Submissions Open for Australian and New Zealand authors only*

‘Outback Horrors Down Under’
an anthology of antipodean terrors

cover draft 2

What We’re After:

We’re limiting this callout to current or former Australian or New Zealand residents and citizens. We want memorable, dark fiction/horror stories that could only happen (or be told) here in Australia or New Zealand. Be inspired by the people, country, history, geography, cultures, myths and legends, but please be culturally sensitive.

Story Length:

4,000 – 6,000 words is the sweet spot, but it’s quality that will count.

Avoid:

We will not accept stories where bigotry or violence of any kind is portrayed in a positive light, or where there is a focus on violence and gore rather than story. We will not accept any form of ‘typing’ of people that could be portrayed as negative, alienating, or offensive to groups of people.

Submission Deadline:

Our deadline for this general callout is end of May, 2020. We recommend you submit early to allow time for feedback and perhaps allow you to resubmit. We will have a number of ‘anchor’ authors already pre-selected, and we aim to have it all completed and published in time for Worldcon 20 in Wellington.

Payment Rate:

This will be a flat rate payment of $50.

Can I Help?

If you’d like to offer assistance in publicising and marketing the book, arranging interviews or blog posts, or can provide proofreading or other related assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Book Formats:

Both ebook and print versions will be available (6″ x 9″ hardback and softback).

Submissions:

  • You can email (please don’t use social media) your story to me: dillonstephen@hotmail.com. You can also direct any questions to me, or an idea for your story to avoid duplicate ideas.
  • Please use subject ‘Outback Horrors’. 
  • Send your story as an attachment in Word .docx or .doc (No .pdf’s please).
  • Your subject line should be as follows:
    OBH – {your name} – {title of story} – {word count}
  • Example: OBH – John Smith – This Kangaroo Kills Me – 3,000
  • In the body of your email, please include your name, title of story, word count, and confirm your email contact. We will contact you for your author bio if selected.
  • We will prioritise stories between 4,000 and 6,000 words, but longer or shorter stories may be accepted if they are particularly strong.
  • We are not accepting poetry or non-fiction.
  • Make sure your story is edited and polished before you send it to us.
  • We prefer Australian or NZ English spelling.

Please, please, please use “double quotes” for speech
Do NOT use ‘single quotes’

  • We will not be able to give in-depth feedback on any stories.
  • Please don’t follow up unless we don’t send an acknowledgement email.
  • If you haven’t had an acknowledgement email within a week, please find your original email and forward that to me with a note to say when you originally sent it.
  • You will receive an acknowledgement email within a few days. If you have not heard from me within two weeks, feel free to follow up again.
  • Please don’t email to enquire further unless you wish to withdraw your submission.
  • Submissions will be open until the deadline, after which we will be in touch with everyone within two weeks.

We’re really excited by this project and we look forwards to receiving your stories!

 


Submissions Open… for

Black Dogs, Black Tales

I’m delighted to share the news that Things in the Well will be joining with Tabatha (Tabby) Wood to bring this all-for-charity anthology in 2020!

cover draft


Many writers and creatives are plagued by depression and anxiety, often referred to as “The Black Dog.” Ironically, it is during these dark days that our furry friends become our strongest supporters.

I’m working with a fantastic team to put together a horror/dark fiction anthology with a strong, canine theme where all sales go towards supporting mental health and suicide prevention charity:
The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Open call for submissions

We are excited to share this open call to writers of horror and dark speculative fiction. We want you to submit your best short story between 2,000 and 6,000 words for our forthcoming charity anthology “Black Dogs, Black Tales”.

This will be a dark, doggy-themed collection where absolutely anything with a canine connection goes, with one essential caveat – the dog does not die. Everyone else can be slaughtered by zombies, or lost in the depths of deep space, but the dog (or dogs) will always survive.

What are we looking for?

We want you to think outside the box (or kennel) with this one.

  • Perhaps the dog is the killer, or maybe the dog kills the killer.
  • The dog might be your protagonist, unreliable narrator, or any other major character.
  • We welcome robot dogs and Frankenstein-creature dogs, mutated or evolved dogs, dogs with a sixth sense, or dogs that are just very special in their own right!
  • They can be real life dogs, ghost dogs, demon dogs, or the proverbial black dog.
  • Most importantly, surprise us with your best writing. We prefer psychological and supernatural or creature-feature stories over out-and-out gore.

We definitely don’t want:

  • We will not accept over-the-top unnecessary violence and gore; bestiality
  • No homophobic or transphobic stories or speech, or bigotry of any kind including sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, body aestheticism, etc.
  • No bullying of any kind, or violence towards children or infants.
  • The list goes on, but essentially your stories can be mature in nature but not offensive toward any group of people.

Are profanities okay?

Some swearing is fine, especially if it fits the tone.

And humour?

Of course! We want to have a unique and varied collection. Not all dark fiction has to be serious.

What about werewolves?

Yes, you can write about werewolves, but we would be looking for a strong and unusual take.

When should I submit by?

Our deadline is 29th February 2020, although we would recommend you don’t leave it quite that long, to allow time for feedback and perhaps nudge your story back between the guiderails.

Will I be paid?

  • This is a charity anthology and all proceeds will go towards the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, a charity which helps to run campaigns and services that cover all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. You can find out more about what they do here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz.
  • We feel very strongly that all writers should get paid for their work. We are currently running a Ko-Fi campaign — https://ko-fi.com/blackdogsblacktales — to raise funds for this anthology which will also allow us to pay the writers of all accepted stories a nominal amount (up to a maximum of $20 USD per story). The writer may also choose to waive this payment, in which case it will be donated directly to the charity. We need you to be aware that payment for your story will only be possible if our target goal is met. If you are unhappy with these terms, you are free to withdraw your submission up to 2 weeks prior to publication.

Are you looking for artwork?

We would be very keen to receive any suitable artwork which could be used on the front cover of the book, or indeed as interior illustrations. Please contact us if you think you have anything suitable.

How else can I help?

If you’d like to offer assistance in publicising and marketing the book, arranging interviews or blog posts, or can provide editorial or other related assistance, please feel free to contact me.

In what formats will the collection be available?

Both ebook and print versions will be available.

Who will be the publisher of the book?

I’ve approached Steve Dillon from Things in the Well to be the publisher, and he’s gladly signed up for it. It will be formatted to align with their distinctive look and feel, and will fit in well with the other books in their series of themed anthologies.

How should I submit?

  • You can email your story to tabathawoodwriter@gmail.com. You can also direct any questions to that address. We do not accept postal entries.
  • Send your story as an attachment in .txt, .docx .doc or .pages format. No .pdf’s please. Your subject line should be as follows:

BDBT – {your name} – {title of story} – {word count}

Example: BDBT – John Smith – My Dog Has No Nose – 3,000

  • In the body of your email, please include your name, title of story, word count, and confirm your email contact. We will contact you for your author bio if selected.
  • Please DO NOT include your name anywhere in your story. All submissions will be read anonymously by our editing team.
  • We will prioritise stories between 2,000 and 5,000 words, but longer or shorter stories may be accepted if they are particularly strong.
  • We are not accepting poetry or non-fiction.
  • Make sure your story is edited and polished before you send it to us.
  • We prefer Australian or NZ English spelling.
  • Please, please, please use “double quotes” for speech NOT ‘single quotes’.
  • We will not be able to give in-depth feedback on any stories.

When will I hear back?

  • You will receive an acknowledgement email within a few days. If you have not heard from us within two weeks, feel free to follow up. Please don’t email to enquire further unless you wish to withdraw your submission.
  • Submissions will be open until the deadline, after which we will be in touch with everyone within two weeks.

We’re all really excited by this project and we look forwards to receiving your stories!

Tabatha Wood, editor

From Tabby Wood’s website:
“This collection of short fiction will be raising money for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, a charity very close to my heart. One in six New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives. This includes depression, bipolar disorders and anxiety disorders.”


 

Note:
Submissions for ‘Guilty Pleasures’ now closed…

coverdraftccccCover Reveal! Plus!!

I’m excited to share the news that our forthcoming anthology Guilty Pleasures will include Ramsey Campbell’s ‘Dolls’ from his 1987 collection ‘Scared Stiff – Tales of Sex and Death’!

scared stiff


juulycallout

Guidance:
While sex and horror often go hand in hand, I’m not looking for torture porn or extreme Gross-out graphic tales of gore or violence. Story comes first. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, so make me remember it!

*I’m not interested in non-consensual encounters that portray rape or bullying or bigotry in a good light, nor anything involving animals** or children.

**Although furry tales (and fluffy tails!) are welcome!

And remember the golden rule, “If in doubt, pull out!”

Steve.

Email submissions to me: dillonstephen@hotmail.com with the subject Guilty Pleasures and your proof-read, ready-to-go drabble or double-drabble story attached. Submit up to 10 drabbles if you like as we’ll have plenty of room in this one.

I’m not fussy about formatting (Word is preferred. PDF at a push. No Google docs.) Please do use “Double-Quotation” marks “like this” rather than ‘singles’. And please spell check, word count, and grammar check.


Q&A

Will I be paid? As this is a fun drabble anthology, it’s a non-paying market although published authors will receive a complimentary eBook (pdf) and up to 5 download codes for Kindle or ePub for $1. Also see below.

When is the Deadline? UPDATE: This will stay open until I get inundated with great drabbles and double-drabbles!

Will it be printed? Yes, through print-on-demand. You may order up to five print copies direct through me at contributor discount rate plus shipping.

Does size matter? Yes. Exactly 100 or 200 words please.

Can I be explicit? If you need to, although often subtlety and reticence are more effective. Overuse or repeated unsavoury terms or words will probably just leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Will you accept humour? Yes, if it’s funny… see below.

Can I submit more than one story? Yes, you can submit up to ten but quality counts, and please submit all in one email, thanks!

What type of horror do you prefer, Steve? Generally, I prefer supernatural and psychological (I’m a huge Ramsey Campbell fan), as well as creature features. Also stories within stories, stories with subtexts and several layers. I appreciate with drabbles (even doubles!) it’s going to be hard. Phnarr, phnarr 🙂 Clearly, I do like humour as well, even if at times it may be a bit puerile. Who needs to be sensible all the time?

What type of horror don’t you like, Steve? Generally I steer clear of body horror and gore, but if written well, I can stomach it. Remember, I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker as well 😀


June: Stay tuned for a new callout…

Stay tuned for an exciting new callout from Things In The Well! This will be a slight departure from our ‘normal’ (!) series of themed anthologies. Just a hint for now:

Things in the Well are planning to scare the pants off you!

– Steve Dillon, series editor, Things in the Well
http://ThingsInTheWell.com


June: Trickster’s Treats #3 – 7 Deadly Sins

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED!


We have just closed our callout for this year’s Halloween magazine Trickster’s Treats. We were looking for flash fiction/short stories based on ONE of the seven deadly sins, which for our purposes include (but not strictly limited to) the following:-
  • Pride (A difficult one because there are antithetical meanings – some good, some harmful. Conceitedness; over-inflated self of self-worth; excessive self-admiration, vanity, self-love, etc. could all be seen as negative forms of pride.)
  • Greed (Any kind of greed apart from gluttony – see below. Selfishness, acquisitiveness, pursuit of money, power, objects, often at the expense of others, etc.)
  • Gluttony (A special kind of greed connected with the consuming of food, etc. Habitual or temporary overindulgence, over-consumption, consuming more than our fair share, etc.)
  • Lust (Strong sexual desire for someone (or something like money, power, love, overwhelming desire or cravings, etc. Note it could be construed as a positive urge, e.g. for freedom, validation, etc. but this might still lead to destructive actions due to its overwhelming nature)
  • Envy (Jealousy, grudging admiration for another, resentful longing to possess something, someone, or some quality or condition belonging to another, etc.)
  • Wrath (Extreme or vindictive anger; vengeful punishment; revenge; judgment; ‘eye for an eye’, etc.)
  • Sloth (Laziness, lack of care, lethargy, not bothering to do what is required, sluggishness, inaction or inactivity due to emotional state, e.g. lack of self-worth could also fall into this category)

Note: The deadline is 7th July 2019 and has now passed.

wraparound cover draft

We’re after disturbing, delicious stories of darkness, not dismay or depression. We’re also hoping for that glimmer of light in the darkness without being sickly optimistic. Delight and surprise us, and make it memorable! Be inspired by this, but try to think outside the boxes (or should that be seven circles…?)

Editing Team:

I’m delighted to share that we will be joined by TWO award winning co-editors and SEVEN Submissions editors for Trickster’s Treat 3…
Lee Murray and Marie O’Regan have kindly volunteered to steer the Trickster towards this year’s bag of treats!
Lee Murray (co-editor): Lee Murray is an award-winning writer of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. She lives with her family in the Land of the Long White Cloud where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock. (Read more…)
Marie O’Regan (co-editor): Marie O’Regan is an award-nominated writer and editor of horror and dark fantasy fiction, and her short fiction has been published in such places as The Alsiso Project, When Darkness Comes, Terror Tales 2, Terror Tales of London, Best British Horror 2014 and Great British Horror #2: Dark, Satanic Mills, among others. (Read more…)

Submissions Editors:

Our wonderful volunteer submissions/assistant editors will each be reading and shortlisting (for their sins!)…

We will also be applying an ‘anonymity process’ so the submissions editors won’t know whose story they’re reading.


Cover Artist:

Award-winning artist Greg Chapman has kindly volunteered to produce the cover art for this year’s Trickster’s Treats! You can find some of Greg’s distinctive art here!
Trivia: The house on the cover was included in the first two issues of Trickster’s Treats (see images below) although the photographs were taken some time apart, over the past 2.5 years in fact, chronicling the sad demise and decay of what must have once been someone’s family home.
(We think Greg has done an awesome job transforming the cover from its original cartoony style to this imposing, highly evocative piece.)

Submission Details (Closed):

  • Submissions must be 700 words (maximum, preferably exactly!)
    • Try to stick to ONE of the above themes, not multiple. We need to know which category it fits best, and it will only be submitted to one ‘sin’ – Thanks.
    • Avoid surprise endings if the category will give that away, as it’s no longer a surprise then!
    • No support for bigotry or prejudice… of any kind. It’s okay if your characters are racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist, sizeist, or any other collective noun, but do make sure the story (and by implication, the author!) doesn’t support these bigoted, harmful views.
  • EMAIL (Please don’t PM or submit via social media) your completed, proof-read story
    • It can be simply formatted (attached as RTF or Word doc/docx) – use “double quotes” please for speech.
    • Email to me initially at:- DillonStephen@hotmail.com and I will forward to the submissions editor for that ‘sin’.
    • Please don’t include your name or other details in the attached story, but include these in the body of the email.
    • Use the subject ‘Seven Deadly Sins – ‘ and the sin of your choice (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, or sloth). Include in the subject the length of your story as in this example: “Seven Deadly Sins – Pride, 700”
  • The deadline for this callout is 7th July, 2019.
    • At that point if there are slots remaining in any category, we will extend the callout.
  • There is no payment for your stories, so we are considering them donations.
    • Contributors will receive a digital PDF copy.
    • Print copies will be available to buy from Amazon.
    • Profits will go to charity: water
  • Please don’t include your name or personal details in the story submission, but feel free to include these in your email, thanks.
  • Please help us out by sharing the link to this page and/or posts you see on FaceBook – where charity:water is concerned, every drop counts! Thanks.
– Steve Dillon
Things in the Well series editor.