Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Good News Today

Not for me - for some of you.

A bunch of 'May we please hold' emails are, or have, been sent to my short listed stories for the anthology. I hope you squeal with glee if you get one as I think you've done exceptionally well to get this far.

But all is not lost for those of you not among the lucky people. You still have a couple of weeks left to submit me something wonderful and get yourself on the shortlist.

I currently still have 41 unread stories waiting for my attention so don't despair if you've not gained any sort of notification from us yet. I think I only have three stories unread that I received at the end of October so my response time is still (or should be) within acceptable limits.

Space is now becoming one of the premium parameters. For me to hold a story above 5-6000 words, it needs to be better than two of the stories which has already made the hold list, or completely different and still able to kick the arse of one I've already held over, so keep this in mind when submitting. The story itself is still the deciding factor, but you first need to blow my mind and then it needs to fit in with the other stories around it and then it needs to fit in with the space limitations I have. Yes, folks, it's getting harder, but then, that's why those in the know submit as early as possible to any anthology they target.

Next tip: I want a dark story which is beautifully told and disturbs me - I don't find journal entries disturbing. It may be just me, but to have a journal, and to be able to read the next entry, the person needs to have survived. I've seen some in the past where the author has used a journal style to build tension and conflict, but it is a rare skill. Please, unless the piece has scared the pants off your crit group, or disturbed at least one of them into going to therapy, don't send me a journal-style submission.

Next tip: I'd like to include at least one or two more dark fantasy pieces.

Next tip: I've held over some sci-fi pieces but I've seen very little with actual aliens, or in space.

Last tip: Read the guidelines before submitting.

Good Luck!

And congratulations to the lucky few.


  1. It's perverse how many classic horror stories have journal entries in them when you'd have to think the last thing on anyone's mind would be getting it all down on paper.

    Currently it's possible to actually record everything up to the final moments though and have it available to be found. Blair Witch and The Last Broadcast did it reasonably well. And of course Webcam FTW.

  2. It's in the home stretch now, and sounds like it's going to be a-- hmm, reading too much PG Wodehouse lately almost made me say it'd be a corker. Oh dear.

  3. To each their own, but I wasn't a fan of those either, Anton.

    Katey - I love that turn of phrase and others like it. I don't use them but they make you sit up and listen when you hear someone else come out with them. It's like a gunshot echoing through a valley - it cuts through the surrounding white noise and makes you notice - it's different.

    Now I want to write a character who uses them...