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Fear Forge Open-Calls

Beginning in 2023, Horrorsmith Publishing, an extension of Horrorsmith Editing, will be hosting five themed anthologies—one during each quarter of the year and a special Halloween edition. Our first release will be for the winter quarter, Monday, October 24, 2022, just in time for the spooky season celebrations. 

Because of the frequency of publications, there will be multiple open-calls in play at various times of the year. Please bookmark this page for future submission requirements, updates, and announcements. 

All authors who have subscribed to my newsletter will receive open call information as much as a week prior to the official announcement.

Spring Quarter 2023 Anthology


In January of 1692, a group of young ladies within the Puritan colony of Salem Village, Massachusetts began acting a little strange. In February, when common treatments did not cure their odd ailments, the young ladies pointed the finger at Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba amidst cries of witchcraft and devil worship. On March 1, the formal interrogations began, better known as the Salem Witch Trials. 

Many of those accused of witchcraft were sentenced to death, whether they were found guilty or not. It was not uncommon for a widowed crone to be thrown into the lake while their arms and legs were bound—if they sunk to the bottom and drowned, they were innocent...if they somehow managed to rise to the surface, they were guilty and put to death. 

But some survived...

Please submit your unique, unpublished, horror or dark fantasy—horror elements must be prevalent within dark fantasy—stories or images involving witches. Do not send us Hansel and Gretel 2023. Tell us the story of the survivors, where they are today, their unique characteristics and abilities. Bring to life their vengeance, their rage, their retribution, their hatred. Too often, witches have been eclipsed within horror, authors instead opting for zombies, werewolves, and vampires. It's time that we change that. 



  • All stories and images should involve the witch as a prominent figure. 

  • All stories should be between 2000 and 6000 words in length. There may be some wiggle room over 6000 words if the story is exceptional. However, please do not depend on that. Any stories less than 2000 words will not be considered. 

  • Images can be a cover image without text, a figure, or a scene. 

  • All stories and images should be emailed to beginning August 5, 2022. 

  • Stories and images will be accepted until the anthology is full or until November 1, 2022, whichever comes first, so it will be to your benefit to submit as early as possible. 

  • You may submit more than one story or image if you choose; however, only one will be selected for possible publication. 

  • Simultaneous submissions are not allowed.

  • Reprints are not allowed. Please keep in mind that, going forward, anything printed in the Fear Forge anthologies will be considered a reprint. Most publications will not publish pieces already appearing in print, eBook, or on the web. Your story will only be marketable as a reprint, which reduces its pay rate for future submissions. By submitting your story to Horrorsmith Publishing's quarterly anthology, you are giving up your First Publishing Right for a token payment. 

  • Horrorsmith Publishing will retain exclusive rights to the stories and images for one year from the date of publication. 

  • Payments for most of Horrorsmith Publishing's quarterly anthologies will be $25 for a story or image unless I am capable of raising this rate—to be announced per anthology. For this specific anthology, the rate is $30 per story or image. 

  • Payments will be rendered to the author or artist upon selection of the submission for the anthology and return of the signed contract. This can occur at any time between the open call start date and November 15, 2022.

  • All authors will receive a status update by November 5, 2022. 

  • Your story should be submitted as an email attachment via a Microsoft Word document. The story document should have no identifying information other than the title because story selections will be blind. In the subject of the email, indicate which anthology edition you are submitting for. In the body of the email, indicate your name, your pen name—if applicable—your email address, your PayPal email address, and your story title. A contract will be submitted to you prior to payment at the email address provided within that email. 

  • Though professional editing will be provided by freelance certificated editor Lyndsey Smith with Horrorsmith Editing, please make sure your story is edited to the best of your ability, checked for spelling, left aligned—not centered—double spaced, and normal margins. 

  • This edition of the Fear Forge Anthology will be published on March 1, 2023, in honor of those who were persecuted in the Salem Witch Trials. 

What I Am Not Looking For

  • Torture porn or erotica. Though some sexual situations are fine, it should not be the focus of the story.

  • Stories glorifying child abuse, animal abuse, or rape. 

  • Fan fiction

  • Stories of another genre

  • Stories that belittle anyone for their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or any physical or mental disabilities. 

If you do not find your question answered above, please feel free to reach out to me at

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