Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to inspire your submission and help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.
This week we’re looking at Speculative City‘s call for urban horror stories and reading Nathan Ballingrud’s The Maw in Nightmare Magazine.
Eligibility: horror stories under 5500 words
Take Note: stories must contain a strong city setting, and this city must play a strong role to the story
Submit By: December 2nd, 2019
Payment: $20 to $75 dependant on length of story
A story to ignite your writing mojo:
This week we’re reading Nathan Ballingrud’s The Maw as published in Nightmare Magazine. You can read it online by clicking here.
Ballingrud’s story plays on several horror elements, we’ve got a familiar city neighbourhood turned sinister, dangerous, and hungry. The dead are not acting dead, not safe, not respected, rather playthings for creatures that play on the nightmare of distortion: the wagoneers are human-like but stretched grotesque, just recognizable enough to make the strangeness of their actions frightening. And into this nightmare cityscape we march, in search of a missing dog. Now here I have to swallow hard, because a missing dog is the one thing that will send a protagonist into the nightmare realm with my heart well in tow.
I won’t spoil the end, that’s for you to read. Can you pull out the elements of the city Ballingrud has woven into this story? Can you see how he has done that? Good, because now it’s your turn.