Somewhere in the world, there is a hotel on an island in the middle of a large river. This hotel was designed and built in the 1980s, and its labyrinthine corridors and structural design make no sense at all to the modern eye. And all the while, the deep, dark, swirling waters of the river conceal its secrets.
Unknown to all but its mad designer, this hotel was built as an altar to the Old God that rests under the dark, flowing current. Whether that altar contains the Old God and ensures his slumber, is built to one day call him from his rest, or has some other nefarious purpose is unknown.
But it’s a heck of a place for a bunch of fans to throw a con.
What horrors or humors will happen at the convention? What’s the gaming room like? What happens at the panels, or in the dealer’s room? Who shows up at the room parties? Where the hotel is, and what sort of story happens within it, is entirely up to the author—but some sort of interaction between the Lovecraftian-style Old God in the river and the convention must be a focal part of the story.
Upon acceptance of the contract from the open call, Impulsive Walrus Books will be paying a semi-pro rate of three cents per word. Impulsive Walrus is planning to run a campaign for the anthology on Kickstarter in early September of 2022. If the Kickstarter funds and does well, there will be a stretch goal tied to raising all accepted authors’ payment to the pro-rate of $.08/word. If the Kickstarter funds and does extremely well, there will also be a stretch goal tied to bonuses for all contributors. However at this time, Impulsive Walrus is only able to guarantee the base $.03/word for accepted open call submissions. The reading period will begin on Nov. 15, 2021, and will end April 15, 2022. We are looking for stories of between 2,000 and 6,000 words. Keep them PG-13, please. Authors will retain all rights to the work, and will only be asked to grant a license for publishing. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable so long as author retains the rights to license the work. Please submit by e-mailing a .doc or .rtf file to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line CTHULHU FHCON SUBMISSION.
Regarding submissions: do you have a preference on font type/size and line spacing?
When I looked back at the cow story it was submitted in Calibri and double-spaced. But wanted to know if those were still desirable typing specs.
Hi Olivia! Sorry for the delayed reply – I’m not sure if it was operator or website error, but I just realized there was no response here. We received your submission, so you’re all good. But I’m going to reply here, just in case anyone else has the same question. We prefer an .rft or .doc in the Standard Manuscript style for short stories. You can find examples for it all over the internet. 🙂
Do you mean 1890 or 1980 for the construction of the convention hotel? I think of 1980 as “modern,” 1890 as baroque and labyrinthine.
Thanks for asking! We mean 1980. Think of the weirdest Red Lion you’ve every stayed in. It should be like that.
Oh man as a long time fan of RPGS and the Old Ones this greatly interests me.
Is it the intention that stories be actually set in this hotel, or just general Mythos stories?
The intent is that the stories be set during a science fiction/fantasy convention held within said hotel. Hence “Cthulu FhCon.”
Do the stories need to all be in the same universe? Or can I come up with my own island hotel and river god?
Good question, but no–don’t worry about making it the same universe or convention. There’s a hotel, it’s 1980’s style, and its layout is a thing of madness and despair. There’s a science fiction/fantasy convention in said hotel.
The rest can be totally different from story to story.
Does the hotel have a name yet?
You can name the hotel in your story whatever you want to name it.
Currently working on a concept however, one of the questions I have is will the anthology accept just one of the types of stories (ex: lets say I am writing a gaming room story and someone else does the same thing would they both be accepted?) Also, how do you feel about multiple entries ? And from what I understand as long as the hotel layout resembles something out of an Escher painting and there’s an old river god we can tailor everything else to our liking correct? Just want to make sure 🙂
It depends on how similar the stories are. If I see two stories that are basically the same, then chances are pretty good I’m picking one. But just because it’s set in a gaming room doesn’t mean it’s the same story–I can think of three or four ways to spin that scenario.
As to multiple entries, we’re only going to publish one story per author, so just send me your best one. You already know which one that is.
The hotel’s design isn’t necessarily full-on Escher (though it could be), it just has a layout that makes no sense whatsoever. It seems intentionally designed to drive the people in the hotel a little crazy. Escher is one way to play that, but it’s not the only way. It can be far more subtle…they put the elevators as far away from the booking desk as possible, and none of the conference rooms are next to each other. That sort of thing. If you go full Escher, that’s fine too, but you’ve got a lot of leeway there.
And yes, there’s a Lovecraftianesque Old God in the river that runs next to it.
The hotel is somewhat based on a hotel we know that sits on the Columbia, but I wanted to open this thing up geographically. We are thinking of getting bars of handcrafted soap as a Kickstarter bonus and doing them up in a mock-Red-Lion logo, but with Cthulhu’s face instead of the Red Lion. It might be one of the tier rewards on the KS–a bar of soap stolen from the hotel.
Hi. You indicate the hotel is built in the 1980s. Can the story itself, therefore, take place in the 1980s as well? Thanks.
It can, but make sure that it’s happening at a science fiction/fantasy convention. The feel should still be relatable to those who attend cons these days.
What a great idea! Is this anthology still evaluating submissions? I would love to work on a story if so.
Thanks, and Happy New Year.
Oops…please regard my last note. I will work on a tale!
What sort of conventions would be allowed? Obviously this skews towards comic/anime cons, but would some kind of business convention be okay? Or a furry convention?
A furry con I could see, but we really want to keep that fan-convention feel in order to connect with the target audience (which is likely going to be people who go to those conventions)
With such a specific (if compelling) theme, it’s unlikely the story I’m writing could be used elsewhere. Is it possible to get feedback on the first few paragraphs to see if the style, theme, subject aligns with what you’re looking for and that it isn’t too similar to any others you’ve shortlisted?
I have a very, very large stack of submissions that I’m working my way through. So I’m not honestly sure I have the time to devote to coaching someone through the process. That said, there are a number of places that Cthulhu-type stories are publishable, so I very much doubt that we’re the only market that would take it.
Any wiggle room on the 6k word limit?
It would have to be really, really good. Especially this late in the game, because there’s not a lot of word count in the antho that isn’t spoken for.
When is the deadline please?
The deadline is tonight at midnight, Pacific Time.