Taking Submissions: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

Deadline: May 26th, 2018
Payment: Contributor’s Copy

The Poet’s Haven is seeking poetry and short stories that begin with the cliche line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”  Pieces can be dramatic or humorous: we are seeking a variety for this anthology.

(Despite publisher Vertigo’s well-known cat obsession, there is one canine he adores: Snoopy. V’s been on a kick watching “Peanuts” cartoons, and he’s been reading the collections of Schulz’s original strips when he has the time, so when it was time to pick the next Digest theme, this is the one he selected out of the dozens of ideas post-it noted all over his walls.)

This call will close on May 26, 2018.  The anthology is targeted for printing in early or mid-summer.

Publication in this series pays one copy per piece.  A maximum of two pieces will be selected from each contributor.  All contributors can purchase additional copies at a 50% discount.

Poet’s Haven Digest titles are published as 4.25″ wide by 5.5″ tall pocket-sized books.  We are not seeking cover art for this anthology.  (The publisher has already decided what he wants on the cover and will either draw it himself or commission someone to do it after he decides his artwork is horrible.)

Submit Work »

Introduction (applies to all submissions):

The Poet’s Haven is a place for artists across a wide and diverse spectrum to feel safe seeing their work published.  We are open to unsolicited submissions from both experienced, published creators and talent new to submitting work for publication.  We offer minimal restrictions on content and genre.  What little content that is disallowed is as follows: material that is obscene, excessively vulgar, pornographic, racist, or in any way bigoted will not be published here.  The Poet’s Haven also does not accept religious material.

Our publications are intended for mature readers.  While our primary audience is adults we are NOT limited to any one demographic.  We have knowingly published work from creators as young as 9 and as old as 95.

We are free to publish what we wish but we will maintain a level of decency; therefore, nothing obscene, pornographic, racist, or bigoted will be accepted.

The publisher has decided to focus on non-religious poetry, artwork, and stories.  That said, since many authors are highly influenced by their faiths, work that expresses faith may be acceptable but writing or artwork that preaches a faith will not be accepted.  Work that questions faith in general may be acceptable.  Work designed to insult the followers of any certain religion will be rejected the same as work of a bigoted nature.

Writing that is badly misspelt or in need of severe grammatical or punctual corrections will be rejected.  Your word processor program has a spell check.  Spell Check is your friend.  Use it.

Please make certain your are submitting your work to the correct call.  Submitting poems to the call for short stories will get your work rejected, unread.  Submissions of incomplete or unfinished work will be rejected, unread.  Sending a chapbook manuscript to a call for pieces for the website will get your work rejected, unread.

The Poet’s Haven has a general open call for chapbook manuscripts each spring.  2017’s call will be open from March 13 through May 13.  This call is only open for a short period each year to prevent us from getting so buried in submissions that we cannot find enough time to read them all.


The Poet’s Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to the PoetsHaven.com Galleries on the website.  The author retains ownership and is free to have it published elsewhere, provided the other publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.

The Poet’s Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to The Poet’s Haven Digest in both print and electronic formats.  The author retains ownership and is free to have it published elsewhere, provided the other publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.  We ask that authors refrain from submitting a piece published in a Poet’s Haven Digest anthology to other anthologies, magazines, and/or online journals for at least one year.

The Poet’s Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to The Poet’s Haven Author Series in both print and electronic formats.  The author retains ownership and is free to submit individual pieces to anthologies, magazines, and/or online journals, provided the publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.  Authors may not place more than half (50%) the contents of an Author Series title at another press, including as part of a full-length “Collected Works” type publication.

Submissions must be made by either the creator of a work, or on behalf of the creator.  PLAGIARISM IS A CRIME, AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!  We will assist any investigations of a submitter for fraud to the best of our abilities.  If you are submitting a work on behalf of the creator, be certain to give us a way to contact him or her, other than through your e-mail, if need be.  A postal address will work fine.  The author or artist MUST BE AWARE THAT HIS OR HER WORK IS BEING SUBMITTED!  The ONLY exception to this rule is in the case of a deceased author or artist, in which case the work must be submitted by the author or artist’s next-of-kin/proprietor-of-estate.

Again, all work is copyright ©, property of, and owned by its original author or artist.  Nothing may be copied from the website or any offline publications without the explicit written permission of the original author or artist.


Due to time restraints, we are unable to critique each and every item submitted.  Comments from the publisher or editors will be rare.

Response Time:

The Poet’s Haven is largely a one-person operation.  Some publications may have another editor helping out (such as the “VENDING MACHINE” anthologies), but nearly everything here is handled by publisher Vertigo Xavier.  Unfortunately, those few ads you see on these pages do not bring in enough money for running The Poet’s Haven to be his exclusive, full-time job.  Real-life responsibilities do get in the way of him completing updates and reviewing submissions as fast as everyone would like.  In other words, it may be some months before your submission gets a response.  Please be patient.  If you choose to simultaneously submit work both here and elsewhere, when any sort of exclusive rights are required and the other publication accepts your work before you see a response from us, please remember to log back in to your Submittable account and withdraw your submission.

Contact Links and Author Bios:

Pages on the website featuring your work can also include a short author bio and a link to your personal website or social media page.  Please include this when sending your submission.  We will no longer list author e-mail addresses on the site.  If you wish to provide readers with a way to contact you via e-mail, we recommend setting up a small blog with a contact form.  The Poet’s Haven Digest and VENDING MACHINE anthologies will include a very short author bio and website URL in the contributor index.  The Poet’s Haven Author Series publications include an author photo and bio on back of the book (or inside the cover, if a flip-book format).

Payment for Publication:

Access to The Poet’s Haven website is free of charge.  Any meager profit generated by advertisements either goes toward paying for and promoting the site or towards producing our offline events and publications.  We cannot pay for work to be published on the website.

Payment for work used in print publications will be described in that print publication’s submission call.

Disclaimer (this is VERY important!):

The Poet’s Haven is a privately held publishing company.  This is not an open forum.  We, the publisher and editors, reserve the right to refuse any submission for any reason we see fit.  This may include work that we feel is questionable, may be in violation of any of the above guidelines, or that we have any objection to.  We have a policy of “ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLSHIT.”  If you attempt to cause problems by initiating spam campaigns, attempting a DDOS attack, or harassing any member of The Poet’s Haven staff, you will be blocked from accessing the site.


Removal Requests:

The Poet’s Haven website is no different than a print publication.  If your poem is published in a magazine and a year later you decide you don’t like the piece anymore, the publisher can not go through all remaining copies of the issue and tear out the page.  The Poet’s Haven will not entertain ANY requests for removing poetry from the site on the basis of the author not liking his or her older work.  Removal requests can be made for the following reason ONLY: plagiarism.  Please provide documentation (ie: cite the work that was plagiarized) when making any removal request.

In the modern age of Google, some authors have expressed concern about work written many years ago, perhaps when that author was still in college or even high school, being found today by prospective employers.  Your work was found to be of a high quality when it was submitted, and it should not be removed from the site.  However, if you are concerned about the emotions of your youth influencing your professional standing today, we can alter the name listed with your work.  We recommend simply changing your first name to your initial.  This way, if you do someday return to writing, you can still take credit for your early work.

Via: The Poet’s Haven.

Taking Submissions: Body Parts Magazine Issue #10: Primal Fears

Deadline: March 1st, 2018
Payment: $5 for flash fiction and $10 to $20 (depending on length) for short stories and nonfiction to authors

Issue #10: Primal Fears (Spring/Summer 2018)
Footsteps follow but you turn around, and no one’s there. You’re alone in the dark. Lost in a strange and terrible place with no exits. You have no control. See and hear monsters under the bed, bogeymen and bad guys. Creepy-crawlies. Things that squish, splat, burst and ooze. Trapped in your body, trapped in your mind. Reality slips away. You’re nothing more than an animal. Prey. Meat. Here are all the old terrors of childhood, the primitive, reptilian fears that have haunted our species since we first slunk from the mud and the fears that will chase us into the future. Submission deadline: 3/01/2018

“We are not afraid.”
Body Parts Magazine is an online literary magazine of horror, erotica, speculative fiction, essays and art. Each themed issue honors Eros and Thanatos, the Greek gods of libido and mortido—life and death. We celebrate the vast and various expressions of dreams and darkness, our primitive desires and urges, and seek to encounter—and embrace—those shadowy monsters who dwell in the dimly lit corners of human experience. 

Body Parts accepts well-written, thoughtfully structured horror, erotic horror, speculative fiction, dark fantasy (including fairy tales and mythology), exceptional stories about ghosts, ghouls, monsters and wretched creatures, Gothic fiction, and all combinations of the above. Our boundaries are few and far between.

Flash Fiction: 1,000 words or fewer.
Short Stories: up to 8,000 words.
Serialized or Longer Fiction: query us with total word count.

We accept your original artwork and photography reflective of an issue’s theme. Email a query with a link to your art online (web, Dropbox, Google album, etc.) Payment varies.

Essays & Interviews
We accept short essays and interviews (up to 1200 words) about topics that fit within our themes, people integral to the type of work published in Body Parts (writers, artists, photographers, etc.). Query first. We do not accept book/game/music reviews. Payment varies.

Body Parts is a paying market. We offer an honorarium of $5 for flash fiction and $10 to $20 (depending on length) for short stories and nonfiction to authors, and $5 to $20 for artwork and photography published in our journal.

We request exclusive rights as long as the issue in which your work appears is current. Once the subsequent issue has been published, you’re free to pursue reprint publication with other journals, anthologies, etc.

How to Submit
Cut and paste your text and submit it within the body an emailEmails with attachments will be deleted unread.
In the subject line, include the word Submission, the issue number you’re submitting to, and the title of your piece.
Please include a publication-ready bio and your website/social media sites. If your piece is selected for publication, we’ll send you a “Congratulations” email and request your PayPal email address and an author photo. Response times can be lengthy so simultaneous submissions are welcome. Please email us to withdraw your work from consideration if it’s placed in another publication.

Email submissions to: bodypartsmagazine (at) gmail (dot) com.

Via: Body Parts Magazine.

Taking Submissions: NonBinary Review #15 We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Deadline: October 31st, 2017
Payment: 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 for poetry

NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue’s theme. We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature and be featured on our cover. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted.

We are open to submissions which relate to Shirley Jackson’s 1962 book We Have Always Lived In the Castle

Submissions which do not tie into the plots or make use of characters/settings from the stories WILL NOT be considered–there needs to be a clear connection to the source material. 

We want language that makes us reach for a dictionary or a tissue or both. Words in combinations and patterns that leave the faint of heart a little dizzy.


NonBinary Review accepts fiction and creative non-fiction of up to 5,000 words in length, although shorter is probably better. Fiction should be double spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font in a Word document or text file. Authors may submit up to 5 pieces of flash fiction, no more than 1000 words each, in this category. Please upload each piece as a separate document on this submission. Flash (fiction or CNF) is the ONLY category where multiple pieces related to the same theme may be selected for publication.


NonBinary Review accepts poetry of up to 3 pages in length. Poetry should be single spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font in a Word document or text file. You may submit up to five files with this submission, but each poem must be submitted as a separate document.


We prefer high-resolution images in JPEG, PDF, TIFF, GIF or PNG format. Visual art must be related to each issue’s theme and please attach only one file at a time. Each file must be accompanied by the artist’s bio and an artist’s statement, which should be submitted as a Word document or text file, double spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font.


Your 50-word bio should be included in your cover letter. If your bio is longer than 50 words, it WILL be edited for length if your piece is selected. You may submit more than one piece, but each piece must be submitted as a separate document.

NonBinary Review pays 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 for poetry (singular poems or a suite)  and $25 per piece of visual art, payable upon receipt of the signed publication contract. In return, we ask for worldwide serial rights and electronic publishing rights. NonBinary Review accepts previously published work as long as the original publication is clearly credited. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.

If you are interested in your work appearing online, please indicate on your submission that you would like to be considered for our weekly online feature, Alphanumeric.  Alphanumeric pays a flat fee of $10 per piece regardless of genre or length, and adheres to the same theme and style conventions as the current reading period for NonBinary Review. Alphanumeric pieces will be published online for the 3 active months per each issue, after which, these pieces will be published as a compendium to the issue in which they were published.  All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.

Authors and artists should state in their cover letters for which issue their submission is intended. Submissions not related to an upcoming issue’s theme will be deleted unread.

Via: NonBinary Review.

Taking Submissions: Unsheathed: an Epic Anthology of Sword and Sorcery Fantasy

Deadline: December 31st, 2017
Payment: $30usd

Hydra is currently putting together a fantasy anthology of short stories from 10 authors. Previous publication experience is not required. Payout will be $30, payable when the anthology releases sometime in the spring of 2018.

Requirements and details:

  • Unsheathed: an Epic Anthology of Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, edited by best-selling author Stuart Thaman
  • Epic / heroic fantasy submissions only. No urban fantasy, no paranormal fantasy, no fantasy romance
  • Some element of sword play or sword-related theme must be present in each story
  • Stories, once accepted, will be professionally edited with the author’s input
  • Stories must be between 7,500 – 10,000 words
  • Submit all submissions, in their entirety, to [email protected] – be sure to include the phrase “Fantasy Anthology” in the subject line
  • Submissions must be made by December 31st, 2017 to be considered
  • Unsheathed will receive a very large marketing effort from Hydra Publications. We kindly request that all authors participating in the anthology make their best efforts as well. The goal of the anthology will be exposure and cross-promotion, not sales and royalties. In order to maximize exposure, the anthology will be priced in electronic version for $0.99 and will also be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.
  • Paperback copies will be made available for purchase to all authors
  • Each author will be given one full page biographical section in which to list their other works and websites, etc. after their story
  • Authors will also receive a detailed sales report after the first month of publication to know how well they’re work is being marketing and promoted
  • Hydra is only interest in first-publication stories, and Hydra will retain rights to the stories for a term of 5 years

Via: Hydra Publications.

Trembling With Fear 09/03/2017

It’s not always monsters who lurk in dark corners. There are also stories, written long-ago, hidden in drawers or in boxes under the bed, waiting to see the light. So many writers spending hours polishing a story and then …

… and then they do nothing.

They tuck it away. Try and forget about it. Move on to the next one and the next. Eventually some will take the leap – that of sending their story out into the world but a number will never make that move and so great stories remain unread.

We need stories at TWF, whether drabble or longer flash, we need them, so dig them out and send them in; there must be so many good stories buried in the dark. Nor does it matter if you’ve never been published before – it’s the quality of the writing that counts. Everybody at Horror Tree has been in exactly the same position. It’s scary but it’s one of the best moves you could make – and it’s only the beginning.

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Commander of the Clew

I have found something and I am impressed. By diligently digging deeper and pushing myself further than I have intended, I have found something in the dirt. I am in love. Hunched over on my knees, I cast aside my gloves so I can feel my discovery as I pull it from the earth, cradling its limp white form in both hands. I raise my little treasure to the sky and it wriggles, ever so slightly. I am devoted. I will never go hungry again.


I was born and raised in a city of impenetrable concrete and tar. As a toddler, I was the first to find the bottom of the sandbox. When it snowed I would be the first to meet it, head on, while the accumulated drifts would chip away from the earth like dead skin from the clouds above. I would burrow into the frost and dig tunnels, scooping clumps of maneuverable frost with my hands until I was submerged and hidden. At the furthest reaches of every street block, I was the boy who lived in the slush pile; stained by dirt and hungry sunlight.

I didn’t have my own backyard until I could afford my own home in a small college town, far from my un-crack-able city. I have grown old to the point that my joints are starting to tighten up, but I still have my inner list of pleasures to check off, the ones I first scribed in boyhood. I never quite got to play in the dirt the way I wanted to.

It’s a Saturday. I’m free from the office. I have a new shovel that I bought along with a toolkit because I’ve never owned one of those before, either. I’ve picked up a pack of seeds, too. I think they are pumpkin. After I start digging, I realize the seeds were an excuse. A mock rationalization to sink my shovel into the ground.

I have already taken a solitary walk through the woods, running my fingertips along the heaving trunks of the trees. I’ve memorized all their names from the textbooks I used to receive for Christmas. The woods aren’t new, surely, but it’s easy to pretend they are. All of America, and all of New England especially, has been built over for too many centuries to be fresh. Old moss covered walls of stacked stone scattered throughout the forest are the sole remnants of ancient property boundaries. I name the singing birds one by one and it is like déjà vu from an old dream. When I sink my shovel into the dirt the two and a half decades of separation between the boy I once was and the man I now am is breached.

I choose a spot at the edge of my lawn, where the grass is yellowed and weakened as it meets the fold of the forest. As if it knew I was coming, the ground has been made soft by a recent spout of rainfall I at first despised for the unnecessary difficulty it caused when I moved in.

One of the gloves I wear has a hole in it that quickly fills with dirt as I clear the mound of earth around my crater with long swipes of my arm. Winter’s memory keeps the air cool and the sweat along my brow never quite threatens to scorch my eyes. It’s almost a lazy motion, chipping the shovel’s blade into the ground. It’s almost like softly stirring a brewing pot of soup. It’s a gradual process before I’m standing in the hole that’s grown with each soft jab until it’s swallowed me up, gently. The smell of fresh earth is unlike nothing I’ve ever experienced. Flowers are pale, odorless weeds by comparison. I’m up to my waist when I notice the sun beginning to dip over the trees. I delicately lean the shovel against the side of my ground pocket and then head inside, for lunch.

I realize four hours have passed, without a sound, when I pass the clock in my kitchen. I’m surprised I didn’t get deeper into the earth. My pace must have been more relaxed than I thought. What’s the rush?

As I begin eating a hastily put together turkey sandwich, I notice a strange, crunchy sensation along my teeth. It takes me a while to realize I never washed my hands, and that the sandwich I’m feasting on is covered in dirt. You would have thought I was eating in the dark, oblivious with pleasure as I am. The whole experience reminds me of when I used to get stoned in high school and not even realize I was eating until my belly felt like it would burst.

As I lay in bed at night, listening to the owls signify their territory, the soreness creeps over my body as if some slivery black thing from the forest has suddenly decided to join me in bed.

Before the sun can beat back the morning murk, I find myself standing in the hole, barefoot. I’m craving the scent of fresh earth like one would a glass of water or bite of leftovers. I remember hearing that the urge for late night/early morning snacks relates back to primitive times when man would hunt at such hours. Before the sun can catch me, I start digging and whatever ache invaded me before bed is soon gone.

On Monday I decide to delay the start of my new job. I’ve done a lot already. I’ve made enough money to afford my own home with only a modest mortgage. At the university, there was a group of important people that greeted me on Friday when I went in for a meet and greet. They were excited for me to start but, really, I can start on a Tuesday, a Wednesday, even. It’s a relaxed job, I don’t even have to call out. I just have to show up to my office and get in touch with certain professors and, well, I am an organizer, see. I’m an academic coach, I get things moving. I am important. I am a special employee, and I get to pick and choose my hours when they get to have me.

On Tuesday morning, I dig faster. I grunt with every thrust of the shovel, hacking into the dirt I now need to climb out from with an old stainless steel ladder the previous homeowners left in my garage. If I were to take a break, I would have to run my hands along the walls of fresh earth forming a dome around me. I don’t take a break. Not until I find it. I am beginning to believe the last frontier is not in the ocean like some say, nor is it really space, not until we really get out there. The very ground beneath us, there is so much to discover. It’s where all the secrets are.

I am not sure what prompted it but at one point I begin attacking the ground, not even digging anymore just stabbing, spearing the earth until my arms fling the shovel away from me like a wildly swinging crane that’s cables have been cut. On my knees, I begin plucking through the brown with just my hands. I’ve forgotten to wear gloves. My hands are raw; blood and pus soaked, yet they don’t hurt. I tumble away the clumps of brown that grow darker and richer the deeper I dig. I pick through the bottom of my pit, and there I finally find the white worm.

Like a fat pinecone gone pale, I pick it up. I cradle it to the sky, and then bring it into the light. Cupped in one hand, held in front of my face, I don’t let it leave my sight until I have left my hole behind. It is alive. It has been calling to me, all this time. It has decided to leave the soil and the dark behind. It has decided it wants to be found, and it chose me.

I set it on my dinner table and watch it come alive. There’s a colony of black dots, eyes, along one fatter end of it. It slowly rolls and wriggles until it’s facing me, as I lean close. I have not slept, I have not bathed. The flesh along my hands has been stripped and my feet are black and my toe and fingernails hang in shards. Dirt clogs my nostrils. Above all, though, I do feel, abruptly, one thing, as I stare into the worm’s many eyes. It wants one last thing from me. I pick it up, and the thing is growing warm. There’s a faint black slit below its eyes. A mouth, a little flickering blue tongue like that of a lizard. It wants more than a kiss. I raise my idol, and take a bite.

Nick Manzolillo

My short fiction has appeared in over thirty publications including Wicked Witches: A New England Horror Writers Anthology, Thuglit, Grievous Angel, and The Tales To Terrify podcast. I’ve recently earned an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University. By day I am a content operations specialist, editor, and writer for TopBuzz, a news app. Thank you for taking the time to consider my work for publication.

Love’s Last Kiss

The dwarves dropped the cover to the stone sarcophagus when the handsome prince rode his charger into the clearing at sunset. His horse flinched at the sound and the prince bit his tongue.

The prince dismounted, wiped his mouth, strode to the stone coffin, admired the raven haired beauty inside, and bent to wake her with a kiss.

His blood caressed her ruby lips, her eyes opened, and she smiled as her fangs extended. Her strong arms held him and her teeth slid smoothly into his neck.

He shuddered and three drops of his blood splattered her snow white cheek.

Robert Allen Lupton

Robert Allen Lupton lives in New Mexico where he is commercial hot air balloon pilot. He writes and runs every day, but not necessarily in that order.

Recent publications include short stories in the following anthologies:

Uncommon Origins
Twelve Days
Hindered Souls
Potters Field #6
Worlds Unknown #3

The novel, Foxborn, was published by West Mesa Press in April of 2017.

Other short stories are available online from “Crimson Streets”, Daily Science Fiction, and two drabbles have been published in “Trembling With Fear”.

“Running Into Trouble”, a collection of 15 fantasy, science fiction, horror, adventure, and humorous stories, all with running as a central theme, will be published in July of 2017. The novelette, Dejanna of Mars, will be published in August 2017, and the second book in the Foxborn series, ‘Here There Be Dragons,” is scheduled for February 2018.

Other short stories will be published online and in anthologies through the year. Visit Robert’s author pages on Amazon and Goodreads for more information.


Christine swatted another spider with the newspaper. She hated them, feared them. She reckoned she’d killed thousands at her home over the years, and was proud of it.

She curled up in bed, confident she could sleep peacefully without another intruder frightening her.

The Human had killed its mate. It wanted revenge. It darted across the blanket, and dived underneath. It found the opening between her legs, and scurried inside. After a while, it delivered its package and left.

The next day, Christine felt stabbing pains below. She sat on the toilet. Screamed. Dozens of spiders ran down her legs.

Justin Boote

Justin Boote has lived for over twenty years in Barcelona, Spain, plying his trade as a stressed waiter in a busy restaurant. He has been writing horror stories for just over a year, and currently has 8 published in diverse magazines including for Lycan Valley Press, Deadlights Shotgun magazine, Zimbell House Publishing, Dark Dossier Magazine and The Horrorzine’s summer edition.

He is also a member of a private writer’s forum called The Write Practice where he has also acted as a judge on two ocassions for their contests.

He can be found at Facebook under his own name, or at [email protected].

Story’s End

Momma’s reading me a bedtime story about a princess again, but only because I begged.
The princess is beautiful like a summer day at the beach, or at least how I imagine those types of days.
Momma doesn’t allow what’s left of my skin to bathe in the sun’s glimmer.
The princess falls in love.
The prince destroys the monsters.
The freaks.
The couple lives happily ever after.
I ask Momma why don’t we ever get the happy ending?
“Because,” she says and closes her yellow eyes, “monsters don’t get happy endings, child. You know this.”
She closes the book.

Sara Tantlinger

Sara Tantlinger resides outside of Pittsburgh on a hill in the woods. She is the author of “Love For Slaughter,” has published pieces with Page & Spine, The Literary Hatchet, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume II, and she is a contributing editor for the Oddville Press. Find her lurking in graveyards!

You can follow her work on Amazon.

The Importance Of The Bio

Ever since we launched ‘Trembling With Fear’ I’ve seen quite a few interesting submissions from you fine folks. I’ve also noticed a few key areas that authors are not focusing on which could be easily improved and which I’ll be discussing over the course of the next year. These topics and the advice given are all intended to support your development as a writer and as a professional. I hope that you find them both useful and informative.

Today’s Topic? The Author Bio.

Quite often you will see with our submission call a request for an author bio at X number of words. It is something that we actually request is sent in with the initial submission (note: not reading guidelines is a problem in itself. I can’t tell you how many submissions haven’t had a bio included.) The idea of the bio itself is straight forward. It is a quick down and dirty biography to tell the world, the publisher, and the readers who you are.

Why Is The Author Bio Important?

The author bio is made to grab attention and has a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it is trying to grab the editor’s attention to tell them a little about why you and your story matter. On the other, it is also meant to pique the interest of the reader who has taken the time to sit down with your work.

So let’s take a look at how the bio matters to the two groups of people who are reading your work.

The Editor

This is your chance to grab an editor’s attention before they hit your work. What can you bring to the table? What works do you have published? What kind of a following do you have? How well can you draw them in? This is you, advertising you, in 100-400 words. You can’t make it bland but going too far overboard could lose interest.

The Reader

To be totally honest, most readers aren’t going to want to know about your other works first if they are reading your bio. This is where you make a connection with them to draw them back for more. Including your prior works is required or strongly welcomed by many publishers, though it might work to your advantage to include them at the end of your bio.

But where do the editors who will be selecting your shorts through novels weigh in on this?

Author bios are important to readers as well as publishers, because they let the reader get to know them a little better, beyond just through their writing. Maybe they are from the same town as the reader, or the author and reader share a similar hobby.

The biggest mistake I see authors make with their bios is when they get too in-depth and too personal in what they share. Bios are supposed to be a brief snapshot of what makes them interesting as people. But if winning a yodeling contest at age 8 didn’t somehow shape the author, it’s best to leave that out.

Whenever I’m asked, I recommend to authors that they keep their bio to no more than 200 words. Only share one or two personal details that you feel really speak to who you are as a writer and as a person. Don’t share anything you feel you might regret having shared later.

A.M. Rycroft

Editor, Mighty Quill Press

First impressions are everything. It is often difficult to regain a level of respect or dignity if a first impression is negative or lacking in charisma. As a publisher, a short bio that lacks substantial information or credence to the writer concerned shows me not only that the author doesn’t find the submission process serious, but also that the author doesn’t take themselves seriously.

Professionalism is everything in the world of publishing and presentation is key. When we receive a submission from an author, we see them as an investment. It is difficult to justify investing in something that either appears sloppy or quite frankly, boring. Writers should always present bios written as though they were submitting to themselves.

Ask yourself, “what would I want to see in a potential author?” “What would hook me if I was a publisher?” I cannot vouch for other publishers, but I can say that for myself, each author we open our doors to are authors that we see the potential of developing lifelong relationships with. Through networking and connections, possibilities are endless. Because of this, we want to know you not only as a potential investment but as a potential friend. I have made countless friendships along the way and the bio is often the first thing I look at when considering a writer’s work. Sometimes even before I read their manuscript. Take yourself seriously and we will be inclined to reciprocate this notion.

C.P. Dunphey

Editor, Gehenna Publishing House

The biggest thing I’m looking for in a bio is experience and promotion ability. I want a link to a website where I can see the author actively working on their craft. Even if they haven’t been published yet, I want to see them trying, building a blog/social media readership, and actively seeking publication. It’s nice to see what else they have published, just so I can get a feel of their experience level if I decide to publish them. I also like to hear about other talents. I’m not so concerned with what writer associations they belong to or awards they won, although I understand other editors might be interested in that.

The two biggest mistakes on bios are:
1) When they don’t give me anything I can identify them with. Even if you haven’t been published yet, give me an identity! Are you the foremost expert on birds of Africa? Do you have another career that we can tie in? Are you a championship BMX racer? Do you volunteer 20 hours a month at an animal shelter? Do you hold the record for most crocheted telephone poles? Why should we and our readers care to read what you’ve written?
2) Not giving a website link is a big problem. I need to know who I’m publishing. While we at HorrorAddicts.net choose authors by story content first, if we have two stories and we can only pick one, we’ll investigate your public image to see if our readers will be able to engage with you. The worst thing you can do (And this is a real quote) is say, “I don’t have a website, blog, or social media, and I don’t plan on getting any.” Not having a way for readers to connect with you is career suicide and we’ll not help you “unpromote”.

Emerian Rich

Editor, Horror Addicts

So where does this leave you on the bio?

You want to connect with both your audience and the editor. Your bio needs to be both marketable and relatable. Not too long, and not too short. It’s a fine line on length though most publishers will list their preference in their submission calls.

My suggestion is to make multiple versions of your biography that would fit in 2-3 length ranges so that you’re prepared for whatever option comes up. In addition, make sure it is both personable and professional. You want to mix sharing your work with your personality. Your bio is in many cases just as important as your writing—it can open the door to a publisher and have a potential reader coming back for more.

Is there any aspect of the bio that you believe we’ve left out? Are there any other areas of writing that you’d like us to discuss? Share your thoughts below!

Taking Submissions: Terror Politico Anthology Submissions

Deadline: December 31st, 2017
Payment: $30.00 (3000-4999 words) $50.00 (5000-5999 words) $60 (6000-6999 words) $70.00 (7000 words) US $ per short story accepted. Reprints will be considered, and if selected SDP will pay $25.00

“Terror Politico” 2018 Submission Guidelines
This is the second annual submission call for the 2018 Scary Dairy anthology: Terror Politico!
Scary Dairy Press is seeking short story submissions of 3000-7000 words max for the anthology: Terror Politico!
This is a terrorizing anthology about the evils of politics, and the Capital Hill monsters that lurk in our political arena. Take on a favorite topic of debate (examples: firearms, contraception, women’s rights, racism) and escort it into the fiction arena. Put a paranormal, or monster spin on it, or take it into the future. You decide! Any aspect of politics that keeps you awake at night could have a home here. If you have a question about appropriate content, then message us!
What we want: This anthology may include one or more genres such as: horror, dark fiction, dark fantasy, speculative fiction, or bizarro. Your story may occur in any time, place or space. Mix it up, but make it thought provoking and disturbing to the human conscience. It’s up to you whether you offer the world an answer to political corruption, or end the tale with the death and destruction of stars and stripes on the very last page.
What we don’t want: No child abuse/sexual abuse scenes. No gratuitous splatter, gore or rape. If you use it, there must be a clear purpose for it. No overused tropes (vampires, werewolves, zombies) unless you clearly have something unusual and unique. If you’re not sure, then email/message us and ask at [email protected]
Manuscript format: Shunn Manuscript Format: http://www.shunn.net/format/novel.html . READ THE DIRECTIONS. Submission dates: 01 September, 2017 -31 December, 2017. Submit to [email protected] .
Payment: $30.00 (3000-4999 words) $50.00 (5000-5999 words) $60 (6000-6999 words) $70.00 (7000 words) US $ per short story accepted. Reprints will be considered, and if selected SDP will pay $25.00. No stories under 3000 or over 7000 will be considered without permission of SDP. Submit manuscripts to [email protected] starting 9/1/17.
IMPORTANT: Subject line should read: Politico_Last Name_Title of Submission
Publishing rights remain with the publisher for a total of 2 years, and may include written, electronic and audio formats.

Via: Scary Dairy Press.

What Seeds Are The Horror Tree Planting In September?

Happy September Everyone!

We’re closing in on the end of summer and the beginning of Fall. While I for one am sad to see the warm weather on the way out, Fall has always been my favorite time of the year and the most inspiring for writing. Hopefully, that is the same for some of you as well!

Hey, look at that. Two months in a row where I’m able to give you a solid update on how the site is and where we’re heading. Thanks for sticking with us as we try to help navigate you through the crazy world of open calls, writing advice, and more!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

As mentioned last month, Liz Butcher has become our interview coordinator. Since that time we’ve added multiple new interviewers! Derek Brown has already included a couple on the site with both Ruschelle Dillon (who has previously contributed to Trembling With Fear) and Selene MacLeod both looking to help as well. More on that hopefully this coming month!

Last month saw our Twitter account account break 5900 followers, this month? We broke 6300! Thanks to those who are interested in the craft of writing and wanted to check us out! Our Facebook really is vastly behind.

Other changes that the site has made on the boring tech site is that we’ve made it https compliant to make Google happy since that’s apparently a thing now. Boring, but I wanted to mention it in case you saw and wondered.

Finally, a bit of vagueness. We have four potential ‘things’ in the works for the site being planned. I’m hoping that some of this will be good news over the next few months that we’ll be able to share with you sooner than later!

I can’t stress enough again how super smooth the Trembling With Fear line has been going with Stephanie Ellis on board! She’s also got some ideas for expanding which mesh with mine and has just made it so much more organized and running like a mostly well-oiled machine!

Discussions are in the early phases, but there will be some changes to TWF in 2018.

Speaking of, we always meant for at least the first year’s worth of work to be collected into an anthology. Anyone out there with artistic or formatting talent who might be interested in donating some time on that end of things – please reach out!

If you follow our social feeds, you’ve likely noticed the push in TWF posts and our articles. Fun fact: everyone seems to be enjoying the fiction as, from at least the social aspect, we’ve had about a 40% higher click through from that!

If there are any thoughts or suggestions on how we can help make Trembling With Fear better or expand it, please reach out!

Ongoing Submissions: Mystery Weekly Magazine

Payment: $25 USD

Use the form below to send us your 2000-10000 word mystery. Submissions must be original works of short fiction that have never appeared online or in print in any form. We currently pay $25 USD for accepted stories.

If your story is accepted, a digital agreement must be signed and payment will be sent by PayPal to the email address you specify below. Your story may appear in our emails, on our website, in our App, in our monthly digital and print magazine, as social media excerpts, and possibly in printed collections of our monthly issues. We require for first-publication and archival rights with an exclusivity period of 1 year.

Note: Avoid excessive profanity and violence, and make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors.

To submit, go here: Mystery Weekly Magazine.

Taking Submissions: SPECIES: Tigers

Deadline: January 1st, 2018
Payment: Contributor’s Copy
Note: Reprints Allowed

Thurston Howl Publications is now accepting submissions for volume three of its furry anthology series SPECIES: Tigers.

Deadline: January 1, 2018
Word count: 2,500-8,000; a little above and a little below will be acceptable
Rating: PG-13
Please put the story title and TIGERS in the subject.

Tigers have stalked the landscapes of human creativity as monsters and heroes. Whether it was the “Tiger, tiger burning bright” of William Blake or Rudyard Kipling’s Sher Khan, tigers hold a certain place in the human mind as symbols of the wild. For the third volume of SPECIES, we want to see the many faces of anthro tigers. We will be accepting exactly five reprints and five original stories. Tigers have to be the central characters, but they do not have to be the only characters in these stories. While we will accept stories of wolves in pre-modern settings, we will prefer stories of them in 1900s to futuristic settings.

You can submit up to three stories, but we will only accept one per author (if any). (Reprints do not count in the total).
Reprints are encouraged, but you have to own full permission of the work in order for us to consider it.
We will not accept simultaneous submissions.
Payment: Authors will receive a free copy of the print book.
Send submissions in .doc or .docx format to [email protected].
If you are sending more than one submission, send multiple emails instead of putting them all in one.
We will inform all authors regarding decisions within a week or two after the deadline.
Book will likely be released in the summer.

Via: Thurston Howl Publications.

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