Thursday, 15 March 2012

Submissions Request

So here’s a project I have in mind, and am opening the door to submissions very soon – see final line of this message.

Does anyone have any familiarity with the 1970s ‘action books’ typified by Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan: The Executioner, or Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir’s Remo Williams: The Destroyer? Do you remember the UK homegrown westerns by the Piccadilly Cowboys, exemplified by George G Gillman’s Edge, Adam Steele, or The Undertaker? Have you any memory of barbarian swordsmen like Lin Carter’s Thongor, or Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane? Or even the Kung Fu boom, where we had books like Marshall Macao’s K’Ing Kung Fu: Son of the Flying Tiger?

Those were the days when heroes were heroes and the action was furious and full-blooded. Often as not, the hero was quite the opposite: an anti-hero. But he needed to be, to bring the kind of violent justice to villains worse than him. Political correctness took a back seat, even as the bullets and karate chops were flying. Basically it was good old harmless fun. It was a case of disengaging your moral compass and getting down with the hero as they took on all comers, and they did it with balletic grace and uncompromising violence. Gratuitous? Yes. Realistic? No. Great fun? You betcha!!!

So here’s what I’m planning on doing:

I want to bring back the good old days…but with a contemporary twist.

I’m looking to put together an ebook anthology of short fiction ‘based’ on those old style stories. However, what I’m not looking for is stories set in the 1970s, where men wore big moustaches and women were wallflowers to be rescued. No. I’m looking for a fresh slant on that style of books, set whenever and wherever you please, but the emphasis must be on ACTION and PACE. Your ‘hero’ can be male or female, or a group of people. You can set your story now, or in the past (no future stories, OK), and can set it in any genre you please. Go vigilante, go assassin, go cop, go soldier, go adventurer, go gunslinger, go swordsman, go pirate, go highwayman, go all kung fu if you like. But do the do and make it big and brash and exciting. Make it slightly over the top. Splash your story with gore or with the tang of cordite, and get pulses racing. Think Hollywood summer blockbuster!

Now here’s the deal.

Submissions should be emailed to with the word ‘ACTION’ in the subject line.

Attach your story as a Doc. Or Docx. File.

In the body of your email include up to a 150 words bio (to appear in the book). Also include the title, word count and very brief description of your story (i.e. this is a western starring a gunslinger called Tombstone)

Your document should be double-line spaced in 14 point Times New Roman or Arial font, left flush (not justified), no space between paragraphs.  Use a hard return to denote chapter breaks. Your title should be on the first page, along with the name you write under and how you wish it to appear in any credits.

I will accept reprints where stories have appeared on blog or webzine sites, but only where you the author retain full rights to offer the work. Please list where your story has appeared previously, for purposes of crediting. Original, unpublished work is preferred.

I expect a high influx of submissions. Submission does not guarantee publication. I will be looking to include only the best of the best for inclusion, and my decision is final. I reserve the right to first time publication, but the author retains all copyright beyond this edition and can re-issue their story as they wish following publication.

I will include in the anthology a foreword, and short story, and will edit, format and design the ebook, as well as produce a professional cover. It will be published under the banner of Sempre Vigile Press, under the (working) title ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales (Volume 1).

So what do you get out of this?

You get to be included in an anthology alongside both established and aspiring authors. You get to broaden your readership, and build on your platform. You get exposure to readers you might not have come across otherwise.

But there is more.

Successful submissions will receive a one off payment. Yes, you heard it. I intend paying you for your work. It’s not a massive amount, but think of it as an extra little bonus on top of the other benefits.

Stories up to 2,000 words (give or take 100 words)  = £5.00 (or equivalent)

Stories up to 3,000 words (give or take 100 words) = £10.00 (or equivalent)

Stories up to 4,000 words (give or take 100 words) = £15.00 (or equivalent)

Stories up to 5,000 words = £20.00 (or equivalent)

Sorry, but no stories beyond the 5,000 word limit will be accepted.

Submissions are open now until midnight 30th April 2012.  Acceptance notification will be made by return email. If you are unsuccessful, please take my decision as final as I will not enter into discussion as to why your story was not chosen.  

Good luck

For an idea of just what I'm looking for take a squint at the story below featuring Dirk Ramm. (There's also a handy link from the sidebar)

In addition, this is notice that I will be sending personal invites to certain authors, to raise the 'name' value of the book. You're going to be in good company.


Levi said...

If only you wanted a Graphic Novel! Ever thought of going down the comic route?

Author said...

Would love to see my Joe Hunter books serialised in graphic form.

Unknown said...

I think I may have to have a go at this, thinking a Ninja in the old Wild West, what do you think Matt?

Joe Clifford said...

Sorry. I passed out and hit my head. I could've sworn I read...payment...for one's work! I can't even imagine. I've been subsisting on the wood pulp of contributor copies for so long. I might have a go at this...

Author said...

Jason, Joe. Go for it guys. No promises, but you have as much chance of getting in as anyone else.

Good luck.

Eamon O C said...

No holds barred? I like that. I think I'll share this around, too. Cheers!

Keith Gingell said...

Hello Matt
Just a technical question: Do you want the text left flush of fully justified. Sorry but I don't know what left justifed means.

Author said...

Hey, Keith, thanks for pointing out my faux pas. I do indeed mean 'Left Flush' (not justified).