• Dark Horses is now open to submissions.

    About Us

    dark horse
    /ˈdärk ˈˌhôrs/
    1. a candidate or competitor about whom little is known but who unexpectedly wins or succeeds.
    "a dark-horse candidate"

    Join us for a monthly tour of writers who give as good as they get. From hard science-fiction to stark, melancholic apocalypses; from Lovecraftian horror to zombies and horror comedy; from whimsical interludes to tales of unlikely compassion--whatever it is, if it's weird, it's here. So grab a seat before the starting gun fires, pour yourself a glass of strange wine, and get ready for the running of the dark horses.

  • Back Issues

    Dark Horses No. 1

    "The Burning Cathedral of Summer" by Wayne Kyle Spitzer
    "The Hornet Priest" by Kurt Newton
    "The Silhouette Shop" by M. Kari Barr
    "Growing Season" by Davin Ireland
    "A Whisperer Among the Graves" by Bill

    Dark Horses No. 2

    "In the Forests of the Night" by Wayne Kyle Spitzer

    "The Devil's Playground" by Kurt Newton

    "Death Before Birth" by James Harper

    "People of the Land" by Alistair Rey

    "A Whisperer Among the Graves" (Prt. 2)


    Bill Link

    Dark Horses No. 3

    "Clouds" by
    Wayne Kyle Spitzer
    "Me and No-Me"
    by Robert Pope
    "Lauren" by

    Cameron Trost ... and more!

    Dark Horses No. 4

    "The Raising of Hester Macrae"
    by E.M. Anderson
    "Query Letter" by Riley Winchester
    "October Mardi Gras" by Mary Joe
    "The Gyre" by Samuel Finn ... and more!

    Dark Horses No. 5

    "The Fine Art of Letting Go"

    by Victoria Alexis

    "The Glass Folio" by Ben Curl

    "The Teacher" by Jeff D. Thompson

    "Survivalist" by Kevin Brown

    "The Haunting of Piedras Blancas" ...and more!

    Dark Horses No. 6

    "The Dead World" by Donald McCarthy

    "The Wheel" by Sam Fletcher

    "Red's Place" by Douglas Young

    "Night of the Trellis" by Arthur Davis

    "The Devil Drives a '66" by Wayne Kyle Spitzer ...and more!

  • Submission Guidelines

    Some Givens

    Honestly, we’d rather roll in broken glass than write a set of Writer’s Guidelines. But, because we’d rather accept your work than send you another form rejection (which, if you’re submitting to us, you have a trunk full of already—because you’ve been at this for a while, right?), we thought it necessary. First, of course, are the givens. It’s a given, for example, that you’ve read widely and know something about weird fiction. I mean, if you haven’t, and are still submitting to us, well, that’d be nuts, wouldn’t it? Pure hubris. It’s also a given that you’ve spent some time honing your craft and know your way around a manuscript—again, because why else would you be submitting to us?—and, also, that you understand some basic Word mechanics (how to use paragraph styles, for example), so that, should we accept your work, it will be easy for us to publish. Those are the givens.


    What isn’t a given is, well, everything else. What isn’t a given is how you handle language and time and make us want to continue reading even though we have a bus to catch at 4 o’clock in the morning. What isn’t a given is your use of atmosphere and place and nuance to give us a sense of dread and/or anticipation; or the way you are able to keep things moving along and not get too mired in detail or ephemera; or that you don’t need to use excessive sex, violence, or language to get the job done—but aren’t afraid to, either, if the story demands it. What isn’t a given is that, beyond the basics, there are no givens; and that anything and everything is possible if you just make us believe. If you just tell us a good story and do it with some measure of finesse.


    That’s it, in a nutshell. That’s the girl, the gold watch, everything.

    Some Terms

    We ask for non-exclusive, one-time, worldwide rights to publish your work in print and digital formats, and then to archive it indefinitely. Alas, we are not a paying market at this time.

    How to Submit


    • Include a brief covering letter (with word count)
    • Include a third-person bio (approx. 100 words)
    • Include the word “Submission” in the subject line
    • Up to 10,000 words of prose, with exceptions (MS Word only, please)
    • Simultaneous submissions: okay
    • Reprints: welcome
    • One submission at a time, please

    Send work to shadowsinthegarden@gmail.com.


    Please query if you have received no response after three months.

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