If the following excerpt from a call for submissions sounds interesting, please don’t lament having missed the deadline in 2019. The intrepid editors plan to put out an anthology of weird stories (or poems) each year. (Previously published work is OK if the author retained the rights.) This post ends with a few visual hints about ways to be weirdly funny.
The Writers’ Co-op invites submissions of short stories (and poems) for the second edition of our yearly anthology, The Rabbit Hole. Volume one was released in November last year, volume two is scheduled for September 2019.
This year, we are looking for weird stories dealing with the following themes: entertainment, weather or science. (If you want to combine all three, we’re very open to stories about a group of scientists on their way to the theatre when they’re caught in a freak snowstorm.) However, there will also be a section Weird At Large for stories that don’t fit the specific themes suggested.
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The deadline is 31st March 2019. Submissions should be sent in an attached file to curtis.bausse(at)outlook.com with the subject ‘Co-op submission’. They may have been previously published on personal websites (or elsewhere) but authors must have full rights to them when submitting. Authors will retain said rights after the story or poem is published in the Writers’ Co-op anthology.
The call for submissions describes the many kinds of weirdness suitable for the anthology. While definitely not required, humor is encouraged. For visual hints about ways to be weirdly funny (and sometimes thought-provoking), those whose memories of works like the classic Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson have faded can look at some of the Bizarro cartoons by Dan Piraro. The following images are also links to the pages where they appear and are discussed:
The subtitle’s question is rhetorical, not an ancient conundrum. Nearly all of the prose I read or write is nonfiction. Why am I posting (for the third and final time) about a book of weird stories rather than about something in the endlessly fascinating Real World?
The tweetable answer begs the question. Sure, I wrote one of the 35 stories. (Click here to see blurbs for some of them.) But why did I get involved in a substantial fiction project? The answer is some nonfiction weirdness.
The call for submissions grabbed me in 2 ways:
- Contributors could opt (as many indeed would) to have their shares of any royalties donated to the Against Malaria Foundation.
- While weird things are often disturbing (when not merely weird), the call was emphatic about the possibility of being weird and funny (or even weird and funny and disturbing, all at once).
Hmmm. Could some of the stories in this anthology be simultaneously weird and funny and thought-provoking? Could they be a little like some of the best surrealist paintings? The following photo doubles down on the idea behind a great painting by René Magritte:
Seduced by the call for submissions, I took up the challenge of revising a fragment of weird fiction from a discussion of several poems (and comments) that involved various people, so as make a standalone short story that would be broader and even weirder. After another revision in light of helpful comments from one of the editors (Atthys Gage), I believe that my story is good as well as weird. It is also just 2 pages long, so even those who dislike it may still be glad they bought The Rabbit Hole for $2.99 as an e-book or $12.50 as an ink-on-paper book.
BTW, gecko lizards really can climb straight up hard, smooth walls. Weird. But they don’t speak with an Australian accent or tout insurance. Not in this universe, anyway.
Providing a brief writer’s bio for the anthology prompted me to revise this blog’s grossly outdated About page. The revised page has a new joke, a few links, and a nice photo. A nice photo of me would be really weird, so the photo is of something else appropriate.
The first volume in a new Writers’ Co-op anthology series will be released on 2018-11-01:
An e-book version can be preordered now by clicking on the image and then clicking on the button for your platform. On the release date, the e-price will rise from $1.99 to $2.99. There will be good news then also: oldsters like me will be able to buy the physical ink-on-paper version from Amazon.
For 3 of the 4 platforms reached from the link to The Rabbit Hole, the platform’s page has a nice summary of the contents and spirit of the anthology:
While I will wait for hard copy before reading the whole thing, I really have read several of the stories (not just the one I contributed). I solemnly swear (or affirm) that the following paragraph is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Rabbit Hole‘s first edition has 35 diverse selections by 35 authors. Anybody with a taste for weirdness has a good chance of finding some things they like. Moods are as varied as lengths, which run from 1 to 17 pages (with 7.6 as the average). There is humanity and humor as well as some darkness and much weirdness.