Make Art Work

How to make money with your short horror stories

How ToThe short answer? Sell ’em.

OK, but where? For how much? And what kind of Stories actually get sold?!

I’ve been wondering all of this as I’ve been whittling away on some of my own so I figured, I’d share what I’ve been learning with you as well.

I’ve broken sites down by their submission guidelines and how much pay they offer. This way, we can use this as a quick reference to find what we’re looking for.

This post has multiple uses in my mind.

  1. Who’s looking for Story submissions
  2. What’s the average pay for a short story
  3. Sources for reading some really incredible work
  4. Learning which types of stories are being bought

Constantly Updated Open Submissions

horrorfictionfactorheaderHorror Factor: horror.fictionfactor.com

This is an incredibly thorough source for Horror Market Listings sorted into multiple categories based on their level of pay. It’s a fantastic place to dig for submission options.

They also have a free ebook available for download with all of this goodness: horror.fictionfactor.com/horrormarketguide

darkDark Markets: www.darkmarkets.com

a website sharing links for printed and digital story submissions. Anthologies etc.

horror-treeThe Horror Tree: horrortree.com

Horror Tree is a website that posts new submissions for multiple types of speculative fiction publications. It’s worth popping in from time to time the newest submission announcements.

I also like this post on letswriteashortstory.com of 46 Literary Magazines To Submit To is pretty darn helpful.


Nightmare Magazine

nightmare_01_october_2012www.nightmare-magazine.com Online horror and dark fantasy magazine

In Nightmare’s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror.

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, every month Nightmare brings you a mix of originals and reprints, and featuring a variety of authors—from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven’t heard of yet. When you read Nightmare, it is our hope that you’ll see where horror comes from, where it is now, and where it’s going.” [http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/about/]

Story Specifications

  • Fiction Short Stories only (no poetry, no non-fiction)
  • Horror
  • Dark Fantasy
  • “No subject should be considered off-limits”
  • Accepts stories of 1500-7500 words
  • Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred

Submission Guidelines: www.nightmare-magazine.com

Submission Portal: http://submissions.johnjosephadams.com/nightmare

Pay

  • Original Fiction: 6 cents per word
  • Reprints: 1 cent per word

Rights


Tor.com

tor1www.tor.com Online Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction Market

Story Specifications

  • Speculative Fiction
  • Horror
  • Sci-fi
  • Fantasy
  • Alt-History
  • Original Short Fiction
  • Novellas
  • Non-Fiction

General Guidelines: http://www.tor.com/submissions-guidelines/

Short Story Submission Details

NOT ACCEPTED:

  • over 17,500 words
  • novels or serializations
  • reprints

Pay

  • 25 cents a word for the first 5,000 words
  • 15 cents a word for the next 5,000
  • and 10 cents a word after that.

Rights:

  • the right to publish the story at Tor.com and related electronic endeavors
  • translation
  • audio
  • the right (with additional royalties) to include the story in Tor.com-branded anthologies.
  • All rights acquired are exclusive for a year
  • non-exclusive 1 year

Submission Portal: http://submissions.tor.com/tororiginals/


Pseudopod

pseudopodlogopseudopod.org Genre Audio magazine (podcast and online)

Story Specifications

  • horror
  • Dark, weird fiction
  • genre definitions don’t matter
  • Literary stories are as welcome as shock-value pulp fiction
  • Originality is key (avoid recognizable horror tropes)

Guidelines: http://pseudopod.org/guidelines/

Submission Details

  • Original Fiction
  • Reprints
  • 1,500 – 6,000 words
  • 4,500 words is ideal
  • Flash Fiction: 1,500 words or less, with a sweet spot between 500 and 1000 words.

NOT ACCEPTED:

  • stories with lengthy beautiful language and expansive of plots (since it’s an audio performance).

Pay

  • Original Fiction: 6 cents a word up to 6,000 words
  • Reprints: $100 flat rate
  • Flash Fiction (1500 words or less): $20 flat rate

Rights:

  • buys nonexclusive audio rights
  • nonexclusive electronic rights to distribute the audio file under a Creative Commons license
  • license applies only to our audio performance of your work
  • you retain your copyright and all rights to any other use of the story

Submission Portal: https://pseudopod.submittable.com/submit


Dark Fuse Magazine

darkfuse– www.darkfusemagazine.com an online publication for horror

Editor: Shane Staley

Short Story Specifications

  • Original fiction only
  • Horror
  • thriller
  • suspense
  • crime
  • sci-fi
  • bizarre
  • anything with a dark slant

Flash Fiction Specifications

  • Original fiction
  • horror etc.

Guidelines: https://darkfuse.submittable.com/submit

Submission Details

  • Short Stories: 1,000 – 2,000
  • Will publish longer stories maximum is 15,000.
  • Flash Fiction: 99 – 999 words

Pay

Short Stories:

  • 5 cents per word up to 2,000 words.
  • SS: MAX payout is 2,000 words

Flash Fiction:

  • 5 cents per word payable on initial publication
  • 1 free copy of all print editions their work appears in
  • a complimentary lifetime subscription to DarkFuse Magazine.

Rights:

Short Stories:

  • One-time web publication rights.
  • Two year exclusive agreement before submitting to another market
  • Non-exclusive archive rights for the life of the online magazine
  • 1st anthology rights in English as stories accepted in the magazine will also be up for inclusion in the DarkFuse anthology series (not guaranteed).
  • All other rights revert to the author on publication.

SS Submission Portal: https://darkfuse.submittable.com/submit/27528

Flash Fiction:

  • non-exclusive lifetime rights for web (each story will be archived for the life of the site)
  • 1st worldwide anthology rights for both print and eBook
  • DarkFuse does not take any film rights or other media
  • Year’s Best Anthologies are excluded from these rights

FF Submission Portal: https://darkfuse.submittable.com/submit/20777


Dark Moon Digest

darkmoondigest– www.darkmoonbooks.com a quarterly horror fiction magazine

Editor-in-Chief: Stan Swanson

Short Story Specifications

  • Original Fiction
  • Only previously unpublished in any format
  • Stories which currently appear online are not eligible for submission.
  • Flash Fiction
  • All topics accepted as long as it falls in the horror genre

Flash Fiction Specifications

  • Original flash fiction
  • must be previously unpublished

Guidelines: https://darkmoondigest.submittable.com/submit

Submission Details

  • Short Stories: 1500 words – 5,000 words
  • Flash Fiction: 1,500 words or less

Pay

Short Stories:

  • 1 cent per word
  • a copy of the issue of Dark Moon Digest in which their story appears

Flash Fiction:

  • 1 cent per word
  • complimentary PDF, Nook or Kindle copy of the publication

Rights:

Short Stories:

  • First World American Serial Rights
  • permission to possibly publish the work in one of their magazines
  • Author keeps all other rights including the original copyright

SS Submission Portal:  https://darkmoondigest.submittable.com/submit/21846

Flash Fiction:

  • First World American Serial Rights
  • the permission to possibly publish the work in one of our anthologies.
  • Author keeps all other rights including the original copyright

FF Submission Portal:  https://darkmoondigest.submittable.com/submit/21847


Clarkesworld Magazine

Clarkesworld2clarkesworldmagazine.com a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction. Issues are published monthly and available on our website, for purchase in ebook format, and via electronic subscription. All original fiction is also published in our trade paperback series from Wyrm Publishing.

Editor:

SubmissionSpecifications

GOLD!

This site tells you exactly what not to submit, because it’s too common:

  • zombies or zombie-wannabes (seriously, I’m not kidding)
  • sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, wicked witches, or demonic children
  • stories about rapists, murderers, child abusers, or cannibals
  • stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
  • stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
  • talking cats or swords
  • stories where FTL travel or time travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
  • stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a’ comin’, Communion wine turns to Christ’s literal blood and it’s HIV positive, Satan’s gonna getcha, etc.)
  • stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
  • stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
  • stories about your RPG character’s adventures
  • “funny” stories that depend on, or even include, puns
  • stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
  • stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
  • stories originally intended for someone’s upcoming theme anthology or issue (everyone is sending those out, wait a while)
  • your trunk stories

Guidelines: 

Submission Details

  • 1,000-16,000 words, no more, no less

Pay

Short Stories:

  • 10¢ per word for the first 5000 words,
  • 8¢ for each word over 5000

Rights:

Short Stories:

  • first world electronic rights (text and audio)
  • first print rights
  • non-exclusive anthology rights for annual Clarkesworldanthology.

And here are a few places I hope to submit to in the near future:

Shadows at the DoorThe Wicked Library, Black Static, Sanitarium Magazine,


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