What is this?
ergot. is a literary website interested in furthering the innovative and experimental tradition in horror.
We seek previously unpublished fiction and hybrid work under 10k words (including excerpts and work in translation) that push out the boundary of what literary horror is and what it might become.
What do we mean when we say we are looking for 'experimental' work?
The only surefire way to understand what we we publish is to read through the archive
"If lucky, experimental writing secretes an element of timeless surprise. Not just because of incredulous transformation (the process itself for the writer, the inspiring result for the reader) but because of its transferability, that the surprise can pass on.
Experiments, if deemed successful, are so only because they confirm a truth No matter how random or errant or strange or “uncalculated” the terms and parameters of the experiment
Too much emphasis on experiment as formal/textual procedure. That is the interface of the experiment But the point, the longer point, is to rewire so that we can better surprise ourselves without constantly calling what we do experimental.
Honing our capacity to surprise is also how we hone our sense of humour. We widen our caprices and harness more shades. The joke itself does not matter"
We are far less interested in "Experimental" work (attempting to display the author‘s brilliance through references, tricks or gimmicks) than experimental work (that seeks to push out the boundaries of what fiction can and might do).
Work where very close attention has been paid to the prose style.
Work that values atmosphere and mood over plot.
Work that fails in new and unusual ways over work that succeeds in the tried and true.
I want to send you work. What do I do?
Please send only one piece - or up to three pieces of flash fiction (less than 1000 words each) - of unpublished work at a time. Please send as an attachment in one email. Please do not paste the story into the body of the email.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted and encouraged.
ergot. pays $25 per piece
We generally respond to all submissions within 30 days. If you have not recieved a response after that time check your spam folder.
There is currently no deadline; submissions will remain open until further notice.
If your own falls into this vein feel free to send a .doc, .docx, .rtf or .pdf with the subject:
SUBMISSION: Your Name - Title of work
Please check back frequently as ergot. is a work in progress.
What happens if my story is accepted?
ergot. is a small endeavor and we tend to move quickly. In most cases work will be published two and a half weeks after acceptance. First we will confirm with you that the work is available to be published (i.e. ‘not previously published’ and ‘not accepted at another venue’). Then, we will send over the terms of publication (‘the contract’) for the author to approve. At the beginning of the week of publication the editor will proofread the work and may offer some suggestions on the text. The author always has final say on the piece and may accept or reject these suggestions. A sample layout will be delivered for the author to approve a few days before publicaiton. Work will go live on Friday around 0900PST and will be promoted on Twitter, RSS and possibly other venues. Payment will be sent out shortly before publication.