Columns > Published on May 19th, 2017

50 Anthologies I Wish I Could Submit To

I love anthologies. I love reading them and I love writing for them. Anthologies bring together different voices and offer something that can't be found anywhere else. The true beauty of them is they can be written with a very specific market in mind, and they grant the readers an opportunity to see how different authors tackle the same theme/concept/whatever. I've been published in crime anthologies, horror anthologies, and bizarro anthologies. I've written about death, magic, love, zombies, weird sounds, and drug use. I have stories in anthologies inspired by the music of Johnny Cash, GG Allin, and the Wu-Tang Clan. However, despite all that, there are a lot of topics I'd love to write about, and I keep hoping to find submission calls for them. Here are 50. (Some I'm more serious about than others, but I'll let you figure out which are which.)

1. Florida Man

This one almost became a reality. It was going to happen. I had a story in my head that included a lot of meth, a baby in an oven, and a guy in a chicken suit. Then it all went to hell (welcome to publishing!). I still want to do this.

2. Aliens and Guns

Listen, titles are not my thing, but I want to write about crime and aliens. Meth and abduction? Coke binge and an alien encounter? Stealing from the wrong alien? I know at least fellow author Paul J. Garth would be on board with this, so it needs to be a thing.

3. The Piano Has Been Drinking

I love writing stories inspired by music, so I'm kinda sad that no one has reached out to me about an anthology based on Tom Waits' music. Seriously. I'm ready. And while we're at it, count me in for a Nick Cave anthology.

4. Ripping Out Hearts: A Split Second Anthology

Stories inspired by/that take place in the world of Split Second. Rutger Hauer would dig it. Let's do it.

5. The Rapes of Wrath

Wrath James White is one of my favorite hardcore horror authors and a good friend. I want to pay tribute to him. Plus, that title, folks. Deadite Press could put it out with an introduction by Brian Keene. I've pitched this. People think I'm joking. I'm not joking.

6. Sons of Bighead

Speaking of hardcore horror, I would totally submit to an anthology inspired by or dedicated to Edward Lee. If I had my way, it'd be about Bighead. 

7. Real San Juan Noir

Listen, Akashic Books published San Juan Noir, but the list of authors is...kinda weird and inexplicable. I'm a Puerto Rican crime writer who lived in San Juan for 25 years. I write crime in Spanglish (fiction and nonfiction). Zero Saints was optioned for film, nominated for the Wonderland Book Award, is being translated into Spanish, and received rave reviews in a bunch of great venues including the Los Angeles Review of Books. I have more stuff on my resume. Now go look at the list of authors in San Juan Noir and tell me why I wasn't invited. You bet your ass I'm salty!

8. Bodybuilding Monsters

I've been training for years and even ran my own training studio for two years (I'm a certified personal trainer). The world of bodybuilding is very interesting, and the deeper you go into the drug side, the weirder it becomes. Bad acne, roid rage, mental issues, Palumboism, arms rotting from the inside from synthol use, gynecomastia, hair loss, HGH gut...the list goes on and on. I know author Glenn G. Grayt is in. Hell, I'd help edit the thing. Get at me, editors. 

9. The Noirest Anthology Ever

The idea here is to destroy tropes by taking them to the extreme. Every story needs to have at least five noir tropes, and you have to use them so hard they break.

10. A White Writer in New York: An Anthology by People of Color

Folks of color with no MFA write about wealthy white heterosexual men finding their place in the world while sipping lattes in Brooklyn.

11. I Shouldn't Have Eaten That

You've been there: you knew you shouldn't have eaten that extra plate or that third slice of cheesecake or had that greasy burger after all that tequila, and now you're paying for it.

12. Cenobites in Love

I'm sure I don't have to explain this one.

13. The Real Coach Hines

You know Hines, the coach from MadTV, right? Played by the awesome Keegan-Michael Key? Yeah, back when I had a TV, I used to love it. Then I loved it on YouTube. I still do. I want to write about him when he's not in school. You know, when he's drinking and crying in his tiny, lonely apartment...

14. Righteous Viciousness

I like violence, but when it is directed at those who deserve it, I love it. Imagine an anthology packed with tales of bullies getting what they deserve. Maybe an intro by the great Andrew Vachss. All proceeds go to charity.

15. My Favorite Parasite

Horror stories based on fictionalized versions of existing parasites that do awful things to humans. Jeremy Robert Johnson would send something to this. Let's make it happen, shall we?

16. Tales from the Shop

I worked at a tattoo studio for about a year and a half, and the stories from that time are amazing. Folks who've done it for much longer surely have even crazier stories. I want some shop stories.

17. Dark Suburbs

It's always the same garbage: some white kids get in their nice car and somehow end up in the barrio and something bad happens to them. I want to turn that around and have some folks from the hood go into a nice white suburb and then face a nightmare.

18. Where the Rats Are

I really want an anthology about what goes down in the dark, dangerous, filthy world beneath New York City. Yeah, I'm talking about abandoned subway stations, mutated rats, shambling denizens of the dark tunnels, and the worst crime imaginable. Who wouldn't want to read this?

19. Killer Kids

It's always a gigantic dude with a large knife chopping heads, but I find Miko Hughes walking around with a scalpel in Pet Sematary much creepier. Let's push the envelope in terms of killer kids, shall we?

20. Fukushima Now

I don't care if you make this happen or not, because I plan on writing a Fukushima novella at some point. However, I'd love to be in anthology about what's going down in that radiated hell right about now. You know, an exaggerated version of it. Make that a dirty, scary, mutated, angry, weird, and exaggerated version of it.

21. After the Game

I think this one also almost happened once. I'm talking about the characters from famous video games leading depressing lives after their gaming days are over.

22. The Slow and the Pleased: Subverting Hollywood

They've given us the formulas, right? Well, now it's time to turn them all on their heads and make fun of all that Hollywood nonsense.

23. Bill Brasky!

We're all at Bill Brasky's funeral, and it's your turn to tell us a Brasky story...

24. Disney Gone Bad

I know the legal aspects of this would be a pain, but imagine a bunch of crime authors taking Disney stories and injecting them with booze and guns and violence. Glorious, isn't it?

25. Tales of Home Surgery

This one is self-explanatory. Blood. I want blood from criminals, people who got high, agoraphobics, and whatever folks do after the apocalypse. Please?

26. Lansdale's School of Mojo

If there's an author out there who deserves a tribute anthology it's Joe Lansdale. Feel free to try to argue with this one.

27. Weird Love Stories 

I once wrote a story about a man who falls in love with a northern short-tailed shrew. Laura Lee Bahr wrote a story about a woman who falls in love with a man who has a rat head. If you don't think we need more of these, you're wrong.

28. Cryptids and Crank

Erik Williams wrote a novella titled Bigfoot Crank Stomp, and I want to explore what other cryptids would do while coked out of their minds or on acid. You know, because I love highbrow literature.

29. After the Giggles

Fifteen authors. Every story begins with someone who lives alone and is in bed at 3:00 AM when they suddenly hear giggling coming from the closet...

30. Wheelmen

I want wheelmen and wheelwomen. I'm ready for a fast-paced, pulpy anthology about drivers caught in the middle of the action.

31. Tales of the Deep Web

This would give me an excuse to spend even more time researching the deep/dark web. Please make it happen.

32. Bus Chronicles

Nonfiction, please. I've been waiting to share stories of riding the bus for years. I spent over half a decade on public transportation, and it's all ready to start coming out in written form.

33. Stilettos in the Trunk 

The dead hooker in the trunk has been a trope for too long, but I really want to give it one last opportunity to shine. I want to write about what we do with that body and then read what other authors think we should do with that body. Collaborations are encouraged.

34. Drunk Stories

Again, nonfiction. Drinking and authors go together like beans and rice. Let's write about the three or ten wildest times we've had while too drunk to know better.

35. Reimagined Serial Killers

Maybe Ted Bundy was being manipulated by the government. Maybe Jeffrey Dahmer was feeding aliens. Maybe Tsutomu Miyazaki wasn't entirely human...

36. Going to Mexico

The country collapsed. Now dudes in vans are trying to sneak U.S. citizens into Mexico. Yeah, the white coyotes are here, and the brown coyotes may or may not want some vengeance...

37. It Happened at the Strip Club

Don't ask.

38. Women's Adventure: A Female Pulp Celebration

Stories that would belong in a 1950s men's adventure magazine but with female protagonists. We get Christa Faust to write the intro. Let's go!

39. Before Weegee Came

We pick a Weegee photo and write the story of what went down before the photographer/journalist got there. I know folks like Nik Korpon would be down for this, so why not make it a real thing?

40. The Death Zone

I have an obsession with Everest/climbing. I would love to write a story about climbers stuck in the death zone (above 8,000 meters).

41. I Did It for the Money

Again, it's better if you don't ask. I have about half a dozen stories for this one.

42. New Narcocorridos

You start with a carcocorrido and end with the same thing, but you have to tell us the story behind the song in the middle.

43. Freaky South

We get freaky down here. Strange bars. Bizarre roadside attractions. Asshole politicians. Racists and lots of folks who aren't white. You name it, the South has it. Let's tell the weirdest chicken fried narratives we can.

44. ...and then the murders began

This is already a thing, so the time to jump on it is now. Any kind of story goes, as long as that line is in there.

45. Post-Apocalyptic New Orleans

Self-explanatory, and it sells itself. I say we get Victor Gischler to pen the intro.

46. I Really Don't Care

Nonfiction. Essays about how all of us think we're hacks, check Amazon rankings more than we should, hate 1-star reviews, dislike editing, etc. Bonus points for those of us who get honest enough to explain the pain we feel when some idiot celebrity lands a massive book deal. This one should come with a Xanax or something.

47. Trailer Park Gold

I say we write stories about all the bad stuff associated with trailer parks but populate them with superb, smart people because fuck all that "everyone who lives in a trailer park is an inbred idiot" nonsense. And yeah, we're shooting for great writing in this one. There's enough mediocre rural noir out there already.

48. You Think You Know Immigration, But You Have No Idea

Writing by immigrants. We need this one more than any other on this list. In the current political landscape, writing our narratives is how we resist, how we persevere, how we lift our middle fingers up and grab our crotch while looking at bigots. Who else is ready?

49.  Celebrating the F-Bomb

I say fuck a lot when I write. So do many authors whose work I love. We should get stories from all of us together and celebrate the most versatile word in the English language.

50. Pitching Lists to Your Editor: Why 10 Items is Better than 50

I'm already working on my submission to this one. It's nonfiction.

About the author

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist, Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues. Y

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