What kind of stories are you looking for?
We want stories with strong, interesting, dynamic characters, compelling plots, and great writing. If you want to get an even better idea of what we’re looking for, read what we like to publish, our recent novel, Fatal Gift.
What kind of stories are you not looking for?
No erotica. (Sexuality and sex scenes are okay, as long as that’s not the story’s focus.) No fan fiction. No stories that are too literary—more about the language or style than about the people or plot. (We will have an all literary edition later on.) No experimental fiction or writing styles. No plotless stories or stories that are mostly description. No autobiographical stories.
What should I include in my cover letter?
Tell us a little about yourself and briefly summarize your story. If your story has been previously published (that’s great and congratulations!) mention that in your cover letter too. We’re always curious about how writers come up with ideas for stories, so feel free to tell us about your story’s origins. If you have a website, feel free to include that link in your cover letter.
For the horror edition, include the words “Horror Edition” in the subject line.
How long should the synopsis be?
A couple of sentences to a paragraph is fine. Your plot synopsis can include spoilers, too, if that helps explain what your story is about.
What should I include on the story’s first page?
Include your contact information, the story’s title, and the word count.
How can I keep up to date with the progress of The Binge-Watching Cure?
My story is too long or too short for one of your categories. Can I still submit it?
No. Please edit your story to be within one of the word lengths that we’re looking for.
May I submit more than one story?
We’d prefer that you didn’t, but you may. We want only your best work. However, if you can’t decide which is your best and you do send in more than one story, please submit the other story to a different length category. No more than two submissions, please. Space your submissions out by at least two weeks.
Are previously published stories okay?
Yes, absolutely. Just let us know in your cover letter where and when your story was published. But: Stories that are currently available online are not okay, unless they are behind a paywall.
What’s the biggest mistake that writers make when submitting a story?
Not including a summary. Without a synopsis we can’t consider your story. We don’t mind if your summary includes spoilers, either.
The second biggest mistake is not mentioning what genre the story is, if it’s a genre story.
Do you have any tips for stories?
We’re looking for stories with complete story arcs: Your story should transport the characters from one place in their lives to another. Stories that make us feel happy, sad, scared, or concerned, that make make us laugh, cry or gasp have the best chance of being included in The Binge-Watching Cure. Make our hearts beat fast. Keeping an eye out for Claren Books’ tweets may give you an edge, too: @clarenbooks.
Who are The Binge-Watching Cure’s editors?
Should my bio be in first or third person?
That’s one of the little things that doesn’t matter. Page numbers? That’s up to you. Times Roman, Arial, or Courier? You pick. Should your cover letter be a separate document or just the email? We don’t care. Do your fonts look funny in your cover email? That’s okay; it happens to us, too. Our submission rules are few, but do check them out before sending us your story.
Do you accept postal submissions?
No, just electronic submissions.
What about Twitter-sized fiction?
We’re thinking of including stories that are 140 characters or fewer. If you have a great Twitter-sized story, send it in. Super short stories intrigue us, and one that’s 140 characters or shorter could be an intoxicating gateway drug to reading.
How is payment made?
We pay via PayPal. PayPal deducts a small fee from your payment. At this time that fee, which we have no control over, is 2.9% plus $0.30 USD.
When should I submit?
Submissions for the horror edition close on September 30, 2017.
How soon will you get back to me?
We’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can, but it’s possible that you won’t hear from us until after the deadline closes. Some authors have not been getting our auto-response when they submit, but stories are arriving successfully. Check your spam filter settings. If you have a question about your submission or The Binge-Watching Cure, be sure to use our contact page. Queries made through the submissions email address may not be answered.
How did the idea for The Binge-Watching Cure originate?
“I’m a pro binge-watcher. The Americans, Orphan Black, House of Cards, Outlander, and Homeland are among my weaknesses. What can I say, except that I’m lazy and weak? But I love to read and once I start a book, I can’t imagine even being in the same room as my TV.
I was reading a very short story recently, about 200 words. It didn’t take long at all. Then I thought, what if the next story I read was 400 words? Then 1,000, 2,000 words, and onward? In no time I’d be in a novel’s embrace.”
Do you have any writing tips?
We like this article 25 Reasons Why I Stopped Reading Your Book by Chuck Wending, and this one by Eric Barker, How to Be a Better Writer: 6 Tips from a Master Linguist.
We agree with thought about writing from Stephen King’s novel, Finders Keepers:
“That’s the core of your misunderstanding. A good novelist does not lead his characters, he follows them. A good novelist does not create events, he watches them happen and then writes down what he sees. A good novelist realizes he is a secretary, not God.”
If you accept my story, will there be a contract?
Yes. We are buying non-exclusive United States and foreign book rights in English and other languages. You will retain all other rights. We will be paying you, too, prior to publication.
Will The Binge-Watching Cure be an ebook or printed book?
What do contributors receive?
We pay $200 for stories under 5,000 words and $500 for stories 5,000 words and longer. Contributors also receive a paper copy of the book.
Will you be nominating stories for a Pushcart or other literary awards?
My story was rejected. May I submit another?
Yes. Check the submissions page to see which word length categories have been filled before you send in another story.
I’ve had experience judging short stories. Are you looking for readers?
If you’re interested in reading and judging stories drop us a line via our contact page.
When will The Binge-Watching Cure be published?
Claren Books will be publishing the first edition of The Binge-Watching Cure later in 2017. The horror edition will come out in early 2018.
Can you tell me about Bill Adler Jr.?
Bill Adler Jr. is a writer and former literary agent. His books include Outwitting Squirrels (The Wall Street Journal: “A masterpiece”; Boing Boing: “One of the funniest books I’ve ever read”), Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relations With Gadgets, Tell Me a Fairy Tale: A Parent’s Guide to Telling Mythical and Magical Stories, and How to Negotiate Like a Child. He writes non-fiction books and short stories.
In addition to writing, Adler’s a pilot and watch collector.
He lives in Japan and is originally from New York City.
Why The Binge-Watching Cure?
Binge-watching is fun, easy, and way too addictive. How do you get back into reading when an endless universe of seductive television programs are just a click away? The answer is by slowly acclimatizing yourself to reading. First with a 100-word story, then 200 words, then 500 words, then longer—until you’re reading novels.
The Binge-Watching Cure is a collection of stories of ever-increasing length that brings former readers back to the world of books.
Binge-watching and reading can coexist. The Binge-Watching Cure gives reading a fighting chance against a powerful enemy, and can help make that coexistence a reality.
My story was rejected. Now what?
As with many literary publications, we’re overwhelmed with great submissions. If your story has been rejected, you can submit another.
There will also be The Binge-Watching Cure II, III, IV, V and likely more, each of which will be anthologies of stories that are just in one genre, including science fiction, crime, romance, LGBT, young adult, urban, literary, thriller and Western. Keep your keyboards warm.
Not finding what you want? Contact us directly through our Contact Us page, or ask a question via Twitter. Please don’t use the submissions email address for general questions or for questions about your submission.