28 -February -2024 - 05:06



Word Counts:

Flash Fiction: up to 1,000 words

Poetry: any length

Short fiction: up to 5,000 words (Please query first for longer work)


Multiple Submissions: Yes

Simultaneous Submissions: Preferably not, but please include the fact that it is a simultaneous submission in your email and notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.


Please use 12 pt. Georgia or Times New Roman, double spacing, no headers, footers, or page numbers. Please use Italics, not underlining.

All other formatting should follow Standard Manuscript Format guidelines found at http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html


Acceptable File Formats:

*.doc * *.rtf: DO NOT SUBMIT IN DOCX. Yes, we were serious about the docx thing.



Artwork and high resolution photography should be submitted in the the following file format:



Artwork and photography will appear in grayscale in the paperback. Digital versions of the book will be featured in color.


Send any questions about the formatting of your manuscript or artwork to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



All submissions should be attached in an email to the appropriate editor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Please include email address in your email submission as well as a bio and word count.


Acceptances and rejections will go out as work is reviewed.


Submissions are open until anthology is filled... so get busy!


Payment: There will be two Editor’s Choice Awards for $25 each. Each Editor’s Choice Award winner will receive a free contributor paperback copy and $25. Cash award is payable via PayPal only and will be made approximately 65 days from publication of the anthology. "Editor’s Choice Award Winner" will be posted under the author's name where the piece is placed inside the anthology. All contributors will earn a free Kindle edition of the anthology.

If other forms of payment apply, they will be mentioned in the call for submissions.



First Worldwide Anthology Rights, for publication in the English language anywhere in the world and electronic publication rights. All rights return to the author upon publication of the anthology.


Songs For The Raven


Member HWA

The anthology will approach the human condition through horror from a literary standpoint. I’m looking for “horror literature.” Dictionary.com defines the human condition as “the positive and negative aspects of existence as a human being, esp. the inevitable events such as birth, childhood, adolescence, love, sex, reproduction, aging, and death” In other words, “The Human Condition” is about the fundamental issues of human existence. One of literature’s central concerns is to comment on these issues.

Payment is one contributor copy for short stories of at least 3000 words. To earn a contributor copy a poet must have five poems selected. Authors that choose to submit fiction less than 2000 words (flash fiction) must have two pieces selected, or a combination of flash fiction with a poem and/or art. For artists, at least three pieces must be selected to earn a contriubtor copy. Contributor copies will be sent about 65 days after publication. You can expect a ton of exposure. If you have any questions regarding payment, please query at the address below. I will work with contributors–I like happy people.

Short stories up to 5000 words and flash fiction up to 1,999 words. Poets: don’t let me get in your way, but I must have five poems for a contributor copy. Horror art will be included, and three subs are needed to earn a contributor copy. Black and white or grayscale is the best format, unless I can do color–that’s to be decided later.

Stay up to date at my Facebook page James Ward Kirk Fiction. My website is jameswardkirkfiction.org

Please send submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Put Serial SONGS FOR THE RAVEN in the subject line.

indent paragraphs, show scene break by a centered ***

don’t double dash — use the dash you want…

No headers, footers, or page numbers.

don’t underline for italics, use italics

Submit work as a Word Doc or RTF.

Georgia SIZE 12

put your BIO at the end of the story.


James Ward Kirk holds an MA in Literature from Indiana University. He is the publisher and editor for Indiana Horror, Indiana Science Fiction and Indiana Crime. He is an Associate Member of the Horror Writers Association. He is the editor of the Static Movement anthologies Serial Killers 2, Hell and Grave Robbers. He is a member of the HWA.






We are pleased to announce the new anthology Indiana Crime. Indiana Crime will be an annual anthology.

We want your stories! Open for submissions on: 03/01/2012. Submissions will remain open till filled. Target date for publication and release:05/01//2013.

Our aim is to showcase Indiana authors. We want crime fiction that takes place in Indiana and prefer stories written by Hoosiers or those who have a connection to the Hoosier state. Crime stories with horror and/or science fiction elements are especially welcome.

The Basics

What we want_

We are looking for stories that are 1500-5000 words in length. Although the emphasis is on short stories, we will also consider select pieces of poetry and flash fiction (up to 1500 words) for this anthology if they reach out and grab us by the throat.

So what are we looking for? We want pulp. We want grit. We want heroes and villains, the famous and the infamous, the notorious and glorious. We want raw characters with all their quirks, habits, flaws and vices in full bloom. Give us stories filled with outlaws, gangsters, crooks, thieves, private eyes, marshals, detectives, sheriffs, detectives and amateur sleuths. Throw those characters headlong into bootlegging, hi-jacks, drug running, train robberies, bank heists, corporate crime, extortion, murder, fakes and forgeries. The tale can be about crooks or the cops who catch them. The era can be present day, the 1800’s or any time in between. You decide. The tale can have elements of other genres, like horror, sci-fi, western, urban fantasy or steampunk. If your story is a good one, and involves a crime in Indiana, we want to see it. Think Seth Harwood, Ken Bruen, The Late Robert B. Parker, Elmore and Peter Leonard, J. Lee Butts, Victor Gischler, Sean Doolittle, Jeff Somers, Marcus Sakey, Duane Swierczynski, Jim Thompson, Don Winslow, Richard Stark, Vachss or Hammett and Chandler or John Connolly. Above all, give us a story that makes us want to keep reading.



We do not censor and, in fact, welcome controversial themes.


We are also seeking an artist to provide theme-related, original front and back cover and interior art. Finished art work should be high-resolution, print quality digital image of the work. The work can be line art, pen-and-ink, digital graphics or any other suitable medium. Artwork must be original. Artist agrees to grant the right to use the image on the cover of Indiana Crime and for any related marketing purposes for the duration of the book’s availability. Back cover art should include spacefor text.


Use standard manuscript format. Not sure what that is? Google ‘standard manuscript formatting or go to: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.htmlUse 12 point Times New Roman font.

How to submit

All submissions should be sent via E-mail as a .doc attachment to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. AND This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Place the following in the subject line of your E-mail:

INDIANA CRIME SUBMISSION: “Story title” / Author’s last name

(example: INDIANA CRIME SUBMISSION: Hot Lead / Smith)

Please give a brief cover letter in the body of your E-mail and include your name, full contact info including postal address, phone # and E-mail address, a 2 – 3 sentence ‘teaser’ of your story including approximate word count and a brief bio that tells us a little about you, your publishing credits, awards and honors. Don’t have any? No problem! All writers are welcome here, so don’t sweat it.

Payment The top two stories, one favorite selected by each editor, will receive payment of $25. Payment will be through PayPal. Additionally, all authors selected will have their bio and photograph published in the anthology with their story. The selected artist will be paid $10 for the featured work and will also be given a cover art credit and bio space in the anthology. Payment will be made approxiametly 61 days after publication.

We will announce some acceptances as we go, but will hold our announcement of our selected “favorites” until the end. We hope to respond to submissions within 4-6 weeks, but will hang on to some stories longer if they are being considered. Be patient. A slow response may mean you’ve made it through the “first cut” and we are holding your story for further consideration. We are writers too, so we know how tough it can be. We want to give everyone an equal chance and fair consideration. Time permitting, we will comment on submissions. We may request some edits if a story is under serious consideration. We will work with you.

Please visit our facebook page and give us a “like” and stay up to date with what’s going on.

About the editors of Indiana Crime

CLICK HERE FOR THE HOME OF MURPHY EDWARDS:http://murphyedwards.wordpress.com

Murphy Edwards: Murphy Edwards has appeared in over fifty professional magazines and journals including, Dimensions Magazine, The East Side Edition, Black October, Horizons, MidAtlantic Monthly, Modern Drummer, The Nor’Easter, Walking Bones, Escaping Elsewhere, Trail of Indiscretion, Hardboiled Magazine, Barbaric Yawp, Samsara, The Magazine of Suffering, The Nocturnal Lyric, Night Chills, Big Pulp Magazine and in the anthologies Dead Bait (Severed Press), Assassin’s Canon (Utility Fog Press), Abaculus II (Leucrota Press), Night Terrors (Blood Bound Books), Unspeakable (Blood Bound Books), Bloody Carnival (Pill Hill Press), Dead Bait II (Severed Press) and Indiana Horror 2011 (Indiana Horror Writer’s Association). His short story, “Mister Checkers”, was chosen to be among the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror of 2009 for the Leucrota Press Anthology, Abaculus III. Edwards is also a 2011 recipient of The Midwest Writers Workshop Writers Retreat Fellowship Award for Fiction. In addition to the United States, Edward’s work has been published in Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and the U.K. He currently resides in Indiana and on the web at http://murphyedwards.wordpress.com

James Ward Kirk: He is a member of the Horror Writers Association. James Ward Kirk is the publisher and editor of the Indiana Horror and Indiana Science Fiction annual anthologies (Amazon & Smashwords.) His novel “The Butterfly Killer” is in the publication process with Wild Child Publishing. His most recent publications include short stories in Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine and the anthology Shadow of the Unknown. He lives in Indianapolis with Monica, his wife of 20 years, and his Chihuahua Lucy (the meanest dog ever).


Dale Eldon’s Blog

Author James Ward Kirk

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 08:49 AM PST

A writer, a small press founder, and a real Saint! I’m here with James Ward Kirk (and far as I know he’s not a star ship captain), and today we’re talking about his press and works. So, James, tell us about what made you start your press?

I love horror. I write horror. I wanted to showcase up and coming Indiana horror writers, to give them their first publishing credit. This is a work of love. I make very little money, if any, from the anthos. I hope to someday pay pro rates.

I love the covers for your latest anthologies; wanna tell us some more about, INDIANA HORROR 2012, and INDIANA SCIENCE FICTION 2012?

Indiana Horror 2012

Indiana Horror 2012



The cover for Indiana Horror 2012 came from Jim Sorfleet as a gift. I had him as a friend on Facebook and I’m a huge fan. So I thought, “What the hell?” and asked him if he’d donate a cover. And he did! Jim Sorfleet asked me not to tell anyone but at this point I think he’d be okay with it. The Indiana Science Fiction 2012 cover came free from the mad genius Scott Frederic Hargrave. I met Scott through Facebook and Indiana Horror 2011. I asked him if he do a cover and he said “Sure, no problem.” Wow.

I mentioned that you’re writer, have any stories you would like to talk about?

I think my favorite personal short story is “The Rose Garden.” The story appeared in the Lovecraftian anthology Shadow of the Unknown. Because of this story, I received a personal invitation to join HWA. The story is about sin, punishment, understanding and accepting punishment, and the absence of redemption.

What got you into writing horror?

I’ve loved horror since childhood. I remember rushing in from the school bus and watching “Dark Shadows.” I loved Star Trek: Anything that carried me from the hum-drum of daily rural life. Burroughs’s “John Carter of Mars” was so fun. The first horror novel that sticks with even today is It. Even my music was scary: Black Sabbath.

These days a lot of horror lacks real scare, what scares you?

A broken mind scares me the most. A lot of what I’m writing today deals with this, in the tradition of Poe’s “William Wilson” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

It’s been great having you here, James!

Pick up a copy of, INDIANA HORROR 2012

Pick up a copy of, INDIANA SCINECE FICTION 2012

James’ Bio:

James Ward Kirk is the publisher and editor of the annual anthologies Indiana Horror, Indiana Crime and Indiana Science Fiction. You can find him on the Internet here: http://indyhorror.wordpress.com/james-ward-kirk-fiction/

Find him on Facebook as James Ward Kirk Fiction. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife of 21 years and a mean Chihuahua named Lucy. He holds a Master’s degree in English from Indiana University at Indianapolis. He has taught literature and composition at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis and Ivy Tech State College.


October 15, 2012 · 12:22 pm

Someone Else’s Writing: James Ward Kirk

James Ward Kirk: “Sometimes I wonder if I’m expressing my unconscious into my fiction.”

Hi James! Tells us – what makes you different to other writers?

I also work as a publisher and editor. I think the insights I get from other writers and their work makes me a better writer. I’ve made a lot of friends through my editing and publishing work. One of the best ways, I think, to improve one’s writing is to hang out with other writers. I do live with severe depression—I’m fairly certain this affects me as a writer.

Why do you think we’d enjoy reading your work?

After completing my Master’s Degree and seeing my sons off into the world, I went back to school for a year and studied abnormal and humanistic psychology. Depression and my studies regarding human behavior and personality work together weaving a voice for my work that I think is unique.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories? Is there something – or someone – that acts as your inspiration?

I don’t remember my dreams. Sometimes I wonder if I’m expressing my unconscious into my fiction. I am a huge fan of Poe, and especially his stories “The Purloined Letter,” “William Wilson,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” In “The Purloined Letter” one learns how important the number two is, and the duality of human nature. The other two stories express what happens when that duality is fractured.

How would you describe your ‘typical’ writing session? Do you have any particular habits? Do you prefer to hand-write or type?

I write as soon as I wake up. I stumble (literally–I’m heavily medicated in order to sleep) and pour some coffee. I fire up my computer and go to work

Are there any other writers who you really admire? What was the last thing you read and would you recommend it?

I really enjoy John Connolly. He has a finger on the pulse of the dichotomy of existence. There are several Indiana horror writers I admire. There are too many to list here, but Paula D. Ashe and Murphy Edwards come to mind first. Paula D. Ashe’s story “The Mother of all Monsters” sticks in my mind. You can find it in Indiana Horror 2012.

Indiana Horror, edited by James Wark Kirk, is available to purchase at Amazon.com.



“Team R.J.” Blog interview series #2: James Ward Kirk

Welcome to the second in a series of short interviews focusing on “Team R.J.”: people who have influenced, worked with, or played some other vital role in taking me where I am today.

Throwing practical matters out the window, I pursued a creative writing degree at IUPUI. James Kirk and I met as fellow undergraduates, first in creative writing classes, then as co-staff members of the university literary magazine. James also worked in the university library, and after I’d graduated, James went on to receive his masters in literature. He taught literature for the university for several years.

Throughout the time, James remained dedicated to his writing, probably with at least as much passion and focus as I had in my own work. Horror was his genre of choice even then (I saw myself as more of a sci-fi guy, and still do), and his approach of unsettling the reader by dropping them into the viewpoint of mentally unstable characters did much to distinguish his stories. And it’s an approach he continues to use to this day.

Many years and a Facebook connection later, I caught up with James a few months ago and found he was returning to his writing after a long break. Since then, he’s released his first novel, The Butterfly Killer, and has had some success with his short stories.
Q: You were a driven, passionate writer when we first met almost…yikes, OVER…20 years ago. When did you get the writing “bug” and what drives you to keep pursuing it?

A: I remember a writing assignment from the third grade. The teacher read the short story to the class, a comedic kind of story. It was a hoot. My classmates loved it and the teacher praised me.

Q: What writers inspired you? What made you pick the horror/psychological thriller genres as “your” genres?

A: I really enjoy John Connolly. He incorporates the supernatural with the private detective genre. Of course, I grew up with Stephen King—not literally, dang it. My favorite film genre is psychological thrillers and horror. The music I listen to relates well with psychological thriller, horror and the supernatural (Goth Industrial, Goth Metal, Symphonic Goth Metal).

Q: What circumstances caused a break in your writing, and what were the challenges when you returned to it?

A: First comes love, and then comes James pushing a baby carriage. Work and family came first. After the kids were out of the house, I picked up the pencil and paper again. Creativity never left. I encountered no problems with the creative process and writing the novel. The challenges came with the mechanics. Grammar, sentence structure, passive sentences, bad words: “that” and “had,” and so on. Thanks to RJ for jogging my memory.

Q: You attended a university campus for many years, worked in the university library, taught classes in your alma mater. How do you think the university environment affected your approach to the publishing business, good and bad?

A: I don’t remember a single instance of an instructor teaching anything at all about the publishing business, even while working on my Master’s degree. I worked with genesis, the university’s student literary journal as a board member, senior editor, and as faculty advisor. I did learn about the publishing business to a small degree while working with genesis.

Q: Describe your unique approach to your characters. How do you “psyche yourself up” to get into the bizarre mindset of your characters?

A: I just be myself.

Q: Tell us about The Butterfly Killer. Include an excerpt.

A: The Butterfly Killer is the first novel of a planned trilogy. I’ve finished two-thirds of the follow up novel. I am incorporating Christian spirituality. The protagonist is chosen by God to metamorphose into an agent against evil. The protagonist, female, is beginning to catch on by the novel’s conclusion. The first novel focuses primarily on human evil. The second novel incorporates the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, demons and saints in addition to just plain mean people. Excerpt:

Engelbert didn’t believe in God. But, of course, God believed in him.

Engelbert pondered this truth, momentarily, as the flames of his life burned cruelly, just like his mother’s final moments, and as his arterial blood sprayed into the very shadows he’d considered his fortress, from his surgically cut throat by the hand of God, He who rules the darkness and its violent dramatis personae, he whispered: there is a God, Momma.

In this instance, “God” is self-proclaimed, the master puppeteer of other serial killers.

Q: Like I did, I know you’re re-approaching old stories from years ago and brushing them off for rewrites. Tell us what that’s like.

A: Taking old short stories and rewriting them was a lot of fun. I got to see where I was and where I am now.

Q: I remember back in college, a singular science fiction piece in your group of short stories. Do you think you’ll continue to experiment with genres?

A: I think you’re speaking of the short story entitled Joe. I don’t think the story was science fiction in the way the novel 1984 is science fiction. The piece was more of a commentary on society than anything else. I don’t see any science fiction in my future unless, of course, I turn Joe into a novel.

Q: One consistent aspect to all your fiction is an element of faith and religion. How does your faith affect what you write and how do you weave it into your narrative.

A: I haven’t been to church in at least a decade. There’s a lot about organized religion that gets on my very last nerve. However, I am spiritual and believe in a higher power. For example, our planet is around three billion years old. Think about the trillions of events and nonevents leading to me sitting here talking about God. I don’t believe in coincidence. The Butterfly Killer contains graphic/adult material. I don’t think “God” has given it much thought.

Q: Tell us about your sequel novel and anything else going on.

A: I’ve mentioned above the sequel. I’m also working on an anthology of short stories, some new and some revisions of old short stories.

Order The Butterfly Killer from Amazon Here.












Indiana Horror 2011



Bio: James Ward Kirk earned a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis in 1997. He has taught literature and composition at IUPUI and Ivy Tech State College. He served as faculty adviser for genesis, the student literary journal at IUPUI. He is the publisher and editor of the annual Indiana Horror, Indiana Crime and Indiana Science Fiction anthologies. James has several short story publications and is currently working on a novella featuring Monica McDowney, the protagonist of his novel “The Butterfly Killer” and a novel about angels and demons.

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