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Taking Submissions: Steampunk Sleuths

October 31

Deadline: October 31st, 2024
Payment: $50
Theme: A novelette featuring detectives in a steampunk setting solving peculiar crimes.

Deadline: October 31st, 2024

The genre of mystery is designed to get the cogs cranking, but let’s not forget that steampunk is all about cogs too! Why not bring them together? Steampunk Sleuths will be an anthology of four novelettes (15 – 20,000 words) featuring detectives in a steampunk setting solving peculiar crimes. The only requirements for submission will be that the means of committing the crime (murder, theft, kidnapping…) must be clearly steampunk and the reader must be given the tools to crack the case before the solution is revealed. Think Agatha Christie and Jules Verne getting kinky together… um, actually, please don’t. 😉

* Previously unpublished only

* Double the standard rate for this one: $50 USD

Due to increasing numbers of submissions for our anthologies, we will no longer be sending rejection messages. We appreciate your understanding with regards to this decision. We will announce the table of contents via social media once it has been finalised. If you are not on social media, please consider your submission unsuccessful if you haven’t received an email from us within two weeks of the end of the submissions period.
We regularly post news on our Facebook page. You can also get a feel for what we like by buying our previously published titles. Publishing quality fiction is an expensive passion, so the more we sell, the more we can publish. It’s that simple. Our cherished Patreon patrons also provide us with the means to keep producing quality books.
We use PayPal to pay our contributors. If your submission is successful, you’ll need an account. Alternatively, we can pay with an electronic Amazon gift coupon. Payment is made upon publication.

$25 USD  for original stories and $10 for reprints regardless of length, plus one print copy. Preferred word count between 3,000 and 9,000 words.
Please read the all the guidelines below before submitting.



Please submit one story per publication. No simultaneous submissions for original fiction.

Stories are chosen on merit and suitability for the anthology. However, when it comes to choosing between equally worthy submissions, social media presence and engagement may be taken into account. Social media is at the heart of our marketing strategy and most of our contributors have profiles on multiple platforms. We strongly encourage you to join us on as many platforms as possible: https://linktr.ee/blackbeaconbooks

The best way to get a feel for the kind of fiction we’re likely to publish is to buy our previously published titles. This provides you with examples of accepted stories, demonstrates our high standard of editing, and helps finance future anthologies.

What we expect from authors:
1) Please submit quality writing and be prepared to work with the team to make your story the very best it can be.
2) If your submission is successful, we need you to help promote the anthology through word-of-mouth and online networking.

Legal disclaimer:
1) Original Fiction: Inclusion in the anthology means that you give BBB First World English rights (this means your story will appear in this anthology for the first time in English, covering both electronic and print publications). After the official release of the anthology, all rights revert to the Author, and BBB will not publish it in any other publication without your permission.
2) Reprints: We purchase Non-Exclusive Reprint rights, which means your previously published story can be sold to other publications at the same time and at any time after our anthology. Of course, it is your duty as the Author to ensure you retain the relevant rights to reprints submitted to us. You should tell us where your story was first published so we can provide appropriate credit to the original publisher within our anthology.
Details on rights can be found at Writing-World.



How to submit:

– All grammar and punctuation to be used appropriately. This is your best friend: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/grammar-and-usage, and if you don’t know how to use commas, visit these sites: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/comma and https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp
In terms of comma usage, here are three simple examples of what we require:
Yesterday, I followed him home.
As soon as I hear from him, I’ll let you know.
I bought an axe, rope, and a box of matches.

– We’re not fans of fiction written in the present tense. Please use the traditional first-person or third-person past. We don’t accept fiction written in second-person (you) since we don’t publish choose-your-own-adventure books.

– Quotation marks to be single and curly/smart for general dialogue and placed outside (after) the comma or full stop. Double curly quotation marks for emphasised words if really needed, eg. They entered the mound of rubble, making sure the splintered door didn’t fall off its hinges. This was Stan’s “castle”.

– A single space at the end of sentences.

– Formatted indentation for paragraphs, 0.5cm first line. Do not use the space bar or tab bar.

– No headers or footers and no page numbers.
– Scene breaks should be identified with a hash # preceded and followed by one line space. Like this…
…the # centred and the following paragraph not indented. In a short story, there will generally be between zero and five of these. In addition to scene breaks, the hash is useful for signalling the beginning of a story within a story, or a change in narrative style, such as when the narrator is first introduced alongside his audience in a bar or living room before the text changes to his first-person recounting of events.

– Please use italics sparingly and underline them in your document. They take up a lot of time for an editor. Italics should only be used for titles (books, films, songs etc) in the story, foreign words or phrases not commonly used in English (eg not for “spaghetti”, “samurai” or “rendez-vous” but definitely for Ich liebe dich, buongiorno, or Éirinn go Brách), sounds like Bang! (sparingly). A character’s direct thoughts can also be in italics, whereas quotation marks must be used for speech. For the names of places, restaurants, shops and so forth, just use capital letters, eg. Haunted Lighthouse Inn.

– Don’t use a full stop after title abbreviations. Eg. Mr Smith, Mrs Jenkins, Dr Chang.
– Avoid overusing ellipses. We prefer the em-dash to indicate interrupted speech or thought.
Honestly, the best way to find out what we want is to buy one of our titles.
Once you’ve finished your tale and edited it…and edited again, and asked your mum and dog to proof-read it, send it as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file to [email protected]

Be sure to include your contact details in your email and on the first page of your story. Please include a short biography (about a hundred words) as well as links to your blog and social media pages at the end of your story.

The email title should read write: “BBB Anthology Submission: (anthology name)”. The file name should be: “Story Title” by “Author Name” (pen name if applicable) and “reprint” if appropriate.

Submissions that do not follow the guidelines or are sent outside of open calls may be deleted unread.

Via: Black Beacon Books.


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