A Dark Challenge

Do you have what it takes to be a masterful suspense writer? If you think so, Xeus, author of Dark City invites you to spin the darkest, creepiest and most twisted yarn you can ever dream of!

So, what are you waiting for? Tap into the deep, dark recesses of your perverse soul and scare the wits out of all us…and maybe even the indomitable Xeus herself!

Here’s the info:

For the Dark City sequel, which is scheduled to be published in April 2007, author Xeus is calling for short story submissions. Dark City 2 will be an anthology of dark and twisted Malaysian tales much in the tone of the first book.

The submission criteria are:
1) Each short story should contain around 3000 – 8,000 words. Please use double spacing and Microsoft Word.
2) Each plot must be in the same vein as Dark City 1, which are stories about the darker side of Malaysian life. The short story genres can be contemporary, horror, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, romance, Roald Dahl-style ironic etc.
3) The stories must meet the English and storytelling standards of the first book. (In other words, the editor will only select only what is publishable)
4) Each short story must contain a twist which hopefully no reader will see coming
5) This is open to published and unpublished writers of all ages. For unpublished writers, this allows you an opportunity to be published and to use this in your literary resume. You will then be able to sell your work more easily to a future publisher.

Your story will be selected on the strength of its plot, your ability to beguile the reader, and the shock impact of your twist. Your story must be concise, gripping and satisfying! Selected contributors will be paid RM 150 and 4 free books for each story. You can submit as many stories as you like.

The editor reserves the right to conceptually edit selected stories in the purpose of making them more appealing and ask you for a rewrite.

Closing date is Feb 28th, 2007.

Stories are to be submitted to dark.city.xeus@gmail.com


  1. xeus

    Thanks so much for the link!

  2. Name

    Please ask your dear sister how a book that sells 3000 copies can’t afford to pay any writer a single cent. Even at Rm15 a book that’s 45K. You’re not telling me that it cost that much to publish ? 🙂

  3. xeus

    FYI, most writers only get 10% of the takings of any book. Out of this (usually only a couple of thousand ringgit), the writer has to pay the agent’s fees and sometimes the editor. The fact that Dark City 2 actually pays anything at all is a feat. Most anthologies do NOT, I repeat, do NOT pay. Not even Jack Canfield pays for Chicken Soup.

    So please read carefully before making a comment like that. Note that I am NOT the publisher, and I’m taking out my own money to pay the contributors. If the book doesn’t sell, I will be the one at a loss.

    Bookstores take 50%, publishers and distributors take 40%, and the remaining 10% goes to the writer and the rest.

  4. Xeus, is right Name. My sister just prints and publish the books, she has told me she doesn’t make the judgments or decisions on what goes into the book.

    She leaves that to Karen, the editor, to make the decisions. And to my sister’s knowledge, Karen did not pay the contributors but she herself receives only a small cut of the earnings. Most of it is split between publishers and the bookstores that are willing to stock ’em.

    Xeus is right in asserting that most anthologies do NOT pay their contrivutors. The fact she pays is a blessing and am sure most writers are just grateful to make the cut at all rather than being paid. Being paid is just the bonus part of getting published.

  5. This sounds like a very interesting proposition.

  6. Sora

    Suspense writer? Me?? Probably not. I *have* tried, but I couldn’t come up with something that didn’t seem cliched. I *do* have the makings of a pretty good (IMHO) action/thriller story…if I could just recall the details of the dream. 😦

    While we’re on the subject of writing, E.W., will you be participating in the NaNoWriMo event in November?

    Hugz and email! ^_-

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