Submit Your Stories Sunday: urban horror

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.

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Speculative City

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

Click here to go to original call for details.

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.

Happy writing!

 

Submit Your Stories Sunday: New England Folk Horror

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 book to help inspire your story submission and finish off with a list of the best writing-related articles I came across this week.

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Would But Time Await: an Anthology of New England Folk Horror

Eligibility: original folk horror stories between 4 000 and 6 000 words

Take Note: the website (linked below) provides links to what they consider folk horror and what they do not. Read with care.

Payment: $75 USD, a print copy, and an e-copy of the final anthology

Submit by: January 31st, 2019

Click here to go to the original call for details.

Stories to Inspire Your Submission:

The editors for the anthology have made an excellent list of works they consider folk horror (you can see it in full at the link above). Instead of sending you away from that list and potentially off-track, here are a few links to short stories on their list which are available to read for free online.

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson. This might ring familiar, as it is on many high school’s English curriculum. I hope your high school didn’t ruin it for you.

The Summer People, by Shirley Jackson. As someone who lives in a popular summer tourist area, I tend to read this story from the wrong perspective, and I love it.

The Picture in the House, by H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is wordier than modern writers, so if you’ve never read his work before, be patient and let the creepy sweep you along.

Writerly links worth sharing this week:

Writer Beware posted this article writers should be reading about the latest predatory ‘services’ on the market.

Lightspeed is offering a free anthology featuring some amazing authors! Reading it is a great way to get a feel for the kind of stories they prefer before you submit.

In his latest Storyville column, Richard Thomas gives some tips on reading the ‘best of-‘ collections. My favorite bit of the article is where he mentions his stories take a few years to come to fruition. I’m not alone!