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Taking Submissions: Story Unlikely Magazine 2024 Window

Deadline: September 29th, 2024
Payment: 8 cents per word up to $400
Theme: No restrictions on genre (seeking all types of stories; fiction and creative nonfiction)
Note: Must be subscribed (free) to the magazine in order to submit, no submission fee.)


Please note that we have additional perks and leeway for MEMBERS, highlighted in GREEN. Your membership not only gives you a leg up in the submission process, but helps keep the lights on (and pay our talented writers).

Why submit to us?
– WE PAY WRITERS FAIRLY. It’s hard work writing good stories, and you deserve to get paid. Or maybe you don’t and you’re just duping us? Regardless, we pay 8 cents a word for stories up to 2,500 words. Stories longer than this are capped at $200 payment ($400 for MEMBERS).
– NO SUBMISSION FEES. We’re not saying the other guys are getting rich off $3 per submission, but there’s something about the idea that we, as writers, have you pay you, the publisher, just for the privilege of rejecting our work with a form letter, bothers us. (Costs of running an E-zine aside) We’re going to go ahead and coin a phrase right here and now – ‘Write privilege’, get it? Of course, you do.
– GET YOUR WORK IN FRONT OF A LARGE AND GROWING AUDIENCE. Our aim is fixed on telling good stories, period, and because of that we have built a massive readership from all over the globe. Want to get your stories out to more than just dear old nana? Then you’ve come to the right place.
– REASONABLE TURN-AROUND TIME. If you haven’t heard from us within 90 days, then your story was rejected. Rejections stink – we get it – but its better than forever waiting and wondering. All MEMBERS get their stories reviewed within ONE month!
– WORKABILITY. Is that the right term? Well, we’re going with it. Unlike large publishers who view authors as just a number, we actually work with you to help present the story in its best possible light. We do, however, expect reciprocity; Story Unlikely is comprised of volunteers who are by nature team players. If you’re an inflexible my way or the highway type – or even worse, an unbearable ideologue – then consider this a premature breakup. No really, it’s us, not you.
– GET ILLUSTRATED. We illustrate ALL stories we publish, and we think we’re doing a pretty bang-up job with that.

What to Submit to us?
– STORY LENGTH: Our story limit is 10,000 words, but MEMBERS can submit up to 15,000 word stories.
– CONTENT: To put it simply, we’re looking for good stories, measured both by the quality of the writing and the skill in storytelling. We prefer prose that elicits emotion: make us laugh or cry, think or consider, anything on the edges or in between.
– GENRE AND STYLE: Good stories don’t just come in all shapes and sizes, but in all genres, too (fiction and nonfiction). Although some genres naturally lend themselves to certain feelings, by no means do we expect authors to follow preordained paths. We like stories that cross genres, experiment, and push the boundaries of literature while maintaining the utmost quality in literary technique and storytelling, which is why we’re open to just about anything.
– WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR: Excessive anything. Think PG-13, R if necessary. We’re not attempting to salt the earth with more cultural dogma couched as mediocre fiction, or writers who are jockeying for the title of Most Woke. There’s enough of that out there already. You want to impress us? Write a good story. You want to get published? Write a great one.
– NEW STORIES AND REPRINTS: We accept previously published stories – and oh how we love a good reprint(!), as long as you, dear author, have retained full rights. For reprints, we pay 1 cent per word with a maximum payout of $75, and $150 for MEMBERS – the story can still be up to 15k in length, or 10k for non-members.
– A NOTE ON PODCASTING: Last year we began telling stories audibly through our podcast. Click HERE for details on our podcast publishing guidelines. All submissions will be considered first for our magazine, and second for our podcast.
– ONE STORY PER AUTHOR PER 90 DAYS: We do not accept multiple submissions. We DO accept simultaneous submissions (IE, you can send it out somewhere else at the same time. Just inform us immediately if it is accepted.) MEMBERS can submit stories once every 30 days!
-PERSONAL FEEDBACK: Though we don’t respond to rejections, historically we have sent constructive feedback to stories that were close but didn’t quite cut the mustard (what does that even mean?). Moving forward, we will only respond with personal critiques to MEMBERS, (though again, only a small percentage of stories will receive feedback). We are run by volunteers, and with our ever-increasing costs, we have to prioritize those who help us stay financially viable. For a chance to receive personal feedback, Members MUST submit through our Member Portal


Indie Bookshelf Releases 02/23/2024

Got a book to launch, an event to promote, a kickstarter or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by life in general?

Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.


Before you scroll down through the books however, please could you consider checking out the ‘Creatives in Crisis’ section. This has been added to help those who need additional support at this time. Please note I keep these up as long as they’re either running or have hit their targets. The two still showing, Claire Fitzpatrick and Bill Spangler continue to need support. Thank you!



Getting into the Groove with Angela Hairston

Getting into the Groove with Angela Hairston

An interview with Angela Hairston 

By Sarah Elliott


Would you like to dive into the night-riding, bear-meeting world of an award-winning fantasy writer? Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to meet the music-loving author of Archangels of Funk. Drop the needle to the record – let’s go!


Andrea Hairston is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre. She is the author of Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the 2011 Otherwise Award and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, and Mindscape, shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick and Otherwise Awards, and winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award. In her spare time, she is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She has received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding contributions to the criticism of the fantastic. She bikes at night year-round, meeting bears, and the occasional shooting star.


Taking Submissions: Boreal: an anthology of Taiga Horror

Submission Window: March 15th-April 1st, 2024
Payment: 1 cent per word
Theme: Stories set in the taiga or boreal forest biome (details below)

A conservationist stumbles into a part of the forest untouched by humans for centuries. A hiker encounters a bear and her cubs on a lonely section of a trail. Two lovers abandon their tents when they hear screams calling across a Northern Light-filled sky. A dilapidated, forgotten cabin becomes temporary refuge for a documentary film crew in the midst of a violent snow storm.

The taiga or boreal forest biome is one of the largest land biomes in the world. Norway, Scandinavia, Iceland, Canada, Russia, and even Japan have locations where these wild, dark woods and the creatures that inhabit them roam.

Strange Wilds Press is looking for stories cemented in the taiga biome for its first anthology. I love stories that are character-driven, gothic, gloomy, and full of grief or existential horror. The idea of the lost and the unknown nestled in those deep, dark woods is something I get really excited about.

Some other things I like include: eco-horror, supernatural, creature, cult, ghost, and cosmic horror.

Hard sells are extreme, splatterpunk and slasher.


Taking Submissions: Don’t Ask, Ghosts Tell

Submission Window: March 1st – April 30th, 2024
Payment: $0.03/word
Theme: Strong, character-driven stories where your main characters struggle in some way with their ghosts—or the ghosts of others—against truths being either suppressed or exposed
Note: Open to those who identify as LGBTQ+

Theme: “Truths can be hidden, pushed down, and repressed, from those around us. But the ghosts—of our past, our present, and our future—know our most intimate truths. We cannot hide from our ghosts. For Don’t Ask, Ghosts Tell, we’re looking for strong, character-driven stories where your main characters struggle in some way with their ghosts—or the ghosts of others—against truths being either suppressed or exposed. In these stories, the outcomes can be varied—truths remain hidden, or truths exposed—to whatever consequence(s) to the main character. Will your character(s) be silenced by their ghosts? Will the truth set them free—or doom them to some horrible fate? Your latitude with this basic theme is wide and interpretation is strongly encouraged.” ~ Vince A. Liaguno


Epeolatry Book Review: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Ghost Station
Author:  S.A. Barnes
Genre: Space Horror
Publisher: Tor Nightfire,
Release Date: 9th April, 2024

Synopsis: Psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray has dedicated her life to the study and prevention of Eckhart-Reiser syndrome (ERS)—the most famous case of which resulted in the brutal murders of twenty-nine people. It’s personal to her, and when she’s assigned to a small exploration crew who recently suffered the tragic death of a colleague, she wants to help. But as they begin to establish residency on an abandoned planet, it becomes clear that the crew is hiding something.


Taking Submissions: Grimm Retold

Deadline: April 19th, 2024
Payment: $25 for stories 2000 – 5000 words (after edits), $35 for stories 5000 – 8000 words (after edits), $15 for poems, $10 for reprints
Theme: Horror and dark fantasy collection of Dark Grimm Fairy Tales, retold in new and horrific ways.
Note: Reprints Welcome

Open for submission February 9th – April 19th

Fairy Tales can be frightening, and while many have been watered down over the years, their grim roots are steeped in black magic, forced marriage, abduction, murder, curses and cannibalism.

And we’re here for it.

Grimm Retold is a horror and dark fantasy collection of Dark Grimm Fairy Tales, retold in new and horrific ways.


Taking Submissions: Hellbound Books’ Anthology of Suburban Nightmares

Deadline: September 30th, 2024
Payment: $5
Theme: Horror taking place in the suburbs

Owning your own home is a dream come true for so many people.


What if your HOA just happens to be comprised of Satan’s minions? What if your next door neighbor is batshit, tits-out loony tunes? What if the amazing house in that idyllic, leafy subdivision you just bought was actually built on an ancient Indian burial ground?

All hell breaks loose. Literally.

HellBound Books wants your most horrific stories of HOAs from Hell, horrific neighbors, terrifying properties, and everything else that goes along with the wonderfully human experience of owning your own home.