THIRTEEN FOR HALLOWEEN! 13 Creepy (Paying!) Horror Markets for Writers! – By Chris Saunders

THIRTEEN FOR HALLOWEEN! 13 Creepy (Paying!) Horror Markets for Writers! – By Chris Saunders

It’s that time of year again! Halloween!! When the veil separating this world from the next slips, the dead walk among us, and even grown-ups are allowed to eat candy and play dress-up. So, why not get into the, ahem, spirit of things, surrender to the dark side, and try your hand at writing a horror story?

The horror fiction market, traditionally one of the strongest and most widely-read genres, is flourishing, so here are 13 paying outlets for your dark scribblings. None require reading or submission fees, but remember to follow the guidelines, and read a copy or two before submitting.


This long-running monthly stalwart publishes an eclectic mix of science fiction, fantasy and horror ‘with an edge,’ paying $0.06 per word up to a limit of 7,500 for the privilege. Also features reviews and interviews.

The Arcanist

A literary magazine focusing primarily on fantasy and sci-fi flash fiction (complete stories up to 1000 words), but regularly branching out into other genres, including horror. Pays $0.05 per word, and also runs contests.

Cemetery Dance

Having previously published the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker, this is the crème de la crème of the horror fiction market. Published up to four times a year, it opens periodically to submissions, and pays $0.05 per word for stories up to 5,000 words.

The Dark

Since launching five years ago, this online monthly magazine has made a sizable impression on the dark fiction community. Currently pays $0.06 per word for original fiction between 2,000 and 6,000 words and $0.01 per word for reprints.

Dreams & Nightmares

Established in 1986, making it one of the oldest genre print magazines still in existence. Primarily a dark poetry market, but also features a small amount of short-form fiction. Pays $0.02 per word for up to 500 words.

East of the Web – Horror

A huge online ‘library’ of assorted fiction currently expanding into the darker side of things. Interested in the ‘full range’ of horror from both new and established writers. Pays $0.05 per word for up to 7000 words.

Electric Spec

Well-established, quarterly online magazine promising ‘shockingly good short works of science fiction, fantasy and the macabre.’ Pays $20 for stories in the 250 to 7000 word bracket.


This flash fiction market which ‘fills gaps in the modern reader’s day with concise, poignant fiction,’ was launched in 2014. They are primarily seeking horror, paranormal, fantasy and science fiction up to 1000 words, and pay $0.03 per word.

Helios Quarterly Magazine

Helios Quarterly Magazine publishes quality fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art that illuminates the darkness. HQM wants stories and poetry that push boundaries and are succinct. Pays $0.01-$0.06/word or $0.25 per line for poetry.


Quarterly dark literary magazine available online and in print. Interested in both flash fiction and short stories with each issue showcasing a featured writer. Pays $0.03 per word to a maximum of $150. Check website for submission periods.

Sub-Q Magazine

Billed as ‘The interactive magazine for interactive fiction,’ publishes both original stories and reprints at monthly intervals Pays $0.05 per word up to 5000 words. Implements a blind submission policy so remove all personal details and contact information from your manuscript.

Tales from the Moonlit Path

An online magazine specializing in ‘all things dark and haunting,’ and publishing a mixture of eerie and speculative fiction up to 2000 words in length. Accepts reprints, and pays a flat fee of $10 per story.


Founded in 2012, pays $0.01 per word for thought-provoking weird fiction in a more traditional vein that ‘looks beyond the vampires, werewolves and goblins’ that have become staples of the genre. Published quarterly.

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Chris Saunders, who writes fiction as C.M. Saunders, is a freelance journalist and editor from Wales. His work has appeared in over 80 magazines, ezines and anthologies worldwide, and he has held desk jobs ranging from Staff Writer to Associate Editor at several leading UK magazines. His books have been both traditionally and independently published, the latest being a collection of short fiction called X3 on Deviant Dolls Publications.





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