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Submissions Open for 2025 Anthology

Updated: Mar 30

Submissions open on April 10th, 2024 for the horror anthology, Exhumed Ottawa: What Lies Beneath.

This newest of Broken Keys Publishing's anthologies will feature the always stunning artwork of JJ Wenzel Images on its cover. (Titled, Skin Deep).

With guest editor, Jennifer Kirkwood, owner/operator of The Book's Better Bookshop and Genuine Jenn book review blog.

This will mark the fourth anthology of the Broken Keys Publishing's collection, our previous 3 winning the Ottawa Awards Book of the Year, 2021, 2022, and 2023.


Ottawa is rich with literary talent, and Broken Keys Publishing's last three anthologies prove it!

Our last three anthologies: Thin Places: The Ottawan Anthology, Love &Catastrophē Poetrē, and Ghosts and Other Chthonic Macabres winning the Ottawa Awards Book of the Years Awards for 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively.

And it is our hope for this newest anthology - Exhumed Ottawa: What Lies Beneath - to win next year's Book of the Year as well! But only YOU can help achieve this goal, because it will be YOUR writing and YOUR short stories that will make this newest book!

Submissions will be open to Ottawa and surrounding regions authors as well as established Broken Keys Publishing authors (local or not).

Submissions open April 10th, 2024 and will run until November 5th, 2024, with a possible extension. Short stories should be within the range of 3,000 to 10,000 words.

The theme for this collection will be horror.

We have secured the cover art with local photographer John Wenzel (JJ Wenzel Images) as we prefer to focus on, showcase and highlighting local talents.

We will also be featuring a guest editor, Jennifer Kirdwood and will be looking for someone to pen the foreword. (Previous forewords for Thin Places and Love & Catastrophe Poetre releases were the incredible Julie Beun and Ottawa’s very own Codi Jefferys!!)


Applicants must be 18 years of age or over. We are not legally comfortable conversing with people who are not adults. We will make exceptions with written parental permission.

Applicants must be a resident of Ottawa or the surrounding Ottawa region, or a published author or poet of Broken Keys Publishing. Your mailing address must be included on the body of the submission email.

The email submission subject should read, Exhumed Ottawa - <your name>

Submissions are to be in 12 pt. Arial font and between 3.000 - 10,000 words. Acceptable file types are Microsoft Word (.docx) and Open document format (.odt). Email delivery only. Submission must be an attachment.

Do not forward links to your writing. If the submitted piece is not an attachment we will not search for it.

Do not submit or use Email Notification Services: we will not sign into any service to view your writing. If we receive and email requiring us to verify something or sign into something, consider the submission rejected. Please keep this in mind.

The theme or genre of the short story must be horror. However, by no means must they be exclusively horror. Hybrids, drama, historic, mystery, crime, thriller, romance, fantasy, western, or comedy could all be possible hybrids. Even poetry is a possibility. (Word count for poetry will be taken into a different consideration).

Please include a short bio as a second attachment.

Submissions should be emailed to

Permission & Ownership:

Ownership is the foundation of it all. If we don't know who owns the work it will not be published. So please, no pen names and no third party submissions. The writer needs to submit their own work.

You must own its copyright. (If you haven't copyrighted it yet, or are unsure, if you are the original author then you have copyright. If it has been previously published, you may not).

If you have sold your work elsewhere you may not own it and may have only your name on it. If you want to include that work in a book someday you may have to get written permission.

Submissions to this anthology presumes you have dealt with all these issues already.

We will take this submission to this anthology as a statement and permission by you that,

  1. You do indeed have ownership of said work (and you, the author, take responsibility and legal liability should you not), and

  2. That permission to reproduce it on print, print-on-demand (and subsequent print runs and publications), audiobooks, narrations, readings and ebook publications is given upon submission and acceptance.

Broken Keys Publishing does not nor will not own these works once printed. You still maintain ownership, with the exception of Broken Keys Publishing's permission to print and reprint this anthology.


There is no fee to submit a short story.

There will be no fee and no payment should your short story be selected. You will be credited as the story's author, in both this anthology's credit page and a brief bio.

This anthology will be dealt with in 2 separate categories: 1) print-editions and 2) print-on-demand.


Once the anthology goes to print you will be given the option of purchasing copies for your own purposes and/or sales, at printing cost plus a nominal administration fee. However, you are not obligated to.

Although it is too early to be certain, we are anticipating a cost in the ballpark of $ 7-10 per copy with a retail sales price of $20 or more. As we get closer to a final draft we will better be able to solidify these numbers. You will be free to sell these copies at your will with their profits benefiting you directly.


No royalties will be paid out either from print editions or print-on-demand.

Sustainable Publishing:

Exhumed Ottawa: What Lies Beneath will be a Sustainable Publishing title. You can learn more about what this means by following the link. This title will not be available in any electronic format or ebook.

Notices, Rejections & Announcements:

Rejected submissions will not be notified.

A critical path (submission deadline, selection deadline, final proof, quantity ordered, payment due date, and printing date) will be posted. Those selected will be emailed and notification will be posted publicly.

Submissions will open from April 10th, 2024 - November 5th, 2024.

Finalists will be announced by Christmas 2024.


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