The following market report on the anthology, Apocalypse Hope, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.

The Market

Anthology: Apocalypse Hope
Editor: Tehani Wessely
Pay Rate: AUD $50.00 per story plus ebook royalties
Response Time: Up to six weeks
Reading Period: ends September 30, 2011
Description (from the editor): The world is ending: climate change, natural disaster, war and disease threaten to destroy all we know. Predictions of the future are bleak. But does the apocalypse really mean the end of the world? Is there no hope for a future that follows?
Complete Guidelines: Writer’s Guidelines

Note: Horror author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.

The Scoop

1. What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
My favourite authors include Lois McMaster Bujold, Terry Pratchett, Holly Black, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Dirk Flinthart, Robin McKinley, JD Robb, Anne McCaffrey, Leigh/David Eddings, Dean Koontz and so many more it’s impossible to list them. If you know any of these writers, you’ll know that they are diverse in genre and storytelling styles, which probably tells you that my tastes are fairly diverse. A couple of things they all have in common: they write great characters, they tell engaging stories, and they write WELL. Many of them are also known for not shying away from a difficult subject but dealing with it sensitively and cleverly.

2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
It’s a speculative fiction anthology, and that’s very broad in many ways, as you can tell a fantastic crime story, or a hilarious comedy, or an action adventure mystery, or a romance into a speculative story. Obviously in this case, I’m looking for stories that address both the issue of the end of the/a world as it’s known in conjunction with the hope for a future to come.

3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Any of the above!

4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
It’s really important to engage me from the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be action to do that. The biggest problem with stories is when nothing happens for a huge part of the story, then it’s resolved in a page.

5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
I’m not interested in stereotypes. By all means, make your hero a strong independent woman, but make sure she ACTS like one, and give her a real voice. Remember that the very best of characters have stories and backstories – you should know what they are for each of your people, even if we as the readers only find out a fraction of it – it makes them more real.

6. Is there a specific tone you’d like to set in your publication? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?
I think this particular anthology lends itself to a more somber tone, but that doesn’t mean humour can’t be used – it just has to work with the story.

7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
I’m not interested in stories that could be considered pedophilic in any way, and I have a fairly sharp register for what that means (ie: if your character is under 16, he or she won’t be having sex with adults – I don’t care about the reason – and probably not with anyone else either). Don’t bother sending erotica – sex is fine if it’s essential to the story, but if the only reason for the story is to write the sex, I’m not interested. I don’t really have any problem with over violence and language as long as it is integral to the story being told.

8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
Anything that suits the theme!

9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
I think some glimmer of hope is needed to fit the theme, but you never know!

10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
The theme is “Apocalypse Hope” – a story all about the end of the/a world that has a one-paragraph message of hope tacked on will not work! Hope has to be realistic!

And the apocalypse itself doesn’t have to be happening in the story – it could be long past. And it’s not even necessarily an apocalypse on our own Earth – fantasy worlds have apocalypses too!

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