Tales from The Lake: Volume 4 Submission Guidelines
By Editor Ben Eads
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.
Submissions open November 1st, 2016, and end February 1st, 2017. Please email your submission to: Lake4subs@gmail.com. Be sure to place the word SUBMISSION in the subject line of the email. We will accept simultaneous submissions. We will NOT accept multiple submissions.
Manuscripts should be attached to the email, and be formatted in standard manuscript format. Any stories NOT adhering to the standard manuscript format will be rejected. Here is a great link to standard manuscript format: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html We will accept only two file formats: .DOC—Microsoft Word—and .RTF. You should also include a short bio.
Stories should be no longer than 7,000 words. However, we prefer stories that are at or around 4,000 words. Payment is $0.03 USD a word via PayPal.