The writing prompt for April is: Patrick Macnee, best known as The Avengers ‘ Mr. Steed (pictured here with Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel) but who also played both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (among dozens of similarly mysterious roles), he was born on February 6, 1922.
Writing prompt: Finish the scene that starts with this line from John Steed:
“Six bodies in an hour and twenty minutes. What do you call that?”
Bring your scene to the meeting and be prepared to read it out loud (or have someone read it for you if you’re shy).
Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?
Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Lead us on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show us what’s behind the glitz.
Touchstones (to give you a sense of the breadth of the net cast):
John Webster’s “skull beneath the skin” • Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love • Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus • Gargantua & Pantagruel • Pinocchio (the novel! Not the Disney atrocity) • Papa Lazarou • Doctor Lau • Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes • Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal • Leonor Fini
Surprise me, delight me, make me afraid of the shadows of a warm summer night, rip my guts out and stuff them back in again. Just don’t bore me. All editors have their tastes or quirks: if you want a clue to my sensibilities, check out my extensive bibliography and of course, read Weird Noir.
Stories should be:
Previously unpublished anywhere
Not submitted anywhere else
Formatted: Times New Roman, regular, 12 point. 1″ margins. 1 space after full stop. Spaced 1.5 lines. Use paragraph formatting to indent first line not tabs. No header/footer.
Identified with a title, your name (and pen name identified as such), working email address on the first page: file name should include your surname & title
Submitted in RTF format via email to katelaity at gmail with at least your name, the story title and total word count included in the body of the email; make sure the Subject line includes “Submission: Noir Carnival” + your name
We will ask for world-wide print & ebook rights for a year and pay $10 via Paypal as an advance against the royalties to be split with the publisher. We plan to launch the book at EDGE-Lit in Derby in July 2013.