Category: Articles

Open Markets For Speculative Fiction Writers | Top Open Calls November 27th-Dec 1st, 2023

Welcome, weavers of the mystical and the macabre! 🍂🌙 As we transition from the fading whispers of November into the early chills of December, spanning from the 27th of November to the 1st of December, let us draw inspiration from the enchanting prose of Alice Hoffman. In your hands, the ordinary becomes steeped in an aura of wonder and the shadows dance with an unseen life, much like the subtle magic that permeates Hoffman’s narratives.

This week’s collection of opportunities opens doorways to realms where the lines between the real and the surreal blur, each link a portal to unexplored territories that beckon your unique voice.

As we bid farewell to November and usher in December, let’s embrace a curious fact: Did you know that in many ancient calendars, December marked the end of the year? It was a time of finishing old business and preparing for the new, much like writing a story where every end is also a beginning, an echo of possibilities yet to come.

Indie Bookshelf Releases 12/01/2023

Got a book to launch, an event to promote, a kickstarter or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by life in general?

Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.


Before you scroll down through the books however, please could you consider checking out the ‘Creatives in Crisis’ section. This has been added to help those who need additional support at this time. Thank you!



Writing at Frightmare in the Falls

Frightmare is an annual horror convention that takes place in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. It began in early 2017 as an offshoot of Niagara Comic-Con when co-owners James Ponce and Chris Dabrowski decided to create a horror-only event for Niagara Falls. Each year horror fans, icons, and celebrities gather to celebrate the scary side of fiction. This 3-day event takes place at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre each year featuring more than 50,000 square feet of “all things horror” including panels, photo ops, displays, celebrities, cosplay, memorabilia and more. 

What did I think of it?


Epeolatry Book Review: An Aliens Search-and-Find Book: Find the Xenomorph by Kevin Crossley


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: An Aliens Search-and-Find Book: Find the Xenomorph
Illustrator: Kevin Crossley
Genre: Horror; Science Fiction; Fantasy; Fantasy & Sci Fiction Coloring Books for Grownups
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: November 14, 2023

Synopsis: Official Aliens search-and-find puzzle book, based on the movie, featuring a host of highly detailed full-colour illustrations by artist Kevin Crossley set in familiar film locations.

‘Find The Xenomorph’ is a gorgeous puzzle book that will entertain and terrify Alien fans of all ages. Fourteen original illustrations present our well-known characters in new and horrifying situations – from colonists hiding in egg chambers to marines hunting for facehuggers, this beautiful search-and-find book gives fans a new way to interact with the classic movies.


Can ChatGPT Be Your Developmental Editor?

Can ChatGPT Be Your Developmental Editor?

Artificial intelligence has been the focus of the horror genre for decades. Classics like “Chucky” help us imagine what life would be like if our toys suddenly gained artificial sentience. Similarly, sci-fi thrillers like “Ex Machina” force us to contend with the ethics of AI and imagine a world where the programs may harbor ill intent for humankind.  


In reality, AI is far less nefarious than horror movies make out. They’re given strict boundaries to work within and are usually trained to mimic the more admirable elements of human nature. This is good news if you’re a budding writer working on a budget, as programs like ChatGPT may help you pen the next great work of horror fiction. 


ChatGPT can be particularly helpful if you’re yet to secure the services of an editor. The large language model-based programs are capable of reviewing your work and offering suggestions in real-time. Even free versions of the program can be a powerful tool to help you along the way. 


Epeolatry Book Review: Wrapped in Plastic and Other Sweet Nothings by Robert P. Ottone


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Wrapped in Plastic and Other Sweet Nothings
Author: Robert P. Ottone
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: JournalStone
Release date: 27th October, 2023

Synopsis: Seventeen stories claw at you from that dark space in the corner of your eye in this new collection by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Robert P. Ottone.

In “Only That You Are Still Sane,” uncover the accidental and bizarre discovery of time travel. Meet an ordinary couple with sexual desires that are anything but ordinary in “Nibble.” Follow the harrowing story of Sleepy Hollow’s town constable in “A Mourning in Sleepy Hollow.” Tread carefully along the precipice of darkness in “A Most Curious Tome.” And in the title story, meet a lonely civil service worker who comes face to face with the darkness eating away at him.

Featuring six previously unpublished stories, Wrapped in Plastic & Other Sweet Nothings will force you to stare into the darkness within. Pray you don’t blink first.


Spooky House Press Author Series: A SCREB with TJ Price

In each installment of this author series, we begin with a mini-Q&A with Spooky House Press publisher, Robert P. Ottone.


Jacque Day: The Disappearance of Tom Nero is a novelette of eighty pages with a distinctively surprising design. TJ Price himself intimates it could be a challenge to market. Why was it important for you to embrace this book and give it a home?


Robert P. Ottone: I like a challenge, but more specifically, I like to be challenged. Marketing isn’t a problem if the author pushes themselves, so I wasn’t worried there. The work speaks for itself; it’s a fantastic, intelligently designed piece of work brought to life not only by TJ’s masterful writing, but by Alexis Macaluso’s fantastic interior design.


JD: We’re not to be fooled by the length of Tom Nero—it is an intense book, and its impact far outlives the time it takes to read. How did you react to the manuscript when you first read it, both as a publisher and a reader?


RPO: I smiled, nodded, and knew I wanted it. I was very lucky in that TJ was kind enough to trust us with the book, so I was just filled with excitement about it. Still am. We didn’t execute everything I wanted to, vision-board wise, solely because my time has been focused in so many different places and on so many projects, personal and for Spooky House. But in the end, I think we have a fabulous book that I hope TJ is proud of.


Check out the second part of our interview with Stacey Thomas!

Stacey Thomas is a contributor to Bad Form Review. She is an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course where she was awarded the Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers. In 2021, she was announced as one of the three winners of HarperCollins’s inaugural Killing It Competition for Undiscovered Writers.

The Revels is her debut novel.

Below, you can watch the second part of our interview with Stacey: