question. How many of society’s outsiders vanish?
The homeless, the tramp, the vagrant. All of those we try to avoid thinking about. Those living in the dark, lonely places away from our sight.
Some are fated to become the feast of the Autumn born.
We hardly notice their sudden disappearance? Who cares that the unsightly in our society just… vanish. We don’t bother to ask where they go.
Only when our own beloved pets go missing and homemade posters adorn lampposts in the neighbourhood, do we ever begin to wonder.
Food. The creatures of the falling foliage regard us and our furry pets, as food. Clever food. Intelligent food. Dangerous food even.
That’s why they hunt in packs, letting the windblown leaf, cover their stealthy advance till they are near. Till they can pounce. Until they can kill and feed.
You must… must… have seen something. The faded shape suddenly speeding across the road in front of your car. A sudden scrape sound around your feet. Remember the shock of fear before you rationalise that it’s just the breeze and a few dead leaves idly tumbling across the ground.
You are so easily tricked by the dark creatures, in their seasonal migration from the tree tops in Autumn. They journey to breed in the winter months of long darkness as they have for millennia, this ancient nemesis of humanity.
You will never see them directly. You will fail to describe their small jaws, sharp needle teeth, mouldy green eyes. You will not be able to relate their colour or number of limbs. Nor could you know of their instinct to secrete themselves in the soggy piles of detritus, waiting for a gust of wind. The same piles of leaves you allow your children to kick with such happy abandon, under the predatory gaze of the pre-winter killers.
Be warned and learn from one who knows. Listen for the breathing of the wind, the touch of decaying greenery, and try not to walk alone as the nights draw in.
Martin P. Fuller is just the west of 60 and trying to enjoy a semi-retirement from being a law enforcement officer for over thirty-four years. He works part time delivering cars for a rental company and endeavors to join as many writing classes as time and finances allow. He lives in a small terrace cottage in Menston, Yorkshire England.
It was because of these writing classes that he started gain the courage to submit his work for publishing. He prefers darker stories especially if he can affix a twist in story although he has dabbled in some comedy and poetry pieces.
So far, he has had work printed in self-produced anthologies from writing groups but hopes for a story to appear in October in an anthology published by comma press. He is hopeful that people will like the twists and turns of his dark mind. Either that or recommend serious therapists!
Crimes of Passion
Antoni sat in his car and gaped at the statement for the joint credit card. Her affair was itemised.
The bedroom light was on as he pulled up. His key wouldn’t work in the front door. He hammered on it. No reply.
The key wouldn’t open the back door, either.
There was a half house brick in his hand, edges rough, corner jutting.
The back door jerked open. His cuckold leapt out, shirtless, brazen and cursing. Antoni quietened him with the brick, and went after the woman.
He’d need to find a new woman. One of them would be faithful.
Michael James Parker is a struggling amateur author striving to become a struggling professional one. He writes horror and sci-fi, mainly, but will try his hand at anything. His work has appeared in anthologies by Dark Chapter Press, and Iron Press.
When I woke up yesterday I realized I could see how people around me were going to die. I said hi to my neighbor and saw a flash of him strapped to a gurney in a white robe, an IV inserted in each arm. Confused, I ran back inside. I remained inside all day, I didn’t even look at people on the street passing by.
This morning I looked into the mirror and saw a flash. It was my neighbor, holding a piece of rope as it descended around my neck. Then there was a bang in the next room.
Tara A. Devlin spent the first two thirds of her life living in Australia, the next third living in Japan, and now finally resides in Europe. When she’s not procrastinating on the internet or looking after her two cats she enjoys horror and pew pew movies. You can find her collection of horror and fantasy writings at taraadevlin.com and on her Amazon Page.
The film hadn’t scared them so much as intrigued them.
“Let’s make a Ouija board – there must be a DIY on YouTube,” Joy suggested.
“Wouldn’t work,” Bill dismissed.
“Let’s ask Mr. Vincent in the toyshop – he’ll order one – knows nothing about toys!” The kids slapped a high five.
Mr. Vincent frowned, “Ouija board? Why of course.” He shuffled behind the curtain hiding the back of the shop.
“I told you he knows nothing about toys,” Bill whispered.
In the darkness Mr. Vincent lit a black candle then blew out the match.
“So true, so true. But about the occult…”
N.O.A. Rawle graduated MMU with a degree in writing and philosophy. She lives with her family in the middle of mythical Thessaly, teaching English by day and scribbling creepy weird tales by candle light into the wee hours of the morning. You can get to know her better at www.noarawle.blogspot.com.
Deadline: November 30th, 2017
Payment: $0.01 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars (excluding flash contest, a flat rate of 5.00 dollars to the winning flash)
Apparition Lit is open for poetry and short story submissions four times a year.
(Please see the Flash Fiction drop down below for our monthly Flash Fiction submission guidelines)
As the first issue of our magazine, our theme is Apparition, which can mean a ghostly presence, the act of becoming visible, or the appearance of something strange or unexpected.
Our themes for 2018 will be:
Apparition (open for submissions November 1-30, 2017, publishing January 2018)
Delusion (open for submissions February 1-28, 2018, publishing April 2018)
Vision (open for submissions May 1-30, 2018, publishing July 2018)
Diversion (open for submissions August 1-31, 2018, publishing October 2018)
Apparition is a token rate magazine, paying $0.01 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars (excluding flash contest, a flat rate of 5.00 dollars to the winning flash). If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online and in the quarterly edition. Rights will revert back to the artist after one year.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
We will only accept stories between 1000-5000words. Of course, this number-range is not intended to be a hard stop. If the story is complete with an extra 100-300 words, then it will still be considered.
Apparition is a token-rate magazine, paying $0.01 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars (excluding flash contest). If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online and in the quarterly edition. Rights will revert back to the artist after one year.
Please retain all proper formatting marks. Keep font italicized and bolded. We’re not in the typewriter age anymore.
Please only use Times New Roman or Arial font in your document
Save as an RTF file and attach to an email
In the text of the email, provide a brief cover letter that includes your name, the title of the short story, word count, and any relevant publications
Edit the email’s subject line so it reads: SUBMISSION: Title of Your Story
Email your formatted email and short story manuscript to [email protected] (Be sure to add us to your email Safe Sender list so our reply doesn’t land in your Spam folder or blocked by your email server.)
All acceptances and rejections will be emailed by the 15th day of December.
(Click on a section above to see detailed guidelines for each classification.)
Apparition Lit is seeking original, unpublished speculative fiction that meet our quarterly theme. Speculative fiction is weird, almost unclassifiable. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and literary. We want it all. Send us your strange, misshapen stories.
Send us stories with enough emotional heft to break a heart, with prose that’s as clear and delicious as broth. We’re looking for proactive characters and beautiful language, all wrapped up in a complete story.
Diversity is as important in fiction as it is in real life. We want a mosaic of stories, from authors of all identities and walks of life.
WHAT WE DON’T ACCEPT:
While we love dark stories with macabre elements, we will not accept stories with gratuitous and graphic violence or rape. We also will not consider stories that have extreme, purposeless violence toward animals.
We do not publish erotica or thinly-veiled fanfiction.
We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions. If your short story is rejected during the reading period, please wait a few days before submitting a new story.
At this time, we do not accept reprints or resubmissions.
Stacey – Tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from?
Phoebe – I grew up in a place colder than Moscow every winter and hotter than Miami in the summer. Sounds far off and exotic, right? Well, it’s actually Minnesota! And whether I am petting friendly stray cats at the Hagia Sofia, strolling down the mosaiced streets of Freiburg, or gazing into the hot springs at Yellowstone, Minnesota will always call me home. I’ve been a bit of a nomad these past few years after a “quarter-life crisis,” followed by bouncing between institutions as The Mister completed his research, his PhD, and got his first post-doc.
Stacey – When did you start writing?
Phoebe – I got serious about writing fiction the same time we made our first nomadic leap of faith. But I admit, I am one of those writers who started young. It was that middle part where I lost my way. My first novel just sort of poured out of me at a time when I was feeling crushed by real life, and reminded me that there were other ways to feel.
Stacey – You write Steampunk. It’s an interesting genre. What drew you to it?
Phoebe – The first time I heard the word Steampunk was in 2009. But once someone explained it to me, it was more like finally having a word for the things I already liked than finding something new. In short, Steampunk is a genre of literature and its adaptations that is informed by the science and superstitions of the Victorian era, and has inspired costumers, prop makers, and other artisans to apply the aesthetic to a variety of things. I love the real 19th century, but I also love to give things a twist here and there, and that is the “punk” part of Steampunk. I started a blog to explore the facets of Steampunk in 2013, but was invited to join SteampunkJournal.org and am in the process of transferring all of my content there.
Stacey – You’re involved with the Network of Indie Steampunks. How did that come about?
Phoebe – It was my brainchild, in fact. I am still in the initial stages as my living situation remains fluid, but the goal is to bring together Steampunk authors to act as beta readers and co-promoters. I’ve also recruited several Steampunk websites to participate in blog tours to help promote these awesome independent writers. The Network of Indie Steampunks (NOIS) is intended to be a membership program that gives members discounts on products and services writers need, as well as marketing support like a free blog tour. Army of Brass will be the pilot blog tour in spring 2018.
Stacey – What do you enjoy most about writing?
Phoebe – For me, writing a story is a string of small epiphanies. Details can suddenly fall into place. Characters will change their minds on you. A little historical detail throws a door wide open or slams it shut. One word changes the mood of a whole scene. I love the feeling of solving all of these puzzles.
Stacey – Where do you get your inspiration?
Phoebe – I mentioned my fascination with the 19th century, and I think that comes in large part from watching period mysteries with my parents. I enjoyed history and seeing how these people were alike but different from me. I got older, I found myself drawn to elements of culture more than the cold facts and dates, and took anthropology courses. I know that being exposed to so many cultures, as well as simply the possibility that there are so many different ways to be humans, made science fiction and fantasy and obvious segue.
Stacey – Has anyone influenced your writing along the way?
Phoebe – In a very direct way, my mother was my first editor. She would read my essays and help me with my arguments (not to mention my punctuation). The authors who have influenced me the most would probably be Kurt Vonnegut on the sci-fi side, and Neil Gaiman on the fantasy side. Plus, Joss Whedon has definitely influenced the way I try to integrate humor into even the direst situations.
Stacey – What’s your writing process like?
Phoebe – Evolving! My first novel willed itself into being by taking over my whole brain for months at a time. The second was a product of plotting, pre-writing, and NaNoWriMo 2016. In the interim, I’ve read a few more books about the craft of writing, which is changing the process once again. I’ve got a Blake Snyder-style beat sheet to work with as I embark on the next project later this month.
Stacey – What was the first story you had published?
Phoebe – “Next Time” under the pen name M.E. Anders. It’s a romance story set in current times, which is a big deviation from my other work so far, so I created a name that spelled “meanders.”
Stacey – I see you’re a fan of American Gods. Have you seen the television series, and who’s your favourite character?
Phoebe – Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the show yet, but I am excited for it! There are a lot of great characters to choose from, but for some reason, I’ve always liked Czernobog. Maybe it is the Eastern European thing, or his role in the story, but he’s always stuck out to me.
Stacey – Do you have a favourite character from your own works?
Phoebe – I think I have two, and they are favorites for completely different reasons. One is a complete wide-eyed optimist and often wise in his own childish way. The other is a professional liar with a heart of gold buried somewhere deep below her selfish streak.
Stacey – I see you’re a coordinator at CWC, tell us about it.
Phoebe – That was a huge learning experience, to say the least. The Collaborative Writing Challenge brings together over 100 writers per project to write a novel. We plan on 30 chapters, and up to five writers attempting each chapter with the aid of reference notes and one previous chapter. As the coordinator, it was my job to select the chapter (or sometimes chapters) that would be included in the book each week. Army of Brass was the seventh project and was Steampunk-themed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the word Steampunk. In the end, we reached chapter 30 but still had too much story to tell. I formed a committee with some writers who already had chapters in the book, and we worked together to plot and write the ending. The CWC is taking a year off to give attention to their current releases, but they will begin Project 8 with a romance theme in late 2018.
Stacey – Your story The Vigil appears in Chasing Magic, did you have fun with it?
Phoebe – That story started life as an entry into a different contest. At that time, I was with a small (but now defunct) publisher that was going to start a collaborative novel. I wrote The Vigil as a potential starter chapter. I definitely had fun writing it! I had been thinking about magic rings and how I could make the idea feel “fresh,” and I’d wanted to write something atmospheric in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe. The story fell together from there. And who knows? Maybe I will still make it a novel some day…
Stacey – I see you’ve got a steampunk series in the works. When is it due for release?
Phoebe – Originally, I was going to self-publish a series of novellas. I submitted the first part to just two potential publishers because I knew novellas were a long shot. Months passed and I heard nothing, so I announced my self-publishing date. Within a week, I heard back from both of them requesting full manuscripts! After some feedback and a lot of revisions, No Rest for the Wicked is now a single novel rather than multiple novellas. It’s with my last beta readers now, and will go a-querying soon. But you can read excerpts on my author blog every Friday! (www.phoebedarqueling.com/blog)
Stacey – Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Phoebe – Absolutely! This is from Chapter 1 of my story about a con woman in the old West who is forced out of retirement when her past comes back to haunt her…literally.
The ghost removed his hat and tried his best to mollify her. “Please, I must speak with you.”
“No. What you must do is move on and stop bothering the living. I’m out of the business of running errands for the dead, thank you very much.” Vi’s hands traced shallow furrows in the water.
“But you don’t even know what I want.”
“It’s my wife, you see—”
“There are these men and—”
“We owe them some money.”
“I can keep this up all night,” she warned.
“But, they’re going to—”
She raised her hands out of her bathwater and moved them like a conductor as she sang to the tune of a new song that had been making the rounds. “I’m not interested in helping, all the live-long day.” Her hands dropped back into the water with a splash.
If he could breathe, the ghost’s chest would have been heaving in anger, but in his current state he had to settle for pulling a sour face. “Well, I had to try. My wife is—was—my whole life.” The ghost donned his spectral hat and turned to leave with a final mumble to himself. “He warned you she wouldn’t help.”
After the lengths she’d gone to disappear, there shouldn’t be anyone for hundreds of miles who knew about her “special talent.”
“Yep, he was right,” she called lazily, then the water surged as she sat forward with sudden interest. “Wait. Who warned you I wouldn’t help?” After the lengths she’d gone to disappear, there shouldn’t be anyone for hundreds of miles who knew about her “special talent.”
“Will you help me if I tell you?” the ghost asked, hope written in the lines of his gently glowing face.
Vi narrowed her eyes. “I can guarantee I won’t help you if you don’t tell me.”
He smiled and waved his hands in imitation of her earlier display. “I’m not interested in telling, all the live-long day.”
She looked away in a huff. Not knowing the identity of the referrer was going to eat at her, but the information alone wasn’t worth the price of dealing with this guy.
Hat in hand, he tried again. “Aw, shucks ma’am. I promise. I’ll tell you the whole sorry tale of how I found out about you as soon as you agree to help me.”
“No wonder you’ve gotten yourself in trouble,” she said with disgust. “You shouldn’t offer to pay someone up front, you need to hold onto whatever it is for leverage.”
“Alright. Then I promise to tell you after you help me.”
“Nope. Still not interested. It would take a lot more than that to get me out of this tub.”
His face fell for a moment before he brightened. “Well, there’s always the gold.”
Vi’s half-smile returned. “You didn’t say anything about gold before.”
Stacey – Thank you so much for your time, Phoebe! If you would like to find out more about Phoebe and her work, check out the below links.
Deadline: December 30th, 2017!
Payment: 3 cents/word (CAD) and a contributor’s copy
Note: Canadian writers have preferred status but they aren’t only taking Canadian authors.
Edited by Kate Story and Derek Newman-Stille
To be published by Renaissance Press
Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818, sparking the genres of horror and science fiction. On this, the 200th anniversary of its publication, the narrative is more relevant than ever. We live in an age where we need to ask critical questions about the limits of science. How do scientific pursuits relate to the body? Attention to issues of disability lead us to consider how identity relates to the body, and how the body can shift and change over time. Shelley’s bodily assemblage – a collective of parts given life – still shapes our ideas about ourselves, and about what we create to be our monsters. This anthology will gather together tales inspired by Shelley’s strange alchemy, lightning strikes of inspiration from Frankenstein. We are looking for a broad range of stories, from direct interactions with Shelley’s texts to explorations of the stitched, assembled body and narrative experiments in monstrous creations.
We Shall Be Monsters is a fiction collection that will feature explorations of disability through Frankenstein, queer and trans identity, ideas of race and colonialism. Shelley’s story provides a space for exploring a multitude of identities through the figure of the sympathetic outsider. Frankenstein’s “monster” is a figure of Otherness, and one that can tell stories of exclusion and social oppression.
Stories do not need to be JUST about Frankenstein or his monster. We hope to get stories that play with ideas around Frankenstein and inspired by the theme. Of course, we want some stories that deal with Mary Shelley’s text.
For this anniversary anthology, we are looking for short stories of 2000-7500 words in length, poetry up to 500 words in length, and graphic narratives (comics) up to 6 pages. We are only interested in previously unpublished works.
We are interested in new imaginings of the Frankenstein mythos. For example:
What if Mary Shelley was the scientist who created the Monster?
What if Frankenstein had finished making a mate for the Monster?
What if the Monster had reached the “New World”?
What if the Monster joined a circus?
What if Frankenstein’s monster met Dracula?
What if Dr. Frankenstein had created other monstrous assemblages before he created his “monster”
What is it like to be Dr. Frankenstein’s lab assistant?
What if Dr. Frankenstein had actually raised his creation?
What if the military decided to weaponize Frankenstein’s Monster?
We want your stories of science gone wrong, your tales of monstrous creations, your imaginings about bodily assemblages, and other creations that your minds can create.
Your submission can be in any genre that suits the theme of your story.
Length: 2000 to 7500 words for short fiction, but it will be easier to place shorter works
500 words maximum for poetry
6 pages for graphic fiction (comics)
Payment: 3 cents/word (CAD) for original fiction, and a contributor’s copy.
Canadian citizens (living in Canada and/or paying taxes in Canada) and permanent residents of Canada will receive preferred status.
We encourage authors from a wide range of diverse voices and interpretations, including writers of colour and of indigenous/Native heritage, Francophone writers, writers with disabilities, LGBTQ2IA+ (or QUILTBAG or Queer-identified) writers, and new generation writers (aged 18-30).
No multiple submissions. If you received a rejection before the deadline, you may submit a new work.
We are looking for original fiction only. No reprints, please.
Submit stories in standard manuscript format as a .doc, .docx, or RTF with indented paragraphs, italics in in italics, and bold in bold. Include full contact information and word count on the first page. Include a cover letter (name, story title, and word count, contact information, previous publications) in the body of the email.
Submissions in English only, although stories translated into English are also acceptable.
Rights purchased: First English-Language Rights & Non-exclusive Anthology Rights (Print and eBook).
Indicate in the subject line: Submission: Story Title, Last Name.
Deadline: February 1st, 2018
Payment: 1 cent/word, to a maximum of $50,
The infernal fires have begun to burn, and the Enochian writing is on the wall. Yes, we’re at the starting line for the forthcoming anthology, Hell’s Empire, to be published by UltharPress and edited by John Linwood Grant. So here are all the details you need…
If you want the general submission details, skip down to the Technical Details for Hell’s Empire part at the bottom of this post. If you want to submit, you’ll need to read the rest.
HELL’S EMPIRE from Ulthar Press
ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
These guidelines are detailed, so please read them carefully. Within the framework, there is room for a wealth of stories, from tales of very personal challenge and loss or triumph, through subtle occult ventures, to large scale slaughter. Technical details and requirements are give on the last page. If there is a role model for the anthology, then it is basically H G Well’s ‘War of the Worlds’. A more occult version of that. We can set a few basics first:
Hell’s Empire is set firmly in the real Britain and /or Ireland of the 1890s.
We are not looking for Lovecraftian Mythos, steampunk or alternate dimensions. Sorry.
The British Empire is not prepared for the Incursion, and in its early stages the Incursion might not even be recognised for what it is.
Military and civilian technology levels are exactly what they were in the 1890s.
If you prefer to pitch an outline idea before investing a lot of writing time, you are welcome to do so. Send your outline to the email address at the bottom, subject line: Hell’s Empire/Pitch.
a) The Incursion
The simplest part. At some unspecified point in the 1890s, the forces of Hell invade Britain. And there you have it. The Incursion includes:
subtle attempts to undermine or demoralise the British;
lone demonic appearances in unexpected places;
strikes at key places and organisations;
seemingly random acts of terror and destruction, and/or
outbreaks of direct combat between Infernal and Victorian forces.
b) The Physical Setting
Anywhere in Victorian Britain or its coastal waters. The Incursion occurs there, and we’re not looking at stories set anywhere else in the Empire. It is also possible to set a story in some infernal ‘circle’, where directly relevant to the Incursion, but this will be harder. Pitch first if unsure.
c) The Two Empires
The British Empire’s far-flung and over-stretched nature is one of the reasons why Britain may be vulnerable. Queen Victoria is not a character in the book, except for possibly distant glimpses, second-hand rumours, and anything the editor or the anchor writers use in their framing text.
The Infernal Empire is an unknown which may be both chaotic and cruelly logical at the same time. Aspects of Hell and its peoples will be seen only through human eyes, and may therefore be completely false. As with Queen Victoria, the Infernal Prince Himself is not a character in the book, except for rumours, and anything the editor or the anchor writers use in their framing text.
d) Human Protagonists
Human protagonists may be from any class or station, civilian or military. It would be preferable to have a range of quite different protagonists, including diversity in gender, social station, normal role in society, and so on. ‘Stiff upper lip’ military men may well occur, but we don’t want them to swamp the anthology. Here are just a few throwaway protagonist ideas to encourage you:
The country vicar’s wife
The factory worker (male or female)
The veteran Army sergeant
The charitable woman of ‘good breeding’
The Muslim Indian, working or visiting
The policeman’s mother
The journalist (male or female)
The visiting American businessman
The sceptical rabbi
The shopkeeper (male or female)
The naval officer
The occult scholar or antiquarian (m or f)
e) The Infernal Hordes
Demons and demonic forces can vary from brutal foot-soldiers to complex, highly rational horrors from the Infernal Circles. Their motivations may be fear of their masters and mistresses, or subtle personal gain from the situation. There can be nuance to the demons – they don’t need to be simply unthinking monsters. In Wells and War of the Worlds, the Martians have internally consistent reasons for their actions, even the genocide. We would prefer to see that reflected in some aspects of the enemy.
Given the context, we expect that most demons will be based on genuine sources – Judaeo-Christian (including Dante, Milton etc) as well as Mesopotamian religions and mythologies etc (e.g. Sumerian, Babylonian). There’s a useful Wikipedia page with a list of theological demons which could be a good starting point. Classic demons, in other words – again, no Lovecraftian horrors, please. Attempting to write from the point of view of an infernal character is possible and we would be interested in seeing that tried. It may be harder, and if in doubt, feel free to check with the editor.
f) Religion and the Occult
Some responses to the Incursion in Hell’s Empire will be from the People of the Book and related churches, sects and movements of Britain at the time. Christian mainstream and mysticism, Jewish Kabbalah and Islamic mysticism are all valid. If a rabbi sees his neighbours having their heads pulled off or their minds scrambled, he’s not likely to sit back and say ‘Nothing to do with me’.
A second set of responses will be from ‘magicians’, esoteric scholars, John Dee and pre-Crowley types (by the mid-1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain), pagans and others. These may have a go at responding to the threat – or welcoming it. They may also be pressed or coerced into service by the British Empire, in desperation. Maybe some of them suspected this was coming.
You can be literal, and take this as an invasion by a real Hell. Or people in your story might argue that this cannot be Hell, rather a construct of the shared Christian conscious – a mass ‘guilt trip’ brought into reality. Characters might construct a theory of complex occult influences masquerading in a form relevant to the mass of the population. Bad things will still happen.
Religious and occult methods for protection or fighting back will be used. Some may not work. We would expect some religious, literary or historical basis for these, not just shouting pretend magic and rhyming nonsense at a demon with a twenty foot skewer. Augmentation of mundane weapons, and the use of various folklore, temple or church beliefs and rituals, are all sound, and will probably be essential. Enochian magick will come up at some point.
g) The Military Response
Note, from above, that the main forces of the British Empire are busy elsewhere, and that the incursion was largely unexpected. Forces to hand would therefore be the Volunteer Force, Cadet Corps, Yeomanry (light cavalry) and regimental HQ staff, reserves etc. Limited number of artillery batteries. These would be depleted from sending reinforcements to conflicts overseas for years.
So there will be no full-strength mainline regiments charging across Suffolk. The police would be a mainstay, with local constabulary, mounted police and detective forces all pressed into use, as would coastal naval forces and reserves. The RN probably would have front line units of the Channel Fleet, so there is the possibility of seeing professional sailors and marines, who would in the 1890s be accustomed to disembarking and fighting ashore and fighting alongside the army – eg. the machine gun (Gardner Gun) team at the Battle of Abu Klea. So there may be small groups of bluejackets available to shore up local levies.
Aerial response would be limited to what you can do with rockets and balloons. No armoured airships. Bear in mind that a lot of the weapons are going to be older generation technology. In the 1890s, even at the end of the decade, the majority of rifles are going to be the Martini-Henry, which will mean cartridge extraction problems and sticking breech–blocks, black powder smoke in abundance. There will be breech–loading artillery pieces, but a lot of rifled muzzle-loaders too – difficult and clunky to operate and not very good rate of fire.
The blunt force effectiveness of weapons will apply, but without any kind of mystical or religious enhancement, they will damage and slow down, but not always kill or destroy. A Martini Henry shot could knock a man-sized demon down, an artillery round would scatter a knot of them, maybe mangle the odd limb etc, but some may still rise. Hence the need for religious and occult support.
We don’t want lots of laboured and archaic speech, or an excess of Cockney chimney-sweeps and ridiculously posh-talking nobility. Moderate and appropriate use of contractions and period slang, cant and vernacular, please.
Terminology for demons, devils, spirits, fallen angels, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan and all the rest can and may vary from story to story, according to the views of the narrator or protagonist. As mentioned, names from classical demonology would be a sound choice.
i) The Stories
Anchor stories at either end will be provided by Matt Willis and Charles Rutledge. Everything in between from the start of the Incursion is fair game. Simple rules apply, drawing on all the above:
Stories can range from a rousing local victory to a tragic loss (as humans see it).
You can suggest a breakthrough or specific solution to a demonic problem, but not guarantee one that will always work.
Do not use Queen Victoria or the Infernal Prince as a character.
Do not destroy London (you can seriously damage parts of it, though).
Submissions are open from 25th October 2017 to 1st February 2018 inclusive.
Around 5000 words is the sweet spot; 3500 – 4000 is OK. Anything much more than 5000 words may work if you have a great idea for a tale, but this is best queried with the editor first.
Please submit as a standard double-spaced document in a common file form, either doc or rtf, with your name, email address and title at the top of the document. This is so we can match submissions to submission emails if they get separated.
Headers and footers are not required. Italics for italics. No fancy fonts. Submit in Calibre or Times New Roman font at 12 point size. No lines between paragraphs. Do NOT use formatting programs for indents. Please use Tabs. One space after periods.
Emails should have Hell’s Empire/Your Name/Story Title in the subject line. The story should be an attached document, not embedded in your email. Please include in your email the briefest covering details:
The name under which you write
Full title of your story and final word count
No more than a couple of lines about you or your writing credits.
We don’t read anything longer, as your story is what you’ll be judged on. Send completed submissions (and pitches) to:
General updates will be posted in the Imperial Weird Facebook Group and here. We will acknowledge receipt, and will do some reading during the submission period, but do not expect final responses until February 2018.
Payment will be 1 cent/word, to a maximum of $50, made upon publication.
It was perfectly possible in 1890s Britain to be active and respected whilst being a feminist, being black, being gay or being restricted in physical ability (as just a few examples). Don’t limit the scope of your characters’ personal nature, situation or views. Whilst limited discrimination may occasionally be relevant in context of the period in order to reflect character experiences, casual sexism and racism etc. will not be accepted.
John Linwood Grant, with Charles R Rutledge & Matt Willis, on behalf of Ulthar Press
Deadline: February 28th, 2018
Payment: fifty percent of the royalties divided equally.
Darkhouse Books seeks poetry, flash, short fiction, and creative nonfiction reflecting the theme of sanctuary, refuge, shelter, or asylum, from the perspective of those offering, seeking, denying, or destroying it. From Bangladesh to the city animal shelter, all are welcome, as are all genres.
TIPS: If you are familiar with the Darkhouse Books anthology Descansos you will have some idea what the editors are looking for.
This series leans toward the literary while welcoming all genres, so long as the author has paid close attention to craft.
Send us work that stands out because of its excellence, of course, but also because of its creative take on the theme and on the craft of writing. Take a risk and do it with skill!
When it comes to prose, the editors tend to prefer short and tight, but if you write long and you can prove us wrong, you’re in.
We will accept reprints so long as the piece was published more than a year before you submit it, and you are submitting in accordance with the previous publisher’s guidelines, along with ours.
Please include whether your submission is poetry or prose in the subject line of your email, and include a cover page that lists the title, your name, and your contact information, as well as the name and date of any previous publication, if it is a reprint.
DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME OR CONTACT INFORMATION in the body of YOUR PIECE. IF YOU DO, IT WILL NOT BE READ.
Format your piece in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier, double spaced, with initial indents of .5”, and 1” margins.
Send your manuscript as .doc or .docx.
Please submit no more than five poems and/or two prose pieces. Submissions may be emailed to [email protected], and should include the word Sanctuary in the subject line.
Submissions will be accepted from November 1st through midnight (PST) February 28th.
Payment to contributors is fifty percent of the royalties divided equally.