Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 Bloody Parchment submission guidelines

As the editor of the SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition, I am pleased to announce that I’ve opened submissions for the 2013 short story competition. For those of you who’re curious to find out more about our previous finalists and winners, do consider picking up copies of our existing anthologies:

Volume 1 (free download) 

Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things and Other Stories 

Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories 

The aim of the Bloody Parchment short story competition is to help develop talented, fresh voices in the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres, by offering a platform and signal boost for finalists. Every year we assemble a kick-ass panel of judges who are all movers and shakers in the publishing industry, with such notables as Sarah Lotz, Joe Vaz, Cat Hellisen and others who have helped in the selection process in the past. While we’re yet to announce which publisher will be picking up where eKhaya left off, there is a fantastic first prize up for grabs for the winner: a comprehensive round of edits and manuscript assessment. The two runners-up are each awarded a round of comprehensive edits and assessment of a short story or novella-length work. The winner, runners-up and finalists then have the option to be included in the short story anthology to be released mid-2014 by Dark Continents. Authors whose stories are included in the anthology will receive US$20 flat rate payment plus one paperback contributor copy.

What are we looking for? 
Bloody Parchment is looking for short stories of up to 3 500 words in the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres. Yes, this includes flash fiction. Yes, you may enter multiple stories. Yes, we like flash fiction too. GLBT authors of genre fiction are welcome. Stories set in locations other than the US or Europe would tickle us pink. We love diversity. We want to know what moves you, what mysteries fascinate you, what frightens you… So long as your story clearly falls within the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres, you’re good. We want to be unsettled

What we DO NOT WANT.
Fan fiction with the serial numbers filed off: When the Saw movies were popular, my inbox was flooded with torture porn; last year it was various permutations of popular zombiepocalypses. Mercifully vampires seem to have gone into remission. Please folks, I know you’re excited by whatever’s currently trending on your Twitter feeds, but if you absolutely MUST play with the tropes, DO put a fresh spin on your offering that will be amazeballs. We want you to dig deep and find something that is truly your own. Gratuitous violence or content that is clearly aimed to deliberately shock for the sake of wiggling your jollies will be rejected out of hand.

In addition, stories that do not follow the brief will be rejected too, so no, we do not want your Christian inspirational fiction, 30 000-word novellas, chick lit or poems. (Every time an author doesn’t follow the submission guidelines, a small gremlin curls up and dies.)

Right, now that we have that out of the way, this is how you enter: mail your short story saved as a .doc file (not exceeding 3 500 words) to before October 31, 2013. Remember to put “BLOODY PARCHMENT 2013” in the subject line. Good luck! And if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a mail. I don’t bite…much.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bloody Parchment buy links

Well, gang, there's a whole range of wonderful buy links to choose from for this year's Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories. You can go feed your Kindle here. Or if you're South African, you might prefer Kalahari. And, for those of you who're using Kobo, you can splash out here. Lekker, hey? (As we say here in South Africa).

And, never fear, we'll let you know when submissions for the next short story competition open (soon). Start thinking up some dark, dreary and mysterious tales in the meanwhile.