Search
  • Katrina Carruth

Call For Submissions: Nightmares When I'm Cold

Updated: Jun 30

I have been working with Natural Writer Coaching for almost two years and our shared dream is finally becoming a reality!


Once upon a time, in a (surprisingly) not so distant past, a conversation happened between us in which I complained about how it's been too hot at night, and Natural Writer Coaching mentioned she has nightmares if she's too cold at night. The conversation quickly spiraled into this horror short story competition that includes three main prizes as well as a printed anthology with the shortlisted writers.


Check it out:



Nightmares When I’m Cold


Here's what we are looking for:

  1. A horror story revolving around the prompt “Nightmares When I’m Cold”

  2. 3,000 to 6,000 words. Anything above 6,000 or below 3,000 will be discarded.

  3. Horror must be your main focus but feel free to explore horror subgenres!

Something we strongly encourage is really pushing your creative self. Stretch this theme in any way you can imagine!


What we do not want:

  1. Gratuitous violence, abuse, sex, or gore.

  2. Anything to do with rape.

  3. Anything to do with the mutilation or harm of children.

  4. Anything that promotes and/or normalizes bigotry, racism, and violence against marginalized people and communities.




Who is eligible:

  • Adults 18+

  • Contestants from the US, Mexico, and Canada*

* One day we hope to expand this to include other countries, but for now, we are keeping this continental local.


The Prizes!!


Short-Listed Stories

  • All short-listed stories will have a place in the anthology

  • Each contributing writer will receive a hard copy of the anthology itself

  • Each contributing writer will receive 30% off any of Natural Writer Coaching’s services

  • Bragging rights

3rd Prize

  • The winner of the 3rd prize will receive a 20,000-word critique of a current or finished WIP - This involves reading the section twice while making notes on the document, and writing a detailed email involving the critique

  • A basic line edit of the 20,000 word segment

  • A 1-hour call via Zoom, Skype, or Telegram discussing the critique

Valued at $250


2nd Prize

  • A 4-pack of hour-long coaching calls

  • Each call we talk about your work in progress, difficulties you might be having, character and plot development, writing blocks, etc.

  • Calls held via Skype, Zoom, or Telegram

Valued at $325


1st Prize

  • The Full Month Coaching Package

  • 4x 1-hour sessions (weekly)

  • Limitless emails between each session to discuss your project

  • A developmental editing approach to 15000 words of your story. This will be done by the third week of the month, and feedback will be emailed to you so we have the option of discussing the feedback if you want on the fourth week.

Valued at $1235


*All prizes are redeemable within 12 months of the publication date of the anthology.


Submission Guidelines


Here are the rules of submitting your work:

  1. $10 submission fee per entry*

  2. The story must be between 3,000 and 6,000 words, no more, no less.

  3. A separate cover letter document must be included with your submission

  4. Your submission must not include your name anywhere on it other than the email you send us and your cover letter. This is so we can ensure that we are reading each piece blind, so we don’t favor those we know consciously or unconsciously. We want to be as fair as possible

  5. Documents must be saved as a .doc or .docx. Please no PDFs

* We are more than happy to read as many pieces as you provide, however, only one of your pieces will be selected if you make it to the shortlist.


A Note on the Cover Letter:

Don't worry - I hate writing cover letters as much as you do. We will be far less strict about your cover letter than your actual submission.

Feel free to keep it simple! But be sure to include these details:

  • Your name

  • The name of your story

  • A little bit about your story and/or your inspiration for the story

  • A little bit about yourself

  • A little bit about yourself as a writer (because, let's be honest - the YOU who shows up to a family dinner or professional work environment isn't the same person who lets their imagination run wild behind a laptop screen)

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!


This is a non-profit competition/anthology!

The $10 Submission Fee (per submission) helps cover production costs with all profits being donated to the Sentient Squid Scholarship offered through Writing the Other.



If you would like donate extra to help to cover the cost of this book, or to simply donate to the scholarship, please contact me.


Our Approximate Timeline:

  • Open for submissions July 1 – August 15, 2021

  • Announce the short-list on September 21, 2021

  • Announce 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes on October 31, 2021

  • Release the anthology December 1, 2021

The timeline we have set is tentative. It is our aim - though we appreciate your patience if the lovely world of publishing provides any hiccups to the timeline.


If you are short-listed and thus included in the anthology, we will have the rights to your story for six months after publication purely for promotional purposes. After that, you can do whatever your wild writer self wants to do with it!


Marginalized Voices & Sensitivity Readers


Though Natural Writer Coaching and I highly encourage writers from marginalized or underrepresented communities to submit their work, we also acknowledge that we aren’t qualified to ensure that the content of all selected stories won’t be problematic. As a result, we are planning to have sensitivity readers on board with this project.


If you are a sensitivity reader and would like to be a part of this contest/anthology, please feel free to contact us via Instagram or Twitter DM, or though the contact page. We would love to talk to you!


All details regarding how/when to submit, formatting, etc... will be posted on or closer to July 1, 2021.

We look forward to reading your stories!







68 views0 comments