So You Want To Be In An Anthology– The Aftermath!

*Revisions added already! Scroll to bottom for updates, please. 


If you weren’t at the panel at MileHi Con on October 25th, you CANNOT submit.

Don’t bother. I have a list of the great people who were there and this information is for them! (If you are not one of them, please feel free to keep reading, but try not to feel too excluded. A very unexpected result of this wonderful experiment is that there is a high probability of a second anthology happening, and when it does, everyone can submit!)

I have also been told in the past my webpage can be hard to read. If you have this problem, you can copy the text out and paste it into Word (or whatever you use) to read it. If this doesn’t work for you and you really need to see this, send me an e-mail and I will paste it into the body of the e-mail and send it back to you.

First, thank you for coming to the panel, I hope you enjoyed and got something out of it! If you are looking for one of my co-panelists, I was joined by Dana Bell and Quincy J. Allen. My thanks to both!

Second, Guy Anthony De Marco was unable to attend the panel, and he was missed greatly (especially by me, as I had to make up answers for the things I expected he was going to say). His Villainous Press will be publishing the anthology. This is a charity anthology, and therefore we are donating our time and efforts to this. I have not had the chance to finalize all of the details with Guy Anthony De Marco, but they will be important to you when you sign a contract if your story is accepted. At this time, I believe you will receive a print copy of the book as payment. Why so little, you ask? Because, again, this is a charity anthology. *please see updates at end of page

*Side note from your friend Sam Knight*  Make sure you read and understand ANY contract you get from ANYONE!  Get a dis-interested third party to explain anything you do not understand. Make sure you are happy with what you understand before signing it!

Third, here are the guidelines we discussed:

**PG-13 rating. No sex. No erotica. No graphic violence. Cussing to be limited to hell and damn. If you’re overly fond of the F word, your story will be rejected. Not opposed to faith based stories, just as long as it’s important to the character or story line. If they’re preaching on any belief system, the piece will be rejected. (Thanks to Dana Bell for letting me swipe this from her guidelines!)

Formatting: *Please see updates at end of page!

There are a lot of pages out there that will tell you how you should format your story. And they all start out the same and then get different. Which sucks. So here are the basics for what you need to do to submit for this:

On the first page of your story, please include: Name, address, phone number, email address, and approximate word count. This is very important! The editor has to contact writers and without this full info, your story will be dropped if you can’t be reached.

The first page should look kind of like this:

Sam Knight                                                          Approx. 3,777 words
1234 N. First Main Street
Happyville, CO 90210




The Offspring
Sam Knight
Colorado 1895

“Looks to be a killin’ snow.” Joel commented as he looked out over the wet rocks and dripping pine trees dotting the hill around them. Fat, wet flakes slapped him on the cheek and stuck to his eyelashes. If they got wet and temperatures dropped below freezing, they would be in trouble. He gave his older brother a worried glance. The top of Harold’s hat was already soaked with white splotches impacting and melting, and his horse’s mane was matting with the damp.


If you use a pen name, you still need to give your REAL name for legal reasons. That should be done like this:

Jane Doe (writing as Sam Knight)                                        Approx. 3,777 words
1234 N. Main Street
Happyville, CO 90210


The Offspring
Sam Knight
Colorado 1895

“Looks to be a killin’ snow.” Joel commented as he looked out over the wet rocks and dripping pine trees dotting the hill around them. Fat, wet flakes slapped him on the cheek and stuck to his eyelashes. If they got wet and temperatures dropped below freezing, they would be in trouble. He gave his older brother a worried glance. The top of Harold’s hat was already soaked with white splotches impacting and melting, and his horse’s mane was matting with the damp.


Some places want page numbers and info on the top of each page. That usually goes on the top right hand corner in the format of   name/title/page#    and looks like this:

Knight/The Offspring/3

I don’t need that, but I recommend you start the habit and just do it all the time.

**Times New Roman size 12. Double spaced with indents for paragraphs. DO NOT use Tabs to indent paragraphs! (That messes everything up) Single space after punctuation, please.

**Please submit in .doc files or rtf files only. No docx files, no PDFs, no text documents. These will be sent back to you with a request to change the format.

You can go to the Villainous Press website for downloadable templates to help with formatting. I would look this over even if you don’t think you will use it. Personally I have a couple of files labeled as Short Story Template  or Novel Template  that I open up and off I go writing and I don’t have to think about this stuff anymore.

Fourth! I think. I’ve lost track.  What we decided to do! This was a close vote. (So close that I believe a second anthology will be born out of this, but we still need to hammer out those details.)

**Our theme: Sidekicks.   All stories must be about the sidekick. I don’t just want the sidekick’s point of view, as often stories are already told that way. (For example the Sherlock Holmes stories are told from Watson’s POV.)

This is open genre so you can write science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and even romance if you so choose. The only limit here is no erotica. (Remember the guidelines! PG-13 rating. No sex. No erotica. No graphic violence.) Examples given in the panel were the cowboy’s horse, a best-friend’s wingman in a bar, a little brother, a third string quarterback, the co-pilot of a plane…   I recommend you think three times before you do a superhero, as those kind of sidekicks are a penny a ton.

**Rule of 3! Throw away your first three ideas (unless you are a sick person like most experience writers finally admit to being). Those first three are the same ones everybody has. It is the fourth, fifth, and sixth idea you have that you start to get really original and creative!

Story length: between 500 words (flash fiction) and 8,000 words

Try to keep in mind, the longer or shorter your story is, the better it has to be! The average stories are 2,000 to 6,000 words. If you want to write a flash fiction story, it will have to be able to stand up against stories that use more words. If you go long in your story, the story has to be good enough to justify the space in the book it may be stealing from someone else’s story.

Submission period: December 1st 2014 through January 31st 2015.

Don’t send the story earlier, I will lose it. I just know I will. Submissions will not be accepted after January 31st unless you have contacted be beforehand and gotten permission for an extension. (You will need a really really really good reason. Really.)

Finally, (I think) remember the editor’s job (my job in this case) is to make your story better. I mentioned my editing style in the panel, even if you get rejected, you will get some feedback. If you get accepted, you are likely to look at the red on your story and wonder what kind of dull knife I attempted to perform surgery with. Don’t take any of this personally. None of it is personal. When we talk at the conventions, we are being friendly and having fun. When we start writing and editing and accepting and rejecting … that’s business. It is separate. It has to be. Don’t take it personal. 

Remember, I WILL NOT CONTACT YOU! I collected your contact information ONLY to verify that you were at the panel IF I receive a story from you. I will not abuse the information you gave me.  If you send me something, I will reply to confirm I received it. If you do not get a confirmation from me within 2 or three days, I didn’t get it. Follow up and make sure I do get it! *Please see updates at end of page!

If you have any questions, please e-mail me. Chances are someone else has the same question. I will add any updates to this page. My apologies for anything I have forgotten to include here. If it gets pointed out, I will fix it!



Villainous Press has added the submission guidelines on their website.

Scroll down half-way until you find the guidelines under Sidekicks.

Submission will NOT be done by sending stories directly to me. They will be done using SUBMITTABLE. Links to submit stories will be put up during the submission period. There are good reasons for using Submittable, not the least of which is it helps make sure I don’t lose your e-mail and you can track it to make sure it was received.

For answers to questions about compensation and rights that I had not been able to answer, please go to and scroll down to Sidekicks.

Notable information at Villainous Press (But Please go to their website and read all of the guidelines) : 

“World first rights for print and digital. If your story is astounding, send it to Asimov’s or Clarkesworld first. Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint, which severely limits the number of markets that will accept it, and drastically reduces the pay rate it can receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and/or eBook formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for no and/or a token payment, is really what you want to do.

Sorry, no reprints.

Payment: Because this is a charity anthology, all profits will be sent to MileHiCon on a quarterly basis.
Accepted stories between 500 and 2999 words will receive a digital copy of the anthology.

Accepted stories between 3000 and 8000 words will receive either a digital copy or a print copy, author’s choice.
Authors may purchase print copies of the anthology for printing cost + shipping + $1.50 (fifty cents to Villainous to cover costs and $1 to MileHiCon). If possible, buy copies with fellow authors to save on shipping charges.”


If you find any conflicting or confusing information, please let me know at or contact Villainous Press