Shock Totem: Open To Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone | February 27, 2014

Shock Totem is a literary journal that publishes horror and dark fantasy short stories as well as non-fiction about real horrors, such as addiction. They are also open to poetry, as long as it is dark, on a more limited basis.

They are primarily a bi-annual print journal, but they do publish some writing electronically as well. They accept very few of the pieces that are submitted to them. They usually respond within three months, but don’t query them before six months have passed.

All of the stories submitted to them must contain a horror element, even if they involve a mystery, suspense, or fantasy. Everything has to return to horror. They are not interested in hard science fiction, epic fantasy, or a story just for the sake of blood and guts. They also are not interested in clichéd plots but are open to clichéd themes.

Shock Totem is a prestigious journal within the genre of horror, and if you are a horror writer having a short piece published by them should help ease the publication of your manuscript. It is the sort of journal that agents and publishers want to see on a resume or in a cover letter.

They consider reprints but prefer to publish original unpublished work. They do not consider fiction that is simultaneously submitted elsewhere. Fiction pieces can be no longer than 12,000 words in length. Non fiction must be less than 2,5oo.

They pay 5 cents per word, which means that they pay up to 250 dollars per short story. If they accept your piece they hold first rights to your work for the first year, but after that the rights revert to you.

They only accept work submitted electronically. To learn more or submit, visit their website here: http://www.shocktotem.com/guidelines/