Guidelines Potter’s Field 6
Potter’s Field 6
An anthology of tales from unmarked graves
Open to submission as of 1 March until 30 June 2016.
Writers and Artists Guidelines
Alban Lake Publishing is looking for stories and illustrations for Potter’s Field 6, a print anthology of tales from the graveyard.
This volume will be the sixth in the Potter’s Field series. This anthology is scheduled to be published on 1 October 2016 in trade paperback format with a color cover, and black and white interior illustrations. Potter’s Field 6 is edited by Robert J. Krog.
Potter’s Field 6 is not open to poetry.
Please note that horror fiction written in the third person stands the best chance for acceptance.
“They” say that there are no new plots or stories anywhere. “They” may be right, but you are the only you there is, so send us a story as only you can tell it, one that’s atmospheric and highly entertaining, has fascinating characters, one that takes place in a unique location or time period.
A potter’s field is the burial place for the indigent and the unidentified. Just about every city has one. There’s a potter’s field in the Michael Douglas movie, Don’t Say a Word. Obviously, we’re looking for works that are themed to graveyards in some way. However, it does not have to be a conventional graveyard. Let me give you one example: back during the days of the Black Death, bodies were crammed–yes, literally crammed–into mass graves underneath churches. Even today, in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, you can take a walking tour deep under the church and see walls of skeletons and dirt. Such a place would also qualify as a graveyard for the indigent.
We do not want gore, blood, splatter, or slice-and-dice. Sure, it might be good fun to make balloon animals out of someone’s intestines, or find out how long the heart will continue to beat after it has been ripped from the body with a spatula. But that’s not what we want. We want stories that will scare readers, not stories that will make them gag. This is not to say that someone in your story cannot bleed, or die. Just put a lid on the icky stuff. Think spooky or suspenseful not spewing.
Think too of the ways that a person might end up in an unmarked grave. Think of homeless folk, murder victims, unidentified soldiers, runaways, plague victims, etc, and tell a story involving them. Use any perspective that strikes you as workable to tell that story. Tell it from any angle that seems workable. Such stories may come from the person before he gets to that unmarked grave, or from his ghost, or from his murderer, or the kind soul who at least thought to bury him, or from an investigator of some kind. Run with it.
For inspiration, by all means, visit the Alban Lake store and buy back issues of Potter’s Field 3-5 [1 & 2 are sold out], but do not repeat those plots and situations unless you have a really unique twist on one of them.
A word about sex and extreme language: we don’t mind it, necessarily, but the sex and/or colorful language must have a purpose.
Stories for Potter’s Field 6 must be written in English. You may use King’s English or American English [but don’t mix them in the narration, please. Characters will of course use the voice appropriate to each.]. Please use standard manuscript format: 12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, page numbers at bottom right corner, etc. The word count of your story should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words. We will be somewhat flexible on the 8,000, but the 2,000 is pretty firm. Of course, story quality usually overrides word count limitations. Usually.
Other useful hints:
1. Do not underline. If you want italics, use italics.
2. Put quotation marks around your dialogue, so that we know it’s dialogue.
3. Do not, repeat, do not use headers or footers. (Except page numbers. )
4. Your bio should include your thoughts about your writing style and what drives your stories. Of lesser interest is your favorite color of pizza. And do not include your publishing credits, please.
We are looking primarily for original stories. However, we will consider reprints. If your story is a reprint, be sure to let us know when you submit it. We will want to know the name of the publication [online or in print] in which the story first appeared, and when it first appeared. Also, you must currently own the rights to the story. We likely won’t accept more than two reprints for Potter’s Field 6, and unpublished stories stand the best chance for acceptance.
Submit your story as a Word or rtf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Yes, same address as PF5]. Be sure to put Story Submission and the title of your story in the subject line of the e-mail. Be sure to include the following information in your e-mail: your name; your snail mail address; your story’s word count; your story’s title; a statement about which rights are offered; and a brief bio written in the third person [50-100 words, more about YOU, less about where you’ve been published].
Please allow 3 months for us to respond to your submission as we will not begin responding until the submission period ends.
Writers and Artists, please note: If you move, tell us. If you change e-mail addresses, tell us. It is your responsibility to let us know where you are so that we can communicate, as well as send your payment and contributor’s copy.
Interior art should be thematic, not necessarily applicable to any particular story.
Submit one black and white illustration at a time as a jpeg of less than 50K in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com. Be sure to put Art Submission and the title of your illustration in the subject line of the e-mail. Be sure to include the following information in your e-mail: your name; your snail mail address; the title of your illustration; a brief bio [50-100 words, more about YOU, less about where you’ve been published].
In return for your accepted story or illustration, you will receive payment and one contributor’s copy of Potter’s Field 6, upon publication.
Pay rates for original stories: $25.00
Pay rate for reprinted stories: $7.00.
Payment for cover illustration: $25.00.
Pay rate for original illustrations: $6.00 per illustration.
Contributors who live in the U.S.A. will receive checks. Contributors who live outside the U.S.A. have two payment options. One, they can receive cash in American dollars. Two, they can receive payment via PayPal. And yes, if they have a third option, we’ll listen to it.
Contributors are also eligible to buy additional copies of Potter’s Field 6 at 30% off the cover price, plus S&H at cost.
If you have questions about this anthology or these guidelines, please contact Editor Robert J. Krog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you.