Here are the guidelines for Once Upon An Apocalypse:
Over the river and through the woods does not always lead to grandma’s house or happy endings – especially if grandma’s house is infested with zombies … or if grandma is really a Lovecraftian being in disguise. Once Upon an Apocalypse is a two volume post apocalyptic anthology laden with the undead and otherwordly mythos crossing into the realm of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and other timeless stories. Editors Rachel Kenley and Scott T. Goudsward and publisher Chaosium are currently open to submissions for these two books of mixed up retold fairy tales.
What are we looking for?
For both volumes we want stories with strong narrative lines, stronger characters and a clear blending of the theme and the fairy tales. For Volume One imagine Cinderella arriving at the ball and discovering it filled with zombies. Or how different the story would be if it were Snow White and the Seven Zombies. Give us new horrors with Alice in Zombieland, and a Prince who climbs Rapunzel’s hair to get away from and find a way to defeat – you guessed it – zombies. In Volume Two we want a strong dose of Lovecraft thrown in. What happens to the townspeople in The Boy who Cried Cthulhu? Pinocchio is going to have a much harder time getting out of the Old One than the whale; a wolf would have been preferable to Little Red Riding Hood and the Byahkee and the Little Mermaid has so much more to worry about then her legs and a missing voice when she faces a Deep One.
Once you choose a story to change it’s your call how far you will take it. Make the apocalypse clear and give some meaning as to why the dead are meandering through the streets and munching on the breathing or why the Elder God has paid the town a visit. Plague, prestilence, bio warfare, meteor shower, tail of a comet … be creative.
Because we don’t want duplicates of themes, you will be able to follow the progress of the anthologies on our blog or facebook page where we’ll keep a current list of themes/tales accepted. For example, if we get a Sleeping Beauty story and it’s awesome, that will be it for the book. Stories should be 2K – 4K in length (please query for stories under or over our limit. We will consider them if they are of exceptional merit). The only true way to have similar stories is A Snow White and the Seven Zombies in one and Snow White Star Vampire Slayer in the other.
What aren’t we looking for?
We all know these are dark fiction anthologies, but gore for the sake of gore is un-needed. This is not splatterpunk or extreme horror. Sex? If the story calls for it fine but keep it to an R rating (maybe even PG-13). We don’t want to hear about insertions and spurting fluids, unless it’s blood from a bite wound or a gun shot. Try to keep the violence towards animals at a minimum. In some mythos, zombies chew on animals and that’s fine, but we don’t want redneck zombies killing all of Bo-Peep’s sheep for a pie. Finally, though we shouldn’t have to mention it (but we will given the theme) – go easy on the child-related violence, please. And no kids and sex – that’s just skeevy.
Reading period – now through July 31, 2012 – or until filled.
Pay rates – Pays $.03 per word, no royalties and 3 free books and additional copies at 50% off cover.
Email subs to: [email protected] gmail.com
Stories should be an attachment to your cover letter email, NOT copied and pasted into the body of the email. The cover letter should include a single paragraph synopsis of the story and your publishing history. The submission should be in RTF or DOC format (no DOCX). Left aligned, 1/2” indentation for paragraphs, single spaced. Double space between scenes and use five stars (*****) for breaks in the story. Contact info should be on the first page of the story with word count.
Please do not query for your story until we’ve had it for at least 12 weeks. Publication is expected for the first half of 2013. No reprints and no simultaneous submissions. If we turn you down feel free to try again with a new story but give it a few days between submissions.
And please when submitting please be specific which book you are submitting to. We’re reading for both simultaneously. Subject line of the email should be Name, Story Name, Which book.