Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 7

Shadows & Tall Trees Vol. 7 is now open for submissions. Deadline August 31. Based on the number of subs already received in the first few hours, (and the terrific writers submitting wok) I am going to be rather busy, and also will likely have some hard decisions to make.

SHADOWS & TALL TREES, VOL. 7 (Undertow Publications)

Open to submissions from August 1 to August 31 only! (Standard Manuscript Format)

– I want literary horror, weird fiction, strange tales, à la Robert Aickman.
– Original, previously unpublished fiction only, please.
– Manuscripts should be 2500 to 8000 words
– Payment is a princely $50 – $100 and a copy of each edition, for first English-Language rights for Hardback, Trade and eBook editions.
– No overly long and effusive cover letters. I don’t read them.
– No simultaneous or multiple submissions, please
– No familiar tropes. i.e. vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Ghosts, though? Hell, yes.
– No science fiction, high fantasy, or poetry please

Stories, in standard manuscript format, as attachments, are to be sent to this address only:

Full guidelines:

Quiet horror and weird fiction. Fiction that is offbeat and eclectic; dark, bizarre and psychological. Stories both subtle and prosaic. Weird, strange tales. Shadows & Tall Trees is an anthology of the dark and fantastic, with mainstream sensibilities. I am seeking low-key, literary work. Voice is very important.

Volume 6 was a World Fantasy Award, and Shirley Jackson Award Finalist. Several stories published in Shadows & Tall Trees have been selected for reprint in various “Best Of” anthologies. Peter Straub has declared it “A beautiful and courageous volume.”

I am looking for stories that share the same weird and strange sensibility experienced in the works of Robert Aickman, Laird Barron, Shirley Jackson, Vernon Lee, Thomas Ligotti, Daphne du Maurier, and Arthur Machen.

I am not interested in any of the familiar tropes of the genre, i.e., vampires, werewolves, and zombies, in any of their forms. Nor am I interested in urban fantasy, occult/paranormal detectives, or magick. No elves, dragons, or faeries.

Other authors that I enjoy include Nina Allan, Nathan Ballingrud, Charles Beaumont, Italo Calvino, Ramsey Campbell, Angela Carter, Raymond Carver, Gemma Files, Elizabeth Hand, Helen Oyeyemi, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, Kathe Koja, Alison Moore, Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O’Connor, Mary Rickert, Nicholas Royle, Simon Strantzas, Steve Rasnic Tem, Lisa Tuttle, etc.

Undertow Publications encourages and welcomes a diverse range of voices and perspectives.

Response times will vary. Some stories may be held until November. The book is due to be published March 2017.

About Undertow Publications:

Undertow Publications is an independent press dedicated to short fiction of exceptional literary merit. Our goal is to keep this art form alive and viable; to share great new contemporary writing; and to prove that the short story is a vital mode of literature that displays great craft, is entertaining, provocative, and comments on society and the human condition in imaginative ways.

Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Shadows & Tall Trees are the flagship publications of Undertow Publications (UP). Our books have won the Shirley Jackson Award, and been finalists for the World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Awards.

  18 comments for “Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 7

  1. Michelle Soley
    August 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Will I still retain the copyright to my story?

    Please advise.

    Thank you. 🙂

    • Michael
      August 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Of course! You should never give up copyright.

      • Michelle Soley
        August 15, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Okay. Thank you. Plan on submitting once I have an editor look it over. I think you’ll be very pleased!


        • Michelle Soley
          August 15, 2016 at 11:57 am

          One more question: I will also retain the right to publish the piece nonexclusively?

          • Michael
            August 16, 2016 at 10:57 am

            After 6 months, yes, you can do what you like with the piece. We ask for 6 months exclusivity.

  2. S. L. Edwards
    August 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

    How long are you dear folks looking to retain print exclusivity of these stories? Three months or so after print publication?


    S. L. Edwards

    • Michael
      August 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Six months.

  3. Marc
    August 16, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I have a story that would fit but is only 2000 words, can I send it in anyway?

    • Michael
      August 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm


      If it’s a couple hundred words under 2500 I’ll take a look. Anything shorter
      and ‘no.’


  4. Jeff Scudder
    August 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I have a horror story ready to be submitted but it’s under 2,500 words. Can I still sent it in?
    The word count after editing came to 1,438 for your open submission.

    • Michael
      August 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      I am afraid not.

  5. Alexandra
    August 18, 2016 at 8:42 am

    E-mailed submission, waiting with anticipation.
    P.S. Do you give any feedback at all, even if not accepted?

    • Michael
      August 18, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Due to the amount of submissions, no, I’m afraid I cannot offer any editorial feedback.

      • Alexandra
        August 20, 2016 at 10:38 am

        Okay, Michael, no worries.

  6. August 18, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Is 8200 words too long to be considered?

    • Michael
      August 18, 2016 at 11:44 am

      A couple hundred words outside the guidelines is fine. I can take a look.

  7. Stephen Reese
    August 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Will you accept story attachments in .pdf format?

    Thanks kindly,

    • Michael
      August 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm


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