Deadline: June 1st, 2018
Payment: $0.03 per word
Note: I almost didn’t share this just so I’d have less competition for submitting in case I can write something in time. That’s how much I love this call! You’re all welcome that I’m not actually that selfish!
We know we have a tendency to say, “Attention writers! Some new hotness!” but this is literally some new burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth hotness. Inspired mostly by David James Keaton’s struggle to find good pizza in California and pitching ideas to Max Booth when he’s hungry after working a 12-hour shift at the Overlook, get ready for…
TALES FROM THE CRUST: An Anthology of Pizza Horror
edited by Keaton and Booth and published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
Originally Keaton was thinking of calling it PIZZA MY SKULL because there’s a pizza place around San Jose called Pizza My Heart, meaning “piece of my heart,” and so he thought a “piece of my skull” joke would be hilarious. Turns out that’s a lot of assumptions to make about a gag. Also their pizza is gross. Luckily, George Cotronis brainstormed a much better title (though it might make people wonder if there’s a “Crustkeeper/Cryptkeeper” hosting the show). Speaking of Mr. Cotronis! Holy lord look at the cover art he’s come up with. WE WANT TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD…
This is exactly the vibe we’re going for here. Not so much the goofy Goosebumps thing you might imagine with a pizza horror story, but we’re taking it kind of seriously. Like we take our pizza seriously. The humor is inherent in the pizza theme already, so we’re playing this kind of straight. And if you think you’ve got what it takes, like a healthy love of the cheesy cuisine, send us your best work.
Now, you may be thinking: pizza horror taken seriously? What the good goddamn could I possibly write?
Good question! We don’t know. But we sure would like to read it.
That’s where you come in.
Write us a pizza story, and make it scary.
Story length: 1k – 5k
Payment: $0.03 per word
Multiple submissions: Yes
Simultaneous submissions: Yes
Reprints: Query first
Deadline: June 1, 2018
Send submissions to [email protected] with “[STORY TITLE] – [AUTHOR NAME] – [WORD COUNT]” in the subject line.
So the season is almost on us, although in many places it seems to have been going on since early Autumn; I think I spotted my first Christmas ads back in September. You can’t ignore it and it brings with it a horror of its own … the pressure to buy, the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, the pressure to join those office parties you’d rather avoid. How do people cope with pressure, deal with stress? Drink? Probably. But a good alternative is to write. Use your stories as therapy, channel your angst and frustration onto the page, carve your horrors in ink. We need stories, drabbles and flash, and a lot more of them. Use the holiday to give yourself a gift, the gift of writing time. We look forward to the results.
Editor, Trembling With Fear
Just a side note, we’re low on Drabbles for the first time in months! At any rate, it’s nearing the end of our first year of running Trembling With Fear. We’ve had a blast reading and helping critique your stories and hope you’ve had fun writing them. We have a few changes in mind for the upcoming year though nothing that will kick off right as January sets in.
Can you feel the excitement in the air as we prepare to see if we can put together an anthology of everyone’s work so far? (Editor’s note: That isn’t excitement. It is actually a mix of pure fear, stress, and adrenaline!)
‘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
David and Goliath
The laboratory was badly lit, the mains electricity had been off for a week. Paul was relying on a diesel generator to power minimal lights and essential equipment. The place was deserted, none of the staff had turned up that morning. Only he and John were still working, and that was because they’d been camping out in the lab, rather than going home. Paul guessed the rest of the team were either dead or dying.
Paul looked round at the piles of dirty glassware, discarded plastic and latex gloves. He didn’t have the time or the inclination to clean up. Instead, he continued to run the assay, his mind elsewhere. What would the latest results show? There were some interesting new compounds, they might be effective. Would they be saved? The door opened. John entered, his white lab-coat stained with blood.
“I’ve got the results.”
“I was hoping you had. Anything?”
John shook his head.
“The delta-blockers had zero effect. Same with the chloro-quinolones. Nothing is touching it. It’s still completely resistant. Every time we hit it with a new molecule, it spits out another set of enzymes to destroy it.”
Paul felt a wave of disgust and despair. He looked at the window, at the world outside.
“We don’t have a chance.”
“What do we do now?”
“See if any of the other labs have made progress. Check London, Geneva and Rome. They were all working on different formulations.”
“Will do, but I doubt…”
“I know,” interrupted Paul, “but do me a favor and check anyway.”
John nodded and headed out. Paul stood and walked to the window. The lab was on the fourth floor of the university building. He looked down at the street below. The cultists were still there, standing behind the barricades. They were protesting the research, as they did every day. They wanted the world to end, they wanted the world to burn.
“You got your wish,” whispered Paul. His head felt hot against the cool glass.
Two years, that was all it had taken to turn the world to shit.
“From inconsequential beginnings, dynasties will fall.”
It was a popular quote from the cultists. He stared at a Petri dish sitting on the bench.
“Just a wee microbe. Nothing special.”
Paul thought back to how quickly disaster had overtaken the human race. The first case had been in Spain. An infection, acquired in hospital. It was considered routine until the clinicians realized the patient wasn’t responding to any antibiotic. The bacterium causing the infection had developed complete resistance. The woman had died in agony.
That was just the beginning. The germ that killed the patient in Spain spread, first to rest of the hospital, then to the local city. Thousands were affected, hundreds were dead. The local authorities had requested help in containing the infection. From that point onward, Paul and his colleagues kept a close eye on the spread of the disease, hoping it would be checked. It wasn’t to be.
Within a month Spain had declared a nationwide epidemic. By this time every global health organization was involved. Travel bans were imposed, but it was too late. Two months after the first Spanish fatality, cases popped up in the U.S. and China. Six months later a global pandemic was declared. The fatality rate was 98%. This organism didn’t discriminate. If you got it, you died. It was as simple as that.
Paul remembered the day the email had arrived. It was a call to arms. Laboratories all over the world had rushed to find a way to destroy the organism. Pharmaceutical companies, universities and governments all frantically collaborated. Some were tasked with finding a new antibiotic. Others were challenged with developing a vaccine.
Hundreds of people, including Paul and his team, worked round the clock to achieve these twin goals, while the number of the infected grew exponentially. Hospitals were overwhelmed. People were told to stay at home, no matter how ill. Schools and colleges were closed. Subways, buses and other mass transit systems were suspended. Funeral homes refused to take the dead. Corpses were collected by the military, until there weren’t enough healthy soldiers available. After that, the bodies piled up in the streets or quietly decayed in their homes. When Paul heard that news, he knew it was over. Humanity was finished when there was no one left to bury the dead.
It didn’t take long for the tipping point to be reached. Hospitals shut down. Transport ceased. Stores closed. Paul’s laboratory was one of the few that still functioned, thanks to the judicious purchase of the generator and supplies of diesel, but the chance of finding an effective antibiotic was now remote. Finding a vaccine was even more unlikely. Too many scientists and physicians were dead or ill. The critical mass for such large-scale research had been lost. But, a few laboratories kept working, kept hoping.
Paul continued to stare at the small yellow colonies on the Petri dish. So far, he’d been unaffected. His parents, his wife, his kids and most of his friends and colleagues were dead. He suppressed the grief he felt. John re-entered the lab.
“Nothing. They’ve all got the same results as us. They’re shutting down.”
“I expected as much. Well, that’s it. There’s no more drugs to test, we’ve exhausted all possibilities.”
“Even if we found something that worked, how we would get it manufactured and distributed?”
“We wouldn’t. It’s too late. It was always too late.”
“I don’t feel well.”
“We’re all infected, John. You know that.”
John started to cry.
“I’m going home. I know my parents are dead, but I want to be with them.”
Paul embraced his friend, then walked to the window to watch him push his way through the cultists. He knew he would never see him again. He could feel the bacterium in his gut, spewing its toxin into his bloodstream. There was no treatment, nothing he could do. He regarded the Petri dish. He put his finger onto the surface of the agar and scooped up a layer of bacterial colonies. He sucked his finger clean and swallowed.
“Might as well give my killers some allies to help their cause.”
He smiled. In the end, it hadn’t been a comet, or nuclear apocalypse. Nature herself had finished humanity. The smallest creature on the surface of the Earth had doomed the most intelligent, the most advanced species. David had once again defeated Goliath.
R. J. Meldrum is an author and academic. Born in Scotland, he moved to Ontario, Canada in 2010 with his wife Sally. His interest in the supernatural is a lifetime obsession and when he isn’t writing ghost stories, he’s busy scouring the shelves of antique book-sellers to increase his collection of rare and vintage supernatural books. During the winter months, he trains and races his own team of sled dogs.
He has had stories published by Sirens Call Publications, Horrified Press, Trembling with Fear, Darkhouse Books, Digital Fiction and James Ward Kirk Fiction.
Louis was such a sweet boy. He always helped me with the groceries, wanting no reward for himself. When my husband would go away on business, Louis would always come around. I could tell he had a crush. It was sweet in a way, him only being at the ripe age of twelve. He would look at me with his big brown eyes with such infatuation. Although delightful, I had hoped Louis would have been faster. He screamed more than I had thought as well. Didn’t put up much of a fight either. I’ll bury Louis’s body in the morning.
Eric Baker is a professional cook and freelance Horror and Comedy writer from Chattanooga, TN. He currently lives in Twin Falls, Idaho with his wife and nine year old son.
“Then let the words of the Lord feed your soul,” said the priest.
“Gave up on our souls a long time ago,” grinned Jackson. “It’s our stomachs we need to take care of now.”
“Listen to me. I can give you sustenance.”
“On that we are agreed, Father.”
The priest smiled, a hopeful expression filling his face. “Perhaps a prayer?”
“Of course, Father. I have one that is pretty apt.”
The priest smiled as the men formed a circle around him. His flock.
“For what we are about to receive,” said Jackson.
The smile vanished.
Stephanie Ellis is a TeachingAssistant in a Southampton secondary school but previously worked for many years as a technical author. Her genre fiction short stories have found success in Massacre and Sanitarium magazines as well as a variety of horror anthologies. She is also an active member of theFlashDogs flash fiction online community where most of her contributions are of the darker kind. Also, co-curator and co-editor at The Infernal Clock.
Jack’s arm ached as he brought the Machete through another set of vines. Darkness would be coming soon, and he needed to make the cave by nightfall. The going had been slow since his guides had abandoned him.
He only needed to make it another mile but nature itself was trying to keep him away.
If he was right, what lay in the cave was by no means natural. At least not to this world.
His arm screamed as the Machete cleared the path before him.
Nothing would stop him from reaching his destination and what lay within.
Hey! It’s the person who planted the seeds for the Horror Tree! You can read my bio below so if you’re checking this out please make sure to subscribe to our mailing list and follow the site (and all of the staff writers) on social media! Thanks!
Stacey – Tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from?
Robert – I’ll just use one of my bios here to say a little about myself and give readers an idea of my sense of humour.
Robert Mackey is a retired construction worker and real estate investor turned writer. Robert’s works intended for the mg/ya age groups are free of sex, killing and profanity. His works for adult audiences can’t even begin to make this claim.
Robert currently resides near the megalopolis of Addy, Washington, a hamlet working desperately to attain the coveted ‘One Horse’ status. So far all they have is those stick ponies you know, the stick with the little plastic head at the end that you hold between your legs and run around playing cowboy? Actually, half the people in town have those and the other half have stick cows. Every spring the people with the ponies round up the people with the cows and chase them into the hills to pasture for the summer. It’s pretty quiet around town in the summer. (Got a little sidetracked there.)
Robert lives there with his lovely wife Janice and his teenage son Joshua who has a vocabulary consisting of two sentences which Joshua feels are sufficient to get him through the balance of his life. They are as follows, “Huh?” and “I don’t know.” In case you have any toddlers and are trying to teach them to speak, these few words should be all they need to master in order to make it through high school. These sentences must always be used in conjunction with one another and in the order in which they’ve been presented.
Robert lives by the following adage: No matter how many heads have to roll in the attainment of you goals, be certain to smile and wave at them as they pass. It’s best to do your beheading on a hill with your opponent uphill from you to insure the head actually rolls and to prolong the amount of time you get to smile and wave. (Very important.)
Stacey – Has your kid/s ever read any of your work?
Robert – My eldest read the Antonio series to his girlfriend’s daughter who loved them. He also read both of my adult novels. My youngest read the youth books as I was writing them, but never the finished product. He said he liked everything. What else was he going to say? Prior to going off to college he was an insatiable reader, but if there weren’t dragons, magic and waring, he wasn’t really interested.
Stacey – When did you start writing?
Robert – I started writing about five years ago when my son and his friends were reading The Hunger Games series. I was troubled by the thought of kids reading about kids killing each other for food and the entertainment of adults. I thought it would be interesting to see if I could come up with something free of killing, sex, and profanity that would still be engaging to a young audience. I think I succeeded.
Stacey – You write Middle Grade fiction, is it rewarding?
Robert – I love writing for the MG and YA age group. It’s a lot of fun.
Stacey – If you could meet any author living or dead, who would it be?
Robert – I would love to meet Tom Robbins. One of my new neighbors informed me he used to live next door to him. He gave Mr. Robbins one of my books. I was hoping for an endorsement. Mr. Robbins replied, informing me he was now blind and could no longer read. His writing is insane and quite brilliant.
Stacey – What do you enjoy most about writing?
Robert – I think character creation is my favorite aspect of writing. There’s somewhere around forty characters in my The Amazing and ludicrous Adventures of Doctor Antonio series…maybe more. Quite a challenge to keep them all participating in the action.
Stacey – Where do you get your inspiration?
Robert – I have a very twisted and active imagination. Ideas just kind of pop up.
Stacey – What’s your writing process like?
Robert – I never outline. Once an idea I like presents itself I just sit down and start typing. I just ask myself, “What happens next?” Most often the answer comes in dreams. Beyond that I have one rule: something must always be happening…very little room for descriptions of people, places or things. I let dialogue and the character’s personalities paint most of the picture.
Stacey – Do you need music or complete silence to write?
Robert – Silence, phone off, internet off, no one in the house. I usually write from about 1:00 AM until someone else in the house stirs.
Stacey – What’s the best writing advice you’ve come across so far?
Robert – Put your work down for a considerable time. 90 days at the least. Six months would be better. There are many others. Don’t be in a hurry to publish your work. It can always be improved upon. Join a writing group. In one I recently joined, the author is not allowed to read his or her own works. Hearing the ease which others can read your wok aloud is a great help in deciding whether or not your work is ready for the public. The input others give can be a great help in perfecting your work.
Stacey – What was the first story you had published?
Robert – The Amazing and Ludicrous Adventures of Doctor Antonio-Trouble with Howlers.
Stacey – Do you have a favourite character from your own works?
Robert – I am very fond of little Abigail Farnswoth Fisk III from Something’s the Matter in Hell. She is an exceptionally brilliant, totally fearless eleven year old with a pure heart, but isn’t afraid of using profanity or lying to attain her goals.
Stacey – Which character from your stories/novels would you get along with?
Robert – I simply adore Satan from There’s something the Matter in Hell. She’s one of the thrill seeking nuns from The Sisters of the Eternal Wave. (They love surfing.) Satan is a smart-ass. She makes up scripture to fit her needs. She’s my kind of gal.
Stacey – I’ve never heard of comedy horror as a genre before, but it seems to work. Was it fun to write?
Robert – I have a very difficult time keeping comedy from any genre. Hard Way Out is a tragedy but contains some seriously funny scenes.
Stacey – Do you find book signings and readings rewarding? I find public speaking nerve wracking myself. What about you?
Robert – I just held my first signing engagement and found that I just love talking to people. I’ll be holding my first reading in a week or so and am quite nervous. One of my shorts was read in a local writers group I recently joined. I was thrilled with the laughs my work got but when there was silence as the next funny bit was being set up it was quite unsettling. I’ll see how this one goes. I’ve been in a room when a comedian’s bit wasn’t well received. Don’t know how they survive it. The thing about comedy is that one is always at risk of offending. Especially in this day and age. Don’t know how the excerpts from There’s Something the Matter in Hell is going to be received in my little right-wing community.
Stacey – How do you select names for your characters? At random? Or do you take names from people you know?
Robert – I almost always use the names of my son’s friends. They seem to get a kick out of it.
Stacey – I noticed your latest release The Other Side of the Wall was released in September, I love the idea of talking animals and magic. It seems to be a perfect combination for a middle grade book.
Robert – Well it worked for C S Lewis. Not too many kids who don’t love animals and magic.
Stacey – Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Robert – Here’s a little something not yet published. I’m creating a story told exclusively through newspaper articles.
EMERGENCY CENSUS NEEDED
This Thursday, Addy’s city council, which is comprised of Shandra Gotnothin and Jenny Loafer, two of Addy’s most active do-nothings and its biggest welfare recipients and crack whores, decided amongst themselves that Addy needed to elevate its standing of ‘Shithole on the Side of the Highway, to ‘One Horse Town’ status, due to the fact that neither of them had been paid for services rendered for at least two weeks.
The two held the meeting under the back steps of the Addy Inn. The quorum consisted of the two low-life whores and seven flea infested cats. The vote came in at eight to one in favor of the status elevation. The one holdout was a tabby named Guinevere who was adamant that should the proposal pass, she would in all likelihood be trampled by at least one of the horse’s four hooves; that is if they chose to get a four legged horse.
It was decided that the following morning there would be a parade. And there was one. I’ll try and explain the circumstances and outcome of said instance in a somewhat cohesive manner. Yours truly has had several shots of Jim Beam’s honey flavored whiskey, a number of really crappy bears, wait, not bears, beers, several hits off the weed pipe and a handful of Kim Lawson’s dearly departed mother’s Oxy. (Which I look at as a gift from God.) So…here it is. Hope you can follow.
The total losers who somehow elevated themselves from the level of ‘Dirt bags of the Valley’, to ‘Representatives of the Community’, had decided that they would put on a parade to promote their agenda. So precisely at 1:00 pm, one hour past the time welfare recipients pull their useless asses out of bed, the one and only entry in the parade walked…no galloped… no, stumbled, drunkenly down whatever the newly paved street with no name is, which parallels Highway 395. The entry consisted of twenty of Addy’s High Society Club members, all of whom live day to day suckling at the welfare teat, hence the reason they could afford to purchase their costumes. The costumes? Those little stick horses. You know, the ones with the plastic, fluff- stuffed horse head that comes in red, white, or black, and is stapled to a stick? Yeah…those, and a cowboy hat.
Now as these idiots were parading south down the street, chanting “ONE HORSE TOWN” to an audience consisting of, well, me. And the only reason I was there was due to the fact that I had been holding a parlay with Captain Morgan at the Addy Inn on the previous evening. While trying to find my way home, I got my foot stuck in a hole and immediately toppled over and passed out. Upon waking, I discovered the offending hole was the first and only fencepost hole dug for a project which the city council, (Shandra and Jenny), had started sometime in the past. They intended to put up a sound barrier designed to reduce the noise from the traffic on 395. This was supposed to keep them from waking before they were finished sleeping off the previous night’s Meth consumption. It seems traffic noise is very disturbing to paranoid, tweakers. How do I know this? No, as an intelligent person might surmise, it is not from personal experience, but from living in a hamlet inhabited by connoisseurs of the meth. Well, being an investigative reporter, and a pretty damned good one I might add; upon waking that morning…well early afternoon actually, I found my head wasn’t really ready to engage the day. So, I fluffed my pillow before turning over and going back to sleep. That’s when it hit me. I’m lying on the side of the highway. I shouldn’t have a pillow. So I unfolded my pillow and low and behold, I had found that it was actually a set of blue prints. It was very professionally done. A light, blue-print-blue background, obviously created by pealing the paper off a crayon and dragging it back and forth over the butcher paper, which was splattered with what I’m guessing to be the bloody drippings of venison or some other unfortunate wild or domesticated creature which our city crackheads…I mean council members, had probably run over with their three wheeled bicycles during some early morning Tweaker Olympics or some such drug inspired activity. These meth heads can be pretty darned creative around two in the morning. Anyway, across the top of the paper, in midnight blue Crayola, was printed, by an obviously quite shaky hand, GOTNOTHING AND LOAFER CIVILIAN ENGINEERS TOOT TOOT. (I’m guessing the ‘TOOT TOOT’ was added as a result of our under educated city council members thinking that any time the term engineer is used that both types of engineers need to be honored or in some way mentioned. I mean, who knows what these people are thinking? Anyhow, under the company’s logo was a drawing: two vertical lines about three inches tall at either end of the sheet of paper with an horizontal line connecting the two vertical lines about two thirds the way up the vertical lines. At what were semi-regular spacing’s, little tiny x’s were drawn through the horizontal line. Printed under the intricate drawing were the words. 395 SOUND BARRIER. Personally, I’m not sure that two posts and a single strand of barbed wire would do too much to reduce the traffic noise. Having never taken physics in high school, I am not qualified to judge the merit of the concept. It’s possible there might be something in the, ‘two thirds up the post strategic placement of a single strand of barbed wire theory’, that does something to soundwaves emanating from passing vehicles which diminishes their vibrational frequency or some such thing. Again, I’m not the one to ask. Anyway, the whole project had obviously been scrapped, because in addition to the fact that there was only one hole, this hole had, over time, again, just surmising here, collected enough trash and drunken journalist feet to render it useless for the planting of posts.
Anyway, as the herd of drunken and drugged cowboys…and girls, tore down the street on their majestic steeds, a relatively large group of the local Colville Indian tribe’s well intentioned MC, (That’s motorcycle club.), Geronimo’s German Chocolate Cake Lovers came barrelling up the highway from the south. When the MC saw the cowboys and cowgirls charging in their direction, they thought the wicked, white devils were mounting an attack. The white, horse-mounted folk, were in fact, headed in the direction of the Chewelah Casino.
Well, it was the Little Big Horn all over again. The Indians encircled the platoon of horse-mounted soldiers and cut them to ribbons with their cake forks and little, triangular spatulas. It was over in a heartbeat. No life was spared by the Indians, not even the livestock. Oh, the horsemanity! There were broken black sticks and shreds of red, white, and black vinyl, as well as little bits of fluff, everywhere, not to mention the bodies of a number of Addy’s elite, which isn’t nearly as great a loss as the deaths of all the stick ponies.
When I interviewed the MC’s president, Chief Leanshardtotheleft, a devout Democrat, he had this to say, “We were unknowingly blessed when Jack Toodumbtogotothestore traded the tribe’s one and only cow for a hand full of magic casino beans. Imagine our surprise when the things actually sprouted and flowered into a nice little casino! The white devils were obviously headed for the Chewelah Casino. As everyone knows, people from Addy don’t have jobs, so it was highly unlikely they were on their way to do some harmless gambling. They had to be stopped! Sorry about the horses though. Anyway, gotta ride! Colville High School is holding a cakewalk!
So back to the headline of this article, EMERGENCY CENSUS NEEDED, I thought it would be easier to take a census than to count the bodies of the vanquished so I can change the population sign. Because I really hate false advertising.
Thank you so much for your time Robert! If you would like to find out more about Robert and his writing endeavours, check out the links below.
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: December 20th, 2017
Payment: $6 (AUD) plus an ebook
Come one, come all! “Shades of Santa” xmas-themed fiction magazine is open for submissions!
Things in the Well are looking for flash fiction for another fun fiction magazine project similar to Trickster’s Treats. This time it’s Xmas-themed and the deadline is December 20th, so you’ll need to put your pointy green thinking caps on if you want to enter!
I’ve selected six categories and hoping for six stories in each category, so when you submit please choose the right category… for your story. The word count is 666 words – please aim for exactly that number, but don’t go above it. Attached word documents are fine, with single-line spaces, no tabs, and doubles quotes for “speech.” If selected, payment will be $6 (AUD) plus an ebook. Profits will go to some suitable charity – tbd. This will be ebook only unless there is a real demand for printed copies, which wouldn’t be until after xmas.
So, please submit your completed stories to:- [email protected] preferably with the subject:
“Shades of Santa – category 1, 2, 3 etc. – your story name”
Anything else please feel free to email me on [email protected]
Here are the categories:
1. Sleigh bells
2. All is calm…
3. The naughty list
4. Is that really an elf?
5. Carols, choirs, and vocal chords
6. Snow people
Deadline: February 28th, 2018
Payment: 2 cents a word and a contributor’s copy
Triangulation will be accepting submissions as of December first 2017. This year’s theme: “Music”. We are Parsec Ink’s speculative fiction annual, now in our 14th year. We’re looking for outstanding fantasy, science fiction, and horror–from new and established writers. Take the theme and run with it. Tell us a story we won’t forget.
Theme: “Music” We’re looking for fantasy, science fiction, weird fiction, and speculative horror stories where music, a musical instrument, the parts of music, or musical culture make an appearance in a meaningful way. As a thematic element, you can apply a light touch or go full tuba. Be aware that we may, in this case, retool the title a bit, depending on the exact quality and character of the submissions we receive. But if you’ve got a better title than “Triangulation: The Musical”, let us know in your cover letter.
Submissions Open: December 1, 2017
Submissions Close: February 28, 2018
Word Count: We consider fiction up to 5,000 words, but the sweet spot is 3,000. There is no minimum word count.
Genre: We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror–and enjoy intelligent blends of the three. Stories without a speculative element will not be considered.
Compensation: Pay is semi-pro: 2 cents a word. Authors will receive an e-book and one print copy of the anthology, plus wholesale pricing for additional print copies (typically 50% off the cover price).
Rights: We purchase North American serial rights, and electronic rights for the downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.
Submissions: We are a meritocracy. New authors are as welcome as those with a laundry list of accomplishments. But it’s going to be the story that wins us over. Grab us by the lapels, drag us onto that plane, take us for the ride of our lives… but get us back on the ground safely and home in time for dinner.
We do not accept reprints, multiple submissions, or simultaneous submissions. If we reject a story before the end of the reading period, feel free to send another.
We love creative interpretations of our themes, but we do require the stories to be a solid fit.
We run mature content only if we like the story and find the mature content to be integral to it.
We do not accept fanfic, even if it’s based in a fictional universe that has passed into the public domain.
How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. Don’t worry: it’s free.
Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. We’re not testing you or trying to make you jump through hoops, but we do want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.
We accept manuscripts in the following formats:
.doc or .docx (MS Word)
.rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)
Editorial Process: We aim to read submissions as they are received. If a story doesn’t work for us, we reject it. If we think the story has great potential but isn’t quite there yet, we request a rewrite. The ones we love the most, we hold on to for further consideration, but we won’t keep you guessing: you’ll get an email. Next, the stories fight it out amongst themselves until we have our final lineup. At which time, final acceptances are sent out. It’s sort of like Enter the Dragon, but without the nunchucks. When a story is accepted, the changes we suggest will typically be minor and/or cosmetic.
Response: Final decisions are made by March 31st.
Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or related to the editorial staff, can submit to Triangulation. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily get in, but we are happy to consider their work.
We are seeking twelve months of exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights and non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights in perpetuity.
Multiple submissions are fine, but simultaneous submissions are discouraged. Please don’t re-submit a rejected story unless we request revisions.
We hope to have responded to everyone within one month of the submission window’s closing. Feel free to query if it’s been longer than two months.
Stories must be double spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font (or something similar). Do not submit in Courier. The story title, your byline, a word count, and contact information should appear on the first page, and your last name, story title, and page number should appear in the header information of all other pages. We’re not particular about whether you use italics or underlining for emphasis, how many spaces are after the period, or whether you use straight or smart quotes.
Submissions may be sent to the email address: Submit your stories via email as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. The subject of your email should be SUBMISSION: <story title> by <byline>. The email body should contain a short list of your publishing credits and any pertinent biographical details.
The submission period begins December 1, 2017, and ends February 1, 2018.
The story must have a fantasy/speculative element. Science fantasy is ok, but we’re aiming for fantasy rather than straight science fiction.
We generally prefer “clean,” noblebright stories, but this anthology is open to a broader interpretation of noblebright than our other anthologies – grimbright and nobledark are definitely under consideration. We’re not looking for grimdark, though – we want despair tempered with hope and brokenness tempered with redemption. For more on noblebright, please see noblebright.org.
The story must address the “Shards” theme in some way. Shards of lives, shards of a broken heart, shards of broken pottery or glass, shards of myth and memory… be creative! We don’t require “happy” endings, but as a noblebright anthology, we prefer to see hope and generosity rather than nihilism and cynicism.
Payment: 50% of net profits for eBooks and paperbacks and unlimited discounted paperback copies available
Note: Make sure you read full submission guidelines on the link at the bottom before sending anything in!
Open now to Novelettes (10,000-17,000 words), novella (17,001-45,000 words), novels (45,001-250,000 words, open to series so long as first book is completed), and collections of short stories (15,000-45,000 words).
Please submit only: Commercial horror, suspense, thriller, and crime, at this time. For I’m nothing too abstract or bizarre, weird is fine as long as there is suspense and a story arc.
Monsters, bad people, ghosts, witches, ominous everyday items, slashers, original zombie situations, haunted houses, kidnappings, heists, murders, plots to murder, etc.
No cop dramas. No war stories). No adventure horror.
Collections must be at least 50% externally published anthology/magazine/chapbook reprints.
Reprints welcome for novellas and novels, through preferably those a few years removed from print (or those that didn’t see print for very long). Previously self-published books are an extremely difficult sell.
Short releases will be digital only, with a window for further submissions past closure for omnibus paperback possibilities or joint releases of similar stories (minimum for physical publication is 21,000 words).
Pay rate is 50% of net profits for eBooks and paperbacks and unlimited discounted paperback copies available (rate determined with each title, and potentially fluctuate based on printer prices). No advances.
Writers must agree to assist in marketing efforts (blog appearances, interviews, etc.). Don’t submit if you don’t want to help.
Edits range from minimal to heavy, don’t submit if you are unwilling to consider changes.
Submit no more than twice to this category per open period (periods might last as long as three months).
Cover letter, explain story in no more than three sentences. Give two sentence bio. List top three credits, blog address, Facebook or Twitter address (I will look before I offer contract).
If you’re not on social media, there’s no way you can get the word out sufficiently after releases, and your work will not be considered (unless you own a bookstore).
Also, I am not interested in stories from authors who cannot tell hate speech from free speech. If you’re harmful in story or in real life to people based on religion, sexuality, sex, race, or place of birth, don’t bother submitting. I look into people prior to working with them.
Response time will vary, but I will respond within six months, usually within one month.
If you need to withdraw or change file, do so on Submittable (to change, withdraw and re-submit, but no more than once because it eats submission window space – 300/month).
NEVER SUBMIT MORE THAN ONCE PER CATEGORY AT ANY GIVEN TIME. FOR REAL.
Simultaneous submissions are fine, notify me if another editor beats me to acceptance when you withdraw the submission.
Send any questions or queries about reprint interest to me, Eddie Generous, at [email protected]
Florida. Just the state’s name inspires a reaction when heard. It is a state of pristine white sand beaches, green water, abundant wildlife, strip clubs, bait shops, theme parks and transients. From the Spanish moss-festooned live oaks of the panhandle to the Everglades, from the Keys to the oldest European-established settlement in the United States, Florida has been inspiring crime writers for decades, from the noir of John D. MacDonald to the hijinks of Carl Hiaasen’s bestsellers.
We are looking for stories set in, or inspired by, Florida and its eccentricity and complexity. We want diverse voices and characters, tales of darkness and violence, whether they are noir, cozy, hard-boiled or suspense. Push the boundaries of your creativity and the theme! NOTE: The stories don’t have to actually be set in Florida, but can be “inspired” by it—so a character can be from here, it can be built around a piece of music about Florida; etc. If you have any questions as to whether your idea fits the theme, do not be afraid to ask!
The maximum word count is 5,000 words; the minimum is 1,500.
The stories should be crime-oriented; whether it’s the commission, planning or solving of one. It can also be about the after-effects of one. Murder, mayhem, blackmail, embezzlement, robbery—get as creative as you can!
Deadline: February 16th, 2018
Payment: $50 and a contributor’s copy
Ah, the Midwest. We are people of the earth, who roll up our sleeves and do what need’s doing. We deliver an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, we try to give gratitude for the simple things- our health, the love of family and friends, and humility is no stranger to us, because the taller you think you are, well, the farther you have to fall on your face. We like to help other people when we can, whether it’s with some sweat, or just a smile, because you should treat others the way you want to be treated. .
Not a bad place to raise a family, right?
Dig a little deeper, because all is not right where the bible belt buckles. That’s where the Black Buttons series of short stories anthologies plants its speculative fiction seeds- the fertile “what if” soil of the Midwestern Ethos. If Stephen King can make Maine a horror-ble place to live, we can do the same for the heartland.
For Black Buttons Vol. 3, we’re looking for Midwestern themed horror and dark fiction- but with a family-related motif. Siblings, parents, grandparents, children, cousins, married “kin”- you name it. Even brothers and sisters in a college’s greek system, or in a trade or labor union. Think of the ties that bind us…and then twist’em good and hard.
WHAT WE WANT: We love stories that have characters with whom we can connect. Nobody’s perfect, and few bad people are 100% bad. Give us a story to follow, and someone we hate to lose, or love to hate. It could even have a “happy” ending, or be funny. Just help us connect with the characters, and thereby we can be interested in what happens to them (you know, the plot). Feel free to explore your style, to surprise us, to be as lyrical or gritty as you wish.
Sorry, no simultaneous or multiple submissions.
LENGTH: 2000-6000 words. Might have a few stories longer- but only from authors whom we’ve already asked to do so.
WHAT WE DON’T WANT:
*stories revolving around incest
*stories that hate on the Midwest. Don’t have to love it here, but if you can’t stand the place, might want to send that story to a more metropolitan anthology.
*splatterpunk/hardcore horror/torture porn
*stories revolving explicitly around a woman getting brutalized by (your bad guy here). There’s enough boring, ugly, uninteresting horror like this in the world. Besides, it would fall under torture porn, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
*reprints. Give us your fresh stuff.
WHAT WE PAY: Magnificent Cowlick Media LLC pays fifty dollars plus a contributor’s copy, for worldwide first electronic and first print English-language rights, the non-exclusive right to reproduce the author’s work in the anthology, and non-exclusive rights to include the story in e-book formats and an audio book of the anthology.
PREFERRED FORMAT: I totally stole most of this from “letswriteashortstory.com”, because they laid it out simple and easy:
*Write your name, address, phone number, and email address in the top left corner of page 1.
*Include the word count in top right corner.
*12-point, times new roman font.
* 1-inch margins.
*Include the title of your story and your author name ½ of the way down the first page.
*Indent your paragraphs (like a book). Don’t use line breaks (like a blog).
*Include a top-header with your last name, the abbreviated story title (no more than 3 or 4 words), and the page number in top right corner, beginning on page 2.
*Use a pound sign (#) to separate any line breaks.
Submissions accepted through 2/16/2018. All responses should be done by 3/15/18. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to supply critiques with any rejections. Just know that we truly, TRULY appreciate your efforts, and don’t take the decision-making process lightly. We’re writers too, and we get it.