RBE's general submission guidelines are always expected. Additional guidelines will be particular to each open title.
OPEN STRONG, for you only have 500 words to impress. RBE begins narrowing selection from the onset. The submission form will only allow you to insert the first 500 words of your tale. While we are willing to read the first 500 words of stories in progress, we are not eager to read unedited first drafts of those first 500 words. We are not offering feedback or suggestions of any kind on these openings. Rather, we are determining whether or not we believe your story has the potential to be accepted for inclusion in RBE's next titles. It either does or it does not. Please exercise professionalism and some respect of yourself and our time, and deliver the best version of your 500 word opening that you can. We hope that it is also understood that these opening 500 words set the standard by which we will compare the remainder of a story should we ask for it. Do not short-change yourselves. If your opening grabs us, we will ask for the rest.
- Grammar and format:
- HELP our First Readers read your submissions! While not easing their reading won't immediately disqualify you, obviously the more consistent and professional you make it, the more competitive you become.
- US English language/spelling
- 1″ margin on all sides
- standard 12-point type font, like the typical default Times New Roman
- double-space the entire text
- single space between sentences
- tabbed opening paragraph sentences -- don’t leave an empty line between paragraphs
- double quotes on dialogue
- mark a change of scene or time with a centered #
- NO text bolded* or all capitalized* or of multiple colors or in wild fonts -- *unless of specific purpose in your story
- Previously published stories may be submitted, with the expectation that you appropriately inform RBE of past publication history.
- Multiple stories may be submitted, though each must be submitted separately.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, with the expectation that you promptly inform RBE of any acceptance elsewhere.
- Rights and payment:
- Unpublished stories will be published under contract as First Time World Volume and Electronic Display Rights exclusive to RBE for 31 days; then shall be non-exclusive for so long as this title shall remain in print and so long as RBE exits.
- Previously published stories will be published under contract as World Volume and Electronic Display Rights non-exclusive for so long as this title shall remain in print and so long as RBE exits.
- Payment for contributors will always include cash, copies, and contributor discount on additional/future print purchases. These will be detailed in each open submission.
- Evaluation criteria -- these are RBE's three most important values when reading your submission:
- Does it deliver quality heroic adventure?
- Does it deliver on the theme?
- Does the storytelling regale? This sort of encompasses much of the 'normal' criteria: hook, plot, theme, pacing, dialogue, character. It's how the story feels; does it make us forget we are not sitting at your feet around a fire?
Response times -- RBE strives to keep folks informed in a reasonable amount of time. Response on the opening 500 words should be a week or less, while response on the entire story submission should be within two months. There are always exceptions, so feel free to contact us if you have not heard from us within those timeframes.
Thank you for your interest in appearing in a RBE title. We appreciate your enthusiasm for heroic storytelling and hope you enjoy writing to the challenge of theme! Questions may be directed to RBE at any time via our website or Facebook.
This is a fantastical romance adventure sequel to RBE's fantastical romance adventure SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE! A continuation of our classical fairy-talish homage to THE PRINCESS BRIDE (book and movie by William Goldman). The theme to SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE! was that of diabolical machinations defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism! The theme to MOSTLY DEAD! is that of diabolical tortures defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism!
Write all the mostly ‘good parts’ of fun heroic family entertainment. Include authorial asides, rhyming, inconceivable conceits, memorable characters, unique creations, and most importantly, true love and loyalty. Honestly—just have fun writing good old fun stories to share with all the members of your family. Remember the emotions you experienced reading or watching this story and write to put a smile on the readers face!
In the true spirit of homage and theme, RBE is looking for a word count multiplier of Prince Humperdinck's spiteful desire to make Westley suffer greatly in his Pit of Despair. That’s right, only 50,000 total words -- ten times the number the evil prince pushes the lever all the way up to. This is the target total word count for the anthology, so write your stories accordingly, as submissions will be closed no matter story count once this total has been achieved. Please Note: This does not mean flash. We are not interested in stories less than 3,000 words.
Submissions will remain open until we find the stories we want. Response time on your first 500 words is typically less than a week, though response could be longer on this open call as we search for those stories with lively wit, seemly levity, and clear heroic values that fit best together within the target word count. The more we like your story, the longer we will hold it as we piece our puzzle together. There are always exceptions, but we will strive to keep all timely informed.
Payment of $42 flat per story shall be rendered after publication. Authors will also receive electronic copies and discounts on additional/future print purchases. Publication of this title will be slightly unusual: MOSTLY DEAD! (just like SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE!) will not see publication as a standalone title. Both titles will be published together in an omnibus titled AS YOU WISH!