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Taking Submissions: Leviathan: An Anthology of Industrial Horror

September 30

Deadline: September 30th, 2024
Payment: $125 – $200
Theme: Weird tales set in the Victorian period that explore the human (and inhuman) experience through the lens of horror.

LEVIATHAN: Submission Brief

Sentinel Creatives has opened up for submissions for “LEVIATHAN: An Anthology of Industrial Horror.”

Deadline for Submissions: 30 September 2024
Wordcount: 3,000 – 6,000
Remuneration: $125 – $200
Simultaneous Submissions: Yes


We’re looking for original weird tales set in the Victorian period that explore the human (and inhuman) experience through the lens of horror.
Some clarifications:
Victorian: There is a tendency to view the Victorian Age as beginning and ending with the reign of British monarch Queen Victoria (1837-1901), but this is so strict as to be crude. Rather, the period will be what is referred to as The Long Nineteenth Century (1789-1914), which begins with the French Revolution and ends just short of World War I. This expanded timeframe serves to foreground the transformations that took place within British society and brings those changes into stark relief.

This period usually takes England as its geographical norm, and often a particular city: London. But for the purposes of this anthology, the region will also include Scotland, Ireland, Wales, as well as India and the furthest reaches of the British Empire. There is considerable scope here, and the period is rich in conflict and upheaval, which any excellent story cannot do without.

Show us primitive science, at once enlightened and profane, the obscure craft of learned mutilators who frighten all, even the dead. Or the Resurrection men, who do their bidding by midnight, and fear more moonlight than the noose. Give us tales of strife and privation, loss and alienation; rural homesteads replaced by hypnotic topographies of stone and glass, cloaked in smog; of choking workhouses and tumbledown tenements. Show us who built this world, mixing mortar with bone, but won’t inherit it. Take us where rail and steam cannot, where clockwork minds are set adrift from empire—from themselves. Give us immigrant tales: ex-lives, diasporic fugitives—what did they leave behind, and what did they bring with them? Give us your silent biographies of the obscure and unseen.

The Menagerie:

What makes this period particularly special for us is that, without it, contemporary horror would simply not exist—at least, not as we know it. Here, the canon of horror prose fiction was born, not least its blighted offspring: weird fiction. Its menagerie of monsters has endured, too. I speak here of pale bloodsucker, vengeful spirit, and shambling undead, to name a few. Each one hints at the myriad anxieties peculiar to the Victorian mind: disease, death, immigration, poverty, science, the brute pace and condition of life, and in the background, the steady decline of religious faith.
These beloved critters have been written about endlessly, such that even the classics have an already-read quality. They’ve also been filmed for modern audiences millions of times, and in ways that bear ever less resemblance to the novels. When something becomes familiar, it loses its ability to shock and unsettle. In other words, we’re not looking for stories that rewrite the classics, specifically vampire stories.

Horror: It now feels trite to say, but good horror is about trespass and transgression more so than it is about transcendence. It confronts themes, images, and ideas that people would rather avoid than confront but elicits in the reader a sense that they cannot look away.

Weird: The term “weird” should be understood to mean a certain sense of breathless and unexplainable dread, of outer, unknown forces present, a suggestion of the defeat or suspension of the laws of nature which have hitherto served to protect our minds and bodies (and souls) from the assault of chaos. By its very nature, weird fiction should invoke in the reader a sense of profound uneasiness and dread, it should hint at the inability of the human mind to comprehend the true nature of existence, and it should cause us to question the stability of our faith in the established laws of nature.


All accepted stories will be paid for upfront!
Accepted stories can expect between $125-$200.
In exchange, we ask for exclusive rights to publish the story. Said rights will maintain for the duration of one year. After that, we retain the non-exclusive rights to the story, but you’re welcome to submit and publish elsewhere after that!

Send your submissions to: [email protected] with the subject “LEVIATHAN SUBMISSION”.

All manuscripts should be sent as a Word document. Our preference is for Times New Roman or another clearly legible text.

Submissions should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words. This is not a hard limit, but preference will be given to those stories that meet this requirement.

Please include a short summary of the story in the body of the email, as well as a short bio and a list of any previously published works.

We’re looking for original works that have not been previously published!
We accept simultaneous submissions!

If you’re unfamiliar with Sentinel Creatives, we’re an indie publishing and production house based in Cape Town, South Africa. We maintain a weekly Substack profile, a monthly podcast show, as well as more traditional publishing roles! Though our focus is on books, we have moved into the audiobook and radio-play sphere, and our larger projects include various other creative endeavours (illustration, sculpting, painting, composing etc.)
Via: Sentinel Creatives.


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