HINT - Click on picture to be taken to submission guidelines
“Deep silence fell about the little camp, planted there so audaciously in the jaws of the wilderness. The lake gleamed like a sheet of black glass beneath the stars. The cold air pricked. In the draughts of night that poured their silent tide from the depths of the forest, with messages from distant ridges and from lakes just beginning to freeze, there lay already the faint, bleak odors of coming winter.” — Algernon Blackwood, The Wendigo
“Canadians are fond of a good disaster, especially if it has ice, water, or snow in it. You thought the national flag was about a leaf, didn’t you? Look harder. It’s where someone got axed in the snow.” — Margaret Atwood, Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature
Northern Nights is a proposed horror/dark fiction anthology in the vein of previous anthologies of Canadian speculative fiction — Northern Stars (Hartwell & Grant, eds.); Northern Suns (Hartwell & Grant, eds.) — and the 5 volume Northern Frights series (Don Hutchison, ed).
Black glassy lakes. Dark woods. Ancient pines and maples. Abandoned highways. Ghost towns. Preternatural light. The Midnight Sun. Uncanny valleys. An indigo sky spiked with bright white stars. The darkening garden. The sting of the whooshing north wind. The killing cold. A cry in the dark. It’s another night in the Canadian north. Night and all its torments.
Looking for horror and horror-adjacent dark weird fiction, ideally set in Canada and incorporating a motif of night / nighttime / dusk/ darkness.
We will consider all facets and subsets of dark fiction: the horrific, the weird, the strange, the macabre, the eerie, the esoteric, the fabulist, and the gothic. The darkly numinous. The odd. The criminal.
Anthology: We are all thieves of somebody's future
Editor: Todd Saunders
Open Nov 1- Dec 31st (early listing)
Pay: 8 cents per word
word range: 1,000-3,000
June 1- July 31
We Are All Thieves of Somebody's Future which will collect stories with the theme: Resource Scarcity - using up the last of a critical resource and dealing with the aftermath. While stories could be dystopic (ex. the last tree), authors could also explore hopepunk (losing a resource leads to something unforeseen and positive), solarpunk (a pollution laden resource leads to a better solution), fantasy (the last dragon). We are open to all genres. All stories are requested to be between 1000 and 3000 words in length.
Authors may explore any genre with their stories and we encourage a wide variety of ideas and interpretations.
Be wild, take chances, submit stories that are left of center. Show us your fireworks!
Todd gave me a hint as to the stories he is most likely to buy for this anthology.
"I would like stories that are right at the tipping point (or directly to the left or right of it) where the "last resource" is going/gone and what effect that has on the society or individuals."
Learn more about him and his press by reading my interview with him.
Upcoming Themes for Consideration
INFESTATION- deadline November 11th
The End - deadline December 9th
Pay: $15 GBP a story
Word range: 2,000
Simultaneous submissions? yes
The Other Stories podcast is a project by Hawk & Cleaver. I often listen to their creepy short stories when I am in the car.
These aren't the stories your mother used to tell you ... no, these are The Other Stories.
The Other Stories is a weekly short story podcast. A modern take on The Twilight Zone, Tales From The Crypt, or The Outer Limits. Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller, WTF stories delivered right to your podcast feed every Monday morning.
"If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!
If accepted, we'll get our fantastic narration team to lend their voices, our editor will sprinkle some magic pixie dust on the track, and you could have your story heard by thousands of listeners each week.”
They’ve even purchased one of my pieces. I wrote a piece about a woman stuck in an immersion chamber in response to a call for stories about “Silence”.
This is a fun bunch of guys, and they have a thriving social community. They say they get back to about your submissions, but I rarely hear a peep after I submit. Like I've had some stories out for over a year and I haven't heard back. Even with pokes. That being said, I love their podcast.
Editor-in-chief: Richard Thomas
Theme - Winter In the City: A Collection of Dark Urban Stories
OPEN Oct 1 -March 31
Pay: 10 cents per word
Word range: 3000-7500
Simultaneous submissions? No
Gamut—the magazine that published over 100 speculative stories in 2017—will return as House of Gamut, a global nonprofit featuring an online magazine, a publishing arm, and a teaching academy for writers.
As a home for readers and writers of dark speculative fiction, our team at House of Gamut is dedicated to giving people spellbinding works to read through our publishing house and online magazine, while serving writers during all stages of their careers with courses from professional writers and industry experts.
Our newly launched online magazine—as well as novels, collections, and anthologies—will focus on dark speculative fiction and non-fiction across a wide range of genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers, neo-noir, new-weird, transgressive fiction, magical realism, and literary fiction that leans into genre.
Winter in the City will feature stories that take place in different cities around the world during the bleak -sometimes harsh - season of winter. They are looking for Fantastical elements within the city itself. No vampire/werewolf love stories.
Richard Thomas, author of Bram Stoker finalist SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION, emailed me directly to tell me about this call.
Managing Editor: Tacoma Tomilson
Flash Fiction Prompt
OPEN Nov 1 -14
Pay: 5 cents per word
Word range: under 1,000
Simultaneous submissions? No
Every month Apparition Lit holds a flash fiction contest and buys a story based on their prompt.
The overall theme for the year is REALITY SHOW MADNESS.
This month is DO YOUR WORST. Inspired by shows like Canada's Worst Handyman, America's Ugliest House, & Nailed It.
Send us stories with enough emotional heft to break a heart, with prose that’s as clear and delicious as broth. We love proactive characters and settings that feel lived in and real enough to touch. Stories with style, stories with emotion, stories with character.
My friend Akis Linardos finally sold something to this market! He writes some very dark, lyrical stuff. I've been trying consistently for six years. A few personals but no sales. Look for his piece,
THEME- DARKEST ENDINGS
Editor: Damon Barret Roe
Open Deadline Nov 10th
Simultaneous submissions? yes
The Crow's Quill is an online literary magazine designed to showcase the talent of authors within the independent community. Our monthly releases explore different themes within the framework of the Gothic genre. Reflecting our Quill & Crow mission to maintain the integrity of independent literature, these stories invite other genres such as fantasy, horror, and literary fiction into the fold.
Looking for stories that are horrific, dark, and definitely macabre. But they don't publish CSA, on-page rape, or bestiality.
new market for me
Editor: Catherine Tobler
Deadline Nov 30
Pay: 10 c a word
Word range: 5000 max sweet spot 3-4k
Simultaneous submissions? No
Reprints? yes 1c a word
The Deadlands exists in liminal spaces between life, death, and elsewhere. We are looking for speculative fiction that concerns itself with death–but also everything death may involve. A ghost in a shadowed wood. An afterlife discovered through a rusted door. An abandoned house in the middle of a haunted field. A skeletal figure moving with intent toward something unseen. Death personified. Burials in troubled lands. A raised scythe against a clouded sky. Memento mori. The rivers of the dead. The sprawling underworlds beneath our feet.
The Deadlands would love to see stories from a worldwide perspective, different cultures, different approaches to death. We welcome stories from everyone, everywhere. Stories that feature characters impacted by someone passing away and processing the event of death, are fair game, but will likely be a hard sell. Stories about related subjects—zombies, demons, vampires, apocalypses, and the various undead—are not for us. An apocalypse may be your setting, but it isn’t your story. We are absolutely not interested in seeing weird West stories, steampunk tales, or military fiction. We are not interested in stories involving Lovecraft’s mythos. Humor will be a harder sell than heartbreaking. If your story begins with someone waking up, it is not for us.
We are never far from death—Dante reminds us. It is always there, just out of sight, around the bend in the road. The faraway nearby, Rebecca Solnit says. We could step past a tree in that wild forest and be there. Where? The Deadlands.
The Deadlands is a monthly speculative fiction magazine. We publish short stories, poems, and essays about the other realms, of the ends we face here, and the beginnings we find elsewhere. It is an adventure into the unknown, to meet those who live there still, even though they may be dead. Death is a journey we all will take, but we’d like to peek at the map before we go.
We are generally open to fiction and nonfiction submissions, except for a year-end holiday closure. Poetry submissions are open the first two weeks of every month, resuming in February 2022. Explore our guidelines and read our issues to see what we’re publishing and if your work might fit.
I've sent in 9 stories. I've got 9 rejections. At least they come quickly.
Editor:Annika Barranti Klein
Open Nov 1 - Dec 31
Pay: 8c per word -min $25
Word range: 1250 max
Simultaneous submissions? yes
multiple? - yes up to 3
Interstellar Flight Press is a new indie speculative publishing house. Our flight plan includes focusing on the most rare and beautiful of books and ideas. We want to feature innovative works from the best up and coming writers in SFF.
Their website and stories look "fun." They say their magazine-- "Interstellar Flight Magazine publishes essays on science fiction and fantasy, pop culture, and geek fandom. This publication is a project of Interstellar Flight Press, a speculative publishing house."
none new market
Submissions Editor: H David Blalock
Open October 1 - Jan 1 2024
Pay: 8cents for the first 3000 and 3c every word after
Word range: 3000-6000
Simultaneous submissions? No
Dragons are icons of fantasy and legends about them abound. Found in novels, poetry, and art, they stir the imagination as helpers, heroes, villains, and symbols of love, fear, and wealth. We are looking for renderings of dragons in writing and art that capture the essence of these fascinating creatures.
Lynne M. Thomas (co-publisher & editor-in-chief) said in a reddit interview: “For me it's not necessarily about a kind of story, it's about how the kind of story is executed. I'm interested in stories that are inclusive of the gamut of the human experience, and I want to see a bit more whimsy.”
I've sold two stories to Hiraeth Publishing, and really like this market.
Editor: R.J. Carter
Open Nov 1 - Jan 31st 2024
Word range: 2000-10,000
Simultaneous submissions? yes
Critical Blast Publishing will be opening their reading period for the third volume in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW anthology collection, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW BEST. We are looking for stories that involve an encounter with the literary/mythological/theological Devil himself in situations that range from comedy to tragedy, via horror, comedy, fantasy, or science fiction. All genres welcome as long as the theme is met.
This is the third installment in this anthology series. I guess the best way to figure out what they want is to peek at the other anthos.
I took at peek at the ad copy from the previous book. "Collected here are twenty twisted tales of encounters with humanity's immortal adversary -- stories that will chill, thrill, incite, and delight ..." And the first books is advertised with - " THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a short-story anthology collection of encounters with various incarnations of The Devil. The genres range from fairy tale to folk tale, from urban fantasy to science fiction, from comedy to horror. For fans of stories like THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER and FAUST."
Dusty Attic Publishing is a small indie literary magazine showcasing all things fantastical, curious, and creepy. The Attic is a place for the kinds of stories that you’d find tucked away in your grandma’s attic, or the forgotten corner of a quiet library. Let’s brush off the dust and cobwebs to shine a little light into the dark.
Wants spooky and fantastical
These pieces should explore “places, characters, and questions buried in the gray areas between this and that, here and there, night and day, alive and dead, evil and good, feminine and masculine, up and down, real and unreal. If you're not quite sure what that means, lean into that feeling.” There will be launch stories to read over the next few months that will showcase the kind of stories Crepuscular is looking for
Rebecca is the flash fiction editor for Apex magazine and this is her micro fiction brain child.
This is her hint for success:
Surprise me. One thing I noticed with the microfiction themes is that there would be a lot of stories that were fairly similar in theme. The month the theme was VOID, for instance, I read a lot of black hole stories. Some of them were excellent, but the winning story took the theme and used it in an unexpected way. Crepuscular isn’t themed beyond the overarching theme of in- betweenness, but I still want stories that make my jaw drop open, whether because the use of language is so unique or because the story goes somewhere I wasn’t expecting or because it touches my soul in some way. Surprise me!
I've taken a writing flash course with Rebecca and found it wonderful and illuminating.
Escape Pod is a science fiction market. We are fairly flexible on what counts as science (superheroes! steampunk! space opera! time travel!) and are interested in exploring the range of the genre. We want stories that center science, technology, future projections, and/or alternate history, and how any or all of these things impact individuals and society.
Escape Pod leans in the direction of escapism, hopepunk and optimism rather than grimdark and gloom. We love to see funny stories, which can include dark humor that doesn’t punch down, and satire that isn’t painfully bleak. Remember that the failure mode of irony is sincerity, so if you’re mocking something, be sure you’re hitting the right target.
We’re not interested in stories that contain sexual assault, rape, child abuse, animal cruelty, gore, or horror. We also do not want to see stories that treat the hardships of marginalized people or groups as thought experiments. While we may have published stories with that type of content in the past, they are not currently a good fit for Escape Pod. Our primary audience is adult listeners and readers. Strong language and sexual situations are fine, but we are not an erotica market.
no luck yet, but they have sent me helpful rejection letters...
FAMILIARS: Animals have been our companions since the dawn of time, but in science fiction and fantasy, often that bond is taken one magical—or technological—step further. From the ubiquitous black cats in witchcraft to the treecats in David Weber’s Honor Harrington universe, Anne McCaffery’s dragons of Pern to Mercedes Lackey’s horse-like Companions in her Valdemar universe, familiars have played a part in stories since paper met pen. In FAMILIARS, we ask writers to stretch their imagination and give us their most inventive furry, feathered, or scaly companions in tales of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, or horror. Edited by Patricia Bray & Joshua Palmatier,
LAST-DITCH: In the heart-pounding world of espionage, it’s the spy that gets the dirty work done. From a longshot gamble to reverse the tides of war to a secret operation escaping with stolen plans, the task is often left to the double agent. Whether it’s for King and country or a private backer, the lone operative gets in and gets out…if only it was that easy. Edited by Troy Carrol Bucher and Gerald Brandt, this anthology will explore Science Fiction or Fantasy stories of back-against-the-wall, desperate purpose--Hail Marys launched when hope seems lost. The actions of the secret agent can change the tides for good or evil; it all depends on which side you are on.
AMPYRIUM: Welcome to Ampyrium, a city of a thousand wonders! May the trading be always in your favor. Powerful magicians called the Magnum have created a massive city contained within eight walls, each with its own portal to another world. Here, eight different magical lands collide. In these streets, all of the races from those worlds come to trade, to politic, to carouse, and to murder. Merchants and royalty, thieves and assassins; caravans and envoys, armies and entourages. Everyone…and everything…can be found in Ampyrium. Every dream can be made real. Every vice is available. Every wish can be fulfilled. All you have to do is stay clear of the Magnum…and their Eyes are everywhere.
AMPYRIUM will contain approximately seven stories all set within the shared world of Ampyria with an average length of 12,000 words each.
Stories must be submitted in electronic format to the Zombies Need Brains Moksha site for the appropriate anthology at http://zombiesneedbrains.moksha.io.
None so far. I've done a writing challenge with the Wulf Pack for a previous ZNB call, but I didn't sell anything. Now I have some good long stories I still can't sell. 😂 I did send in one story so far for their Last-Ditch prompt.
Each story should feature a tale delivered from a character who stepped through a door and found themselves someplace unexpected. On their journey, they will notice a book called Midnight Labyrinth. No requirement to read or interact with it; it just needs to appear. Genre-bending is welcome! Sci-fi, steampunk, horror, fantasy, etc.
This anthology is an exploration of PLACE and FANTASY, so the MC in the story needs to actually find themselves in a new world/city/place that they’ve either never been before or haven’t been for a long time. (I’m leaving this vague so you have room for nostalgia along with the weird and unexpected, not so you can make any story fit in two seconds.) Also, please don’t shove the anthology requirements at the beginning of your story all at once. That does not endear you to the editors, nor is it in good spirit of the anthology.
My writing friend Akis Linardo has sold to this market. So has Amanda Cecelia Lang. Both specialize in beautiful, dark prose. Neither afraid to veer into the strange.
Editors:Josh Strnad & Jose Cruz
Oct 1-Dec 31
Pay: 1 cent per word
word range: up to 5000 sweet spot 2500-3000
Simultaneous submissions? yes
FIRST ISSUE SLATED FOR APRIL
Cozy horror. Fun horror. Classy horror. Dare we say, wholesome horror?
Oxymoron? We don’t think so. One place you can start your exploration of this idea is an article from Nightmare Magazine penned by one of our co-founders.
But perhaps the easiest way to understand what we mean is to read stories by some of the old masters we love: Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Roald Dahl. Watch classic episodes of Thriller, The Twilight Zone, and Night Gallery. Read old horror comics. Listen to radio dramas like Suspense, Quiet, Please, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Consume enough vintage horror, and you’ll probably begin to get an idea of the type of thing that’s likely to appeal to us.
In short, we’re looking to provide a space for a type of storytelling that has largely gone out of style – dark and scary, but playful and approachable with an emphasis on plot. To clarify further, here’s a list of things we want and things we don’t, which may help you hit the sweet spot.
THINGS WE LOVE:
Stories with a moral core. It need not happen in every tale, but we like to see good prevail (or at least evil punished). Ironic justice, in which cleverly nasty things happen to bad people, as in old EC comics, makes us chuckle with ghoulish delight.
Well-earned twist endings. There’s nothing we love more than a really good surprise or a clever way to subvert our expectations. Pull the rug out from under us and leave us gasping.
High concept settings and situations reminiscent of the pulps. Androids, ghosts, aliens, old castles, vampires, dinosaurs, deals with the devil, mad scientists, Wild West gunslingers, and so on. All are welcome. Give us thrilling adventures dipped in the macabre. Remember – old tropes are great, so long as your story is doing something new with them.
Tales of the fantastic invading ordinary settings. Bring terrible and unpredictable horrors into the suburbs, into our workplaces, into our homes.
Magical realism. Don’t worry too much about explaining how or why strange things happen. We are perfectly willing to accept that they do and move on to the good stuff in the story.
Playfulness and dark humor. We’re not looking for blatant comedy, but a certain level of mischief and glee will go a long way in making your story a fit for SPOOKY.
Classic Americana. Halloweeny hijinks. Campfire stories. Stuff that makes us feel like kids.
I love the concept of this! Especially as I am going to try my first kickstarter with my own collections of Cozy Horror. Josh Strnad contacted me on Facebook when he saw this post! (people actually read my blog?!? Excellent.) Here is the extra advice I got from him.
"Fun" will probably be the most unifying feature, though that can look like a lot of things. Imagine going through a really good haunted house, in which the shocks make your pulse race, but don't leave you sad afterward. We're not likely to want anything terribly heavy thematically.
A healthy dose of irony will probably go a long way with us as well, although we're not looking for parodies or jokes.