Taking Submissions – Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

SPAWN Book Cover

Deadline: 31 August 2020
Payment: 6c per word for original stories, 2c 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 Deborah Sheldon, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will comprise stories from Australian writers obtained via commission and open callout. The commissioned writers are the multi-award-winning and bestselling authors Isobelle Carmody, Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams.

On-spec submissions are welcome from Australian writers of every persuasion including non-parents. Ideally, stories should be between 1500 and 5000 words, give or take. (Stories significantly longer than 5000 words would have to be outstanding.) Reprints will be considered, but must not be available for free anywhere online—the anthology will have only a small number of reprints, regardless. Artwork by commissioned Australian artists will complement selected stories.

The anthology will be a visceral, frightening read. Each story must nominally tick the box of “body horror” but there is no restriction on subgenre: anything from sci-fi to fantasy to gothic to supernatural to psychological and beyond will be given equal consideration. Feel free to play with the theme and not take it too literally. Ideally, your story should make the reader feel uncomfortably aware of their physicality, morbidity or mortality.

While graphic violence and swearing are acceptable, submissions must have a literary bent. Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies aims to deliver an elegant—and elevated—anthology of body horror.

What to avoid:

  • Gratuitous gore used purely for shock value.
  • Familiar tropes, such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Handmaid’s Tale, the face-hugger/chest-burster from the Alien film franchise, Martians kidnapping and impregnating female Earthlings, 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 Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies (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 and no double-returns between paragraphs.
  • Send to Deborah Sheldon at spawnsubmissions@gmail.com with the story title and your name as the Subject heading.
  • In the body of your email, provide an author bio of about 100 words (give or take), and include your Australian citizen/resident/ex-pat status.
  • 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.
  • Stories that require anything more than line editing or adjustments for house style will be rejected. Please submit only polished work of a high standard.
  • 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 31 October 2020.
  • 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.
  • Accepted writers will receive payment via PayPal or bank transfer within 30 days of the contracts being signed, rather than on publication.
  • Accepted writers will also receive an ebook and one complimentary paperback.

Important note about the publication date

Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies was originally slated for release in February 2021. In response to the economic turndown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, IFWG Publishing Australia has decided to delay release of every upcoming new title. Therefore, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will be released later in 2021, with a strong likelihood of a mid-year publishing date.

Crowd-funding for a hardback edition, which would include illustrations for each story, is also being considered.

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

New Release: Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments Book Cover

IFWG is very pleased to announce the world-wide release of Deborah Sheldon’s collection of short dark fiction, Figments and Fragments. “We are so pleased with this title,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG, ” as it loops back to some of Sheldon’s earlier dark fiction, but also adds new stories – enriching the depth of our catalogue of her short fiction. This book is a celebration of Sheldon’s mastery of the genre.”

IFWG would also like to acknowledge the wonderful cover art and design by Keely Van Order.

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

Figments and Fragments is available world-wide in all good online and bricks-and-mortar stores, and also in ebook formats.

Update: Upcoming Australian Horror Anthology

IFWG is extremely happy to tease you a little more about our earlier announcement, when we revealed that Deborah Sheldon had signed up as editor of a forthcoming anthology. She will have four commissioned short fiction pieces by A-grade Australian authors, with the remainder of the TOC made up from a callout in 2020 to Australian horror fiction writers. The anthology’s cover art, design and illustrations will be commissioned from Australian artists.

We can now reveal that our commissioned authors will be:
Isobelle Carmody
Jack Dann
Kaaron Warren
Sean Williams

We are over the moon with this amazing line-up and know that not only will we get unique takes on the theme of this anthology, but the mix of these wonderful authors in a single anthology will also contribute to a combined effect that will be grander than the sum of their excellent pieces.

We can reveal that the theme will be a subset of the Body Horror sub-genre but we would rather reveal the full scope of the anthology when we make the call-out for non-commissioned submissions around March next year.

Signing: Deborah Sheldon to Edit Exciting Australian Horror Anthology

IFWG is excited to announce the signing of Deborah Sheldon’s editing services for a premium horror anthology to be published in 2021.

It will consist of four commissioned short fiction pieces by A-grade Australian authors, and the remainder will be populated with stories from a callout to Australian horror fiction writers in 2020. The cover art, design, and illustrations that will be included in the anthology, will be commissioned from Australian artists.

We are still lining the ducks needed to get the project solidly set up, so the detail is, by necessity, scarce right now, but we will feed more information in coming months, including title, theme, call-out information, the names of the commissioned authors, and much, much more.

Deborah Sheldon

Deborah Sheldon is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum. Her titles include the noir-horror novel Contrition, the bio-horror novella Thylacines, the dark fantasy and horror collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (Australian Shadows “Best Collected Work 2017”), the crime-noir novellas Dark Waters and Ronnie and Rita, and the creature-horror novel Devil Dragon. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Aurealis Awards and Australian Shadows Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker, and included in “best of” anthologies. Other credits include TV scripts, feature articles, non-fiction books, and award-winning medical writing. Deborah is currently the guest editor for Midnight Echo magazine.

Preorder Offer: Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments Book Cover

IFWG Publishing Australia is pleased to offer English-speaking World Wide preorders for Deborah Sheldon‘s collection of short stories, Figments and Fragments. It will be released worldwide on 18 November 2019.

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

Preorder offer now ceased.

 

Forthcoming Collection/Cover Reveal: Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments Book Cover

It is IFWG’s pleasure to announce the forthcoming horror fiction collection by Deborah Sheldon, Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories. It collects Deborah’s published short fiction but it also contains three new stories. The artwork and design is by the amazing Keely Van Order, magnificently depicting the overarching theme of the collection.

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

Figments and Fragments will be released world-wide on 18 November 2019.