| Basic Guidelines | Submission Guidelines | Further Details | Ethics of Writing + Sensitivity Readers | Donations |

Officially Closed for Submissions

Thank you to everyone who submitted to Nightmares When I’m Cold! However, we are officially closed to any further submissions.

Submissions open from
midnight (PST) July 1, 2021 to August 15, 2021, 11:59pm (PST)

Basic Guidelines

This is what we are looking for:

  1. A horror story revolving around the prompt “Nightmares When I’m Cold”
  2. 3,000 to 6,000 words. Anything above 6,000 or below 3,000 will be discarded.
  3. Any subgenre of horror, though horror must be the main genre

Please note that just because the prompt is in the first person doesn’t mean that the story itself needs to be in the first person.

What we do not want:

  1. Gratuitous violence, abuse, or sex
  2. Anything to do with rape. This is a big NO. While we know this is a book of horror, we would like to avoid needing to put Trigger Warnings at the top of any story.
  3. Anything to do with the mutilation or harm of children. This is a big NO.
  4. Anything that promotes or normalizes bigotry, sexism, racism, etc. This is a big NO.
  5. Gratuitous gore

Who is eligible:

  • Adults 18+
  • Contestants from the US, Mexico, and Canada*

* One day we hope to expand this to include other countries, but for now, we are keeping this continental local.

Submission Guidelines

  • Format your story with the title at the top with the word count written under it (neither title nor word count are counted in your entry’s word count)
  • File saved in a .doc or .docx format (Please, no PDFs)
  • $10 USD Submission fee (fee waived for BI&POC and/or LGBTQIA+ writers)*
  • You must be 18+
  • You must be living in the US, Mexico, or Canada
  • Entries must be in English
  • Entries must be sent with two different files: the story and a separate cover letter
    • Your submission must not include your name anywhere on it other than the email you send us and your cover letter. **
    • Please save your story submission as your story title, refraining from using your name in the document name
    • The cover letter must have your name as well as the story title in it. When you save your cover letter, please save it as “[STORY TITLE] Cover Letter.”  Please see more details on the cover letter further down.
  • You may enter as many pieces as you’d like,*** though send them individually as separate entries, with separate entry fees*
  • We will not be accepting stories that have been published elsewhere
  • We will not be accepting simultaneous submission

* We also believe strongly in amplifying and lifting BI&POC and LGBTQIA+ voices. As an honor system, that fee will be waived, no questions asked.

** We ask for only the story title to be in your entry document, without your name, so we can be reading the entries as blindly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

*** As stated above, we would love you to enter in as many pieces as you would like, and we will read them all. However, out of fairness to other entrants, if your work is shortlisted, we will only publish one of your pieces in the anthology.

Please get in contact if you’d like to donate further to this contest, or offer a donation to help cover the waived fees. All profits of this contest and the anthology will go to Writing the Other’s Sentient Squid Scholarship.

All We Want in the Cover Letter…

  • The name of your story and your name
  • A little bit about your story, and if you did choose the third-method, feel free to share what your first two ideas were (though this isn’t essential, just a fun way for us to get to know you)
  • A little about yourself as a writer
  • A little about you as you

| Basic Guidelines | Submission Guidelines | Further Details | Ethics of Writing + Sensitivity Readers | Donations |

Further Details

  1. Our approximate timeline is as such:
    • Announce the short-list on September 21, 2021
    • Announce 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes on October 31, 2021
    • Release the anthology December 1, 2021
  2. The timeline we have set is tentative. It is our aim, though we may have to push it back. We appreciate your patience.
  3. If you are short-listed and thus included in the anthology, we will have the rights to your story for six months after publication purely for promotional purposes. After that, you may submit it wherever else you’d like. We won’t do anything with your story other than publish it in an agreeable manner in the anthology.

Ethics of Writing + Sensitivity Readers

Both Katrina and I have strong desires contributing good to the world. As a result, we have a few stances we are taking with this contest/anthology.

Marginalized Voices and Sensitivity Readers

We believe in uplifting and making space for marginalized voices, which is why we are waiving submission fees for BI&POC and LGBTQIA+ writers, no questions asked. This is a trust and honor system, and we would appreciate that this is respected.

Likewise, we also acknowledge that we aren’t qualified to ensure that the content of all the stories that are selected won’t be problematic. As a result, we would like to have sensitivity readers on board with this project.

If you are a sensitivity reader and would like to be a part of this contest/anthology, please feel free to contact me via IG DM, or though the contact page. We would love to talk to you.


Anything beyond the production costs will go to Writing the Other.

Again, if you would like to donate toward this contest/anthology to help cover the waived entry fees of marginalized writers, please get in touch! We would love to hear from you.