The Spookatorium is interested in audio recordings of short fiction and vignettes read by the author that fall into the loose understanding of Weird Tales, Supernatural Horror, and Magic Realism.

The podcast originally aired 26 episodes between 2006-2008. On the 5th anniversary I revived the show. To the original mix of underground music, Forteana, and historical curiosities I introduced a focus on the small press and weird fiction. Much of that new content is dependent on contributions from the outside.

The fiction segment will be filled through a combination of invitations to authors I like and respect and voices that come in through the submission funnel. Openings are extremely limited.  It’s a (roughly) monthly show, and I expect to run one story an episode, two at the very most. The new format began with Episode 27 and you can get an idea of how it plays out by starting there.

Storytelling started out as an oral experience, I like the idea of getting back to that. Hearing a story told in the author’s voice is a rare treat. Readings are few and far between, and readings from authors I want to hear is virtually limited to conventions. My hope is to bring a taste of that experience to the show. By focusing on that oral tradition in the form of shorts and vignettes I expect a unique slant on story that gives both the author and the audience something that will stick with them.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions should be submitted in writing first, (.rtf, .doc, .odt) unless you have received a direct invitation. Unsolicited .wav or .mp3 files will be rejected outright.
  • Use standard manuscript format: which you can view here. Include necessary contact information as that format dictates.
  • Length is not limited by word count so much as reading time: 2-6 minutes is preferred, with 3-4 being the sweet spot. The idea being that it runs about as long as an average song.
  • Given the ongoing schedule there is no strict deadline, however submissions received before the 18th of month will receive consideration for that month’s episode.New episodes go live on or around the 23rd of the month.
  • No reprints without first inquiring. I’d much prefer a new piece.
  • Cover letters are appreciated but not necessary. I will request additional info from you in the event of an acceptance.
  • Email submissions to spookatorium[at] With the subject line “Submission – {story title}.”

Payment & Rights:
Payment is a flat rate of $25 for an accepted audio piece payable upon airing of the episode your story appears in. The preferred payment method is PayPal, but other arrangements can be made if necessary.

  • By accepting payment you agree that your audio recording may remain in the Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium show archives for as long as the archives remain available.

You are free to publish, resell, or burn in a fit of creative despondency anything accepted by the show at your convenience, though it would be swell if you waited until your piece has aired. If you choose to publish your reading on your own website please make reference to where the reading originally aired by linking to the Spookatorium website, or directly to the show .mp3.

Think about the fact you will need to make an audio recording of the piece if it is accepted. I can offer advice, and can help clean up a crummy recording, but you are submitting for consideration to a podcast not a magazine. Does the story read well? Can you record it if it does?

I prefer thoughtful, atmospheric pieces with a distinct tone. Previous contributors include (I’ll add to this as we go) : Richard Gavin, Orrin Grey, …

Please don’t bury me in stories that travel a well worn path, or that if you are honest with yourself, don’t fit in here. I said please, that’s the magic word!

Audio Advice:
Audacity is  a free audio recording program that’s pretty easy to use. Here is just one Audacity Tutorial available on the web.


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