Anthology Submission Guidelines: Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite

Submissions open: 22 April 2022
Deadline: 15 July 2022 NOW CLOSED
Payment: 4c per word for original stories, 1c per word for reprints (Australian currency)
Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia (co-published in North America through the IFWG Publishing International imprint)
Note: Open to Australian writers only (citizens, residents and ex-pats)
To be edited by award-winning author and anthology editor, Deborah Sheldon.

Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite will comprise stories from Australian writers obtained entirely from open callout. The stories must feature Australian animals; in other words, no cryptids, ghosts, legends or monsters. The animals can be of any type – mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, fish, arthropods – as long as they are real creatures that are native to Australia. While each story must be nominally “body horror”, there is no restriction on subgenre: anything from sci-fi to fantasy to gothic to action to psychological and beyond will be considered.

Stories must be between 1500 and 5000 words. Stories outside of these word counts risk being deleted unread. Reprints will be considered, but must not be available for free anywhere online. The anthology will have only a small number of reprints, regardless.

While graphic violence and swearing are acceptable, submissions must have a literary bent, i.e., a high standard of writing. For a clearer understanding of requirements, you might read Deb’s IFWG anthology, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

What to avoid:

  • Gratuitous gore used purely for shock value.
  • Cliché tropes such as: the adventures of a young boy and his dog; the main character turning out to be an animal; death of a beloved pet; dead animals coming back to life; crazy cat lady; alien disguised as an animal; villain with a fish tank; and so on.
  • The submission of first drafts, often indicated by spelling and grammatical errors.

Required rights:

  • First worldwide electronic and print rights in the English language, exclusive for one year, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
  • For reprints, non-exclusive rights apply.
  • If the story is subsequently reprinted, please credit Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite (IFWG Publishing Australia) as the original publisher.

How to submit:

  • Your story must be in a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman in 12pt.
  • Your name, contact details and word count should be on the first page above the title.
  • Use double-quotation marks, single space after full stops, first-line indents, page numbers, and Australian-English spelling. No tabs. No double-returns between paragraphs.
  • Send to xxx with STORY TITLE – YOUR NAME – WORD COUNT as the subject heading. Please fill in the actual details.
  • In the body of your email, provide an author bio of about 100 words (give or take). Include your Australian citizen/resident/ex-pat status – this is important. 
  • If your story is a reprint, provide the full details of its first publication in the body of your email, with links if possible.
  • You can submit more than one story. Submit each story in a separate email.
  • No simultaneous submissions, which means do not submit your story to another market at the same time.
  • Give yourself the best possible chance – please do not ignore these guidelines.

Response issues:

  • All acceptance and rejection emails will be sent by 12 August 2022.
  • No feedback will be offered for rejected stories. Please don’t ask.
  • Do not resubmit a rejected story, even if you have made substantial changes.
  • All accepted stories will be edited and adjustments made for house style. If you think your writing doesn’t require editing, please do not submit to this anthology.
  • Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite is scheduled for publication in June 2023.
  • Accepted writers will receive payment via bank transfer within 30 days of publication (or PayPal in exceptional cases).
  • Accepted writers will also receive an e-book and one complimentary paperback.

IFWG Publishing Australia will provide further updates on the anthology’s publication schedule in due course.

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