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About the Press

“There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Rogue Owl Press is an independent publisher specializing in startling stories. We’re drawn to writing that is entertaining, exciting, and captivating, while simultaneously powerful, complex, and genre-bending.

Writing may be considered startling for many reasons. While dark fiction such as horror comes to mind as indicative of the most viscerally startling of all fiction, writing may be equally startling in its raw honesty about the human condition.

Startling stories may also take the form of a thrilling tale that leaves the reader breathless by the finale, or a story that contemplates existential reckoning. Likewise, a poem may startle the reader with its aesthetic beauty and poignancy. A story may be startling in its fantastical worldbuilding or the vividness of its characters and their own emotional lives. A work may even startle the reader through the avenue of absurd humor.

In short, we publish writing that stops us, as readers, in our tracks—that jolts us in astonishing ways. We seek creative work that makes us ponder the universe from a new angle and provides an opening to fall into another reality. In the words of Jack Kerouac, we want to feel everything all at once.

Startling stories transcend any one genre, style, or storytelling philosophy. A startling work of art may color within the lines of genre conventions, or it may blur those lines—or defy expectations altogether. But such works all have one thing in common: their beating hearts.

Startling stories are alive.