Category Archives: mystery

Shock Totem seeks stories up to 5,000 words

Shock Totem, Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted–See Web site.
What We Want:
Fiction: “We consider original, unpublished stories within the confines of dark fantasy and horror—mystery, suspense, supernatural, morbid humor, fantasy, etc. Up to 5000 words (firm).”
Flash and Microfiction: “We are interested in tightly woven flash fiction, 1000 words or less, and microfiction, 200 words or less.”
Poetry: “We are interested in dark poetry on a limited basis. Submit no more than three poems at a time.”
Nonfiction: “We want well-researched and emotionally compelling nonfiction about real horrors–disease, poverty, addiction, etc. We will also consider work on other, relative subjects within the confines of dark fantasy and horror. Word limit is 2500 words (firm).”
Artwork: “We typically solicit artwork. But if you think your work fits our style, please submit it.”
What We Do Not Want: “We’re not interested in hard science fiction, epic fantasy (swords and sorcery), splatterporn (blood and guts and little more), or clichéd plots. Clichéd themes are okay. We don’t mind stories about zombies or serial killers or vampires, but please make the overall piece unique. If the plot has been worked to death we will likely not consider it, no matter how well it is written. No fan fiction.”
What We Will Consider: “Reprints. Unpublished work will always get first consideration. Any submitted reprint must not have been published within the last 12 months, and the author must retain all applicable rights. All previous publication information (for the submitted story only) must be disclosed.”
Format: “All submissions must be sent via our Submissions Manager (see link below). Please use 12pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced lines, indented paragraphs. Use italics. Do not underline. Please name your submission file as such: STORY TITLE (WORD COUNT).”
“Please include your full name, contact info, and word count in the document and cover letter (the cover letter is part of the Submissions Manager, not a separate file).”
“No simultaneous/multiple submissions of fiction. However, you may upload up to three poetry submissions at a time, separate or combined.”
“Include publishing credits, if applicable.”
Reading Period: “We’re open from February through May, and August through November.
Rates: “We pay 5¢ per word for original, unpublished fiction. We pay 2¢ per word for reprints. There is a $250 cap on all accepted stories. Payment will be made within 60 days after publication. Authors accepted for publication will also receive one free copy of the issue in which their work appears.”
Rights: “For previously unpublished work we claim First North American Serial Rights and First Electronic World Rights (not to include Internet use) for a period of one year. After which all rights revert to the author.”
“For previously published work we claim Exclusive Reprint Rights and Exclusive Electronic World Reprint Rights (not to include Internet use) for a period of six months. After which all rights revert to the author.”
[E-mail: General Questions:; Submissions: Submit via form online;] RT–”60 days or less. Response Time is estimated not guaranteed.”

Harper Collins launches new digital thriller/crime/mystery imprint


The William Morrow Imprint is called “Witness.” Authors receive 25% up to 10,000 copies, then it goes up to 50 percent. Royalties paid month. Details HERE:

Book contest for horror, thrillers, suspense, apocalypse and mystery


Assent Publishing’s Bad Day Books is hosting; deadline is Oct. 31, 2013; 70,000-120,000 words for novels and 40K-50K for novellas; details HERE:

Words with JAM First Page Competition – judged by Sue Grafton!


up to 400 words; cash prizes; entry fee is $6 (euros) for first entry and $4 per entry thereafter; deadline May 31, 2013; details HERE:

Contest for unpublished mystery novels


Discover Mystery Award; deadline March 30, 2013; $20 entry; prize is $1,000 and contract from Poisoned Pen Press; 60K-90K words; details HERE:

Win a trip to France – The Time and Place writing contest


The Time and Place Prize; open to all genres; 5,000 words max; $25 entry fee; deadline Nov. 30, 2012; details HERE:

FREE Scribophile contest for October


Just got this from our friends at Scribophile:

Hello from the team!

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I wanted to make this month’s contest interesting. The theme is gothic literature, but with a twist. Traditionally, gothic literature can be broken into two genders. The male gothic heavily features the supernatural, often in a struggle with the main character. The female gothic is more about misunderstood circumstance, where the cause of mystery could be supernatural, but it’s more normal with misread situations. The task is to reverse these genders. There’s more to it than man solves Scooby Doo-esque mystery, woman fights ghosts though, so check out our contest page for more info:

Entry is free. First prize: $50 cash via PayPal. Second prize: $25 cash via Paypal.

Hope to see your entries,

Cassie and the Scribophile gang

First Crime Novel Competition


deadline 12/17/2012; mystery/thriller; 60,000 words min.; $10,000 advance against royalties; details HERE: