Please read the guidelines below. Successful writers and artists will be notified within a few weeks of the deadline closing, and the list of accepted work will appear on our website in advance of the new issue being published in April.

The Magazine

The Ghastling is a biannual magazine publishing literary fiction and illustration devoted to psychological horror, folk horror, ghost stories and the macabre. If you would like to submit, please read the following guidelines, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts for announcements about submission windows.

And if you can’t wait to send us your ghouls – remember, our subscribers and Patreon supporters are able to submit all year round and they also receive feedback on their submission.

Magazine Submission Guidelines


SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts for announcements about submission windows.

When we are open for submissions, please submit your unpublished short story (no longer than 3,500 words, no minimum) as a WORD document with your NAME and the TITLE OF THE STORY at the top of the document to Rebecca Parfitt: by midnight on the 25th of January. Please also include a short bio and covering letter, and let us know if you are a subscriber or Patreon supporter too (please read the specifications on Patreon for eligibility). Please note: we do check our records. We understand that not everybody can afford a subscription and we don’t mind if you are a subscriber or not but please don’t tell us you are when you aren’t. Writers may submit ONE story per submission window. PLEASE DO NOT RESUBMIT PREVIOUSLY REJECTED WORK UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN EXPLICITLY INVITED TO DO SO BY THE EDITOR. PREVIOUSLY REJECTED WORK WILL NOT BE READ AGAIN. INSTEAD, SEND US SOMETHING NEW!

I wish I didn’t have to state the following but a ‘choice’ selection from previous submissions tell me I do so I am: Please do not address me as Sir or Sirs. I am a woman and my name is written clearly above. Please do not submit anything that graphically depicts sexual abuse, animal abuse, rape, gratuitous torture and gore. Erotic horror does not belong here either.

Instead, please send: psychological horror, quiet horror, folk horror, hauntings, ghost stories and the darkness of the human mind. And anything with a strange or macabre bent. Be as imaginative as possible. Subvert the ordinary. Your mind can take you anywhere and we always want a story to take us to an unfamiliar place.

If you are still unsure what we like, buy a copy of the magazine.

We are a culturally-inclusive magazine that does not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or prejudice towards people with disabilities. We particularly welcome works by women and people from ethnically-diverse and marginalised backgrounds.


Please submit a sample of your work with a short bio and covering letter to Rebecca Parfitt: . Be as creative and ghoulish as you wish, but please familiarise yourself with the magazine before you submit to see what we like.

Want to support us?

Please consider supporting The Ghastling by subscribing to the magazine or by joining our community on Patreon.

Subscribers receive a line of feedback on their submitted story or illustration, the opportunity to submit all year round AND save £2 on the price of each issue. 

By supporting us on Patreon, you’ll also benefit from monthly writing prompts, behind the scenes info and opportunities to share your stories with The Ghastling community. Patreon supporters (check which tier for eligibility) are also able to submit their work all year round. 

Response to Submissions

The editor works alone in the small hours in a tiny room at the top of Ghastling Towers. She is a full time mother and has very limited time and resources. Unless she is interested in your work (or you are a subscriber or Patreon supporter), you will not receive a response to your submission. Don’t be disheartened, you are always welcome to try again. Successful applicants will be notified within a few weeks of the deadline closing.


YES!!! We pay £15 per story plus a copy of magazine.

Thanks to our wonderful community of supporters on Patreon, we are now a paying magazine! Read all about us reaching our first Patreon goal in this blog post.

What We’re Looking For

As with all literary magazines, picking up a copy of The Ghastling (or subscribing) will give you a very good idea of the type of stories and illustrations we publish.

What Do We Like?

Psychological horror, quiet horror and folkhorror. Tales of the occult, black magic, superstition, folklore terrors and circus sideshows.

Who Do We Like?

Andrew Michael Hurley, M.R. James, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Susan Hill, Walter de la Mare, Ray Bradbury, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Collins, Jeannette Winterson, Sarah Waters, E. Nesbit, Helen Dunmore, E.F. Benson, Michelle Paver, Amparo Davila and Shirley Jackson.

Many of our own featured authors absolutely nail it too, so check these folks out: Carly Holmes, Catrin Kean, Annie Greene, Hailey Piper, Lucie McKnight-Hardy, Carrie Hardman, Christopher Long, Dan Coxon, Steven Sheil… (the list can go pretty long, but you get the idea!)

What Don’t We Like?

Once more: please do not submit anything that graphically depicts sexual abuse, animal abuse, rape, gratuitous torture and gore. Do not send erotic horror either.


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