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Taking Submissions: Autumn Noir

July 11, 2021

Deadline: July 11th, 2021
Payment: $20
Theme: Stories about the other, moodier season of change from Summer to Fall

AUTUMN NOIR: A Crime, Mystery, Noir, Suspense & Thriller Anthology

Announcing our FALL anthology!

The slide from Summer into Fall can sneak up on you, like footsteps keeping pace until they speed up and overtake you. We’re inviting fellow writers and artists to create original pieces that sweep us up in stories about the other, moodier season of change. Send us work that skews toward the gritty, the atmospheric, the strangely, dangerously beguiling. Whether the mystery unfolds as gently as a wisp of chimney smoke or brings the heart-thumping thrills of an end-of-summer storm is up to you. Just make sure to bring your creations to life with language as vibrant as Fall foliage and dialogue as crisp as Autumn air.

*We’re looking for stories, poems, and/or artwork that follow these THREE guidelines:

  1. Respect the genre norms from the Crime, Mystery, Noir, Suspense, and/or Thriller genres (and their associated sub-genres).

  2. Feature the Autumn season prominently in the setting of their story or are depicted in their poem or artwork.

  3. Are inspired by and/or incorporate an element* from any ONE of the following (four) quotations in a way that is important to your storyline, poem, or image:

    • “In Greek tragedy, they fall from great heights. In noir, they fall from the curb.” (Dennis Lehane)

    • “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.” (Unknown)

    • “Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.” (Gillian Flynn)

    • In the autumn of a woman’s life, there comes always one mad moment when she longs for romance, for adventure—before it is too late.” (Agatha Christie, The Underdog and Other Stories)

*NOTE: The actual quote does NOT need to be included in the story itself. If you would like to incorporate the quote in some way, that’s fine. However, we will be equally excited to see stories that include elements of the quotations (Greek tragedy, curb, trees, dead things, dark sides, black orchids, mad moments, Dennis Lehane, Gillian Flynn, Agatha Christie, etc.) or that capture the spirit of the quote in some way throughout their story, poem, or artwork.

Submission Info:

  • Don’t forget to follow the THREE genre and thematic guidelines listed at the top of this page!

  • Word/Entry Limits:

    • Short Stories (English only): Between 1,500 words and 7,500 words

    • Poems (English only): Up to 3 poems per entry in one file

    • Artwork: Up to 3 pieces per entry in one file

  • Submit your story in the official entry form.

    • Opens May 1, 2021

    • Final Submission Deadline: July 11, 2021 (or until full)

  • Reprints: No

  • Multiple Submissions: Yes

  • Simultaneous Submissions: Yes

  • While it will not affect an entrant’s chances of acceptance, those entrants who tip will receive a digital copy of the Autumn Noir anthology when it is released.

  • A word on response times: Having been on the receiving end of things, we know what it’s like to eagerly await word about submissions. We promise to do our level best to get back in touch with people as quickly as possible. However, at a minimum know that the anthology is set to release on October 13, 2021. You should definitely hear back from us ahead of the release date.

NOTE: Send us your stories that unsettle, unnerve, frighten, discomfit, challenge, and/or just generally entertain. Please do not send us stories that glorify rape or abuse — especially of children or animals. We also will not include stories that promote bigoted thinking. While we recognize that some amount of violence is often seminal to these genres, we’re not interested in scenes that painstakingly, even lovingly, describe extreme violence.

Enter Here:

Submit through Duosuma

Contributors Selected:

  • Will be notified by Wednesday, September 22, 2021

  • Will receive full publishing credit in the Autumn Noir anthology

  • One (1) free digital copy

  • $20 payment


UNSETTLING READS, LLC was founded by two authors. We very much respect the rights of creators and do our best to promote both the works included in our anthologies and their creators. For more questions about copyrights, etc. please check out this sample contract.


Via: Unsettling Reads.


July 11, 2021