DarkFuse Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction Stories - Pays 5 cents/word

DarkFuse, an indie publisher of contemporary horror, suspense, thrillers, is now accepting submissions for DarkFuse Magazine, a dark fiction ezine at darkfusemagazine.com

Led by Editor Shane Staley, the editorial team is reviewing original fiction in the genres of horror, thriller, suspense, crime, sci-fi, bizarre–basically, any story with a dark twist aimed at new, mid-list and established authors in dark fiction.

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Meet the writer who's helping to revive the dark art of horror comics
Marvel's rising star shares his thoughts on horror, the rise of independent comics, and serial killer fandoms.

You might have noticed your life is a lot scarier these days.

Thanks to recent films like The Babadook and It Follows, Hollywood has declared a resurgence in the horror genre. In addition to tons of buzz for upcoming films like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, new horror TV shows like Salem and Scream are all the rage.

But nothing about this is new to Joshua Williamson, who has quietly spent years building his craft as a writer of horror comics and weird fiction. After doing a supernatural heist series, Ghosted, about an attempt by a ring of thieves to steal a ghost from a haunted house, Williamson and collaborator artist Mike Henderson turned their minds to murder: specifically, to serial killing.

The result, Nailbiter, is a chilling and intriguing series about a small northwestern town, Buckaroo, Oregon, that has serve as home to an alarmingly high number of serial killers. Its title character is an alleged serial killer who never paid for his crimes, and may or not be reformed. As he wreaks chaos in the town where he still lives, its citizens struggle with the ominous question: Who will be next?


people love to demonize emotionally traumatized characters who have had their gender presentations policed by authority figures lmao like in another plot we would sympathize with this character but once they break or are forced to comply with gender roles imposed upon them by someone they have to obey THEY are the villains stay classy cishet horror writers 

Adding Horror Elements to Your Writing

Truly terrifying your readers takes skill. Not only do you have to focus on getting the pacing absolutely right, you also need to understand what makes something scary. When you’re writing, you can’t rely on cheap thrills like in most horror films.

Here are a few tips on adding horror to your story:

Let us know the stakes

We need to know what’s at risk for your character if you want to scare us. We need to know the immediate consequences for your character. We don’t want to be guessing what your character is afraid of happening. Let us know what will happen if they fail.

Develop your characters

No one will care about your horror novel OR any of your novels if you don’t develop your characters. This is often a mistake with beginning horror writers (and well-established ones)—they don’t make us care about their characters. We need to know who they are first before we care about what they might lose.

Write with emotion

Horror truly requires writing with emotion. As a writer, you need to be able to put yourself in the place of your character. You need to be able to describe their fear because that will make your writing more terrifying for your readers. They need to feel what your character is feeling emotionally.

Use all your senses

Focus on using all your senses when writing horror. Smells, sounds, and tastes will all add to the creepiness of your novel. Saying something smells like rotting flesh really adds to your story. Explaining that footsteps sound like heartbeats will build tension. Always consider everything that’s happening in the room and use it to improve your novel.

Have your character make mistakes

Sometimes fear in horror novels comes from characters doing something we know they shouldn’t. What if they accidently killed someone and tried to hide it? What if they got up in the middle of the night to investigate a noise? Build the tension by letting your characters make poor choices.  

Give your readers hope

If your readers have no faith in your character from the beginning, your novel won’t be very exciting. Simply putting a character through awful situations does not make a good horror story. We need to believe they can survive. That’s what keeps us reading.

Create new monsters

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Turn a vampire into something else by reconstructing our ideas of what a vampire should be. Create a new monster entirely. If there’s something from a nightmare that frightened you, develop it.

Don’t tell us when to be scared

This is when show, don’t tell really comes in handy. You can’t tell your readers, “Amy was really scared.” You need to show us why she’s scared. Simply stating that a character is frightened does nothing to scare your readers. Show us what’s happening and we will know why your character is terrified.

-Kris Noel

‘Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups’ Anthology Needs Horror Stories - Pays up to $240/story

EMP Publishing is seeking submissions for a forthcoming anthology entitled, Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups. The anthology will contain timeless tales of extreme horror campfire stories for adult readers (over 18 years old).

The editors want writers to submit their most scariest, twisted, frightening, spine-chilling tales that will truly terrify readers. Writers can employ ethereal beings, monstrosities, aliens, paranormal occurrences, ghosts, and other occult creatures

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Black Treacle is Seeking Speculative Fiction - Pays $50/story

Black Treacle, a free speculative fiction ezine published three times annually, has issued a call for submissions to receive stories for the Summer 2015 issue.

A.P. Matlock, editor-in-chief, welcomes fiction stories in the genres of horror, dark fantasy, and spec fiction. Word length is 1500-5000 words per story; if longer, query first.

He also welcomes nonfiction articles on a broad range of topics that appeal to the publication’s readers, such as narratives on genre history, discussions on writing techniques, professional advice for writers, articles on traditional or self-publishing experiences, and so on.

Payment for fiction/nonfiction is $50 CAD per story or article.

Reading period closes June 23, 2015. Read writer’s guidelines here.

‘Gothic Blue Book’ Anthology Needs Horror Short Stories - Pays $25/story

Burial Day Books is reviewing fiction submissions for the fifth edition of Gothic Blue Book, an anthology of supernatural horror short stories.

The anthology’s title is reminiscent of 18th-19th century gothic literature squeezed into affordable pocket-sized chapbooks, running 30-70 pages and selling for just “a shilling." These Gothic Blue Books usually featured passages, plot lines or abridgments of full-length gothic novels.

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  • Stephen King:I was down here in the supermarket, and this old woman comes around the corner this old woman – obviously one of the kind of women who says whatever is on her brain.
  • She said, 'I know who you are, you are the horror writer. I don’t read anything that you do, but I respect your right to do it. I just like things more genuine, like that Shawshank Redemption.'
  • “And I said, 'I wrote that'.
  • And she said, 'No you didn’t'. And she walked off and went on her way.”
‘The Emby Bestiary’ Anthology Needs Monster Stories for Kids - Pays $25/story

Emby Kids, a new imprint of Emby Press, is seeking submissions for its first anthology called The Emby Bestiary. This anthology will consist of stories about helpful monsters that guide upon a story of discovery or heinous monsters that prowl in a cautionary fable. Stories must engage young minds and leave a lasting impression on their imaginations.

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