Submit A Manuscript


The Dread Machine publishes dread-inspiring novels, novellas, poetry, and anthologies. More specifically, we accept dark fiction, speculative fiction, science fiction, and horror. We do not accept religious fiction or erotica.

We accept simultaneous submissions. If someone else snatches your submission up before we do, we’d appreciate it if you let us know so we can remove it from our queue.

We only accept proposals from authors we have previously published and have an established working relationship with. We do not accept unfinished works.

All submissions must be in English. By submitting to The Dread Machine, authors verify that the work submitted is their own original creation.

We’re an independent publisher—not a vanity press or a self-publishing service company. We’re committed to establishing a competitive brand, known for producing high-quality titles. In service of that mission, we are very selective and strategic about which titles and authors we invest in. We highly recommend taking your time to compose a solid summary. If the summary doesn’t intrigue us, your submission may be rejected outright.

We strive to review all submissions within 14-21 days. If we expect it will take longer, we will notify you in advance.

Word Count

NOVELS: 40,000 – 120,000 words
NOVELLAS: 15,000 – 20,000 words.
POETRY: Please send at least 30 poems and no more than 150.


We are very interested in stories that take place in the distant future (cyberpunk, dystopia). Because we are shameless 80’s kids who long for our childhood, we are also seeking stories that take place in the not-so-distant past (80’s and early 90’s).


Here at The Dread Machine, we like to keep things simple.

Step 1: Submit your work.
Step 2: Wait for us to contact you with an offer or a declination.
Step 3: If you receive an offer, you choose whether to accept, reject, or negotiate it.
Step 4: Once we make a deal, our team makes the book happen. You can act in partnership with us throughout the project or focus on your next masterpiece. We much prefer to work in partnership with our authors at all stages of production, but we’ll leave the decision to you.
Step 5: Your book goes to market. As soon as the investment in the title has been recouped, we all get paid!


We utilize a profit-share arrangement. Authors receive no advances but are paid 40% on net profits for physical books and 50% on e-books. Royalties are paid quarterly. In addition, you will receive the first five copies of the book, hot off the presses. (We’ll probably also send you some presents that definitely won’t be animal bones.)


Authors grant The Dread Machine worldwide English rights for print, digital, and audio and three years of exclusivity. All other rights are retained by the author.

Submission Form

Accepted file formats include: .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .odt.

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