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Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches and Events

Pandemic Book Launches and Events  13.08.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press, check it out here.  Click on the book covers for more information.


22-23rd Aug – Buzz Book Expo. Online book expo for publishers to talk about upcoming releases in the period Sept 2020-Dec 2020. Focus is horror but includes paranormal/supernatural thrillers, dark fantasy, genre blends and non-fiction. Coordinated by Mary SanGiovanni, go here for more information.

28th-31st Aug inclusive – London FrightFest. Showing up to 25 films, special guests and Q&A sessions. More information and tickets here.

7-11th October – GrimmFest. Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films. Information here.

Please send us details of any online panels, conventions, festivals and workshops and we’ll list them here.

Pandemic Book Launches 

*********** Charity Anthologies ************

1st July   13th July    Autumn! ImageWe are Wolves


They Slipped Through the Net

This section features books published during lockdown but which have only just come onto our radar (plus special editions newly released).

**let us know!**

July 2020

23rd  Our Carrion Hearts by [Brian Fatah Steele, Pete Kahle] 28th  Image  28th In Every Dark Corner: Horror Stories by [Duncan Ralston] 31st


August 2020

1st Love Wanes, Fear is Forever: A collection of horror stories by [Justin Boote] 2nd Shadow Bound: A Gothic Quartet by [Stephanie Ellis, Alyson Faye]4th    5th D is for Demons (A to Z of Horror Book 4) by [P.J. Blakey-Novis, Dona Fox, Charles R. Bernard, David Green, Mark Anthony Smith, J. Herrera Kamin, Lesley Drane, Carmilla Voeiz, Molly Thynes, Matt Doyle]

5th Emily in the Wall: Twelve Chilling Tales of Horror and Suspense by [Neil Davies] 6th  7th 10th

10th 11th Sins of the Father (Fiction Without Frontiers) by [JG Faherty]18th  25th

25th 25th Recall Night (An Eli Carver Supernatural Thriller Book 2) by [Alan Baxter, Anthony Rivera] 28th 31st Outback Horrors Down Under: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors (Things in the Well Book 46) by [GM Hague, Chris Mason, Matthew R Davis, Robert Hood, Tracie McBride, Marty Young, Lucy Sussex, Dan Rabarts, Simon Dewar, Tabatha Wood]

September 2020

  1st    4th Night Voices 8th    10th

15th  15th FULL METAL HORROR III: The Unknown by [Adam Bennett, Sam M. Phillips]   15th Image may contain: 1 person, text that says "THE BODY WILL FOLLOW ASHO CKING tale of POSSESSION and PERVERSION! ROB E. BOLEY"   29th   IMG_0672.JPG

October 2020

13th SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire by [Nicole Givens Kurtz, Craig Gidney, Michele Tracey Berger, Alicia McCalla, Steven Van Patten, Jessica Cage, Sheree Renne Thomas, Milton Davis, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Nicole Givens Kurtrz]13th   20thDownwind, Alice


17th The Lupin Project: Allan Leverone: 9780998416144: Books

Happy reading.


 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team


August 2020 Giveaway – Digital Copies Of ‘Contrition’!


This contest is running from Friday, August 14th to Friday, August 28th, 2020.


The Horror Tree is giving away TEN ebook copies of Deborah Sheldon’s noir-horror novel, Contrition, which was nominated for the Australian Shadows Award “Best Horror Novel”.

You can buy ‘Contrition’ on Amazon!

In her late teens, Meredith Berg-Olsen had all the makings of a runway model. Now in her late forties, after everything she had been through – including horrors that John could only guess at – she looked bloodless instead of pale, skeletal instead of slender, more dead than alive. John Penrose has two secrets. One is the flatmate he keeps hidden from the world: his high-school sweetheart, Meredith. His other secret is the reason he feels compelled to look after her. Contrition is a horror story with noir undertones and an atmosphere of mounting dread.


Deborah Sheldon is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum of horror, crime and noir. Her award-nominated titles include the novels Body Farm Z, Contrition and Devil Dragon; novella Thylacines; and collections Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories and the award-winning Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories. As guest editor of Midnight Echo #14, she recently won the Australian Shadows Award “Best Edited Work”. Additional credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours, feature articles, non-fiction books, stage plays and award-winning medical writing. Visit at

Enter To Win Below!

Taking Submissions: Little Demon Digest #1

Deadline: September 28th, 2020
Payment: Short Fiction (4,001-8,000 Words) – $5
Theme: Horror, thriller, and science fiction


  • FORMAT: All submissions should follow proper manuscript format. Please attach all submissions in .doc or .docx format. We will not accept submissions embedded in the body of an email. Please adhere to standard manuscript guidelines (12-point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, etc).
  • EMAIL: Please send your submissions to [email protected]
    Include what book your submitting for, your name, and your story title.
  • WHAT WE WANT: We are primarily interested in Flash Fiction or Short Fiction submissions but are open to novellas and novels. We currently want short fiction work for our upcoming digest series.
  • PAYMENT: Please understand that LDB is a very small publishing brand but because of that we put greater consideration into the stories submitted.
    Flash Fiction (1,500-4,000 Words) – FREE DIGITAL COPY
    Short Fiction (4,001-8,000 Words) – $5 + FREE DIGITAL COPY
    Anything larger than the Short Fiction format will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All contributors will receive a free digital or physical copy of their choosing for the books their work is featured in.
  • RIGHTS: Little Demon Books will retain first publishing rights to short stories but the original creative copyright will remain with the author. The author is allowed to reprint their original work six months after first printing.

Via: Little Demon Books.

Taking Submissions: Weird Fiction Volume 1

Deadline: October 30th, 2020
Payment: Royalties
Theme: Weird fiction

Submission Deadline : 30th October 2020



Theme : Weird fiction

Word count : Around 5,000

Author eligibility : Open to all

Reprints : Not allowed

Simultaneous Submissions : Not allowed

Multiple Submissions : Maximum of two

Publication : Expected to release 2021 in Print and Digital formats

Author compensation : Royalty split, plus one digital copy

How to submit : See our submission guidelines for formatting.

Send your story and bio as an attachment in Word format to  [email protected].

Please include wordcount in email body.

Your email subject and document name should be Anthology Name – Your Story Name – Author Name.
For example; “WEIRD– My Story – A N Author”

Please include an author bio of upto 100 words and no more than two links.

Via: Black Hare Press.

Ongoing Submissions: Nightmares and Phantasms Podcast

Payment: $5
Note: Reprints allowed if not previously done in audio

Have you ever wanted to hear your short horror story on a podcast? Do you have a true scary tale to tell the world, but don’t know how to get it out there?

Nightmares & Phantasms, a podcast of scary stories and horrifying true tales, is now currently OPEN for submissions. We’re looking for your scariest short fiction and terrifying true stories. General submission guidelines apply, only one story per submission and only one submission per month.

Previously published stories are accepted (only if you currently maintain the rights to the story), as long as they have not been featured on another podcast. We are looking for original material only.

If you think your frightening tale is ready to be told, we’re waiting to hear from you!

We are looking for 1000 -6000 words max.

Payment: $5 for accepted submission.


Authors retain full rights to any story performed on the Nightmares & Phantasms podcast. Only previously unperformed work. We also ask that any story performed on the podcast be not performed on another podcast for a period of one month.

LOM Media does not retain the rights to publish or distribute your story outside of the audio performance without written permission from the author.

Audio production of your story remains the property of LOM Media and may not be distributed, altered or sold outside of the Nightmares & Phantasms Podcast without prior written consent.

Send your submissions to [email protected] or click the submit button below!


Serial Killers: La Serenissima (Part 1) by Susan Anwin

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

Holly found the squalid little theatre during one of her urban exploration trips. She loved sneaking into houses in her free time; the more decrepit the building, the better. She had a particular fondness for attics and cellars – to her they felt like the secret heart of a house. Such ventures helped her get away from her life a bit, they offered a welcome variety to the drudgery of a dead-end job, the loneliness and the uniform days. 

Broken furniture cluttered the stalls. A tattered script with some of the letters missing hung in front of the mouldy velvet curtains, that read ‘Ope a Garn  r‘. The colourful panes were mostly missing from the stained glass ceiling lights, so the patterns didn’t make sense anymore. Spiderwebs fluttered in the air current coming through the holes. It was the decaying carcass of a once majestic building. 

“Hello?” Her voice echoed in the dusty void. Holly had been a fan of the Phantom of the Opera as a child, and this place fit the fancies of that long gone eleven year old perfectly. How many times had she and her best friend at the time daydreamed about being Christine, the object of the Phantom’s obsession, of being whisked away into his lair? They’d even planned a visit to Paris for the sole purpose of finding him. Holly let that child take the reins once more. 

“It’s Christine,” she trilled, “oh Phantom, are you here?”

Here… here… the echo replied. It had a weird hissing quality that Holly ascribed to the haphazard forms the sound bounced off, that messed with the acoustics. The dust motes swirled in a stray sunbeam. She went on a discovery tour, but the doors leading into the bowels of the building were locked. Holly left disappointed. 

Even so, she kept returning to the Paris Opera (she couldn’t think of it in any other way) in the following weeks. It inspired her in a way she couldn’t quite explain. It was almost like the gateway of another world, one that was probably messier, yet much more interesting than her own.

“Oh Phantom, come save me from my sad life,” she called out in a breathy voice. 

Life… life… life… 

She was lounging in box 5, reserved for the Phantom in the original story. Her fingertips left marks in the dusty velvet cover of the parapet. 

“Take me to wild adventures.”

Ress… ress… yess…

Holly sat up with a start. She searched the gloom. Did something move in the depths of the stage? She kept listening for some minutes with breath held, then decided it was just the building’s atmosphere and the peculiar acoustics playing tricks on her. Nonetheless she kept standing, her eyes darting from dark nook to odd shaped shadow, ready to bolt. “Hello?”

Hello… hello… hello…

Nothing moved apart from the cobwebs. 

“Is anybody there?”

There… there… there…

“I’m Holly, nice to meetcha.”

Cha… cha… cha…

A cloud swam in front of the sun and the auditorium darkened. Noises she didn’t notice before reached her ears; the rustle of some small creature burrowing under the debris, pigeons cooing outside the ceiling windows, creaks and groans, as the old building breathed around her. 


Hello… hello… Holly…

She nearly fell off the gallery. Holly turned her head, trying to see all of the theatre at the same time, eyes so wide the white was visible all around her irises, heartbeat thundering in her ears. “Is anybody there?”

There… there… there…

The silence felt deafening. There was something, someone else here; she felt it in the prickling of her skin, in the hair that stood on edge on the nape of her neck. Holly didn’t know what has gotten into her; perhaps it was the predictability of her antiseptic, risk-free life, but she decided to play with it a little, whatever it was. On her best coquettish voice she called out. “Care for a dance?”

Dance… dance… yes…

It all happened too fast; before she could react in any way she was flying towards the rickety stage in the arms of a black-clad stranger. He held on to a rope and even through the clothes sack he was wearing, Holly could feel how thin he was. She held on for dear life, too frightened to scream. 

Before she knew it they were waltzing on the stage twisting, turning, the whole theatre spinning around them, colours she never saw before flashing in a crazy kaleidoscope, the other guiding her with a steady hand, sunlight glinting on the featureless mirror mask he was wearing. 

Once it ended Holly stood on the stage quivering, breathless, staring up at her own wide-eyed, distorted reflection.  

“Wh… who are you?” she finally managed.

“I am who I am. Who are you?” 

She couldn’t be absolutely sure it was a man judging from the voice alone. She decided to think of him as a ‘he’, but only for the lack of a better option. 

She stretched out a shaky hand. “Uh, name’s Holly. Sorry about the noise earlier, I didn’t think there was anybody here.”

Her reflection moved as the mask lowered a little, the person behind it contemplating her hand, then a pale, slender hand stretched out and grabbed hers. It was much stronger than it looked. 

“So, um, what can I call you?”

The other made a barely perceptible shrug. “Whatever you like.”

“You don’t have a name?”

Seemingly losing interest he was watching the auditorium, arms akimbo. 

Holly thought for a minute. She didn’t know if it was going too far, but she had to try; after all it was the Phantom’s real name in the novel. “Can I call you Erik?”

The minute she uttered the question she knew it was a bad idea. The mask turned back to her; Holly didn’t know how she knew, but she was sure the other was bristling against her suggestion. “Is that the best you can come up with?”

“Okay, how about, um,” she remembered some fanfic she’d read online. “Kian?”

“Will do.”

Holly cleared her throat. “So, Kian, what are you doing here?”

“I’m an artist.”

“What kind of artist?”

The mask tilted to the side the slightest bit. “Just artist. I live here with the others.”

She glanced at the auditorium, then at the catwalk above them. It was just as empty as before. “Others?”

He was already heading towards the wings; now he stopped and turned back to her. “Do you want to  come see?”

Holly considered. Did she really want to follow this stranger into whatever lunatic asylum he was about to lure her into? That was exactly how women ended up in some psycho’s torture chamber. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea actually.” She uttered a nervous snicker. “I mean what if you lock me up for the police to find my skeleton twenty five years later?”

He gave her a long look. At least she guessed that was what he was doing; he was just standing there motionless. She suppressed the urge to fidget under his gaze. “I said I was an artist, not a serial killer. But if you don’t want to see, it’s fine; doesn’t make a difference to me.”

“Alright, show me then,” Holly offered, hoping she wasn’t making a mistake. 

Susan Anwin

Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Susan Anwin graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2019 (Creative Writing postgrad). She has 50+ publications to date; my flash-fiction Talk of Armadale trees was published in the anthology My Favourite Place (Scottish Book Trust, 2012). Her name appeared on the cover of Aphelion Webzine in March and July 2017, February and August 2018 and November 2019. Starting in March 2019, Art Here Art Now serialized her stories. Reprinted in Horror Without Borders, an international anthology, one of her stories has been translated into Russian.

Taking Submissions: Pirates of the Empyrean

Deadline: October 5th, 2020
Payment: $10USD
Theme: Science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, or steampunk stories featuring pirates.

Zombie Pirate Publishing is seeking short stories 2,000-7,000 words long for PIRATES OF THE EMPYREAN.

Science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, or steampunk stories featuring pirates.

Send us your tales of swashbuckling adventure set against space, sky, or sea.

Submissions close 5th Oct 2020.

Successful submissions will recieve $10USD, an ebook copy, and access to heavily discounted paperback copies.

Send your stories to [email protected]

No simultaneous submissions or reprints.


Submitting to Zombie Pirate Publishing is easy. Simply email your manuscript to [email protected] following the submission guidelines at the bottom of this page.

We DO NOT accept reprints or simultaneous submissions.

Your email should have your name, the story title, the word count, and the anthology you are submitting towards in the header and the body of the email. The attached word document should be labeled with this information as well.

For example: ‘Daddy-Adam Bennett-Full Metal Horror 2-6500 words.doc’

Your submission should have a Word document attached to your email. Do not paste the story into the body of your email. Most programs including Google Docs will allow you to save your finalised work as a word document before submission.

If you are unsure exactly what to do to set up your file correctly, download this document before you start writing. It is set up to be ready to go ASAP. Simply highlight the title, or author name or body of the document to replace with your own text. Google Docs version is available here for those without Word. Simply copy the document and change the name, and then click the ‘download as’ option in the file menu, and select word doc. This will save as a word document which you can then attach to your email.


Zombie Pirate Publishing does not charge authors for submissions.

Thanks to our Patreon Page we currently offer $10 USD and an ebook copy of the publication to authors included in our anthologies that feature a deadline. To find out more, or to help support us, visit and read about our exciting rewards tiers and the goals we are working towards.

At present we are not offering payment for submissions accepted into our flash fiction or poetry anthologies.

Novella publications will be paid a percentage of royalties on all sales as well as a small advance on royalties.

If we accept your work for entry to an anthology, Zombie Pirate Publishing requires Exclusive First Publishing Rights for one (1) year and then all rights revert to the author. ZPP holds the rights to novellas we publish for two (2) years.


Zombie Pirate Publishing works on accepted anthology stories in Google Docs with all successful authors before final publication.

We offer a very reasonably priced editing service for use before you submit your story. Using this service will not guarantee acceptance into our anthologies. Copy Edits cost $5usd per 1000 words. Line Edits cost $15usd per 1000 words.

For more details, please contact us at [email protected].


11 or 12 point Arial or Times New Roman.

Indent paragraphs using the ruler at the top, not the tab button or spacebar.

Single spaces after full stops.

Double inverted commas for speech, single inverted commas otherwise (this includes quotations within speech (ie. “Tommy said, ‘Go see Tina,’ so here I am,” said Frank.)

Double line spacing throughout document (use the spacing option in your word processor, not double enter between lines.)

No headers or footers or page numbers.

Title and Authors Name/Pseudonym inside the document only.  If you are using a pseudonym for your submission, please include your real name in the email and mention that you use a pseudonym. If you want to give us additional information like email and address and phone number please include it in the email, but this is not necessary until after we accept your story.

We use British English Spelling (i.e colour, realise.) If your submission is in American English we won’t reject it on that basis, but it will be changed during the editing process if your submission is accepted for publication.

It is a good idea to read your submission out loud (to yourself is fine) before submitting. This will help you find small inconsistencies that reading won’t pick up alone.

Via: Zombie Pirate Publishing.

Ongoing Submissions: Wyldblood – Flash Fiction

Payment: 1p (GBP) per word
Theme: Speculative fiction though some areas are hard sells (see below.)
Note: Other areas are open as well for short stories and whatnot but I’ve been told those will close and open depending on submission levels.

For all submissions:

  • email us at [email protected]
  • submit using standard manuscript format
  • send us Word or RTF files – no PDF please.
  • head your email SUBMISSION (category) – (story title) – (your name)
  • include your contact details in your submission.
  • add a SHORT cover note in the body of your email (longer for novels).
  • simultaneous submissions are fine (but tell us if you get placed elsewhere).
  • multiple submissions are a no-no. Don’t swamp us. Wait a decent interval between submissions.
  • we are not currently accepting reprints (except by invitation).
  • RIGHTS We are buying first worldwide serial and electronic rights with a 180 day exclusivity.
  • SHORT STORIES should be 1,000-6,000 words MAX
  • 1p (GBP) per word via paypal (approx 1.3c US)
  • initially for online publication in Wyldblood Magazine.
  • best stories may be reprinted in an anthology.
  • FLASH 300-1,000 words MAX
  • 1p (GBP) per word via paypal (approx 1.3c US)
  • initially for online publication only (Flash Fridays).
  • best stories may be reprinted in an anthology.
  • NOVELLAS AND NOVELS 40-120,000 words (flexible).
  • send us the full text and include a one page synopsis.
  • royalties only (competitive rates).
  • ebook and print.

What’s going to impress us (and what don’t we want to see)?

If you’re going to be submitting work to us, here are a few things you may want to bear in mind. We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check for our latest – we may suddenly have an urge for zombie romances (kidding – hell hasn’t frozen over yet).

  • we’ve seen many things many times so be original.
  • we’re picky buyers.
  • we can tell if you know your craft – don’t send us your first draft and make sure you’ve covered the basics. It doesn’t have to be perfect (if an author tells me they’ve never submitted a story with a typo or an obvious spelling mistake they’re lying) – but it does have to be professional.
  • zombies and vampires are a hard sell. Werewolves, though, are always welcome.
  • we’re not into gratuitous gore or erotica – don’t send us anything you wouldn’t want your kid sister to see.
  • my mother used to ask me why, since there are millions of beautiful words in the English language, did I have to use that one? Fucked if I know, but be moderate with your swearing.
  • lots of high fantasy names will send us heading for the reject button.
  • ditto lots of backstory about your fantasy universe that swamps the plot.
  • thoughtful, character based stories are our thing.
  • don’t shy away from politics or religion but anything racist or deliberately offensive will get you canned.
  • if you’re writing science fiction, we’ve got to buy in to your world building. Hand-wavey pseudo science rarely impresses.
  • no fan-fic – we’ve no desire to get sued.
  • Enthusiasm, perserverence and an obvious willingness to take feedback and respond positively go a long way with us.

Via: Wild Blood.

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