Submission call

This one has me fascinated - I've never been published by Gray Friar Press, so I'm not promoting my chums or anything here, but this is a book I would be keen to read, let alone appear in.

PAGING MR HITCHCOCK - an anthology of dark stories inspired by the cinema

Whatever differences we acknowledge between film and prose, it cannot be denied that the two have a major relationship. Cinema has always sought the printed page to inform its storytelling, while authors continually recognise the influence of the screen. Nevertheless, the two media are not interchangeable. Quite enough has been discussed concerning the transition of text to camera, but little has been explored regarding the alternative route: the way literary writers use the imagery and ideas of directors to create their own effects with words.

This book will allow contributors to display how film has shaped their work. Rather than paying homage to a specific film genre, we want authors to choose either a favourite director or a cinematic "style" or sub-genre (see below for suggestions) in order to reveal this. The idea is to demonstrate how different techniques of the camera might be captured, developed or even eschewed by prose. Show us the limitations and advantages of drawing upon the screen; be clever and inventive. Avoid pastiche or a simple conversion of themes, etc — push yourself, and fiction, into new expressionist quarters…

Stories can be any length, though there will be a preference for 4,000-7,000 words; still, if you’ve got a fine novella, send it along. HOWEVER, please send a short synopsis of your story first, the better to avoid overlap. Email your synopses/submissions to BOTH Gary Fry and Gary McMahon at submissions — we're not fussy about font and format, but do make it legible. That's it! Get writing!

NOTE: one of the problems with Gray Friar Press's previous anthology, Poe's Progeny, was that many authors who were rejected simply dug out an existing story and appended a plausible source to it! Be warned — we'll know if you’ve done this, and unless it works very well, will be less inclined to accept or even read all of it. Having said that, the submissions accepted will shape the finished anthology; we're eager to put together a book which is structured as much by the contributors' ingenuity as it is by any preconceived ideas we might possess...

If you're unsure as to the type of fiction the publisher prefers, check out a copy of its previous anthology Poe's Progeny — These tales combine story, character and theme with both craftmanship and an artful use of language.

Payment: negotiated. In the real world of independent press publishing, there's only so much money to make projects viable. We'll be as fair as we can, while guaranteeing exposure — distribution in both the UK and the States — to all contributors. Please enquire.

Response time: ASAP, but please remember that the editors have lives, too.

Deadline for submissions: when it's full.

Submission period opens: 1st December. Please don't submit before that date.

More information:

Examples of directors you might want to consider: Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Roman Polanski, Werner Herzog... The list is endless.

Examples of cinematic "styles": New Wave Cinema, 1970s Hollywood movie Brats, European cinema, Japanese cinema, Dogma, American Indie cinema, the cinema of paranoia, Exploitation cinema, Slasher horror, Underground cinema, Silent cinema... In short, anything worthy goes, so be inventive!

All stories will be judged on merit, regardless of the author, though specific writers with some publishing pedigree might make pitching a story with a similar source a tougher option... We'll leave that to you. Here's what we have from the heavyweights thus far:

Stanley Kubrick — Conrad Williams
Hammer Horror — Mark Morris

And something about the Press itself: Gray Friar Press began life in 2003 when its editor, Gary Fry, decided in a fit of characteristic energy and recklessness to start a magazine called Fusing Horizons. To his delight and surprise, the magazine proved to be a success and Gary was immediately encouraged to announce more ambitious projects. The first of these is a major anthology called Poe’s Progeny, which will soon be followed by a number of other books, each focusing on quality fiction: the short story, the novelette/novella, and maybe even the novel if things take off…

Gray Friar Press is dedicated to presenting the best writing (and artwork) in the field of dark literature. It will continue to publish a combination of more established writers and promising newcomers. It will print material to the highest standard and keep prices reasonable within the context of the independent press. Despite the foregoing benevolent intentions, however, it also hopes to shatter your sleep…