Call for Stories: Noir Carnival

Noir Carnival

Coming soon from Fox Spirit!
Coming soon from Fox Spirit!

A call for stories from Fox Spirit Books, publishers of Weird Noir and many more superb volumes.

Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?

Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Lead us on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show us what’s behind the glitz.

Touchstones (to give you a sense of the breadth of the net cast):

John Webster’s “skull beneath the skin” • Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love • Angela Carter’s Nights at the CircusGargantua & Pantagruel • Pinocchio (the novel! Not the Disney atrocity) • Papa Lazarou • Doctor Lau • Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes • Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal • Leonor Fini

Surprise me, delight me, make me afraid of the shadows of a warm summer night, rip my guts out and stuff them back in again. Just don’t bore me. All editors have their tastes or quirks: if you want a clue to my sensibilities, check out my extensive bibliography and of course, read Weird Noir.

Stories should be:

  • Previously unpublished anywhere
  • Not submitted anywhere else
  • Length 3-8K
  • Formatted: Times New Roman, regular, 12 point. 1″ margins. 1 space after full stop. Spaced 1.5 lines. Use paragraph formatting to indent first line not tabs. No header/footer.
  • Identified with a title, your name (and pen name identified as such), working email address on the first page: file name should include your surname & title
  • Submitted in RTF format via email to katelaity at gmail with at least your name, the story title and total word count included in the body of the email; make sure the Subject line includes “Submission: Noir Carnival” + your name
  • Due by Walpurgisnacht

We will ask for world-wide print & ebook rights for a year and pay $10 via Paypal as an advance against the royalties to be split with the publisher. We plan to launch the book at EDGE-Lit in Derby in July 2013.


  1. katelaity says:

    Reblogged this on A Knife And A Quill and commented:

    Got something carnivalesque?

    1. fletcherski says:

      Is Walpurgisnacht the theme or the submission deadline? I couldn’t find a submission deadline in the post but then I often have trouble finding my socks…

      1. katelaity says:

        Walpurgisnacht is the deadline; the theme is noir + carnival.

        1. fletcherski says:

          Cool, I send you something that you might find suitable.

  2. Widdershins says:

    Walpurgisnacht – the witches Beltane … hm-m … let’s see what’s tucked away in my ‘story ideas’ file shall we, my pretty?

  3. suelange says:

    Good luck with this. A great premise for an anthology!

  4. funny I have a whole novella i’m finishing up on the same premise… stop reading my mind… lol

    1. katelaity says:

      I can’t help what shows up on the channel…

  5. sapscoot says:

    Sounds very interesting. What are the terms for the royatly split?

    1. katelaity says:

      I believe it is 60/40, writers/publisher.

      1. Apple Ardent Scott says:

        Nice – thank you 🙂

  6. Buffalo Crossing says:

    I have a story that may be suitable, but it falls just under the minimum word count (2800 words). Will it still be considered or should I not bother submitting it?

    1. katelaity says:

      Go ahead and submit it; if we like it, what’s a few words more or less.

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