Boo! It’s Our First Themed Issue

If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know that we love things that go bump in the night. And while each issue has included a few pieces that lean toward the dark, we’ve long dreamed of doing an all-creepy edition. The time has finally come! Our next issue, launching in October (of course!) 2024, will be our first themed issue. We’re calling it Issue Eight: In the Shadows.

So, what are we looking for? First, know that all submissions—including cover art—must still have something to do with the Finger Lakes. That part of our vision hasn’t changed. We still want to read your words and see artwork that captures what this region means, what it has been, and what it might be. But this time, we want you to check under the bed first!

We want to read things that are macabre and mysterious, bone-chilling and spine-tingling, supernatural and suspenseful, ghoulish and gothic, weird and wild! Do you have a ghost story that’s been passed down through the generations? Know a local legend just itching for a fresh retelling? We love ghosts and goblins and skeletons that play the xylophone on their own ribcages, but plain ol’ people can also be scary, too!

A few important notes:

  • This issue isn’t about Halloween (although we love it so!), so your work doesn’t have to be set on or be about October 31. Creepy things happen year around, in all seasons, in the dark and in the bright light of day.
  • While we are looking for eerie and unusual work, that doesn’t mean we aren’t also looking for funny and even lighthearted poems and stories. Can you make us laugh while we shiver, give us goosebumps and belly laughs at the same time? Bring it on!
  • We will not accept work that includes gratuitous violence. If you have to ask, it probably is.
  • Bluff & Vine has always been intended for an adult audience, but keep in mind that not everyone has the same tolerance for gore. Spill your blood judiciously!

Now, if this isn’t your thing, fear (see what we did there?) not! We will return to our regular open theme next year. You are welcome to send us your non-horror submissions and we will hold on to them until Issue Nine, but we also know that’s a long time to wait. As usual, we accept simultaneous submissions—just let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Note that submissions for Issue Eight: In the Shadows close on July 31, 2024.

Questions? Email us at

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