These past two years presented many challenges for the press. While we remain in operation and continue our work on upcoming publications, we are taking a pause in submissions to reorganize and reenergize. We hope to reopen for new works soon. Until then, we hope you enjoy the continuous stream of fiction, poetry, and author interviews featured in the pages of SPLASH! Thank you for your continued interest and support. Now go write something brilliant!

Savannah Renée Spidalieri
Susan Warren Utley
Haunted Waters Press  

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!


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 explore our website to get to know us better. Here 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.

The Publications...
In 2021, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our annual literary journal, From the Depths, featuring exceptional works of prose and poetry. It is released in the fall of each year in print and digital formats. Penny Fiction can be found in the pages of From the Depths and in the Penny Fiction Poster Collection. A steady stream of online literary content from our contributing authors is featured within the pages of SPLASH! (More SPLASH! details below!) Our most recent project, Tin Can Literary Review, debuts in 2021. We are excited to begin reviewing works for the second edition.

SPLASH! and the HWP Print Pool...
SPLASH! is the Haunted Waters Press online showcase for fiction and poetry. Each work is accompanied by custom artwork, the author's bio, and a link to the author's profile featured in the HWP Contributor Showcase. Acceptance announcements and publication details are shared on our Facebook page and Instagram platforms. Works published in SPLASH! automatically enter the HWP Print Pool making them eligible for future offers of paid print publication. 

Haunted Waters Press is a paying market for print publications. We offer cash payments equivalent to semi-professional to professional rates. SPLASH! publication offers online exposure and eligibility for future offers of paid print publication. Please see individual listings for details. (All monetary payments are in US dollars processed via PayPal. Processing fees from foreign currency transactions may be deducted. 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.)

A word on our no fee reading periods, reading fees, and submission dates...
We offer pop-up, no-fee submission periods for consideration in SPLASH! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements! There is no reading fee for Penny Fiction submissions. We review the first 200 Penny Fiction submissions per month. We suggest submitting early. We at HWP never want financial hardship to silence a story that needs to be told. If you cannot afford a reading fee where one is required, please contact us for alternate arrangements. Publisher reserves the right to extend submission dates.

Multiple works/submissions....
Yes! Please see individual listings for details.

Simultaneous submissions..
Simultaneous submissions are welcome in most categories with the exception of our no fee reading periods and Penny Fiction. For your convenience, Expedited Decision submissions are reviewed within seven days. Please notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere. See individual listings for more details.

Formatting requirements...
We prefer an easy to read font, black type on white pages. Don’t fret over it too much.  

If your work is accepted...
We will ask you to sign an Author’s Agreement granting HWP exclusive first worldwide publication print and/or electronic media rights. Haunted Waters Press holds these publishing rights for ninety days following publication and non-exclusive print and electronic rights for the full term of copyright. Copyright remains with the author. See author’s agreement for details. HWP will use reasonable efforts to contact each contributor, however, the inability to reach a contributor, the return of any notification as undeliverable, or a contributor’s failure to sign and return the requested agreement will result in forfeiture of offer of publication, awards, recognition, and payment. Yikes! We don’t want that to happen! PLEASE keep your contact information updated, check your email spam settings, and respond in a timely manner!

If your work is declined...
Just because something isn’t right for HWP, doesn’t mean it isn’t right for another market.  In some cases, we simply feel the work would benefit from another publisher’s perspective. Let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you in your path to publication.


  • Fiction, Poetry, and Flash Fiction Submissions
    Accepting submissions November through August
    Poetry and flash fiction (up to 500 words) for consideration in SPLASH! and From the Depths. Longer fiction for consideration in all HWP print and online publications.
    All submissions considered for annual HWP Awards for Fiction, Poetry, and Flash Fiction
    Rolling response or within 60 days of closing
    See individual categories for full submission guidelines and deadlines
  • Expedited Decision
    Accepting submissions November through August
    7 Day Response
    For consideration in all publications.
  • Penny Fiction
    December/January, March/April, June/July
    Submissions close upon receipt of 200 submissions per reading month
    Response within 60 days of closing
    For paid print publication in From the Depths & the Penny Poster Collection
    In addition to the Fiction, Poetry, and Flash categories above, we also offer pop-up, no-fee submission periods for consideration in SPLASH!
    Keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements!
    Rolling response or within 60 days of closing
    For consideration in SPLASH! and entry in the HWP Print Pool

Check back for updates and additional submission opportunities. For full guidelines see individual listings below.

Thank you! We look forward to reading your work!

This form is intended for use by Authors and Poets published by Haunted Waters Press and for those with accepted works pending publication. If that's not you, what are you waiting for? Go write something brilliant and submit

Greetings Lovely Contributors! 

If you have been published by HWP (or soon to be!) and would like your profile included on the Haunted Waters Press website, please complete this form and include up to three photographs. Testimonials and reviews are optional and may be quoted on the website, in publications, or for marketing purposes. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Regarding photographs:  Images may be altered by the publisher and reduced to a web-friendly size. Keep in mind, we can make a large image small, but it is very difficult to make a small image large. So try to avoid thumbnail images. No need to hire a photographer! Candid photos preferred. Have fun with it and check out the showcase for inspiration.

Thank you! Susan and Savannah

Haunted Waters Press