novels / Work / writing

27 Horror Publishers Currently Open to Novels/Novella Submissions

Well, hell. It’s the end of September, and I haven’t written shit here since January (Look at that. I just wrote “shit.”). I guess “busy” is a bit of an understatement. The state of the world–of note, the U.S.–is chaotic. COVID-19 all over, coupled with  the singular, most wretched administration in my lifetime. It’s just so much fun. Perfect for horror authors, I guess.

My school has gone fully online this term due to the pandemic, even though the governor has stupidly mandated everyone open up everywhere “or else.” So here I am, struggling to teach all my classes and attend all the meetings from home. I’ve been alone for 6 months now, and I didn’t think it would affect me so much. I’m lonely. I crave human companionship and touch but have to settle for chocolate ice cream. As a result, I’ve gone all gross and flubby. It’s just not happening.

HOWEVER, I keep myself, intellectually or otherwise, occupied all the time, which brings me to the premise of this entry. I figured, if I were to keep this up once in awhile (even if nearly 10 months later), I’d post something practical that helps people, in this case, horror authors seeking a publisher.

I’ve been kicking myself for not having the timing just right since there are a fair number of publishers I’ve never been able to include here because they wind up closed for submissions (my publisher, Death’s Head Press, is one of them). I have one piece of advice for anyone a bit bummed about their bucket list publisher not appearing here: Follow them on social media. Most of them are excellent about getting the word out for their open submission period. My primary bucket list publisher never winds up on this list, and I found they’re not accepting submissions again until 2023.

(Yeah, I’ll be OLD by then. Seriously.)

So without further adieu, here is the latest batch of horror (or all-in-one) publishers currently open for novel and/or novella submissions:

BHC Press Seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Black Bed Sheet Books The site states, “We’re accepting submissions for 2020 releases and beyond– full-length novels, novellas, short story collections, horror genre-related but will look at Science Fiction/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and the like. We are also accepting submissions for our EBOOK-ONLY line of titles.  Our Ebook-only line generally consists of content too short to publish in print.”

Black Hare Press  Black Hare Press is looking for Deep Underground horror themed novellas of 20-40k words. Check the very bottom of the page for those particular guidelines as they seem to have a number of anthologies planned as well.

Bloodshot Books  The site itself doesn’t seem to have been updated since last year, but Bloodshot Books owner, Pete Kahle, regularly posts Bloodshot release-related info. on social media.

Bold Strokes Books A LGBTQ+ publisher that emphasizes they’re committed to “diversifying (their) authorship.” They publish a variety of genres, including horror.

By Light Unseen Media Serious vampire fiction, no tropes (That means no garlic and sparkles, kids)

Chaosium Fiction Seeks fiction centered around Cthulhu mythos.

CLASH Books Publishes unique voices in any genre. Author’s note: Editor-in-chief, Leza Cantoral, does fantastic work with her authors. I hope to write something at some point that will suit CLASH.

Curiosity Quills Press Seeks paranormal, speculative, and/or dark fantasy horror.

Dark Hall Press. They state they are “a boutique publisher of superior Horror and SciFi literature.” There’s a place on the page where you may query Dark Hall Press about manuscript submissions.

Darkstroke Publishing Darkstroke’s page states, “We’re looking for excellent writing in the fiction and non-fiction areas of crime, thriller, dystopian, sci-fi, horror, mystery and psychological.” Author’s note: Darkstroke’s submissions page indicates the authors are in charge of their marketing and promotion This isn’t anything particularly new due to small press budget issues. However, there should be some effort of some sort on behalf of the publisher. The small presses I’ve personally been in contact with all work exceptionally hard to create an interactive social media presence for their press; have a dealers’ table at conventions and charity events; set up interviews for their authors, and so on. 

Ellysian Press Seeks character-driven horror, paranormal, and paranormal romance as well as science fiction and fantasy.

Flame Tree Press  Seeks SF, fantasy, horror, and crime fiction.

Grinning Skull Press Open to all horror but has a particular preference for “creature features.” Author’s Note:There’s an emphasis on no simultaneous submissions (which means you’re expected not to submit that particular work elsewhere until they get back to you). For whatever press you’re interested in querying, ask yourself if you really want to put everything on hold with your submission while you wait for a publisher to respond? Sometimes, the wait can be ridiculously long.

Jolly Fish Press Seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Mocha Memoirs Seeks “science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.” Mocha Memoirs emphasizes that they’re particularly looking for “diverse people as protagonists.”

Odyssey Books  Based in Australia, Odyssey Books seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Off Limits Press A horror publisher. The next open submissions call is Nov. 15-30thAuthor’s Note: Horror author, editor, filmmaker and WIHFF co-chair Samantha Kolesnik’s new endeavor, Off Limits Press, is doing quite well in its first year. I can attest that she’s an all-around lovely person and a consummate professional to work with (I’ve had stories in two of her publications), so if you wind up having a novel accepted by Off Limits, you’ll have a good experience working with her.

Panther Publishing (UK)  Seeks mystery, crime, horror, thriller and paranormal. They add, “We don’t mind if you’ve got romantic elements. We don’t mind if you’ve got a YA feel. Just as long as they fit those genres.” 

Polis Books Seeks submissions in a number of genres, including horror.

Quirk Books  Seeks genre writing (including horror) with a unique spin. (Grady Hendrix is one of their popular horror authors, if that gives you an idea.)

Sands Press Canadian publisher taking submissions in “most genres.”

Severed Press  Seeks apocalyptic, killer sea creatures, kaiju monster, dinosaur/lost world adventures, LitRPG, and LitFPS horror.

Silver Shamrock Publishing Seeking submissions in traditional horror (no torture porn, zombies, or serial killers). Author’s note: They seem to be quite prolific and have a good reputation. Wouldn’t hurt to give them a try!

Stitched Smile Publications  Their submission page states they “publish stories with dark undertones. This includes, but is not limited to: horror, science fiction, fantasy, grimdark, poetry, paranormal, creature fiction, southern gothic, and anything else with dark themes.” Author’s Note: A very nice group. I think they’ll take good care of your work if you’ve a submission that’s accepted.

Talos Press Seeks science fiction, fantasy and horror. They ask for a somewhat detailed book proposal package instead of a query and/or sample chapters, which is something I’ve not heard of for fiction submissions. See the guidelines for more info.

Tartarus Press  Seeks novels and story collections on “literary strange/supernatural” adult fiction (but no high fantasy, violent horror, or YA).

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