Ghosts On Drugs

Deadline for Open Submissions: November 15th, 2017

These anthology guidelines were last updated on October 21, 2017

From Hy:

Most genuine thanks to everyone who's submitted.

So far we've purchased 24 stories (the most recent one just today), totaling 98,500 words.

To date, I've gone through over 750 submissions. At this point my main focus is making final decisions on stories in our "Maybe" pile; developing stories that are close but aren't yet quite where Will and I need them; and pushing the anthology forward as a commercial publication.

I've set a deadline of November 15th for unsolicited stories. We may well reopen Ghosts On Drugs to submissions later on—e.g., if we opt to do sequels—but for now, if you want your story considered (making it funny is highly recommended), it's best to email it to me by mid-November.

Also, even after the deadline passes, please feel encouraged to visit this page every month for news about the anthology's progress, when and how to buy it, and related developments that might be of interest to you.

Meanwhile, heartfelt thanks for your enthusiasm and support. We truly appreciate it.

Ghosts On Drugs

Ghosts on Drugs Guidelines

Bestselling author Hy Bender (; 16 books including 5 Dummies books, a Complete Idiot's Guide, and The Sandman Companion; The New York Times, Mad Magazine) and book developer Will Paoletto (Enterprise Cometh; My Bad Parent) are putting together a short story fiction anthology titled Ghosts On Drugs.

And we're inviting you to send us a story so great that we can't resist saying "yes" to it.

The only rule is that a tale include some version of at least one ghost who's on some version of at least one drug.

And both key terms are broadly defined—e.g., a ghostwriter hooked on cough syrup could fit, and a dead ancient god with an inhumanly intense craving to be worshipped again could too.

Also, a story can run anywhere from 2 pages to 40 pages, so a short-short tale that's a solid fit for the collection will definitely be considered.

This book is designed to be playful and fun, so we're especially seeking stories that are a mix of comedy and other genres—e.g., comedy & fantasy, comedy & SF, comedy & horror, comedy & thriller, comedy & Western, comedy & adventure. That said, we'll consider a great tale of any genre, or combination of genres.

Whatever the category, we want stories that are fresh, smart, extremely entertaining, appeal to a wide-ranging audience (high concepts are especially appreciated), and provide an emotionally satisfying ending (smartly crafted character arcs/transformations are especially appreciated).

In other words, send us your very best work. Blow us away with your intelligence, originality, honesty, and artistry.

We're aiming to include some of the world's top comedians, a bunch of superb writers, and one or two celebrities who happen to be drug fans.

Some of the advantages of being in this anthology:

If the above sounds appealing, then please feel highly encouraged to submit material.

If you have only the idea or outline for a story and would like to try to save some time and effort, please feel welcome to run the idea or outline (the more detailed, the better) by Hy first to ensure a) it isn't redundant with something we've already purchased for the collection and b) it sounds like it might be a good fit.

However, if you prefer to write and send us a complete story—or if you happen to have a story that might be a fit for the anthology already on hand—that's wonderful. In this case, please do not query, because doing so won't save you any time, and it's much quicker and easier for us to look directly at your pages. So if you have a finished story, please simply email a cover note and the story as an attached Word file.

Please be aware that this anthology is designed to showcase new material. We might consider a reprint under unusual circumstances (e.g., you're a celebrity author with millions of fans); but otherwise please send us only original material that's never been published before.

Also, if you see guidelines for this anthology elsewhere that in any way contradict this page, please rely upon what you read here. The most accurate and up-to-date information about Ghosts On Drugs will always appear on this page—which was last updated on October 21st, 2017.

Please send anything related to the anthology to Hy Bender at

Looking forward to your playful, inventive, genius (or so-stupid-it's-genius) ideas and wonderful writing.

Warmest regards,


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Copyright © 2017 Hy Bender & Will Paoletto