There are three Underdog Anthologies each year.
The Spring (Beltane) Anthology is an ‘anything goes’ anthology. It was originally Easter themed with ‘Tales the Hollow Bunnies Tell’ but it’s really not easy to come up with all that many Easter stories year after year. Therefore it now continues the tradition of the first anthology (The Underdog Anthology) in that any genre, any subject is acceptable. Within the limits of legality and decency, of course. Submissions start in February and close in March, the release date for this one can be flexible so last-minute submissions won’t drive us into a rage.
The Halloween anthology is Halloween themed. Stories do not have to be pants-changingly scary, they simply have to be themed at Halloween and not just forced into a Halloween setting. The Halloween aspect has to matter to the story. This anthology opens for submission in mid August and closes in mid September, to ensure it is completed in plenty of time for Halloween.
Likewise, stories for the Christmas anthology must be Christmas themed and as with the Halloween stories, they do not have to be teeth-rottingly sweet. They can be if you want. My own Christmas stories are normally on the dark side so the book always needs a bit of balance. Submissions are between mid October and mid November.
Previously, anthology stories were paid at £10 per story or the equivalent in books. With Anthology Eight (Spring 2019) this will increase to £12 per story because the contract will change to allow me to use the story twice. Once in the original anthology, and once more in the annual omnibus edition which will combine all of that year’s three anthologies in one volume. That volume will sell for less than buying the three books separately so that those coming into the series later can get the rest without bankrupting themselves, although the eBook versions are priced so low it’s hardly going to matter.
Anthologies 1 to 7 did not have that arrangement. I will attempt to contact all of the previous authors to see if they will agree to this re-use, but there is no guarantee they all will (it’s all or nothing, one author declining means it cannot happen) so it is possible the first seven will never be combined.
This change will not change the author rights nor copyright. Copyright remains with the author throughout and rights revert to the author on publication of the original anthology. No author will have to wait until the omnibus edition to get their rights back. The moment the anthology is available for sale, you can re-use and re-publish your story all you want. It would be nice if you mentioned publication in an Underdog Anthology but realistically we are not going to have the time or resources to check. We really aren’t going to even try to enforce it anyway.
Further information on anthology contracts for short stories is under ‘Submissions’ in this menu.