GET THOSE MANUSCRIPTS READY AND MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE NEXT BLOODSHOT BOOKS OPEN CALL!!
What are we looking for? Original unpublished horror novels (or long novellas) for our 2020/2021 schedule. I am looking for 8-10 novels, but I’m only going to choose 2-3 novellas, so the bar will be very high for that format
SUBMISSION PERIOD: October 31st – December 31st, 2019. If needed, I will extend the deadline, but don’t expect it.
If you try to cut the line and send it early, I will return it and probably remember you as “that annoying person who can’t follow guidelines”
Whether you are a first-time author, or you have published dozens of novels already, we are interested in your original manuscripts.
DO NOT ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS WITHOUT READING THIS ENTIRE OPEN CALL FIRST. MULTIPLE TIMES, IF NECESSARY. IF YOU ASK ME ANYTHING THAT IS INCLUDED ALREADY, I WILL SIMPLY DIRECT YOU BACK TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.
If your novel/novella is not finished, DO NOT submit it.
Length: 25K to 125K (with the sweet spot around 80K-90K). Please query for longer. I do have a soft spot for the fat horror books from the 80s (Think King’s IT or McCammon’s SWAN SONG), so it’s not a hard upper limit. Nothing shorter will be considered, though.
Manuscripts in the following subgenres will be favored, but we are willing consider other subjects:
• Creature horror (cryptids/multicultural myths especially interest us)
• Weird west/other historical horror
• Coming of Age Horror
• SciFi Horror
• Supernatural horror
• Apocalyptic TEOTWAWKI scenarios
• I will consider YA, but it will have to blow me away for me to choose it.
This open call is NOT for reprints. Until I decide otherwise, reprints will only be from solicited authors.
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following subject line:
“NOVEL SUBMISSION – (Title of your novel)”
• A very short cover letter introducing yourself in the body of the email. No more than a paragraph or two.
• The synopsis and word count of the novel
o By synopsis, I mean 100-200 words. I don’t want the entire plot. Present it as if I’m a customer reading the back copy of your novel.
• The first 3 chapters or ~5,000 words (whichever is greater) attached as a .DOC, .DOCX or .RTF file
• Simultaneous submissions are completely fine as long as you make me and the other presses aware of it.
• Gore is fine as long as is serves the plot.
• We do NOT accept:
o Gratuitous sex. I’m not a prude, but I don’t particularly enjoy it with my horror. Sex scenes are fine, but I personally think they belong more in what the industry calls “paranormal romance” or “dark fantasy”, genres which, frankly, annoy the hell out of me whenever somebody conflates them with Horror. Those genres are NOT horror in any shape or form. (Last open call someone submitted a story that began with 10 pages of a demon lesbian orgy. I’m sorry, but I’m not in the business of publishing people’s personal kinks)
o Multiple Submissions. Send me your best work.
o Any sort of fan fiction. Feel free to publish that on your blog.
Please make sure your manuscript is already edited for grammar and formatted correctly. If it is not in the correct format, I will return it to you and ask you to resend it once it has been corrected.
Don’t know the standard formatting guidelines? Bookmark this link and use it as your bible: http://www.marlyspearson.com/formatting_101.htm
PLEASE FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER
We are NOT looking for:
• Zombie novels. Sorry, but there are enough out there. We would prefer to explore new horrors.
• Sparkly vampires or fuzzy lycanthropes. Vampires and werewolves are fine, but we want bloodthirsty monsters that will rip their victims to pieces
• Serial Killer Fiction UNLESS there is a supernatural aspect to the plot
• What some people refer to as “Torture Porn”. It needs a PLOT that justifies the gore.
• Dark Fantasy/Supernatural Romance/Erotica – Pardon me while I vomit in the corner
• Collections (though I will consider publishing interconnected novellas)
Response Time: 90 days. Query if we take any longer. If I like what I’ve read so far, I will request the entire manuscript.
Payment: Royalty split and author copies (with the opportunity to buy more author copies at 50% of list price).
So, what are you waiting for?? Get working on those manuscripts now!