We are happy to announce that Dark Regions Press is open to public fiction submissions for the first time in a very long time for our new upcoming anthology I AM THE ABYSS. This very special project will consist of ten original adventure stories of horror and/or dark fantasy each illustrated with an original two-page color spread by award-winning artist Les Edwards. The book is planned to be published in Q4 of 2015.
Find the submission guidelines below, and please read them from start to finish before sending us your manuscript.
Thank you and we look forward to reading your fiction!
When each of us reaches the end of our life in this world our consciousness enters a new perpetual reality during the seconds before the brain loses activity. This world is based on the subconscious and experiences we had during our mortal lives. The structures, landscapes, creatures and cities are amalgams of what we perceived during our short journeys on earth, and there our consciousness will stay (unless we find a means of escape).
These are ten stories of tortured souls and dark minds whose difficult mortal lives have come to an end. Their consciousnesses have been transported into underworlds of their own making. It is here that they rediscover forgotten corners of their minds, creatures that they never thought their imaginations could conjure, cities grander or more bizarre than anything they had experienced in their mortal lives.
In these underworlds the characters will truly discover themselves; their darkest fears and deepest desires will manifest. But within these realms they will also find peril and adventure. They will unlock secrets inconceivable during their mortal paths. Some will conquer their underworlds while others will submit. These are ten formations of the abyss on what makes us who we are: our own consciousness.
I AM THE ABYSS will consist of ten novelettes/novellas in the realm of horror and/or dark fantasy by ten different authors each accompanied by an original two-page color illustration by award-winning artist Les Edwards. The book will be offered in ebook, trade paperback and two signed collectible hardcover formats.
What We Want:
Adventure stories in the realm of horror and/or dark fantasy. Expansive and unique underworlds full of landscapes, cities, creatures, culture, history and more. It is essential that your version of the underworld feels like a fully realized place that has depth and connections to your central character. We want a strange and unique place to get lost in with a fascinating character to take us along for the ride. Your version of the underworld must have its own name which must also be the title of your story.
Although we seek uniqueness and creativity, you are welcome to base your version of the underworld on an established version from cultures/religions: Ancient Egypt, Greek, Christianity, Buddhism… but if you use an established mythos please explain it with your character/story. Remember: these underworlds are based on the subconscious and life experience of your main character/narrator.
We want the authors to have fun. Experiment; create sprawling cities, romances, wars! While the core idea behind the anthology is important, let this underworld be a playground for your creativity. The most exciting, interesting and creative stories will win us over in the end.
You can begin your story before your character dies in their mortal life, during their death or after death: that is up to your discretion. At least 60% of your story must take place in their version of the underworld. Please avoid overly long introductions based in the character’s mortal life or prolonged scenes in the mortal world.
We seek adventure stories. Don’t spend too much time lingering. The idea is: the reader will pick up I AM THE ABYSS and dive into one of the ten unique underworlds and experience a captivating and truly creative setting with a character that they can grow attached to taking them along for the ride. Whether the central character "lives," "dies," triumphs, fails… that’s all up to you. They must be human, and believably human at that.
Something to note: if you are half-finished with your story but October 1st of this year is coming up fast, you can submit the story in partial form. While we much prefer the finished version we understand busy schedules and if the idea is exciting enough and the portion we read well realized enough we just might accept it based on those strengths alone.
Please read over the details below before submitting. Thank you for your interest in our anthology!
Genre: Horror and/or Dark Fantasy
Submission Window: January 28th – October 1st 2014
Length: 10,000 – 18,000 words
Book Editions: ebook, trade paperback, Your Heart is Black (signed limited edition hardcover), I Am Gateway (ultra-deluxe signed traycased hardcover) and audiobook.
Payment: $0.05/word + contributor copy + royalties + a signed and personalized high quality digital print of the full color spread that artist Les Edwards creates based on your version of the underworld. 1% NET royalties per author on all ebook, trade paperback and audiobook sales. Payments will be made via PayPal. Royalty payments will be made monthly. Royalty rates will increase based on sales thresholds being reached.
Kickstarter campaign: a campaign will be created for I AM THE ABYSS later this year, most likely in late November. Authors will be asked to record a short video describing their story, character and version of the underworld. If the author is unable to record a video we will describe their story on their behalf. They will also be asked to help promote the campaign and help us connect to anyone they know in the media, well-recognized names in the industry and others that could help in promoting the campaign. The campaign itself will be designed as a preorder with perks, giving backers the chance to reserve their copy of the book at planned retail price for each edition with free U.S. shipping and additional incentives exclusive to the campaign.
If you are uncomfortable partaking in a Kickstarter campaign please do not submit a story for consideration. For the success of the project it is crucial that all authors and contributors involved believe in the effort and are willing to help promote it. This is an ambitious project and demands a healthy budget. Something to note: the more successful the campaign is the more we can expand the project itself from additional stories to additional artworks from artist Les Edwards.
If the Kickstarter campaign does not succeed (we are very confident it will succeed) authors will be compensated in the exact same amount but will be paid in 4 payments (1 payment a month).
Format: RTF or DOC in Standard Manuscript Format. Courier New font.
Response time: 60-90 days
Edited by: Chris Morey with help from manuscript readers
Policies: No reprints. The work must be 100% original and never published anywhere else in the past, including blogs, websites, self-publishing or any form of publication. The words of your story must have only been read by yourself and your inner circle!
No multiple or simultaneous submissions. If your first story is rejected, you may submit one more story for consideration, but only after the first story has been rejected. Two story limit per author.
Rights sought: First worldwide print, electronic and audio English Language rights exclusive for three years from official publication date. Movie/film, television and video rights exclusive for five years from official publication date. Non-exclusive rights to keep anthology available across all platforms thereafter. Note: if any movie/film, television or video interest generates from any particular story in the anthology the author of that story will be notified, directly involved and will be ensured to receive payments/royalties/proper recognition from any such project. No ventures like this will move forward without the author's consent.
When Sending Us Your Manuscript Please Make Sure to Include the Following in the Body of Your E-mail (in order):
Location: City, State/Province and Country
Story title, genre, word count and POV (point of view)
Story synopsis (500 words or less)
Publishing credits (debut authors are welcome!)
Website address (blog or social media is fine here too)
Send your manuscript to: iamtheabyssdrp AT gmail DOT com
Thank you and we look forward to exploring your imagining of the underworld!
Dark Regions Press will be opening for submissions to the public in 2014 for the realms of horror, fantasy and science fiction! We will be considering manuscripts of only original fiction that has not been published anywhere else, including self-publishing, websites, blogs or other publishers. Because of this, most of the manuscripts we are likely to consider will be novellas/novels, but short story collections that include only original stories will also be considered.
To writers of horror, fantasy and science fiction: check back on this page in Q1 of 2014 for more information/news of when the submission guidelines will be released.