⚠️ Story Submission Guidelines and Information

BE PATIENT

Due to the large number of submissions we receive, it is not possible for us to review them all daily as they come in, nor respond to everyone whose tales are rejected.  Please allow ample time for your work to be reviewed prior to a determination being made, and understand that repeatedly messaging us via our contact form does not increase your chances of being published.

If more than 6-8 weeks has passed since your date of submission, you are welcome to send us a single message via our contact form, inquiring about the status of the story.  We will do our best to advise regarding its status at this time, but will not be obligated to do so.

REGARDING REJECTIONS

We do not ordinarily send rejection letters to authors whose stories have been determined to be unsuitable for publication, regardless of the specific reasons for rejection.  Approximately 90% of the submissions to CreepypastaStories.com are rejected on the basis of quality or word count related issues, and it is not in our best interest, or practical, to send notices upon rejection to the many thousands of authors whose work is not accepted for publication.  If your work is accepted, you will be notified via email of that decision, promptly upon our making our final determination.

As a policy, we do not provide written critiques or feedback to authors regarding the specific reasons a story may have been rejected, so politely ask that you not ask us to do so.  In our experience, all authors personally believe their work to be suitable for publication, regardless of the subjective quality of their writing, and providing such feedback often results in animosity.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER: THE IMPORTANCE OF EDITING AND DOUBLE-CHECKING YOUR WORK

We receive hundreds of submissions each month, and due to the fact that we publish stories on a daily basis (with rare exceptions), there is substantial competition for upcoming release dates.

We cannot stress enough the importance of editing and double-checking your work prior to submission, in order to increase your chances of having your work accepted.  Due to the large number of submissions we review each month, we perform a cursory inspection of each submission first, and if that passes muster, we may do a more thorough evaluation of the tale to determine if it is suitable for publication.

Even the best writers utilize editors, including Stephen King. If you’d like to make a good first impression, as well as a good lasting one, double-check your work before submitting it, including the spelling and capitalization in your title, which is the first thing we see.  Take the time to do an accurate word count to make sure it meets our requirements, and read the guidelines on this page in full to ensure you won’t be rejected automatically due to obvious violations.

Run your stories through the spelling check and grammar checkers in your word processor (Microsoft Word, etc.), on Grammarly, or using your in-browser tools. If necessary, pass your work on to a trusted, impartial third party for their feedback and assistance, to get an outside perspective.  Unless absolutely necessary, do not write your story in our submission page’s field, or on your mobile phone’s notes app, which often lack editing and error-correction capabilities.

The majority of stories we reject are rejected on the basis of poor grammar, spelling and formatting. Do not submit stories impulsively, or which you cannot be bothered to edit beforehand. If you cannot be bothered to take a few minutes to review your work with the assistance of freely available tools, then it is virtually certain you will be rejected.  If there are a substantial number of errors in the first 500-750 words, it is unlikely we will give your submission any further attention.

Among other problems, the following are a handful of issues (which you ought to care care to avoid), which are sure to get your story rejected:

  • Stories that clearly do not meet our 500 word count limit, but are certified as such by their authors
  • Stories that have clearly not been edited, and which feature more than a reasonable number of basic typos which would easily be detected by a word processor’s spell and grammar checkers
  • Stories (or their titles) that are written in all lowercase or all uppercase letters, or for which the titles themselves have spelling and grammatical errors in them
  • Stories that do not make proper use of paragraph breaks (i.e. walls of text)
  • Stories written from the 1st-person perspective, with introductory sentences that betray the author’s age and inexperience, such as those insisting the story is true, or identifying one’s self as “just a normal kid” or a “regular kid”
  • Stories written by those for whom English is not their first language, and which suffer because of it
  • Stories written in languages other than English
  • Stories that are blatantly plagiarized or derivative of pre-existent or popular stories
  • Stories featuring excessive sexual content, profanity, gore, or offensive slurs, at the expense of good storytelling
  • Stories that are blatantly pornographic or racist, or which demonize minorities or those of a specific sexual orientation, or which endorse or incite violence against such groups, or which encourage or glamorize suicide or murder (or incite others to commit such atrocities)
  • Stories written in “textspeak”
  • Stories that are simply not creepy or scary in the least, or which do not feature anything remotely related to the theme of the site, which is a horror fiction website. Comedy, drama, romance and other genres can (and often do) blend with horror, but stories which offer no chills or thrills whatsoever will almost certainly be rejected.

WE ACCEPT FICTIONAL STORIES ONLY

CreepypastaStories.com accepts short horror fiction only.  We do not accept general submissions of stories that are true or claim to be, and there are many websites and YouTube channels already dedicated to that type of content.  Stories based on true events, however, are acceptable.

WE ACCEPT ORIGINAL WORK ONLY

CreepypastaStories.com accepts submissions of original work only.  We do not accept stories that are derivative of existing works, or which exploit the intellectual property rights of other authors and creators.  Examples of non-original works include fan-fiction, origin stories and reboots/rewrites of pre-existing or popular creepypasta / short horror stories, regardless of whether you have the permission of their original creators or not (most do not).

If you have permission from the original creator of a character or story and feel an exception to the above ought to be made, use our contact form to reach out to us, providing an explanation and all pertinent details of the situation, and we will make a determination.

FAN-FICTION AND STORIES BASED IN THE UNIVERSE OF POPULAR BRANDS ARE PROHIBITED

CreepypastaStories.com will not accept any story which exists in, exploits, or depends upon the environment, characters, or plots of a third party’s intellectual property or its extended “universe”, regardless of that brand’s popularity.  Stories which are found to rely heavily upon these elements and themes will be rejected automatically, and their authors may be banned from submitting in the future.

Properties/brands which we often see represented in submissions, and which are hereby prohibited, include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Famous or well-known YouTubers, lives streamers, or celebrities
  • SCP / SCP Foundation
  • Pokémon
  • Roblox
  • Minecraft
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s
  • My Little Ponies

WE DO NOT ACCEPT PARTIAL STORIES

CreepypastaStories.com receives many submissions of partial stories each month.  As a policy, however, we do not publish incomplete narratives. If a submission is received which indicates “Part 1” or “Chapter 1” – or some variable thereof – in its title, or if the story appears to be incomplete due to other factors (i.e. incorporating “to be continued” at the end, etc.), it will be rejected.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS

There are currently no limits on how many stories you may submit at one time.  However, if you plan on submitting three or more stories at once, or in rapid succession, we encourage you to contact us via our contact form first, so that we can establish email contact, and you can submit them directly to us as attachments, rather than using our form, which is intended for single-story submissions only.

WE HAVE STRICT LIMITS ON HOW SHORT A STORY CAN BE (WORD COUNT LIMITS)

CreepypastaStories.com accepts stories which are 500 words in length or longer only. From our experience, stories shorter than this, often referred to as “flash fiction” or “microfiction”, are often poorly written, or poorly received by readers, and do not perform well on the site. As such, we no longer accept stories of this length.

There is no formal upper word count limit. However, keep in mind that the longer a story is, the better it has to be at retaining a reader’s attention and interest, and longer stories will be held to more stringent standards.  All work featured on CreepypastaStories.com is edited, and this process can be time-consuming for longer works.  It is not uncommon for a longer work, which is fairly well-written, to be rejected due to poor editing or formatting, simply because of the amount of time it takes to identify and correct issues in them.  In other cases, we may notify an author that additional edits may need to be done, and send it back to them for revisions before we’ll consider publication.

ON THE INCORPORATION OF IMAGES, AUDIO OR VIDEO INTO YOUR STORIES

On the rare occasion when a story requires the incorporation of audio, video or imagery in order to further its narrative, please reach out to us via our contact form to make special arrangements.  We may request that you submit your work to us directly via email so as to retain the appropriate formatting and content.  Our submission form does not currently support the inclusion of images, audio, or video.

A WORD ON ITALICS, BOLDING, AND OTHER FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS

Our submissions form does not allow for the incorporation of bolding, italics, underlining, or other formatting, aside from basic pararaph breaks. If your story requires these formatting elements for stylistic purposes, we recommend that you reach out to us via our contact form and upon hearing back from us, submit your work directly to us via that means.   Alternatively, you can write your work in an HTML text editor, and after completing your writing, convert your work to HTML and send us the specific code.

REQUESTING THE REMOVAL OR REVISION OF A STORY POST-PUBLICATION

If you would like your story to be revised or removed following publication, use our contact form to make your initial request, or email us directly, if you’ve made prior contact via that means.  Requests for revisions or removal must be received from the same email address that the original submissions came from, in order to verify the authenticity of the requests.

WE LEGALLY SECURE THE RIGHTS TO PUBLISH THE STORIES ON THIS SITE

When submitting your work to CreepypastaStories.com, and by agreeing to our Terms of Submission, you are granting us the non-exclusive right to publish your work on this website and to exploit it commercially.  CreepypastaStories.com is supported by advertising, and ads will be displayed on the page featuring your stories, if published.  As such, anyone submitting to the site should understand this and be certain they find this acceptable.  We may also send an additional Release Form to you via email in order to secure the rights to publication in writing, once the decision to publish the story has been made. As part of this process, we will request your legal name, and incorporate it into the document.  Your legal name will not be published publicly unless you so desire.

HOW WE CREDIT AUTHORS

All authors on CreepypastaStories.com are credited in multiple places, including at the top of a story (with a link that directs readers to more of their work on the site), and a by-line at the conclusion of their tale, including (if they so desire) links to their personal websites/blogs, social media, YouTube channels, etc. It is an author’s responsibility to inform us of these links and of changes to them, if they’d like them included.  We will make an effort to update this information within a reasonable time, upon request.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING LINKS AND A MEANS OF CONTACTING YOU AS AN AUTHOR

CreepypastaStories.com is proud to be a top result for the term “creepypasta” in all major search engines.  As a result, we are often one of the first places people look to get in touch with authors when attempting to secure the rights to adapt their work to audio, film or television, or to feature it in anthologies or other commercial works.  If an author does not provide a means of contacting them, however, or decides to remain anonymous, they may miss out on opportunities that would otherwise have been presented to them by third parties.

To ensure you are able to be reached in the event someone would like to option your work for commercial or personal purposes, consider putting together, at the very least, a basic social media presence for your writing persona, whether that be a Facebook page, Twitter account, a Wix website, etc.  We do not recommend featuring an email address directly, as you will undoubtedly be targeted for spam by bots that search the web for instances of complete email addresses.

Although we at CreepypastaStories.com often do make attempts to pass feedback and offers on to authors whenever possible, we are not obligated to do so, and should not be expected to.  It is your responsibility, as an author, to ensure the means of contacting you are present, and we take no responsibility for lost income or opportunities as a result of your failure to do so.

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