School Nights Accepted for Gothic Blue Book IV

Gothic blue books were descendents of the chap-book, trade in which had nearly disappeared by 1800.[3]  They measured about three and a half to four inches wide and six to seven inches high.[1]  Many of the blue books contained outright plagiarism, being as they were merely plot summaries of full-length gothic novels.[4]  Almost all were abridgements of full-length gothic novels, usually without change of the title or characters’ names from the original.[5]  Gothic blue books were usually either thirty-six or seventy-two pages long, selling for either sixpence or a shilling respectively.[1]  It is from their price that they derived the nicknames, “Shilling Shockers” and “Sixpenny Shockers.” . . . These short forms of the Gothic were not popular with critics, with some deeming them as the toxic literary waste of their time period.[7]   

So says Wikipedia, but Burial Day Books has undertaken to revive the form with, thus far, three annual “Blue Book” anthologies already published.  These, mind you, are for original tales and poems, but ones told in condensed fashion as iGothicBlueBook1n the 18th and 19th century tradition.  Settings should also be traditional, in convents or monasteries or castles, or, allowing for some expansion, cemeteries, funeral homes, morgues, or haunted houses, and all to be at short story length or less.  So why not? thought I and off I sent a 300-word flash piece, “School Nights,” about little girl Marcie who grew quickly and the results of, shall one say, a bit of independent study – and which took place in an abandoned house reputed to be haunted.

Late last night the results came in:  “We would like to publish School Nights in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK 4.”  And thus September’s first story acceptance, planned to be out on Halloween, October 31, for more information on which one can press here.

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  1. YAY! These books are not like the “blue books” that we had to do finals in, back in the day. I am sure. 🙂

  2. Perhaps I should say “of WHAT you refer to” but anyway…
    yes, your comment brings back the memories.

  3. elizabeth gaeta

    “School Nights” sounds intriguing; I want to read that one when it comes out.




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