There are currently three of these per year and starting in 2019, there will be an omnibus edition at the end of each year. The previous anthologies (1 to 7) might also become combined but that will depend on the agreement of all the authors in those first seven books. It was not written in to their contracts.
The Spring Anthology
This was originally an Easter themed book but it has proved difficult to produce more Easter themed stories that do not sound forced. The Spring anthology will appear around Easter time but is not themed. Anything goes (within the limits set out in the general guidelines). Submissions normally open mid-February and close mid-March.
The Halloween Anthology
Submissions open mid-August and close mid-September. Stories must have a Halloween theme. It does not have to be scary, but Halloween must be a central point of the story.
The Christmas Anthology
Submissions open mid-October and close mid-November. Christmas must be the central theme of the story. It can be anything from horrific to cute and even twee, as long as it fits Christmas.
Format is covered in the general Submissions Guidelines. Please read those first.
Currently we pay £10 per story or the equivalent in copies of the book. If you are outside the UK we recommend you take the money (PayPal preferred) because postage to countries outside the UK will eat into your pay. Seriously. Normally it’s two or three copies per story depending on the final size of the book but postage can cost you a book. You’d be better off getting the cash and buying copies from your local Amazon.
Copyright, contracts and rights.
Leg Iron Books pays you for the right to use your story in the Anthology and (from 2019) also include it in the omnibus edition at the end of the year. We do not buy out copyright. We do not, at any time, ‘own’ your story. We only buy the right to publish it.
Copyright remains with the author at all times. Once the story is published in the relevant anthology you can resell and re-use it all you want. You do not have to wait for publication of the end-of-year omnibus edition.
It would be nice if you mentioned, upon re-use of the story, that it was published in a Leg Iron Books Underdog Anthology but this is not a condition of publication, it is not in the contract and realistically, we are never going to check. It’s up to you.
Contracts (from January 2019) will permit Leg Iron Books to use your story in the relevant Underdog Anthology and in the end of year omnibus edition. We will not be permitted to use it anywhere else, we will not have any rights beyond worldwide print and eBook distribution of the anthology and omnibus in English only and there will be no restriction on you reselling or re-using that story any way you want. If someone wants to make a film of it, translate it or turn it into a stage play, that is between you and them.
Why a flat rate per story?
So far, none of the Underdog Anthologies have repaid their original investment. If they ever do, splitting pennies of profit between multiple authors is far more trouble than it is ever going to be worth. It’s much easier to pay up-front for use of a story and then just let it ride. They might clear the balance one day but it doesn’t matter too much.
The anthologies are showcases. Advertising for Leg Iron Books and the authors. The prices are pitched at the minimum to get them moving but they are not the primary income for any of us. They are loss leaders by design. It would be nice if they ever went into profit but that is not their main purpose.
How long should the story be?
Ideally around 1500 – 3000 words but this is not set in stone. Longer stories are fine. If they are very short we will come to an arrangement on payment. If they are very long we might be discussing a separate publication. Leg Iron Books can be flexible on all these points.
If you have any questions, you can contact us through the ‘contact’ page at the top of this menu. So far we do not operate 24/7 so please be patient when waiting for a response.