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Black Library Open Submissions 2018

Black library has opened up it's murky and labyrinthine gates in the webway to aspiring new talent. They are taking on submissions and pitches for new stories, and rather than complete jobs, so this could be your chance to become an Aspiring Champion of Literature.

Pop on over to Warhammer Community for the details, but if you have the will to tread the literary Path to Glory then these are your first steps:

1. Your story must use Games Workshop’s Intellectual property and be based in any of the Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Blood Bowl or Necromunda settings. It must also adhere to one or more of the above themes but you may interpret this in any way you see fit.
We’re looking for a broad range of stories and characters that capture Black Library’s unique mood and tone.
To fit with Black Library’s range, your story should not include graphic descriptions of gratuitous violence, sex or explicit bad language. 
2. Pitch us your idea by sending a one-paragraph summary.
This must tell us what the story is about (not necessarily just what happens) and who the characters are. Think about what drives the story? What are the character’s goals?
3. Write a sample of the story no longer than 500 words in length, in UK English.
This could come from any part of the story and doesn’t have to be set at the beginning (we’d recommend not sending us the ending, however…). At this point, we are not looking for fully written stories. Please submit correctly formatted work in Times New Roman, point size 12, double line spaced.  

You need to write a story in the following categories, but they're nothing you wouldn't expect from Black Library, or even fantasy/science fiction itself really.

  • Heist
  • Detective/Police Procedural
  • Adventure
  • Mystery
  • Ghost/Paranormal/Horror
  • War
Everything but the romance novel, it seems. Even then you could have a strong romantic subplot within those categories.

Cynical and obvious observation that this is a marketing ploy aside, I really like these open competitions. I've always wanted to be a writer myself, and whilst blogging scratches that itch somewhat, it's nowhere near the same as crafting a full 40,000 word 40K novel.

For me, these competitions are an excuse to embarrass myself trying to become an author... and a way to explain the hours sitting at a computer screen arguing with Word and words to my wife. So you can bet I'm interested in this.

However, I'm terribly realistic... I'm not going to just submit to Black Library. I have a blog, and a therefore a platform to readers already (albeit a short platform with barely any room to stand on). Before submissions I will be posting the things I write directly to this blog, exposing myself to ridicule, derision, and more importantly, feedback.

Is this a project going nowhere in the end? Possibly. But it may also become a good resource for those student neophytes who want to write Warhammer novels.

And besides... I've annoyed half the school faculty by dipping into their subjects and making them work a little harder to be better than me (better paints than art, getting a school team to national competition faster than P.E., literally stealing membership of students from the Choir for example). How much would it annoy the English department for a Science Teacher to have a published novel?

As the Khan says, "Don't build walls. Break them."

Until next time!

Thanks for reading.

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