Taking Submissions: The One Percent: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved
Deadline: May 1st, 2023
Payment: $35 or $25 with a contributor copy.
Theme: Taking a look at the super Wealthy and Depraved
Issuing layoffs from their yachts. Making idiotic business decisions while others pay the price. Keeping their riches via tax loopholes for the super wealthy. Profiting from the hard work and suffering of others. Sending dick-shaped rockets into space. Evading punishment.
It goes on and on. The details range from the banal to the scandalous. The uber wealthy play an outsized role in our society — determining or demanding too much and contributing too little.
With The One Percent: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved (our previous working title was Rich People Being Shitty, so that should give you a target to aim for), Rock and a Hard Place Press changes it up a little bit from their established pattern. Instead of stories about desperate protagonists in tough positions, we’ll explore the privileged and elite, and how they traffic in, revel in, and benefit from the desperation that they cause. Hopefully, some of these characters get the comeuppance they so richly deserve . . . but we wouldn’t count on it.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We are looking for fictional short stories ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words examining the ways in which the most affluent among us commit wrongs. These transgressions can range from broken laws to the perfectly legal, though otherwise reprehensible. These acts can be small in scale — being an awful parent or spouse — or they can have wide-ranging impact — concealing carbon emissions or human rights abuses.
At RHP, we subscribe to the notion that the act of becoming a billionaire, even if no other laws are broken in the process, is, by its nature, a crime against humanity. People should of course be compensated for their hard work or ideas, but no individual’s hard work can generate an amount of worth or wealth larger than the human mind can reasonably comprehend. Behind every billionaire is a story of wage disparity, of oppression, of uncaring calculation, environmental rape, and the exploitation of people and institutions.
For this call, we are not seeking stories of the merely rich, or the troubled wealthy. We are looking for stories that involve (and rightfully, vilify) the leeches sucking our planet and our lives dry. These characters should be key to the story, not side characters or deus ex machina. We are seeking stories of the rich, in all of their vainglory, and the despicable deeds they do, whether it be for their own sick entertainment, their day-to-day obliviousness and the devastation that it causes, or their uncaring drive for more wealth and power, at the cost of their own humanity.
These characters can be full-blown terrible human beings, or they can be morally complex, or they can be decent, sheltered people who don’t recognize the awful implications of their decisions and behavior. They can get away with their wrong-doings — as they often do — or there can be some justice served. Where you take it is entirely up to you.
Beyond the change in premise, we are still looking for stories that stick to the Rock and a Hard Place style sweet spot. We’re talking noir, dark humor, crime, etc . . . We have immense respect for publications like Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, or Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, but we’re looking for stories that might not fit in with that crowd. If you’re not sure of the type of stories that Rock and a Hard Place is looking for, maybe pick up a back issue?
You can submit simultaneously to other publications (just let us know), but we don’t accept reprints.
WHAT ARE WE NOT LOOKING FOR?
We want stories that say something. Submissions can include speculative elements, but we want stories that are grounded in and have something to say about the world we live in.
We also don’t want anything that seems to condone or excuse racism, or misogyny or homophobia or transphobia, but you should know that already.
We are now open for submissions for this anthology until May 1, 2023. We will publish in the Fall of 2023. Payment will be either $35 or $25 with a contributor copy. We will publish in print and ebook formats.
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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!