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Muse Voices

Shine Your Darkness - Writers' Guidelines

A non-paying market, and they do not appear to be publishing, as of 04/17/2016.

Call for Submissions! (First Ever!)
Posted by Roman Colombo on July 10, 2014
Submission Guidelines

As of 12/06/2015
Length: 2000 words maximum.
Pay: NOT a paying market. They are a blog. It would only be a publication credit.

* * *

How this is all going to work:

The year will be divided into four quarters. Each quarter will have a theme. Generally, we’ll be looking for submissions for the next two themes with dates of when we will accept them. For this first round, we’re only going to announce the theme for the first quarter–October through December, our Fall Issue, if you’d like to call it that. And the first theme will be…

First Kills

Why not, right? Now, being that we’re covering the holiday months, a bonus challenge will be to coincide the story with the holiday, Halloween for October, Thanksgiving for November, and Saturnalia for December (or, if you prefer Christmas….but let’s not forget Winter Solstice, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa!). Stories that are centered around one of the season’s holidays will get special consideration….but keep in mind your odds of publication get more narrow.

What kind of writing–Noir. What is Noir? Noir is the dark, the skewed, and the ambiguous. When most people think of Noir, images of Humphrey Bogart come to mind. But it’s not just hardboiled detectives in trenchcoats. There’s mystery and crime at the heart, but it doesn’t always have to be a mystery or a crime. The best example of Noir is where it all began: M, a film by Fritz Lang about a child killer being hunted by both the police and criminals. There’s no gumshoe involved in this movie, but it’s all Noir. In prose, we have some greats such as Raymond Chandler, James Cain, Dashiell Hammett, etc. For a more contemporary example, read Duane Swierczynski and Dennis Lehane (and there are MANY more, but who has the time?).

At Shine Your Darkness, we want you to do just that–shine your darkness. Take that dark aspect of Noir and dive in, push yourself beyond your limit. Make us question your humanity!


It must be done for the sake of the story. Sick scenes for the sake of being sick will not be accepted. In fact, sometimes it’s darker to leave it to the reader’s imagination. We want well-written dark fiction. NO GRATUITOUS SCHLOCK


Stories must be original and feature original characters
Stories must not be longer than 3000 words
Email your submission to ShineYourDarkness@gmail.com, with the following criteria:
Body: A brief description of your story and an Author Bio
Attach your story in DOC or DOCX–Make sure your name is NOT in the attachment. We want to make sure there is no bias when we read these, so your name will be kept secret from the readers. DO make sure your title is in the attachment!

Other things to know:

If we accept your story, it will always be YOUR story. However, we ask that you do not submit it for republication to other journals for 1 year, and if you do, please credit its first home.
The first story will be posted October 1st, 2014.
We will stop accepting submissions for the first volume on September 15th, 2014
The second theme will be announced September 1st, 2014, and we will accept submissions until December 15th
Right now, all we can offer is the prestige of being published (and another entry on that CV/Resume)–but you can help build this journal into something bigger so that one day we can offer payment. But for now, no one (least of all us) will make a monetary profit. We’re all just having good dark fun here!