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Taking Submissions: The First Five Minutes of the Apocalypse

February 28, 2023

Submission Window: February 1st, 2023 – February 28th, 2023.
Payment: $0.03 per word
Theme: Story that takes place at the beginning of the apocalypse in a short period of time, see below for specifics

At the moment the earth ended, a little over eight billion human souls clung to its surface. That’s eight billion stories. Nobody knows how many remain. But if you’re reading this, you are one of them. Good job!

We want that story. It doesn’t matter how this thing started, what caused it, or where it came from. That’s not what we’re after. We want the experiences, the points of view, the wild, weird, disgusting, disturbing, beautiful, heartbreaking things that happened at the very beginning of the end of the world.


This is an open submission call for a fiction anthology.

Open call submission window open February 1, 2023 – February 28, 2023.

Extended submission window exclusively for writers from marginalized communities March 1, 2023 – March 7, 2023.

The anthology will be a mix of solicited stories and stories selected from the open call submission period.

What are we looking for?

Short horror, weird, dark fiction between 1500 and 4000 words (firm limit) that deal with a fictional apocalypse.

The story must take place within a short period of time (less than a day) at the beginning of a fictional apocalypse. The story shouldn’t be the inception point or the origin of the apocalyptic event. It shouldn’t even be about the event itself. Rather, it should be about when it all started for the POV character(s). Make it personal. Make it weird. Make it disturbing. Make it beautiful. We’re gonna get a lot of zombies, so points for originality.

This anthology is open to all writers, but we strongly encourage writers from the LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and other marginalized communities to submit.

What are we NOT looking for?

  • Stories that deal with bigotry are fine, but bigoted stories are not.

  • Graphic rape or sexual assault scenes will not be accepted.

  • Any story that does not contain elements of horror, weird fiction, or dark fiction will not be considered.

  • Erotic elements are fine, but keep in mind this is not a call for erotica so make sure the focus is the horror, weird, or dark fiction.

How to submit:

Word format (.docx), in something approximating standard manuscript format (double-spaced, 12pt font, word count and email address on the first page). We’re not a huge stickler for font, but please don’t hit us with novelty fonts (comic sans, papyrus, etc.).

Submit the file in the form by clicking the button below. You will need to submit the story file, a few bits of information, and a brief cover letter.

Pay, rights, etc.:

$0.03 per word, paid via PayPal, and an ebook copy of the anthology.

Exclusive First Worldwide Publication, Print, and Electronic Rights for three months, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know as quickly as possible if you intend to withdraw your submission.

Only one submission per author, please.

Please, no reprints.

Via: Hungry Shadow Press.


February 28, 2023