Taking Submissions: The Blue Route #22

Deadline: March 1st, 2019
Payment: $25

The deadline for submissions for Issue #22 is March 1, 2019. 

Prose – Submit 1-3 pieces of fiction or creative nonfiction totaling no more than 3000 words.

Poetry – Submit up to 3 poems.

We want good, highly imaginative writing about contemporary life as you see it. We’re not interested in genre writing (romance, detective, horror, sci-fi) unless it somehow rises above the conventions associated with those types of writing. If your writing is clichéd, inspired by TV, emphasizes end rhyme above all else, has flat characters, exhibits a general insensitivity to the beauties and subtleties of language, it will not find a place in this journal.

No pornography. No racism. No sexism. If you’ve got to use profanity, remember a little goes a long, long way.

We do not accept previously published work. However, we do accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.  Our response time is about three months.

IMPORTANT:

  • Undergraduate Students: Only previously unpublished work of current undergraduate writers will be considered. In order to verify your status as an undergraduate, we ask that with your submission you send along the email of a faculty member from your department. Until we gain confirmation of undergraduate status from this reference, we will not be able to publish your work.
  • Note to Widener Students: At this time, work from Widener students will not be accepted. Widener students are invited to submit their work to Widener Ink, the university’s print journal.
  • Frequency of Submission: If your work has been published in The Blue Route, we ask that you please wait at least one issue before submitting again.

Terms: We pay twenty-five dollars upon publication. We acquire First North American Serial Rights, a one time, non-exclusive use of Electronic Rights, with all rights reverting to the author upon publication. We will archive your work online. If your piece is later published elsewhere, we expect that you will mention The Blue Route as the original publisher.

Formatting: We ask that you put no identifying marks on your submission. Instead, in your submission email, we would like the following information provided:

Name (First and Last)

Title of Submission(s)

Name and Email of Faculty Contact for Enrollment Verification

A Brief Biography (No more than 100 words and written in the third person.)

For submissions: Please write “Poetry–Your Name” or “Fiction–Your Name” or “Nonfiction–Your Name” in the heading of the email. Send your work in an attachment in .doc or .docx format.  Submissions that do not follow these simple directions may be deleted.  Send all poetry or prose submissions to [email protected].

Via: The Blue Route.

Taking Submissions: Speculative City: Occult

Deadline: March 25th, 2019
Payment: $20-$75 according to the category and length of submission

Submissions are OPEN from February 11 – March 25

Speculative City publishes provocative works that are centered within a cityscape. Although all are welcome to submit, special consideration is given to creators and characters often underrepresented in speculative fiction, such as people of color, queer people, working-class people, and people with disabilities (this list is not exhaustive and acts as an example of the types of voices we wish to hear and show).

We are looking for fiction, poetry, and essays within the theme of the magazine’s upcoming issue (occult, see below). Writers published will be paid $20-$75 according to the category and length of their submission. We would be hard-pressed to include submissions with a length exceeding 5500 words.

Editor’s note: stressing to non-fiction writers that we are looking for critical essays & opinion pieces that explore the theme in regards to speculative fiction.

  • All submissions should be the original, unpublished work of the submitter.
  • We will accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if the submission has been accepted by another publication.
  • We do not accept multiple submissions for fiction or essays.
  • Please submit word (.doc, .docx) or rich text format (.rtf) files and format your submission according to our format guide.
  • Please send all inquiries to info @ speculativecity .com .
  • We try to respond to all submissions within 90 days, but as a team of two, we may not always be able to.

All submissions should be sent through Green Submissions. Green Submissions requires users to create an account. Please see link to sign up and submit at https://greensubmissions.com/1024/speculative-city/index.php.

Before submitting work, please also be familiar with our contract.

 

THEME

occult
adjective, noun| \ə‘kəlt\

Definition of OCCULT

adjective

  • matters and practices involved with or influenced by supernatural or miraculous powers

noun

  • matters and practices involved with or influenced by supernatural or miraculous powers
  • secretive knowledge of the mystical and magical

Via: Speculative City.

‘Dominic’s Ghosts’ Blog Tour – And Get off My Lawn… Some Writerly Advice from 30 Years of Doing This

And Get off My Lawn…

Some Writerly Advice from 30 Years of Doing This

When I’m asked to write about writing, I usually say something about the insides of stories, but these days it seems as though the world is overflowing with the particular “how-to” of plot and character, and even more about how to market and sell your books once you’re ready to do so.  I don’t know how much more insight you gather on these matters from thirty years of doing it, but one thing that long experience teaches you is how to persist and endure in the art and craft.

So at risk of being a curmudgeon, here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

About ten years ago at a convention, I heard a beginning writer, buoyed by newfound popularity, proclaim that none of us in the audience should “consider what we’re doing to be art.”  To this day, I’m not altogether sure what we should consider it instead.  My work may not be good art, but it’s not a business: I thought it might be, when my first novel, Weasel’s Luck, was a best-seller and the first quarterly royalty check was over $25,000…

But it has never happened again.

Believe me.

It hasn’t.  Or at least at nowhere near that amount.

If I were considering my novels as business alone, the books as “product,” I would be better off as a stockbroker or having gone to law school.  Barring the rarest coincidence, you don’t make big money writing novels: what you can do, though, is deepen your experience of the world, and if you do that well, you can deepen the experience of others.

I may not be the greatest success as a novelist, but I have thirty years of publication under my belt, and a few people still living have heard of me.  I’ve found that I am sharpest and most productive when I follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Your craft may not end up a lucrative business, but you’ll be at your best if you regard it as a profession. The novelist John Cheever rented a small room to write in—a bare, boring little alcove off the laundry of his apartment building.  He dressed for work every day—jacket and tie—and went down to “the office” at the same time.  When you create respectful and regular habits surrounding your work, you come to value the practice more, and you incline more to the discipline that’s needed for an artist undertaking a sustained and lengthy work like a novel.

 

  1. Every writer advises other writers to read. What I don’t hear as much, is someone speaking to the art of reading—how to read. This means to read constantly—not just your own writing or the writing of your friends, and not just work in your genre.  Read the writing time has honored, assuming the regard it is due: if a 19th century novel seems slow-paced to you (and it may, because narrative style was different back then), look toward other things the writer might be doing besides moving from plot point to plot point.  How does she draw characters? Choose descriptive detail? When does she show?  When does she tell? When does she step away from immediate and dramatic action to say something larger about the arc of the novel?  There are other things to learn from good fiction besides fast action.  Take your time while reading, and absorb those things.

 

  1. I don’t use film or television as my guide to writing prose fiction. This is not snobbery: I would use screenplay or teleplay as my models if those were what I was writing.  But TV and movies tell stories differently than novels or short fiction—an obvious fact until you get down to the process of writing.  I tend to use the novel as my model instead.  To make the tactics match.

 

  1. I take a manuscript through one more draft than I think it needs. This practice has never failed to uncover things that need attention.  I also am not in an all-fired rush to publish a piece: I wait, let it simmer, allow space between drafts to think about what I’ve done.  I’ve accused of working slowly; instead, I look at my practice as working constantly and at length.

 

  1. Despite the changes in the publishing world, I am more at peace spending my time in writing than in marketing. I know writers who are just the opposite, but I am more satisfied in my work when producing fiction takes precedence over selling fiction.  To those of you who would say, “but you need a marketing strategy in order to be a writer,” I understand and respect that argument, but stick by what I said in this post before I got to the list.

 

All of these things add up to respect.  This is still an art.  Selling your work is a worthy pursuit, but it is not your art, regardless of what someone at a convention might tell you.  Sit down at your desk, same time, same place (the little alcove off the laundry is open now).  You owe it to your work to respect it.

 

Get ready to explore a gem of mythic fiction in Michael Williams’ Dominic’s Ghosts Blog Tour. Taking place February 13-20, 2019, this blog tour celebrates a new stand-alone novel in Michael’s ambitious City Quartet.

Atmospheric and thought-provoking, Dominic’s Ghosts will take you on a unique kind of journey that involves a conspiracy, legends, and insights from a film festival!

About the author: Over the past 25 years, Michael Williams has written a number of strange novels, from the early Weasel’s Luck and Galen Beknighted in the best-selling DRAGONLANCE series to the more recent lyrical and experimental Arcady, singled out for praise by Locus and Asimov’s magazines. In Trajan’s Arch, his eleventh novel, stories fold into stories and a boy grows up with ghostly mentors, and the recently published Vine mingles Greek tragedy and urban legend, as a local dramatic production in a small city goes humorously, then horrifically, awry.

Trajan’s Arch and Vine are two of the books in Williams’s highly anticipated City Quartet, to be joined in 2018 by Dominic’s Ghosts and Tattered Men.

Williams was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and spent much of his childhood in the south central part of the state, the red-dirt gothic home of Appalachian foothills and stories of Confederate guerrillas. Through good luck and a roundabout journey he made his way through through New England, New York, Wisconsin, Britain and Ireland, and has ended up less than thirty miles from where he began. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities, and teaches at the University of Louisville, where he focuses on the he Modern Fantastic in fiction and film. He is married, and has two grown sons.

 

Book Synopsis for Dominic’s Ghosts:   Dominic’s Ghosts is a mythic novel set in the contemporary Midwest. Returning to the home town of his missing father on a search for his own origins, Dominic Rackett is swept up in a murky conspiracy involving a suspicious scholar, a Himalayan legend, and subliminal clues from a silent film festival. As those around him fall prey to rising fear and shrill fanaticism, he follows the branching trails of cinema monsters and figures from a very real past, as phantoms invade the streets of his once-familiar city and one of them, glimpsed in distorted shadows of alleys and urban parks, begins to look uncannily familiar.

 

Author Links:

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Mythical-Realism-The-Michael-Williams-Page-128713900543978/

 

 

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

 

2/13     Ravenous For Reads   www.ravenousforreads.com  Author Interview

2/13     Breakeven Books         https://breakevenbooks.com  Guest Post

2/14     Marian Allen, Author Lady      www.MarianAllen.com           Guest Post

2/15     Inspired Chaos     http://inspiredchaos.weebly.com/blog  Guest Post

2/16     I Smell Sheep   http://www.ismellsheep.com/            Guest Post

2/16     The Book Lover’s Boudoir       https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpress.com/         Review

2/17     Jorie Loves A Story      http://jorielovesastory.com    Review/Author Interview

2/18     The Seventh Star         www.theseventhstarblog.com            guest Post

2/18     Willow’s Thoughts and Book Obsessions       http://wssthoughtsandbookobsessions.blogspot.com/            Review

2/18     The Horror Tree          www.Horrortree.com             Guest Post

2/19     Sheila’s Guests and Reviews   www.sheiladeeth.blogspot.com            Guest Post

2/20     Jazzy Book Reviews     https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/           Top Tens List

Amazon Links for Dominic’s Ghosts

Print Version: https://www.amazon.com/Dominics-Ghosts-Michael-Williams/dp/1948042584/

Kindle Version: https://www.amazon.com/Dominics-Ghosts-Quartet-Michael-Williams-ebook/dp/B07F5Z4L18/

Barnes and Noble Link for Dominic’s Ghosts: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dominics-ghosts-michael-williams/1129262622?ean=9781948042581

WIHM: Knowing Your Industry

So, you want to be a horror writer? Make lots of money like Stephen King?
Bahahaha 
Writers don’t tend to make lots of money but if they work hard – if you work hard – a living can be made.
There is, of course, an element of luck in everything – however – last year someone had the nerve to call out Sarah Pinborough and say she’d been lucky because of her success. I doubt very much they’d ever say such a thing to Stephen King. The thing is, I’ve known Sarah many years and she has worked her arse off to achieve what she has done. 
There lies the key to making a living as a horror writer 
  1. Hard work 
  2. Knowing Your Industry
 
That’s just for starters 
 
In this post I’m going to talk about knowing your industry; namely, horror.
 
Right, let’s start by pretending the debate on ‘what is horror?’ ended decades ago.
There are plenty of genres and sub-genres out there, and the best way to know what’s happening currently in the industry is to read, read and read some more.
 
Not just actual horror books and stories, but the stuff that surrounds horror.
Now, this won’t work for everyone, but these are the things I do to keep up to date with the industry, in which I’m writing.
I aim to spend three hours a week on my horror education.
 
  1. Use connections and social media – to start with I follow as many well known and emerging names in the horror genre as possible – across all platforms. On Twitter, Facebook and newsletters I follow as many prose writers, publishers, editors, directors, actors, screenplay writers, and artists as social media will allow.  I’ll check out links which are shared and follow those down the rabbit hole – unless it’s Sasquatch porn – until I find out something relevant and/or new. And the amazing benefit of this, apart from knowledge of course, is that I make actual friends!
  2. Subscriptions and Memberships – I frequently see people questioning whether societies and organisations such as HWA and BFS are worthwhile. The quick answer is – yes! For starters, you have the benefit of increasing your network, plus the potential of members-only anthology invites. The newsletters can also contain information on new releases, submission calls, and conventions or book events worth attending. I back up my HWA membership reading with a couple of magazines or e-zines I regularly read. As a HWA or BFS Member, you also get access to things like Award recommendations lists. I also include podcasts here.
  3. This list is personal and not exclusive –
Black Static
Cemetery Dance
Scream
The Horror Zine
Ginger Nuts of Horror
This Is Horror
Brian Keene’s Horror podcast
Three Bearded Guys
Fangoria
Apex
Uncanny 
Unnerving 
Best Of anthologies by Ellen Datlow, Stephen Jones, and Johnny Mains
Horror Tree
 
Some of these are hard to get in the UK but you can subscribe, get kindle or get ad hoc issues from Forbidden Planet London or newsagents online resources.
 
  1. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and DVDs. I make it a habit to follow friends’ recommendations for challenging TV and film viewing. Netflix is really pushing boundaries right now and is a haven for geeks like us. As well as hosting The Haunting of Hill House and the forthcoming V Wars plus Behind Her Eyes, you can access international gems such as The Ghoul and indie films. 
 
Now, you’ll probably think – when does Theresa sleep? The thing is, I don’t do these things every day, or every week. In between conventions and TV binging I do other non-horror related activities – if you don’t, you’ll burn out. I haven’t read everything, I haven’t seen everything – but what I have done, is gained a flavour of what’s now, what’s current.
These things influence my writing, increase my awareness of the genre and entertain me.
  1. conventions
I’ve touched on this earlier, but trust me, nothing will e hands your love of horror more than attending a convention where you Can meet like-minded folk. And for me, the top ones are:
StokerCon- coming to the UK 2020, this is a fantastic networking opportunity and I’m sure it’ll be the experience of a lifetime too.
FantasyCon – focusing on a blend of genres, this UK Con is a book lovers dream come true.
Edge Lit – held every year in Derby, this is a writers’ weekend getaway
World Con
 
USA based cons on my bucket list are;
Merrimack Halloween Book Festival
Bizzaro Con
Killer Con
Dragon Con
 
No, I won’t hit them all, but I’m already registered for StokerCon UK, and with Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane at the helm, it will be great.
 
So, off you go young Skywalker – open your eyes to the beauty of horror and see what you can find.

Theresa Derwin

HWA member Theresa writes Dark Urban Fantasy & Horror and has over thirty anthology acceptances, one recently in ‘Below the Stairs’ with Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker. She has been a fan and writer in genre for over twenty years. 
When she became to I’ll to work in the civil service in 2011, she accepted medical ‘retirement’ to pursue a writing career. She is a regular speaker at various conventions. She’s had three collections published; Monsters Anonymous (Anarchy Books 2012), Season’s Creepings and Wolf at The Door’. She edited Weird Ales 2016 creating vol 2 and 3 in 2017. Forthcoming books are Once Upon a Feather’ publisher TBC, then ‘God’s Vengeance’ from Crystal Lake Publishing. 
In 2017 she’s guested at Birmingham Horror Con. 2018 she appeared at Darker Side of Fiction as a guest author. Favourite writers include Aliette de Bodard, Seanan McGuire, Lisa Shearin, Paul Tremblay, Angela Slatter and Clive Barker. Robert A Heinlein was her first SF love – til she realised!
 
Personal note: as well as physical disabilities I have cognitive function issues, and writing give me an escape from my illnesses.

Trembling With Fear 02/17/2019

via GIPHY

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

This week, Steph is out with The Plague (see: Flu!) so I’m having to step(h) things up a bit. Thankfully, I’m fully rested and caught up from being on vacation from last week! (Or… Close enough!) But to keep that way, I’ll be making sure to wear protective gear when I read her next e-mail since you never know how virus’s spread these days…

via GIPHY

This week we’re starting off with a bit of science fiction by Keith A. Raymond,MD that lets you know that there are consequences to all of our actions. However, the right gamble can pay big if you’re willing to take a chance. I’m loving when I see other genres outside of pure horror filtering into our weekly release!

Heading over to our drabbles we have Zoey Xolton sharing how fatal our desires can be and what giving into them can mean.

Next up, Madison McSweeney shares that sometimes things just aren’t what they appear to be.

Finally, Lionel Ray Green has delivered a story about the showing off what one has accomplished in a year. For some reason, this one has stuck with me since the first read.

I apologize for not going quite as in-depth on these as Steph does. To be totally honest, I am still catching up from last week and to say that I’m behind is an understatement. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and week ahead! Crush those writing goals and maybe even send some new drabble in our way. I’d be thrilled to see some darker science fiction or fantasy hit our inbox if creativity allows for it!

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Casino

Casino was an entire planet dedicated to gambling. Cruise ships plied the seas, steamboats paddled the rivers, and each city was a monument to a different era related to games of chance. One could spend the day in the desert heat of Las Vegas then the cool nights in Macao. Neva owned it all. To understand her wealth one must know her upbringing in poverty.

A sensor array rose on its stalk and pointed toward the squalling. The discarded robo-nanny rose from the junk pile alert. Rubber treads rolled over rubble to a recess in the debris. The squalling was coming from a baby girl.

The child was bright red and flailing on a canvas of blue gray mottled skin, her dead mother. A scan revealed bacteria leaching the last sugars from her cells. The robo-nanny placed a micro-probe into the mother’s milk glands sampling. The child fortunately had been protected. The robo-nanny used the mother’s analysis to synthesize milk for the child, carrying it back to the other discarded bots of her clan.

The mech servants had been abandoned here on Nix 5.

Neva suckled happily at the synthetic nipple the robo-nanny made. Per protocol, it presented the infant to the Magistrate, but local social services were already overwhelmed. Slavers would have forced her into the mines in any case.

The robo-nanny raised Neva in the metal dump with her clan. Redundant butlers taught her dance and etiquette, tutors taught her through college level education, her nanny taught her everything else. Neva was a tomboy. As a teen, she explored further and further from the metal dump.

On a bright day, Neva came upon an abandoned mine. Her green and purple cropped hair barely vibrated in the breeze. Her hazel eyes spotted discarded tailings of vurtzdaleite. She picked up two chunks of the mineral and banged them together. This, the hardest of all substances in the galaxy, was so brittle that several shards broke off.

Hypnotized by a centimander, she failed to notice her hands were slippery and wet. Absentmindedly, she had been playing with the chips. They were cutting her hands without her realizing it. Wiping the blood on her dress, she took her gum and used it to collect the vurtzdaleite.

An hour later, she showed her friend Caleb the shards. He was not impressed, and continued the tattoo he was placing on the back of a miner. The vibrating tool gave her an idea. Borrowing one of the tattoo machines, Neva disconnected the ink, and used her gum to affix a vurtzdaleite chip to the business end of the device. Turning it on, she found she could use it to cut anything she wanted.

Back home, the robo-nanny scolded Neva for the state of her hands. It washed them, sealed the cuts, and applied antibiotic. All the while, the teenager’s eyes roamed the shelter taking in the windows the butlers had assembled for their enclave.

“What are they made of?” Neva asked.

The robo-nanny admonished, “Be specific, what is what made of?”

“The windows.”

“Oh! Those are made from sheet diamond. Cheap, plentiful, and not much use for anything except windows here. There are some pieces of it laying around, look,” the robo-nanny answered, finishing the dressings on her hands.

“Can I take a piece? The sheet diamond, not the window,” Neva remembered, being specific, per instruction.

“Sure, just be careful.”

Neva picked up a piece of sheet diamond from a corner and went to her room. Sitting on the bed, she plucked a rough oblong emerald geode she had found previously from a shelf. Examining it closely, she laid it on her salvaged desk, pulled out her vurtzdaleite modified tattoo machine and went to work on the diamond glass.

Several hours later, she had constructed an emerald fish with diamond scales. The eyes were made from garnet, though she would have preferred rubies. Proudly, she showed it to the robo-nanny whose hollow praise, Neva could see right through.

The next day, she showed it to Caleb. He looked at it in disgust, but being young, he mashed on the point, “Junk made from junk by a junkie.”

Her face went beet red, then pale. She was grabbing for it, when one of Caleb’s customers said, “Hey, wait. Let me see that! Can I take a picture?”

Neva was still ripping the skin from Caleb’s bones with her eyes when she uttered, “Sure, whatever.”

 The customer uploaded the emerald fish onto his social media. The transmission was intercepted by the Hoarder, a wealthy trader who happened to be in orbit above Nix 5. Interest was so great, the Hoarder had to acquire it and insisted on adding the fish to his upcoming auction.

Neva stood in awe as the luxurious shuttle descended into the metal dump. The mechs had never seen a yacht of such quality. The Hoarder arrived like royalty in a fur lined gold mantle.

He walked directly up to Neva offering a vast amount of credits.

“Be specific,” she mimicked her robo-nanny.

 Neva realized that she had created an art treasure. The Hoarder offered an astronomical amount. In the end, Neva refused to sell. Instead, she preferred to consign the art to auction. The Hoarder, upset, agreed to accept the consignment.

The bidding became the stuff of legends. In the end, the House of Salman paid her with a planet, along with a sum of credits. Neva was suddenly the wealthiest eighteen year old in the quadrant.

Taking her obsolete robot servants, she built Casino. She left Caleb behind. He hadn’t known it at the time, but his comment had cost him a life of luxury.

Casino became the gambling hub of known space. All of Neva’s service mechs were collected and refurbished as a dedication to her nanny, the butlers, and the tutors who raised her on Nix 5.

Keith A. Raymond,MD

Dr. Raymond is a Family and Emergency Physician that practiced in eight countries in four languages. Currently living in Austria with a wife and a polar bear our husky brought home. When not volunteering his practice skills with refugees, he is writing or lecturing. He has multiple medical citations, and also published stories and poetry in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grief Diaries, The Examined Life Journal, The Satirist, Chicago Literati, Serendipity, and Frontier Tales Magazine.

Fatal Desire

The fires burned strong and bright in the Pits of Hell, gorging on the pain and suffering of some of humanity’s wealthiest and most influential individuals. They had named their price and sold their souls. The Devil smirked. Their requests were always the same. Their predictability almost bored him into oblivion. They lusted after the flesh or the clink of gold. Other times it was power. Thrones. Kingdoms. Nations. But it was always greed. Humanity’s one fatal flaw was greed. They had still not yet learned and so continued to arrive at his fiery Gates. Eve had been the first.

Zoey Xolton

Zoey Xolton is a published Australian writer of Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. She is also a proud mother of two and is married to her soul mate. Outside of her family, writing is her greatest passion. She is especially fond of short fiction and is working on releasing her own collections in future. To find out more, please visit: www.zoeyxolton.com!

The Vanishing Lady 

The lady was a disappearing act, vanishing at odd hours and slinking back home without so much as a lie. The husband was meek, the type who could screw himself up enough to put a tail on his wife, but never confront her.

I parked outside streetlamp range and waited, camera lens trained on her house.

She arrived home in style, whisked through the sky in a silver rig that would’ve blotted out the sun at a different time of day. I admired her shapely legs in silhouette as she slid into her kitchen along a beam of white light.

 

Madison McSweeney

Madison McSweeney is a Canadian writer, poet, and blogger.

Her horror, sci-fi, and fantasy stories have appeared in Unnerving Magazine, Women in Horror Annual 2, The Fulcrum, Horror Tree, 365 Tomorrows, and Dark Horizons: An Anthology of Dark Science Fiction. She also has stories set to appear in Weirdpunk Books’s upcoming Zombie Punks F*** Off and forthcoming issues of Polar Borealis and Deadman’s Tome.

Her non-fiction arts and culture coverage has been published in a number of outlets. She blogs at madisonmcsweeney.com and tweets (mostly about horror, rock music, and the Canadian arts scene) from @MMcSw13.  

Edgar’s New Year’s Eve Bash

Edgar adjusted his black tie and stepped into the dining room.

A banner hung from the ceiling.

18TH ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE BASH!

On the table, a chocolate sheet cake with seventy-two candles provided the only light.

Edgar glanced at the six guests sitting motionless around the table, their cadaverous faces nearly invisible in the flickering shadows.

“Last year, twelve attended the party,” Edgar said.

The jawbone of one of the guests dropped to the table and clattered to the floor.

Edgar’s left eye twitched once.

“There’s always next year,” Edgar said before adding six more candles to the cake.

Lionel Ray Green

Lionel Ray Green is a horror and fantasy writer, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a U.S. Army gulf war veteran living in Alabama. His short stories have appeared in the anthologies Alabama’s Emerging Writers, The Heart of a Devil, Fifty Flashes, How Beer Saved the World 2, Graveyard, Frightening, Tales from the Grave, In Creeps the Night, and 22 More Quick Shivers. His short story “Scarecrow Road” won the WriterWriter 2018 International Halloween Themed Writing Competition All Hallows’ Prose and his short story “A Tale of Two Shards” was third runner-up in the WriterWriter 2018 International Fantasy Competition Phoenix Rising. His work has also appeared in The Poet’s Haven Digest anthology It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, in Issue 1 of Cross+Decay magazine, and in the 2017 issue of From the Depths magazine as well as in Trembling With Fear, an online feature of the Horror Tree website.

Homepage: lionelraygreen.wordpress.com

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