The following market report on the anthology, Bride of the Golem, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.
Editor: Gus Ginsburg
Pay Rate: $500
Response Time: 2 weeks to one month
Reading Period: Until at least March 1. If the anthology remains unfilled at that point, I will extend deadline to May 1. I am looking for 10-12 publishable stories by new and upcoming authors, and I will see that you are paid $500 for your story, though it may take some time for you to receive your payment as I have to get an agent and publisher on board with this project. I will also solicit 2-4 stories by better-known authors in order to make this volume a bestseller at Jewish book fairs.
Description: A collection of humorous Jewish horror stories.
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.
1. What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
For this anthology, authors who have written stories similar to what I am hoping to include are Shalom Auslander, Etgar Keret, Shulamit Hareven, Nathan Englander, S.Y. Agnon. Of special interest are humorous stories in which the protagonist’s ethics or religious scruples are a hindrance to effective action, or result in humorous consequences.
2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
I am open to writings which toy with the norms of genre writing, as long as the story is darkly amusing. I am especially fond of classic B-horror films and bad 1950s horror sci-fi. Surrealism and magical realism are welcome, as are works written in detective story style.
3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
I am open to most settings. It would be challenging to make a fantasy-genre story Jewish and darkly funny, but if someone submits such a story I would be happy to read it. I’m not opposed to futuristic tales of Jews in space with robots who season their monotone speech with Yiddish terms or Israeli mannerisms. I’d love to see stories set in medieval Spain, Provence or N. Africa. Also welcome: funny Jewish ghost, zombie, vampire and werewolf tales.
4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
The pace of the action and plot is not as important as the humorous narrative voice. It should be slightly scary, but mostly funny, and the humor should start early on. A story with deep character development can be up to 10,000 words, but Etgar Keret has shown that you can deliver a poignant story in 500 words or less.
5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Neurotic and normal characters are welcome. They can range from Ultra-Orthodox to Reform or secular Jews of any nationality. Converts will also not be turned away. The characters from Nathan Englander’s short stories are good models.
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 would like the collection to offer a range of voices in third and first person narration … the narrative voice can be clever, neurotic, untrustworthy, as long as the overall effect is one of dark humor.
7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
I would prefer to avoid incest, rape and Nazis, as well as stories with a racist or sexist or homophobic bent. Also I’d rather not see stories with a political axe to grind on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If there is vulgarity, violence and sexuality, it should not be gratuitous but integral to the plot and character development.
8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
The intersection of humor, horror and halakhah.
9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
My favorite are absurd endings. I also like open/unresolved endings. Humorous endings are welcome.
10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
The story should feel at least somewhat Jewish. Don’t take a story you’ve already written and merely change the main character’s name to Goldberg or throw in a quote from the Talmud before your story begins. This won’t be enough.