Thank you for considering Haunted Waters Press. We are an independent publisher located in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia along the banks of the Shenandoah River. We publish works from new, emerging, and established writers. We are interested in stories that entertain us, stories that captivate us, but most of all, stories that haunt us. We look forward to reading your work!

Susan Warren Utley
Savannah Renée Spidalieri 
Editors, Haunted Waters Press  

What we are looking for…

Our goal is to bring to our readers engaging fiction in the forms of poetry, prose poetry, short stories, and novellas. We welcome both the profound and the quirky. We are open to most styles and genres of fiction and enjoy all forms of poetry. While some selections are made available in electronic formats and traditional print, others will be offered as handbound originals and paper ephemera as we strive to celebrate the art of the book and letterpress printing. Our print studio consists of three presses including the Cooks Victor, the Baltimore #14 and a vintage sign press. 

If you are new to Haunted Waters Press, we encourage you to visit our website to get to know us better. There you will find news and information about our small press as well as links to recent publications. Downloading free copies of our latest issues will help you get a better feel for the kinds of work we tend to publish and the level of attention paid to each and every published piece. From the Depths features custom artwork inspired by our contributors’ works to create a cohesive collection of prose, poetry and art. It truly is a labor of love. We hope you enjoy what has been described as “one of the most compelling and beautifully illustrated literary journals.”


Previously a For the Love of the Project endeavor, Haunted Waters Press is taking the plunge into the world of paying markets. In our fifth year, we are offering Grand Prize cash payments and/or semi-professional rates for works accepted for print publication in From the Depths via the Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry OpenExpedited Decision, and our Free Reading Period. While we get our feet wet feet, some writing competitions and Web Editions will remain for exposure only, others will offer cash prizes, publication, or a combination of both. Please see individual listings for details. (All monetary payments are processed via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can set up a free account upon receipt of automatic payment notification from PayPal to the email address you supply.)


  • Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry Open
    November 1, 2015 - February 20, 2016
  • From the Depths Free Reading Period 
    March 1, 2016 - May 31, 2016
  • From the Depths Expedited Decision
    March 1, 2016 - September 20, 2016
  • Short Shorts: A Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
    May 1, 2016 - September 20, 2016
  • Penny Fiction Flash Fiction Competition
    Three Rounds to be held in the months of November/December 2015, January/February 2016, June/July 2016
  • Haunted Waters Press Chapbook Series 
    To be announced.
  • Letterpress Submissions 
    To be announced. 

Please visit our website for detailed submission guidelines and see individual listings below. Thank you!

$ 3.00 - 10.00
Final selections via our free reading period have been made. As we work on formatting the issue, we still have limited space available to showcase a couple more works of fiction and/or poetry. Expedited Decision is the final opportunity to be considered for the upcoming issue. All submissions reviewed within seven days.

Haunted Waters Press now seeking works of fiction and poetry for the 2016 issue of From the Depths: Outsiders.
Accepting submissions between March 1, 2016 - May 31, 2016 via our Free Reading Period and between March 1, 2016 - September 20, 2016 (Extended through 9/30) via The Tip Jar Expedited Decision.

In order to keep submissions free to our contributors and our digital editions free to read online, we are placing the tip jar on the counter. If you feel inclined to make a small donation, please consider submitting via The Tip Jar. Your donation will be used for the care and feeding of From the Depths--a very hungry journal--and will help support the journal's continued operation and publication.

With regards to the judging criteria, all submissions are treated equally, regardless of how they are submitted. However, to thank you for your kind donation, our editors will expedite the submission process and respond to the author within one week of submitting via The Tip Jar.

From the Depths is the annual literary journal of Haunted Waters Press. Featuring works of prose and poetry, the journal is released in both print and digital formats in the fall of each year. Described as “one of the most compelling and beautifully illustrated literary journals,” From the Depths was created to showcase and celebrate the writing of new, emerging, and established authors. 

Inspired by the Grand Prize Winning Entry and Runners Up in the 2016 Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry Open, the theme for the 2016 issue is Outsiders. We seek fiction and poetry highlighting the unique struggles, circumstances, and journeys that set individuals apart from others. We look forward to reading your work!

Selected works to be paid .01 to .04 US cents per word for fiction and $20 for poetry.


  • Open to all genres and writers.
  • We seek fiction of 7500 words or less, flash fiction, and poetry of any length. 
  • Previous online publication is fine, but works must not have appeared in print. Please be certain there are no known copyright restrictions and provide publication details for all previously published works. Questions? Contact us prior to submitting.
  • Simultaneous Submissions are welcome via The Tip Jar for expedited seven day response.
  • Formatting: Clean and easy to read: double spaced, readable font, white pages, black type. Poetry formatted as you would like it to appear.

Thank you. We look forward to reading your work.