Ghostwoods Books is currently only accepting complete manuscripts in answer to one of our Calls for Submission or in response to a request from one of our editors. (See below.)

We’ll be calling for various things from time to time so check the calls regularly if you’re interested in working with us. If your manuscript is for a specific call or has been requested, please submit, in a format MS Word can deal with, preferably .doc, .docx, or .rtf, using our submissions email: submissions at gwdbooks dot com.

Current calls for submissions

UPDATED: 2 August 2020 This call is CLOSED but read below for status updates.

Working Title: The Unsung: Heroes under Fitful Stars

Status: We’re in the process of reading and trying to put together a meaningful book from stories received through this open call. If we need more stories we may reopen the call and/or request additional stories from writers we’ve worked with before. If you submitted, you should receive update emails from the editor as the process continues. If you don’t receive the emails, please email ghostwoodsbooks at gmail dot com to make sure we have your story.

Genre: Weird Fiction, Dark Fantasy (Please note: This is not a call for unadulterated horror, cosmic or not. There can be cosmic aspects, but in this anthology, we’d like the good guys, especially those who are helping without much recognition, to be victorious even if only in a small way.)

“When the stars were right, they could plunge from world to world through the sky…”

We are calling for short stories between 5000 and 8000 words. (Please respect these word counts, if at all possible.) We are hoping to publish a dozen stories only, so they will need to be a good fit.

 Brief: What we’d like to see: This is a very difficult time in the world, obviously. We want something a bit more hopeful than cosmic horror. We’d like to see stories of unsung heroes trying to save humanity when the stars are right and great Cthulhu rises from Its slumbers with every intention of destroying us all.

Our inspiration for this call, in the early part of the Covid-19 outbreak was the number of domestic violence victims whose lives were made more difficult by the pandemic. But then all hell broke loose and there was plenty of fodder for stories. I saw “Cthulhu” in this call as representing a huge unempathetic problem (i.e. one that you couldn’t convince to help you by appareling to its conscience or feelings) such as an epidemic, but as time went on, similar problems rose u. Systemic racism, lack of health care in wealthy countries, job losses. Anyone of these could be a Cthulhu sized problem. But put them together and we all feel overwhelmed.

You do NOT need to mention Cthulhu but it should be weird fiction. Stories should be tension filled but with an optimistic ending. Even if your hero/ine dies at the end if they’ve made things better, it could count as hopeful. If you need more direction, DM us on Twitter @ghostwoodsbooks. NOTE: NO RAPE, NO RACISM, please.

We will be looking for stories of a similar quality to those we’ve published in past anthologies but with some light in them. If you’d like to know what we’re looking for, please download and read Cthulhu Lives! An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft Note: If you would like a free copy, please DM us on Twitter/ghostwoodsbooks

Payment: It is our intention to pay the contributing authors as well as possible. To do this, we’ll need to fund the book through Kickstarter and its unionized employees! (Yay!) Therefore, we’re not able to say just now what we’ll pay. We’re starting out at £100 per story in our fundraising goal, and using stretch goals to increase how much each writer is paid. So providing we’re funded, you should get at least £100 if we accept your story. UPDATED TO ADD: We will be making every effort through stretch goals to pay writers at least 6 cents US per word for these stories, but we’d like to start with an amount we feel we can raise first.

Submissions are now closed.

Submit to:

Please put The Unsung: [your story title] in the subject line of your email and attach the story in Microsoft Word or a compatible format (such as Open Office or .rtf)

We are always seeking diverse stories. Authors of colour, LBGTQ+ authors, non-native English speakers, disabled authors and women  — you are very welcome to submit and we consider your contributions necessary. We are not accepting novels at all at this time. We are not accepting short stories that do not meet the criteria in this call. Please do not put “The Unsung” into the subject line of anything that is not a short story specifically intended for this call.  As stated in the general guidelines, please don’t submit previously published stories without asking. Please don’t submit multiple stories, though you may point out in your cover letter that you have a second story if the one you’ve submitted doesn’t suit. Please no simultaneous submissions. If you have other questions about the process, DM us on Twitter @GhostwoodsBooks.


Things not to include: PDFs; file formats MS Word can’t open; ZIPs, RARs, Executables, image files or viruses; ludicrous bravado; unfinished books; Public Domain works you’ve copied; manuscripts you don’t own all the rights to; multiple different books; books substantially shorter than 60,000 words or longer than 150,000 words; and poetry — simply because we know nothing about it.

Please submit the whole manuscript in standard manuscript format, i.e. 11 or 12 pt. proportional serif font like Times New Roman or Garamond, left justified, MS Word or compatible format.

Please include only a title page (if you want one), your name and contact information and your manuscript. There should be nothing else in your file: no cover, no synopsis, no letter, no table of contents, no acknowledgments, etc. Just BOOK.