What is the Campaign for Real Fear?
It’s an initiative to promote new terrifying fiction that reflects the diversity of 21st-century life. We’re asking writers to send us a 500-word story that best encapsulates their modern fears. The 500-word limit is strict, but doesn’t include the story title or “the end”.
We want original, unpublished work only (that includes web site publications). No reprints.
But 500 words isn’t enough!
I’ve been terrified by less words in a blog post detailing a rape, or a series of tweets from the middle of a war zone. If you can’t scare us in 500 words today, you won’t do it in 5,000 either.
How do I submit my entry?
By electronic mail.
Where do I send it?
Send an email to the address firstname.lastname@example.org
Your subject line must include: “Submission: [Title of Your Story]“
What format should it be in?
Start the email with your name, contact details, and a one-line biography.
Paste the entire story into the body of your email. Do not use any html formatting. Use line breaks to indicate new paragraphs. If you want to indicate italics then _do so this way_, or if you insist on bold, *add asterisks*.
Check out our blog post on formatting tips for a couple of extra pointers.
Entries that don’t conform to the formatting requirements will be discarded unread.
Is there any theme, or subject you want to see?
Please, surprise us with your ideas and writing, and better still scare us.
Is anything out of bounds?
The old monsters will be a hard sell. Excessive gore or exploitation is rarely written well and for the right purposes, so don’t do it unless it’s essential to the story.
What is the deadline for entries?
5pm GMT, Friday the 16th of April, 2010.
What is the prize?
Publication and podcasting. Ten stories will be selected and published in Black Static, and Action Audio will be producing an audio book version of the winning entries for sale via Audible. The authors (and narrators) will share equally in any revenue received from sales of the audio book. Therefore you will need to assign first publication and audio rights to the Campaign for Real Fear. If you are unwilling to agree to these terms don’t submit to the competition.
Who are the judges?
Does my experience (or lack of it) matter?
Only your writing matters. Anyone can enter, from professional to beginner. We encourage people from under-represented backgrounds in horror to give this competition a shot. We want to read terrible differences.
Only one entry per person. We’d prefer if you don’t use a pen name, unless it’s a matter of national security.
I have a question…
It better be a good one. Queries can be sent to email@example.com and must contain the subject “Query”. Or you can comment on the blog posts on this site.