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Arithmophobia: An Anthology of Mathematical Horror

December 31, 2023

Deadline: December 31st, 2023
Payment: $0.01 per word and a contributors copy
Theme: horror stories with a mathematical theme

Polymath Press is pleased to announce a new anthology to be titled Arithmophobia: An Anthology of Mathematical Horror edited by Robert Lewis.  We are now open for submissions of original horror stories with a mathematical theme. Please read these guidelines carefully to maximize your chances of placing a story in our anthology.

About the anthology: Polymath Press founder and executive editor Robert Lewis has spent years looking for good horror stories with some kind of mathematical content.  As it turns out, they’re rather rare, so he’s decided to assemble a brand new anthology of such short stories.  The anthology is to be called Arithmophobia: An Anthology of Mathematical Horror and will be published by Polymath Press in early 2024.

What we’re looking for: We want your best horror stories with some kind of mathematical theme.  Of course, the story must come first, so don’t bog us down in technical details.  After all, we don’t want to limit our readership to only doctoral-level mathematicians.  However, make sure the mathematical ideas are clearly featured in the story.  What kind of mathematical ideas do we want? That’s for you to decide.  Think outside the box and give us something interesting.  Show us weird geometries, cursed numbers, mathematicians going crazy, you name it.  Most importantly of all, remember that we want math AND horror, so make it as scary as you can.

What we don’t want: Try to avoid giving us stories whose only mathematical content is that someone is afraid of going to math class.  We know a lot of people are afraid of mathematics, but generic math anxiety isn’t really the kind of horror we’re looking for (though if you think such a story is brilliant enough to overcome our kneejerk reaction, you’re more than welcome to try).  We also don’t want a trunk story with a mathematician shoehorned in just to meet our guidelines.  Instead, give us something where mathematics or mathematicians are integral to the plot (pun intended).

Content restrictions: None in particular.  We like all kinds of horror, from the quiet to the extreme.  As long as your story meets our standards of quality and fits with our mathematical theme, it has a good chance.  However, keep in mind that this is intended to be a more intellectual anthology, so while extreme content or gore is certainly acceptable, it should be used in service of the story and not presented merely for shock value.

Important Details:

Anthology title: Arithmophobia: An Anthology of Mathematical Horror

Editor: Robert Lewis

Featured authors:

Patrick Freivald
David Lee Summers
(more to come soon)

Cover artist: To be announced soon

Deadline: December 31, 2023
Note: though December 31 is a firm and final deadline, it’s possible the anthology could be filled earlier, so we recommend submitting as early as you can.

Word Count: 3,000 -15,000 (soft limits, but please inquire if your story is far outside of those bounds)

Formatting: Stick as close as possible to Shunn formatting.

Genre: Horror

Reprints: By invitation only.  Inquire before submitting.

Multiple submissions: Submit only one story at a time to this anthology, but feel free to submit to any of our other projects at the same time.  If your story is rejected, you’re welcome to submit a DIFFERENT story any time before the deadline.

Simultaneous submissions: Okay, but tell us IMMEDIATELY if your story is sold elsewhere.

Rights sought: First English language print, electronic, and audiobook anthology rights, exclusive for 12 months from the date of publication then non-exclusive after that.

Pay: $0.01 per word plus one contributor copy in paperback format.

Send email submissions and inquiries to [email protected]. Please format your subject line as follows: “ARITHMOPHOBIA SUBMISSION – [title] – [your name].” Emails whose subject lines differ from this format may not be seen.

In the body of the email, write a brief cover letter telling us about yourself and your background.  Be sure to include publication credits as well as any mathematical background you may have (neither are necessary—we welcome non-mathematicians and first-time authors).  Don’t worry about describing the story in your cover letter.  The story should speak for itself. Attach the story in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format.

Alternatively (preferred, but by no means required), send mail submissions to:

Polymath Press
P. O. Box 461870
Aurora, CO 80046-1870

For mail submissions, include the same cover letter.  If you want your manuscript back, include a SASE with sufficient postage and indicate your desire to have the manuscript returned in your cover letter.  Regardless, be sure to either include your email address on your manuscript or include a SASE for a response.

If you haven’t received a confirmation of receipt within one week of an email submission or two weeks of a mail submission, please feel free to inquire.

Via: Polymath Press.


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