Submissions

THE VAMPIRES ISSUE

Following on from BODIES, DEMONS and HAUNTINGS, Blood Bath returns to its sanguine roots with its fourth issue; VAMPIRES. We are open to submissions of short fiction, poetry and visual art on the theme VAMPIRES.

In all art forms, across all of history, vampires have persisted as significant players in our cultural imagination. We are obsessed and for good reason. Vampires force us to confront our deepest and most taboo desires and fears. They represent everything inhuman in humanity; our primal fascination with violence and sex, the unimaginable terror of our own mortality, and our innate connection to nature, which terrifies and threatens to destroy our civilized, repressed society.

As with many of our themes, this one is broad and already has a large collection of works in the world. Successful submissions will put a new spin on an existing idea, try out a new and unexpected medium or tell the story from an unexplored perspective.

For this issue, we are interested in pieces that push the boundaries of what a vampire can be, what vampirism can teach us about ourselves. We want queer vampires, vampires struggling to understand their gender identity, depressed vampires, reluctant vampires, vampires dealing with racism across the vastness of time. We want to hear human stories told through a horror lens. And as usual, we want to be disturbed, unnerved and generally made to feel very uncomfortable.

Vampire stories are one of the most interesting avenues in horror for self-examination and self-perception. We are looking for searing, emotional, striking work that aims to challenge and dislodge traditional ideas around this most iconic horror mainstay.

Note: For this issue, we will not be accepting work by straight, white, cisgender men. In previous issues, we have tried our hardest to elevate more marginalised creators while still remaining a space for everyone, but in recent times it has become harder and harder to encourage marginalised people to submit, and we are often overwhelmed by submissions from straight cis white men. We hope that by clearing the way, we will see more work by creators who are often side-lined or straight up ignored in the horror genre.

Just to be absolutely clear, if you are a white, heterosexual, cis man, we will not be receiving your work for this issue. If you are a man of colour, a queer man, a trans man, or live at the intersection of any or all of these identities, we will happily receive your work. EDIT: After being advised by members of our community, I’d like to amend the call to include all people with disabilities. I am sorry for not including them in the initial post, this was a result of my own privilege. If you are a person of any gender with any disability, you are more than welcome to submit. Thank you to the people who brought this to my attention.

Please keep any abusive or critical opinions on this to yourself. This is not discrimination, and we will not be engaging with anyone who only seeks to denounce it as such. If you have a genuine question we will be happy to answer it via email; please get in touch via bloodbathlitzine@hotmail.com. If you want to send us hate, take a long hard look in the mirror, then start listening to less privileged people, who have been explaining and dissecting the oppressive white supremacist heteropatriarchy for hundreds of years.

We are especially interested in receiving work by people of colour. The horror genre (like many other literary spaces) is extremely white and we really want to change this. Please spread the word; even if you have never written or created horror work before we would still love to hear from you.

Queer folk, as always, are enthusiastically encouraged to submit also.

The criteria for folk who can submit is self-identified. No “proof” of gender, racial or sexual identity is necessary. But if you can, please mention your identity in your covering email.

We encourage everyone intending to submit to read our previous issues. If you don’t already own copies, you can buy any of our back issues in our online shop. Reading the zine and seeing what we’re into drastically increases your chances of getting accepted.

Amid COVID-19 chaos, buying a digital version is the best way to make sure it gets to you quickly. Post offices in the UK are still open at the time of writing this, but I am self-isolating for the sake of my local community. If you do want to place a postal order then you are welcome to, with the knowledge it could take several months for it to make its way to you. I am happy to send you a free digital version in the meantime. But I make no promises as to when the physical copy will arrive. Again, digital versions are probably best, and they all three issues are available in our shop for just £5 each.

As usual, our interest lies firmly in the horror genre, though other genres are welcomed and encouraged. The only caveat is that submissions must include an element of horror, and of course, one or more vampires (of any definition!). Experimentation, innovation and general weirdness are also very much encouraged. BB is proud to be a space taking horror to new and unexplored realms; send us anything you think would be too weird to send anywhere else.

Also as usual, contributors will be paid for their work, but this time we have decided to set payment at a flat rate of £30. In previous issues, when we paid on the basis of word or line count, versus a flat rate for visual artists, gaps between some contributors’ pay and others were quite substantial. We think all creative work should be valued, no matter the length or medium. This change is an attempt to keep things fair and equal. Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding payment.

This issue will be funded on Kickstarter, so production will depend on a successful funding campaign, and is currently aiming to be published in October 2020, though again, COVID-19 chaos will most definitely affect this. The production schedule is open to change, as it must be in these times, but I will keep you updated on how production goes in the coming months. Please follow us on all social media @bloodbathzine for updates.

Some more technical notes on submissions;

SHORT FICTION:

Maximum of 2,000 words

2 pieces of short fiction max

Must be previously unpublished

Please do not submit simultaneously. We understand it is hard to ask you to keep your work off the market just for us, but our response time after subs close is usually very quick, and you are welcome to submit as close to the deadline as you like. (Honestly, I’ve just had my heart broken too many times when a piece has been unexpectedly snapped up by another publisher!)

Send in Word document format in a readable font and size

POETRY:

Maximum of 30 lines

4 poems max

Must be previously unpublished

Please do not submit simultaneously (see above)

Send in Word document format in a readable font and size

VISUAL ART:

4 pieces of art max

Since this issue will be printed in risograph, high contrast black and white JPEGs are necessary for the work to look as striking as intended in riso print. The issue will also be printed entirely in red ink, so please keep this in mind when submitting your work. Let it inspire you! We are open to any kind of photography, illustration or any other kind of art (blackout poetry, collage, digital art…) so if you are not sure, please send it along.

Must be previously unpublished

Please do not submit simultaneously (see above)

FINAL TECHNICAL NOTES:

If we publish your work, we purchase first print rights, they are returned to you 6 months after publication.

All submissions to be sent via email to Katy at bloodbathlitzine@hotmail.com by midnight May 1st

I’m looking forward to seeing all the excellent submissions that we will no doubt recieve! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or DM.