New Call for Stories: The Chromatic Court

Anthology curated by Peter Rawlik

“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with its beautiful stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth…” ~Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow

Robert E. Chambers’ The King in Yellow features a being, the King in Yellow himself, who is embodied in the play of the same name, and in the color yellow.

We want to follow in the footsteps of Chambers, invoking links between specific colors, the mythos deity they might represent, and what influence they might have on the various arts.

For example, what terrifying things are hinted at by the titles the Black Goat, the Green Man, the White Worm, and the Red Queen, and to what arts are they linked?

Give us tales that invoke the chromatic avatars of the Great Old Ones and the impact they have on the arts, but as we all know the arts are open to interpretation, and could easily include architecture, literature, cuisine, pantomime, and haiku. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and color is only an abstract concept, but fear and terror are very real, and so are the Great Old Ones.

What We Want

Fresh takes on the Cthulhu Mythos, Chambers’ mythology (the Yellow Mythos), and Cosmic Horror. This isn’t the place for Lovecraftian clichés. The more it feels like a “lost” Lovecraft story, or relies on the clichés of the genre, the less interested we are. Creativity is the watchword.

While we are open to straight horror, we much prefer submissions closer to Chambers’ style and tone. Which is to say, we’d greatly prefer dark fantasy with a cosmic horror undercurrent. If you’re unfamiliar with Chambers: The Twilight Zone and Manly Wade Wellman’s fiction are excellent examples of that sort of tone and sensibility.

We want complex tales of cosmic horror, the arts and artists all properly hued. To avoid overlap of colors, monsters, titles, and arts story pitches must be made to the curator first (at thechromaticcourt@18thwall.com). We already have a King, and we already have a Prince; help us a fill the rest of the court.

In addition to unique and clever takes on the Chromatic Court concept, we’d prefer strong, developed characters.

Inspiration

We recommend reading Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, the monumental work of dark fantasy that started everything. It’s the foundation of so many of the above ideas and mythology. Lovecraft linked the King in Yellow—both the entity and the play—to his own revised elder god Hastur.

T.E.D. Kline’s Black Man with a Horn linked Nyarlathotep to jazz and horned instruments, making Kline’s story an early forbear of this concept.

My own story The Sepia Prints, featured in my novel Reanimatrix, establishes Cthulhu as the Sepia Prince, and intrinsically links the being to opera.

Sundry Details

Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.

Rights: First World Digital and Print.

Deadline: June 15th

Word Count: 4,000-16,000

How to Submit your Story:

  • Send your pitches to the editor at thechromaticcourt@18thwall.com.
  • All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to thechromaticcourt@18thwall.com.
  • The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
  • The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font).
  • Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. If you already have tabbed or spaced indents, please remove them first. Please use full em dashes (—).
  • At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
  • Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.
  • Place the collection you’re submitting to, your name, and your story title in the subject line of your email. For example, “Speakeasies and Spiritualists / Rose Mackenberg / So You Want to Attend a Séance?”

Curator Bio

Peter Rawlik is the author of the novels Reanimators, The Weird Company, and Reanimatrix, and the co-editor for the anthology Legacy of the Reanimator.  His fiction has appeared in Tales of the Shadowmen, The Lovecraft eZine, Talebones, Morpheus Tales, Crypt of Cthulhu, and Innsmouth Magazine. The concept for The Chromatic Court evolved out of his story The Sepia Prints, which became a key chapter in Reanimatrix.

New Call for Stories: After Avalon

Anthology curated by Nicole Petit

King Arthur is dead. Camelot has fallen. Britain drowns in Saxons.

These are the stories of what come after.

After Avalon is seeking stories based on the premise, “What happened to these people and relics after Camelot fell?” What do the knights do when there is no more Brittan to defend? Did Sarras fall, or did the nation surviving knights built stand the test of time? Who wears the Green Knight’s girdle, now, and where does the Lady in the Lake reside? Is Merlin still trapped inside his tree? Who else has gone to Avalon?

Were Galahad, the Holy Grail, and the Spear of Destiny really assumed into Heaven? Or did bards invent that story, an easy solution to explain where Camelot’s greatest knight was on the day Camlann killed them all?

What’s become of the Questing Beast and the White Stag? Gawain’s mother and half-brother have destroyed Camelot, what does he do now? Does Pellinore still chase the Beast?

Has Arthur already returned?

Stories can take place anywhere between Arthur’s death and the present day. Stories set in the future may or may not prove to be a harder sell.

We encourage historically accurate stories set in a variety of times and places. Don’t be afraid to set your story during the crusades, or the Victorian era. Beware that the curator and her assistants are extreme history buffs, and they will notice anything inaccurate. Do your homework.

We’ll say no, thank you to excessively dark stories or stories that insult the Arthurian tradition.

If you’re looking for inspiration, we recommend: Neil Gaiman’s “Chivalry,” Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Marvel Comics’ Prince Valiant miniseries (1994), Simon R. Green’s Drinking Midnight Wine, the Justice League Unlimited episode “Patriot Act,” and “In the Deep, Deep Shallows” (issues #4-6 of Knights of the Living Dead; the preceding issues, which live up to the title, are the epitome of what we do not want).

Arthur2

Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.

Rights: First World Digital and Print.

Deadline: April 2nd, 2016

Word Count: 1,000-15,000

How to Submit your Story:

  • All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to submissions@18thwall.com.
  • The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
  • The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font). Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. Please use full em dashes (—).
  • At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
  • Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.

Place your name, story title, and word count in the subject line of your email. For example, “After Avalon / Neil Gaiman / Chivalry.”