Horror anthology Submission Guidelines:

Caretaker Press is very proud to announce the 2024 publication of our debut horror anthology, Back Into The Ground. Well, proud isn’t exactly the word for how we feel. Bringing this out excites and thrills us. We’re also a little scared!

All that said, here we are.

What We’re Looking For In This Horror Anthology: 

We enjoy a broad array of horror storytelling in all forms. For the purposes of Back Into The Ground we seek spooky stories inspired by place, specifically, our home, the Pacific Northwest. Towering trees and rough seas crashing under gray skies strike us as the ideal settings for a scary story. We define place-inspired horror loosely, so bring us your best work and we’ll talk about fit. Translation: challenge us, please. Do we like vampires, zombies, werewolves and other familiar creatures? Yes… just as long as they’re done right.

What we don’t like, under any circumstances, are stories that are mean spirited, vengeful, exploitative, sexist, etc… Be nice, write well, and tell a story that keeps us up nights in the right way.  

AI Policy: 

Back Into The Ground Anthology does not accept submissions of any kind that were written, developed or assisted by tools such as ChatGPT. We would consider publishing and reading stories dealing with the repercussions of AI. We would prefer that those stories be written by you, a human being. Any attempt to submit AI-aided work may result in being permanently banned from our magazine.

Submission Standards:

We want original, unpublished work. By unpublished, we mean work that has never seen the light of day in another anthology, magazine, your site or social media. 

Please submit one story in the form of a .DOC, .DOCX or .RTF format attached to an email. 

Email to: caretakerpress@gmail.com

By acceptance, we are acquiring exclusive World Rights to your story for the period of one year. 

We do not accept reprints. 

We accept simultaneous submissions . Do us a favor though. If your story ends up getting published elsewhere, please let us know so we can offer you a hearty congratulations as well as remove your tale from consideration in this horror anthology. 

Please include a third person bio in your email. Include your publishing credits, if you have them and your connection to the Pacific Northwest. 

Back Into The Ground Anthology welcomes and encourages submissions from writers of all races, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, and military status. 


$40.00 per story. Payment due upon publication.

Word Count:

Up to 7,500 words

Anything longer, please query the editors before sending the manuscript.

Editors Of This Horror Anthology: 

James Strayer & Erick Mertz

In past lives, James Strayer has been an assistant to Gus Van Sant, an experimental record label drone, and a video production company co-owner. Through each of these incarnations, the through line was always that of being a massive fan of horror in all mediums. Always a reader, the pandemic caused him to put down his phone and pick up a book, time and time again which further emphasized the need for good words on a page.

Erick Mertz is a writer/editor from Oregon City, Oregon. He writes a series of Pacific Northwest based paranormal mystery stories called The Strange Air, available on Amazon and Patreon. His favorite horror author is Stephen King. If he had to pick a favorite horror movie, it would be “The Thing”. Publishing a horror anthology like “Back Into The Ground” fulfills a lifelong dream of being a part of the horror community.