Classic Monsters Unleashed

Art by Colton Worley

The Monsters Are Loose —

And They Want You!

I am editing the CLASSIC MONSTERS UNLEASHED anthology for Crystal Lake Publishing.

We’re looking for dark, scary stories featuring a classic monster or monsters (think famous creatures from pre-1960 horror movies). While we prefer new angles that subvert or re-imagine the monster, we are also interested in really good traditional monster stories. Stories can also star secondary characters, such as a well-known sidekick, assistant or love interest, from the classic monster universe.


Payment: 5 cents a word

Length: 1500 to 5000 words (flexible)
Reading Period: April 8 to May 30, 2021 (don't send before April 8)
Expected Release Date: October 2021
Kickstarter Launch: March 8, 2021

No reprints, multiple subs or simultaneous subs


Note: A Kickstarter campaign to fund the anthology launches in March, after which we’ll open to submissions. (Of course, the campaign has to fund successfully, but we're confident it will.) This is an invitation and open-submissions anthology (with about 75% invited and 25% open). With the top-notch lineup of writers we’ve already signed, send only your very best. Sign up for a campaign alert at our Kickstarter preview page.

Use classic Shunn formatting. Send as an attachment in doc or docx. In the subject line, put "Classic Monsters," the name of your story, and author name. Example: Classic Monsters – Story Title – Author Name.

Email story submissions to


We want to publish your first story. We’re holding at least one spot for a newcomer. If you’ve never been published before, say so in your email. Good luck!



Mina Harker

Abraham Van Helsing


Victor Frankenstein  

Frankenstein monster

Bride of Frankenstein

Henry Jekyll

The Invisible Man


Phantom of the Opera

Hunchback of Notre Dame

Headless Horseman

Dorian Gray

Wicked Witch of the West

Kaiju / Giant Monster (in the vein of King Kong or Godzilla)


The Tingler

Note: We have enough Dracula stories, so he’s not included on the list. If you have any ideas for other classic monsters not listed, please ask before submitting. Also bear in mind: though these are public domain characters, don’t use any copyrighted or trademarked elements from the movies.

We will take more than one story per character. Mummy, werewolf and gill man stories are okay to submit, as well as any Universal Classic Monster, but they must be “based on” or “inspired by” if the characters are not public domain.

Full list of invited contributors:

- Joe R. Lansdale (Jack the Ripper)
- F. Paul Wilson (Frankenstein)
- Jonathan Maberry (Dr. Moreau)
- Ramsey Campbell (Count Magnus)
- Richard Christian Matheson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
- Lisa Morton (Headless Horseman)
- Tim Waggoner (a character inspired by The Wolfman)
- Owl Goingback (Dracula)
- Linda D. Addison (a character inspired by The Blob)
- Seanan McGuire (Mad Scientists)
- Maurice Broaddus (Invisible Man)
- Dacre Stoker & Leverett Butts (Dracula)
- Alessandro Manzetti (Mina Harker & a Classic Monsters poem)
- John Palisano (a character based on Creature From the Black Lagoon)
- Rena Mason (a character based on The Mummy)
- Mercedes Murdock Yardley (Dorian Gray)
- Monique Snyman (a character based on The Fly)
- Lucy A. Snyder (Phantom of the Opera) 
- Gary A. Braunbeck (a story inspired by Cat People)

I'm looking for slush readers for when we open submissions in April. Apply here.

© 2021 by James Aquilone