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Taking Submissions: Sonoran Horror

July 15, 2023

Deadline: July 15th, 2023
Payment: 1 cent per word
Theme: Horror that showcases the sunbeaten land inspired by Arizona and the creatures and mysteries that dwell there

SUBMISSION PERIOD: JUNE 15, 2023 – JULY 15, 2023

Any stories submitted BEFORE or AFTER the submission window (without prior consent from someone on the Aphotic Realm Team) will be deleted unread.

Terrors that dwell in the spooky, haunted forest is a well-known horror trope and for good reasons—many of the most memorable stories take place in that setting. Although I do enjoy those stories, I’ve never related to them. Born, raised, and still residing in Phoenix, Arizona, I don’t make it out to the woods very often. 

I’m not looking for westerns—historical, splatter, or the like. I want horror that showcases the sunbeaten land and the creatures and mysteries that dwell there. That doesn’t mean you can’t submit something historical but try to stay clear of the Western tropes. Think Gila monsters, scorpions, snakes, coyotes, and javelina. The abandoned copper mines. Indigenous folklore. The unbearable heat and the beautiful yet dangerous flora. The unsettling extraterrestrial activity and vicious monsoons…


We will accept unpublished short stories of any genre as long as they are dark, sinister, or eerie in tone. No gratuitous sex or violence for the sake of shock—the use must be integral to the story. Stories must contain a minimum of 1,000 words and not surpass 5,000 words. (3k to 4k is the sweet spot)

Please submit all stories to [email protected]. In the subject line please write, “SONORANTitle of your story”. In the body of the email, please include a 50-100 word bio about yourself and your contact information. All stories must be submitted as a .DOC or .DOCX file. All other file types will be deleted without being read.

All stories must be formatted properly in the William Shunn format.

12pt Times New Roman font Double-spaced

Do not use TAB for indents (Please… We beg of you)

No multiple submissions.

Simultaneous submissions are okay but please inform us as soon as possible if your story is picked up elsewhere.

We shouldn’t have to clarify this but here we are: ABSOLUTELY NO A.I. GENERATED WRITING TO BE SUBMITTED. YOU WILL BE BLACKLISTED.


0.01 USD per word

Every contributor will also receive a digital copy. Monetary payments will be sent via PayPal within two weeks after the official publication date.


Aphotic Realm will claim first-world electronic and print rights with a 12-month exclusivity period starting on the date of official publication.

Via: Aphotic Realm.


July 15, 2023


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