Monday, June 26, 2023

Market Call: I Just Died In Your Arms: Crime Fiction Inspired by One-Hit Wonders

Earlier this month, Jay Hartman posted a market call to the SMFS list and asked list members to publicize his call regarding The Perp Wore Pumpkin: A Humorous Thanksgiving Crime Anthology Benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank. He has done the same for this call today that is posted in its entirety below. All questions should be sent to Jay as, just like the previous call, I do not know anything more than what he has posted. You can also sign up to join the SMFS at



Ahh, the One-Hit Wonder! That one song everybody knows but was the only hit for the artist who recorded it. Songs such as “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club was a monster hit for Simple Minds, but it was their only Billboard Top 10 hit. Throughout the decades, so many musical artists have had just the one hit, and that’s a crime.

So is murder.

So what better way to celebrate both than by combining them into an anthology? Here’s your chance to be inspired by your favorite One-Hit Wonder and give a chance to breathe some new life into the greatest hits of our lives.


1. There have been some people specifically invited to write for this anthology, but not all have confirmed. I Just Died In Your Arms will contain 12 stories. There will be a sequel volume in 2024 that will also contain 12 stories. Your story may be considered for either one.


2. Estimated publication date for the first volume is October 24th, 2023. The second volume is scheduled for September 25th, 2024.


3. Untreed Reads was to be the original publisher of this anthology but has since decided not to pursue it. Jay Hartman, editor of the anthology, has already found a new home for the anthologies for publication.


4. Your work must be based on a song that’s a true One-Hit Wonder.


5. Your work must relate strongly to the song it’s inspired by, whether that’s by the lyrics or the name.


6. You still must have a STORY and a good mystery/crime.


7. LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC characters and authors very, very strongly encouraged. Be authentic!


8. All works must be original to this publication and cannot have been published or self-published previously.


9. It's perfectly ok to have simultaneous submissions to other publishers, but please notify Jay  if you’d like your story withdrawn from consideration.


10. Please make sure your song choice is not too obscure. From past musical mystery anthologies it's been found that readers have a lot more interest if there are songs they immediately recognize.




1. We’re not looking for flash fiction, but we’re not against it if it works. Prefer more in the regular short story length (2000-5000 words).

2. All submissions need to be in DOC, DOCX or Pages format. Fonts, spacing...not important.

3. All entries should be sent to with ONE-HIT in the subject heading. All entries will be acknowledged.

4. All submissions need to be received no later than 11:59PST, August 31st. Decisions will be made by September 15th. Jay will do his best to notify authors early if their work is not accepted, but they cannot be resubmitted.

5. Each contributor will receive payment of $25 plus a free ebook copy and 50% off print versions.

6. Original stories only, no reprints.

7. The anthologies will be published in ebook and paperback formats and distributed worldwide.


Please direct all questions to Jay Hartman at .

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I submitted to this two years ago. I just emailed the editor to see if I should submit again.