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Webcomics creators Ryan North and David Malki, along with writer Matthew Bennardo, spearheaded a prose anthology called Machine of Death, where each short story centered on a machine that told you when you would die. In addition to short stories by a variety of authors, it also included illustrations by folks like Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Jeffrey Brown, Roger Langridge, Karl Kershl, Cameron Stewart and many more.
After being rejected by several publishers, they self-published the book last year and took the No. 1 best sellers spot on Amazon, beating out new books that week by Keith Richards, the Barefoot Contessa and Glenn Beck, among others.
Anybody can submit a story to Machine of Death, and we mean anybody. There are only two eligibility requirements: any story you submit must be written in English, and you (or a legal guardian, if you’re a minor) must be willing and able to sign a contract if the story is accepted. That’s it!
Our first book featured stories written by people who had never been published before, and people who make their living writing. There were stories by video game reviewers, lexicographers, comedians, poets, cartoonists, college students, and plenty of folks with totally square day jobs. Our writers were living in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. (Africa and Antarctica — show us what you got!) We love this diversity; we think different viewpoints, different life experiences, and different writing styles make for a unique and awesome book. So yes, absolutely anybody can submit a story — including you!
Each story in the first volume had accompanying art, and they are also looking at portfolios to find artists for the next volume.