9 Horror Magazines That’ll Pay For Your Stories!

Do you feel that chill in the air, the stormy night approaching, or the ghost in your attic waking up from its hundred-year slumber?

Or maybe it’s that old horror story collecting dust. Perhaps it’s time to finally put pen to paper and submit it to a magazine?

Well, I have good news for you. Today I want to share 9 horror magazines that’ll pay you for your horror stories!

I’ll have information on their submission periods, what they’re looking for in submissions, what they pay for accepted submissions, and the types of work they accept (short stories, flash fiction, poetry, etc.) with their word count.

Some of these magazines aren’t exclusively publishing horror stories, but they will accept works within the genre. For example, one publisher below is a sci-fi magazine, but they accept dark/horror sci-fi. So if you’re into that specific sub-genre, there’s an option for you!

Be aware that not all the submission periods are currently open.

BUT, you can write something now, and hold on to it until the submission period is open again.

That’d give you a good chunk of time to avoid your writing. That way you’ll have fresh eyes to edit your work when you submit it.

Have a look through, and see what works for you!

Also, if you wanna have a bit more information from outside sources, here are two websites I use to look up more information on magazines.

The Grinder

Absolute Write forum (They have a post with a list of publishers)

Outdated Information Disclaimer:

Some of the information on this post is gonna end up eventually outdated. As of August 2022, I’ve updated this post to the best of my knowledge, but that could change in a month or two.

Submission periods can sometimes be hard to list because not everyone has a set reading period, a magazine changed its reading period, or they may not list any dates if they’re currently closed.

The types of writing they accept could change (e.g. no longer accepting poetry), or their word count could be adjusted.

A magazine’s pay rates could go from $0.04 per word to $0.05 per word.

A lot of things can change throughout the year, and I can’t always keep up with updating posts. That’s why it’s really important to check out the magazines’ websites and see their guidelines.

This list is to help share magazines you may have been unaware of, and share some general guidelines to pique your interest (or find your deal breakers).

And I hope you can find what you’re looking for! Just be aware that changes can happen, and it’s best to refer to the official websites for the most up-to-date info.

Magazine Guidelines:

All magazines have different guidelines, formats, and specific themes they look for in writing.

They use these guidelines to help them streamline the submissions process, and have everything run as smoothly as possible.

When they aren’t followed, it brings the process to a screeching halt.

It’s important to remember that magazines get SO MANY submissions, and they don’t all have big teams of editors that can take their time on hundreds or thousands of submissions.

Sometimes they’re running on a handful of volunteers.

So please, please, PLEASE look at their guidelines, check out their archives, and follow their rules as best you can.

It’ll make the editors’ lives SO much easier.

Following them can be the difference between acceptance or rejection.

And I’m pretty sure you want the former over the latter.

Thanks for reading, and happy writing!


1. The Dark Magazine

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Submission Period:

No submission deadline that I can find.

They’re looking for:

They publish Horror and Dark Fantasy.

“Don’t be afraid to experiment or to deviate from the ordinary; be different—try us with fiction that may fall out of “regular” categories. However, it is also important to understand that despite the name, The Dark is not a market for graphic, violent horror.”

Pay:

$0.06 per word ($120-$360 per piece).

Categories:

Fiction: 2,000 – 6,000 words.

Artwork: submissions are closed.

2. Uncharted Magazine

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Submission Period:

“All fiction categories are open year round . . . .”

They’re looking for:

“Uncharted Magazine publishes Horror/Thriller Short Stories . . . . We want stories that keep us up at night, afraid to turn the corner. Stories that take us into the resonant fear of looming monsters and haunting ghosts. We want stories that thrill us by keeping us on the edges of our seats, hearts pounding, wondering how it will end! Stories with characters who refuse to stay in the shadows! We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.”

Small note from The Grinder:

Note: we have received several reports of issues receiving finalized contracts, either publishing before any contract is received or difficulty receiving a countersigned contract.

Pay:

General Submission: $200 for original fiction ($0.20 – $0.04 per word).

(paid via check or PayPal)

Categories:

Short Stories: 1,000-5,000 words.

3. The No Sleep Podcast

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Submission Period:

Submissions seem to be always open! Flash Fiction seems to close occasionally, but for now it’s open.

They’re looking for:

“We want you to frighten us and mess with our heads, so we in turn can terrify our listeners. . . . We welcome and encourage a broad, diverse range of submissions from all across the horror genre, and can’t wait to read the spine-tingling tales you send us.”

Something to keep in mind:

“Audio production of your story remains the property of Creative Reason Media and may not be altered, sold or distributed outside of The No Sleep Podcast without prior written permission.”

Pay:

Short Stories – $100 ($0.08 – $0.04 per word)

Regular Stories – $125 ($0.05 minimum per word)

(paid via PayPal or Amazon gift cards)

Categories:

Short Stories: Between 1200 – 2499 words.

Regular Stories: Over 2500 words.

Flash Fiction: Up to 1,200 words, prefers around 800 words.

4. Nightmare magazine

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Submission Period:

They try to open submissions twice a year (usually in September and March).

They’re looking for:

Nightmare:

Nightmare is seeking original horror and dark fantasy stories. All types of horror and dark fantasy are welcome. No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.”

The Horror Lab:

“[‘]The Horror Lab[‘] is where Nightmare puts a spotlight on experimental horror. It’s a place to explore the boundaries of form, trope, and genre—a playground for writers and readers alike. We’re looking for poetry (all styles and forms, but due to the limitations of ebooks generally and Kindle Periodicals specifically our typographical options are limited), flash fiction, and creative non-fiction. (And yes, dark fantasy is fine!)”

Pay:

Nightmare short stories: $0.08 per word of short stories ($120 – $600 per piece)

The Horror Lab: $0.08 per word of short stories, nonfiction, and flash fiction ($120 – $600 per piece)

The Horror Lab poetry: $40 per poem (one 1,500-word poem is 2.6 cents per word, one 300-word poem out of five poems is 13 cents per word.)

“If there are any payment processing fees associated with your payment (i.e., if we use PayPal, WorldRemit, Western Union, Wise, or the like to pay you), we cover the processing fee.”

Categories:

Short Fiction: 1500-7500 words, but prefers 5000 words or less.

“The Horror Lab” (Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Creative NonFiction): less than 1500 words. You can submit up to 5 poems in one document, and all poems in that document should be less than 1500 words.

NonFiction: “All nonfiction outside of ‘The Horror Lab’ submissions are by invitation only, and all feature interviews are assigned in-house.” [Although you can pitch essay ideas.]

5. Ghost Orchid Press

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Submission Period:

They occasionally have open calls for anthologies! So you’ll have to check out their “Submission Calls” page to see when their submissions are open.

Novel & Novella submissions are open from July 1st to August 31st, 2022.

They’re looking for:

Anthologies:

The anthologies vary in theme and topics. So you’ll have to check out their “Submission Calls” page to find out what they’re looking for in a story.

Novellas/Novels:

“We’re looking primarily for horror, Gothic, and dark fantasy. We love genre mixing, works that stray from the well-trodden path, or that offer a fresh perspective on existing tropes.”

Pay:

Anthologies: $0.06 USD per word, and a paperback contributor’s copy.

Novels/Novellas: small advance plus 50% of net royalties, and 5 free paperback copies.

(paid via PayPal)

Categories:

Short Stories: 1,000 – 5,000 words (prefer 2,000 – 4,000 words)

Novellas: 20,000 – 40,000 words.

Novels: 40,000 – 100,000 words

6. Baffling Magazine

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Submission Period:

Reopens in December.

They’re looking for:

“We are looking for speculative stories that explore science fiction, fantasy, and horror with a queer bent. We want queer stories and we want trans stories and we want aro/ace stories. We want indefinable stories. We welcome weird, slipstream, and interstitial writing.”

Pay:

$0.08/word.

Categories:

Flash Fiction: Under 1,200 words, especially interested in stories under 500 words.

7. Cosmic Horror Monthly

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Submission Period:

Opens twice a year from January 1st – January 7th and July 1st – July 7th.

They’re looking for:

“Cosmic Horror Monthly is seeking Cosmic Horror, Lovecraftian, Weird stories, original only. If you aren’t sure if your work qualifies, submit it and we can decide. No subject is off-limits and we do encourage writers to try and push the status quo.”

“At this time, we are strongly favoring stories with a contemporary narrative style. Lovecraftian themes and mythos works are welcomed but try to avoid Lovecraft pastiche and styles mimicking that of his writer circle from the early 20th century. In terms of style, we are fans of Laird Barron, John Langan, Mike Allen, Hailey Piper, etc.”

Pay:

$0.06 per word of original fiction. ($60 – $360 per piece)

$50 for interior artwork (negotiable).

$200 for cover art (negotiable).

Categories:

Story Lengths: 1,000-6,000 words, prefers 3,000-5,000 words.

They now accept nonfiction, as well!

Art Guidelines: “If you are an artist, please submit pieces that you feel might be fitting to appear on the cover or in the interior of the magazine. If it is helpful, the magazine runs at a size of 5.5 x 8.5 inches.”

8. PseudoPod

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Submission Period:

Their submission period is subject to change, BUT they have a yearly schedule available for perusing!

They’re looking for:

“PseudoPod is a genre magazine in audio form. We’re looking for horror: dark, weird fiction. We run the spectrum from grim realism or crime drama, to magic-realism, to blatantly supernatural dark fantasy. We publish highly literary stories reminiscent of Poe or Lovecraft as well as vulgar shock-value pulp fiction. We don’t split hairs about genre definitions, and we do not observe any taboos about what kind of content can appear in our stories. Originality demands that you’re better off avoiding vampires, zombies, and other recognizable horror tropes unless you have put a very unique spin on them. What matters most is that the stories are dark and compelling.”

Pay:

$0.08/word for fiction.

$100 flat rate for reprints.

$20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints.

(paid via check or PayPal)

Categories:

Short Fiction: 1,500 and 6,000 words, prefers 4,500 words.

Flash Fiction: under 1,500 words, prefers 500 and 1000 words.

If you’re also interested in auditioning for narrating stories, they’re not open right now, but they do plan on opening it sometime in the future.

9. The Martian Magazine

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Submission Period:

I can’t find a current submission period, but they mention they do have a set submission period. So maybe check back in a few months.

They’re looking for:

This IS a science fiction magazine, BUT they also accept sci-fi horror and dark sci-fi. So if that interests you, there’s another option to submit your work!

They have a somewhat large want/don’t want list on their submissions page that I suggest checking out before submitting.

Pay:

$0.08 per word of fiction.

$0.04 per word of a reprint.

Categories:

“Martian magazine publishes drabbles, stories of exactly 100 words (excluding title). Stories submitted of greater than or less than 100 words will be rejected.”

Unintended Bonus Section?!

LampLight Magazine

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So! When I was updating this post, I found out that LampLight Magazine had published its final issue back in June this year (2022). Here’s a blog post talking about it a bit more.

But why am I putting this here?

I dunno, I kinda wanted to honor the magazine.

So I’m keeping it here in a little bonus section at the bottom, and if you feel like it, you can read the first issue for free on the website. You don’t gotta feel compelled to buy every issue (or any, for that matter), but if you got the time, why not look at the issue that got it started?

Anyway, thanks again for reading, and happy writing!

2 Comments »

    • You’re right.

      Back when I made this list, I just wanted to provide a lot of options. Maybe help people obtain something for a portfolio, even if it was with a smaller publisher for no pay.

      But you’re right: that does nothing for my readers, and as a writer myself, I should know better than to perpetuate writing for “exposure.”

      Thanks for saying something, I appreciate the criticism!

      I’ll try to update it sometime soon, I gotta update quite a few things on the blog already. So this’ll be added to the list!

      Like

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