ALL STORY SUBMISSIONS MUST BE SENT VIA EMAIL TO:
SUBMISSIONS (AT) CHILLINGTALESFORDARKNIGHTS (DOT) COM
Before you submit to our site, please keep the following in mind…
- We are a business – we produce entertainment to make money, and for the enjoyment of it.
- We release just 8 stories per month – there are a lot of amazing stories out there, and we can only accept so many.
- Submitting your does **NOT** guarantee acceptance or production of the story, or that it will be read, or that you will ever get anything other than an automated response. The best way to ensure your story gets read? Follow our guidelines (see below).
- If your story violates our submission guidelines or violates copyrights, it will be rejected. If you fail to adhere to our rules more than once, we will blacklist you from submitting in the future.
- You will be contacted personally if and only if we are interested in producing your story. Don’t submit expecting a personalized response. Remember: your story is one of 250+ we receive every month.
- We receive more stories than we can read, so if we don’t respond quickly, or at all, it doesn’t mean you or your story are terrible. Remember: an actual human being must stop everything they are doing to dedicate 15-35 minutes to read your story.
- We make story selection decisions as a team, and it takes time for everyone on our executive team to weight in on submissions. Depending on the time of year and how many submissions we’ve received, it can take a few days to several months to get back to you, if at all.
- We make story selection and scheduling decisions based on business need, not your needs. Yes, we accept submissions year-round, but this doesn’t mean we are in constant need of new stories. We routinely have a backlog of hundreds of stories in various stages of productions. We will consider any submission from anyone, regardless of their age or the story’s length, but we are not obligated to increase production to allow your story to be produced or released sooner.
- We don’t do this for free only to help you make money or sell your book. Requests for commercial work or for stories to be produced for profit and not for display on our site/channel must be sent via email to business (at) chillingtalesfordarknights (dot) com.
- Stories takes an average of 10-35 hours to produce. Jeff the Killer? 200+ hours. Think about that for a minute before getting sassy with us. On average, our team spends more time adapting a given story than an author has spent writing it. Show some respect.
- 95% of our talent have full-time day jobs apart from CTFDN. Be patient. There’s only so much time in the day, and we can’t guarantee that we’ll respond to anyone in a particular amount of time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
- DO NOT REHASH CONTENT, USE CHARACTERS THAT ARE NOT YOUR OWN, OR PIGGYBACK ON POPULAR EXISTING NARRATIVES.
Yes, we know who Slenderman, Jeff the Killer and Ben are. We are aware of what happened when people were not allowed to sleep for 15 days. We are also aware that photos of dogs with human teeth are creepy, and that a failure to forward an email with one attached is a death sentence. We don’t need to hear these stories again, and unless you’re the original author of the story that spawned the lore, we don’t want to see you write a sequel.
- You must possess all rights to the story.
This sounds obvious. However, if you have been published previously, you must be certain that you, not your publisher, owns the story.
- Separate your paragraphs with spaces, and do NOT indent your paragraphs.
We feature the text of the story on our website, and may break it into parts when we develop a script for our voice over actors. For this reason, it is easier for us if your story is formatted like an online article rather than like a term paper. It takes time for us to correct formatting issues. Ignore this rule and we will move on.
- Your grammar, punctuation and spelling must be impeccable.
We will edit stories to clean them up, but we are not an editing service. If your story is a grammatical nightmare from the get-go, or if it is rife with basic errors that could have been caught and corrected by Microsoft Word, we will pass immediately. If you can’t take two minutes to spell and grammar-check your story, we won’t take 15 minutes to read it. Period. Need help with writing? Check out the O.W.L. at Purdue resources – click here.
- No excessive or unnecessary profanity.
Occasional foul language in dialogue is fine, if it adds to the story or established a character’s personality and is employed at appropriate moments. Too much and your story will be rejected.
- No gore-porn or “shock” stories
We don’t produce the audio equivalent of 80’s slasher flicks. Do some of our stories feature murder most foul? Yes. Cannibalism? Yes. Beheadings? Yes. The difference is, these stories are creative, employ twist endings, or utilize the grotesque events to further a plot, not to glorify, promote, or encourage the behavior being described. If your story features an abundance of pointless gore, or shocking imagery that appears to be there for its own sake, your entry will be rejected.
- No erotica or sexually explicit content
Erotic literature has a place, but it isn’t here. If your story has romance in it, that’s one thing. If it has drawn-out lovemaking scenes or vivid descriptions of the human body that would make the average person blush, we are likely to pass.
So your story meets our requirements, is formatted correctly, and is the best thing
since Poe’s The Raven, and you still want to proceed? Great!
But before you do, bear in mind the following…
- You will be asked to sign a Multimedia Release Form upon acceptance of your story.
The form allows us to legally adapt the story into an audio version and to distribute that production, including for commercial gain, in any way we choose, and our right to distribute the productions in this manner cannot be revoked or infringed upon. If you won’t agree to it, we won’t feature you. End of story.
- Your audio adaptation of your story will be used commercially.
Again, we are a business. We produce stories to make money. If you have a problem with this, or with your content being monetized or displayed alongside advertising, you are not a good fit for us. Our producers spend 10-35 hours producing each story, and we do an amazing job – the end result being that you and your work are promoted in perpetuity at no cost to you – so don’t ask us to do it for free. We appreciate that you see value in our work.
- No direct or up-front financial compensation will be provided to you for the usage of your story.
We are what is considered a non-paying market. Unless we’ve reached out to you and specifically offered you payment in exchange for the right to adapt your story, we will not pay for those rights.
- You will be credited for your work.
We will credit you by either your full legal name, or by an assumed name of your choice, if you so prefer. Your name will be listed as the credited author on the website, in any downloadable MP3 ID3 tags, in our video descriptions, and in the YouTube videos themselves. At no point will CTFDN ever attempt to take credit for your story, even if it has been edited by members of our team.
- You retain the original copyright to your story.
If your submission is accepted, we will never attempt to take credit for it, and will never ask you to relinquish copyright to your work.
- The rights you grant to us upon acceptance are non-exclusive, but also irrevocable.
We will not prohibit you from having your story published elsewhere, or insist that it be exclusive to us, unless prior arrangements are discussed. However, if we’re going to commit to spending 10-35 hours producing your story, plus time marketing it, and paying individuals to do this, we are not going to remove it from the site without a very good reason. In general, once you agree to our Multimedia Release Form, you cannot ask us to remove the audio adaptation from our site/channel once it is posted. If this makes you uncomfortable or you believe your story is good enough to be optioned by a major publisher or motion picture company, contact us prior to signing to make alternative arrangements, or to draft an agreement that is suitable to you. Whether such an exception will be made is at our sole discretion, and depends greatly on the circumstances.
- The full text version of your story will be displayed in on our website.
We offer “read along” links in our YouTube videos and in our video descriptions as a courtesy to our listeners. If you object to having the text displayed for personal or business purposes, discuss it with us in advance.
- We will not publish your story in a book or adapt it into a short or feature-length film, or use it for any other purpose, without your consent.
If your story is particularly amazing, we may be interested in including it in one of our print/eBook anthologies, or in adapting it into a film. In that case, we will have a separate agreement for you to review. Until such an agreement is established, your story will be authorized only for use in an audio adaptation.
- We possess the copyright to the audio productions we release, and you must ask before you can display or distribute it someplace else.
You own the rights to your story; we own the rights to the audio adaptation. The audio and visual versions of your tale, as adapted by CTFDN, will be under copyright to Chilling Entertainment, LLC, and you will have no right to distribute the audio/visual versions of it without or express written consent. If you upload the content to your YouTube channel or website without asking first, you will be in violation of our rights and you will be asked to cease and desist.
STORY SUBMISSION & FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS
The following are not suggestions – they are requirements!
Ignore these guidelines and your submission will be rejected.
STEP 1 – EDITABLE DOCUMENT | Prepare a copy of your story in an editable format.
Create your document in a format such as Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX), Rich Text (.RTF), or OpenOffice (.ODT). Do NOT attach your story as a PDF, plain text document, or as an image of any kind. Your text must be editable.
STEP 2 – AUTHOR DETAILS & WORD COUNT | Include this at the very top of your document.
At the very top of your document, before anything else, include your 1) story title, 2) name, 3) address, 4) phone number, 5) email address, 6) word count, and 7) the approximate spoken time of your story. How do you get the “spoken time?” Simple: take your word count and divide it by 140, which is the average number of words per minute a narrator speaks per minute. Then, if necessary, round up to the next whole number.
123 Fake Street
Fakesylvania, NY 12345
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Word Count: 2,300
Spoken Time: 16 Minutes
STEP 2 – AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | Compose a bio describing yourself.
Describe yourself, your experience (if any), your other work, and your location, if you’re comfortable. Need help writing a bio? Check out the bios of some of the great authors over at Harpers Collins – click here.
STEP 3 – PLOT SYNOPSIS | Compose a one-paragraph synopsis of your story.
If your synopsis is terrible or you don’t provide one, we won’t read your story. The synopsis sells your story; it’s like your one-minute pitch, in approximately 140 words or less. Write the synopsis the way you would if your story were a book, as if it was the paragraph on the back of the jacket used to draw in the reader. Your synopsis will be the first thing we read after your bio, and it ought to make us excited to read your story. Also, if your story is accepted, your synopsis (or a modified version of it) is likely to be used as part of our website/YouTube video description and our announcement to our subscribers, so it better be good.
STEP 4 – CHARACTER BREAKDOWN
Nothing fancy: simply state how many characters your story requires, along with the names (or a general description) of each of them, such as their ethnicity, age, gender, etc. This allows our team, at a glance and in conjunction with your word count above, to see how involved the story really is, and how complicated it may get to produce. If your story is complex, does that mean we will pass automatically? Of course not. But we want to know what we’re getting into, since we have limited time to read stories.
STEP 5 – INCLUDE YOUR STORY ITSELF, FORMATTED PROPERLY | Don’t forget what we said earlier.
Include space between paragraphs, and do NOT indent your paragraphs! This saves us a tremendous amount of time, particularly if your story is lengthy.
STEP 6 – THE E-MAIL AND THE SUBJECT LINE | Almost done!
Compose your e-mail and direct it to submissions (at) chillingtalesfordarknights (dot) com. Then word your Subject Line as follows:
STORY SUBMISSION – “[STORY TITLE HERE]” by [AUTHOR’S NAME HERE] | [NUMBER OF WORDS HERE] | [SPOKEN TIME HERE]
If formatted correctly, it will look like this:
STORY SUBMISSION – “The Strangest Security Tape I’ve Ever Seen” by Phil Zona | 1,500 Words | 11 Minutes
NOTE: The “spoken time” above is calculated by taking your number of words and dividing by 140. Round up to the next whole number if a fraction.
STEP 7 | RECEIVE YOUR AUTOMATED RESPONSE, AND THEN WAIT
If you don’t get an automated response, your story may not have come through. Contact us via our general contact email address instead if that happens, which is questions (at) chillingtalesfordarknights.com. If you did get the response, there is nothing further you need to do. As stated above, you will be contacted personally if and only if we are interested in producing your story. Don’t submit expecting a personalized response. Remember: your story is one of 250+ we receive every month.
Thank you very much for your submission and for your interest in our service!