• Dark Horses is currently closed to submissions. We will re-open April 1st, 2023. Hope to see you then!





    Hello and thank you so much for considering Dark Horses! Alas, we've received so many great stories that we're having difficulty giving them all the consideration they deserve. Couple that with the fact that we're extremely short-staffed, and, well, a communication like this becomes necessary. Here's the skinny: we're asking for your continued patience as we work through the stories and, also, that you forgive us (should we decide we can't use your work) for not sending a formal rejection letter. For one, they're no fun to write, and for two, they're time-consuming--time we'd rather use reading stories and generating cover art. To that end, we will not be notifying authors of rejections, only acceptances. So. Should you not hear from us within 3 months, it's a good chance we've passed on your story. That said, feel free to contact us; things can and do get lost in the shuffle. Again, thanks for considering us, and thanks for your patience as we consider your work!
    Our very best,
    Dark Horses Magazine

    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.
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  • 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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