Archive for October, 2012

Submitting To Full Dark City Press

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2012 by C. J. Edwards

Recently Full Dark City Press opened up a call for submissions. We are asking for works of noir from 20,000 to 100,000 words and have already received a number of submissions. It is exciting to see this much interest so quickly. All of us here at FDC are looking forward to finding our first publication.

Before I talk more about what we are looking for in submissions, I’d like to again announce that Full Dark City Press has reached an agreement with the online crime fiction journal All Due Respect to publish its first anthology. The collection will consist of stories previously published on the website as well as new ones that will be accepted specifically for the anthology. Head over to All Due Respect for more details.

So what are we looking for at FDC? Well let’s talk a little bit about what noir is. Noir fiction comes from golden age of pulp and hardboiled detective novels and has roots in film noir that became popular in the 1940s and 1950s. It often deals with crime and usually has a cynical outlook on life in general, telling stories that more than likely won’t have happy endings. Noir often contains crime yes, but it isn’t necessarily about crime.

Noir is about hard knocks, the underdog, the flawed hero, the femme fatale. It’s about the regular Joe trying to make it in a world that keeps beating him down until he has nowhere to go. Noir is showing a reader a reality they would rather not believe is there. Think about all those news stories that when you read them you think, “Does shit like this really happen?” Now think about how those stories come to be. Who are those people? How did they come to be the way they are and do the things they do?

When thinking about what kind of story to submit, please don’t limit yourself to the standard L.A. alcoholic PI/cop or career criminal trying to go straight. In fact, if you don’t live in L.A. and aren’t intimately familiar with that city, don’t write about L.A. At the risk of sounding cliché, just write what you know. While most are tired of hearing that, it is true. James Ellroy wrote about L.A., Frank Bill writes about southern Indiana, Stephen King’s stories most often take place in Maine, and I myself write crime stories that usually take place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Why? Because those are the places we are most familiar with, and are able to make them come alive in our stories.

Traditional crime stories are not the only way to portray noir either. Maybe your protagonist is a mystery solving ghost, a robot con artist, or a prostitute in ancient Rome. Ever see the movie Blade Runner? It is a perfect example of non-traditional noir. What I want to get across is that when we say “noir,” we are open to a wide variety of interpretations, so surprise us. Now do we still want to see your crime/PI/cop story? Absolutely, just understand that they aren’t the only stories we are looking for.

Now for a little advice on your query emails. We are not big time agents that toss your work if you don’t follow a specific formula. However, we do need you to pay attention to the submission requirements listed on our website. In the email we are looking for a brief synopsis of your story, not how much your mom or your creative writing class adores your novel. I’m sure they do, but from the writing classes I’ve been in, most people are terrified of saying what they really think. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, we are looking for original work not seen anywhere else and not BASED on anything else.

Finally, we are very excited about the journey we have embarked on and can’t wait to share with you what we find. As always KEEP WRITING! We can’t wait to see what hits our email box next.