Ghosts On Drugs

Submission Deadline: Whenever GOD Fills Up

To date we've purchased 21 stories, totaling 88,000 words.

Hy's gone through a total of over 550 submissions, looking at each story that's come in to date at least once. What's left are tales that passed the initial read and are now under further consideration (e.g., awaiting a second or third read); and stories in various stages of development (if you've written one of these, Hy has already contacted you about it). That said, we're still delighted to receive new stories; and this anthology will remain open to submissions until we state on this page that it's completed.

These anthology guidelines were last updated on December 3rd, 2016

Ghosts On Drugs

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. We've set a tentative deadline of October 1st, 2016 (though this might change at any time, based on the pace at which the anthology is actually filling up).

If you'd like to try to save some time and effort, please feel welcome to run an 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 just write and send us a complete story, that's great too. In this case, please do not query; simply email a cover note and the story as an attached Word file.

Please be aware that we consider reprints only under unusual circumstances (e.g., you're a famous author with millions of fans). So unless there's a highly compelling reason to do 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 December 3rd, 2016.

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,


Book Site:
Writing Samples:
Screenplay Site:
Comedy Blog:
Comedy & Theatre Site:
Comedy Career Interviews:


Copyright © 2016 Hy Bender & Will Paoletto