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Taking Submissions: Spawn 2: More Weird Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

October 31, 2023

Submission Window: July 31st to October 31st, 2023
Payment: 4c per word for original stories, 1c per word for reprints (Australian currency)
Theme: Body horror that deals with the anthology’s title
Note: Open to Australasian writers only, where Australasia means Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighbouring islands of the Pacific. This call-out is open to Australasian citizens, residents and ex-pats.

To be edited by award-winning author and anthology editor, Deborah Sheldon.

Spawn 2: More Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will comprise stories from Australasian writers obtained entirely from open callout. On-spec submissions are welcome from Australasian writers of every persuasion including non-parents.

Stories must be between 1500 and 5000 words. Stories outside of these word counts risk being deleted unread. Reprints will be considered, but must not be available for free anywhere online. The anthology will have only a small number of reprints, regardless.

The anthology will be a visceral, frightening read. Each story must nominally tick the box of “body horror” but there is no restriction on subgenre: anything from sci-fi to fantasy to gothic to supernatural to psychological and beyond will be given equal consideration. Feel free to play with the theme and not take it too literally. Ideally, your story should make the reader feel uncomfortably aware of their physicality, morbidity or mortality.

While graphic violence and swearing are acceptable, submissions must have a literary bent. Spawn 2: More Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies aims to deliver an elegant—and elevated—anthology of body horror. For a clearer understanding of requirements, we recommended that you read Deb’s first anthology in this IFWG franchise, the multi-award-winning and multi-award-nominated Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, which comprises stories by Australian writers.

What to avoid:

  • Gratuitous gore used purely for shock value.
  • Familiar tropes, such as Rosemary’s BabyThe Handmaid’s Tale, the face-hugger/chest-burster from the Alien film franchise, Martians kidnapping and impregnating female Earthlings, and so on.
  • The submission of first drafts, often indicated by spelling and grammatical errors.

Required rights:

  • First worldwide electronic and print rights in the English language, exclusive for one year, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
  • For reprints, non-exclusive rights apply.
  • If the story is subsequently reprinted, please credit “Spawn 2: More Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing International” as the original publisher.

How to submit:

  • Your story must be in a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman in 12pt.
  • Your name, contact details and word count should be on the first page above the title.
  • If you prefer to use a pen name, also include your actual name.
  • Use double-quotation marks, single space after full stops, first-line indents, page numbers, and Australian-English spelling.
  • No tabs. No double-returns between paragraphs.
  • In the body of your email, provide an author bio of about 100 words (give or take), and include your Australasian citizen/resident/ex-pat status.
  • If your story is a reprint, provide the full details of its first publication in the body of your email, with links if possible.
  • Send to editor Deborah Sheldon at [email protected] with the story title and your name as the Subject Heading.
  • Multiple submissions are encouraged, which means you can submit more than one story. Submit each story in a separate email.
  • No simultaneous submissions, which means do not submit your story to any other market at the same time.
  • Stories that require anything more than line editing or adjustments for house style will be rejected. Submit only polished work of a high standard.
  • Give yourself the best possible chance—please do not ignore these guidelines.

Response issues:

  • All acceptance and rejection emails will be sent by 7 November 2023.
  • No feedback will be offered for rejected stories. Please don’t ask.
  • Do not resubmit a rejected story, even if you have made substantial changes.
  • All accepted stories will be edited and adjustments made for house style. If you think your writing doesn’t require editing, please do not submit to this anthology.
  • The anthology will be published worldwide 25 November 2024 in both print and e-book formats.
  • Accepted writers will receive payment via PayPal or bank transfer within 30 days of publication.
  • Accepted writers will receive an e-book and one complimentary paperback as soon as is practicable.

IFWG Publishing International will provide further updates on the anthology’s publication schedule in due course.

Via: IFWG Publishing.