Taking Submissions: Die Laughing Literary Magazine #1

Submission Window: July 15th – 31st, 2024
Payment: $10 for flash – 2 per issue, $25 for shorts – 4 per issue, $30 for cover art
Theme: Stories that are both funny and scary

What we want:

  • That sweet spot of horror comedy that is genuinely funny but also genuinely scary. Can be as goofy, gory, or smutty as you like!
  • Work that punches up, not down. (“If the person on the gallows makes a grim joke, that’s gallows humor. If someone in the crowd makes a joke, that’s part of the execution.” – Alexandra Erin, Twitter.)
  • Do not self reject! (Unless your story has one of the below unfunny things, in which case feel free to self reject.)
  • For cover art submissions, please see toward the bottom of the page.

What isn’t funny?

  • Overall, bigotry (racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, antisemitism, fatphobia, etc, etc) has no place here. (Laughing AT bigots is fine, BEING bigoted is not – as Ria’s mom once said, making fun of fascists is a Mitzvah.)
  • Sexual assault as a punchline or Holocaust jokes will have your story yeeted into the sun faster than you can say “you just don’t understand my comedic genius!”
  • Mel Brooks says comedy is tragedy plus time, but we prefer to avoid specific and true tragedies when it comes to humorous horror.

When is Die Laughing accepting submissions?

We’ll be accepting submissions for Issue 1 from July 15-31, 2024. Anticipated date of publication is October, 2024 (spooky!). When submissions open, the link will be at the bottom of the page. More details:

  • Word count: Up to 1000 (flash), 1001-5000 (shorts). We tend to prefer stories less than 3000 words long, and have a soft spot for the ever cursed 1000-2000 word region.
  • Payment: Token ($10 for flash – 2 per issue, $25 for shorts – 4 per issue). Pending support we hope to increase payment in the future.
  • Reprints: No
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Yes (we’re not monsters)
  • Multiple Submissions: 1 submission per category (flash and short)
  • AI: No. Gahd no. Absolutely not.
  • Target Age Group: Mature Audiences
  • Rights: World English first rights for electronic and ebook. We request two months exclusivity (so we can release them first!), then just credit us as the first publication. All copyright belongs to the author.
  • Response times: By 30 days after close of window. All submissions will be responded to.
  • If you have been included in an issue of Die Laughing, please wait at least 1 sub period before submitting again.
  • If you have any questions, please email us at dielaughingmag at gmail dot com with the word QUERY in the subject line, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


  • Include story title and wordcount in your cover letter, but we don’t need anything else.
  • Please anonymize your submissions! Something approximating Shunn is great, but don’t stress about it. Do anonymize though! This means keep your name out of the story document.
  • Ideally .doc or .docx format.
  • Use a basic and readable font. (Yes, we’re a comedy magazine, but please don’t use Comic Sans. Or Papyrus. Or Wingdings – we’re onto you.) If your story demands unusual formatting, please let us know in your cover letter. We’re cool with that, but might not be able to open it!
  • We DO NOT NEED your mailing address or phone number. Please don’t include them in your manuscript.

Cover Art:

  • We are looking for funny, scary illustrations to use as covers for our online issues.
  • Payment will be $30 flat (hopefully to be increased later) for the rights to use the image as the cover.
  • Images will be in the PDF of the magazine, and posted on the site.

Our process:

  • Initial reading will be anonymous. This means that the first time we read your story, we will not know who you are at all. During this read, we will score submissions internally and make notes.
  • Once that is done, we will use the data from the submission form to re-connect the names with the stories and look again, making sure that we haven’t missed key information that is relevant to our reading. (For example, if the author of a story is part of a marginalized group that is the basis of the story, this may factor into how it is interpreted!)
  • Doing this will enable us to have a blank slate at first impression while also enabling us to see some biases we may have. (Everyone has them! It’s worth paying attention.)
  • Hopefully, this will give us the best of both worlds with regard to anonymous vs. named submissions. We are doing this with the intent of making our process as equitable as possible, but of course we may revise our process down the line. We will keep this section maintained to accurately reflect what the heck we’re up to behind the curtain.
  • The complete issue will be made available for sale on the issue release date, and each story will be shared freely online one by one in the following weeks until the next window.


We love being surprised. Send us something we’ve never seen before! But if you want some hints about what we like, read on:

(Alphabetically, because the alphabet has no favorites):

  • Cabin in the Woods
  • Cannibal! The Musical
  • Freaky
  • Fresh!
  • Jennifer’s Body
  • John Dies at the End
  • The Lighthouse (not technically comedy but it made us laugh)
  • Lisa Frankenstein
  • Little Monsters (2019)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (tell us that rabbit scene isn’t horror comedy)
  • Ready or Not
  • Scare Package
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • What We Do in the Shadows

Via: Die Laughing Literary Magazine’s Submission Guidelines.

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