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Still of Winter: An Unsettling Reads Anthology Unsettling Reads, LLC

In winter, there’s a stillness – a silence. As wet snowflakes fall, sounds are muffled. A hush lingers in the air. Bare trees reach upward from the frozen ground, grasping with their spindly branches. Swaying in the frigid breeze, brittle bark creaks and moans as the trees whisper ancient secrets to one another. Sentries, standing in the stillness. Watching. Learning new stories to share with each other long after we have gone. This winter, we want to celebrate these majestic beings and what happens when the stillness is disturbed.

We’re looking for stories, poems, photos, and/or artwork that follow these guidelines:

  1. Respect the genre norms from the Fantasy, Horror, & Sci-fi genres (including the associated sub-genres).

  2. We’re looking for stories, poems, photos, or artwork that feature:
  • the winter season
  • a tree that plays an important role in your stories, poems, artwork, or photographs.
  • the creepier side of winter - the thrills and chills! Bring us pieces that will make us want to bolt the door and hide under our blankets – both from the chill in the air and the scares.

NOTE: Send us your stories that unsettle, unnerve, frighten, discomfit, challenge, and/or just generally entertain. Please do not send us stories that glorify rape or abuse — especially of children or animals. We also will not include stories that promote bigoted thinking. While we recognize that some amount of violence is often seminal to these genres, we’re not interested in scenes that painstakingly, even lovingly, describe extreme violence.

  • Word/Entry Limits:

    • Short Stories (English only): Up to 2 stories per entry between 1,500 words and 5,500 words (each)
    • Poems (English only): Up to 3 poems per entry in one file
    • Photos or Artwork: Up to 3 pieces per entry in one file
  • Submit your story in the official entry form.

    • Opens April 15, 2022
    • Final Submission Deadline: July 1, 2022 (or until full)
  • Reprints: No
  • Multiple Submissions: Yes
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Yes, but please alert us and/or withdraw your submission if accepted elsewhere.
  • While it will not affect an entrant’s chances of acceptance, those entrants who tip will receive a digital copy of the Still of Winter anthology when it is released.
There are no active public submission calls for this project.

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