We have two magazines for you to choose from: DeadLights Horror Fiction Magazine and Shotgun! Strange Stories. For more information on Shotgun!, scroll further down the page. If you’re interested in DeadLights, our Print magazine (available on Kindle and Nook, too), read on from this point!



DeadLights submissions status is currently: CLOSED

June Submissions
March 27th, 2017 – April 21st, 2017

April's Featured Author Jack Ketchum


“Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.” – Stephen King

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk–a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story The Box won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story Gone won again in 2000 — and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written over twenty novels and novellas, the latest of which are The Woman and I’m Not Samboth written with director Lucky McKee. Five of his books have been filmed to date — The Girl Next Door, The Lost, Red, Offspring and The Womanthe last of which won him and McKee the Best Screenplay Award at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Spain. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade BoulevardBroken on the Wheel of SexSleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), Peaceable Kingdom and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards. In 2011 he was elected Grand Master by the World Horror Convention.


Publishing Schedule

February 1st, 2017
(Print Publication and E-Pub)
Print Now Available – E-Pub soon to follow!

April 1st, 2017
(Print Publication and E-Pub)

June 1st, 2017
(Print Publication and E-Pub)

August 1st, 2017
(Print Publication and E-Pub)

Interested in what we’re looking to publish? Visit our ‘about me’ page to learn more about us, and to view our ‘Horror Writer’s Guide’. Also, when the magazine comes out, pick up a copy! By reading what we print, you’ll better understand what we’re putting out there!

Click Here!


Submission Guidelines

Flash Fiction: Fiction in a flash? Challenge accepted! Keep your story between 300 – 700 words. Wow us with your word will-power! As it’s said, so well and so often, “Kill your Darlings”.

Short Fiction: Ah, our bread-and-butter! Stories within 2,000 – 5,000 words will be accepted. Keep them creepy.

Poetry: We love a poem or three here at DeadLights. So in what form of poem should you write? Well, it can be any kind of poem at all, really, as long as haunts us all in our sleep. Feel free to express yourself in no longer than a single-space page length in Microsoft Word.

Creative Non-Fiction: We are accepting creative non-fiction stories that are terrible, horrible, or gross. These are meant to be small stories about real-life, interesting things that have happened to our readers. Word count? 300 – 3000!

Art: For those of you feeling creative, we do accept drawings, paintings, graffiti, whatever, as long as they are sent to us in a digital format. We love horror-art!


How to Submit

Format: Manuscripts? Pile’em on us. Just remember, there are a lot of stories out there, and not a lot of ‘us’. To ensure that you get your fair share of limelight, follow these tips:


 We are not format fascists here at Deadlights, and if you keep your  submissions in a Microsoft Word (.docx or .doc or .RFT) Document or .PDF, we may squeak by a good tale or two, formatting be damned. That being said, you can be automatically rejected, and here a few of the reasons why:

Terms of Auto-Rejection

  • Putting your story/poem in the body of your email.
  • Putting two spaces in-between each sentence and/or using spaces to indent your paragraphs.
  • No Author Name or Address listed in the manuscript.
  • No formatting, or formatting that isn’t at all close to those specified by our guidelines.
  • Going way over our accepted word count (always best to check with us first, before sending a whopper).

Remember: An auto-rejection is not the end of the story. If you receive an auto-rejection, fix the formatting errors and resubmit. You’ll be glad you did, and so will we!

Sending it in: In the subject of the email, please place your last name and your fiction form (fiction form meaing, Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, etc.) so that it looks like this: DeadLights_Smith_Poetry.

In the body of the email, say hello! Tell us who you are, and if you’ve been published before. If you have, well, right-on! If not, that’s ok. We’re looking for new, dead lights (heh-heh) to publish. No need to tell us who in your family grows toe-nails the fastest, but if it’s relevant to your submission … well, maybe still don’t tell us. After all is said (or not said) and done, please attach your manuscript to your email, and hit send! And no worries: we do accept multiple submissions as well as simultaneous submissions.

Email: Send your submissions to deadlightsmagazine (at) gmail (dot) com — sorry email snatching robots, today is not your day!

Other Odd Things

Wait Time: DeadLights Magazine is the new kid on the block, and as such, we don’t know what we don’t know. Classic response, right? You should hear if your story has been accepted or rejected in a month’s time. If you haven’t heard from us, please let us know. We aren’t deliberately obtuse, we were just kind of born that way …


Short Stories: $50
Flash Fiction: $10
Horror Poetry: $10
Interior Art:  Inquire
Creative Non-Fiction: $10

All payments come with a kindle (or .pdf) copy!

These figures are subject to change for the better. We’re hoping our pay-rates grow along with the publication.

Rights: When it comes to claiming rights on individual works, we have a fiction first policy here at DeadLights. Should your work be published, once you are in print, the rights to your story return to you. We do not hold art hostage.

Special Features: We reserve one story slot for a ‘Featured Author’. A featured author is usually an author we reach out to and invite to write original fiction for our magazine. If you would like to be a featured author, feel free to reach out to us. We’ve worked with a string of known names, and are happy to work with you, too.


We leave one story slot open for a High School Student, or younger, interested in publishing. This can be a short story, a flash fiction piece, or a poem – it doesn’t matter to us, as long as you’re willing to work hard on your fiction, so that you end up with something to be proud of. All that is required is a parent’s signature on our publishing agreement!


Submissions to Shotgun! Strange Stories is: CLOSED

Publishing Schedule

April 15th, 2017
(Double Issue)


What is Shotgun! Strange Stories?

Are you new to writing Horror Fiction? Have you published a few times, here and there, but still feel like you’re spinning your wheels? You are not alone: the publishing industry is vast, and can be a frustrating place for brand new storytellers.

That is why DeadLights Horror Fiction Magazine would like to present: Shotgun! Strange Stories. A digital e-zine that is free to the public, Shotgun! allows authors to practice their craft and reach out to new audiences as we can hyperlink within the digital magazine to any source you choose. Our goal is to allow the horror community at large to interact with your story, and give you feedback; to start a dialogue between new author and new readers.


Cover Art: We’re interested in all sorts of horror art!

Flash Fiction: Shotgun! will accept two flash fiction pieces per issue! 300 – 900 words!

Short Fiction: Shotgun! will accept three short stories per issue! Stories under 4,000 words are accepted!

Poetry: We like poems that are the length of a Microsoft word document, for instance, so if you can keep it within those humble boundaries, you’re good! We’ll accept two poems per issue. 


We have decided to temporarily suspend paying authors and artists contributing to our E-Zine until we begin selling advertising space in an attempt to keep this E-Zine a free-to-read supplement to DeadLights Horror Fiction Magazine. We will be offering each other a contributors copy in print!

And! We will continue to return copyrights to authors once the story is published, and every accepted Shotgun! Strange Stories submission qualifies the writer to submit original fiction to our Shotgun! Anthology, released on Kindle and in a limited paperback edition! For more information on our first upcoming anthology, visit our DL Micro-Press page!


How to Submit

Format: Formatting a manuscript is good practice, no matter how many times you do it. See above for formatting instructions: same apply!

Sending it in: In the subject of the email, please place Strange Stories, your last name, and your fiction form (fiction form meaing, Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, etc.) so that it looks like this: StrangeStories_Smith_Poetry.

In the body of the email, feel free to give us a little biography of yourself and/or your professional career as a writer. We will add the biography in just before your story starts in Shotgun!

Email: Send your submissions to deadlightsmagazine (at) gmail (dot) com!


Other Odd Things

Wait Time: Shotgun! experiences a shorter wait time, as opposed to the for-sale magazine. Still, there may be up to a week or two of confused thumb-twiddling on the part of the writer. We’re sorry about that, and we’re aiming to not tire your joints out, we promise …

Rights: Our overall policy still applies: we don’t hold art hostage! As soon as the story is published in Shotgun!, the rights return to you.

Reprints: Shotgun! is for new and emerging authors. Please do not send reprints to this e-zine.

Multiple Submissions: We don’t accept multiple submissions, I’m sorry to say. One at a time, please!