Open Calls


No open reading periods scheduled, check back or follow Ralan’s, Submissions Grinder, or Duotrope.


Adventures in Zookeeping

IMPORTANT: You must have attended the special panel at MileHiCon in Denver, Colorado in October 2015 to submit to this anthology OR have a personal invitation from the editor. Sam Knight has the names of all attendees.

Publisher: Villainous Press
Working Title: Adventures in Zookeeping
Special Status: This is a charity anthology to benefit MileHiCon.
Submission Period: October 30, 2015 to January 31st, 2016.
Publication Date: MileHiCon, Denver, Colorado, October 2016.
Assigned ISBN-13: Print – 978-1-62225-1988, Digital – 978-1-62225-1995

Assigned Editor: Sam Knight

Status: Preparation.

Adventures in Zookeeping is the second benefit anthology supporting MileHiCon in Denver, Colorado. In order to submit to this open call, you must have attended the panel, “So you want to be in an anthology?” at MileHiCon 47, October 2015, or you have talked to the editor, Sam Knight in advance.

We have a list of the attendees. We may invite professionals to include stories.

We had a few questions about this. Middle school classroom, prison, and the like. My answer was “you have to convince me it’s a zoo.”  In other words, don’t write the sequel to The Shawshank Redemption and think it’s okay to slip in the phrase “the prison was a zoo”.

Here are the overall guidelines:

  • The story must involve zookeeping and/or be about zoos. Saying “the prison was a zoo” does not cut it. The theme is Adventures in Zookeeping, not Adventures in the Zoo. Please don’t send in an expanded version of Dick and Jane: At the Zoo.
  • For this anthology, any genre is acceptable. You may drift outside of the speculative realm if desired.
  • Use Shunn formatting. A free template is available here.
  • No tab to indent the first line of a paragraph. Single space after punctuation. Sentences should be double spaced (extra space between each line of a paragraph so we can make notes).
  • Times New Roman, 12point font.
  • PG-13 rating. No sex. No erotica. No graphic violence. Cussing to be limited to hell and damn. If you’re fond of the F word, your story will be rejected. No bestiality, child abuse, QUILTBAG-bashing, forced sexual encounters, or necrophilia. It’s sad this has to be added to an open call.
  • Not opposed to faith based stories, just as long as it’s important to the character or story line. If they’re preaching on any belief system, the piece will be rejected.
  • Please submit in .doc files or .rtf files only. No .docx files, no PDFs, no text documents.
  • Story length: between 500 words (flash fiction) and 7,000 words.
  • Try to keep in mind, the longer or shorter your story is, the better it has to be! The average stories are 2,000 to 6,000 words.
  • Your story will be edited and you are expected to make the appropriate corrections. If you are adverse to editing, this is not the anthology for you.
  • You may receive some feedback if your story is not accepted, depending on the availability of the editor.
  • This is a business venture, not a pal publishing your story as-is. Nothing is personal, including edit requests or rejections.
  • The editor for this anthology, Sam Knight, will have the final authority of what is accepted from attendees of the panel.
  • You will receive a contract in PDF format. You will need to sign it with a digital certificate or hand-sign and scan it. Using a handwriting-type font will not work.
  • Update us if you have any change in your contact information.
  • Payment is currently a digital copy of the anthology. Depending on the number and quality of the submissions, this may be upgraded to a print edition at the sole discretion of the publisher. We did provide print copies for 2015.
  • Authors may purchase additional copies at a 40% discount.
  • After costs are recouped (providing copies to the authors, cover artwork and design, etc.), all funds will benefit MileHiCon in Denver, Colorado.
  • If you have any questions, you may contact the editor, Sam Knight: sam (at) samknight (dot) com.
  • Please act professional in your correspondence.
  • When the book is released, we expect you to help promote it using your social media skills.
  • We accept stories from professionals to people crafting their first story. Each story must stand on its own merit.
  • We welcome diversity in authors as well as stories.
  • At the end of your story, please include a bio after the words THE END (bold, centered). Use third person, up to around 150 words. We suggest making sure your author webpage is included in your bio so new fans can find you.
  • If you will be using a pen name, use your real name and add “writing as Jane Doe” after it. Contracts must use your actual name and address.
  • Copyrights will be listed for each author or pen name. The stories will be licensed to Villainous Press for one year after publication. After that, you may use them in a collection or resell it as a reprint. The reprints should note it originally appeared in the Adventures on Zookeeping benefit anthology.
  • We will be sending a copy out to several “best of” editors, so your story may get picked up or mentioned in one of the “Best Of” anthologies.
  • Reprints may be considered, contact Sam first before submitting.
  • No simultaneous submissions, please.

Submit your story here via Submittable.
Sam :@: SamKnight :dot: com

* * *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *