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Announcing my next anthology... SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED.

Edited by James Aquilone. Publishing in 2023 through my own publishing company, Monstrous Books, and Crystal Lake Publishing.


We have an amazing lineup of authors and poets lined up for the anthology — which will feature horror stories based on Shakespeare's plays and characters. We'll also have horror sonnets!


Like Classic Monsters Unleashed, we'll take submissions after our Kickstarter. The anthology will be about 75% from invited authors and 25% from the slush (though we ended up with 33% from uninvited authors for Classic Monsters Unleashed).


  • Payment: 6 cents a word

  • Length: 1500 to 6000 words

  • Submission Period: July 22, 2022 - August 21, 2022

  • Expected Publish Date: April 2023

  • Kickstarter Launch: Summer 2022

  • No reprints, multiple subs or simultaneous subs


We're looking for dark and scary stories — no parodies or humor pieces — based on Shakespeare’s plays or characters. Stories can be set in time periods other than the Elizabethan era, and can be updated or reimagined. Please, include which play or character your story is based on with your submission.


Use Classic Shunn formatting. Send to james at and use this format for the subject heading: Shakespeare Unleashed Story - Title - Author Name. Include a short bio in your email.


  • Payment: $35 flat fee

  • Length: 14-line Shakespearean sonnet

  • Submission Period: July 22, 2022 - August 21, 2022

  • No reprints, multiple subs or simultaneous subs


We're looking for horror sonnets — no parodies or humor pieces. Sonnets should be based on one of Shakespeare's sonnets or plays or characters (let us know which one when you submit) or they can be totally original, but they should still evoke Shakespeare in some way.


Use Classic Shunn formatting. Send to james at and use this format for the subject heading: Shakespeare Unleashed Sonnet - Title - Author Name. Include a short bio in your email.


Yes, you can send a story and a sonnet, but please send them in separately.



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Kolchak: The Night Stalker


I’m editing a Kolchak: The Night Stalker graphic novel anthology for the show’s 50th anniversary next year. Moonstone Books is the publisher.

The Kickstarter campaign is live.

As part of the campaign, we're also looking for PROSE short stories. This call is NOT for comic scripts.


  • Payment: $120

  • Length: 1500 to 5000 words (though the sweet spot is between 3000 and 3500 words)

  • Submission Period: Immediately following the Kolchak 50 Kickstarter campaign, on February 11, until May 15, 2022 or filled

  • Expected Release Date: Late 2022

  • No multiple submissions and no reprints


Here’s your chance to write a classic Kolchak story. Like the theme for the 50th anniversary graphic novel, the prose anthology will consist of stories from throughout Kolchak’s life, from the late 1930s to the late ’90s. Please, be familiar with Kolchak before writing your story and watch the TV movies and series! Here's a bio for the character. While we’re looking for writers to submit full stories, you can send a story pitch to the editor before you write the story. But, please, don’t send stories before the submissions period opens.

Don't get hung up on the personal details of Kolchak's life. Like the TV shows, keep the focus on the investigation. You're best off not adding a wife or long-lost cousin to Kolchak's biography.

Stories written in first person are heavily preferred.

A Kickstarter campaign for the graphic novel and prose anthology will launch early in 2022, after which we’ll open to submissions. Since this is a licensed character, you cannot retain rights to the story.


Use classic Shunn formatting. Send as an attachment in doc or docx. In the subject line, put "Kolchak 50 Prose Anthology," the name of your story, and author name. Example: Kolchak 50 Prose Anthology – Story Title – Author Name.

Email story submissions, pitches, and inquiries to


Go to the Kolchak Kickstarter here:

Classic Monsters Unleashed

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I am editing the CLASSIC MONSTERS UNLEASHED anthology for Black Spot Books and Crystal Lake Publishing.


We’re looking for dark, scary stories featuring a classic monster or monsters (think famous creatures from pre-1960 horror movies). While we prefer new angles that subvert or re-imagine the monster, we are also interested in really good traditional monster stories. Stories can also star secondary characters, such as a well-known sidekick, assistant or love interest, from the classic monster universe.

We are NOT looking for general monster types, such as a Cyclops, Bigfoot, Dragon or Zombie. We are NOT necessarily looking for mythological monsters or old monsters. We are NOT looking for obscure characters. Check out the list below for possible characters.


Payment: 8 cents a word

Length: 1000 to 5000 words
Submission Period: April 8 to May 30, 2021
Expected Release Date: July 2022
Kickstarter Launch: March 8, 2021

No reprints, multiple subs or simultaneous subs


Note: A Kickstarter campaign to fund the anthology launched in March, after which we opened to submissions. This is an invitation and open-submissions anthology (with about 75% invited and 25% open). With the top-notch lineup of writers we’ve already signed, send only your very best.

Use classic Shunn formatting. Send as an attachment in doc or docx. In the subject line, put "Classic Monsters," the name of your story, and author name. Example: Classic Monsters – Story Title – Author Name.

Email story submissions to


We want to publish your first story. We’re holding at least one spot for a newcomer. If you’ve never been published before, say so in your email. Good luck!


  • Frankenstein Monster

  • Bride of Frankenstein

  • Victor Frankenstein

  • Abraham Van Helsing

  • Renfield

  • Henry Jekyll

  • The Invisible Man

  • Cthulhu

  • Phantom of the Opera

  • Quasimodo / Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • Headless Horseman

  • Dorian Gray

  • Wicked Witch of the West

  • Kaiju / Giant Monster (in the vein of King Kong or Godzilla)

  • Morlocks

  • The Tingler

Note: We have enough Dracula stories, so he’s not included on the list. If you have any ideas for other classic monsters not listed, please ask before submitting. Also bear in mind: though these are public domain characters, don’t use any copyrighted or trademarked elements from the movies.

We will take more than one story per character and you can feature more than one monster in your story. Mummy, werewolf and gill man stories are okay to submit, as well as any Universal Classic Monster, but they must be “based on” or “inspired by” if the characters are not public domain.

Shakespeare Unleashed

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