Written Backwards is accepting submissions for Chiral Mad 2, an anthology of psychological horror. While the first two anthologies by Written Backwards were open to submissions following initial invites, Chiral Mad 2 is by viral invitation only.
What does that mean? Well, if you can read this, you are invited. It’s that simple. You know someone or heard about this incredible opportunity by someone, or read a thread on Facebook, or twatted a tweet on Twitter, or found out somehow on one of the other social media outlets, or you possibly know a highly-respected acquaintance of yours truly, and here you are. Personal email invitations were sent to a select few prior to this page going live, like before, but you are now reading this, and this will soon go viral, so, well, you are invited to submit a story.
Who’s the editor? This anthology will be edited by Michael Bailey, creator of the Chiral Mad and Pellucid Lunacy anthologies, and author of Palindrome Hannah, Phoenix Rose, and the upcoming Psychotropic Dragon. He has a few collections as well (Scales and Petals and the upcoming Inkblots and Blood Spots), and has appeared in some other books and magazines. You may have heard of him, maybe not. What really matters is this next book.
Why should you submit? To date, Chiral Mad and Pellucid Lunacy have raised over $6,500 for Downs syndrome charities, with a majority of that donated to the Down Syndrome Information Alliance (DSIA). That’s why. Well, that’s the main reason. There are other reasons: both have received nothing but positive reviews, critical praise, and some awards. Pellucid Lunacy, during its run, won the International Book Award and the USA News “Best Book” Award. Chiral Mad, still alive and making headlines, has received the following accolades: 2013 International Book Award winner for fiction anthologies, London Book Festival winner for anthologies / collections, shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize, This is Horror “Anthology of the Year” runner-up, shortlisted for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, finalist for the Indie Book Awards, finalist for the USA News “Best Book” Awards for both anthologies and cover design, and an honorable mention at the 2012 Halloween Book Festival.
Here’s how the first book turned out:
Introduction by Thomas F. Monteleone
01. White Pills – Ian Shoebridge
02. Lost in a Field of Paper Flowers – Gord Rollo
03. The Perfection of Symmetry – Andrew Hook
04. Some Pictures in an Album – Gary McMahon
05. Five Adjectives – Monica J. O’Rourke
06. Enchanted Combustion – Amanda Ottino
07. There are Embers – Chris Hertz
08. Brighter Her Aura Grows – David Hearn
09. Underwater – Barry Jay Kaplan
10. Experiments in an Isolation Tank – Eric J. Guignard
11. Need – Gary A. Braunbeck
12. Not the Child – Julie Stipes
13. The White Quetzal – Gene O’Neill
14. Mirror Moments – Christian A. Larsen
15. Alderway – Patrick O’Neill
16. Sigil – P. Gardner Goldsmith
17. The Persistence of Vision – Jon Michael Kelley
18. The Bad Season – A.A. Garrison
19. Storm of Lightning – Aaron J. French
20. Inevitable – Meghan Arcuri
21. Send Your End – Patrick Lacey
22. Cubicle Farm – R.B. Payne
23. A Flawed Fantasy – Jeff Strand
24. The Apologies – Erik T. Johnson
25. The Shoe Tree – Pat R. Steiner
26. Gaia Ungaia – John Palisano
27. Amid the Walking Wounded – Jack Ketchum
28. Underwater Ferris Wheel – Michael Bailey
What’s acceptable? Fiction that disturbs the nonlinear fabric(s) of reality. Mindbenders in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 words that could not only be classified as horror, but as psychological horror with chirality as its backbone (please query for anything longer than 5K, but if your story pushes over 5K a bit, no worries). This anthology suits stories that push the limits of the human condition. The keyword being ‘human.’ Strong character development is a must, and all stories must have some element of chirality, whether it is in character reflection, physical and/or mental symmetry, structure, or any other way you can manage.
What’s the payment? For the first time ever, Written Backwards is paying pro rates. $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words, or $250 US max. If your story is a reprint and you were not personally invited to submit a reprint, please query first, but note that payment will be at $0.025 US per word.
What happened to charity? The previous two anthologies were successful enough to warrant pro payment for Chiral Mad 2. Writers should get paid for writing. As for the charity, please note that this is a non-profit anthology. All profit from this anthology, after publication cost and paying writers for their stories, will go directly to Downs syndrome charities, just like the previous two anthologies. All profit will be donated.
Here’s what is needed. Send your work via e-mail as an attached .docx, .doc or .rtf. How you format the story is not an issue. You are a professional. What’s really important is story. Send one to email@example.com with a brief introductory message if you feel one is necessary. If you have references, or referrals, use them. Nothing too wordy. Use “Chiral Mad – Submission Title” as your subject line and don’t forget the attachment. We’ve all done it…
And in case you thought all of that was too much to read and scrolled to the end to get to the good stuff (or maybe you simply need a recap), here you go:
Deadline: November-ish, 2013, or until filled.
Release: Scheduled for a winter 2013 publication (or early spring 2014, depending on how this thing takes off). If there’s any indication from the first Chiral Mad, the book will fill up fast and publication will begin sooner than originally anticipated.
Format: Trade paperback.
Word count: 1,000 – 5,000 words (longer work may be considered, but please query first).
Payment: $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words (upon acceptance) and one contributor copy (upon publication). All profit from this anthology will be donated to support Downs syndrome by Written Backwards. Copies will be available for cost as long as you donate profit received to a charity organization of your choice.
Reprints: $0.025 US per word, by invitation only, or if queried first and accepted.
Rights: one-time anthology rights for publication in the English language within the United States of America, with no publication elsewhere for 12 months, upon which time rights revert back to the author.
More information on chirality can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiral, or feel free to pick up a copy of Chiral Mad.