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.
Magazine Submission Guidelines
SUBMISSIONS FOR BOOK 12 ARE CLOSED! The theme was:
STRANGE SIGNS // RITUAL PROTECTION MARKS
We invite stories on any aspect or interpretation of the above. Please submit your unpublished story (no longer than 3,500 words, no minimum) as a WORD document with your NAME and the TITLE OF THE STORY at the top of the document to Rebecca Parfitt: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a short bio and covering letter, and let us know if you are a subscriber or Patreon supporter too. Writers may submit ONE story per submission window. Deadline for Book 12 is August 23rd 2020.
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 sex 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 I always want a story to take me 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 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: email@example.com. 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?
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 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 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.
We recently launched our first ever Novella Prize, with the winning entry due to be announced Winter 20/21. Entries are open until 20th September 2020. See here for more info on how to submit: theghastling.com/novellaprize
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?
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 sex abuse, animal abuse, rape, gratuitous torture and gore. Do not send erotic horror either.