Looking for a publisher for your horror short stories or dark poetry? Consider these magazines and journals–there’s a home for everything from hard-core horror to scary fairy tales.
Unless otherwise noted, the publishers on our list have free submissions and a few will even pay you if they publish your work. The list is organized very roughly by acceptance rate – from lowest to highest.
Note: We are a creative writing school and compile these lists for the benefit of our students. We’re happy to answer questions about our courses but please don’t send us your publishing queries or submissions :). Instead, click on the green links to go to the publishers’ websites. For more great places to submit as well as our best tips on getting published, check out our other lists and resources.
96th of October is an online quarterly for literature and art. The editors are happy to receive stories of between 1000 – 5000 words and poetry (max 5 pages) in the rough categories of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, alternative history, magic realism, mythology, spirituality, whimsy and what they describe as “Out-There”. They respond with lightning speed – usually within a week!
The Dread Machine is a “magazine, publishing house, and community where writers and fans of dread-inspiring fiction can read and connect”. The editors have helpfully included a wishlist as well as “hard sell” and “hard pass” lists in their submissions guidelines to give you a good idea of whether or not your work is a fit. Send in your appropriate poetry and fiction (up to 5000 words), including previously published work as long as it’s not freely available in the public domain. Accepted authors of previously unpublished work can expect to receive US$10 per poem and 3 cents per word for fiction. The editors ask for 2 months to make a decision and usually manage to respond within that timeframe.
Crow & Cross Keys publishes online on a rolling basis. The editors are seeking “the wonderful and the bizarre,
the beautiful and dark”. To have a chance, your work must contain a speculative element and it helps if it sounds good when read aloud. They particularly love folk and fairy tales and work that is gothic, weird, or horrifying. Send them your poems, flash fiction, and short stories (up to 5000 words). They aim to respond within 45 days but sometimes take a little longer.
The Dark Sire publishes quarterly digital issues featuring poetry, fiction and art that “delve into the mystery, psychosis, suspense, and looming darkness of the Gothic, Horror, Fantasy, and Psychological realms”. The editors are big fans of Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Anne Rice, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Send them your poetry (up to 2 double-spaced pages), flash fiction, short stories (up to 5000 words), and novellas/novel chapters (up to 15,000 words for serial publication). They tend to accept relatively fast – within a couple of months – and reject really slow.
Black Poppy Review features flash fiction (up to 750 words) and poetry (up to 35 lines) “of a darker nature” on their website throughout the year. The editors particularly love a good gothic story and poems featuring “ancient gardens, abandoned manors, and dark forests”. You can include up to 2 pieces per submission (flash or poems). They ask for 3 months to make a decision but often respond much faster. They nominate for the Pushcart Prize.
The Periodical, Forlorn, which launched in 2020, publishes 6 digital, themed issues per year. The editors are looking for poetry, flash fiction and short stories that are “dark, creepy, weird and just a little off-kilter”. Submissions for their current issue on the theme of haunted houses closes 25 November 2021. They pay a US$15 flat fee for accepted submissions plus a digital copy of the magazine. They generally respond within a month or two.
The Chamber Magazine publishes contemporary dark fiction and poetry in weekly online issues. The editors welcome new and established writers and poets from around the world. Send in your poems, flash fiction and short stories (up to 7500 words). They generally respond with a yes or no in under a month.