Written by A Guest Author July 28th, 2022

Nine Recurring Dark Fiction Markets

By Chris Saunders

The short fiction market is constantly in a state of flux and public tastes are always shifting and changing. However, one little corner of this rich and diverse landscape has remained consistently strong. For our purposes we’ll call it ‘dark fiction.’ Beneath this rather expansive umbrella you will find numerous categories and sub-categories, with each publication having their own set of guidelines which of course must be adhered to if you want even the smallest sliver of success. But the one thing they all have in common is that, true to the moniker, they all shine a light on the darker side of life.

The Deadlands

Pays $0.10 per word ($0.01 for reprints) for speculative fiction up to 5,000 words in length that concerns itself with death, but also everything death may involve. Publishes short stories, poems, and essays about the “other realms, of the ends we face here, and the beginnings we find elsewhere.”

Details here.


Specialising in ‘horror, fantasy and SF with an edge’, publishes a bi-monthly mix of original fiction, classic fiction, non-fiction, interviews and reviews. Pays $0.08 a word for new fiction up to 7,500 with a minimum payment of $50. If your story is used in their podcast, they pay an additional $0.01 per word.

Details here.

Three-lobed Burning Eye (3LBE)

Ezine published three times a year seeking original speculative fiction, pays $30 for flash fiction and $100 for longer pieces. “We’re looking for short stories from across the big classifications and those shadowy places between: magical realism, fantastique, slipstream, interstitial, and the weird tale. We will consider suspense or western, though we prefer it contain some speculative element.”

Details here.

The Arcanist

A digital literary magazine focusing on fantasy, sci-fi, and horror flash fiction. Pays $0.10 per word for original stories up to 1,000 words. Reprints or longer works not considered. They say “We strongly believe that fantasy and sci-fi are two of the most important genres in the literary world, helping us escape to distant lands, reflect on our shared humanity, and gaze into the future.”

Details here.

The Dark

Monthly online horror and dark fantasy magazine paying $0.06 per word for short fiction up to 6,000 words that encourages prospective contributors not to, “Be afraid to experiment or to deviate from the ordinary. Be different – try us with fiction that may fall out of ‘regular’ categories.”

Details here.


Literary journal designed to be a source of critical study and creative response to the work of contemporary American horror writer Thomas Ligotti and associated authors and ideas. Pays $0.05 per word for fiction (750-6,000 words), poetry (no more than 50 lines), and scholarly nonfiction articles (2,000-7,500 words).

Details here.

The New Gothic Review

Bi-annual online literary magazine looking for previously unpublished short stories that reimagine Gothic fiction for the 21st century. “We want stories that are beautifully written, heavily atmospheric, and psychologically chilling. Pays a flat fee of $65 per successful submission of 1,500-5,000 words.

Details here.

The Dread Machine

Digital magazine publishing futuristic dark fiction, speculative fiction, cyberpunk, slipstream, and science fiction under the tag line “Where nightmares are manufactured.” Pays $0.05 per word up to 5,500 words for original fiction and $0.01 per word for reprints. Operates a ‘blind’ submission system.

Details here.

Electric Spec

Pays $20 per acceptance for ‘Shockingly good short works of science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre’ between 250-7000 words in length. Publishes four issues a year and has reading periods for each issue, but never closes to submissions.

Details here.

Bio: Chris Saunders has written over a dozen books and currently writes for a special interest magazine in the UK. Find out more here: https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/




We Send You Publishers Seeking Submissions.

Sign up for our free e-magazine and we will send you reviews of publishers seeking short stories, poetry, essays, and books.

Subscribe now and we'll send you a free copy of our book Submit, Publish, Repeat