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.

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