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Taking Submissions: Impressions Volume 1

April 30

Submission Windows: March 15th to March 31st and April 8th to April 30th
Payment: 8 cents per word
Theme: Dark speculative fiction that transports the reader somewhere interesting, see below for details. Themes that will fit well are death, loss, love, grief, trauma, self-exploration, discovery, and hope.

  • EARLY WINDOW — March 15 at 12:01 am EST to March 31 at 11:59 pm EST

  • GENERAL WINDOW — April 8 at 12:01 am EST to April 30 at 11:59 pm EST

  • REVIEW WINDOW — May 1 to May 26

  • OFFERS FINALIZED — May 28 to May 30 (tentative)

  • WORD COUNT — 2000 to 5000 (hard limit)

  • PAY — 8 cents per word



  • REPRINTS — Yes, but with some caveats (see TOC GOALS below for more info)



“I knew they’d speak to you,” the Curator says, anticipation in his tone. But his voice seems far away now, carried off on a hollow wind, and you swear you can hear the rhythmic ticking of a pocket watch, beating like the cadence of a gallows drum.

“I call these works IMPRESSIONS,” says your host, leaning in, quieter still. “They give you a glimpse into another life, a scene playing out in some other realm. And a mind as alive as yours, well… it just fills in the rest…”

Fills in the rest? You think. What does that mean?

But the question barely registers now, your thoughts little more than dreams fleeing the sunrise. The image—the impression—has its hold on you…

EMBERLETTER PRESS, in association with HAMLET PRODUCTIONS and STUDIOCOR3, presents IMPRESSIONS VOLUME 1, a new multimedia anthology series from the mind of author and filmmaker Geoff Emberlyn. Life and death, denail and loss, sadness and the surreal are all captured here in 22 tales of imaginative horror, dark fantasyscience fiction, the macabre, the cosmic, and the weird.



  • dark speculative fiction of pretty much any stripe

FROM EP’s EDITOR IN CHIEF GEOFF EMBERLYN: My tastes are all over the place, but what really clicks with me in general—and with this project more specifically—are stories that take me somewhere interesting. Imagination and experimentation are key. I value weird structures, novel narrative devices, new spins on old settings, and fresh perspectives. Basically, if you have a weird little story in your drawer that you love but haven’t been able to place, send it my way!

To be more concrete, I’m looking for horrordark fantasy, and strange sci-fi. I gravitate toward the surreal, the cosmic, and the psychological. Themes that resonate with volume one of this project are deathlosslovegrieftraumaself-explorationdiscovery, and hope. Super-bleak endings are a harder sell—though I’ve certainly written a couple for this collection myself—and I’m not a big fan of body horror or anything extremely gory (though, again, I’ll read just about anything if it’s good and unique.)

This project will have highly visual and auditory elements, from podcasts to short films to artwork. So, the more I can see your story, the better. This does not mean I only want cinematic stories. That word gets bandied around too much and often has more to do with pacing and plot than the quality of description and prose. I’m talking about the ability to travel into your story—to find something tangible there that I can mold and play with and picture expressed in another medium. So whether you’re presenting a high-energy cosmic epic or a quiet, stream-of-conscious chamber piece, I should be able to visualize the tale you’re telling.

On a personal note, the Impressions project has been kicking around my head for the better part of a decade now and has seen its share of iterations. So, adaptation and invention are two of the things baked into the project at this point. As the Curator states above, I want these stories to give readers a glimpse into another life, a scene playing out in some other realm, and to then spark the question: what happens next? Get in, move me, and get out.


  • Emberletter Press seeks nonexclusive first rights* to publish, reproduce, and display original stories worldwide in print, digital, and audio formats. An opt-in to license said work under a Creative Commons 4.0 International License can be enacted at the author’s discretion. (Learn more about Creative Commons here.)

  • Because we are a publishing company operating out of a digital production studio and because of the multimedia nature of the Impressions project, Emberletter Press requires a first right of refusal for adaptation rights (film, graphic novels, etc.) of the work for a period of 3 years from the signing date. This will be a very collaborative, IP-driven process, and negotiations for the adaptation rights will occur individually should we elect to exercise our right of refusal. If we choose not to exercise the first right of refusal, the creator is free to negotiate film rights with other parties. In this process, as with any, Emberletter Press is committed to creators and views them as partners in our endeavors. We are committed to paying professional rates for your work and to getting that work to audiences.

  • Authors will receive 8 cents per word for their work and up to 10 free author copies to use as they wish. Royalty payments may be available under certain circumstances that will be discussed during negotiations, but no general royalty is planned for this volume of Impressions.

  • We are considering running a Kickstarter for this project in early June. This would be a way to recoup our investments, publicize the project, and presell the book. Regardless of whether a crowdfunding campaign happens or is successful, contracted authors will be paid, and the book will go to print. The publication date is tentatively scheduled for October 1, 2024.

    *except for select reprints (see below), which would fall under a one-time right.


As stated above, we hope to land 22 stories for Impressions Volume One. Some have already been written in-house, and some will be commissions from other like-minded, multimedia-focused sources. Here’s the rough breakdown (in no particular order) of what we’ll place.

Six stories from Emberletter Press

  • These will be from Geoff Emberlyn and one of our other in-house writers.

Four commissioned stories from our partners

  • More info on this in the coming weeks!

Eight stories from our open submissions windows

  • Pretty much self-explanatory.

Four stories from first-time authors.

  • Here, we’re looking for stories from authors who have not been paid for work previously. This is the only category where we will accept reprints, so long as the author currently holds the print, digital, and audio rights for the submitted story and has never been paid for any work in any way. Reprint examples include authors and stories that have appeared in charity or unpaid anthologies or outlets, were posted online in a magazine or personal blog, where the pay was simply author copies, etc. Reprints still receive the 8c rate. Let’s get you paid.

We also plan on having some audio-only stories accepted for use in the podcast, but that would fall under separate terms.

If you have questions about these details, please feel free to email us.


Before submission, we encourage you to dive deeper into the project. There, you can read EP’s completed stories, check out the podcast (coming soon), and learn more about the history of Emberletter Press and Impressions. Authors who take the time to get our “vibe” give themselves a better shot of placing. If, however, you’re itching to submit your story now, click the button below!

Via: Ember Letter Press.


April 30


Ember Letter Press
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Ember Letter Press
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