Generic Submission Guidelines for Jolly Horror Anthologies


Note: These guidelines are generic and apply to all Jolly Horror Anthologies unless otherwise noted. Please see the actual call for submissions for each anthology to learn about any specific requirements.

Word Count: In general, Jolly Horror Press publishes short stories only. We like stories with a word count between 2,500 and 6,000 words. Please query us first if you are considering sending a longer story. The answer is likely a 'no', but you never know!

Diversity and Inclusiveness: Yes, we want stories from all sectors, from all kinds of people! We encourage submissions from women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. We seek to include writers from all walks of life who have a scary/funny story to tell.

Things that we AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE: Stories that glorify the torture of children or animals. No rape stories. We will not accept anything that degrades or dehumanizes any group of people on the basis of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Violations of this policy will get you banned. Don’t waste our time or your own.

How to Submit: Please email your story as an attachment to jollyhorrorpress@gmail.com. Please make the subject line the words "Submission for NAME OF ANTHOLOGY by YOUR NAME"

Submissions: Simultaneous submissions (stories you have submitted elsewhere but which have not been accepted yet) are okay, but if we accept then you must withdraw your submission from the other anthology. Likewise, if you are accepted there, please let us know so we can remove your story from consideration. Multiple submissions are okay, but we will only publish one story per author per anthology.

Rights: We ask for first rights on any story we publish. This means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online. (This includes publication on an author's own website.) When we publish a story, we ask for a brief period of exclusivity (usually one year), and the right to keep the story in print. We don't place any limits on what you can do with your story after the exclusivity period.

Format: Please format your story in William Shunn format as seen here, but phone number is not necessary. We do need your best email address! Please add us to your contacts so our emails don’t get caught in your junk/spam folder. We would prefer the file format be MS Word. Please no PDFs or links to Google Docs! Please do not put the story in the body of the email.

Payment: Payment differs per anthology, but it is the intent of Jolly Horror Press to pay market rates once we are established. During start up, expenses are high and profit is low, so we may have an interim period where lower than market rates are established for each anthology.

Quality: Hopefully it goes without saying, but we're gonna say it anyway. Submissions should generally have already been edited. We are not your editor. Minor grammar issues and typos are okay, but constant bad grammar, plot holes, things don't make sense, or other editor nightmares are gonna get your story rejected before we've even finished reading it. So bring your A-game.