Grendel Press

Seeking Reprints or Oft-Rejected but polished stories!

If you are an author of dark fantasy, dark sci-fi, horror, or dark romance, who has struggled to get a certain story published or who might have published a story a while back and wishes to breathe new life into an ‘oldie but goodie’ Grendel has a new opportunity for you!

So, what exactly am I going on about here?

We at GP know how difficult it is to shop stories around, get them published, and then to watch as they fade into the ether/ oblivion-soup that is the internet. Sometimes, after all that hard work to get a story published, it can feel like you accomplished little more than a measly paycheck and a new line for your resume.

As an inclusive publisher of all things dark fiction, Grendel is determined to help in our author’s journeys at every stage of the publishing process. This stage of ‘reinvigoration’ is one that we feel is often overlooked, and that’s what we hope to repair with our new podcast/online zine, Sinister Soup.

The structure of publishing will look something like this:

– Interested authors will submit a piece that is either a reprint or a story that has been rejected from publication multiple times despite being polished and edited to completion (proof of rejection will be required, as will proof of prior publication for re-prints).

– After acceptance, stories will be slotted for a place in the 2025 podcast schedule. Authors will be notified and an interview with said author will be arranged.

-When the date of publication arrives, the story will go live following this format:

1st week of publication month: The story goes live in written form for the online zine.

2nd week of publication month: The story goes live in audio format on the Sinister Soup Podcast

3rd week of publication month: The author conducts a promotional interview on the Sinister Soup Podcast.

4th week of publication month: Preview of next month’s featured author/story.

Our hope is that this format will create both audio and written content for authors to use as promotional material. It will also give you another publishing credit and get you paid (albeit, a small amount) for a story that’s already been published or that has struggled to get published. After all, that’s what makes a good soup! It’s a home for all those excellent ingredients that never quite made it as a featured entree or appetizer, and it gives them a fresh place to be delicious :).

This open call will run from the end of May until spots for the 2025 season are filled. If this sounds like an exciting opportunity to you and you’ve got a story ready to go, please email queries directly to our editor at the link below.


Before you do that, be sure to READ OUR…


What We Want

• Previously published or previously rejected short stories with 1,000-4,000 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.

• Stories that translate well to audio is a HUGE plus. They needn’t be formatted this way specifically, as we are looking for reprints, but if they read well, that will go a long way towards acceptance for this call.

What We Do Not Want

• AI generated/created stories. If you send us an AI story, it will be auto-rejected and you will be BLOCKED from all future publication with Sinister Soup.

• 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/Sci-Fi, 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.

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.


• Payment is $25 flat, per story. You will be paid immediately upon acceptance.

• Grendel Press maintains only non-exclusive rights to stories published through the Sinister Soup Zine and Podcast. That means we have the right to host your story on our site and show it in perpetuity, but we release the rights for you to seek other publications of the story, should you so choose. In short, we want to be able to share your wonderful work on our platform, but we don’t want to hold you back from being published elsewhere as well!

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