Saturday, 12 June 2021

UNSPLATTERPUNK! 5: Seeking extreme horror stories with a positive twist

We’ve opened the door to more gore… with a caveat. Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction seeks short story submissions for the fifth instalment in  the UNSPLATTERPUNK! series.   

The fifth stomach-churning and virtue-expanding chapter in the controversial UNSPLATTERPUNK! series begins. Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, allegedly the UK’s second longest-running science fiction and fantasy zine, is once again accepting stories that push the boundaries of extreme horror, but also offer moral enlightenment. In other words, we’re on the hunt for stories that merge grisly details and transgressive content with a positive message. 

The first four anthologies in the UNSPLATTERPUNK! canon introduced a cadaverine-, blood-, and bile-fuelled collection of tales that repeatedly upped the ante for barbarity. Now we’re seeking an all-new rash of stories whose authors go even further over the top (without losing sight of the positive message). Anything goes. You want to go raw and realistic? Go for it. Supernatural beings or future technologies? Have a blast… but just be sure to leave us aghast.

As always, contributors (and everyone) will receive free pdf and ebook versions of the anthology, which will also be available for hardcopy purchase at Amazon. Additionally, recurring editor Douglas J. Ogurek will work with authors to make sure their stories are as good (and as bad) as possible.

Delve into previous UNSPLATTERPUNK! anthologies to get an idea of the types of stories we’re seeking. Links below.
Delve into previous UNSPLATTERPUNK! anthologies to get an idea of the types of stories we’re seeking. Links below.

Tips for Writers

Unsplatterpunk submissions get rejected for two key reasons:

  • Not controversial/visceral enough – You’ve just written a story full of decapitations, amputations, and eviscerations? We can get that by turning on the TV. How will you take it to the next level?
  • No positive message – You’ve completed a subversive piece that will shock and disgust even the most dedicated splatterpunk enthusiast? Great, but if it doesn’t have some positive message, either straightforward or subtle, we’re not interested.

Other advice to keep in mind:

  • Make your story as attention-getting as cannons in a library.
  • Revolt the average person within the first three sentences.
  • Combine a 13-year-old boy’s disgusting imagination with an experienced writer’s technical skills.
  • Read previous anthologies in the series: UNSPLATTERPUNK!, UNSPLATTERPUNK! 2, UNSPLATTERPUNK! 3, UNSPLATTERPUNK! 4. Why not? They’re free.
  • Read every splatterpunk story that you can get your hands on, then write about something that’s never been written about. 
  • Avoid straight-up revenge stories—torturing people as payback for an evil they committed isn’t a positive message.
  • Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t write your story in a chatty style full of colloquialisms. You’re writing to your reader, not your BFF.  
  • Don’t impress us with your writing style, your vocabulary, or your philosophical treatises. Impress us with your story.
  • Remember Elmore Leonard’s advice: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” 

Submission Requirements

Send stories of up to 10,000 words (no poetry, please) to TQFunsplatterpunk@gmail.com. Put “UNSPLATTERPUNK! 5 submission” in the subject line. In your cover letter, include a bio and tell us about the positive message that your story conveys.

  • Deadline: 31 October 2021
  • Word count: 500–10,000
  • Reprints: No
  • Multiple submissions: Yes
  • Simultaneous submissions: No – We’ll get back to you within a couple weeks.
  • File format: .doc (preferred) or .docx files only
  • Payment: This is a non-paying zine. However, free epub, mobi, and pdf files will be available to everyone.

After publication, you are free to reprint your story elsewhere, but please credit Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction for original publication. See the TQF standard guidelines for additional information on rights and legal matters. 

Join the UNSPLATTERPUNK! movement. How will you use your knack for depravity to create a work that not only nauseates readers, but also teaches them a moral lesson?
Join the UNSPLATTERPUNK! movement. How will you use your knack for depravity to create a work that not only nauseates readers, but also teaches them a moral lesson?

The Black Badge of Carnage

Are you tired of submission guidelines stating, “no torture porn” or “no excessive gore?” Here, you’re more likely to be turned down for not being intense enough. Join a growing cadre of writers who are changing the world gland by dripping gland. 

There’s a lot wrong in the world: poverty, racism, abuse, discrimination, sex trafficking, environmental exploitation, trophy hunting, and so much more. Time to do something about it. And while you’re at it, make us sick.


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