Hello, children of the dark. It’s time. Yes, it’s time for your short stories to come back to us. I know it’s been frustrating having submissions closed for SO DAMN LONG, but we were a victim of our own success, and you’re all just too goshdarn talented.
In celebration at the window reopening, I’m keeping it short and sweet this week to remind you of what we’re looking for, and to give a recap on our submission guidelines. All of this – including the form to submit – is over on this page.
- Up to 1500 words – any longer and we won’t read it.
- Make the most of the word count, please; the sweet spot is at least 800 words for our publication.
- It needs to be a complete story in itself; no extracts from longer works please. We can tell (most of the time). “A complete story” means it has a coherent and strong beginning, middle, and end, and a narrative that is well-paced. Descriptive prose is great for scene-setting, but there also needs to be some action and character development with it.
- We might be called “Horror Tree”, but we’re not just looking for horror. In fact, we want your best dark speculative fiction – emphasis on the speculative. Think fairy tales, paranormal entities, scary stuff in space, fantastical beasts, grimdark worlds. Get creative!
- We’re ready to read them NOW.
- Exactly 100 words – no more, no less.
- Also needs to be a complete story in and of itself, with a strong resolution (not just tapering off…)
- We have an insatiable appetite for these, and are always looking for more! (Otherwise we’ll have to start publishing pieces from Stuart and I, and we’ll look super self-indulgent – and you don’t want that, right?)
The intense but important warning
- No erotica, pornography, or graphic sex
- No rape (implied or explicit)
- No homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, misandry, ableism, or racism
- No killing or abuse of kids or pets – don’t cause great harm small sentient things!
- No reprints
- No fanfiction or stories in someone else’s established world – there are copyright issues
Be inspired/spurred on by this week’s efforts!
But for now, let’s turn to the reason you’re here: it’s time for this week’s offerings on the TWF menu. For this week’s short story, Paul Lonardo tells the sad tales of a man who collects haunted houses. This is followed by three delicious quick bites:
- Cassandra Vaillancourt enters the darkness of the cave,
- Tom Ray receives a dreaded postcard, and
- Alan Moskowitz goes off for a date night.
Over to you, Stuart.
We’re still working through our readings for the physical release and best of anthology! Things are going well, more soon!