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Taking Submissions: Strange Aeon: 2020

August 31, 2020

Deadline: August 31st, 2020
Payment: $20 and contributors copy
Theme: Lovecraftian Tales

The guidelines are simple. The working anthology title is Strange Aeon: 2020 (Lovecraftian Tales). That alone tells you most of what you need to know. I want good, solid Lovecraftian stories. I specifically say Lovecraftian rather than Cthulu because I’d like stories across the entire Mythos including additions by the original group of Mythos authors like Robert Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. [1] Likewise, specific Mythos references are not as important as getting the right style and tone. For example, I would happily take Smith’s Seed From the Sepulcher over a Deep One tale. This style preference also applies to gore and sex: think early Weird Tales. Having said that, science fiction horror is strongly encouraged; this is not an anthology of period pieces. For this anthology I’m asking for non-exclusive rights and will happily take reprints. Simply tell me the publication history so that I can give proper copyright acknowledgement. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable (please do so in a professional manner.)

Though I am not especially interested in non-fiction or poetry, I will consider it. At most only one non-fiction piece and one work of (long) poetry will be used.

I’m not overly concerned about length. 2,500 to 10,000 words is preferable but I also know from personal experience that horror doesn’t always lend itself to a strict word count. I don’t care about submission formatting as long as it’s legible, clean copy. Electronically, I need the story either in the body of an email or an as RTF file. Please submit to the email address mkeatonauthor (at) gmail (dot) com with the word Submission in the header. The goal is a final book with about ten stories averaging 5,000 words apiece.

I be receiving submissions no later than the end of August (or until the anthology is filled.) I will update these guidelines and notify any already accepted authors if the release date has to be pushed back. All submission received before the end of August should have final confirmation of acceptance or rejection by the following week. [2]

What’s in it for the author? There will be a token payment of $20 and a compensatory copy for the author; but the really useful part is that each contributor gets a bio to promote their own stuff. (I would like to avoid a specific word limit on bios; please respect the reader and the fact that every additional page raises the cover price and I reserve the right to edit bios for space.) Copyright will be retained by the author. Payment will be upon acceptance with comp copy to follow release of the anthology. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, the anthology is cancelled, the author is, of course, to keep the $20. [3]

Important Notes:
1] Authors new to working in the Mythos may find this a bit confusing. Let me be clear: do not use characters, creatures, book names, or anything else from modern authors. Modern authors are under copyright. Lovecraft and the other members of his original “circle” are largely under public domain. Please, do not accidentally infringe on anyone’s copyright. Always check first. In addition, gaming rules and supplements are also copyrighted works and should not be used. If in doubt, only use Lovecraft’s own work as a source just to be on the safe side. Better yet, create your own. This is always important when writing but especially in the murky pseudo-shared world of the Mythos where the lines are more difficult to see. If you questions have or concerns about this, a quick internet search should tell you what you need to know.

2] This is not a plug for Amazon. My intent is to be as transparent as possible about the process, quality of the final product, and anything else involved that might be a consideration for you as an author.

3] Since any publication, the first time, in any form, is by definition a use of First Rights, if you sell an unpublished work, even on a non-exclusive contract, then you have used your First Rights. And once First Rights (North American, World, Print, E-, or whatever other form they may be) are used, it’s all reprints from there and most places are no longer interested. I would love to see your work but I don’t want you to lose out on another market because of confusion about the rights. As noted earlier, for this project, I am very, very interested in reprints for this project. One of the goals of this project is to help writers and readers with this specific genre interest discover each other. For this, reprints work very well.

Via: M. Keaton.


August 31, 2020