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King David & the Spiders from Mars (tentative): Submission Guidelines - Tim Lieder — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tim Lieder

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King David & the Spiders from Mars (tentative): Submission Guidelines [Sep. 25th, 2011|12:54 am]
Tim Lieder
Note the extended deadline and increased advance. Thank you.

Due to the positive response to She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror, I will be editing another Bible-themed anthology. Tentatively titled King David & The Spiders from Mars: More Tales of Biblical Terror, a follow-up.

What I'm Looking For: Short stories, ideally between 1000-12000 words. All stories must be based in some way on the Bible stories. I would prefer stories from the book of Samuel (usually edited to be 1 & 2) which is the story about how Israel transitioned from a Judge based society to a kingdom under King David. However any story based on a Bible tale will suffice. Seeking stories in all genres including horror, bizarro, science fiction, fantasy, humor, literary and romance (although if you write a romance between Tamar and Amnon, I'm going to be worried about you and not in a good way).

Check out this Amazon List for reading suggestions. Originally, this was going to be a book dedicated to stories from the Book of Samuel (which is about the transition of Israel from a Judge-based anarchy to a kingdom under David) but I didn't get as many submissions as I would like and there were too many Witch of Endor stories.

Suggestions:
Retellings of Biblical Stories from the perspective of another character.
Kiastic Storytelling
Deconstructionist Commentary akin to Rashi
Biblical stories retold in different literary styles (high adventure, Victorian, Romance, Mystery, etc.)
Modern stories told in the Biblical style (Best use Robert Alter's Art of Biblical Poetry and Art of Biblical Narrative if you want a crash course)
Cthulu/Prophet Mashups (still amused by that joke. Don't know why)
Stories from minor or "villain" character perspectives
Biblical Movie Parodies

I am also impressed by the following: original takes on classic stories, strong female characters, stories that actually understand the original tales, style.

Formatting Guidelines: Please use Standard Manuscript format. I am going to be a little more hard on people not using this format since the last time I had stories where I couldn't get back to the writers because they neglected to put their emails on the stories so I had no way of knowing how to tell them that they were rejected. One even made it to the Maybe pile. Please submit in .rtf or .doc.

What I am not Looking For:I have a blog post for the first Bible anthology where I go off on the "do not want" list. It basically comes down to "no preachiness" which is the major pitfall for people tackling these kind of stories. I don't want a story with an agenda - whether it's atheist, Christian or Jewish. Do not set a Sodom & Gomorrah story in San Francisco. Do not send poetry. Do not retell a Bible story from a character's perspective that adds absolutely nothing to the narrative. In the last anthology, I got a bunch of stories that had to stop to tell me that "Jesus is love" just as the fundamentalist Christian axe murder was about to strike. Please don't do that. Also, there are themes covered in the first book (Samson, Witch of Endor, Daniel) that I thought were amazing. If you read the first book and see a story with your theme, your take better be radically different for me to consider it.

Pay: $100 advance against equal share of royalties - to be paid out no later than publication. Note that I have raised the Advance from $50.

Reading Period: November 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012 - please note that I have extended the reading period. Please spread the word.

Reprints. Yes. Same price. Make sure you tell me where it was originally published and that it is available for reprint right sales.

Multiple and Simultaneous Submissions:No. Do not send multiple submissions. Multiple submissions will be erased unread. If you have a simultaneous submission, please tell me.

Send to: timlieder1 - at - gmail.com

Feel free to repost these Submission guidelines where ever there are interested parties.

Edit: Even though this is going to be a general Bible-themed anthology instead of one focusing on Samuel, I am still getting stories based on Samuel which is great. However, please note that I am speaking about 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel (most agree that it both parts make up one book) and I am getting very few stories based on 2 Samuel (this is after David becomes king and includes tales of Joab, Tamar and Absalom) and I am eager to see some.

Also, I have read 3 Witch of Endor stories thus far. Please be warned that this is a VERY hard sell since I already bought a Witch of Endor story for the previous anthology ("As If Favorites of their God") and I don't want to repeat that theme in this one. Furthermore, I will be comparing your story to that story and even if you have a perfectly decent story, I will need a radical departure and a particularly unique approach to consider buying it.

Advice: As noted above, I read three Witch of Endor stories. I have also read other stories that repeat a trope from the first book. Best to familiarize yourself with the first book when submitting. If you are telling a story based on a story that was covered in the first book, I am going to be comparing it to the first story. In which case, your story about Samson's wife or the Witch of Endor or Ruth better be so original and amazing that I forget about that other story.

In other words, if you are still trying to figure out what to write for this anthology (submissions end on March 31) it's a good idea to avoid writing stories that are too similar to stories in the first anthology.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: prezzey
2011-09-26 12:17 am (UTC)
Oh yes yes! I want to read another one! Can you make it a series? ;]

BTW, what rights do you buy? Right now I'm all too busy writing nonfiction, but this is one of the things I tend to look for in the submissions guidelines.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2011-09-26 03:07 am (UTC)
First Worldwide Rights and Reprint Rights depending on what I'm buying.
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2011-10-28 06:45 am (UTC)
I write quite a lot of Lovecraftian stories. I've had three purchased by Innsmouth Free Press. Would something on the lines of Cthulhu Ate Saul's or ... Brains (Not real intended title)be appropriate for this.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2011-10-30 09:04 pm (UTC)
Sure, just find a hook and make it work. I have a Cthulu/Jonah mashup in She Nailed a Stake Through His Head that you may either want to read for inspiration or avoid entirely.
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2011-10-30 10:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that. I think I'll put on my goggles and have a commune with the dark forces. Much of my work deals with the effect of overweening hubris on human failure. I have some ideas.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2011-10-31 03:52 am (UTC)
Good luck. Obviously, reading She Nailed a Stake Through His Head will give you a good idea of what I'm looking for (shameless plug) but I tend to have a very fluid view of what's good. I pretty much need to fall in love with a story to buy it - which is sadly quite useless as a submission guideline - but there are a lot of stories that I read that make me feel like I am on a perfectly harmless but not terribly exciting blind date where I like the person/story but I am not terribly excited to see them again. And even a second look doesn't change that view.

But in the first anthology of Bible-themed stories, there are really out there disgusting stories (like the Jonah/Cthulu mashup) and very understated horror stories (like the vampire Christian story) and everything in-between including tragic romance, experimental and one story that pretty much reminded me of the fifth season of Angel (except the evil corporation was modeled after the Babylonians in the Book of Daniel)
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[User Picture]From: valarltd
2012-01-08 12:40 am (UTC)
Question: considering the tale of the Levite's concubine set in a SF milieu. Will that work for you?
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-01-09 06:44 pm (UTC)
Might as well try it. Which Levite? Where is it from?
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[User Picture]From: strange_selkie
2012-01-17 03:03 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I am coming late to this table, but I hope I can come up with something; and never fear, I have stern editors, so if I do manage to make the deadline you won't have to spork your eyeballs out for my sake.

Here via sovay, my muse's lashon hara.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-01-18 07:14 am (UTC)
Great. I may also extend the submission guideline - depending on how many definite stories I have by the end of the month. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: William Wood
2012-01-30 01:29 pm (UTC)
Down to the proverbial wire. Any ruling on that extension? I can always use an extra day or two. :)
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-01-30 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Looks like I'm going to extend this one. I'll make it official tomorrow. I will also be raising the advance.
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[User Picture]From: davisac1
2012-01-30 08:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank goodness for the extension; I did a terrible job of writing in January and was annoyed at myself for missing this one. I'll keep thinking.
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[User Picture]From: William Wood
2012-01-30 08:44 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I'll make good use of the time!
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[User Picture]From: scifiwritir
2012-02-07 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the extension. I've always wanted to do something on 2 Kings 17. With the extension, maybe I can manage to come up with something. Thanks so much. Due date is now 31 March 2012, am I right?
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-02-09 03:30 am (UTC)
Yep
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[User Picture]From: Philip Schmohl
2012-03-10 05:13 am (UTC)
Three of David's top 'Mighty Men', one of them being Benaniah (my favorite Biblical 'superhero' of all time), has been the focus of much of my inner narrative for the past few years! I've been looking for a market for the idea to God knows how long. I've NEVER published and only have one rejection slip from Cat Rambo of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. Could you be the first?! God knows. Can I romp with this? I mean just color outside the lines (the Bible doesn't go into Ben's head when he's doing all his 'Mighty Deeds', but I want to. I want to be able to make David's language more current also, ya know, "C'mon Ben, I told you Asferllagus, was on his way. What didn't you understand about the Egyptian's motives for coming after you?!" Ya know, I guess I need to read some of the previous anthology to get a glimpse of what you're really looking for. I've got three weeks to pump this out. I mean it, this is exciting. I'm going to work......
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[User Picture]From: steve poling
2012-04-13 11:56 pm (UTC)
BTW, I have written a story where Benaiah is a middle-aged operator in King Solomon's court. Aside from being menacing, the coolest thing he does is to warn the protagonist that a member of her party "has an evil spirit." It doesn't mean a demon, but it is his term for recommending that the guy needs counseling.
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[User Picture]From: Philip Schmohl
2012-03-10 05:38 am (UTC)
I tried to upgrade, but my encryption software keeps messing it up. I'm not sure if I've upgraded to a full account. ....but I want to! This sight is boss....
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[User Picture]From: jamedenbou
2012-04-05 01:45 am (UTC)
Is there any chance that you might extend the deadline a bit longer?
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-04-29 05:17 pm (UTC)
Maybe. Right now it kind of depends on what I get in the slush pile. Thus far I only have three stories that I like enough to publish (although the maybe pile is there) so if it doesn't fill (at least 7 stories) I will extend it.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-05-18 10:43 pm (UTC)
You know what. If you got something - go ahead and send it in. I'm being very picky right now so might as well add to the slush pile.
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[User Picture]From: steve poling
2012-04-12 09:45 pm (UTC)
Has the deadline expired? I'm inclined to write about the capture of the Ark of the Covenant. (I'd have started earlier, but I had other writing projects waiting in line ahead of this.)
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-04-29 05:18 pm (UTC)
Finish the story and then query. I am still reading slush and it depends on how much I get from the slush pile. If I get enough to fill an anthology, I won't. But I'm highly critical and I only want to include stories that I absolutely love.
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