Ghostlight Guidelines

READING PERIOD

March 1 – September 1 (Publishing target: April)

Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror may also send out special calls for themed or charity issues throughout the year. Any submissions sent outside these reading periods will be deleted unread.

FICTION

We at the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers (GLAHW) are looking for stories that are well written and character-driven, but any well-written story with a dark side has a chance with us. All stories need to be Horror—added elements of Dark Sci-Fi, Satire, and/or Dark Fantasy are welcomed.

We specialize in horror in all its guises, particularly for adult audiences. We’re open to most settings and themes, from historical, modern, supernatural, and even the future. We want our writers to push the boundaries of horror. We need writing that will challenge, scare and surprise our readers; stories and poetry that will make us gasp at the end and haunt us for a long time afterward. Thrill and fright are what our readers want!

Please don’t send us sword & sorcery or space opera stories. Tolkien and Lucas have their place, but not here. Also, we don’t and can’t accept “fan fiction” which includes anything based on a video game, book, movie or any other creator’s work or conception unless you have written permission from the creator. If you don’t own the copyright to the characters in your story, we cannot publish your work. By submitting
to GLAHW you, as the author of the work, accept responsibility for any possible copyright infringement. Please don’t send us “Slash”, “Fem-Slash” or anything graphic sexual descriptions. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, after all, we are horror writers, but high amounts of profanity, gore, and sexuality are generally used poorly—make sure if used, these components advance the story.

Though we cringe at the thought of violence toward children or pets, we understand that this type of violence does occur in real life, but please make sure it’s integral to your story. Any story that insinuates an act of sexual violence between an adult and a child will be automatically rejected. Please be aware that we reserve the right to reformat your story as necessary to fit the specific format for our magazine. We will not rewrite your story, but on occasion, we may have to alter line placement to eliminate blank space. We may also center all lines or right and left justify them. If you have a problem with this, please do not submit to us.

FORMATTING

Stories should be between 500 – 5,000 words.

This word count is firm. Stories above this word limit will
be deleted unread. If you have a story shorter than this, please query. Please follow proper manuscript format. If you don’t know what proper manuscript format is, please follow this link. http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html.

Stories not in proper manuscript format will be returned unread. This is standard format across the board. We don’t care how good your story is – if you can’t be bothered to follow basic submittal guidelines, trust us – we will not be bothered to read it. Stories should be submitted as an attachment in either MS Word (.doc, .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Stories submitted in the body of an email will be deleted unread.

POETRY

Poetry submissions are being considered. You can submit up to three poems per reading period. Please attach them to the email as .doc, .docx or .rtf file. Poems can be up to fifty lines each. We will consider poems for Editor’s choice, but it will take a very special poem to be given this title. Please do not submit poetry inside of an object such as a photo or drawing. If you have a problem with this, please do not submit to us.

Please be aware that we reserve the right to reformat your story or poem as necessary to fit the specific format for our anthology. We will not rewrite your story or poem, but we may have to alter line placement. We will ask if the special formatting is key to the understanding of your piece, but we may not. If you have a problem with this, please do not submit to us. Poems sent in the body of an email will be deleted unread.

ARTWORK

At this time, full-color cover artwork will be accepted. Interior artwork must be your original work and in black and white only, no color artwork will be accepted for the interior of the magazine. And it should go without saying that the artwork should be horror related, but we cannot accept anything with graphic nudity or sex. All artwork needs to be in JPEG format and attached to the email.

PHOTOGRAPHS

We are also accepting black and white photographs for this magazine. All photographs must be original and creepy, but again, just like the artwork, we cannot accept anything with graphic nudity or sex. Photographs need to be in JPEG format and attached to the email.

RIGHTS

We are asking for non-exclusive North American Print and Digital Rights.

REPRINTS

We do not accept reprints for inclusion in this magazine. We will announce a special issue in the fall to rehome your previously published stories.

PAYMENT

US writers will receive one (1) Print Contributor’s Copy and our humble thanks for honoring our magazine with your creative vision. Overseas writers will receive One (1) Digital Copy.

SUBMISSION

With all submissions, please include a short 100-150 word bio.

Stories must be attached to the email, not within the body. We are permitting up to three submissions for either poetry or fiction but please send them under a separate email with individual bios. Simultaneous submissions are also okay as long as you let us know if you sell your story elsewhere. Upon acceptance of your piece into the anthology, a contract will be emailed. It can be mailed back via US Post, but we must receive it within two weeks
after initial acceptance.

Your email subject header should read SURNAME/TITLE – GHOSTLIGHT SUBMISSIONS and sent to ghostlighteditor@glahw.com

RETURN TIME

Please give us one month to review your story. If you have not heard from us after six weeks one way or the other, please feel free to send us an email. Send all submissions and/or inquiries to ghostlighteditor@glahw.com. We will not accept snail mail submissions.

We look forward to reading your work and thank you for giving us the honor.