Working title: The Gallows Stone. Inspired by a lump of rock in a wall of this house. The title may change if it doesn’t fit the content but as I have little idea of what the content will be at this stage, a working title will do.
Underdog Anthology Six is now open for submissions until October 1st. I will allow a day or two leeway on that deadline but no more than that. This is the Halloween anthology and I really want it available in plenty of time. So go for October 1st as your deadline and if it’s a day over, I’ll still consider the story. Best to warn me it’s coming though.
I am looking for Halloween themed stories in any genre – I know it’s traditionally a horror setting but it doesn’t have to be – of roughly 1000 – 2000 words. The word count is not at all set in stone, you can send as big a story as you like and if it’s far too long I’ll consider publishing it separately as a novella (that’s a different arrangement involving royalties rather than the one-off payment for a short story). Since I’m paying £10 per story, I’d rather not see 100-word flash fiction unless you’re willing to negotiate a lower payment.
Halloween theme, as I said. No child abuse or child porn. Adult themes are fine as long as only adults are involved. No violent rape scenes, other violence is fine. Absolutely no antismoking propaganda. Try to stay off politics, since that sets the story in a particular time frame and it’ll soon get dated. No fanfiction – if the characters in your story are from a copyrighted series or story, I can’t accept it. Be honest, you wouldn’t like it if someone took your characters and made money from writing them into stories, now would you?
Final rule – I’m not going to publish anything I could be legitimately sued over. Authors take full responsibility for their writings and if there are death threats or court cases, they get redirected back to the author. Take the story right to the edge if you like, but not over it. These books have never yet made me a profit and I’m not going to jail for one of them.
Even so, every one of these anthologies so far has an 18+ rating due to one or more stories inside, so adult themes are okay.
Other information –
Copyright remains with the author throughout. I never buy copyright. What I’m paying for is the right to include your story in this one anthology and as soon as it’s published, that publication right is completed. I cannot and will not use your story anywhere else and I cannot and will not stop you re-using your story anywhere you like. I would like it if you’d refer to the anthology if you do republish your story but it’s not a condition. I really don’t have the time or resources to check anyway.
The flipside is that once paid for and published, you can’t ask me to take it out of the anthology. I’m not doing eternal revisions of anthologies. There are three a year and the Christmas one is next up. Once I buy the right to publish, it’s in that anthology forever.
Don’t. No fancy stuff. It’s murder getting those borders and lines out. Italics, bold, underline, sure. No problem there. But don’t split it into sections and don’t have all kinds of fonts and heading styles because I’m going to change them all. The book will be Times New Roman, pitch 11, and I will format headings so they are consistent throughout.
Don’t send a PDF. I can’t do anything with it. Microsoft Word or OpenOffice are preferred but if you have a different word processor I might still be able to open it. If all else fails, send it as RTF with instructions if you need anything special.
Try to keep paragraphs short. It’s not too important in the print version but people read eBooks on their phones and long paragraphs become screen after screen of solid text. It puts people off.
Author page –
Every author has a page, about 250 words or so, to give any information they want about themselves. It doesn’t have to be the whole truth. If you have published before you can list those on your page and even include links. In the eBook those links will be ‘live’. If you want a photo in there (nobody ever has, yet) I can do that – I need it at least 300 DPI or big enough that I can increase the DPI and shrink it. It will be monochrome, if you send colour I can convert it.
Submissions should be sent to legironbooks [at] gmail . com
I think that covers everything. If you have any questions, either drop me an email or ask in the comments below. If you want a taste of what kind of story shows up in these anthologies, you can ‘click to look inside’ the previous ones…
Crank up those writing fingers, pour a glass of your favourite imagination lubricant and see what Hallowen inspires in you.