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Taking Submissions: Morpheus Tales Rural Horror Special Issue

January 31, 2014


Deadline: January 31st 2014
Payment: One electronic copy of the publication (due Spring 2014) and one electronic copy of Matt Leyshon’s The Function Room: The Kollection

Take a hike.

Seriously, I’ll know if you haven’t.

I want stories that feel authentic and capture the mystery of the countryside. Befriend a hedgewitch, take up twitching, gather some mushrooms… Do whatever it takes to transport your readers from their homes and into the fields. Then send them running home to book a long course of trauma counselling!

Resist the temptation to write another sequel to The Darling Buds of May or a James Herriot spin-off; the atmosphere in your story should be less than comfortable. Morpheus Tales is Britain’s most controversial horror magazine afterall – so do not feel obliged to spare the scythe. I won’t be offended by the spilling of sap, though I might be more impressed by a subtle sense of unease or strangeness.

The following are a few examples of what I consider to be good horror tales that are set in rural Britain: Arthur Machen’s The White People, The Woodwitch by Stephen Gregory, The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes. The Wendigo and The Willows by Algernon Blackwood are not set in the UK, but they are also a good indication of what I’m looking for.

Your story must be set in the countryside or within a rural community. It does not have to be set in the British countryside, though I might show a preference towards those tales that are.

I’m looking for stories of around 3500 words.

Submissions over 5000 words won’t be read.

Morpheus Tales’ usual formatting guidelines apply. The deadline for submissions is 31/01/14.

Send submissions to [email protected] with “Rural Horror Submission” in the subject.

Payment will be one electronic copy of the publication (due Spring 2014) and one electronic copy of Matt Leyshon’s The Function Room: The Kollection.

Now pack that pocket knife alongside your notebook and butties – who knows what’s out there? I look forward to finding out!



General Guidelines

We are currently looking for writers and artists to submit their work. We are a non-paying market, but all successful submissions will receive a complimentary pdf ebook copy of the magazine. Unfortunately our printer has now closed down, and from Morpheus Tales #19 we will no longer print our own copies of the magazine. All copies will be available through lulu.com print-on-demand services and as ebooks.​

It will unfortunately be prohibitively expensive to provide printed contributor copies and so we will send you a link to download the ebook version of the magazine. All contributor copies will now be in downloadable format.

Please be aware we are looking for 1st British serial rights, 1st online rights. We no longer accept previously published work. Your work may also be published online.

Artists please contact us regarding our current needs. We are always looking for regular illustrators.

By submitting your work you are agreeing to these terms.

Please send submissions as word documents. All material should be in standard manuscript format:

12 point Times Roman, left justified, 1″ margins all around, double spaced, paragraph indents, no space between paragraphs, with a header on each page giving your name, the title or a short form of it, and the page number.

Please send all submissions to:

[email protected]

Single Submissions Only.

One submission maximum at a time, please.

We DO NOT accept simultaneous submissions.
Must be horror, science fiction or fantasy, or a mixture of those genres. We are looking for high quality work with plot or character driven stories.

Fiction: Maximum 3000 words.

The Morpheus Tales Review Supplement

Articles and interviews on horror, science fiction and fantasy related subjects may be accepted. Please contact us with your idea first to avoid disappointment.

Articles/Interviews: up to 2000 words.

Reviews on horror, science fiction and fantasy related products, including books, films, dvds, graphic novels, comics, toys, websites, etc.

Reviews: Maximum 500 words.

Mini Reviews: Maximum 100 Words.

Non-fiction material is published in the online reviews supplement. Contributors can download copies from the website.

Tips for Writers

To give you some idea of what an editor has to go through, we’ve read through over a hundred stories in the past few weeks, and about eight to ten stories will appear in the next issue.

It’s not that the other stories weren’t any good, obviously some of them weren’t, but some of them very good, they just weren’t right for us.

So what makes a story useable?

Unfortunately it’s difficult to say. We’re not looking for one particular thing, otherwise it would be a lot easier. But there are a few simple rules that can help.

READ the writers guidelines. Sending in a submission that’s well over the maximum word limit will not endear you to an editor. Sending in a type of story that the magazine doesn’t publish is not much good either. Do your homework and, if you can, buy a copy of the magazine before submitting your work.

The easiest way to get rejected is to make mistakes. If an editor has to work hard to read your story then it’s much more likely to be rejected. Make sure you check your submission for spelling errors and grammar, typos happen, but good proof-reading should remove most of them.

Try to stick closely to the Standard Manuscript Format when submitting work, for more details:


Make your story stand out. You’ve got limited words, so make every one count. Make sure your story has something that makes it different, the plot, characters, style, anything that raises it above the level of the other stories the editor is likely to read that week. We sometimes read five or six stories a day, so you need to make your work memorable.

The best type of story is one that makes the reader feel something, whether it’s amazement, fear, horror, joy… Think about the stories you remember and why you remember them, then set out to create something like that.

Good luck

Via: Morpheus Tales


January 31, 2014