CLOSED: Nefarious Thoughts

Nefarious Thoughts was last updated in 2016

Payment: $25

General. Nefarious Thoughts (NT) publishes four times a year (Oct 1, Jan 1, Apr 1, July 1). NT accepts submissions year around, unless otherwise noted here.

We’re searching for strong fiction with solid characters and a plot that makes readers think, squirm in their seats, and be utterly entertained. Foremost, we want to feel for your characters, whether we love them or hate them. We also want a story that is riveting, making us wait in hopeful or horrified suspense for the climax. We welcome a wide variety of dark tales with a realistic edge, including subtle horror, psychological, supernatural, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, cross-genre, and experimental. Tales are not restricted to a serious nature. Stories featuring vampires, werewolves, serial killers, and the like, must have an original fresh twist and be particularly terrifying, interesting, and/or unusual to catch our attention and hold it. Rummage in the darkest recesses of your mind and find out what frightens you most — even if it’s funny. Give “horror” your own definition and make us believe it. Have a good time writing the story from the edge of your seat and we’ll have fun reading it from the edge of ours.

NT is also looking for dark art reflective of our content (can be abstract), inspirational, how-to, industry news, and opinion articles / essays with a dark slant, fresh views, and personal touches, book reviews, and interviews. If you have something not listed here, but you feel it fits, give it a whirl. We’re open minded.

Study the current issue before submitting to ensure your contribution is on target!

Let it be duly noted NT WILL NOT accept formulaic stories or horror stories that includes gore for gore’s sake, chainsaw-hack-’em-up pulp, or adult material of any kind or in any form or under any circumstances!


  1. Observe guidelines carefully! Anything outside the guidelines will be deleted unread!
  2. Proofread! The editor doesn’t mind small incidental corrections (we all overlook things), but if a rewrite or massive corrections are necessary, the mss will be deleted. You may, if you wish, submit your work for proofing and correction notes. If you’re interested in this service, send an email to the Editor. There is a charge for this service, details of which will be included in the email and are calculated on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Always Include: a) real name and mailing address, b) a short bio for publication (you may include a photo if you wish), c) your email address, and d) subject line of email — Genre (fiction, poetry, etc.): Title of submission.  If any of these is missing, the submission will be deleted unread.
  4. Turn around time on submission runs between 2-3 weeks.

Contact:  Connie L. Sherwood, Publisher, Editor, Writer, and Webmaster

Format and Submission: This category applies to all submissions. Nefarious Thoughts accepts electronic submissions only! Use the form provided at the end of these Guidelines to submit. The ezine retains one time electronic rights for three (3) months upon publication and a one time printing rights for the anthology, after which time all rights revert back to the author/artist. NT archives its publication indefinitely in PDF format — a copy of the story as it appeared will be placed there. Free PDF ebook issues will be available to contributors for download. Due to size, the PDF will not be emailed. Please note the instructions for free PDF editions below. Stories will not be reprinted without the author’s express written permission. Should a submission be rejected, the electronic file will be destroyed; no stories will be returned.

Contributors download the PDF edition. Use the form at the bottom of the Contributor Copies page. Within 24 hours you will receive the free key.

Please observe the following when submitting:

NO SIMULTANEOUS SUMBISSIONS PLEASE! Authors who break this pledge will be noted and any future submissions will be unsummarily and automatically rejected. However, the editor will consider previously published stories (reprints), if a) proper prior credit is given, and b) at least one (1) year has passed since prior publication (please query first).

A few dos and don’ts to remember when submitting:

   Do NOT paste manuscripts, poems, articles, or artwork into an email; these will be deleted unread.
PLEASE: Use the form provided at the bottom of this page for all submissions. Attachment should be in MS Word (365 backwards). Absolutely no Word Pad, .rtf, ASCII, or PDF documents will be accepted; submission in these formats will be deleted unread.
   Do NOT use hard returns at the end of lines in manuscripts or articles (okay for poetry)*
Do NOT space between paragraphs.
   Do NOT use headers or footers:  for captions, doc info, or page numbering (whether software tagged or manually typed) Use a cover page with author information and addition page for author bio information.
   Do NOT use HTML tags or special or hidden word processing tags (such as macros, tab/ruler bars, paragraphing (MS Word), or comments, etc.).
   Do USE double spacing.
   Do USE 12 pt New Times Roman font ONLY!
Bullet pin   Do USE tabbed paragraph indents (but not more than 5 spaces), but do not add the spaces manually with the space bar.
Bullet pin   Do USE a cover page with story title, pen name (if any), real name, address, email, word count, PayPal account (required for payment), and a short bio.
Bullet pin   Do USE italics and bold face (or other internal formatting) in the body of your manuscript.

*Except for headings, lists, etc.

Fiction. NT is looking for original, unpublished fiction up to 7,000 words (anything longer, please query). We accept 4 manuscripts per issue. .

Poetry. NT is looking for original, unpublished dark poetry up to 100 lines (anything longer, please query). NT accepts 4 poems per issue.  Pleases do not send more than five poems for any one submission.

Art. NT is looking for original, unpublished dark art to compliment its content. No size limit. NT will size to fit. NT accepts varying quantities of artwork in either gif or jpg formats.

Nonfiction. NT is looking for original, unpublished nonfiction articles / essays up to 3,000 words with a slant toward the darker side of writing (anything longer, please query). NT also accepts other writing-related articles so long as they relate to horror in some manner and compliment our concept. If you have an idea for a series or column, please query first. Example ideas might be ghost hunting, hauntings, dreams, nightmares, fiction, poetry, or writing / creative writing fundamentals. Interviews and book reviews are welcome with a limit of 1,500 words (anything longer, please query). NT accepts two (2) articles, essays, reviews, or interviews per issue. Please take a look at the various pages for our layout and content requirements (for example, on the book review page generally use an article title, your name, the book title, author, publisher, places where the book is available, number of pages, the year the book was published, a jpg or gif of the front cover of the book, and any relevant urls).

Payment Policy

NT does not currently pay market rates.

Fiction: $25
Nonfiction: $10
Poetry: $5
Art: $10

Halloween Short Story Contests:   Each year NT will hold a Halloween contest with a monetary prizes. Notification that a contest is coming up can be found on the cover page under “NEWS.” NT accepts submissions for the contest all year around. The cut off date each year is Sept. 15th. A link to contest guidelines will be posted. You can also view the contest page from the menu at any time.

Special Note to Existing or Potential Package Sponsors, Advertisers, and Non-Anonymous Sponsors: If interested in advertising or sponsoring Nefarious Thoughts, please download Media Kit from the menu. PDF editions of Nefarious Thoughts can be downloaded from the Archives (for sale $4.95) and the Contributor’s Copies pages (free for content contributors). Advertisers and Sponsors receive free keys. Advertisers receive a key for their running issue(s) and Sponsors receive free keys for each year of sponsoring.

To submit goto: Nefarious Thoughts.

You may also like...