Nightmare Sky submission window is open. We are closed to all other submissions.
Nightmare Sky: Stories of Astronomical Horror
Submission window: May 1 – 31, 2022
Update: extended submission window until June 11 for BIPOC writers.
Since the dawn of humanity, we have looked to the stars with awe. They call for us to gaze upon their brilliance while we sit around campfires and make up tales of their histories. Tales that are often fraught with horrors. The very dust of their explosive pasts traveled lightyears across the unknown, and now that dust pulses through our veins, drawing our eyes up, back to our origins.
What we’re looking for:
I am seeking astronomy or night-sky themed horror stories about humans and our connection to the stars. Get scientific. Get mystical. Get psychological or supernatural. Get cosmic or earthly, but make it about the character’s experience. While I love the science of astronomy, I’m very excited to see different interpretations of this theme.
Give me psychological horror about an astronomer. Give me witches with a connection to the stars. Give me cosmic horror, folk horror, sci-fi horror, or ghosts. If the theme is deeply entwined with the night sky, I’m excited to read it.
This anthology is open for all to submit, and I strongly encourage writers from all marginalized communities to send their stories. We are many people of many backgrounds, living under one enormous sky. I would love for this anthology to reflect that diversity.
- 1,000 – 5,000-word stories
- Poetry welcome! Approximately 50 lines or fewer preferred (this is not a strict upper limit)
- No reprints
- Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know as quickly as possible if you need to withdraw.
- Please do not send multiple submissions. Just send your best story
Submit your story as a .doc file in standard manuscript format:
- double-spaced lines
- no double-spaces after punctuation
- don’t use the tab key to indent paragraphs. Instead, go into paragraph settings and set the first-line indents to 0.5”
- Put your name, email address, and word count on the first page.
- No .pdf files, please.
- Don’t stress too much over this, I won’t be auto-rejecting on formatting.
How to submit:
- Attach the .doc file to an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In the subject line of the email, please include: your story title, your last name, AND “Nightmare Sky submission”
- In the body of the email, please include a brief cover letter and bio.
- Do not paste the story into the body of the email.
Rights, Payment, etc:
- $0.01 per word (with a minimum payment of $20 per story/poem regardless of word count), paid via PayPal after contract has been signed.
- This means every author included in the anthology will receive at least $20 for their work. All stories over 2k words will receive the $0.01/word payment.
- Author retains rights to their story. In the contract, the publisher will request exclusive first worldwide publication rights for three months, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
- Within a week of submission, writers should receive a confirmation email verifying that we’ve received the story. Feel free to query if you don’t get this email.
- All writers should receive a reply (acceptance or rejection) within 2 months of the closing submission window.
- Aiming for an early 2023 release.
Edited by Red Lagoe
Nightmare Sky will be edited by Red Lagoe, author of horror collections Lucid Screams & Dismal Dreams. When Red is not spewing her horror-loving mind onto the page, she can be found beside her telescope in the inky blackness under the stars. Red has been a lifelong admirer of the night sky and enjoys serving her community in astronomy outreach. She is a member of the Astronomical League and has written articles published in The Reflector. Red has also served the positions of vice president, newsletter editor, and secretary for the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers, a local non-profit. While Red is a big fan of the science of astronomy, she’s also excited to see a variety of interpretations, unexplained phenomena, and all the horrific possibilities dreamed up about our connection to the stars.