As some of you know, I've been giving hints about our next anthology. We're going to do something different this time around and we're super excited at the prospect of unique elements. As a courtesy and a 'thank you' to our Patrons, we've decided to let you all in on the secret so you can start writing early. Keep in mind that submissions will not open until January, as we need a break from editing/slush piles/events and more. I have not written out the full submission guidelines as of yet, but the bullet points below will give you an idea of the main things we want to see. The anthology will be traditional Gothic literature with a non-traditional spin.
-What is traditional gothic? Well, some excellent reading material for research would include: Anything by Edgar Allen Poe, Ann Radcliffe, or Daphne du Maurier, 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë, 'Northanger Abbey' by Jane Austen, 'The House of the Seven Gables' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc. Some more modern pieces would include Shirley Jackson's 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' or 'The Haunting of Hill House', anything by Phyllis A. Whitney or Victoria Holt. Watch things like 'Crimson Peak'.
-Follow-up to 'what is gothic'? Traditional elements we'd like to see might include: ghost stories, spiritualism, big old houses, cemeteries, dark forests, horror elements that may be solved or have a scientific explanation, psychological horrors, horror meets elegance. Stories do not need to include all of the above. Southern Gothic styles are also welcome, as long as the story still includes traditional gothic elements.
-What is the non-traditional spin? The main thing we'd like to see is non-traditional main characters. For example: A lesbian couple buys a large Victorian home and moves in to discover there is a mystery revolving around the death of the previous owner, who died in the parlor of the house. Again, doesn't need to be this angle, we're really just looking for a traditional style of gothic with characters you wouldn't normally see in the main character roles. People of color, people coming from different backgrounds or nationalities, and/or homosexual characters in the main roles are highly encouraged. It is up to you how to make them non-traditional to gothic stories. In traditional gothic tales, the main characters are usually straight, white young women or straight, white brooding men. You can still use these character elements, but special consideration will be given to characters who fall outside 'the usual' for what we see in older gothic tales/novels/etc.
-Word count must be at least 6,000 words and be under 15,000 words. That's a lot of words to work with, so use them wisely!
-Stories may be historical or contemporary. Please do your research! If you DO choose to go contemporary, there MUST be historical elements in the story, like a big old house/building/setting, or an old mystery to solve, cursed antiques, etc. If you go historical, please research for period accuracy! If you include a newspaper clipping about the War of 1812, make it have accurate information.
-Elements of romance are welcome, as this is often a theme in gothic stories. A romantic angle in the story is not required.
Things we DON'T want to see:
-Modern Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Steampunk, Splatter-porn, Erotica or any pornographic material (sex scenes are okay, as long as they add something to the story), trashy-romance, cozy mystery. (Sci-Fi leaning more toward the style of 'Frankenstein' is okay with us).
-Experimental works or character studies that do not have a clear beginning, middle or end.
-Vampires, Werewolves—okay… if you must use vampires and werewolves, they must be done with subtlety. We are not looking for Anne Rice (though we do love her work) and we are DEFINTELY NOT looking for 'Twilight'. While those styles have their place on the bookshelf, it is not what we are seeking specifically for this anthology. If you were to use supernatural creatures in your story for THIS anthology, we’d hope they lean more toward themes like ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ or perhaps a mystery that seems to imply Vampires, but the mystery is eventually solved to prove a scientific explanation.
-Portions of unfinished larger works/novels/series, etc. We want a complete story with a finite beginning, middle, and end.
If you have questions, feel free to ask them below. Once again, do not send in a submission until we have officially put the call on FunDeadPublications.com
(probably sometime in early January). We plan to close submissions around March.