October update, and Open Submissions

Yet again, as expected, it has taken me far too long between entries on this blog. I’m determined to get better and make this a more regular thing though, even if the majority of my posts will just be brief and cryptic updates about current writing projects. But it’s a useful place to collate information about upcoming things or what I’ve been working on.

Speaking of which, I’ll have a story in the next Warhammer Horror anthology, which should be out at the end of this month to coincide with Hallowe’en. I got my author copies of the book yesterday, and as usual it’s a beautifully produced thing:

I won’t say any more about my story, only to say that it’s the so far only thing I’ve written set in the Warhammer 40K universe, which makes it a change from my usual Age of Sigmar fantasy setting.

In other writing news, I’m hard at work on my 5th novel for Black Library, which should be all finished in early December, and I’ve been grabbing every spare minute to work on the second draft of my own novel, ‘The Cutting’ (title TBC, because I still think ‘The Cutting’ sounds a bit rubbish). Every now and then, when I look up from the page, I allow myself the smallest feeling that it might actually be vaguely good …

Last of all, Black Library have opened up their submissions again, in the appropritely-named ‘Open Submissions‘ window – full details at the link. Whenever they do this I always encourage people even vaguely thinking about it to give it a try. Hundreds and hundreds of aspiring writers enter this every year, and even though it might seem a long shot, you have absolutely nothing to lose. Most of all, for people who maybe can’t find the motivation, it provides you with a perfectly structured process, with a time limit, to force you to get some words down. This kind of thing is invaluable, so even if you don’t get anywhere, I promise you’ll be a better writer for the experience.

I have seen some people commenting online (mainly on Reddit) that the Open Submissions isn’t legitimate, that it’s some kind of publicity stunt for Black Library and Games Workshop more generally – which is, frankly, bullshit. The Open Submissions isn’t designed to give someone a token story in Inferno and that’s the end of it – BL are genuinely looking for more writers to help expand an ever-growing field. I’m living proof of it. I got my first publication with them through the Open Submissions (my Horror story The Widow Tide, in the Maledictions anthology), and since then I’ve written another eight or nine stories, a novella, and five novels. That’s not to say everyone who enters is going to be so lucky (and I was very, very lucky), but it’s a genuine exercise and a really worthwhile one at that. Ignore the conspiracy theorists. Get writing.

2 thoughts on “October update, and Open Submissions

  1. Peter Candle

    Hello Richard. Just finished the story and it was a pleasant surprise seeing you write for 40K. Excellent as your AoS stuff.

    I just have a small question. Where do you get inspiration for characters’ names? Becherovka is a well-known drink in the Czech republic. Jezek, Palivo are also Czech words. Just curious

    1. Admin Post author

      Thanks, and I’m glad you liked the story. I’ve got an empty bottle of Becherovka on the shelf, so that’s definitely where the name came from! Warhammer’s traditionally always used faintly Germanic or central European-sounding names for its characters, so after that I tried to find a few similar Czech names to tie the crew in that story together.


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