Crystal Lake Publishing

Call for Submissions for Two New Anthologies from Crystal Lake Publishing

My friend and former myWritersCircle moderator Joe Mynhardt is inviting stories for two new anthologies to be produced by his horror fiction publishing house, Crystal Lake Publishing.

The first of these is the annual Tales From The Lake anthology, which this year is being edited by Ben Eads. Details from the website are copied below:


What we are looking for:

  • Non-themed short horror stories that arrests readers and leave them haunted for months to come. Stories must be original. We are not accepting reprints.

Since horror is the only genre of fiction defined by an emotion, your story must have the following:

  • Believable, three-dimensional characters just as real as your friends and neighbors. A real world—hitting all the senses—these characters inhabit.
  • Originality is just as important—we don’t want your version of someone else’s story from yesteryear.
  • Although our arms are wide open, we’re more interested in fiction that reflects the modern. Joe Hill, and Mercedes M. Yardley are prime examples of current dark fiction writers encapsulating the above in their work.
  • Quality of the work must be top notch! The following authors have appeared in previous Tales from The Lake anthologies: Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Rena Mason, Graham Masterton, Lisa Morton, Tim Lebbon, and Tim Waggoner. That’s the high-water mark you must strive for.
  • If you want to write a story about vampires, werewolves or ghosts, then your story needs to evolve that trope. You must have a unique premise. I cannot stress that enough.
  • If you wish to submit an “extreme horror” or “splatterpunk” story, that’s fine with us. However, you’ll have to make sure that your emotional foundations are solid, and your characters actually have an arch. We will not accept stories that just go for the gore and offer nothing more.

What we are not looking for:

  • Stories that are not short horror stories.
  • Novels or novellas.
  • Stories bereft of characters that readers can believe in and root for. The only exception to this rule would be the “terror tale,” which is best kept as short as possible. Think a thousand words or less.
  • Stories with flat worlds.
  • Trunk stories.
  • Stories about serial killers. It’s too cliché, and our readers demand more than a trend that has been beaten to death.
  • Speaking of trends, if you wish to write a “zombie story,” then it must be one of the most unique zombie stories ever written. This is possible, and we look forward to it.
  • To avoid too many writers writing about lakes, please keep in mind this is a non-themed anthology.
  • Any explicit abuse toward children or animals is expressly forbidden. So is any sexual abuse. This can be mentioned or remembered by your main character, but be subtle.

Source: Submission Guidelines

Submissions are open now, and end February 1, 2017. Stories should be no longer than 7,000 words. However, they say they prefer stories that are at or around 4,000 words. Payment is $0.03 USD a word via PayPal. For information on formatting and how to submit, please visit the Crystal Lake publishing website.

The other anthology is the C.H.U.D Tribute Anthology, edited by Eric S. Brown. This opens for submissions on 1 December 2016. On the website, the editor writes:

I want the language toned down or cut out entirely. No taking the Lord’s name in vain (sorry, this is a big one for me.  It’s a personal thing, but since I am the editor…)

If you have sex in your stories, keep it off-screen or mild. Gore and violence? Well, go wild, but remember the strengths of C.H.U.D. as a film are its character development and suspense.

Stories may be set before the movie, leading up to it, but they cannot do anything that would change or alter the events of the movie. Stories may even be set after the movie. Think C.H.U.D. running loose in the streets.

As mentioned, submissions open December 1 and close January 31 2017. Story length should be between 3,000 and 10,000 words. Payment is 3 cents (US) a word paid within a week of publication via PayPal. Only one submission is allowed per author, even after a rejection has been sent out.

Again, for more information and details of how to submit, please visit the Crystal Lake publishing website.

Good luck if you decide to submit a story for either of these anthologies. Do let me know if you are successful!

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Ride the Star Wind: Call for Submissions

Here’s a nice (paying) opportunity for all you science fiction, fantasy and horror authors!

Broken Eye Books, a Seattle-based independent publishing house, is inviting contributions for a themed anthology series of weird horror set in or inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. This will be a follow-up to their original Tomorrow’s Cthulhu anthology (pictured above).

The next release is Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera, and the Cosmic Weird, presenting tales that combine space opera with cosmic weird horror, either set within the Cthulhu Mythos or inspired by it. On their website they say:

Send us into space, away from earth, and bring the weird! Give us adventure and wonder, spaceships and monsters, tentacles and insanity, determined struggle and starborne terror. Whether sprawling in scope or tightly focused and personal, make sure to give us a taste of the greater universe of your story, such as the culture and politics. Make us long to know more of your universe. 

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for weird horror. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.) 

  • We want stories that mesh space opera with cosmic weird horror
  • For the elements of space opera, modern touchstones include James SA Corey (Expanse series), Ann Leckie (Imperial Radch series), Iain Banks (Culture series), Nnedi Okorafor (Binti), David Brin (Uplift trilogy), and Becky Chambers (Wayfarers series). For mixing elements of space opera and cosmic weird horror, the short story “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette is a great touchstone. The technology level for submissions can fall anywhere in the soft- to hard-science range.
  • Stories should also be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted, unbalanced views on race and gender.
  • Subversive or experimental stories are welcome. 
  • No pastiches of previous eras for either the space opera elements or the weird horror elements. 
  • Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
  • Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
  • Only one submission per author.
  • We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.


For more details, including how to submit, click through to the Broken Eye Books website. The submission window is open from October 31, 2016 to January 31, 2017. They say, “The published  anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit.”

Good luck!

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Steemit: A New Social Blogging Website It Pays to Join!

I wanted to give you a heads-up today about a new social blogging website named Steemit. It only launched quite recently, and they are currently paying new users a fee (valued at around $7) just for signing up.

I am still getting my head around Steemit and how best to make use of it, but essentially it is based around the Steem cryptocurrency. You can earn Steem on the site by blogging and (just as important) commenting on other people’s blogs and voting up the best new posts. The currency you earn can be converted to Bitcoin or hard currencies such as pounds and dollars. Some people have already earned thousands of dollars via the site.

I have only just joined Steemit and am still finding my way around. One resource I have found very helpful, however, is a guide called Steem Cash, by online entrepreneur Michael X. This is currently available at an introductory price of $9. Without it, bearing in mind the complex rules about how you earn on the site, I would undoubtedly have been floundering.

Michael claims to have made $5324.74 his first week of posting content, just by “dabbling” to see if he wanted to get involved. I have no way of knowing if that is true or not, but from the screen captures (such as the one below) it certainly seems feasible.




As for me, I have literally only joined today, so I can confirm that I found $7 worth of “Steem Power” in my account just for signing up. I still don’t really know what the long-term potential of Steemit is, but it certainly appears to be something any entrepreneurial writer needs to check out. There is nothing to pay (unless you want to, in order to boost your influence on the site), so you aren’t really risking anything except your time.

I will post again about Steemit once I have a bit more experience with the platform. Until then, as mentioned above, I do recommend the inexpensive Steem Cash guide for getting up to speed with it quickly.

As always, if you have any comments or questions about Steemit or Steem Cash, please feel free to post them below.

iconOrder Steem Cash Here!

UPDATE: I just uploaded my introductory post at If you have joined Steemit yourself, any upvotes will be much appreciated. Because of the way the site works, you could make yourself some money as well by doing so!



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Crystal Lake Publishing

Short Stories Based on Urban Legends Wanted

My friend and former myWritersCircle moderator Joe Mynhardt is inviting stories for a new anthology to be produced by his horror fiction publishing house, Crystal Lake Publishing.

The stories should be in the style of “urban legends”. Details from the website are copied below.


Submissions Open: December 1, 2015

Submissions Close: February 29, 2016

Payment: $20

Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words (exceptional stories can have fewer, or more, words than our suggested guidelines)


We’re looking for crisp, out-of-the-box, modern, and unique urban legends that’ll be told around campfires for the next century. Give us your ghosts, faeries, cryptids, killers, and creepy kids, but tread carefully around the trap of retelling an urban legend that’s already been told. Tales from the Lake: Volume 3 is not horror-specific whatsoever, but steer clear of romance and cutesy stories. Give us a new generation of beautifully crafted urban legends that’s diverse and meaningful; something we’ve never seen before, set in places we’ve only ever dreamt of going.


It’s simple, really: Don’t give us vampires and werewolves unless you’re Anne Rice, and don’t give us zombies unless you’re Jonathan Maberry. We’re not easily offended, but the unnecessary use of graphic violence and explicit sexual encounters should be avoided unless it’s crucial to the plot. That said, the slightest hint of animal cruelty gets you an automatic rejection letter, and no exceptions will be made in this regard. Profanity is okay, just don’t overdo it.Other than that; show us what you’re made of.

Source: Submission Guidelines

For more information, including how to submit your work, visit the Crystal Lake publishing website.

Good luck if you decide to submit a story for this anthology. Do let me know if you are successful!

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Opportunities for Writers from Chicken Soup for the Soul

If you enjoy writing short, inspirational articles, you may find a market with the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book publishers. They have lots of calls for submissions at the moment (and indeed most times).

In all cases, payment is a flat fee of $200 for a true story of 1200 words or less. You also get ten copies of the book in which your contribution is published.

And they say that, “You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family, you will receive our exclusive contributors’ communiqué and you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount.”

Here are some projects Chicken Soup for the Soul are currently seeking contributions for. For more information, click through to the forthcoming projects page (from which the items below are copied). You can also read the writers’ guidelines by clicking here.

Alzheimer’s and Dementias Family Caregiving

We are making another book for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Our first book came out in April 2014 and it was so well received that we decided to make another for 2016. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia on an ongoing basis can be extremely difficult and stressful, but rewarding as well. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, please share your best advice, encouragement, funny stories, comforting stories, and support with other people like you. We know from our last book how much these stories help! Family caregivers can feel so alone—we know your stories will help. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2015.

Blended Families

Are you part of a blended family, enjoying stepchildren, stepsiblings, etc.? Blending two families after a second marriage can be a real joy… and sometimes a challenge too. Tell us about your own blended families. How did you make it work? What advice do you have for other families? We are looking for true stories about all aspects of blending families—stories that will make us laugh and cry, nod our heads in recognition, and give us great advice. Tell us about your kids if you’re a parent, your parents if you’re a kid, your pets, whatever you think would enlighten and entertain someone else in the same situation. The deadline for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2016.

Dreams and Synchronicities

Sometimes magic happens in your life. You have a dream that reveals a truth or a course of action to you. You have a premonition that changes your behavior and saves you or a loved one from disaster. You meet someone at just the right time and you can’t believe the coincidence. We’re collecting stories for a second book on this topic, following our bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions. Share your stories about the amazing things that have happened in your own life. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is March 31, 2016.

Military Families

We are so proud of the men and women in the military and want to do everything we can to support them. We are looking for true stories from soldiers who defend and protect our country — both active and retired — and from their families who make sacrifices when their loved ones are far away. Those families move with them, anxiously wait for them, raise kids and grow up with a parent or child away. They are an important part of the success of our heroes. We know our readers will be overcome with emotion as they read these stories that will acknowledge, entertain and inspire. They will leave you with admiration and gratitude for our nation’s best and brightest.

Good luck, and if you have a story published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, do let me know!

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Open Call for SFF and Horror Submissions from Hodderscape

Here’s a great opportunity for any of you who write in the speculative fiction genre…

Hodder & Stoughton (UK) are currently inviting submissions from unagented authors anywhere in the world for Hodderscape, their science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint. Here is an extract from the call for submissions on the Hodderscape website

What we’re looking for:

We publish a wonderful, exciting, diverse list of SFF here at Hodder – and we’re always on the lookout for new talent.

Specifically, we are looking for novels (50,000 words or more) that contain some element of the speculative or fantastic. Simply put, we’re looking for awesome science fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

This open submissions period is a chance for unagented authors to get their manuscripts in front of us.

If you have an agent, please do not submit to us during this open submissions period. Ask your agent to send us your manuscript via the usual channels.

How to submit:

The submissions period will open at 12 am GMT on 3 August, 2015, and will close on 16 August, 2015, at 11.59 pm, GMT.

We will NOT read anything submitted outside this period.

During the submissions period, please send your submission with the subject line ‘submission – TITLE – your name’to For example: submission – A THANE OF GROANS – Anne Perry

Please include only the following attachments:

– The first 3 chapters or the first 15,000 words of your novel, whichever you prefer. Make sure your pages are numbered.

– A single cover page with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • The title of your novel
  • The word-count

– A synopsis of your novel. This must be no more than two pages long.

PLEASE NOTE that you may attach the cover page, synopsis and first three chapters as a single document or three separate documents.

Do not send us your entire novel.

If we would like to read the rest we will contact you to call it in.

Source: Open Submissions: The Guidelines! | Hodderscape

Please click through the link above for further details.

This is a rare opportunity for unagented authors potentially to get their work published by one of the UK’s leading SFF publishers. And as long as you can submit the information requested above, you don’t even have to have finished your novel.

Good luck!

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Entries Open for the World’s Richest Short Story Prize!

Here’s a writing competition with a prize worth winning!

The Sunday Times Short Story Award 2016, with a £30,000 (US$46,500) first prize, is now open for entries.

The contest is open world-wide, though you do have to have had work published professionally in the UK or Ireland. More information from the Aerogramme Writers’ Studio website is copied below…

Writers from around the world are invited to enter the 2016 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. The winner will receive £30,000 (US$46,500), making this the most valuable prize for a single short story in the world.

The prize is for stories up to 6000 words in length and there is no entry fee. Stories can be either unpublished or published. If published, the work must have first appeared after 1 January 2015.

Writers can enter regardless of their nationality or residency but they must have an existing record of publication in creative writing in the UK and Ireland. In 2015 the award went to Chinese-American author Yiyun Li. Other past winners include Junot Diaz, Adam Johnson and CK Stead.

Entries for the 2016 award close at 6pm GMT on Thursday 24 September 2015. A longlist of twenty entries will be published in February 2016 and the winner will be announced in April.

Source: The Sunday Times Short Story Award 2016: Entries Now Open for the World’s Richest Short Story Prize

Full terms and conditions for the prize can be found on this page (PDF) and you can access the entry form via the Booktrust website. Yiyun Li’s winning story along with the other five works shortlisted for the 2015 prize are available here.

Good luck if you enter this contest. Even being longlisted would be a considerable feather in any writer’s cap. And if you win the top prize, remember who told you about it!

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Call for Submissions: Romantic and Erotic Fiction

Here’s a new call for submissions of romantic and erotic fiction in various genres.

Call for Submissions

Steam Romance, a publisher of romantic and erotic fiction is looking for writers! New to this genre, but not publishing, Steam is fresh and ready to take on select stories that are just as fresh…and sexy!

We are looking for:

Short stories that are between 15k-40k words. Novels that are between 50k-100k words.

We are accepting stories in almost all genres, but will give priority to stories of the following romantic fiction or erotica categories:

  • Contemporary, especially stories with a modern, strong lead female character
  • Steampunk
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Paranormal Fantasy
  • Dystopian
  • For Men

We define romance as: love stories with strong writing, developed characters, and a solid plot. Stories should have happy endings and should depict love scenes in detail. We define erotica as: arousing stories with explicit sex scenes; generally happy stories, though not necessary to have a neat and tidy happy ending.

Source: Call for Submissions

Steam Romance is a paying market. They pay royalties on a monthly basis. The exact rate isn’t specified, although on their Write for Steam page they say, “Because we are a small publishing house, we don’t have the costs associated with running a large business. These savings get passed on to authors through higher royalty payments. Try us and compare, you’ll see we offer nearly twice what a larger publishing house will pay.”

For more information, including how to submit, click through to their Call for Submissions page. Good luck, and if you have a story accepted by them, do let me know!

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Short Stories with Strong Female Protagonists Wanted by Metasagas Press

Those of you who write fantasy or science fiction might be interested in this opportunity from Metasagas Press. For their new anthology Futuristica (Volume 1) they want stories of 3,000 to 10,000 words, and are paying a decent 6c a word. More information from their website can be found below…

Submissions Guidelines & Payment Information

We pay 6 cents per word against a pro rata share of royalties. We buy first rights and exclusive eBook rights for 6 months after the date of publication. We do not purchase reprints. We accept simultaneous submissions. Manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format. Manuscripts should be between 3,000 and 10,000 words. No prior publishing experience is required.

Story Criteria

Story content must be original. We do not accept fan fiction or derivative works. We prize diversity, specifically stories that include multicultural backgrounds or lead characters of atypical ethnic origins. Basically, while we have nothing against heterosexual white American males, we feel they are already adequately represented in science fiction and we want stories about the rest of humanity. We are interested in character-oriented fiction.

Women Positive

Not every princess needs saving. We want stories with awesome female protagonists. Zoë Washburn? YES! Princess Leia? Definitely! That blonde girl from The Temple of Doom? No! Bella? Hahahaha. No.

Sex Positive

If it isn’t consensual, it isn’t sex. Can the story contain sexual content? Absolutely! However, the sexual content should be integral to the story, but not the whole story. Does there have to be sex in the story? Nope. No demeaning sex acts. No rape. Period.

Science Positive

Stories should explore science fiction, scientific fantasy, space opera, emerging technologies, etc… We have a preference for near future, near Earth settings. No high fantasy, please. No dragons or dinosaurs, unless they also have lasers.

Source: SUBMISSIONS | Metasagas Press

Stories can be submitted via the form on the website. The last date to submit stories for consideration is 31 August 2015.

Good luck!

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Call for submissions: TALES. Fae Visions of the Mediterranean

Here’s an opportunity if you’re a fiction writer with (like me) a love of the Mediterranean. Stories of up to 5000 words are invited for this anthology, along with poems and micro-fiction. Payment is a relatively modest 10 euro plus royalties. More details (taken from the website) are copied below…

Call for submissions: TALES. Fae Visions of the Mediterranean

Quivering mirages, ghost ships, glossy scales slipping away beneath the waves; we are seeking progressive and inclusive short stories about wonders, terrors, omens, sea-monsters, apparitions and other folk creatures and horrors from throughout the Mediterranean region. You might find inspiration in medieval bestiaries and the margins of maps and manuscripts; stories whispered by pirates in the long nights at sail; horrible and marvellous visions shaken travellers barely dare to recall; names of creatures known by everyone in the streets around the harbour; particularly troubled nightmares you had or someone shared with you.

This anthology, subtitled Fae Visions of the Mediterranean, could be seen as a postcolonial, Borgesian travelogue by a many-gendered, multiracial, polyglot and polymath sailor (i.e. stories may feature any nature of protagonist[s]) recounting their fantastic adventures on naval journeys between Taranto, via Algiers, Latakia and Eluària, to Split (your TALES need not take place at any of these sites).

The more fantastic, abyssal, weird, wonderful, paradoxical, unsettling and tempestuous stories the better. Horrors and beasts in the stories may be based on Mediterranean folklore, or may be invented for the purpose (and any position in between), but a connection to one of the Mediterranean countries, languages or cultures is a must, as we expect the reader to follow the route with their finger on an antique atlas. The stories should taste like salt and wonder.

The rules: We are looking for uncanny stories up to 5 000 words, fiendish illustrations/comics up to 12 pages, and briny poems up to 40 lines. We’re also interested in micro-stories up to 500 words written in all languages of the Mediterranean (i.e. other than English). Please send a cover letter in English, Italian, French, Arabic or Spanish (so we can read it!) alongside any such stories. Stories may be horror/fantasy, magical realist, surreal, absurdist, pirate stories, ghost stories, folk tales or fairy tales, but they must all be set on the Mediterranean Sea or in a country with a Mediterranean coastline. Stories are free-standing and individual, not shared-world or otherwise constrained to a joint narrative or structure. We welcome ghoulish fiction by authors from the Mediterranean region, particularly including North Africa and the Near East, as well as other under-represented groups (such as women, queer/trans/nonbinary, non-anglophones, people of color, people with disabilities, etc.).

Submissions should be sent as a .doc, .docx or .rtf attachment to by Monday June 30, 2015. Reprints and multiple submissions are welcome, but please do not submit stories that are simultaneously under consideration elsewhere. We shall attempt to get back to you with a decision about your story as quickly as possible. We are NOT interested in fan-fiction. We shall pay €10 plus royalties for first world print (or reprint) and e-book publication rights for stories, comics and poems. Micro-stories will be paid €5 plus royalties.

* The anthology will be edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad, and published in print and e-book by Publishing in late 2015.

* Note that unless this anthology sells unusually well, this is likely to remain a relatively token pay rate, so you need to decide whether you want to sell first print rights for such a low rate; you will only be able to sell a story again as a reprint after it has appeared in this anthology.

Source: News + opinion from The Future Fire: Call for submissions: TALES. Fae Visions of the Mediterranean

I hope at least some of you will find this opportunity of interest. Quick confession: I have published it here partly to test out the new Press This tool in WordPress 🙂

Photo of sun setting over the Mediterranean is by yours truly. It was taken on holiday in Anaxos, Lesvos. No filters were used – it really did look like that!

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