Theme: This horror/dark fantasy anthology will be centered in a nefarious motel established in the 1960s by the devil himself, some say. Each story needs to take place in a room of the motel. Stories can begin in another location and arrive at the motel or bleed out into the parking lot, but the bulk of the tale should be in the room. Writers can get creative with their stories and the design of their rooms, but the main lobby and innkeeper needs to be consistent if referenced.
Name of the Motel and Description:
Located in a poor, decimated, part of Atlanta, the Kretcher Motel is a two story construct, with peeling mauve paint on the outside. Inside, the lobby looks bright from harsh yellow lighting. It has a mini fountain with no water that sits in the middle of the sticky, dirty, tile floor. Only the counter seems immaculate with a polished mahogany counter. The elevators are filled with graffiti, smell and are missing panels on the ceiling. The halls are ominous and dark, with flickering lights, and grimy diamond patterned carpet.
The motel is in the vicinity of several dilapidated buildings, overgrown shrubbery, and a 24 hour gas station sits directly across from the motel. Although it sells little gas, it is frequented by prostitutes, hustlers and drug dealers who make use of its restrooms for their services. Other desperate individuals down on their luck can be seen standing, leaning against or walking by the hotel as they wait for their miracle or enjoying the many snacks to be purchased there.
Name and description of the Innkeeper:
Sybline Kretcher is an ageless Black woman who could be anywhere from 35-70, with warm, cinnamon-colored skin with dark, and pupil-less onyx eyes. Her usual dress consists of jeans, t-shirts bearing the names of funk bands emblazoned across the front and multiple sets of silver hoops in her ears that clink together whenever she moves. She wears elaborate, tall head wraps that suggest thick, long hair, but she never unveils it. Sybline is a tall woman at 6’5” and has a shapely, intimidating form. Other notable aspects are her nicotine-stained, black lips and long, black nails. When she speaks, her voice is low and sultry as the cognac upon her breath, with more than a hint of world weariness. Some believe that Sybline is a witch. Some think she's crazy as it often appears that she talks to herself, but the truth is far more frightening as Sybline knows that many who come to the Kretcher Motel will never leave!
What We Want For the first Colors in Darkness anthology, we are seeking, thirteen well-written, diverse tales of horror, paranormal and dark fantasy. Each story should be mainly set within a room of the motel. A reference to the lobby and the innkeeper should appear in each tale. Stories can range from subtle paranormal to terrifying horror.
What We Don’t Want We will reject any stories that contain rape, bestiality, or the abuse of minors. Stories featuring well-worn tropes (vampires, zombies, werewolves) will need a new exciting twist to be considered. Violence and sex are acceptable but make them integral to the plot. Other than that, use your imagination—horror is nothing without imagination and atmosphere.
Submissions ▪ Submit your work to ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with ‘CID Hotel: Story Title_Your Last Name’ in the subject line. Attach your story as a DOC or DOCX file. Submissions sent in the body of the email will not be read.
▪ We prefer to see submissions using something approaching Standard Manuscript Format, which can be found here: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html. The only exception is that italics MUST appear as they will be used— no underlining.
▪ Include a brief cover letter in the body of your email stating your name, pen name (if using one), story title with word count, a brief summary, address, website or blog, and any professional publication credits you think might interest us.
▪ We are looking for works between 2,500-7,500 words. Please query if you wish to submit outside of these guidelines.
▪ No simultaneous submissions, please. We ask that you don’t submit a story to us and to another market at the same time.
▪ Multiple submissions are okay. If sending more than one story, please send them in separate emails.
We are not accepting reprints for this anthology.
Payment We will pay a flat $10 per story via PayPal only. Payment will be made within 30 days of publication. Authors will also receive one print copy of the anthology.
Rights We are seeking Worldwide English Language rights for 12 months in print and digital formats.
Authors from outside of the United States are welcome.
Submission Deadline and Publication Schedule We will be accepting submissions from July 1st -September 1st, with an expectation that the announcement of stories selected will be announced at the 2nd Annual Colors in Darkness party. The anthology is expected to be published by January 1st.