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.”

Introducing SPLASH! and the HWP Print Pool...
SPLASH!, our revamped online showcase for fiction and poetry, is set to debut in late 2018. Works accepted for publication in SPLASH! are sourced primarily from our no fee reading periods. Up to four works per year may be selected for direct paid print publication. Occasionally, works submitted in other categories and contests may be offered online publication in lieu of print. These works automatically enter the HWP Print Pool making them eligible for future offers of paid print publication. 

New from the press in 2019...
Tin Can Literary Review...more details to come!

Haunted Waters Press is a paying market for print publications. We offer cash payments equivalent to semi-professional to professional rates. SPLASH! publication offers exposure only 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...
For online SPLASH! publication and Penny Fiction submissions, we offer alternating no fee reading periods from December though July. We review the first 200 submissions per month. We suggest submitting early. Reading and entry fees for other competitions and calls for submissions vary from free to a nominal reading fee. 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, and/or a contributor's failure to sign and return the required agreement may result in forfeiture of offer of publication and payment, and in the case of an award recipient, disqualification of winner, forfeiture of his or her interest in all cash awards and recognition, and selection of a substitute recipient from among all remaining eligible contributors. 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.


  • Haunted Waters Press Fiction Open 
  • Haunted Waters Press Poetry Open
  • Haunted Waters Press Short Shorts Flash Fiction Open
    November 2018 - July 2019 (Extended through August!)
    All submissions eligible for paid print publication
    All submissions considered for HWP Awards in the amount of $250
    Rolling response or within 30 days of closing
  • Expedited Decision
    December 2018 - August 2019
    7 Day Response
    For consideration in all publications and venues
  • Penny Fiction 2019
    December 2018/January, March/April, June/July (Extended through August!)
    Submissions close upon receipt of 200 submissions per reading month
    Rolling response or within 30 days of closing
    For paid print publication in From the Depths & the Penny Poster Collection
    February/May/September 2019
    Submissions close upon receipt of 200 submissions per reading period (September submissions are now closed)
    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 additional 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. If that's not you, what are you waiting for? Go write something brilliant and submit

Greetings Lovely Contributors!

The Haunted Waters Press website recently underwent a complete makeover. We are very excited about the  changes. The new site includes SPLASH!—our updated home for online fiction and poetry, regular news features, author interviews, and the HWP Contributor Showcase. That's where you come in!  If you have been published by HWP and would like to be included on the site, please complete the form below 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:  All images will be cropped square and reduced to a web friendly size. Keep in mind, we can make a large image smaller, but it is very difficult to make a small image larger. So try to avoid thumbnail images. Ideally, your photos will be at least 1000 pixels square. Professional headshots optional! No need to hire a photographer, but it would be great if your photos look like you did!  Have fun with it! But keep in mind, if you send us a photo of you and your cat eating potato chips on the couch, we'll probably ask you to send something else. Not that we're judging! Check out this article for tips and tricks for taking awesome author photographs:

Thank you!

Haunted Waters Press