Monday, January 26, 2009

Thought Crime Experiments

This is, as the name implies, an experiment. I want to put together an online anthology of high-quality speculative fiction. I've budgeted USD1000 to buy five short stories for USD200 each. I've written and critiqued speculative fiction for years, but this is the first time I've put up money for it.

What's the difference between giving a story a positive review and actually buying it? I want to see how difficult it is to find five stories I like enough to buy. Once I've chosen five, I'll publish them here, under a Creative Commons license.

Since this project just started and there is no additional information about it, I assume you're interested in the...

Submission Guidelines

Send your story to Include the story as an attachment. I prefer plain text, but any document format is fine. If you want to, you can mention your publication credits, your name, etc., but all I need to start with is the story and your email address. If I buy the story, I'll need to get in contact with you anyway.

In general, I'd prefer you send me a story you've already written and pounded the pavement for and acquired a couple rejection slips for.

Legalities: I'm buying the first electronic rights, and the right to publish your story under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike license (here's my reasoning). I want the stories I buy to first show up on this website, but once they're published I want them to circulate.

There are a number of reasons why writers don't usually solicit other writers' writing, but the big one for me is legal liability. I don't want you to sue me if you send me a story that includes a poisoned croissant, and ten years later I write a story that includes an exploding cupcake. On the other hand, it would be stupid to make you promise never to sue for any reason just so I'll look at your story. So instead of making you sign some indemnification clause with your submission, I ask that you submit your story in the same professional spirit that prevails in a writing group or workshop.

I've never done anything like this before, but nor am I some fly-by-night shyster. I've written two nonfiction books for O'Reilly and I've run this website for over ten years. I'm bound to run into problems doing this, but I want to work with you in good faith to create something incredible.

The usual boilerplate: send only one story at a time, don't send a story that's currently being considered by someone else, don't send a story that's already been bought or published.

Deadline: Let's say March 31st, 2009. If I get five must-buy stories before then, I'll cut it short so as not to string anyone along. If I haven't bought five stories by then, I'll extend the deadline or run whatever stories I have bought. If I promise to buy your story and then cancel the project or otherwise can't follow through, I'll pay you a kill fee of $75.

Length: My overriding concern is "is this worth two hundred bucks?" I'm not going to buy a flash piece for $200, and you wouldn't be happy getting $200 for your novella. So let's say between three and ten thousand words.

Genre: I like science fiction at lot, especially science fiction set within fifty years of the present. It's not as likely I'd pay $200 for a fantasy story, but if you've got a fantasy story set between 1959 and 2059, send it in. I'm not going to pay $200 for a horror story, unless it's a really original parody or something.

More specifically, I like stories that engage with the pop culture of the past, present, or future. I like stories that use the alien to illuminate the everyday, or vice versa. I like hard SF that requires a degree to understand, provided it's the computer science degree I actually have. I like farcical ridiculous gonzo pastiche. I also like space aliens.

If you don't have anything that you think I'll like, send me something anyway. The worst that can happen is I'll say no

Friday, January 23, 2009


Submission Guidelines

I am editing the new anthology series Best Horror of the Year (Night Shade Books) and am currently reading for the second volume, which will include all material published in 2009.

I am looking for stories from all branches of horror: from the traditional-supernatural to the borderline, including high-tech sf horror, supernatural stories, psychological horror, dark thrillers, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, send it. This is a reprint anthology so I am only reading material published in or about to be published in 2009. Submission deadline for stories is December 15th 2009. Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you’re in or you edit is coming out by December 31st, you can send me galleys or manuscripts so that I can judge the stories in time. No email submissions. I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies to me as I don’t have time or energy to nag publishers to get me material. I request it once (maybe twice) and that’s it.

There will be a summation of "the year in horror" in the front of the volume. This will include novels, nonfiction, art books, and "odds and ends"-- material that doesn't fit elsewhere but that I feel might interest the horror reader. But I must be aware of this material in order to mention it. The deadline for this section is January 15th, 2010.

Ellen Datlow
Best Horror of the Year Volume Two
PMB 391
511 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011-8436

****I do not want to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive (like Interzone, The Third Alternative, Cemetery Dance, Subterranean, Postscripts, Weird Tales, F&SF, etc) or from anthologies and collections, unless I don't have or can’t get that anthology or collection. Please contact your publisher and ask him/her to send me the magazine or book.

Please do not send a SASE. If I choose a story you will be informed. If you want to confirm that I‘ve received something, enclose a self-addressed-stamped postcard and I will let you know the date it arrived. For stories that appear on the web, please send me (or have the publisher send me) print-outs of your story.

Ellen Datlow, Editor

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writing Calamities

We're looking for wacky, unbelievable, and/or humorous stories! What's the wildest writer-related experience you've ever had? Crack us up! Awe us! Please sum up your submission with a one-sentence lesson or quote.

Submission Guidelines

All stories must be true and about you or someone you know. Reprints are acceptable but please tell us when and where your story was printed.

Submissions must be between 750 - 1,500 words. Any submissions that do not meet the word count requirement will be deleted immediately.

Please include the following with your submission:

  • your full name (or pen name - please specify)
  • address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • story title
  • word count
  • your bio
  • the book title you are submitting to

Send your submissions to: Please make the subject line match the book title that you are submitting to. All submissions must be pasted into the body of your email - absolutely no attachments. Emails with attachments will be immediately deleted.

Please note: it may take up to a year for us to respond to your submission. Thank you for your patience with us as we review submissions.

There is no deadline to submit for these books at this time as we are considering future volumes for each themed book.

Payment Upon Publishing: At this time we can pay CDN$15 per submission with your full bio and a free copy of the ebook. We are paying via PayPal and by cheque (CDN funds). It is our intent to increase the payment amount in the future when possible. If you do not agree to these payment terms, please do not submit.

Rights: We require one time rights and editing rights (if needed). You retain all copyrights. Upon acceptance of your submission, we will send you publication contract and a copy of your formatted story. This form must be signed and returned in order for your submission to be published in our series. Upon acceptance of your submission, you hereby grant Topzone Publishing/Krista Barrett the right to publish and reproduce your submission in book form or any other media form that may result from publication worldwide.

Disclaimer: We have the right to refuse any and all submissions that we believe will not fit with the theme of our books.

About Us: Krista Barrett, owner of Writer Gazette, Writers Manual and EbooksCafe, is the running force behind this new book series. Books will be available in electronic and printed formats.

The Mission for this book series:

  • To provide encouragement and inspiration to writers worldwide.
  • To provide a new market for writers worldwide

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Raw Terror

~Raw Terror~
A horror anthology, edited by Ian Hunter

What we want:

We're looking for scary, horrible, terrifying stories that would fit into an anthology called “Raw Terror”. They can be traditional horror,supernatural, or psychological, but no Fantasy or Science fiction, unless your story really merits that framework.

Short stories should be 500 to 5000 words in length, 12pt, Times New Roman font, double spaced, two spaces after sentence ending punctuation. Please do not use headers or footers.

Stories should be sent as .rtf or .doc documents. Please include details (name, address, word count) and a brief (250 word) bio in the body of the e-mail.

We will pay £10 per story and a contributor’s copy for 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Authors will be paid upon publication.

Send your submissions to as attached .rtf or .doc file. On the subject line, put RAW TERROR and your story’s title. If you do not receive confirmation that we received your submission within 7 days, please feel free to query.

You may send multiple submissions, but only one per e-mail, and while we also accept simultaneous submissions, please notify us of where else you have submitted--and if/when it is accepted elsewhere.

Submissions are open from now and will remain open until 28 February 2009. All submissions will be responded to by 31 March 2009. Publication date is scheduled for the Glasgow BFS open night on the 11 June 2009.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Belong/A Place Called Home

edited by Russell B. Farr

belong mock cover artEverybody comes from somewhere, especially in Australia. Belong/A place called home seeks to explore the themes of immigration, including refugees and both sides of the migrant experience through the speculative genres.

What makes people pack up their belongings and leave their homeland? What happens when they return as a tourist? How does it feel to grow up as a first generation resident of a new land? How does it feel to live in a land with a large migrant and multicultural population?

Belong, a two-volume sf anthology is scheduled for release in 2009.

The anthology is open to unsolicited submissions until 31 May 2009.

submission guidelines

1. Story length 1,000 to 7,000 words. (Longer stories may be accepted, though payment is capped at 7,000)
2. Original stories only: no reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions.
3. Stories may be emailed to the editor at with the words "Submission Belong" in the subject line.
4. Manuscript format: double spaced, large margins, sensible font.
5. The editor reserves the right to bend any and all rules for close personal friends.
6. Only stories of a speculative nature (science fiction, fantasy, horror, dark fiction) will be considered.
7. Deadline: 31 May 2009.


Send us your best stories on the theme of immigration or related topics.

We are looking for submissions of a fantastic or speculative element.

We want stories which focus on the migrant experience, both from the experience of the migrant and resident, stories of forced refugees and voluntary migrants.

Payment: 2 copies and Aus 1.5 cents/word (GST inc., maximum payment $105) on publication.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Return of the Raven Anthology

Horror Bound Online Magazine publications is announcing a call for
submissions for a future anthology called Return of the Raven. (temporary
title only).

This is a tribute to the master of Horror, Edgar Allan Poe. If you are
inspired by the work of the master and his themes, tone, characterization
and style then read on:

Preference will be given to:
*paranormal themes
*psi phenomena
*spooky, ghostly tales
*psychological horror
*both short stories and poetry

3,000-7,000 words (for short stories)

We will be reading immediately. Deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2009
or until the anthology is filled.

0.01 cents (CAN) per word. Payment made upon publication. You must have a
paypal account. Money will be deposited into that account.

First print rights, exclusive print rights for three years from time of
publication. Author retains copyright. No reprints please.

Within one (1) week of your submission, you'll receive an e-mail confirming
that we received it. If you don't receive this confirmation, feel free to
email and ask. After that you will NOT hear back from us unless we confirm
that your story will appear in our anthology.


Simultaneous submissions to other publications are fine but please inform us
if your story is placed.

No sexual/erotic content or profanity.

The editors of this anthology are not big fans of either violence or gore.
If there is going to be violence and gore, it better be a very compelling

Send the file to Must be in .doc format or .rtf. NO

Send an e-mail to

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dead Bait

Severed Press seeks short stories for its new anthology, Dead Bait. Stories should have a Fishing or fish/sea life theme. Genetically altered Frankenfish, Zombie Whales sticking it to Japanese whalers, killer bass in secluded lakes, monsters from the deep, voodoo zombies from puffer fish toxins or maybe that tiny fish from the Amazon that swims up your wiener are just a few ideas. Stories can be based any where in the world and be salt or freshwater.

Payment: Payment will be $0.01 word based on the final edited version. Rounded to the nearest hundred words, plus one Authors copy.

Stories for anthologies should be between 2000-8000 words and be submitted with a brief Bio and a synopsis of your story in standard form as an attachment to please advise us if story has been published before.

Deadline for Dead Bait - 23/03/09

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Blackness Within

The Blackness Within will be published by Apex Book Company
Edited by Gill Ainsworth


Somewhere in a parochial village in Herefordshire, England, the Celtic God, Moccus, was re-born. Whether the winds were blowing in the wrong direction, or whether the times were accommodating, no-one knows, but it happened.

If you haven't heard of Moccus, google. You'll find he's a Celtic pig-god whose influence affected all aspects of life, particularly fertility. The word pig has many connotations in today's world and doesn't necessarily limit Moccus to a pig-like appearance. Neither does it make a pig-like appearance mandatory. In other words, there is a lot for the imagination to explore.

I'm looking for stories that encompass all stages of Moccus's reappearance from infancy -- contemporary -- to death (his middle age and near-future) -- and how his influence spread throughout the world. He is powerful; his presence will be felt even in the backwaters of the Nile Delta. What I'm looking for are truly international takes on this theme, with settings from all over the world. The UK has already been covered.

This is primarily a horror/dark fantasy anthology but will stretch to the near future. That means no space exploration, nor out-and-out far-fetched science, and I don't want apocalypse-type stories -- the world will continue even after his death. However, psi stories, dark fantasy (not high fantasy) will all be considered. I'm not afraid of a little adult content. If in doubt, try me. Worst-case scenario is rejection -- in the nicest possible way.

But please proof read. I don't take grammatical problems well. Know your its from your it's, effect from affect and please, please, to lay is a different verb from to lie. I rest my case.


Open to submissions on 1st March 2009 and will close when full. If you submit before this date, your story will be deleted.

  • Word count between 3000 and 7000 words
  • No simultaneous submissions and no multiple submissions; please wait until you've heard back before sending another story
  • Stories should be sent either as a Word DOC (.doc) or RTF (.rtf) and attached to your e-mail. A short covering letter stating approximate word count and giving contact details is expected. If you send your story in the body of an e-mail, it will be deleted unread
  • Contact details should be given on the manuscript as well as in the body of the e-mail
  • Courier New, 12 point. Double line spacing, with indented paragraphs. A hash (#) denotes a section break.
    Single space between full stops and double speech marks for dialogue. Otherwise, follow your UK/US/SA/Aus... formatting, spelling etc, but please remain constant throughout; don't switch from one to another.
  • Payment is £15 per story or equivalent according to (through PayPal -- I can't issue dollar cheques) upon publication. If no currency preference is stated in the covering letter, payment will be made in pounds sterling.
  • I ask for FNASR

    If you have any questions, please ask. Submissions and questions to be sent to Please put 'Blackness Within' in the subject line followed by either your story title or the word 'question'. You should receive a 'got it' or answer to your question within 48 hours; if you haven't received such, assume that it didn't arrive and resend

    I will endeavour to respond to submissions within 4 weeks but please don't query until at least 2 months after sending your story.

  • Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Disaster Healthcare Workers Anthology

    Kaplan Publishing, the publisher of a broad range of educational and consumer books by and for nurses, physicians, paramedics, and other healthcare workers, is now accepting stories for a new and exciting anthology, To The Rescue: Stories from Healthcare Workers at the Scene of Disaster.

    About To The Rescue
    Devastating fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters are ongoing concerns in every part of the world. The personal stories of people who go to the scene and interact with survivors will be of great interest to both the world community and to people who work in these fields.

    To The Rescue: Stories from Healthcare Workers at the Scene of Disaster is an anthology of stories by healthcare workers, from a variety of specialties, who have gone to the scenes of disasters, whether in their hometowns or across the world.

    Story Guidelines
    Kaplan wants to tell your story. If you are a nurse, physician, paramedic, or other healthcare§ professional, please share your unique experience of working during a flood, a fire, a hurricane, a tsunami, a mudslide, a famine, an earthquake, or a conflict, and what it was like to interact with those directly affected by these disaster events.

    Tell us how disaster response/relief work has helped to shape you into the person that you are today. Your story shouldn't be a medical report ,make us laugh, make us cry; allow your words to open the doors to your experiences for the reader.

    All stories must be true and previously unpublished stories from your personal experience. Exceptions for previously published stories may be made if you retain the copyright.

    The tone of your§ story should be inspiring, poignant and, when appropriate, humorous.

    Submit stories in Microsoft Word, 12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced with a story title and word count.

    Each submission should include your name, address, phone number, and email address.

    Tell a story that has a§ beginning, middle, and end. Write from your heart about a life-changing or life-defining experience.

    Authors may submit multiple stories.

    All manuscripts selected for publication will be subject to editing.

    Before final acceptance, you will receive an agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of publication.

    Submission Guidelines

    Submission Deadline: February 21, 2009

    Submissions can be sent via email or mail to: (Email) KaplanStories@
    Cite the story title in the subject line. You can type the story into the body of the email or send an attachment in Microsoft Word as outlined above. Only one submission per email.
    Kaplan Publishing - To The Rescue
    P.O. Box 51
    Wever, IA 52658

    You can send more than one story per envelope. Include one self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for each submission. Send only a paper copy of the story; do not send computer disks or CDs. We cannot accept any phone calls.

    Payment: $100 if published, along with two complimentary§ copies of the book
    Story Length: 1,000 - 2,500 words
    Point of View:§ First person

    Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we cannot acknowledge receipt of submissions or provide status updates. You will be notified by e-mail if your story is selected for publication. Manuscripts will not be returned.