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Taking Submissions: Asinine Assassins

May 1, 2021

Deadline: May 1st, 2021
Payment: $20 and a contributors copy
Theme: Stories that feature assassin type characters that are also “extremely or utterly foolish or silly” or “of, relating to, or resembling an ass”

Smart Rhino Publications is excited to announce that we’ll be publishing a new anthology, ASININE ASSASSINS. Publication is tentatively scheduled for late 2021/early 2022. The first two books in this series, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, were well-received and reviewed. Most readers enjoyed the diversity of genres and styles in these books, and we’d like to continue that diversity with the new anthology.

The graphic to the right is our early cover illustration by Austrian artist Georg Schultschik. The initial cover design was created by Ju Kim, who also handled the covers for Smart Rhino’s A Plague of Shadows and Green Tsunami.

We hope you’ll consider submitting a story for our consideration. Deadline for submissions is May 1 or until the anthology is full. There is no guarantee of acceptance—we’re hoping for an abundance of submissions and competition is likely to be high.

What We’re Looking For

asinine [as·i·nine] adjective

1: extremely or utterly foolish or silly

2of, relating to, or resembling an ass


Synonyms: absurdbalmybrainlessbubbleheadedcockeyedcrackpotcrazycuckoodaffydaftdippydottyfatuousfeatherheadedfoolfoolishhalf-bakedhalf-wittedharebrainedineptinsanejerkykookyloonylunaticlunkheadedmadnonsensicalnuttypreposteroussappyscrewballsenselesssillysimplemindedstupidtomfoolunwisewackyweak-mindedwitless


ASININE ASSASSINS seeks stories involving a character (e.g., assassin, gun for hire) with the above synonyms in mind. The “asinine” element must be critical in the plot—we particularly like dark humor, but we’ll also consider anything comedic, zany, or surreal. Stories can be any genre (although the focus is on suspense), but they must fit the anthology’s theme. We’re intentionally broad here. Stretch your imaginations and surprise us!


What We’re NOT Looking For

While this is an R-rated anthology, please no stories involving graphic rape, child molestation, or animal torture. No gratuitous sex—if you include sexual content, make sure it is germane to the plot of your story. Also, use profanity strategically and sparingly.

The Submission Process

ASININE ASSASSINS is looking for original, never-published short fiction only (no poetry), preferably 3,000-5,000 words. We’re primarily looking for superb content—if a story is 10,000 words and we utterly love it, we won’t quibble over the length.

Submit manuscripts by email attachment as a Word doc. Submissions pasted into the body of an email message will not be read. The manuscript must be double-spaced, 12-point type (preferably Times New Roman or Garamond). We use the Associated Press Stylebook for our guidelines. Include your brief bio (no more than 100 words) as a separate attached file when you submit your story. Please also include your contact information (name, address, email, and telephone number) on the first page of the manuscript. Smart Rhino cannot be responsible for submissions lost in transit. Submit to [email protected]You can also use that email address if you have any questions concerning the anthology.

Payment and Rights

Payment will be a base rate of $20.00, plus a contributor’s copy delivered soon after publication. We will publish a bio for each author to accompany their story and will be happy to plug other work by the author and include links to relevant websites. If we select your story, we will provide a standard anthology contract, purchasing First English Anthology Rights. Smart Rhino Publication will not issue payment until after the completed contract has been received. You will receive a contributor’s copy of the anthology upon its release.

Also, keep in mind that, because we are an independent publisher and have limited funding, we can’t typically pay pro rates (as much as we wish we could). We’ll likely plan a crowdfunding campaign (Indiegogo or Kickstarter) to raise funds for the project. We actively promote our writers on the Smart Rhino website and elsewhere to help you as best we can. If you keep us up to date on your work, we’ll gladly include new interviews and other links with your online bio.

We look forward to reading your work!

Via: Smart Rhino Publications.


May 1, 2021