Gather up your paper and inks, partner! Weird West anthologies pop up not infrequently. Check out the list below for a roundup of anthologies seeking stories, updated quarterly. (*Please note I am not associated with any of these calls; questions should be directed to the editor or contact in the link.*)
Last updated: March 2023
Jolly Horror Press – SHORT STORY SUBMISSIONS – HORROR WESTERN
Submissions Open: April 2, 2023 to August 31, 2023. Expected publication date: December 2023
Title: Graveyard Boots
Word count: 2500-5000
Type: Anthology of short western horror stories (humor OK)
Call description: The Old West. Lawless. Filthy. Challenges were numerous. Justice was haphazard. One could die from a gunshot, a snakebite, a disease, or any number of reasons. It was not a place for the weak of heart. And that was just the wild west all by itself. For “Graveyard Boots,” we seek stories that add creatures, gunslingers, ghouls, ill omens, bad luck, evil minds, monsters and more to the already desolate landscape and ghost towns. Yet there was still humor back in those days of yore, and with “Graveyard Boots,” stories with humor will give you a leg up.
Compensation: $.005 (one half cent) per word.
https://www.thejollypress.com/horror/opencall.htmlWebsite for more information: https://www.thejollypress.com/horror/opencall.html
ARCHIVE OF PAST CALLS (2022)
DEADLINE PASSED – BRIGIDS GATE PRESS
Submissions Open: May 1st-15th
Type: Anthology of short stories (horror)
Editor: Kenneth W. Cain
Call Description: Splatterpunk Western Horror set in the late 1800s in the Old West. All horror tropes welcome. Violence, gore, and explicit sexual content are no replacement for story. These elements must drive the story forward, not distract from the story.
No explicit sexual content just for the sake of having it, no racism or anti-LGBTQIA+, animal cruelty, violence just for violence’s sake. No reprints.
What: Submissions should be a Word doc or docx. On the first page of your piece, include word count and any specific trigger warnings.
Please include an author bio (including any social media or website links you want displayed) as a separate document.
Stories: 2,500-5,000 words
Single submissions only-please only submit one story for consideration. Simultaneous submissions are fine, please let us know if your piece is accepted elsewhere.
This is an open submission call. No slots have been reserved for invitation pieces.
Where: Email all submissions to email@example.com and put WESTERN ANTHOLOGY in the subject line.
Compensation: $0.08/word, ebook and paperback copy of the anthology.
Website for more information: https://brigidsgatepress.com/submissions
DEADLINE PASSED: DEATH’S HEAD PRESS – HOT IRON and COLD BLOOD
Call Description: Death’s Head Press is teaming up with Patrick R. McDonough (writer and the producer and host of the Dead Headspace podcast) to present Hot Iron and Cold Blood: An anthology of the Weird West. We’re looking for westerns set in the 19th century with heavy elements of horror in all it’s beautiful and ugly colors. The stories must be anchored into the time period and setting. We’re not looking for stories that feel like they were repurposed for this open call.
We’re looking to fill 2 slots with this open call. We’re interested in hearing from everyone—all walks of life. Don’t hold back with your content, either. Push those limits and let’s see what you come out with in the end!
Anthology projected to be published in the Fall of 2022.
Theme: Horror, dark, gritty, weird, and wild stories set in the old west. Be it in the desert, prairie, or a frozen mountain range, we’re open to see all of your ideas. We want to read about those legendary supernatural lore, otherworldly forces, and everything in between. That’s all you get in this section. We want to see what YOU come up with!
Word Count: 2,5000 – 6,000 Words
Open window: April 23rd 2022 at 12:00 AM EST
Deadline: May 15th 2022 at 11:59 PM EST
NO NAME OR IDENTIFYING MARKINGS ON THE MANUSCRIPT. TITLE ONLY. WE DON’T WANT ANYONE’S MANUSCRIPT CONSIDERED UNFAIRLY BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE.
TOC so far: Joe R. Lansdale, Owl Goingback, Edward Lee, Ronald Kelly, Bri Morgan, Jeff Strand, Kenzie Jennings, Patrick R. McDonough, L.M. Labat, Brennan LaFaro, Jill Girardi. Edited by Patrick C Harrison III and Patrick R. McDonough
Multiple Submissions: No
Simultaneous Submissions: Yes, but we ask that you let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere and you choose to go with another publisher.
Rights: Standard 12 month exclusivity with lifetime of book rights to publish.
Submission email/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
When emailing us, under the header please use: Title – Story title – Author name. Send your manuscript either as a .doc or .docx file type. Any manuscripts not using these guidelines will automatically be disqualified. We thank you all for understanding and are very excited to read your submissions!
Website for more information: https://deathsheadpress.com
DEADLINE PASSED: Timber Ghost Press – Along Harrowed Trails
Call Description: Timber Ghost Press is proud to present Along Harrowed Trails, an anthology of horror set in the Old West. We are seeking well-crafted stories and poems that are creepy, disturbing, and weird that embrace the Old West aesthetic from around 1800-1900.
For inspiration, you can look to Bone Tomahawk, Ravenous, Hostiles, The Wind, Appaloosa, Tombstone, Blood Meridian, Deadlands, Quick and the Dead, etc.
We anticipate an early 2023 release. Accepted authors will receive payment according to the pay scale below, plus a contributor’s copy of the anthology in both print and electronic format.
Deadline: August 31st, 2022
The Following Categories are Open for Submission:
Flash Fiction: 1000 words or less
Short Fiction: 1001-6000 words
Poetry – $10 USD
Flash – $15 USD
Short Fiction – $35 USD
Website for more information: https://www.timberghostpress.com/along-harrowed-trails.html
DEADLINE PASSED: Queer Weird West Tales
Call description: This hybrid subgenre requires three elements: Queer: At least one main character belongs to the LGBTQ+ spectrum, defined in whatever way seems natural to them. Weird: The story contains a speculative fiction element, drawing on fantasy, horror, or science fiction. West: The setting is the Old West – or the time and place of any other frontier.
Deadline: Feb 28, 2022
DEADLINE PASSED: SNAFU: DEAD OR ALIVE
Call description: WHAT WE WANT: ACTION-BASED horror, themed within conflict in the wild, wild West. Think Bone Tomahawk, Ravenous, Westworld, Cowboys & Aliens and The Burrowers for films, and Dead in the West by Joe Lansdale, Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry, Skin Medicine by Tim Curran, and The Crossings by Jack Ketchum for writings… anything that can be considered a high-action monster story set within an obviously Western theme.
For level of unnatural creature we will give priority to, think Dog Soldiers or Aliens in oldie times. We want lots of monster goodness and lots of action. We will also be looking for soldiers/cavalry, bandit gangs (or bandidos, for south of the border), sheriffs, private security for gold claims. Hell, even a group of bodyguards protecting some arsehole business overlord in his desert property.
Just ensure the action is central to the story, from start to finish, and don’t forget monsters!
Deadline: March 31, 2022