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Taking Submissions: Pulp Horror Phobias Volume 2
October 31, 2019
Deadline: October 31st, 2019
Payment: 4 cents per word
Public submissions for Volume 2 will open August 1. Details will be updated after the invite-only submission period. Public submissions submitted prior to August 1 will be declined unread. In the meantime, if you’re interested in submitting to Volume 2, we suggest taking a look at the stories in Volume 1 for a general idea on theme and style. Also, check out our Resources page on our website at www.LycanValley.com regarding pulp and the types of stories we are looking for in this series.
All stories must be considered pulp/noir and fit the theme.
Theme: Anything you might find, or come into contact with, inside or around a house or home. Please note, this is a very broad theme so get creative and come up with something new and unusual. Common phobias such as arachnophobia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia, although relevant to the theme, must bring something new. Likewise, hauntings and possessions must bring more than your average ghost story.
This can also include stories deliberately set inside a house or in a yard/farm/etc near a house if it’s fitting for the story (stitching the theme is fine but simply mentioning there is a house nearby isn’t enough to fit the theme).
ABSOLUTELY NO PIZZA STORIES. Sorry, bring us something new.
Word count: 4,000 to 6,000
Payment: $0.04 per word
Details: Phobias are defined as an irrational and extreme fear to something. Some of the most widely known phobias include arachnophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, acrophobia, etc. Anything can be a phobia if it irrationally causes an intense and debilitating fear.
What happens when these irrational fears/phobias become reality? Make the fears and the horrors associated with that fear real. Make them come alive. Take them from irrational to rational. Give us a reason to be scared.
We don’t want characters sitting on a sofa in the psychiatrist’s office detailing their childhood or even characters with diagnosed phobias necessarily. Your story should focus on the object of the phobia rather than the phobia itself. We want you to make these phobias come to life in ways that will make readers sleep with the lights on, double check the locks on their doors and question reality. We don’t want therapy sessions.
There must be a strong pulp/noir element to the story as well. If you’re unfamiliar with the original pulp magazines and stories, please do some research before submitting. Check out Black Mask Magazine http://www.blackmaskmagazine.com/ and here’s a pulp archive to get you started (warning: reading on this website may be addictive).
http://www.pulpmags.org/ and also here https://archive.org/details/pulpmagazinearchive.
Although you are free to write in your own style and that which best suits the story, Lester Dent’s Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot is here for reference should you wish to use it. http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html Here, James Scott Bell talks about writing pulp fiction: http://www.rachellegardner.com/why-i-write-pulp-fiction/
Titles: Please do not use the name of the phobia itself in your story titles. Submission titles must follow the format as shown on the submission form.
Formatting: Blind submissions are not required. Please follow Shunn Short Story Manuscript formatting which can be found here: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html. Or use the downloadable template for Word found here: http://www.shunn.net/format/templates.html
Simultaneous and Multiple Submissions: No simultaneous submissions. Multiple submissions from the same author for two different phobias will be considered but please note that only one story per author will be accepted to allow for greater variety and diversity. Previously unpublished stories only, no reprints unless requested by the editor.
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!