Submissions are closed for 2023 Anthologies. We will announce new themes later this year!

GrendelPress accepts short story submissions that fit into our chosen genres of Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Romance.
We will develop themes for each genre as submissions accumulate.

Unpublished short stories must be 2,500-7,000 words and if approved, will be featured in our anthologies consisting of approximately ~65,000 words each. Approved stories will be published in English ebook,  and print with a possibility for audiobook. If approved, you will be notified when the anthology has received the perfect combination of stories to publish, and it’s expected publication date. 

2024 Themes

  • Uncanny & Unearthly Tales (Vol 2) – The Midnight Labyrinth
    Submission Period: August 1st, 2023 – December 31st, 2023 (Midnight CST)
    More details coming soon

  • More Than a Monster (Vol 2) – TBD
    Submission Period: March 1st, 2024 – May 31st, 2024 (Midnight CST)
    Join our Discord Server to weigh in on this theme and see early-access details for The Midnight Labyrinth!


We pay .05 per word in exchange for rights to publish your original stories in a seasonal anthology. No reprints, these stories must be unpublished elsewhere. We may be running multiple themed anthologies at a time, so feel free to submit one story per theme only. 

Exclusivity Terms & Author Rights

Upon payment, GrendelPress gains the right to publish your story in our seasonal theme anthology exclusively for one year from the date of publication. You retain the rights to your work and will be credited appropriately at all times. After the year has ended, GrendelPress retains the right to feature your story in the same anthology, but you are free to publish elsewhere at your discretion.

What We Want

  • Unpublished short stories with 2,500-7,000 words (we will consider stories that are slightly outside the word count range)
  • We go for stories that are dark and deep; we are looking for the stories that stick with you long after you go to sleep.
  • Stories with a depth of character that explore the mind as much as the monsters.
  • Stories that show more than tell and build suspense before shock factor.
  • Easily readable. It’s wonderful to craft a gorgeous story, but if people need a dictionary to understand it, we cannot accept it.

What We Do Not Want

  • Stories published elsewhere
  • Shorts without properly formatted dialogue or containing too many spelling and grammar errors. These stories may be returned to you with a request to clean them up and resubmit.
  • Stories that are not Dark Fantasy, Horror, or Dark Romance
  • Fan fiction or anything that may cause copyright issues.
  • Sex is fine, but plot should come first.
  • Stories that include intolerance of a person or group’s race, religion, nationality, physical or mental ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  • Gratuitous gore and violence with no purpose – blood and guts are fine as long as there’s something more going on than the shock factor.
  • Stories that glorify, minimize, or inaccurately represent child abuse, animal abuse, or sexual assault.

Deadline & Schedule

Our deadlines are posted above. We will notify of your acceptance or denial via the email you provide in your submission.  You have a chance at that time to consider our agreements and specify your method of payment.

Please check our website for general anthology updates. 
We do our best to get rejection letters out to everyone, but we also provide weekly updates on the status of our anthologies in our newsletter and on all of our social medias.
Please take an active interest in staying up to date on your submitted anthology. 

  • Phase One – Screening Stories
    We screen stories for the duration of our submission periods. While we will send out rejection emails, they do occasionally get lost. This last year, out of almost 1000 submissions, at least thirty people emailed months after we announced that all contracts had been signed in order to check the status of their submission. 
  • Phase Two – Correspondence
    – Send initial acceptance/denials.
    – Send separate email with the editing/publishing schedule going forward to the Accepted Queue.
  • Phase Three – Edit-Pocalypse
    – We begin the process of editing the accepted stories and corresponding with the authors to polish the stories.
  • Phase Four – Cover Art & Marketing Materials
  • Phase Five – Begin Preorders and Launch Countdown

This plan may change as unforeseen issues arise and will be updated with specific calendar dates closer to the submission periods.

Simultaneous Submissions

To qualify your submission to us, your story must not have been published elsewhere. You MAY simultaneously submit your work elsewhere.
However, if it is accepted, please notify us of your withdrawal via email at as soon as possible.

Multiple Submissions

You may submit multiple stories that fit our themes! You may submit two different stories, but only one may be accepted per anthology. 

Manuscript Format

  • The manuscript must be understandable by a mixed audience. Any English is fine as long as the average Joe can understand all of the references and it follows basic grammar rules.
  • 12 pt.  Times New Roman font, normal margins, and double spaced
  • Do not use any special formatting like headers, page numbers, images, and page/section breaks
  • Include your author’s name, title, and word count on the first page
  • Indicate scene breaks with three stars, no space (***)
  • Indicate the end of the manuscript with three stars, with spaces in between (* * *)
  • Submission must be in Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Save the file name in this format: Title of Story_Author’s Full Name
  • If you use a penname, place it in the document with the word count and title, but please include your full legal name in the form submission box for payment purposes.

Send your Submissions or if there is a problem with the form,
Do not use the submission email as an excuse to ignore submission requirements.

Submission Email Etiquette

Email Subject: Anthology – Story Title – Genre – Word Count
Suggested Content: Story Blurb (2-3 sentences), Triggers & Tropes, Author Bio, your manuscript.

  • Do not submit AI generated babble. 
  • Do not submit 2-3 pages of your previously published works. We do not base acceptance on your popularity.
  • Do not submit poetry or works that  clearly do not fit our themes or requirements. 

We now have a Discord Community, for those that want to be involved and share ideas with fellow authors.


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