Tell your Queen story: Cult Ink are ‘In the Lap of the Gods’!

A word in your ear… An open call for submissions for a majestic charity anthology.

Queen in 1989: Video shoot for the “Scandal” single release.

In the Lap of the Gods: Queen & Freddie Mercury: Music and Memories, will collect the memories of friends and colleagues of the band and the fans themselves. All the proceeds from the book will be donated to The Mercury Phoenix Trust, which continues to raise millions to fight AIDS worldwide since it was first established in memory of Freddie Mercury.”

Ever since We Are Cult launched its publishing imprint Cult Ink last year with a heritage reprint of James Gent & Jon Arnold’s David Bowie anthology Me And The Starman, raising hundreds for Cancer Research, there’s been interest in bringing the same focus to other icons whose legacy encompasses not only mass, pan-generational appeal but also cult-like devotion and special interest.

Following extensive discussions with Gent and David Geldard – a regular contributor to We Are Cult, who successfully organised a Queen and Bowie themed charity night in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – we are pleased to announce that our next new charity anthology, exclusive to Cult Ink, will be a celebration of the unique legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen. As well as being one of the most beloved British rock bands of all time, Queen have recently reached a new, younger audience due to the success of the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie and continue to inspire today’s new artists.

In the Lap of the Gods, subtitled Queen & Freddie Mercury: Music and Memories, will collect the memories of friends and colleagues of the band and the fans themselves. All the proceeds from the book will be donated to The Mercury Phoenix Trust, which continues to raise millions to fight AIDS worldwide since it was first established in memory of Freddie Mercury.

As with Me And The Starman, we hope that In the Lap of the Gods will be a deeply intimate and very personal collection of stories and essays, telling the story of the connections Freddie and the boys made with the fans and those who knew them.

In the Lap of the Gods will feature exclusive contributions from those who experienced the magic of Queen first-hand, such as Queen’s official biographer Jim Jenkins, Mercury’s friend and collaborator Peter Straker and Freddie’s PA and confidante Pete Freestone. Additionally, the book will also feature articles on Queen by We Are Cult writers such as Eoghan Lyng who has spoken with such luminaries as producer Mike Moran (Barcelona, The Great Pretender), Tim Staffell (Smile) and Queen roadie Peter Hince.

Peter Straker and Freddie Mercury © Wendy Allison.

Of course, this book will be as much about the fans themselves as it will be about the band and the music. The idea is to submit an essay talking about your connection with Queen, rather than simply reviewing their work. We would like you to tell us YOUR story about Freddie and the boys.  That album that you played until it went transparent, the concert you went to that took your breath away, the bootleg LP you would save if your house was on fire, the people you met through your love of Queen or maybe the time you met with one of the band members?

There are no rules regarding who can write what; this isn’t the place for rules. So, treat the idea with as much or as little conformity as you think appropriate. We are not accepting artwork submissions at this time. Your contribution can also be about solo projects of the band members, if you so wish. We don’t want to focus too much on Freddie’s passing (although writing about the tribute concert is fine, for example), we want this to be an upbeat celebration of all things Queen.

The completed volume will be available in paperback and on Kindle via Amazon as soon as it is finished, hopefully towards the end of 2021. The initial deadline for essays is 30 June 2021. This may be extended if the editors deem it necessary or appropriate. The editors will have the final say on which essays are included in In the Lap of the Gods: we’d like to include everyone, but that may turn out not to be possible.

Here’s the format for submissions:

You must choose a title for your essay, and when submitting it also include the following:  the name of the particular topic you are covering (eg Bohemian Rhapsody single; The Works tour; Innuendo album; etc); your name; your age (you can specify if you don’t want this to appear in print); your location; and the name of your favourite Queen track.

Ideally, essays should be approximately a thousand words long, but that’s not absolutely strict –there are no rules about maximum or minimum word counts. Bear in mind that if it’s too long it may get edited down, but if it’s too short we’ll ask you for a rewrite.

We reserve the right to edit your work: Usually, this just means standard editing requirements such as correcting syntax, spelling, grammar and punctuation.  If we feel an essay may require significant revisions, we’ll discuss it with you. Our policy is that will treat your contributions with respect.

You must also include the following disclaimer in your submission email if you’d like to be considered for the book.

I (your name) do hereby give permission for the attached essay to be included in any and all publications of the volume ‘In the Lap of the Gods: Queen & Freddie Mercury – Music and Memories’. I retain all other rights to this essay, and the copyright remains with me.

The by-line is best formatted as follows:

Title of Essay

Specific Subject of Essay by Your Name, age, location

Favourite song: [here]

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, please carefully follow these guidelines before sending your work. The email address to which you should make your submission is:

A list of received essays will appear here, listed roughly chronologically. Although there are no rules about covering subjects that already appear on the list, it might be worth considering angling your own essay towards a subject that isn’t already covered.

The charity to which all royalties will be donated is The Mercury Phoenix Trust. We regret that due to this book’s charitable status, complimentary copies of the print edition will not be available; however, a free PDF will be available to all contributors upon request (we’ll notify you when this becomes available).

‘In The Lap Of The Gods’ is edited by David Geldard and James Gent for Cult Ink. All profits from this book go toward supporting the work of The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

News source: Cult Ink. Facebook. Twitter

❉ James Gent is the editor of pop culture webzine We Are Cult, and has previously contributed to volumes such such as 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die, Blakes Heaven: Maximum Fan Power, You and 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Douglas Adams and Scarred For Life Volume Two: Television in the 1980s. He is the co-editor of Me And The Starman (Cult Ink), available to buy from Amazon, RRP £11.99. UK: | US: ISBN: 9798664990546.

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  1. Thank you very much for your invitation David. This is such an exciting project and a wonderful opportunity to support the Mercury Phoenix Trust. Queen brought so many of us together in a friendship that still lasts to this day which is some achievement, with so many memories to share!

  2. Is there an end date for submissions? I would love to submit but I may have to wait a few days. I prolifically contribute I think to the Queen site (and lately to the Official Queen International ) because I am a woman of 10000s of words and I have become so enamored with the boys and the group and Freddie in particular that I keep following byways and tangents and discovering or rediscovering factoids or esoterica or not so well known tracks; or watching a gig or documentary for the 100th time and seeing or feeling something new; etc. Yes, I am very verbose – obnoxiously so – a lawyer and also a writer – and very busy but also very anxious to contribute to this effort. So i have now asked in 2000 too many words – how much time do I have???
    Please give me an idea of the timing.
    Thanks so very much.

  3. Hello, is there any update on the progress of the project? We have received no information so far, in spite of “A list of received essays will appear here, listed roughly chronologically” as stated. I have submitted mine quite early in March and my manuscript had been acknowledged via email. I’m just wondering what is going on. Thank you.

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