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Open Call: The Off-Season


The Off-Season


The Off-Season is an anthology of disquieting and disturbing New Weird horror set in landscapes and communities on the edge of the sea.


DEADLINE [or Submission Window]:


July 31, 2023-August 6, 2023 for marginalized voices; August 7, 2023-August 28, 2023 for all submitters


WORDCOUNT:


2k-4k (hard limit)


PAYMENT:


$0.08/word, paid prior to publication





 

WHAT THEY'RE SEEKING:


The Off-Season is an anthology of disquieting and disturbing New Weird horror set in landscapes and communities on the edge of the sea. These coastal stories defamiliarize the ordinary, evoke dread even in the daylight, and haunt like half-remembered nightmares.

Think ocean-loving cults, crumbling seaside mansions, empty resort towns, strange fisherwomen, beachside arcades, eerie lighthouses, literal tourist traps, jellyfish swarms, red tides, oil spills, intertidal zones, salt marshes, gaudy luxury hotels reclaimed by sea, the cosmic indifference of capitalism, creeping urchins, thousand-yard stares, wrecked cruise ships, weird biotech, evening dock workers, and slippery marine metamorphosis.

I’m especially looking for uncanny ecology, uneasy atmosphere, and strange characters who are either transcending their environment or subsiding into it. I’d love to see unusual coastal settings from around the world, or traditionally romanticized settings transformed into places of unfamiliarity and subtle wrongness. Most of all, I’m looking for fiction that makes the reader feel uncomfortable dread mixed with intense curiosity.


PLEASE DON'T SEND:


  • stories set out at sea (the main setting must be coastal, and ships should be either exploring a coastline, moored, wrecked, or connected to the shore in some way)

  • stories set on lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water–this call is for seaside only

  • heroic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, medieval fantasy, steampunk

  • Lovecraftian stories that fail to subvert outdated tropes or to do anything new and surprising with the Mythos

  • misogynistic, racist, or otherwise bigoted stories (write about these horrors, don’t live in them)


REPRINTS: [YES/NO]


SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: [YES/NO]


MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: Kind of. Our submission system will only allow for one submission from you at a time. If your story is rejected, please feel free to submit again.


EXTRA INFORMATION: Marissa's Wishlist:


  • New Weird takes on folk horror, eco-horror, clifi, body horror, seaside Gothic, cosmic horror, and literary horror

  • cults, mysticism, psychedelia, outsiders, obsessions, collapsed boundaries, weird sealife

  • coastal settings from around the world, whether isolated communities or cityscapes, with a perspective that’s unique to you

  • fictional towns and cities in the style of Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris, China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, Leena Khron’s Tainaron

  • stories inclusive of marginalized people and communities

  • odd characters and surreal settings reminiscent of works by Kathe Koja, Karin Tidbeck, Michael Wehunt, Robert Aickman, JG Ballard, Philip K Dick, Thomas Ligotti, Algernon Blackwood, David Lynch, and Leonora Carrington


FORMATTING GUIDELINES:


We prefer that submissions be in proper manuscript format, but as long as the document is typed in a clean, legible font, and properly titled and numbered, it should be fine.


SUBMITTING:


  • .doc and .docx types allowed


ESTIMATED RESPONSE TIME:


We are currently asking for a response time between 45-60 days from date of submission until we render a final decision on your story. Many stories will receive responses much sooner than this estimate.


RIGHTS REQUESTED:


We purchase first English-language rights for print, ebook, web, and audio, to be distributed in all countries throughout the world. We request a 6-month exclusivity period, starting from the date of publication.


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