Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weird Menace Anthology Now Open for Submissions

I'm going ahead with that Weird Menace anthology idea I mentioned on the blog a couple of days ago. If you're interested in possibly writing a story for it, here are the submission guidelines.

I'm looking for the sort of stories that would have been submitted to pulp magazines such as DIME MYSTERY, TERROR TALES, and SPICY MYSTERY during the heyday of the Weird Menace pulps in the 1930s. If you're a fan of those pulps, you know what I'm talking about: Old dark houses. Sinister scientists. Grotesque henchmen. Death cults. Beautiful women who run screaming into the night. Stalwart heroes who are, at times, not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they manage to emerge triumphant in the end anyway (sometimes due as much to luck as anything else). Supernatural-seeming threats should wind up having logical (if far-fetched at times) explanations, although a hint of the unexplained in the story's resolution is fine, too. Stories need to have plenty of action and a headlong pace to go with a strong sense of menace and dread. The best way to get in the mood to write stories like this is to read some of them. A number of anthologies reprinting actual Weird Menace stories are available from Altus Press, Ramble House, and Black Dog Books, and there are stories on-line at www.pulpgen.com that can be downloaded and read for free.

Stories should be between 7500 and 10,000 words, although if they go a little longer than that it shouldn't be a problem. I'd like for them to be set during the 1930s, but don't go overboard with period detail, just enough to capture the feeling of that era. The boundaries on language, violence, and sex are a little looser than those of the pulp editors, but nothing too graphic. Obviously, yarns like this can be a little tongue-in-cheek and over the top—I'm sure most of the pulp authors felt that way about them—but play it straight for the most part. No smirking.

Stories should be emailed to me and attached as Word files. Doc format is preferred, but .docx is acceptable. Any normal font is fine, just don't include headers or footers. Deadline is May 1, because I'd like to get the book out during the summer. I expect to use eight stories, and if I get more good ones than that I'll just do another anthology a little later on. Questions about anything I didn't cover, email me. Thanks!


Charles Gramlich said...


Peter Brandvold said...

Holy moly, I,m channeling Hugh cave right now! I,m gonna give one a shot!

Nik Morton said...

Great news! I'll post this on my blog. :)

Graham Powell said...

Any deadline on this?

James Reasoner said...

May 1 is the deadline, but there's a little leeway built into that.