Posts Tagged ‘ Updates ’

The first ten

Black Static 17Here’s the cover for Black Static, issue 17. The first group of ten winners from the Campaign for Real Fear will be published in this issue:

  • ‘Copy Degradation’ by Gemma Files
  • ‘The Rude Little Girl’ by Kaaron Warren
  • ‘Nice One, Truly’ by Alan Morgan
  • ‘On The Beaten Path’ by Janos Honkonken
  • ‘In The Night Supermarket’ by James Burt
  • ‘Shades of Blue’ by Catherine MacLeod
  • ‘This Is Mung’ by Christine Emmett
  • ‘The Price’ by Jennifer Williams
  • ‘The Flinchfield Dance’ by Mary Elizabeth Burroughs
  • ‘Sanctuary’ by Katherine Hughes

As well as the following stories:

  • ‘Faces in Walls’ by John Shirley, illustrated by Ben Baldwin
  • ‘Zombie Cabana Boy’ by Suzanne Palmer, illustrated by Dave Senecal
  • ‘Three-Legged Bird’ by Vylar Kaftan, illustrated by Ben Baldwin
  • ‘The Lady in the Tigris’ by Daniel Kaysen, illustrated by Rik Rawling

The issue will also contain feedback and analysis by Chris Fowler and myself about the Campaign, plus columns by Pete Tennant, Stephen Volk and Tony Lee.

Make sure you get your copy early!

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This is the end

This is the end, my only friend, the endThe Campaign for Real Fear is closed to submissions.

Christopher Fowler and I would like to thank all the writers who sent us stories. In the past two days we’ve been inundated with entries.

We face a very difficult task, and we hope you will appreciate that we will need some time to read through all the submissions and give them our considered attention.

We will announce our short-list of ten stories as soon as possible, and at that point we will also offer statistics and feedback about the work we received.

Final Week

The Final DoorChris and I have been receiving a steady stream of submissions for the past two weeks, partly due to The Guardian article and our promotion of the competition at the two big conventions in the UK.

Remember, the deadline for submissions is this Friday, the 16th of April at 5pm GMT. Please read our FAQ for details on how to enter.

If you have a horrid tale desperate for expression, please write it and get it to us by Friday. We will not read any stories received after the deadline.

Again, I’d encourage people to think differently about horror, and what scares you.

The majority of the submissions have come from the UK and the USA, along with a smattering of entries from countries such as Finland, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. We’d love to see more work from international horror writers, so fire up your laptops!

It’s only 500 words. What’s the worst that can happen?

Early analysis

Since we’re a couple of weeks into the Campaign for Real Fear I thought it might be useful to look at the submissions breakdown so far by gender.

In the first week of the competition we received an almost 50/50 ratio of submissions from men and women. Chris and I were very pleased by this.

In the past week however, we’ve had more submissions by men and less by women.

Women: send more stories! Men: keep submitting!

The Campaign for Real Fear offers writers the chance to do something different. Take a risk, be inventive with your language, explore the fear of 21st century life, and tell us a story. It’s 500 words: what’s the worse that can happen?

Challenge yourself. Scare yourself – and us.

Everyone is welcome in the Campaign for Real Fear!

Read our FAQ, and email us your work, now.

Formatting tips

We’re only a couple of days into the Campaign for Real Fear and we’ve already received a number of strong contenders for the top ten positions. Keep the submissions coming!

Just a note on formatting. Thus far the submissions have been sticking to our required format as detailed in the FAQ: copy and paste the text of the story into the body of your email submission, and indicate italics _like this_ and bold *in this fashion*. Thank you all!

Smart quotes = failExcept… a reminder that most word processing software use smart quotes (curly quotes) as the default option. They also use special characters to indicate ellipses and em dashes. So, when you copy those characters into an email, and they are sent to us via your email programm, they can turn up in our inbox as text with strange characters in them. It doesn’t render the story incomprehensible, but it makes it much harder to read.

The solution is to go into your word processor options (it’s usually under AutoCorrect) and disable the feature that exchanges straight quotes for smart quotes, renders a double hyphen as an em dash, and replaces three full stops with an ellipsis. These flourishes might look good on the page, but special characters are the bane of anyone who has to deal with copying and pasting text.

Most writers would be well advised to stop using these features. The first thing I do when I have to reinstall a word processor program is uncheck those functions.

You’ll certainly make our life easier if you could avoid sending us those hidden typographic mines.

Give us your fear

Chris and I are already receiving submissions for the Campaign for Real Fear, so keep them coming!

We say:

“Give us your terror, your fear,
Your horrid tales yearning to alarm,
The wretched stories of your teeming brain.
Send these, the disturbed, nightmare-tossed to us,
We lift our laptops to behold their forms!”

With homage to Emma Lazarus and The New Colossus.

Also, it’s especially pleasing to note that the Australian Horror Writers Association has announced its finalists for the 2009 Shadows Awards and three out of the five entries in the Long Fiction Award are women. There are also three women out of five in the short fiction category, and two women co-editors among the three anthologies up for awards.

No one should ever ask “Where are the women in horror?” again. No excuses. They’re everywhere!

And of course, congratulations to all the finalists, irrespective of gender!