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.

IFWG at Gold Coast Supanova

IFWG attendees at Gold Coast Supanova: (standing left to right) Venero Armanno, Christopher Sequeira, Gerry Huntman (sitting left to right) Helen Stubbs, Kat Pekin

It’s been a long time, but finally, last weekend, there was a full-blown pop culture convention in the Gold Coast, IFWG’s (now) home city. While it may not have been as big as the usual gig at the Gold Coast, we believe that the turnout was still well above expectations. It was fun.

IFWG has a long association with Supanova and we jumped at the opportunity to knit it (as well as Sydney, Melbourne and possibly Perth later this year) into our routine, particularly our Uncaching The Treasures campaign. It certainly was a winning move this time around. Two of our upcoming releases: Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3 and Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies had early short runs made so that attendees at Supanova were lucky to purchase them, and we had the privilege of having Venero Armanno turn up as one of our authors to sign copies of his recent masterpiece, The Crying Forest. Chris Sequeira, our Editor in Chief of our new IPI comics line, as well as one of our senior editors of anthologies, was there, as was Helen Stubbs and Kat Pekin, two of the amazing authors that contributed to SPAWN. We had two panels, each centred around our new releases, and behind the scenes we negotiated an exciting new deal with a prominent Australian author (more to be said about that at a later date).

Below are a selection of photos taken of the event (regrettably, we have no shots of the second panel with Helen and Kat) – enjoy!

IFWG at Gold Coast Supanova

IFWG Publishing is very pleased to be guests at Gold Coast Supanova, including Gerry Huntman (Managing Director), Christopher Sequeira (Chief Editor), Helen Stubbs and Kat Pekin (author contributors to our upcoming Spawn anthology), and Venero Armanno (author of the recently released dark fiction novel, The Crying Forest). We will be exclusively selling a limited number of Spawn and Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3, prior to their release.

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

final front cover spawn_TEMP

THE SUBMISSION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED

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 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 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.

EDITED 25 Sept 2020.