Taking Submissions: The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias

Deadline: July 31st, 2017
Payment: $50 per story

Submissions open to LVP and HWA members: February 21
Submissions open to public: April 1
Submissions close: July 31, 11:59pm tentatively (*see notes below)
Word count: 4,000 to 6,000
Payment: $50 per story, a digital copy of the anthology and a discount code for print copies from Lycan Valley Press
Details: Phobias are defined as an irrational and extreme fear to something. Some of the most widely known phobias include arachnophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, acrophobia, etc. Anything can be a phobia if it irrationally causes an intense and debilitating fear.

What happens when these irrational fears/phobias become reality? Make the fears and the horrors associated with that fear real. Take them from irrational to rational. Pick a phobia from the list below and take that fear to the next level. Make it come to life and give us a reason to be scared. Your characters don’t have to overcome their fears, but if they do, show us how. If they don’t, why not?

We don’t want characters sitting on a sofa in the psychiatrist’s office detailing their childhood or even characters with diagnosed phobias necessarily. Focus on the object of the phobia rather than the phobia itself as much as possible. We want you to make these phobias come to life in ways that will make readers sleep with the lights on, double check the locks on their doors and question reality.

There must be a strong pulp element to the story as well, keeping in mind that pulp doesn’t mean poorly written. If you’re unfamiliar with the original pulp magazines and stories, please do some research before submitting. Check out Black Mask Magazine http://www.blackmaskmagazine.com/ and here’s a pulp archive to get you started (warning: reading on this website may be addictive).
http://www.pulpmags.org/ and also here https://archive.org/details/pulpmagazinearchive.

Although you are free to write in your own style and that which best suits the story, Lester Dent’s Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot is here for reference should you wish to use it. http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html Here, James Scott Bell talks about writing pulp fiction: http://www.rachellegardner.com/why-i-write-pulp-fiction/

Titles: Please do not use the name of the phobia itself in your titles.

Formatting: Please follow Shunn Short Story Manuscript formatting which can be found here: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html. Or use the downloadable template for Word found here: http://www.shunn.net/format/templates.html
Simultaneous and Multiple Submissions: No simultaneous submissions. Multiple submissions from the same author for two different phobias will be considered but please note that only one story per author will be accepted to allow for greater variety and diversity. Previously unpublished stories only, no reprints unless requested.

Email: [email protected]
Subject: Include only P-first letter of the phobia, author’s last name, LVP or HWA (if applicable), Story title.
Example:  [P-A/Last Name/LVPorHWA/Story Title]
Attach stories in .doc, .docx or .rtf files only.
Cover letters are not necessary but if you feel it necessary to include one, please keep it short and relevant.
If you have any questions, please use “PHB Question” in the subject line.


*In the event that a large number of submissions are received for a specific phobia, that topic will be flagged. Flagged topics will close for submissions the following week. If necessary, topics will be flagged on Fridays only and closed the following Sunday at 11:59pm PST, leaving a 10 day window open.
Phobias List A to Z:
         * Topic closing for submissions in one week
       ** Topic is temporarily unavailable and will either be open for submissions or closed
     *** Topic closed for submissions

– fear of insanity — CLOSED
Botanophobia – fear of plants

Chaetophobia – fear of hair
Dextrophobia – fear of objects on right side of body
Eosophobia – fear of dawn or daylight
Febriphobia – fear of fever or any rise in body temperature
***Gephysrophobia – fear of crossing bridges – CLOSED
***Hedonophobia – fear of feeling pleasure — CLOSED
Haphephobia — fear of being touched OR Helminthophobia — fear of being infested with worms (your choice!)
Ithyphallophobia – fear of seeing, having, thinking about an erect penis ORIatrophobia – Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors (your choice!)
Jangelaphobia – fear of gelatin
Kosmikophobia – Fear of cosmic phenomenon
Lockiophobia – fear of childbirth
***Mnemophobia – fear of memories — CLOSED
*** Necrophobia – fear of death or dead things – CLOSED
***Optophobia – fear of opening one’s eyes — CLOSED
***Pedophobia – fear of children  – CLOSED
***Quintaphobia – fear of numbers — CLOSED
Rhabdophobia – fear of being beaten with a rod or magic wand
Sociophobia – fear of society and people
Toxophobia – fear of poison or being poisoned
Utopicphobia – fear of utopian societies
***Venustraphobia – fear of beautiful women  – CLOSED
Warptimaphobia – fear of creating or being caught in a time warp
Xyrophobia – fear of razors
Yogaphobia – fear of yoga or yoga positions
Zelophobia – fear of jealousy

(These are real names of phobias or have been used to describe real phobias, with the exception Warptimaphobia and Yogaphobia which were created for this anthology… and possibly Jangelaphobia.)

Via: The Crows in my Attic.

Taking Submissions: Mrs Claus

Deadline: May 30, 2017
Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy

Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish
Open for Submissions: April 1, 2017 – May 30, 2017
Expected Publication: Winter 2017
Story Length: up to 10,000 words
Payment: $10 + contributor copy

For a long, long time Santa Claus has hogged the spotlight relegating his wife to the shadows, but no longer. Now it’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine!

We’re looking for stories that let Mrs. Claus (or is it Ms. Claus?) take centre stage. Whether she more closely resembles Michelle Obama, Betty White, Shohreh Aghdashlooor or Maggie Smith, Mrs. Claus must be a developed, independent character and not simply an extension of her husband. She can help and support him—of course she can—but there needs to be more to her than only that.

What’s her role on Christmas Eve? What about the other days of the year? Is she into sleek red snowmobiles or is she more of an old-fashioned magic sleigh kinda gal? Does she prefer baking cookies or kickboxing? Betting on the Reindeer Games or Avon parties with the elves?

And what is her first name, anyway?

Stories are encouraged to re-imagine the North Pole in new and interesting ways (steampunk? alien? magically relocated to the equator?) and to explore a variety of other settings as well. They can also take place in time frames both real and imagined—Christmas in 1940 Poland, Mars in 2050 or a rediscovered Atlantis in 2017 would all be welcome in this anthology.

Note: This anthology is intended for an adult audience, please don’t submit children’s stories.

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: April 1, 2017 – May 30, 2017

Length: Under 10,000 words

Submission method: Upload story as .doc or .rtf to niteblade.submittable.com/submit

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

Expected Publication Date: Winter 2017

About the Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Equus and D is for Dinosaur. Her website, updated weekly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com

Via: World Weaver Press.

Taking Submissions: When You’re Strange

Deadline: May 31st, 2017
Payment: $15 and a contributor’s copy if in the US

There are things that define us. Things that separate us from the whole. Everyone’s a stranger in some way or another. Whether by coming to a new land, practicing different traditions, estrangement from your own people, or becoming a refugee forced from your home only to find yourself at the mercy of a tyrant… whatever the circumstances, strangers are compelling protagonists and so the theme of our anthology.

The Central Arkansas Speculative Fiction Writers Group’s third anthology will be a collection of short stories about strangers. We want to see stories about estrangement, oddballs, and those who simply do not follow rules. We want to see outsiders and those deemed unworthy by society. Outcasts are welcome.


  1. Submit your work in standard manuscript format to [email protected] with a subject line beginning with “Anthology Submission:” and ending with the title of your submission.
  2. Maximum word length is 7500 words.
  3. Payment is 15$ and a contributor’s copy. (Only writers within the U.S. will receive a physical contributor’s copy. Writers outside the U.S. will receive an e-book contributor’s copy.)
  4. Please only send speculative fiction. That’s science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between. We are looking for compelling storylines and, more importantly, compelling characters.
  5. Please no erotica or gratuitous violence.
  6. Please no multi-submissions or reprints.
  7. We will respond within thirty days of submission. Please do not query about submission status until thirty days have lapsed from when your story was submitted. If querying, please email with a subject beginning with “Query:” and ending with the title of your submission.
  8. The deadline is May 31, 2017.

Via: Central Arkansas Speculative Fiction Writers Group.

Taking Submissions: Eclectically Heroic

Deadline: April 30th, 2017
Payment: $25 for fiction

From March 1 to April 30, Inklings Publishing will be looking for short stories for volume 5 of our Eclectic Writings Series of anthologies.  

Eclectically Heroic will be the title of our next installment.  Any and all conceptualizations of the concept of heroic will be considered.  We are looking for unique takes on this theme.  During the submission period, you will be able to buy the first four volumes of the series on Kindle for $1 each so that you can see the types of stories we are interested in.  Be aware you will not receive a response until after the submission period ends.

We pay $25 for fiction.  Stories should not exceed 7,000 words.  You may submit up to 3 stories.

We pay $3 per poem.  You may submit between 5 and 10 poems.

We pay $25 for nonfiction. Though we have yet to receive nonfiction essays that make it into out anthologies, we remain hopeful.  Essays should not exceed 7,000 words and must be properly cited with regard to references.  You may submit up to 3 essays.

If you submit across genres, please submit only 3 selections total for our consideration.  

Thank you. We look forward to reading your work.

Send your submission to [email protected] formatted as follows:

Your document should be a MS Word document. We do not accept PDF documents as we use track changes and comments during our internal review process.

The document should be double-spaced with paragraphs indented using word styles(not tabbed). All manuscripts must use Ariel font, have page numbers and use 12 pt font for your text. The header should contain the title of the work and page number in right hand corner.

The first page should be a cover page containing: your legal name; pen name, if applicable; address; email; phone number; and approximate word count.

The second page should be a summary of the work, which should not exceed that one page.

The subject of the email should read — RE: Manuscript Submission (Genre). In the body of the email, write a short paragraph indicating why you chose to submit to Inklings Publishing.

Any work submitted that does not follow this criteria will be automatically rejected.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Via: Inklings Publishing.

Taking Submissions: It Came From The Boiler Room

Deadline: May 5th, 2017
Payment: $10, contributor’s copy, and royalties

We’re going a little bit different for our summer anthology versus our winter one.

Think Evil Dead or Shaun of the Dead. Dark with a humorous, tongue-in-cheek, or ironic bent. We don’t need to be rolling on the floor laughing when we read your submission. Getting a chuckle or an eye roll out of us will do.

As usual, this is a non-themed dark fiction anthology.


  • 100% original short stories. We are not accepting reprints. We are purchasing the exclusive world-wide first print and electronic rights to your work.
  • Minimum 1,000 words. Maximum 5,000 words. Anything above or under these guidelines will be discarded, unless you get a written exception from us.
  • Stories can be set in any time period you choose and any genre you choose, except romance, erotica, hard science fiction, historical fiction, extreme horror/splatterpunk.
  • Characters and plots that are three-dimensional. Neither are required to be likeable, but they are required to be believable. Immerse us in your characters’ lives and fictional world.
  • We want to see pieces from all background and experience level. Having diverse characters is a plus for us, too. We support diversity every chance we get. This anthology project is no different!
  • Manuscripts must be in .DOC or .DOCX file format and formatted in standard manuscript format. We will not accept RTF files. We will discard any story that doesn’t follow the standard manuscript format outlined here:  http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html. No exceptions.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay, but we ask that you let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere as soon as possible.


  • No parts of novels or novellas. The story you submit must have a defined beginning and end.
  • No multiple submissions.
  • No trunk (unfinished) stories. We only want your best work. We are happy to work with the right story to a degree, but typos, grammatical errors, and/or an underdeveloped plot/characters will get your story tossed.
  • No explicit sex scenes or excessive violence/gore.
  • Absolutely no explicit descriptions of abuse toward children or animals, and no sexual abuse of any kind. Abuse in a character’s past is fine, but please include no more than subtle flashbacks as long as it’s integral to the plot.
  • “Trendy” subjects like vampires, werewolves, and zombies are fine, if you can find an original way to present these tropes. We don’t want your interpretation of Interview with the Vampire or An American Werewolf in Paris or The Walking Dead. Be original.


The compensation is $10 (US) paid via PayPal, a printed contributor’s copy, and a 3% royalty bonus, after our costs are met. (Our last anthology achieved this within 5 days of release.)

We sincerely hope this compensation rate will increase with subsequent releases.


Send your work to [email protected] with the subject line: MQB Summer Anthology 2017 Submission.

Note: Inquiries and questions should be directed to [email protected].

Include your submission as an attachment in one of the two formats listed above.

Put the following in the body of your email:

  • Your name and pen name (if applicable)
  • A short description of what you are submitting
  • The word count of your piece (this should also be on your manuscript)

Any emails received after the May 5th deadline will be discarded.

Good luck!

Via: Mighty Quill Books.

Taking Submissions: White Noise & Ouija Boards: An Anthology of Ghosts & Hauntings

Deadline: May 26th, 2017
Payment: a percentage of profits after six months of anthology sales
Reprints Allowed

It took some time, but the time has come: we’re putting together an anthology of poetry and flash fiction about spirits, ghosts, seances, Ouija boards, famous hauntings, not-so-famous hauntings, possessions, and anything else relating to supernatural bumps in the night (or day, we aren’t fussy). Submissions are open from 31st March 2017 until 26th May 2017, and the book will be published in late summer (August). This anthology will be edited by Kate Garrett and Caroline Hardaker.

As this is a centuries old vein of storytelling, originality is important – whether it’s a new angle on the themes, a very obscure bit of lore, ghosts in mythology, a different view of famous literary ghosts (e.g. Hamlet’s father, the spirits in A Christmas Carol, you get the idea), or a very specific ghost story (by ‘story’ of course we mean folklore: a haunted library or pub in your town, something along those lines, not a Susan Hill book…) not many know about, to name a few examples. It isn’t as hard as it sounds – it’s just what we don’t want is the plot of every ghostly horror film over and over again.

So all of that being said: just send us your best work!

Please submit:

  • 1-5 poems (no line limit, within reason)
  • 1-3 flash fictions (up to 1,000 words – we’ve increased the limit!) or
  • a mix of the two not exceeding 5 pieces in total

in a Word document (if submitting multiple pieces, send them in a single Word document please) or the body of an email (please NO PDFs) to [email protected].

Please mark your submission as ‘Ghosts and Hauntings – Your Name’ (e.g. mine would be Ghosts and Hauntings – Kate Garrett) in the subject line of your email.

Previously published work is okay, but let us know where it was published before so we may give credit if your work is selected.

Simultaneous submissions are okay too, but please inform us ASAP if accepted elsewhere.

Payment for contributors is a percentage of profits after six months of anthology sales (which depends on how many writers are included, and how many copies are sold).

And just a reminder the deadline is Friday 26th May 2017.

We look forward to reading your work!

Via: Three Drops Poetry.

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