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

Submissions open: 22 April 2022
Deadline: 15 July 2022
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 Deborah Sheldon at killercreaturesdownunder@gmail.com 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.

Signing: Deborah Sheldon to Edit a Second Exciting Australian Horror Anthology

IFWG is very excited to announce the signing of Deborah Sheldon’s editing services for a premium horror anthology to be published in 2023.

It will entirely consist of accepted submissions from a callout to Australian horror fiction writers in 2022.

It is too early to provide full details for this project, as we are still managing the logistics, but we can give you a clue – the title of the anthology will be ‘Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories With Bite’. More details will be forthcoming in April, with the intention to open for submissions later in the year.

Deborah Sheldon 2020 medium-res

Deborah Sheldon is fast becoming a noted anthologist in Australia and overseas, with her guest editorship of an issue of Midnight Echo magazine, and, of course, her sterling work for Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies. IFWG is very much looking forward to working with Deborah on this project.

New Release: Liminal Spaces by Deborah Sheldon

IFWG Australia is very pleased to announce its release of Deborah Sheldon’s third collection of horror fiction, Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories. “Sheldon’s fiction continues to wow us in IFWG,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director, “and we are proud to have a catalogue that effectively covers her horror writing career. Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories certainly sits well with Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories and Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories.”

Transitions occur in a liminal space. The familiar is gone. The unknown lies ahead and with it, terrible possibilities.

Award-winning author Deborah Sheldon explores liminal spaces in this collection of dark, unsettling fiction. Her characters teeter on frightening thresholds with no way back.

Liminal Spaces includes Sheldon’s award-nominated tales “For Weirdless Days and Weary Nights”, “All the Stars in Her Eyes” and Barralang, “Pop. 63”, plus original and unpublished fiction.

Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories is available now in ebook and print formats from all quality online and bricks and mortar stores in Australia, UK, Europe and New Zealand. Preorders will come soon for North American readers, and then released in May 2022.

Cover Reveal: Liminal Spaces by Deborah Sheldon

IFWG is very pleased to reveal the cover of Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories, by Deborah Sheldon. This collection is the third by IFWG Publishing and represents a significant portion of Sheldon’s body of horror and weird short fiction. Cover artwork and design is by the very talented Luke Spooner.

We will reveal more about this title in coming weeks.

Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories will be released 1 March 2022 (worldwide except USA and Canada – 1 June 2022).

New Release: Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

IFWG is very excited to announce the release of its second of three new anthologies this year, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, edited by Deborah Sheldon. This is a particularly unique anthology for us, as it is the very first that is sourced from a fiction callout, with the exception of four commissioned pieces.

Some of our commissioned authors include Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams, and we certainly attracted amazing additional talent from the Australian shores: Geraldine Borella, Renee De Visser, Jason Fischer, Tracie McBride, Rebecca Fraser, Gary Kemble, David Kuraria, Paul Mannering,  JM Merryt, Samantha Murray, Robyn O’Sullivan, Kat Pekin, Antoinette Rydyr, Charles Spiteri, HK Stubbs, Matt Tighe, Mark Towse, Ash Tudor, and Janeen Webb.

“This anthology is the culmination of a great deal of work,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG,” and Deb Sheldon has done an amazing job. It was her idea and we gladly played along – we were particularly attracted to the concept of an Australian Body Horror anthology, and yet elevated with a good dose of literary horror. Is this work disturbing? Definitely. But it is also amazingly thought-provoking.”

Kudos should also be given to Keely Van Order who was challenged to provide the artwork and design of our cover. All of us in IFWG certainly believe she nailed the brief.


A selection of the darkest Australian fiction.


Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies taps into anxieties, painful memories and nightmares. Here, your worst fears come true.


Penned by established authors and fresh new voices, these stories range from the gothic and phantasmagorical, through the demonic and supernatural, to the dystopian and sci-fi.


Prepare for a visceral, frightening read.


Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies is now available for purchase world-wide, through bricks and mortar stores and online, in print and ebook formats.

Book Deal: Fiction Collection by Deborah Sheldon

IFWG Publishing is delighted to announce the acquisition of a collection of short fiction by Deborah Sheldon, titled Liminal Spaces – Horror Stories. “This is a wonderful collection of Sheldon’s short fiction,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG, “mixing her recent successful stories in journals, along with original material. We have invested in her short fiction for some time, with the publication of Perfect Little Stitches and Others Stories and Figments and Fragments, and this new title will continue our comprehensive collection of the best of Sheldon’s horror writing career.”

DEBORAH SHELDON is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum of horror, crime and noir. Her award-nominated titles include the novels Body Farm ZContrition and Devil Dragon; the novella Thylacines; and collection Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories. She won the Australian Shadows ‘Best Collected Work’ Award for Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories, which was also long-listed for a Bram Stoker. As editor of Midnight Echo 14, she won the Australian Shadows ‘Best Edited Work’ Award. Her short fiction has been nominated for various Australian Shadows and Aurealis Awards, and included in ‘best of’ anthologies. Other credits include feature articles, non-fiction books, TV scripts and award-winning medical writing. http://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com

Liminal Spaces – Horror Stories will be released in 2022.