Halloween at home. Curled up on the couch with the lights down low. Mini horror movie marathons. Sexting with your partner(s) instead of Netflix and chill. It’s all going to look a little different this year. Too early, you say? Never. Halloween is every day for this editor. So in the spirit of getting a jump on things – pun intended – I’m putting out the 2020 Circlet Press Halloween Microfictions call for submissions a little early this year.
The same rules apply with one little twist. Since everything is a hell fire this year let’s try and keep things positive. That means every submission needs to have either a HEA (Happily Ever After), or at least hint at an HEA. But they must still fit into the theme of Halloween/Autumn/October/Horror, and also be erotic as well as story/character driven. If you are unfamiliar with Circlet Press please have a look around our website to get a sense of what we do.
As always, I especially encourage marginalized voices to send a submission. BIPOC, disabled, neurodivergent, and LGBTQ+ folks especially, though all are welcome to submit.
Word count limit is 1,500. No fan fiction. No reprints. All characters must be of legal age to consent and consent must be clear within the story. Multiple submissions are okay. Please send as a Word doc or RTF (or in the body of the email) and follow standard manuscript formatting guidelines.
The deadline is September 30th. Payment will be $5 for stories under 1,000 words and $10 for stories 1,000 words to 1,500 words. Author retains all rights. Please include a short bio with your submission. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The candy’s been passed out. The costumes tucked away. Jack o’ lanterns sit on the porch, candles snuffed out and sagging from their long vigil. Maybe, like me, October is a really busy month for you and you just simply did not have time to read all of our wonderful 2019 Halloween microfictions. If that’s the case, here’s a handy dandy roundup of all the stories with links! Please do take a moment and reward yourself with one (or all!) of our spooky and sexy Halloween stories.
At the Burying Point by Melissa Hogle
Corn Silk by Julie Behrens
New Moon Night by AT Lander
In the Quick by Eric Del Carlo
Spellbound by Sonni De Soto
Sowing by Stanley B. Webb
A Convenient Exorcism by Aaron Emrys
I want to say a special thank you to all of our authors, not just from this year but from all of the Halloween microfictions in years past. It’s been a pleasure working with all of you and I thank you for sharing your talents with us here at Circlet Press.
And lastly, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read all of our Halloween microfictions over the years. Writing is only half the equation. Without you, the readers, we wouldn’t exist. So thank you.
Blessings to you all in this new year.
“A Convenient Exorcism”
by Aaron Emrys
The doorbell rang, summoning Ryan out from under his blanket. He peeked through the front window and smiled. He grabbed the smaller of the two baskets sitting on his coffee table before pulling open the door.
“Trick or treat!”
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: A Convenient Exorcism by Aaron Emrys
by Stanley B. Webb
I chose her from my pumpkin patch, charmed by her flawless orange skin and her oval shell’s symmetrical ribs. I brought her inside, locked the door, and drew the curtains. She waited on a kitchen chair while I spread old newspapers on the table.
I found my paring knife, and contemplated her blank face.
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: Sowing by Stanley B. Webb
by Sonni de Soto
Mac Dunn watched San Merida fall back, sated, on her bed, her skin slick with sweat in the afternoon sun. “Not to sound ungrateful for the lunch break, but I should get back to the café soon.”
Mac pulled her closer to him, unwilling to let the moment go so quickly. “Isn’t one of the perks of being the boss being able to come and go as you please?”
With a chuckle, San swatted him playfully. “Only if you want to go out of business.”
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: Spellbound by Sonni de Soto
“In the Quick”
by Eric Del Carlo
My eyes snap open to a midnight room as if a gunshot had sounded alongside my head on the soaked pillow. I am knotted muscle and cable-taut tendons. Crackles of energy dance invisibly on my bare skin. I am in the Quick; and I have dosed myself to keep me insensate; but I am nonetheless awake now in the night.
And I know suddenly that there is another of my kind out in the city’s never-dark. Nearby.
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: In the Quick by Eric Del Carlo
“New Moon Night”
by AT Lander
When Marni crawled into bed, Rick hissed at the chill she brought with her. It was cold, and late, well past midnight in the Vermont winter.
“Yeah,” Marni bit out through chattering teeth. “Heater’s well and truly busted. Need a proper mechanic…”
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: New Moon Night by AT Lander
by Julie Behrens
The corn was overdue to come down. The ears hung heavy on their stalks, near bursting their husks with yellow-sweet chin-running juice, their gold-silk tassels turned brown. Soon, if I could get it done, that field would be stubble, like a man’s morning beard, and you could see all the way to the creek way far back and visible now only by the trees that marked it, to the road beyond the big house, and cows on either side. A big piece of land for a woman to manage alone. It was my first autumn on the farm since the rest of my family had died, and I was dangerously late in my work.
But I was glad the stalks had been left to grow high as I ran into the corn that night, the footsteps of large men in boots stomping after me like an oncoming train. I ran, because they had come to kill me, and the corn was the best refuge I had. My bare feet were hard as boots and quiet, and it was dark. The harvest moon was rising up above the fields like a gourd, and it made the fields look angry and dry. I ran blind, and the men behind me ran blind.
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: Corn Silk by Julie Behrens
“At the Burying Point”
by Melissa Hogle
He slipped through the Salem masses, letting their ebb and flow carry him across the center of celebration. Salty ocean and sticky-sweet caramel wafted above the countless costumed bodies. Street performers breathed fire while preachers fervently warned of the Devil. Samuel passed kiosks, headed down side streets. All he sensed was her and the closer he got, the more intense her presence became.
Strong hands pulled at his gut. …I’ve missed you… Her voice tempted across the waves. …Oh, how I’ve missed you…
“Ammon,” Always his last name, whispered as if he was the god.
Continue reading Halloween Microfiction: At the Burying Point by Melissa Hogle
Hello, Circlet Friends! In a first, I have decided to re-open the Halloween microfictions submissions. Scary, I know, but I need more stories. Not many. Just a few. So I’m taking submissions again until this coming Friday, October 18th, midnight EST. All the same rules will apply which I will link below but here are some things to keep in mind:
Please follow standard manuscript formatting and include a word count and short bio.
Stranger sex and ghost sex are a hard sell. I see a lot of these and they rarely work.
Stories must include explicit erotic content but please bear in mind that we publish literary erotica. So there should also be a strong focus on character and story.
Please do no resubmit work I have previously rejected.
Consent is of the utmost importance.
Don’t try to fit too much in. Flash fiction is more like a scene. Too much world building can drag the whole thing down.
Please also note that I already have vampire, werewolf, and witch stories. So I’d like something else if possible. There are LOTS of different types of monsters out there and lots of different Halloween tropes/myths.
Here’s the link for the full guidelines: 2019 Halloween Microfiction Guidelines