Become a Gatekeeper


Gatekeepers are the first to read submitted Machinations. Together, this elite team determines which stories appear on The Dread Machine. Gatekeepers ensure only the best submissions reach the Cult Leader’s desk. Ideal candidates will be those who are reliable, communicative, and enjoy reading. Gatekeepers must be familiar with the content published on The Dread Machine and must have a solid understanding of English grammar and style.

We are actively seeking readers who represent communities that have been historically marginalized (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).


Gatekeeping is a volunteer position intended to provide valuable experience to aspiring editors and publishing professionals. Those who perform well can expect copious praise and a letter of recommendation. Our executive editor is also willing to serve as a reference after a Gatekeeper has successfully served for three months.


Gatekeepers are expected to review ten stories per week and to participate in the Gatekeeper channel in our Discord, where we conduct all team discussions. Gatekeepers must check in daily to update the rest of the team and share their evaluation of the stories they’ve been tasked with reviewing.


Gatekeepers are not permitted to submit Machinations to The Dread Machine. If you wish to become a Mechanist in the future, you must resign first (at least temporarily) and pass the torch to one of the applicants in our queue. 


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