Horror Anthology 2020


Mason Jar Press is publishing an anthology of horror short stories. We need the stories. Send us your horror. We want stories with an eye on society that speak to larger themes than just murder and mayhem. They should still be considered literary in nature. Think Beloved or “The Lottery” and not something you’d see on Creepypasta (sorry Creepypasta).


We’re looking for stories that show the darkest of humanity. We want killers and the damned. We want polished, literary prose that drips with suspense, elicits gasps, and instills sleeping-with the-lights-on levels of fear. We also want consequences, comeuppance, or at least some twisted form of justice. The stories can be set in any time or place, though we lean toward the contemporary. Surprise us. Make a chill go down our spine. But most importantly, make us think about the world a little bit differently.


We’re not interested in unexamined bigotry, sexual violence, or torture; pieces that include such should really be looking at post-event experiences of the survivors. You can write werewolf/vampire/monster stories, but really deconstruct the genre tropes. Other genre elements from sci-fi, fantasy, etc. are welcomed in reasonable doses. Stories must be horror first and foremost.


Stories should be in standard manuscript format, i.e. double spaced, in a reasonable, 12-point font. The editor has a fondness for Georgia (no Comic Sans or Papyrus please). The story title, word count, and contact information should appear on the first page, and your last name, story title, and page number should appear in the header information of all other pages.

We will be reviewing submissions on a rolling basis until the anthology is filled starting March 1. Please address your submission to the Mason Jar Team. The editorial staff is flattered that you think of them, but MJP is more than just a masthead, and we’d prefer you think of everyone that reads for us. Acceptances will be notified within 90 days of submission close. Feel free to query after that.

Simultaneous submissions are fine. Just let us know if it’s been accepted elsewhere (we’ll cheer for you).

Please remember not to self-reject!


We’re looking for stories under 5,000 words. 2,000-4,000 words is probably the sweet spot.

We’re also open to flash fiction in the 500 – 1,000 range.

All limits are soft suggestions. You send us fire, we’ll publish it, regardless of word count.


We will not be accepting previously published work for this anthology. This includes on blogs and personal websites. Translations are welcomed, but they must not have been published in English before and the express permission of original author is required.


We are seeking twelve months (from publication date) of exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights and non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights in perpetuity. Exceptions can be made for published stories that are then chosen for a "best of the year" anthology, etc.


There is no fee to submit. If you want to buy a book while you’re here, that’s cool but not mandatory.


Accepted stories will earn $20 plus two contributor’s copies for the original terms of the contract. Payment is within 30 days of publication.


We expect to publish this anthology in November 2020.