June 21, 2024

Call for Submissions – Crime Stories inspired by Music from the 60s

Rebellion, Revolution and Rock ‘n Roll—The Sixties in Music

Fifties teen angst and unrequited love tunes gave way to Sixties social consciousness and political statements in music, thanks to the Vietnam War and its protesters. In an effort to distance themselves from the Establishment (don’t sell out and be like the parents), a hippie lifestyle became the nightmare of the over thirty age group. “Turn on, tune in, drop out” said Timothy Leary and many followed his LSD fueled advice.

We’re looking for cozy (no excessive gore, torture, graphic violence) to cozy noir (where nothing really goes right for anyone) stories that include a crime. Each crime must revolve around a song from the 60s. It can include a cover song—written earlier, made popular in the 60s—and the British influence certainly can be used. As Kevin Kline’s character says in The Big Chill, no good music was written after the 60s.

The Beatles, Bee Gees, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Sinatra, the Who, Donovan, Otis Redding, the Doors, the Monkees, Aretha, Joan Baez, the Stones—those are just a few who influenced music of the 60s. One reference to spark inspiration and bring back memories is http://www.rockmusictimeline.com/1960s.html

Stories do not have to be set in the 60s but 60s music must be an integral part of the plot, not just mentioned in passing. Crime is not limited to murder although it’s a favorite. The Beatles ruled the 60s but don’t have to rule your story—using a less likely band/musician will avoid multiple submissions using the same song. Each song will only be used once in the anthology.

Song titles are fine but be careful about quoting lyrics – we don’t want any trouble with the Lyric Police! Paraphrase please.

Submission period: August 15th – November 15th, 2019

Length: 2,500 to 6,000 words Four to five thousand words is a good goal. We expect the anthology to have approximately seventy-five thousand words, a mix of longer and shorter stories.

Manuscript Formatting: Please read our formatting requirements here.

Payment: Royalty

Fifty percent of the gross royalties per calendar quarter will be distributed equally among the contributors. Contributor copies will not be offered. A limited number of review copies will be available.

We ask for the exclusive right to publish your story for one calendar year following contract signing, excluding publications of those previously published.

Rebellion, Revolution and Rock ‘n Roll—The Sixties in Music, is the tentative title, subject to change.

For additional information, please contact sixtiessubmission@darkhousebooks.com  or visit the website at http://www.darkhousebooks.com.

Sandra Murphy is the editor for A Murder of Crows, a Darkhousebooks anthology and is the author of From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception. Her short stories have appeared in Flash and Bang, The Killer Wore Cranberry Four, Dogs and Dragons, Second Chance Dogs with other stories accepted awaiting publication in 2019