Our thanks are also due to Sue Jones for the Murderous Pen logo - copyright © Sue Jones 2011
Website hosted by Hostinger - design by Wil;lie Chob-Chob Producktions - The more duck the better
Murderous Ink Press – General Submission Guidelines
16th October 2023
We intend to open the windows again in 2024
Starting with February 1st to 29th
(yes, Aunty Jean, it is a Leap Year, and not just for the salmon)
followed by September 1st to 30th
by which time we will be looking to fill November 2024, and into January, and ideally March and June 2025.
Crimeucopia is intended to be a First Filled - First to Publish anthology series of vaguely themed short fiction, designed to cover a broad spectrum of crime fiction - though we do have a backstop in the form of an irregular Free-for-All edition depending on the amount of submissions received.
Submission window - Please Read Our Submissions Guide & Checks Before submitting
Submissions are now closed until 2024
February 1st to 29th
September 1st to 30th
Multiple Submissions are acceptable (within reason) - due to several recent experiences Simultaneous Submissions are no longer being accepted
Reprints - Please, please, please leave a respectable amount of time between initial publication and offering them up to us.
The original publishers will want to generate sales, rather than having them undermined by yet another instance of the fiction appearing elsewhere.
Manuscript formatting - Please, please, please use a standard Manuscript format, with as little or ideally no 'personalised' formatting as possible as it sometimes plays merry Hell with typesetting.
(Templates here - https://www.shunn.net/format/story/ )
Due to our Small Press/Semi-Pro nature, MIP is not our full-time, salary paying job. This means we are not scanning for emails 24/7-366 (to take into account Leap Years), so please hold off for around 60 to 90 days before clicking the send button on that Why aren’t you bastards talking to me about my submission!?! email. We don’t intend to run a slushpile, however, we will accept material with a provisional publication date that may slide right if unforeseen circumstances raise their nasty little pointed heads. Your understanding in regard to this happening is much appreciated. To make this more palatable, we also to pay on acceptance, rather than on publication.
Submissions: are via email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of SUBMISSIONS_Crimeucopia_<Your Name>_<Story Title>_<Crimeucopia Project Name>
Publishing will be through both Amazon (Online Paperback and Kindle) and IngramSpark (Bookshop Paperback and ePub/eBook distribution). If in doubt, or have difficulties with Amazon, then please use the ISBN and order from a local bookshop. Resellers, please talk to email@example.com in regard to mixed low run orders which we can supply at approximately 50% discount + shipping & tax.
Having originally worked with the standard UK Paperback size (129mm x 198mm), since the end of 2022 we have gone over to the US B-Format of 6 x 9 inches. We usually run with a matte cover, and around 250 to 280 pages.
Please Note:- We are not looking for pure Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, or work involving pre-existing characters (ie Fan Fiction).
These are flat rates (at present £2.00 per 1,000 words), paid on acceptance, and on the understanding that publication
will be based on whichever themed issue folder becomes full/completed first.
Reprints - Depending on the word count - up to a Maximum of - £7.00. (Proof of reprint availability required - ie date & publisher)
New Material - 2,000 - 10,000 at present paying £2 per 1,000 pro rata
Please Note - work longer than 10,000 may be considered but only after discussion first (see below)
Payment is on acceptance and not publication - and is none refundable - so if the project goes belly up then we're out of pocket and not you
Artwork/Covers - Yes please, provided they are high resolution - rates negotiable - Base art only required - treatments & lettering will be done in-house.
Rights Being Purchased
Reprints - Second Serial / Reprint Rights
New Material - First Serial / One Time Rights - based on
1 x Paperback & 1 x ebook (simultaneous publication - not staggered)
Artwork/Covers - One Time Rights - based on
1 x Paperback, 1 x ebook and 1 x Website Thumbnail for advertising purposes.
If in doubt as to what is being purchased, please check with https://www.writerswrite.com/journal/a-novice-writers-guide-to-rights-12977 as a starting point before submitting any material
Manuscript Format:- We’re usually pretty relaxed in regard to Manuscript presentation, but please don’t take the piss. A good 'template' can be found here https://www.shunn.net/format/story/ - and please do not format with Style Sheets/embedded Macros, etc. Ctrl+i = italics On and Off, Ctrl+b = bold On and Off — and if you’re really going for it, then Alt+0150 — will give you a very smart Em-Dash that will make you the darling of the typesetters.
Ensure your name, address and email details are clearly displayed on the 1st page/top page, and they should be up to date. Sending us incorrect details means we won’t be able to contact you – and around here there’s no such thing as a Prodigal Son, or Daughter come to that.
Your fiction should have a minimum of approximately 2000 words to a maximum of 10,000. Longer pieces may be considered, but please email first rather than dropping that 200,000 word novel into our email box. We have file-shredder software that ensures nothing comes back from the bin.
Stories must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Good does not necessarily triumph over Evil every time, but a proper storyline is a must. Again, as above, novel extracts need to be proposed first, and be of an acceptable length. Skimming the first 10k from your novel and emailing it to us out of the blue is guaranteed to get you off our Christmas card list.
Reprints. MIP is open to such, within reason. Sending us one or two is acceptable, sending us all 20 from a collection of your own work, definitely not.
You will also need to let us know exactly where & when it was published, and you must have clear proof that you now own the rights post-initial sale/publication – rather than the possibility of it turning up in a The Very Best of a Whole Decade! type of anthology. Also, please, no partial re-writes presented as unpublished material.
And, lest we forget – No Bloody Fan Fiction. We don’t care if you’ve bought the whole franchise rights to Wally Wanker and the Charlie Factory, we want original characters, original storylines, and original quality writing.
Carefully proof read your intended submission, then get someone else to do it as well in case you’ve missed something in the line of grammar and spelling. Then, once you’re both satisfied, submit it. And yes, we use the Oxford comma, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
A4 paper size preferred, mainly as we’re UK based, and Limies are funny that way.
Font – Times New Roman – or Georgia – 12point. We will change it during the typesetting, but that’s something for us to do. Please do not pre-empt us.
Indent paragraphs by 0.2 inches/0.5cm, and double space lines. Scene breaks should be indicated by ***** (5 x *) in the centre of the page. No TABs, no extra spaces, and no run-on pages. Chapters end with a page break/section break, and not however many returns you need to get you to the next page.
We accept the following file formats: doc, docx, rtf and odt. We can even manage Wordperfect wpd – though total integrity is not a given. While pdf is a good format, it is a bit of a piglet to convert back to a word processor file, should we accept the fiction.
While we appreciate that simultaneous submissions are a way of getting your work out there, we have had several 'bad experiences' where we have had material offered one week, only to be told on acceptance that it is no longer available due to Carmelites With ArmaLites Monthly having now accepted it.
English, American, Canadian, even Australian spelling? Not bothered so long as it’s consistent throughout.
Ideally, on acceptance, a payment will be made, and for that you will need a Paypal account, or an Amazon Gift Card account. Trying to work International Bank transfers for an independent press is nothing short of crippling – hence PayPal and Amazon. Plus it’s easier for your accountant. At a push we can use Amazon Gift Cards, but for a Global trading company, Amazon are incredibly territorial (amongst their many other failings....)
What We Are Looking For
We’re always looking for Crime Fiction in its many guises. We'll consider anything with an eye for humour through to hardcore Noir. Unreliable Narrators, First Person/Third Person, Good vs Bad, Bad vs Bad, Good vs Good (yes Aunty Jean, such does exist). We’ll even look at Bizarro/Weird material. The Crimeucopia series has themes - but how you interpret them is up to you. Any material that doesn't fit will always be considered for the next in the Free-4-All anthologies.
However, please, no fan fiction, half-hearted pastiches, or overly graphic violence/sex. Although NOIR can have a physical sexual element, that element isn’t the core of the genre. Sexual tension – fine. Overly graphic – not so much.
But if you feel it's necessary, and a rejection won't offend, then roll the dice and see if we’re happy to accept it.
No true-confessional or true crime stories – nor anything involving real life celebrities. We are interested in pure Fiction – not Faction.
Remember – make action sequences believable. If you punch someone in the face, you’re more than likely to damage, dislocate, or break your knuckles and/or fingers. Same when someone is shot. They do not jump great distances, except in Hollywood. They more than likely say ‘Oh, bollocks’ and then fall down
Always remember this when submitting:- We are not crowd funded or underpinned by a kickstarter campaign. We are doing this for the love of fiction and working with people who have similar feelings, and we have a pride in our products.
Also, please accept any rejections with aplomb and good grace. There is nothing personal in the process, so please do not take it as such. Even though we may not accept a particular submission from you, it doesn’t mean we’ll reject everything else you send us.
And finally, have fun with your writing. The delicate art of creative fiction is something to be learned, but also enjoyed in the process.