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Coffin Bell is an online journal for dark literature. Publishing quarterly, Coffin Bell reads submissions year-round. If your submission misses the deadline for one (unthemed) issue, it will automatically be considered for the next.

GENRES:

flash fiction, short story, creative nonfiction, poetry, essay, short criticism, art
Reading window: 1 Jan. — 31 Dec.

Issues are published on the following dates:

Issue No. 1: January 1 (unthemed)
Issue No. 2: April 1 (themed)
Issue No. 3: July 1 (unthemed)
Issue No. 4: October 1 (themed)

We are not currently a paying market, but hope to be in the future.

WHAT WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR: While we encourage writers to take risks and push the limits of literary horror, we ask that writers be socially responsible while doing so. Work that’s homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist, or discriminatory will not be considered for publication.

Submission guidelines:

FICTION + POETRY:

Include a short third-person bio with your cover letter. We’re nosy. Allow three months before querying, but we will try to get back to you much faster than that.

We’re looking for flash (up to 1,500 words), short stories (up to 7,500 words), and poetry of any length. Please send up to 5 poems, 5 flashes, or 1 short story per submission. Simultaneous submissions are great, but PLEASE PROMPTLY WITHDRAW your work from consideration if it is accepted elsewhere.

NOTE: For poetry with special formatting, please submit your work formatted in 12pt Alegreya Sans. Because we hard-code the poetry into the page to support special formatting, work changed from the font you used into the issue font may be automatically reformatted. It’s easier to preserve your original vision for the piece if you finalize the formatting using the font that we will use. 

All rights revert to the author upon publication. We ask that if your piece is subsequently published elsewhere, you credit Coffin Bell for first publication.

We do not offer feedback on declined submissions. Please allow six months before querying.

Please be sure that your work is thoroughly proofread and ready to be published upon acceptance. Substantial edits presented after acceptance may not be honored.

 

CREATIVE NONFICTION / ESSAY / SHORT WORKS OF CRITICISM:

We are looking for creative nonfiction, essays, and short works of criticism that deal with one or more “dark” elements. For an example, see Kirsty McGrory’s “The Subversive Fantasy of Isobel Gowdie” in Issue 1.4. We have no hard limits for word count, but please keep in mind that we are an online venue.

Include a short third-person bio with your cover letter. If applicable, paste an abstract into your cover letter.

All rights revert to the author upon publication. We ask that if your piece is subsequently published elsewhere, you credit Coffin Bell for first publication.

We do not offer feedback on declined submissions. Please allow six months before querying.

Please be sure that your work is thoroughly proofread and ready to be published upon acceptance. Substantial edits presented after acceptance may not be honored.

 

VISUAL ART:

Please send your dark-themed photos, paintings, and / or illustrations as JPG or PNG files via our Submittable submissions manager. Do not email submissions to us; submissions sent via email will be deleted unread. Selected work will be featured on the site in each issue. We do not publish artwork in the print anthology at this time.

 

FEEDBACK OPTION:

For a $10 fee, submitters will receive feedback from three editors for each submitted piece. All work submitted in this category is automatically considered for publication. To submit work to a specific themed issue, please note the issue in your cover letter. Please allow six months for a response.

 

Questions? See our contact page for the proper email address to get in touch.


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