That being said, it's not like you're getting nothing out of this. You'll be able to list us as a publishing credential, and there's even a chance that someone might read what you write. Besides us, that is. We pride ourselves on reading every submission from start to finish, even if it's a grueling process that makes us consider investing in piano wire for non-musical reasons.
And even though we're open to just about anything, we're still looking for something. Everyone's looking for something, and if you can pander to that "something" you're at least 100% more likely to get an accepted submission. What we want is quite simple. We want the type of stories that will make the reader cringe, shiver, and wonder why they hadn't come up with it.
We want your depraved, your insane, your neurotic, your schizoid, your paranoid, your fearful, your weak.
We want to see the good guy suffer. We want to see the good guy turn bad. We want to see the good guy lose, but only after we've invested all of our hope into him. There's no such thing as a "soft landing."
We want stories that tear at our psyche and make us bleed. Lovecraftian horror, Stoker's regal depravity, Rice's indifference, Johnathan L. Howard's German necromancy, and much more. We want pulp fiction, realism, surrealism; insanity served to us on a dinner plate. (Did I mention pulp fiction? We kind of like that.) We want to walk through the Uncanny Valley on our way to the Valley of the Shadow of Death, riding the Jersey Devil while Mephistopheles whispers sweet nothings in our ear. And then we want you to kill our mother in front of us and top the whole thing off by banishing us to eternal nothingness.
And remember, Connor McManus once said: "We're like 7/11, we aren't always doing business but we're always open."
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Circus of the Damned.
-Sir Heinrich Willhelm von Metzgermeister,
Dearly beloved, dearly departed, dearly damned, or never started:
You are to bear witness to entertainment so rich that your body will be carted: away.
Many of you will feed our larder, and thus, inevitably, to find a good crowd becomes harder and harder, but at least it's easy to get them to stay.
Today is the day, such a marvelous day!
Oh do what you will, do what you may,
But darling, will you take me, to the good Herr's circus today?
There will be fingers to munch on, and bodies to flay!
I hope that Erik Eier comes to say,
“What a fine little monster, so jovial, so gay!
Won't you spend eternity here, day after day?”
Oh can I? Can I?
Metzy's teeth click, “Oh yes, you may.”