Call for Submissions – Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (Updated 10-1-13)

UPDATE 10/1/13 : SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.  Anything received via general submission at this point will be returned unread. 


Stoker Award-winning anthologist Del Howison (Dark Delicacies 1-3, The Book of Lists: Horror) and internationally bestselling urban fantasy author Joseph Nassise (Eyes To See, By the Blood of Heroes) have joined forces with horror Grand Master Clive Barker to bring you back to the city of Midian and the creatures of the darkness known as the Nightbreed!

Tor Books will be publishing MIDIAN UNMADE: TALES OF CLIVE BARKER’S NIGHTBREED in simultaneous hardcover and trade paperback editions in the fall of 2014 and we’re looking for original horror and dark fantasy stories that fit the guidelines below.



We’ve all felt it at one time or another – that sense of unbelonging, of being isolated, possibly even shunned because of our differences; not for anything that we’ve done but for simply being who we are.  We’ve all felt it – in childhood and adolescence, certainly, but even as adults as well, when the winds of change blow through our lives and we discover that those things we thought immutable are, in reality, anything but.

When this happens we all become like changeling children, at odds with those around us as well as with ourselves, looking to distant horizons for fresh comprehension of our purpose, sometimes even of our very nature.

The fiction of the fantastic literally overflows with metaphors for times like these, though none more so than the Nightbreed, those freaks and grotesques and shapeshifters extraordinaire that inhabit the hidden necropolis of Midian and make it their own in the pages of Clive Barker’s CABAL.   The Nightbreed are a colony of survivors, the last remnants of the once great tribes of the moon, and in their alienation they find a sense of togetherness, of belonging that often seems more human than those who bear that name.

Until the coming of Boone, that is, and the destruction of their hidden sanctuary, when they become outcasts once again.

MIDIAN UNMADE: TALES OF CLIVE BARKER’S NIGHTBREED picks up where CABAL left off, chronicling the lives of the ‘Breed as they disperse into the world after the fall of Midian.  We’re looking for stories of struggle and despair, of hope and sanctification, as the former inhabitants of Midian try to adapt to the world from which they retreated years before.  A world that does not want them.  A world that will hound them, hunt them, simply for the crime of being different.

Writers have Clive’s permission to use the existing members of the Breed that appear in the novella Cabal, in the film Nightbreed, and in the companion volume, The Nightbreed Chronicles, published by Titan Books.  Writers also have the option of creating their own unique and fantastical creatures that fit the Nightbreed mold.

We’re seeking original horror and dark fantasy stories.  We pay five cents per word up to 5,000 words, with 30% paid on acceptance and the remainder to be paid after the complete manuscript has been accepted by the publisher. (Please note that this is work for hire project as Clive owns the world in which the project is set. Writers may use their stories in this anthology and have permission to use them in collections of their own works or in annual best-of anthologies, but they may not write and submit additional stories featuring the characters they create for this project to publishing projects elsewhere.)

Story submissions should be sent to either Joe Nassise ( or Del Howison (, using the subject line MIDIAN STORY ENCLOSED.  If the subject line is not used, we cannot guarantee receipt of the story, as we will both be using email filters to isolate all Midian submissions from our regular mail.  Stories should be submitted before September 30th, 2013.

Questions can be directed to either of the email addresses above. 

We look forward to hearing from you!



  • Standard manuscript format in doc or rtf, please. 
  • Graphic violence, sex, or both are fine IF they are necessary for the story.  Put them in simply to be gratuitous because this is a horror anthology and you’ll get bounced pretty quickly.
  • We will be sending out all acceptance and rejection notices after October 1st, so please don’t submit today and expect to hear back from us tomorrow.  Take your time, write the best story you can, and then submit.  You have nothing to gain by hurrying.


  • We are only accepting one story per writer.  We will consider only the first story you send; all others will be circular filed unread.  (Yes, we are keeping track of hundreds of writers to make sure there are no duplicate submissions)
  • As noted, we will pay up to 5,000 words.  We have room for some longer stories, but ask for a hard limit to any  story of 7,500 words unless previously approved by Del and I. (In other words, extremely long stories are reserved for those invited guests who are part of the project.)


Joe writes urban fantasy series and supernatural thrillers for a wide variety of publishers in the US and abroad, including Tor Books, Harbinger Books, HarperCollins, Harlequin/Gold Eagle, and Droemer Knaur.

Joe Nassise – who has written posts on Joseph Nassise.


  • townsend mclaren June 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Just to clarify, when you say up to five thousand, is this the limit of words that can be used for each story ?

  • Joe Nassise June 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    @Townsend – 5K is the limit to which we will pay. Writers can submit longer stories, but should do so knowing that excessive length alone might earn the story a rejection. This is a commercial print anthology and we only have so much space to utilize while trying to deliver an excellent arrangement of stories.

  • Sean Tisdale June 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Are characters from the stories that accompany Cabal (The Life of Death, How Spoiler’s Bleed, Twilight At The Towers, and The Last Illusion) available to be included in our submissions or are we restricted Cabal proper?

  • Joe Nassise June 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    @Sean – It is my understanding that the characters and settings of those stories are independent of Cabal and therefore are not available for use in this project.

    • Sam Patchin July 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Can stories involve non-Breed characters like Decker or Ashberry? Can characters like Harry D’amour or Candy Quackenbush accompany Breed characters?

  • BPE July 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Are contributors permitted to expand on the universe? For instance, defining certain “Tribes of the Moon” or creating new titles for characters in the tradition of The Lawgiver or The Baptizer? Exactly how much creative license are we afforded by Mr. Barker?

  • Joe Nassise July 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Yes, the guidelines state that new characters can be created, which also means that you can expand on tribes, titles, settings, etc.

  • Leo Godin July 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Wow, what a great opportunity. Can’t wait for this to come out. One question. If I submit a story and it is not accepted. Can I do anything with the story?

  • Joe Nassise July 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Unfortunately not, Leo. Not without substantially changing all of the references that make it a story set in the world of Cabal, which, if you were following the guidelines correctly , would pretty much gut the story in and of itself.

  • Sean Tisdale July 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Are we permitted to use/reference characters and events from the Nightbreed comic book series?

  • Joe Nassise July 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    @Sean – To be honest, we didn’t consider that. (Silly oversight). Let me check with Clive and when I have an answer I will update the listing to state one way or another.

    • Joe Nassise July 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Yes, you can use material from any of the Nightbreed comics authored by Clive Barker.

      • Newt July 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        For clarity’s sake, I assume that this does NOT include the Hellraiser universe characters from the Nightbreed/Hellraiser crossover story Jihad. (I would assume that, but there may be tricksters looking for a loophole)

        • Joe Nassise July 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

          That is correct – we will not accept anything from the Hellraiser universe.

      • Sean Tisdale July 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

        Excellent. Thank you.

  • BC July 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Joe! I imagined a story that takes place during the events of Night Breed and ends shortly after the events of the film. I saw now that the anthology starts when Cabal ends, so here is my question: Can I send my story even most of it happening during and not after Night Breed/Cabal?

    • Joe Nassise July 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      @BC – Yes, you can send it. Understand that you’re already behind the eight ball by doing so, however, as the premise of the anthology is to focus on the story of the Breed AFTER the fall of Midian.

  • C.A. Suleiman July 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks, Joe. You’ve now answered all the questions I had.

    Beyond that, I just want to thank Clive and Joe for this opportunity. Those of us who are both writers *and* shameless Nightbreed fans have been waiting a long time for this project. My biggest problem now is deciding which of the various pertinent ideas is The One (although that’s a First World problem if ever there was one).

  • Nonobstant2000 July 7, 2013 at 5:57 am

    thank you
    so much

    • Johnnie July 8, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Hi Joe,

      I just had two quick questions in regards to this anthology. The first was whether or not writers are allowed to make multiple submissions – I have a couple of ideas brewing and was considering sending two stories rather than fret over whether or not I chose the right one!

      The second question I had was regarding the logistics of the anthology as a whole. Are you guys planning on publishing multiple stories based on the same character even though they are in direct conflict with one another, or are you limiting yourselves to just publishing the one best story per character?

      Either way, I’m very excited to get started on this – thanks so much for allowing us the opportunity to play in this sandbox!

  • Johnnie July 8, 2013 at 5:41 am

    (Whoops. That wasn’t supposed to be a reply, but I’ll leave it there anyway, haha.)

  • Essel Pratt July 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I just re-read Cabal today, and have a story in mind! I am letting it sink in a bit, and plan on writing it soon. I am pretty excited about this!

  • Sean Tisdale July 15, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Regarding submissions using existing Cabal/Nightbreed characters. I can envision a situation where many GOOD stories are submitted using existing characters but because of continuity conflicts these stories might not work well as part of the same collection.

    With that in mind, will stories that focus on completely original characters be evaluated differently from stories using existing characters?

    • Joe Nassise July 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Short answer – no.
      Long answer – no they won’t.

      Stop over thinking it, Sean. Write a story that blows us away and that will be your best chance of getting into the project, not trying to come up with some angle that no one else has thought of. Write that story that moves you in order to move us.

      • Sean Tisdale July 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

        Over-Thinking = My Achilles heel.

        Thanks for the reply – and the reminder to not over-engineer.

  • Berti Walker July 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

    As far as submission guidelines go, do you want a seperate cover letter and bio, or just the contact info, word count, page numbers?

    • Berti Walker July 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Separate* gah

      • Joe Nassise July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am


        No need for a separate cover letter. Just put your name, contact info, and word count on the first page. Might be good to add your last name before the page numbers (ie Nassise/21) in case a printed file gets out of order, but that’s all you need.

        • Berti Walker July 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          Thanks for your quick reply. I’m ready to submit, and going through my revisions. However, I’m wondering how much back story to give, whether or not I should be writing under the assumption that the audience has read or seen the book/movie, or not… any advice?

          Thanks again,

          • Joe Nassise July 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm


            Sorry, that one’s your call.

  • Berti Walker July 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Fair enough!

  • Essel Pratt July 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I just finished my rough draft for this project, and will be editing over the weekend. Man, this was definitely a fun one! Whether mine is chosen, or not, I am just excited to have the opportunity to submit.

    I do have one question, other than the payment described above, will a copy of the finished book also be provided as payment?

  • Mr. Wonderland July 29, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Are there any limitations on where the person who submits a story has to live? The story will be sent in english.

  • Adrian Ludens July 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Will more than one story featuring each character be accepted? I have what I believe is a dynamite idea for an existing character, but if I’m competing head to head with bigger name authors who are using the same character, maybe I should come up with a new name/character. Thoughts?

  • Scott "Essel" Pratt September 1, 2013 at 8:43 am

    How soon after the deadline can we estimate to hear an acceptance/rejection? I know we have a month left, and am just curious.

  • Leo Godin September 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Are you getting a lot of responses? This is such a cool project, it would be a shame if you didn’t get at least 100 entries.

  • Lucas Hargis September 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    This was a thrill to write. Good luck, everyone.


  • Ann-Louise Truschel September 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Joe, a nitpick under Update #2.
    You said: We have room for some longer stories, but ask for a hard limit to any story of 7,500 words unless previously approved by Del and I.

    The last part should read …”by Del and me.”

  • ace cudgel September 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

    So is October first the deadline? Or is that done come and gone.

  • Joe Nassise September 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    @Ace – deadline is Sept 30th at midnight.

  • Simon September 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Just a couple of questions about the submission format –

    Which page size do you prefer : A4 or 8.5 x 11?

    Also, should text wish to be italicised be formatted in italics or underlined, which would you prefer?


  • Adrian Ludens September 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I sent my submission to Del’s email (I flipped a coin to choose, haha) on Sept. 11th. I have not received a confirmation email. Should I be worried? Would be crushed if it fell through the cracks. Thanks!

  • Joe Nassise September 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    @Adrian – Given the volume of submissions, we are not sending confirmation emails.

    • Adrian Ludens September 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks for the prompt reply! Much appreciated.

  • D.L. Snell September 28, 2013 at 12:59 am

    So excited for October. I turned at least two awesome writers on to this project. I just got done beta-reading for them, and I’m glad I pointed this antho out. Godspeed to everyone! I hope the eds received floods and floods of great submissions!

  • Scott "Essel" Pratt September 28, 2013 at 7:10 am

    D.L., I think I might have learned about this project from one of your Facebook posts. I cannot express how excited I was at the opportunity to write for this. I won’t lie, I am getting pretty nervous as the deadline approaches. I would love to be included, but am excited just to have the chance to submit.

  • Chris September 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I have to say, this has been one of the most exciting experiences when it comes to be a writer. While I’ve written many stories for my own benefit all my life, the realities of working for a living and other daily tasks can take one away from what they love to do.
    When I mentioned this call for submissions to my wife, she was 100% behind me in doing it. She knows that writing is my passion, my lone hobby so to speak. So when she saw how excited I was for this chance, she got behind me and really showed a side to herself that has helped me love her even more.

    My expectations are where they should be, but the chance to even get to submit a story based on a world and characters I have loved for years has me excited all over again about writing on a regular basis.

    I wrote two separate stories, completely different tones, and then read them with my wife to decide which one to submit. She’s my own best/worst critic when it comes to writing so I’ll trust her opinion (so long as it kinda/sorta meshes with my own)

    I just want to thank you guys and Clive for the opportunity and I will definitely be purchasing the book when it is available.

    Thank you for helping re-stoke the writers spirit inside me.

  • Michael October 9, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Have all the acceptance letters gone out?

    • Joe Nassise October 9, 2013 at 6:11 am

      No, we’ve got a long way to go yet. We had over 200 submissions on the last day alone.

      • Essel Pratt October 9, 2013 at 6:32 am

        As awesome as that is, that large number of subs means that there is a lot of competition out there, which makes me nervous. I still have hope for my sub, but am just grateful for the chance to submit, in the end

  • Silvia October 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

    So excited for this! It was brilliant to re-meet all the characters with a writer’s eye – whatever the outcome of my submission, I can wait to read all the other stories. and from what you said, there are lots :) good luck with the reading and choosing, that’s the hard part ;)

  • Robin Dover October 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Cabal was a touching story with many brilliant twists and unexpected turns. This is such a cool project. I’m looking forward to stepping into the minds of those infected with Clive’s imaginatively deranged world. I want to see Midian as a theme park somewhere along the frayed edges of Disneyland. Yes.

  • Scott "Essel" Pratt October 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I know subs are closed, but good luck to all that submitted!

  • Elisha October 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
    make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to
    know where u got this from. thank you

  • R.Dale October 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    If confermation are not being sent (as to reply on Sept.27.2013) how are you informing everyone?

    • Joe Nassise October 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Responses to submissions are being sent. We just didn’t confirm receipt of all the submissions individually before reading them.

      • Steve Nagy October 31, 2013 at 8:02 am

        Just in time for Halloween. Wonder who’s going to get tricked or treated? :-)

  • R.Dale October 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Thank You:-)

  • Aaron White November 5, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I haven’t received a yea or nay response yet. Should I be concerned..?

  • Joe Nassise November 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

    @aaron – Not at all. Takes time to go through more than 500+ submissions.

  • Essel Pratt November 5, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Over 500 subs! Wow, that is amazing! Now I am very nervous about mine, but I will keep my fingers crossed!

  • Robin Dover November 5, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Now THAT’S success – and of course reflects just how deeply Clive Barker is loved – and just how much we all want to see print in this amazing project Midian Unmade! Fantastic!

  • Aaron White November 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Oh wow, 500+? That’s amazing! Best of luck to everyone!

    Also, thanks Joe.

  • Shaun Meeks November 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    500+ submissions? Wow! That is amazing. Glad that mine will be fighting fiercely for a spot in this. But accepted or rejected, I am really looking forward to this release.

  • Chris November 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    500+ submissions is crazy…

    I wonder how the sorting process is done when it comes to that many?

    First pile – Definite rejections, they misspelled Peloquin
    Second pile – Possible rejections, worth a second look if the rest are as bad
    Third pile – Possible acceptance – they at least got the format correct
    Fourth pile – Thank God, a story that DOESN’T include Peloquin!!

    Just my own little attempt at humor today. :-)

    My love to everybody

    • Essel Pratt November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      I am glad my story did not involve pelicans:)

      • Chris November 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        Pelicans are very misrepresented in English literature. ;-)

  • Chris November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I tried very hard to stay away from the obvious characters, not so much out of logistics figuring “Well, everybody is gonna want to do a Peloquin or Shuna Sassi story so maybe I’ll increase my odds” but really feeling like those characters are well represented and I’m not sure I could add to their story in a meaningful way.

    I have to say, though. There’s the little kid in me (well, I was 17 when Nightbreed first came out) that is really enjoying the fact that Nightbreed/Cabal is receiving LONG overdue exposure beyond the level of those who have championed the book and film for so long.

    For myself, I can’t forget the excitement of the opening of “Nightbreed” (particularly just at the opening credits) and waiting to see a full realization of Clive Barker’s imagination. We know too well the story of how his vision was corrupted by the evils of Hollywood, but at long last we’ll get the Cabal Cut and also the Midian Unmade anthology.

    It’s a fun time to be a Clive Barker fan.

  • Aaron White November 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I didn’t make the cut. That’s kind of a bummer. I went for something a bit odd – kind of a horror/drama/something-or-other introducing two original Nightbreed, Tolland and Miranda, as they made their way to Montreal.

    Joe, how many stories will be included in the anthology?

    • Scott "Essel" Pratt November 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that. I have not heard back yet, but am just happy to be have had the opportunity to submit. However, now I am extremely nervous and anxious to hear a response.

  • Eddy November 25, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Just some info for those of you still waiting & wondering: I submitted on 9/24 & received rejection email on 11/22.

    I wonder if Clive will have a new ‘Breed story in this?

    • Johnnie November 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Hey Eddy, thanks for the heads-up! I’ve been chewing my fingernails off in anticipation of a response. Someone posted on Twitter the other day that they had made it to the “final round” of submissions before being rejected. Not sure if there was any truth to his claim, but it certainly quickened my pulse. So excited about this project.

      • Eddy November 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

        Best of luck!

  • silvia December 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’m biting my nails:-) and I’m also convinced that perhaps my submission went astray! Ahaha, the writer’s life is full of excitement.

  • berti December 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I know how you feel, Silvia! I sent mine in July. Much nail biting going on!

  • Rudy Campos Jr February 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    What about a Nightbreed who got to Midian a day later after the ruins ? And is now even most lost in these world

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