So you’ve wrestled with doubt, put pen to paper (fingers to keys), and written something. Have you shown it to anyone? You have? Well done! You may have taken the plunge and submitted to one of the online writing communities I suggested in an earlier post. Hopefully there will come a time when you feel ready to submit something to a magazine. There are many online magazines that are free to submit to, so if you don’t fancy sending an entry fee for competitions, fear not. There are a lot of sites that offer new writers the opportunity to get their work published. Most of these will not pay royalties (money), instead offering ‘exposure’ as your reward. Before you think of skipping this step, consider this: when you begin writing query letters to publishers, or completing a brief author bio to include with a submission, wouldn’t it be nice if you had one or two publishing credits to your name?
*Steve has been writing since he was ten. He has written many stories that his family have enjoyed very much.
*Steve is a free-lance writer, who has had work recently published in Schlock horror webzine, and with Microhorror.com.
A bio with credits does not guarantee success, but it may very well get your manuscript past a first look from a publisher.
So what are these places? Well here is a list of some of the online horror webzines I have submitted to, in no particular order:
Micro horror does exactly what it says on the tin. They are aimed at the microfiction (flash fiction) audience and set a word limit at 666 words (nice). They are looking for something that unnerves or unsettles. They are looking for well-structured stories that stir the emotions. The website is well set out, and stories by individual authors are easily filtered.
I have a couple of pieces on Microhorror, including ‘The Photo’:
The photo had been in his family for as long as Rick could remember. He was not sure how it found its way to him, but he wished that it hadn’t. Perhaps one day he would be rid of it. One day.
The photo was six inches by four inches, landscape, and depicted a number of people smiling at the photographer. Folded and creased, the grainy black and white image was clear enough for Rick to pick out his father and mother, his grandfather and several other members of his family that he didn’t remember.
The first time he had looked at the photo, there were only half as many people in it. Over the years, the number of people in the photo had continued to increase, until it seemed as if the picture could hold no more. But somehow, it always managed.
Rick touched the picture gently. His wife and children stared back at him.
Siren’s call say ‘If you can show us creativity, originality and a desire to share the stories you spin, then we want to help you succeed in the publishing world. If you can show us creativity, originality and a desire to share the stories you spin, then we want to help you succeed in the publishing world.’
The produce regular collections and anthologies, and list all their current submission calls on their home page. They accept work from flash fiction (300-1000), all the way to novellas and novels.
A site for people that enjoy being scared. They offer a range of articles, songs, poems, pictures and images, but also short stories, which they invite you to submit. The submission process is really straightforward , and if you have a gripping tale to tell, you could find it up on loverofdarkness.net.
They welcome unsolicited submissions for inclusion in both the magazine and on the website. They welcome articles, essays, film and book reviews and anything else relating to horror – music, marketing, television, gaming, etc.
They are looking for intelligent writing on all aspects of horror, so if you have an article or essay ready to go, give them a look. They are looking for short fiction under 4000 words.
They describe themselves as ‘The Magazine For All Things Horror’. They accept submissions from aspiring writers, but also poems, articles, and art. They accept short fiction of up to 2500 words. If you have a book out, or a horror short, they are always looking for independent books or movies to review.
Well, there’s five to be going on with. There are lots more, but this post is long enough! Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions that may be helpful.