I am not going to try to define “self-published”, “independently-published” in terms of eligibility. Anyone can submit a story. However, the goal of the project is to gain exposure, not to make money, so it’s doubtful that Stephen King, for example, is going to send something in.
I’m thinking any length up to about 10,000 words should be good. I’m not going to kick something back for being 10,005 words, but I’m thinking that short stories rather than novellas will give the most people the best exposure.
The stories should be set after July 15th, 2015. Having flashbacks is fine, as is starting the story before the date, but the focus of the anthology is the aftermath of the hysteria, and how people deal with the experience of finding out the world didn’t end after all.
Stories can be set as far after that date as you care to extrapolate. Speculating on what sort of society will arise from the metaphorical ashes is part of what attracts me to this concept.
I would like to add to the Timeline tab as people start work. Authors are welcome to invent events both before and after July 15th that would make the news all over the world, but should share those events so that rest of us can refer to them. If someone wants to say that the entire town of Lawrence, KS committed mass suicide on Jan 1st, 2015, for example, let’s put that in the timeline so that it’s part of the shared history.