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Menacing Hedge is now accepting short stories, poems, and art for our quarterly online magazine.

We believe that the blank page is a gift. Its bleak landscape can be shaped into worlds that transcend logic and reason; its emptiness can be filled with words that leave the reader bloated with terror, euphoria and envy. Above all, the blank page can offer up stories that can change lives and shift opinions. And that's what we want. Make us hate you for writing the stories we wanted to write, and in equal measure love you for submitting them to us. Surrender lives that we wish were our own, and others that make us reflect on ours with appreciation and gratitude. Tear a hole in the fabric of literature. Be bold, unflinching, but adroit in your creation. Listen to your heart, and when the heart is mute, write from your gut. Make that opening paragraph so beautifully crafted that even if the walls around us were ablaze, and the roof was caving in, we would not move an inch until we finished it. Genres that tickle our fancy are horror, slipstream, magical realism, and science fiction, with styles that lean toward humorous, absurdism, experimental, literary, bizarro, quirky and surreal.

With respect to prose, we don't want stories that are designed to shock for no other reason but to catch the editor's attention. Believe us when we say this; those stories will be rejected in a heartbeat. We do not get enthusiastic over sword and sorcery, fairytales or anything that leans toward traditional fantasy. Crime, noir, and pulp will be considered, but wouldn't be at the top of our reading list, nor would erotica, unless it had elements of dark humour, surrealism, or came in a different shade other than grey. We're looking for Flash Fiction up to 1k words, and Short Fiction 1-5k words. Works longer than 5k will be considered, but to be honest, 1-3k words is the Sweet Spot.

With respect to poetry, please read past issues to get a feel for what we are seeking. Poetry with imagery, poetry that inhabits the minds and bodies of people and creatures and takes us to strange places shall be embraced. Cliché shall be immediately rejected. Again, read past issues of Menacing Hedge. If your poetry would be in good company with the poems you find, then you know you have found a place for your work.

Some of the writers whose works resonate with us are Etgar Keret, Flann O'Brien, Nick Cave, Richard Brauntigan, Mark Richards, Aimee Bender, Jean Teule, William Gay, Reif Larsen, Andrew Kaufman, Jim Dodge and Amy Hempel, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, Sylvia Plath, Rebecca Loudon, and Rainer Maria Rilke. If you write stories or poems like any of the aforementioned then there is a strong chance you will make our hearts gather rhythm, and have our fingers poised over the acceptance button.

Our response time can range anywhere from two days to two months. We have day jobs but will get back to you as quickly as possible. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but PLEASE let us know if your piece is accepted elsewhere. If we accept your work, we will give you instructions on how to create audio files, which will be included with each written piece.

Please include your name and a bio with each submission. Your bio can be short or long; a fancy pedigree is not required, as your work will speak for itself.