Brain Babies: An Introduction And Writing Advice From The Broken Mind Of Ken MacGregor


I’m new here, so I guess introductions are in order.

Hi. I’m Ken.

I was first introduced to HorrorTree by my friend and some-time collaborator Kerry G.S. Lipp. Those of you who come here a lot probably know who he is. I first ran into Kerry by eerily showing up in the same anthologies again and again. I liked his writing style, and how he never pulled any punches. He seemed fearless. I thought that was pretty cool.

So, anyway, long story short, I asked Kerry if he’d like to work on a story with me. I’d never written with another person, and neither had he, but we gave it a shot. I had something I’d started, but didn’t know what to do with, and sent it to him.

He liked it, wrote some more on the story and sent it back. Pretty soon, we had a pretty good finished piece. It was weird, original, pretty gross and quite funny. We went back through the thing, editing it and making sure it didn’t suck. Then, well, we sold it. Sweet.

So, I asked Kerry, “Hey, that was cool. You want to do it again?”

He said he did, and I sent him another thing I’d started, but didn’t know what to do with. He liked this one, too, and we started banging out words, roughly 2,000 at a time each.

At one point, we noticed it had gone beyond most normal short story length, but we were having fun, so we didn’t really worry about it. Then, it passed novella length, and we were like, “hey, that’s cool. We wrote a novella.”.

Then, somehow, we broke 50,000 words.

We had written a novel. A short one, but still. We went through the whole beta reader/editing process, tightening the book up as much as we could, and then, boom, we sold that one, too.

We’ve done another short since then, and are a bunch of words into the sequel to the novel. It’s very cool. I don’t know if I could work with another writer or not, but Kerry and I just seem to gel.

So, back to the point of the whole thing: Kerry introduced me to this site, and I’ve found some great markets here (some of which have turned into pretty lucrative opportunities). I’ve decided to give something back by tossing some words out for the HorrorTree readers.

Judging by the length of my introduction, a hell of a lot of words.

Here are some things I’ve learned in the last five years of submitting my stuff to publishers, in no particular order:

  1. Be patient. Publishers sometimes take a really long time to get back to you. They’re busy people. Just wait. Seriously. This business will drive you nuts if you can’t cultivate some patience.
  2. Speaking of publishers, they all know one another. It’s kinda creepy actually. So, be nice. Be polite. You may not be remembered for being polite, but you will definitely be remembered for being a dick.
  3. You’re never good enough. I don’t mean you suck. I mean you should always try to improve. Read books about writing. Read good books. Read bad books (so you know what not to do). Read in and out of your preferred genre. Really, just read. A writer who doesn’t read exists in a vacuum. Creativity dies a horrible, imploding, messy death in a vacuum.
  4. Write as much as you can. For some people, this is 10,000 words a day. I hate those people. For some, it’s 300 words a day. Some days, you won’t write. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Some days, putting down the words is like pulling teeth. It happens. Try to do it anyway. If you get too frustrated, do something else for a while. Read a little. Go for a walk. Rub yourself on your partner’s leg like a dog. Don’t tell them I suggested it. You’re on your own.
  5. Get into it. If you’re writing something gruesome (and most of you write horror, right?), embrace the shudder of revulsion. If you’re writing sex, that shit should turn you on. If someone walks in on you writing sex, you should turn bright red and have to adjust your pants (or whatever women do that is the equivalent of that move. Wriggle in their seats? Cross their legs? I honestly don’t know. The only time I see women turned on is when we’re both naked, and frankly, I’m not paying attention to anything but getting her off in spectacular fashion).
  6. Which brings us to the next topic. Be honest when you write. I don’t mean display your dirty little secrets to the world. But, kind of I do. Real moments in your life should bleed into your fiction. Things that actually happen make great story fodder. Don’t use real names though. You can get sued. Not cool.
  7. Ask other writers for help. Say, “I’m floundering and I have no idea what I’m doing!” We’ve all been there. When I started doing this, I was amazed at how many other (seriously experienced) writers were happy to help me. I’ve tried to pass it on as best I can, too. It’s like the circle of life, only with less lion shit on the ground.

All right. That’s enough for my first time. Stuart’s probably gonna be pissed that I rambled on this much. I’ll come back and yak at you some more if you want. If you don’t, that’s cool, too. I have a fuckin’ novel to write, man. I’d be happy to be doing that instead.

Get the words out. Later.

Taking Submissions: Bete Noire Spring 2016 Issue


Deadline: March 31st, 2016
Payment: $10 USD and digital copy of the issue

Publication will be one year after reading period.

Anything sent to us outside these reading periods will be deleted unread.


We here at Bete Noire are looking for stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.  We are open to most genres as long as they have a dark side.  This includes horror, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, crime, mystery or dark humor.  However, vampires plus sparkle equals rejection.

Please don’t send us sword & sorcery or space operas.  Tolkien and Lucas have their place, but not here.  Also, we don’t and can’t accept “fan fiction” which includes anything based on a video game, book, movie or any other creator’s work or conception unless you have written permission from the creator.  If you don’t own the copyright to the characters in your story, we cannot publish your work.  By submitting to us, you, as the author of the work, accept responsibility for any possible copyright infringement.

Please don’t send us “Slash” or “Fem-Slash” or anything graphically describing sex.  Sex is okay as long as it’s integral to the story but don’t overdo it.  Please don’t use gore for gore’s sake.  Again gore is okay as long as it’s integral to the story.  Though we cringe at the thought of violence toward children or pets, we understand that this type of violence does occur in real life, but we just don’t want it in our magazine. Stories with acts of violence toward animals or children will not have a chance with us.  Any story that insinuates an act of sex or sexual violence between an adult and a child will be rejected.  This includes ALL children, alien, robotic or otherwise. If you think your twist will be an exception, think again.  NO STORIES WITH SEX, VIOLENCE  OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE TOWARD CHILDREN, PERIOD.

Please use spell check and proof your work before sending it to us.  As writers, you should be doing this already, but it surprises us on how often this isn’t done.

Multiple submissions are okay, but please send them under a separate email (this includes poetry) and only three submissions per author per reading period.  Please note: If you send us multiple submissions, only one will be accepted if any. For example, if you send us three, we MAY or MAY NOT except one, but we will not accept more than one. Simultaneous submissions are also okay as long as you let us know if you sell your work elsewhere.

Please Note:  We don’t care if you name is Stephen Janovski or Stephen King.  We don’t care if you’re friends with the editors at The New Yorker or Cemetery Dance.  What counts with us, is the merit of your story, so please don’t expect us to accept your work simply because of who you are or who you know.


Stories should be between 100 and 5,000 words.  This word count is firm, if your story is within 100 words of the upper limit, we’ll read it, but if it’s over we won’t, there is no need to query, our answer will be no.  That means if your story is 5,101 it’s too long and we will not read it.  If you send it anyway, you will be rejected.

Please follow proper manuscript format.  If you don’t know what that is, please follow this link. If your story doesn’t look the same as what is posted in this link, it is WRONG and will be sent back to you unread.  Please save us all time and submit your stories correctly.

Specifically what we are looking for is as follows:

  • Use Courier New or Times New Roman fonts only.
  • Double space between lines.
  • Indent paragraphs.
  • No extra space between paragraphs.
  • All words meant to be italicized, bolded, or underlined in the final print, please make sure they are italicized, bolded or underlined in your manuscript.
  • All stories must be submitted as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf

Stories submitted in the body of an email will be deleted unread.


Poetry submissions are welcome and can be of any style.  You can submit up to threepoems per reading period.  Please submit them in separate emails and attached to the email in either .doc, .docx, or .rtf files. Poems sent in the body of an email will be deleted unread.  Poems can be up to seventy-five lines each. This is firm. We will not accept anything longer.

If you send more than one poem in a single submission, we will read only the first poem.  The others will go unread.  Please, for your own benifit, follow the guidelines.

Poetry does not need to follow story formatting but please use Courier Newor Times New Roman fonts only.

Please be aware that we reserve the right to reformat your story or poem as necessary to fit the specific format for our magazine.  We will not rewrite your story or poem without first sending you a proof, but on occasion, we may have to alter line placement to eliminate blank space. If you have a problem with this, please don’t submit to us.


At this time, we are only accepting interior artwork.  It must be your original work and in black and white only, no color artwork will be accepted for the interior of the magazine. And it should go without saying that the artwork should be dark in nature.  However, we cannot accept anything with graphic nudity or sex.  Dark humor is always an interest to us, so if you have a comic of dark humor send it along as long as it’s no more than six frames.  All artwork needs to be in JPEG format and attached to the email. 


We are also accepting black and white photographs for the interior of the magazine.  All photos must be original and dark, but again, just like the artwork we cannot accept anything with graphic nudity or sex.  Photographs need to be in JPEG format and attached to the email.


We are asking for First English Language Print Rights or Reprint Rights if your story is a reprint.  Also, we are asking for World Electronic Rights exclusive for six months (ebook version)

We are planning to run “Best of” anthologies.  Please keep this in mind as we could be asking for reprint rights in the future.  Remember, just because you are accepted into the magazine does not guarantee a spot in the “Best of” anthology.


We do accept reprints for inclusion in our magazine, but with the limited space in our magazine we prefer original works.  Please let us know at the time of your submission when and where your work first appeared.


$10 US flat for each accepted work plus free ebook version of the issue in which your work appears.

All payments are made via Paypal.  If you do not have a Paypal account, sign up for one, it’s free.  We do not send payment in any other form.

Return Time

Please give us one month to review your story.  If you have not heard back from us after two months, feel free to send us an email.

 Send submissions to:

In the subject line put: submission and the title of your story.

Send inquiries to:

Please be advised:  If you require a form to be filled out by us in order for you to get our emails, we willNOT fill them out.  We are too busy to take the time to do this.  Please approve our email address before hand.  If we get an auto response from you, it will just be deleted and we will move on to the next submission.

We look forward to reading your work.

Via: Bete Noire Magazine.

Taking Submissions: Summer’s End


Deadline: April 30 2016
Payment: £10 and a contributor’s copy

Summer’s End is an anthology of fantastical stories that will be about the end of ages, civilisations, golden times that decline inexorably or suddenly. Think the fall of the men of Numenor, the end of the first age of Yggdrasil, the sacking of Rome or the swallowing of Anhkor Watt by the forests as its people disappeared.

We’re looking for original, previously unpublished pieces of between 2,000 and 5,000 words.

Submissions will be open until midnight April 30 2016.

Normal submissions formats are an absolute requirement – so if in doubt go to our submissions guidelines page for guidance.

We are committed to providing a small, token, payment to each author (£10) and contributors copies. Further payments will be royalties based on profit after costs – it’s not ideal we know and as we build a base of books then we expect to change that but for now that’s the gig.

Submissions should be sent to:

Via: Alternate Realities Publishing.

Taking Submissions: Horrors of Hudson Valley

Deadline: Just 1st, 2016
Payment: $25 + contributor’s copy.


New York’s Hudson Valley is an enchanted region. Starting in the Adirondacks and Lake Tear in the Clouds–the source of the Hudson River–and following the river south through New York State until reaching Manhattan and the Atlantic Ocean 315 miles later, the region is home to centuries of myths and legends.


Everyone that has ever settled here has added to the lore of the land, from the Algonquin People, to the early Dutch settlers, to the greedy industrialists of the 19th Century. The river runs through Albany, the Catskill Mountains, and Sleepy Hollow. It was one of the major battle fronts of the French and Indian War in the 1750s and the American Revolutionary War twenty-five years later. It spawned the renown Hudson River School art movement founded by Thomas Cole. It is rich with history, much of it dark and macabre.

hv-ruins      hv-landscape

We want original, supernatural horror stories set within the Hudson Valley Region within the State of New York (please note that New York City is NOT considered a part of the Hudson Valley). The time period for your story is up to you–past, present, future, alternate history–but it must take place whole or in part within the Hudson Valley. Hudson Valley is a real place, with a real history, so please respect the reality of the setting.

Scare us, creep us out, give us the shivers, make us laugh. Be Gothic, modern, Lovecraftian, Victorian, Steampunk, whatever. Just set your story in the Hudson Valley.


  1. Any & all submissions must be set in & around New York’s Hudson Valley.
  2. No gratuitous sex, violence, or profanity
  3. No pornography of any kind. If there is sex in your story, it must be important to the story– and must abide by rule #2.
  4. No stories centered on rape, torture or child molestation. We’re not interested.
  5. No fan fiction.
  6. Your story must be a complete story– we’re not interested in excerpts.
  7. It must be your ORIGINAL work.
  8. Do NOT include any artwork

Interested? Sweet! Read on.


  • Stories should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words.
  • All stories must be titled.
  • Edit and format your work according to MLA standards. Please use only American Standard English punctuation and spelling.  We will reject your work if it is a grammatical mess.
  • Also, please use a standard size black font when submitting your work.
  • Include your name, contact information, and word count on the first page of your story. If you submit your story using a pseudonym, please note that it is a pseudonym and include your full real name as well.
  • No reprints, simultaneous, or multiple submissions.
  • Please include a short bio in your cover letter.
  • Send your story as an attachment to your email. We accept .DOC, .DOCX, and .RTF files only. NO .PDF or .TXT files please.

Email your submission to with the subject of: “SUBMISSION- [your story title].”


We plan to offer a one-time payment of $25 plus one contributor’s copy of the final anthology. We will also offer a sizable contributor discount on any additional copies you wish to purchase when purchased through us directly.


To be considered for this volume, we must have received your submission no later than June 1st 2016.


We’ll try to get back to you within 30 days of your submission, please do not email us with regards to the status of your work until after that time.

Any other questions can be directed to

Happy writing!

Via: Neilsen Party.

Kraken Press Is Taking Novel And Novella Submissions


Kraken Press is open to submissions. Submissions that don’t follow the guidelines will not be read.

1. We accept unsolicited novels, novellas and short story collections, up to 120.000 words. Collections are generally a really hard sell for us, so query first.

2. We are interested in seeing manuscripts in the genres of horror, dark fantasy and weird fiction. More importantly, we’re interested in fresh writing. We’re not likely to publish anything with vampires, werewolves or zombies. We do not publish sci-fi that doesn’t have a horror bend.

3. Submissions should include a short cover letter (contact info, brief bio), a synopsis of your book and the first 4 or 5 chapters of your book. Attach one document with a synopsis and one with the novel.

4. Submissions without attachments or no synopsis attached will not be read.

5. Multiple submissions are okay.

6. Simultaneous submissions are okay.

7. Email us your manuscript as an attachment (DOC or RTF).

8. Current response time: 30 days.

Writers we like:

Caitlin R. Kiernan, Graham Joyce, Richard Laymon, Joe Lansdale, Thomas Tessier, Gemma Files, Jack Ketchum, Clive Barker, Jonathan Carroll, John Connolly, Neil Gaiman, John Ajvide Lindquist, Holly Black, Chuck Palahniuk, Jeffrey Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente, Jonathan Maberry, David Moody, Tom Piccirilli, Norman Partridge, Jeff Strand, David Wong, Warren Ellis, Joe Hill, Sarah Langan, Lucius Shepard.
Slush pile editor is George Cotronis.

Via: Kraken’s Submittable.

The Cult Of Me’s February Short Fiction Contest

3. Simple in black & white - small resolution

Deadline: February 21st 2016
Prizes: First prize is a £50 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize, Second prize is a £20 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize, Third prize is a £10 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize

“Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste brought Death into the world […]” – John Milton/Excerpt from Paradise Lost.

Sometimes I have to hunt high and low for the monthly short fiction contest image and sometimes it finds me. This month’s Paradise Lost image sees the return of the wonderfully talented Luciana Nedelea. This image will soon be released as a new t-shirt and poster design on the Old Ones Productions store. If you’re not familiar with that venture of mine then visit the store here:

As always the stories can be of any genre. They just have to be inspired by this month’s image and no more than 500 words.

Entry to the contest remains free and there are prizes for the three winners. I will also feature any of the stories that don’t win but I believe are worth showcasing on this blog.

  • First prize is a £50 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Second prize is a £20 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Third prize is a £10 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize

The money for the prizes come out of my own pocket, although I do make a little from advertising on this blog. So if you see something of interest then feel free to click on the links and purchase away! If you haven’t tried my books yet then check them out at the top of the page, as well as buying a good read you’ll be helping this contest.

Please make sure to check your story for typos before submitting. I don’t mind a few errors, but my enjoyment of a story is diminished if I have to wade through too many.

I’ll post the winning entries by March 1st 2016.

As with everything in life there are a few rules:

  • Only one entry per person.
  • The story must not be longer than 500 words.
  • Closing date for submissions is February 21st 2016.
  • By submitting the story you grant me a non-exclusive license to post the story on this blog. I do request that I post it here first.
  • You also grant me a one time non-exclusive license to include the story in an e-book release.
  • The judge’s decision is final.

Head over to the page below to enter! Entree form is at the bottom of the page:

Via: The Cult Of Me.

Taking Submissions: Kill Those Damn Cats


Deadline: March 31, 2016
Payment: $5 and a contributor copy

Kill Those Damn Cats – Cats of Ulthar Lovecraftian Anthology
The First United Church of Cthulhu is looking for horror fantasy involving the titular creatures from H. P. Lovecraft’s story The Cats of Ulthar. The original is set in the Dreamlands and is part of a series of short stories and novellas called the Dream Cycle.
Everybody’s got a story about those cats.

You can (re)familiarize yourself with the Dream Cycle here:
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Length: 2,000 – 10,000 words
Payment: $5 + contributor copy
English only. Non-exclusive anthology rights. Reprints and multiple submissions are allowed. Author retains copyright. Payment is via Paypal.
The cats are cats.
1. They do not have spoken lines. They do not have telepathy. They have no internal monologues.  They did communicate with Randolph Carter in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath so this is acceptable, but we do not want talking animal stories (i.e. Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Bugs Bunny, etc).
2. They do not walk upright. They do not wear clothes. This is not Puss In Boots.
3. They are not werecats or shapeshifters of any kind. But other beings from the Cthulhu Mythos who do have shapeshifting abilities may be found among the cats.
4. Cats are already very intelligent, so they can act with a human level of intelligence. Just no driving cars, shooting guns, writing novels about themselves, etc. They’re still cats.
5. They can have supernatural qualities. But they are not furry little wizards, so no fireballs or Expecto Patronum.

6. The majority of the story must take place in the Dreamlands.

7. The majority of the story must be about the cats of Ulthar. Do not tack on a companion cat to one of your sucky D&D campaign stories and try to pass it off as Lovecraftian.
8. Feel free to use any of the people, places, or monsters already listed in the Dream Cycle stories.

9. The Dreamlands have their own set of gods, the Great Ones. Do whatever you want with them. Nyarlathotep is the only being from the rest of the Mythos gods who makes an appearance in the Dream Cycle. You may include cultists, monstrous servants, and avatars of the other Mythos gods but give them a good reason to be there. Cthulhu DOES NOT wake up and start mucking about the Dreamlands.

10. Magic and supernatural powers are usable in the Dreamlands. Just don’t go all Tolkien on us.

11. The story can NOT be about humans taking the cats of Ulthar from the Dreamlands (our head priest has already called that plot device).
It is more of a fantastical place instead of a technological one; think Super Mario World or Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland or even Adventure Time but with more horrific elements.
The story can be pro-cat, anti-cat, or anywhere inbetween.
Pictures can be printed with the story (they will be black and white). Images should be .jpg or .png; 300 dpi is recommended but not necessary. Make sure you have clearance to use the image(s) and send with any necessary copyright information that would need to be listed.
Email your story as an attached .doc file to bitter_venus [at] with Kill Those Damn Cats as the subject.

Via: First United Church Of Cthulhu

Taking Submissions: Infective INK: As inspired by, the Gift of the Magi


Deadline: March 28th 2016
Payment: $10

As inspired by, the Gift of the Magi
Stories featuring romantic partners are welcome, but stories with other duos are preferred is interested in great fiction. Unless specified, we are open to all genres and styles, except erotica.

We offer $10 per Short Story, payable via PayPal. We do not currently pay for Short Story submissions under 1500 words, or for any Flash Fiction submissions, bragging rights however, are priceless. Remember, is a prompt-driven publication. Be sure that the story you’re submitting corresponds to one of our prompts before sending your work.

Submissions should be sent to

In the subject line please include the word ‘submission’, your last name, and the prompt you’re submitting for, e.g. Submission, Fitzgerald, Monsters.

The body of the email includes:

  • Your name
  • Your pen name, if you use one
  • Your contact details (including the email address we would send your Paypal payment to if your story is 1500+ words)
  • The word count
  • An interesting bio that doesn’t simply list your publications
  • Your submission
    You are welcome to paste the submission in the body of the email, we also accept .doc, .docx, .txt, and .rtf attachments.

    Please replace any curly quotes with straight quotes, curly apostrophes with straight ones.

    Double and triple check for grammar and spelling errors, watch your possessives, take care with there/their/they’re.

Write to the prompt and HAVE FUN! These aren’t the stories to devote months of intense effort toward. Let your creative juices flow freely (yeah, that sounded gross), and play fast and hard! Edit with a vengeance and submit.

Please read over our Author Agreement before submitting. is listed at Duotrope, don’t forget to track your submissions!

Questions? Need some help/guidance? Email us at

Via: InfectiveINK.

An Interview With Richard Thomas About ‘Gamut’!


Richard Thomas is soon to be launching a new magazine titled ‘Gamut’ and we’ve had a chance to sit down and pick his brain on what to expect. Richard has some lofty goals for ‘Gamut’ that would bring strong stories to the table with a focus on quality that will bring an audience as he wants “to support the voices that aren’t getting enough recognition” and “pay a great rate (twice the going professional rate)” which is something that I believe we can all greatly appreciate. Of course with such a dedication to the art the standards are going to be incredibly high.

Horror Tree (HT): Thanks for joining us today Richard. First off if you could share with the authors who frequent our site what exactly ‘Gamut’ is planned to be and what you hope to accomplish?

Richard Thomas (RT): Thanks for having me. Gamut is something I’ve been thinking of doing for years. I decided to get serious about it last year when I saw a few places go under, or close their doors to submissions. It’s going to be an online magazine of neo-noir, speculative fiction with a literary bent. Essentially the same kind of fiction I write, the stories I publish at Dark House Press, the dark, edgy kind of tales I’ve published in the four anthologies I’ve edited—The New Black and Exigencies (DHP), Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer (Bram Stoker finalist), and The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press). I think we need more markets that pay better rates (we’re offering ten cents a word) and more publications that embrace the kind of weird, transgressive fiction that so many authors are writing today. I want to be part of the landscape, alongside excellent magazines and websites such as Tor, Nightmare, F&SF, Clarkesworld, The Dark, Shock Totem, Shimmer, Black Static, etc. Gamut means, “a wide range” and in this case, that refers to dark fiction. We will publish original fiction every week, as well as reprints, columns, poetry, non-fiction and lots of art.

HT: For such an ambition project can you lay out a little on how you plan on pulling this off?

RT: Sure! We’re launching this Kickstarter in order to raise $51,000. We offer a few rewards, but the main one is a subscription for $30 a year (which is only $2.50 a month). I know to some that that may sound like a lot, but that’s ONE Starbucks, ONE pint of beer, ONE trip to MacDonald’s a month. We need about 1,700 people to subscribe. If the readers, authors, editors, and publishers who are out there want this to happen, it will happen. We already have a ton of excellent authors who are committed to this project, some fantastic illustrators and photographers, as well as dedicated staff and creative columnists. We’ll generate over 400,000 words a year. The extra incentive to sign up NOW is that if you do, your rate will never go up. NEVER. As long as you renew, it’ll stay that rate. Our usual rate will be $60 a year.

HT: Will issues of ‘Gamut’ be themed or just an open-ended love letter to darker literature?

RT: We aren’t really going to have issues. It’ll be an ongoing, breathing, expanding beast. Ideally, if we can hit a few stretch goals, we’ll have new content every DAY. Which would be fantastic.

HT: Where did you get the idea to launch ‘Gamut’?

RT: It’s been brewing for years. I’ve enjoyed running Dark House Press, and editing those four anthologies. This seemed like the next logical step.

HT: Which of your work in the past has best prepared you to launch the magazine?

RT: That’s a great question. I’d say all four anthologies did. The New Black was all reprints, so that’s one way of getting work, soliciting, getting the rights—it was quite the adventure talking to big six presses, and obtaining permissions. Same thing for The Lineup. Exigencies was all original work, over 800 submissions sent in to DHP, which I personally read—all of them. It was important to me to do that myself, to personally arrange the content, and select the stories and voices that moved me the most. Burnt Tongues came about through a workshop at The Cult ( where I was one of four workshop moderators. I read 100+ stories a month and picked the six I liked best, which were forwarded to Dennis, who selected the final six to show to Chuck. At the end of the year he selected the top 20 for inclusion in the anthology. I also came on board later as not just the editor, but essentially the agent, shopping the book after I tweaked our pitch, dealing with several offers, a bit of a bidding war, eventually signing with Medallion, who offered a very nice advance. So, each anthology, plus everything I do at Dark House Press, has prepared me for this. Also, I have 20 years in advertising as a graphic designer and art director, and eight years of experience as an author. I also try to surround me with talented people, and then get out of the way.

HT: Who else will be working with you behind the scenes on ‘Gamut’ and in what capacity?

RT: My fiction editors are Mercedes M. Yardley, Dino Parenti, and Casey Frechette. Many of you are probably already familiar with MMY’s writing, but she also spent time at Black Static—she’s amazing. Dino is an up and coming author, who really gets my aesthetic, you’ll be hearing more about him soon, I’m sure. And Casey and I go back to The Cult and The Velvet days, he’s familiar with many of the authors, and has a ton of energy and passion. They’ll be handling all submissions, first readers, and stories that get majority votes (especially universal yes votes) will get passed on to me for a final decision. We also have Heather Foster in charge of poetry, who was in my MFA program with me, so talented (also had a story in Exigencies) and her assistant is Whittney Jones. We have three columnists—Max Booth III who will be extending his hotel escapades, Keith Rawson with essays and reviews, and RK Arceneaux with a bit of humor and real life observations, to break up all the darkness. Not to mention the artists—Luke Spooner doing original drawings for every story, and supporting work from George C. Cotronis (After the People Lights Have Gone Off), Daniele Serra (Exigencies), and Bob Crum. Jennifer Moore will handle the photography (The Lineup). And I haven’t even mentioned the authors: Stephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Usman T. Malik, Matt Bell, Damien Angelica Walters, Letitia Trent, Mercedes M. Yardley, Alyssa Wong, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Axel Taiari, Amanda Gowin, Laura Benedict, Nathan Ballingrud, Dino Parenti, Ted E. Grau, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sarah Read, Paula Bomer, Kelly Luce, Livia Llewellyn, Josh Malerman, Carmen Machado, Peter Tieryas, Kevin Catalano, Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Nina McConigley, Nik Korpon, Craig Wallwork, Steve Himmer, Antonia Crane, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kristi DeMeester, Tara Ison, David James Keaton, Cassandra Khaw, Nikki Guerlain, Lucy A. Snyder, JS Breukelaar, Helen Marshall, Amelia Gray, H. L. Nelson, Craig Davidson, Jacklyn Dre Marceau, and Lincoln Michel.

HT: When submissions open up to ‘Gamut’ what can authors expect? Will there be any surprises in the guidelines that normally wouldn’t pop up?

RT: We will open up later in 2016 to submissions, if we hit our goal. Depending on how much we raise, we’ll be looking for original fiction and reprints that match our aesthetic. Probably up to about 5,000 words, but maybe less. Longer work we’ll discuss. We’ll also be looking for poetry, and non-fiction. We may do a Flash Fiction Friday, that’s part of our stretch goals. We may look for novellas, to serialize as well (our second stretch goal Stripped: A Memoir, which will run every weekend for our Saturday Night Special. The only surprise I can see is that we will ask that no reprints be online anywhere, not currently, and not for at least a year after.

HT: Will ‘Gamut’ be available in both print and digital? How many issues are you looking to publish a year?

RT: It will only be available online. We may do a Best of Gamut 2017 (print and ebook) if we reach that last stretch goal.

HT: What will authors love the most about working with ‘Gamut’?

RT: I think they’ll be in good company, first of all. We’ll make sure to have 5-10 stories up the day we launch, and then we’re looking at 104 stories (new and reprint) over the course of our first year. If you aren’t excited to publish alongside these voices I’ve already mentioned, then you may want to check your pulse—you may be dead. And I hope they’ll be excited to work with me, and my staff. They’ll also get original artwork to accompany each story. We may not have the biggest audience to start, but with 1,700 paying subscribers, it should be a passionate, dedicated audience. And I hope it will keep growing.

HT: Finally, is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

RT: Sure. I’ve supported almost 20 Kickstarters over the years. Anywhere from $1 to $400, and each experience has been exciting and rewarding. There is nothing quite like being a patron of the arts. And we aren’t asking for a donation, you’re going to get some amazing content at Gamut. Be a part of something, help us start this publication, you can even help to shape the content, speak up during the Kickstarter, let us know what’s missing, what you are most looking forward to, and possibly change the outcome. You can be here at the inception, be a part of the family, and I think that’s pretty exciting—for readers and authors alike.


Site Changes For January 2016


About Page

The new About page does a better job at showcasing the writers on the site and re-clarifies that we’re looking for paying markets to list. (Rest of the staff coming soon!)


Easier Search!

We’ve added a search box to the top right of the homepage (or under the initial set of posts when viewing the page in pure mobile) to make your search ability that much easier! (This was requested multiple times.)

Contact Page

A couple small changes were made to the contact page, reaffirming that we’re only listing paying markets with set deadlines.

UI Changes

Minor UI Changes: Slightly increased the right sidebar so the content didn’t go over the side. Added a background image to the website.

Looking to contribute to The Horror Tree?

We’re always on the lookout for more help at The Horror Tree. From ongoing contributors, to web developers that would be interested in working with us on online applications for authors, to guest blogs, to someone willing to track open markets, to being a stop on your blog tour, and so on. If you are interested please drop us a line through our contact page today!

Have anything you’d like to see us add in the future?

We’re here for you so if you believe there is a service, column, or anything else we could list that you’d want to see please reach out via our contact page!

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