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Summer...a time for barbecues, water fun, and sitting around the campfire telling spooky stories.

Since 2020, over 50 million people in the United States have gone camping in national parks. And each year, over 1,000 of these campers go missing.

And some of these campers are never found...

What is it about spooky stories around a roaring fire that captivates us, haunts us? Is it the coolness of the air pressing against our backs, a stark contrast to the heat on our faces as we excitedly tell our tales? Is it the depths of the darkness looming over our shoulders as we huddle in the supposed safety and brightness of the flames?

Is it the soft sounds surrounding us that we can't quite explain away...

Something really might be out there this time...


Please submit your unique, unpublished, horror or dark fantasy—horror elements must be prevalent within dark fantasy—stories or images related to a spooky story being told around a campfire or something happening to campers telling spooky stories around a campfire. The essence of summer, camping, and spooky stories around a campfire must be prevalent.



  • All stories and images should involve camping and spooky stories around a campfire. 

  • 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

  • Stories and images will be accepted until the anthology is full or until May 31, 2023, 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. 

  • 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 June 5, 2023.

  • All authors will receive a status update by June 5, 2023. 

  • 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 June 30, 2023. 

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. 



Horrorsmith Publishing has opened its doors to novel submissions. There is no current deadline to this submission window. 

Please note, we are currently only accep​ting novellas and full-length novels, either standalone or part of a series, within any subgenre of the horror genre. 

We will make every effort to notify authors of their status within one month of receiving the submission, but please note that these times may be slightly extended depending on the number of submissions at any given time. 

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submissions must be sent to

  • The subject of the submission email should read: Title - Author - Novel or Novella - Standalone or Series.

  • Please send a professional query with synopsis, author bio, and the first three chapters of the novel attached in a Word file. 

  • Query and chapters should be edited to the best of your ability, but professional editing is not required prior to submittal.

  • All submissions must be unpublished works. 

Abbreviated Contract Terms:

  • Horrorsmith Publishing will maintain exclusive publishing rights to the work for three years, at which time rights will revert to the author. Horrorsmith's paperback version of the book will remain in print after this three-year timeframe. 

  • Authors will receive a $100 royalty advance upon contract signing.

  • Horrorsmith Publishing will receive 100% royalties from all platforms until initial costs and the advance have been repaid. These initial costs will be outlined in the contract for transparency, and the author will receive monthly statements. After this, the author will receive 50% of total royalties from all platforms, paid quarterly.

  • Horrorsmith Publishing will exercise the final decision-making about any developmental or style changes prior to publication, within reason. Please note that any changes to the story that might be deemed excessive will be requested prior to contract signing for transparency. 

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