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Call For Submissions: HAUNTED LEGENDS [Apr. 28th, 2008|10:25 am]
[Current Mood |determinednot joking]

Below are the submission guidelines for the forthcoming anthology Haunted Legends. We are releasing them now so that submitters have all of May and June and much of July to write a new story for us. Do not submit immediately. Do not submit trunk stories.

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Haunted Legends, to be published by Tor Books, seeks to reinvigorate the genre of "true" regional ghost stories by asking some of today's leading writers to riff on traditional tales from around the world. We don't just want you to retell an old ghost story, but to renovate it so that the story is dark and unsettling all over again.

Classic tales of the Jersey Devil, the spirits of the Tower of London, ghost lights, and phantom hitchhikers continue to capture the imagination. The Haunted Legends difference is that our contributors will tell the stories in ways they've never been told before.

We pay 6 cents a word, up to 8000 words.

The open-reading period will begin on midnight, EDT of July 15, 2008 and end 11:59p.m., July 31, 2008.

All submissions must be emailed as a RTF file to Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas at hauntedlegends@gmail.com. Please send no more than one submission. Please send no correspondence, such as queries, to hauntedlegends@gmail.com either before or after the reading period – all mail sent to the address at any time other than the reading period will be automatically deleted unread.

Note that much of the anthology is full and that a large number of ghost stories, especially those with an American or UK origin, are thus already “taken” by authors who have been personally solicited for work. Your best bet for this anthology is to go far afield – we are especially interested in renovations of traditional ghost stories from Africa, Latin America, and Asia, or in other tales that may not be well-known.

We also want to emphasize that we are interested only in traditional ghost stories made new again by the ingenuity of the writer. We do not want “campfire” versions of old stories, or slavish recitations. Think of new forms, new voices, new themes, new ways of considering these classic tales. Do not send us your trunk stories. It should be as though your version was always occulted within the classic rendition, but never before perceived or acknowledged.

And now, a brief AFAQ (anticipated frequently asked questions):

May I query you with an idea for a ghost story to make sure that it has not already been taken?
No, you may not. If you believe that your idea is already taken, you may wish to research another idea. Indeed, even if the idea has not already been claimed by one of the solicited authors, you may well still face competition from a dozen other variations in the slush. Novelty is your best approach.


Well, what if I query you anyway?
I may decide to give you a misleading answer, or no answer at all.


So how about if I query Ellen Datlow instead? She’s the nice one, anyways.
You have misapprehended the situation. Let us put it this way: when was the last time Ellen Datlow had an open-reading period for any of her original anthologies? She doesn’t want your queries either.


Can I just make up a ghost story?
No. You have to find an existing one and renovate it in an utterly brilliant fashion.


How will you will be able to tell the difference?
We are obsessive experts and we are friends with even more obsessive experts.


Is this all some kind of cruel joke?
I’d call it the end result of a large number of compromises, all of which were necessary to guarantee any sort of open-reading period.


This is madness! Why does everything have to be so hard all the time? Why are we pitted against one another in these awful competitions, and for crumbs? Crumbs, I tell you, crumbs! As if we were starving rats. I hate you!
Fools! Your despair only makes me stronger!
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: lonesome_crow
2008-04-28 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like it'll be a great book.
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[User Picture]From: livia_llewellyn
2008-04-28 02:59 pm (UTC)
Fools! Your despair only makes me stronger!

I think all submission guidelines should end with this.
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[User Picture]From: markwilliams
2008-04-28 11:21 pm (UTC)
In many ways, lots of submission guidelines do... ;-)
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[User Picture]From: vylar_kaftan
2008-04-28 03:01 pm (UTC)
I wish all guidelines were this thorough (and funny).

Can I send you that one story about the hitchhiker who gets picked up by a truck driver... except the hitchhiker turns out to have been DEAD FOR YEARS??? I've got a great twist--I'll set it in Antarctica.
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[User Picture]From: imago1
2008-04-28 03:43 pm (UTC)
An ice road trucker picks up the ghost of Leonard Seppala!
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[User Picture]From: mroctober
2008-04-28 04:58 pm (UTC)
Please. There's been enough Seppala-themed spec fic stories to fill an anthology already.
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[User Picture]From: stopword
2008-04-28 03:05 pm (UTC)
I really, really want to read this collection. I'm on the edge of my seat!
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[User Picture]From: stevenagy
2008-04-28 03:08 pm (UTC)
Nice challenge. And more than enough time for the muse to strike. Thanks for the post. :-)
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[User Picture]From: jonhansen
2008-04-28 03:13 pm (UTC)
Watch that despair. Sure, it's tasty, but it goes straight to your ass.
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[User Picture]From: teighlor_darr
2008-04-28 03:23 pm (UTC)
The pay-out is actually nice, all things considered! Nice healthy word limit, too.

Congratulations, Nick!
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[User Picture]From: plattcave
2008-04-28 03:43 pm (UTC)
Best submissions FAQ ever!
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-04-29 11:07 am (UTC)
Dammit, John, you stole my line!

----Keene
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From: brennalyons
2008-05-06 02:59 pm (UTC)

Best ever call for submissions?

Nah. I still think that goes to Jeff Strand's call for LOSE AN EYE. But, it's a close second. I love working with people with a sense of humor. Makes life more interesting.
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[User Picture]From: hollowpoint
2008-04-28 04:01 pm (UTC)
So how do you feel about lusty pirate ghosts?
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[User Picture]From: oneminutemonkey
2008-04-28 05:18 pm (UTC)
I accept your challenge, good sir!
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[User Picture]From: jlapp
2008-04-28 06:21 pm (UTC)
>>Fools! Your despair only makes me stronger!

Damn. This line should be on your business card :)
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[User Picture]From: fontosaurus
2008-04-28 06:22 pm (UTC)
As a famous writer once said, "Shit, yes!"

(I'm sure some famous writer has said that.)

I've already got the germ of an idea. I better get crackin'.
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[User Picture]From: agilebrit
2008-04-28 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ooo. I'm in. Also linked on my LJ. :)
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[User Picture]From: therinth
2008-04-28 11:53 pm (UTC)
Brill! Thanks for the chance, ahead of time :D
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[User Picture]From: mallory_blog
2008-04-29 04:54 am (UTC)
Nik -

Are we guaranteed one of your stupendous personal rejections - uh err - in lieu of actually being selected and we all know hell isn't going to freeze over before July...so, are you going to do the dirty deed for all us inveterate slushers?
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-04-29 01:57 pm (UTC)
Depends on the number of subs. I may end up using form bounces.
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[User Picture]From: mallory_blog
2008-04-29 03:25 pm (UTC)
ahhhh -

we hates form rejections :sigh:

ah well, at least we get to slush you :) that is always fun...
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2008-04-29 08:07 pm (UTC)
Well until we turn around and submit the same story to Clarkesworld.

or is that a banning offense?
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[User Picture]From: mallory_blog
2008-04-29 10:04 pm (UTC)
That can't possibly be a banning offense - they are two very different markets even if he is looking at both - of course, that might be annoying :::getting crafty look:::
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[User Picture]From: mallory_blog
2008-04-29 10:04 pm (UTC)
shhhh - don't tell him :)
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[User Picture]From: rachel_swirsky
2008-04-30 06:54 am (UTC)
I feel silly, but I've read this through a few times, and I'm still a bit confused on how much variation from the original is permissable. Is there as much freedom for reconstruction afforded as, for instance, in the Datlow/Windling fairy tale anthologies?
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-04-30 01:04 pm (UTC)
Why do you live in fear!!!
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[User Picture]From: rachel_swirsky
2008-04-30 02:30 pm (UTC)
Grumblegrumblegrumble. That'll teach me to think "no queries" means "Do you want my Winchester mystery house story?"
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-04-30 02:32 pm (UTC)
I recommend luring all your professors into a single building, pennying shut the doors and then setting the place aflame.
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[User Picture]From: boonofdoom
2008-04-30 01:48 pm (UTC)
heh. them's some good guidelines.
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[User Picture]From: shaolingrrl
2008-05-02 07:02 am (UTC)
Hmmm...I think it's time to revisit Caspar....
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[User Picture]From: joeicarus.blogspot.com
2008-05-05 12:57 am (UTC)
The Jersey Devil isn't, as far as I can tell, a ghost, so can I interpret from this that the theme is not limited strictly to ghost stories, but that legendary monster stories are also acceptable?
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-02 04:17 pm (UTC)
Shoot, I am going to try at this. Since I wrote a nonfiction ghost book of the region I live in, there's a lot of great, local ghost stories and legends here.
Does it have to be a ghost story or like Jersey Devil, a legend of a local monster?
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-07 08:33 pm (UTC)

cutsy submission guidelines

I hate cute submission guidelines (see above--or another good example--McSweeney's). They seem to lull the writer into thinking that it will somehow be an easier market to get published in. Truth is about 90% of the manuscripts will be culled for the slightest of reasons, and the 10% that gets excepted will be currently established authors (Ford, Link, Chabon, et. al).
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-06-08 01:41 am (UTC)

Re: cutsy submission guidelines

Maybe slight reasons like not knowing the difference between "excepted" and "accepted."
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[User Picture]From: kest
2008-06-21 04:20 pm (UTC)

Re: cutsy submission guidelines

I dunno, they could have meant 'excepted from culling'. Except don't percentages use the singular? So it should have been 'get excepted' rather than 'gets'.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-10 12:40 pm (UTC)

apology


Yeah I realized that I typed excepted about two seconds after hitting the send button.

At any rate I apologize for my comments on the sub guidlines.

I also thank you for having open submissions.

I mentioned Ford, Link and Chabon because they are axceptional :) writers.

Thank you again.

anonymous
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[User Picture]From: kest
2008-06-21 04:16 pm (UTC)
what if one takes an existing non-ghost story and renovates it so there's a ghost in it?
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[User Picture]From: kest
2008-06-21 04:18 pm (UTC)
and yes, I'm just being obnoxious. you don't actually have to answer that.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-28 09:12 pm (UTC)

Bullet, meet teeth...

Are multiple submissions permitted?
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-06-28 11:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Bullet, meet teeth...

Nope.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-09 03:32 am (UTC)

Plagerism

I've found a nice contemporary ghost story that has already been used as the basis for a poem. Will using this as a story seed be viewed as plagiarism? Will my fresh and startling re-imagining make it a new creation? Will the fact that both my story and the other person's poem are based on an allegedly factual encounter shrive my from all sinful taint? Are you even concerned with nonsense like this?
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-11 05:56 pm (UTC)

Jersey Devil a ghost?

Since the Jersey Devil story is not an actual GHOST story, does that mean that you will consider stories about local legendary monsters, too?

Thanks!
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-13 09:13 pm (UTC)

The Haunted Legends anthology.

What is happening to this anthology?

I submitted but haven't heard nay or yea. Would like to sell the story elsewhere if it's not wanted.
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-11-13 09:20 pm (UTC)

Re: The Haunted Legends anthology.

Hello. We did clear all the submissions, and purchased four stories from the submission period. Apologies if you've not heard; sometimes our responses get eaten by spam, or email gets misrouted. Please consider your story released and good luck placing it elsewhere.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-14 09:33 am (UTC)

Re: The Haunted Legends anthology.

Thank you.
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