The Official Boothworld Industries Anthology

Christopher Bloodworth Uncategorized

Open Submissions for Writers and Artists

Anybody can submit a story to the Boothworld Industries anthology, and we mean anybody. There’s only one eligibility requirement: any story you submit must be written in English. That’s it!

Story Submission Guidelines

SUBMISSION PERIOD

Submissions will be accepted from January 15 – July 1, 2014. We expect to make our final selections by August 31, 2014.

PAYMENT

  • $20, whaaaaaaaaaaat.
  • A .pdf of the Boothworld Anthology.

LENGTH

Stories can be any length, but we recommend a length of 1,500 – 7,500 words. We will almost certainly be printing stories longer or shorter than these limits, but we expect most stories in the book will fall into this range.

RIGHTS

Our payment buys the following rights:

  • World anthology rights in English and translation
  • Audio and ebook anthology rights
  • Film rights

World anthology rights and audio/ebook anthology rights are specific to anthologies. These are non-exclusive licenses allowing us to use your story in anthologies only. Specifying “in translation” allows us to request that your work be included in any potential foreign editions as well.

You retain all other print rights. So you’re free to also sell your story to magazines, websites, podcasts, as an individual short story (say, on Kindle), or in a collection of your own work, or even sell it to another anthology after our book has been out for a while. It’s your story, and you keep it — we just want to be the first to print it.

Film rights allow us to include your story in any conversations we have about adapting the general Boothworld concept into a film or TV show. Buying the rights upfront means that if any producer is interested in a Boothworld movie, we can instantly say “Yes! Make it happen!” without unresolved rights issues scaring anybody off (plenty of movies don’t get made for lesser reasons). We don’t know if there will ever be an Boothworld movie or show, but we’d love for there to be! And having the rights ready just in case increases the odds that it could actually happen.

Additionally, we expect to release a Creative Commons edition of the book. If you have strong feeling about this either way, please let us know upfront so we can take it into account when reading your story.

FORMATTING

We only accept email submissions. You can either paste your story into the body of your email message or send an attachment. If you are attaching, please use Microsoft Word (DOC), Rich Text Format (RTF), or Plain Text (TXT) formats only. Any word processor should be able to save a file as at least one of those formats. We’re not sticklers for things like double-spacing and paragraph indentation and point size. Just submit a file that is as readable as possible.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Send your story to boothworldsubmissions at gmail dot com. Please use the following subject line when submitting…

[BI] STORY TITLE – Your Name

So if your name is Ashley Cesana and your story is called “SHE DESERVED IT” then the subject line of your email should read…

[BI] SHE DESERVED IT – Ashley Cesana

This is in case we get two stories with the same title, so we can tell which one is yours. Please follow this format, so your submission does not get overlooked!

Next, in the body of your email, please include the following information…

  • Title: The title of your story
  • Pen name: How you would want your name to appear in print
  • Word count: Approximately how many words are in your story
  • Real name: Your real name (not a pseudonym or handle — this is the name that will go on the contract)
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Short biography: This is optional, but we’d be happy to read a short paragraph or two about your previous writing experience, where you’re from, or any personal information that has a bearing on your story. No other cover letter is necessary.

All of this information is REQUIRED (except the short biography). Don’t ask us if you can omit one or more pieces of information because the answer is “NO”. However, we won’t share any of your personal information with ANYBODY, and we will only use your contact information to tell you whether your story was accepted, and then once to tell you when the book is finished. We will always try to contact you via email first — the phone number will only be used if we need to get in touch with you and email isn’t working.

If your story is accepted we’ll ask you to confirm all your information, and you’ll also have the chance at that time to write a new short biography for publication in the book.

Finally, we ask that each writer submit no more than 3 stories. Please send only previously unpublished work, and no simultaneous submissions. Otherwise, have fun! We can’t wait to read all your stories!

The Kinds of Stories We’re Looking For

Boothworld Industries is an anthology of short stories with a shared premise. (If you haven’t looked at the first couple of short stories yet, go ahead and do that now.)

  1. http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/1compp/6302967536/
  2. http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/1e2prk/boothworld_industries/
  3. http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/1hp54w/1109/
  4. http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/1s95jn/black_friday/

All stories in the book start with the idea of a global corporation engaged in various nefarious activities. If you can imagine it, Boothworld Industries is probably doing it.

What are we looking for in a story? All kinds of stuff! There’s not one particular type of story we’d like to see, but there are some general guidelines we can share. Here are some things we like:

  • Characters we like spending time with. Your characters don’t have to be nice or likable, but there should be something about them that makes a reader want to spend time with them.
  • Diverse settings, viewpoints, and voices. We don’t want a book where every story is about the same kind of people. We want a book that explores every corner of the world! You’ve read the short stories. We don’t need more of the same; instead, show us something we didn’t see there. Boothworld Industries is composed of as many departments as you can think of. Maybe some departments slip bizarre objects into shipped packages, maybe some are charged with influencing politics. The sky is the limit on this.
  • The kind of details that come with experience. Stories don’t need to be based on real life, but we love it when writers are able to add details from their own experiences and observations. We like learning new things from people who have been there.
  • A central, compelling idea or conflict. We like stories where things happen, where characters change and grow, or where exciting ideas are shared. We want stories that can stand on their own feet, and don’t rely entirely on the death of the narrator or a loved one at the hands of Boothworld Industries for their oomph.

Some other important things to keep in mind as you are thinking about your story:

  • The stories in the book have a shared premise, but they don’t belong to a shared universe. Boothworld Industries is everywhere and involved in everything. Details can change from story to story, including how they work, who uses it, how the world reacts to it, and so on. If we wanted to have a shared universe, we’d need to make up a huge list of thousands of details that every story must agree on. That sounds boring, and frankly we think the stories are better when writers can be as creative as they want.
  • You can assume that a person reading your story will already be very familiar with the premise of the book. You are welcome to provide your own creative explanations and descriptions of the corporation if you like — but don’t feel like you have to explain the premise. *There are a few things that do need to be consistent among the stories. Boothworld Industries always wins. Boothworld makes the world run and controls it. There is no outsmarting it as it is all seeing/all knowing. Those are the most important elements of the premise — beyond that, you are welcome to experiment with different permutations of everything else. The setting does not have to be contemporary; Boothworld was founded in 1888 but I’m sure that tendrils of it existed before that date. The world can be either speculative or familiar, etc.
  • Your story MUST prominently feature either Boothworld Industries or its agents. It can’t just be mentioned in passing — it has to play a role of some significance. However, your story does not need to include people dying, killing, or any other particular scene related to the corporation. It’s boring if all the stories have the same scenes, so how you use the corporation and its agents is totally up to you!
  • We welcome stories in all genres, all styles, all settings, and all tones. You don’t have to write a horror story if you don’t want to. Write the very best story that you know how to write, and do your best to surprise us with a new take on the premise! You don’t need to write your story in 1st person. Write it however you want. Want to write a newspaper article or scholarly essay on Boothworld Industries or its agents? Have fun. Really. Go nuts.

Approaches to Avoid

We think the premise of Boothworld Industries is really open-ended and that it allows for plenty of different kinds of stories. However, the premise often does point people down a few well-worn trails, so we’ve also seen some ideas come up again and again. The list that follows includes some of the most common kinds of stories we get. This doesn’t mean that stories with these plots are bad or that we’ll refuse to put them in the book. But since we like to be surprised, we’d love to have more people direct their creativity in other directions too.

  • Boothworld Is After Me: A person gets a death prediction that seems straightforward and they expend a great deal of energy avoiding whatever it is that’s supposed to kill them.
  • I Killed Someone With Boothworld: The story is about a person deciding to use Boothworld to their own benefit. This doesn’t work. Boothworld always wins. We’ve read a few of these, and yours would have to do something significantly different to be seriously considered. In general, you’ll have a much better shot if there’s more to your story than this!
  • The Otherwise Ordinary Serial Killer/Terrorist: Boothworld Industries drives an otherwise perfectly normal person to become a serial killer or a terrorist. Our verdict: You would probably have to be the world’s greatest writer to make this kind of transformation believable. Serial killers are particularly overexposed in movies and books today, so once again we’d love to see more stories about other things.

Also keep in mind that we may ask you to add a sentence, or even a paragraph, in order to tie all the stories together. We WILL NOT be changing your story though.

Good luck, have fun, and we hope to hear from you soon!


Open Submissions for Artists

If you’d like us to add you to the pool of artists to consider, we’d be happy to! Just follow the guidelines below.

To clarify: we do not want artists to submit finished Boothworld illustrations at this time. We want to see portfolio samples that indicate to us how great you would be at illustrating a new story in the next book! We will then commission a new illustration from you once we’ve chosen the stories.

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

SUBMISSION PERIOD

Submissions will be accepted from January 15 – July 1, 2014. We expect to notify selected artists by August 31, 2014.

PAYMENT

We will pay $20 (US) per commission.

RIGHTS

We will buy the following rights to the commissioned work:

  • World anthology rights in English and translation
  • Ebook anthology rights. We may also wish to negotiate additional reprint rights on a case-by-case basis.

PORTFOLIO CONTENT

Work submitted can be of any nature, but we strongly recommend that it be similar stylistically to the work that we will print in the book — in other words, black & white illustrations with a strong sense of tone and narrative. Samples of this sort will give us the best sense of your appropriateness for this project in particular.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Send an email to boothworldsubmissions at gmail dot com. Please use the following subject line when submitting…

[BI] ART PORTFOLIO – Your Name

So if your name is Brittany Teller, the subject line of your email should read…

[BI] ART PORTFOLIO – Brittany Teller

Next, in the body of your email, please include the following information…

  • Pen name: How you would want your name to appear in print
  • Real name: Your real name (not a pseudonym or handle — this is the name that will go on the contract)
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Short biography: This is optional, but we’d be happy to read a short paragraph or two about your art credits or experience, where you’re from, or any personal information that has a bearing on your work. No other cover letter is necessary.
  • Links to your online portfolio, with direct links to particular pieces whenever possible. Between five and ten links is ideal. More than ten is discouraged. Three is probably the minimum.

All of this information is REQUIRED (except the short biography). Don’t ask us if you can omit one or more pieces of information because the answer is “NO”. However, we won’t share any of your personal information with ANYBODY, and we will only use your contact information to discuss your submission. We will always try to contact you via email first — the phone number will only be used if we need to get in touch with you and email isn’t working.

And that’s it! Hope to hear from you soon!

If you have any questions…

You can leave a comment below, and we’ll respond! We’ll be happy to help, and if appropriate, will post the question and answer on http://www.iambloodworth.com for the edification of others as well.

Submission Guidelines inspired from Machine of Death: http://machineofdeath.net/mod2

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