Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blade Red Dark Pages – Volume 1

The first Blade Red Press anthology of dark speculative fiction is now open to submissions. The anthology will be available in print and ebook format through online retailers in early 2010 (assuming sufficient submissions are received). Only submissions received between September 17th 2009 and November 30th 2009 will be considered. Any submissions received outside this timeframe will be deleted unread.

We are accepting short speculative fiction up to 7,500 words. Submissions must have some element of a speculative nature (scifi, fantasy, horror, alternate universe, steampunk, etc.) that is integral to the plot. Stories must also have a dark and gritty edge. We’re not a Young Adult or Kids publisher – we’re looking for tales that disturb, dismay and unsettle, yarns that stay in the mind long after they’re read. We like our dark tales to be clever and interesting rather than blatant. Dark doesn’t mean tortureporn or slash and slay. We are interested in all aspects of speculative fiction, so surprise us with your imagination.

We are not interested in supernatural erotica or romance. Obviously strong language and blood and gore are bound to be involved to some degree, but make them a part of the story, not the reason for the story. We will not publish stories that are racist or hate fuelled diatribes. We don’t mind some sex that’s relevant to the story, but we’re not interested in pornography. Try to avoid the overused cliches like senseless revenge, cookie cutter serial killers and predictable monsters. And if you want to write a story with vampires it better be mind-blowingly original and fantastically well written. Seriously, isn’t everyone sick and tired of vampires right now?

Blade Red Press is not a straight horror publisher, so we’re looking for a variety of speculative fiction with a dark edge. Surprise us!

Electronic submissions only accepted. Submit stories attached to an email in .rtf format only. Any other file type or stories in the body of the email will be deleted unread. Please follow standard manuscript format – search the web if you don’t know what that means. HOWEVER, regardless of the format guidelines you read, ignore the bit about leaving two spaces after every full stop. This is the 21st century, not the wild west. Two spaces after a full stop is an old typesetting standard and just annoying in the digital age.

The subject line of your email must read: “SUBMISSION: Story Title”

The body of the email must include:

Story Title
Author’s name (please indicate here if you want to use a pen name for publication)
Contact email
Word count of your submission

Feel free to include a short cover letter, but don’t bore us. We’re going to have enough to read as it is. Don’t bother with a bio – if we like your story we don’t care whether you’re Stephen King, Dan Brown or Joe Schmo. We’ll ask for a bio if we offer to buy the story.

Payment is a flat rate of AUD$25 per story, payable upon publication, plus one contributors copy of the finished anthology. We pay via PayPal only. (We would love to pay more but Blade Red is a relatively new publisher and we are trying to establish ourselves in a diffcult marketplace. We will hopefully be in a position to pay more as time goes by.) We are buying Exclusive First Worldwide Print and Electronic rights for 6 months from the date of publication. Publication will be during 2010 (hopefully before June). Once that 6 month period is past all rights revert to the author.

No simultaneous submissions, so only send us your very best work. No reprints – all submissions must not have been published anywhere else. We aim to respond within 6 – 8 weeks. Query after 8 weeks if you haven’t heard back from us.

Send submissions to

All submissions will be read by a team of slush readers who will receive stories stripped of all identifying details. This blind read will result in an editorial scoring process by which we will select the successful submissions. If you have any questions about the anthology, please email us.

1 comment:

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