Taking Submissions: Monsters Out of the Closet Episode 18 – Gothic

Deadline: January 27th, 2019.
Payment: $0.01/word for previously published pieces, and $0.02/word for first run. All pieces under 500 words or 5 minutes are compensated at a $5 flat rate.
Note: Reprints welcome.
Note: LGBTQ+ authors only.

A LGBTQ+ HORROR FICTION PODCAST

Episode 18 – Gothic

From haunted manors, repressed secrets, and horrifying leaps of science and faith—this episode celebrates the tradition of Gothic literature and film. Submissions due January 27th, 2019.

Submissions of fiction, poetry, music, art, and more are always accepted on a rolling basis. Late submissions can be sent up to a week after the formal deadline if you inform us ahead of time to expect a late piece.

Note:

We try to respond to all readers and artists within 48 hours. We consider all piece lengths, but generally have difficulty accepting pieces over 20 pages long. No ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, sexist or otherwise oppressive work will be accepted. Lastly, we only accept work by self-identified LGBTQ+ artists! Thank you!

To submit content:

Fill out the following form HERE to submit content to us. Please specify if you are submitting for a specific episode and whether you would like editorial feedback!

Submissions are compensated at $0.01/word for previously published pieces, and $0.02/word for first run. Music is compensated at $1/minute for previous released tracks, and $2/minute for music released through us. All pieces under 500 words or 5 minutes are compensated at a $5 flat rate.

To read/act for us:

If you would like to be a volunteer reader or voice actor, please fill out this form HERE. We will follow up via email to collect further information for our directory.

Via: Monsters Out Of The Closet.

Taking Submissions: Story Seed Vault

Deadline: December 24th, 2018
Payment: Short Fiction (<150CH) $3AUD per story, Long Fiction (>150CH/<200CH) $2AUD per story

*We might require additional evidence of a claim to publish.

Via: Story Seed Vault.

Trembling With Fear 12/09/2018

I’ve been thinking about feedback again in recent times, not so much in terms of what I might comment on in in the conversation I have directly with an author, but in terms of letting readers know what I actually think of a story, why did I enjoy it? The lead short story this week is Faithful by Daniel Shirey and is certainly a story to make you think, showing the two faces of man. In the west, he is a peace-loving guru with followers among the wealthy and well-fed, in the east, he was a monster, a man who left his prisoners behind to starve and suffer relentless mental torture. This was a different setting to many submissions (covering two continents doesn’t happen very often) and there was a neat mirroring of opposites throughout the tale. The use of the phone to aid meditation in one country whilst torturing others at the same time on the other side of the world was particularly clever.

The Amulet by Greg Fewer, is a nice bit of gothic ‘be careful what you dig up’, whilst Fayth Borden’s What Mollie Said is an example of how bad children can be (I do like stories featuring a ‘devil’ child) In complete contrast, you get Kim Plasket’s very raw, very blunt Heartbeat – sometimes it’s just the underlying energy or emotion that will carry the story through for me.

Now to the doings of TWF/Horror Tree alumni beyond these pages (love the word alumni, makes us sound posh):

Robert Allen Lupton has some stories up at www.aurorawolf.com and www.erbzine.com. Give them a read (I have, they’re great fun) and share them with friends.

Alyson Faye has been extremely prolific of late. Not only has she released Trio of Terror – Supernatural Tales on amazon – an excellent read, by the way – but also has a Christmas story over at The Casket of Delights (not horror, just nice and cosy).

Eric S. Fomley had a great story, A Girl Like Us, in Flame Tree Press’ December newsletter. Scary and all too possible.

Kev Harrison has just announced the publication of his first YA story, Your Blue Friend, in Frostfire Worlds.

CR Smith has also announced she will have a poetry pamphlet, Fourteen, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. I enjoy poetry but love writing it even more as it’s a great exercise in producing strong imagery or emotion and find that feeds into my prose writing. We both used to create cut-up poems over at Verstype (currently on hiatus) and I would highly recommend you pop over there to see what she created, you can also read mine if you want.

On a personal note, I have suffered rejection (Shock Totem), still waiting (Pseudopod – apparently a good sign?) and just sent in first 3 chapters of my novel to Crystal Lake Publishing who’ve currently got an open call for novels for the month of December. At this point I would also like to say a very big thank you to Alyson Faye, Kev Harrison and Phillip E. Dixon from this site who very kindly beta read my CLP submission. Beta readers are incredibly useful when you have become ‘too close’ to your work. They see with clearer eyes.

Like you, still reading, writing, doubting and waiting … always waiting

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I’m writing this kind of last minute but have to applaud Steph’s goal of giving what we liked about the stories we include each week! I am going to strive to include this as well in future introductions. Just as a reminder, if you had picked up a copy of ‘Trembling With Fear: Year 1‘ we’d love to snag a few more positive reviews on it!

Offhand, I just wanted to re-point out a few areas which we’d appreciate more submissions for if you’re in the mood to get writing which we included last week as well!

  • The Unholy Trinity – We’re looking to have 3 stand-alone drabbles that link together either in theme, character or to expand upon one another. They need to work alone but there has to be some connective tissue!
  • Serial Killers – On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’re hoping to print a few more serials. Stories which can easily be broken up into 4-10 installments of 1,000-1,5000 words or so in length (we’ll go longer or shorter a bit as long as it works!) We’re not looking for a story to just be cut up though, these have to work as mini-chapters for the overall tale being told.
  • Finally, in January we’ve got a call for authors in the LGBT+ community or stories that would fit in that area!

‘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

Faithful

The first blue of morning came before Lowell looked at the sky outside his window. The phone in his hand lit in azure, prompting the middle-aged man to get out of bed. His fingers were combing back the memory of hair when the white letters appeared on the blue background:

*faithful*

Lowell swept his legs out from under the sheet and placed his feet onto polished oak, feeling the cold wood floor. His new morning ritual was all about feeling, connecting to his emotions and embracing what the daily word truly meant. Be in the moment, the Master had said, feel this moment. But all Lowell could feel now was a scratching need for coffee and the chill of a bachelor’s bedroom before the heater kicked in.

Still, he had made the commitment to do Mantra first thing every morning. And Lowell was nothing if not a man of his word. After two weeks of unbroken adherence, he still found it difficult to push past his discomforts or set aside the To Do List in his head, even for a few minutes of meditation. What else had Sri Raga said? Give it 40 days. God cleansed the world for Noah in 40 days. After 40 days, Mantra will become habit.

*faithful*

The white letters on the blue screen exited left, then flew in again from the right, one letter at a time. Lowell remembered from his three-day training to mimic the motion of the letters in his imagination; consciously sweep out all extraneous thoughts, brush them aside and let the feelings from the daily word resonate.

As a software developer, Lowell knew that the screen’s repetitive motion, the exit and rebuild of the letters, was only an animated overlay to allow video to load. He could see the code in his head, but he just as quickly dispelled this intruding thought. Without self-admonishment, Lowell regained concentration and smiled inwardly at his improving ability to meditate.

*faithful*

The blue screen dissolved to a vivid splash of fabrics: a Persian rug, embroidered floor cushions, block-print pillows overstuffed with color. The white letters continued to sweep on and off; the motion seemed to push a gliding thrum of sitar out the phone’s speaker. And as Sri Raga walked into the frame, the word dissolved to ghostly transparency; there in digital spirit, but no longer the center of attention.

They said this old man emerged from the Kush Mountains and walked all the way to Mumbai to bring his messages of enlightenment. They said he was once a powerful warlord with a vengeance so great that its fury blinded him. He could no longer see, but his sight was replaced by an angelic vision of peace. Sri Raga took the divination to heart, convinced his followers to escort him to the West and left the warring tribes behind. They said his former enemies did not believe in his loving transformation, that the only thing Sri Raga found was a way to finance his wars. Yet his legions of followers believed.

The Master took a seat on the colorful cushions, and Lowell could see the hard lines of resolve that creased the man’s face. Even though he was blind, there was something deep inside Sri Raga that still sparked emotion in those sightless eyes. On screen, the Master slowly crossed his legs, sat upright and pulled a gray, oily braid over his shoulder. His loose caftan and drawstring pants were peach colored, well-worn and immaculate.

Lowell had tried previously to emulate the meditation pose, but his own pudgy body would not follow suit. In that three-day retreat there were scores of followers who could not comfortably sit in the Lotus position. Lowell remembered looking at his plump peers, each with their complimentary Sri Raga t-shirt, sitting in chairs instead of on floor cushions. It was no shame, the instructor said, to use a chair. Just keep feet flat to the floor and hands relaxed in laps. Lowell assumed this pose now, placing the phone on one chubby thigh.

*faithful*

Sri Raga spoke the word. One syllable purposely spaced from the other. In his non-English pronunciation, it sounded like fate-fall. He said the word at the top of each inhale and again at breath’s release. Sri Raga repeated it at least a dozen times, while the camera pulled in to frame the old man’s face. His dark, ageless, almost vengeful eyes widened when the Master spoke again, “Now you say.”

     “faithful”

Lowell chanted and breathed to the instructed rhythm. He peeked at the phone, only once, to make sure he was speaking loud enough. Because of his blindness, the Master wanted to hear his followers. The Mantra app let devotees, anywhere in the world, chant with Sri Raga. The screen on Lowell’s thigh had an icon of a microphone, and stretching from it, a red line that squiggled violently the louder Lowell spoke. After checking the waveform, Lowell reclosed his eyes and repeated the Mantra over and over.

“faithful

faithful

faithful”

 

#

 

Nadj woke because the noise had changed, not the volume. The loudspeaker had stopped pounding one word and started another. Every day came a new word chanted by a thousand voices. This one sounded like fate-fall.

Since his hearing was almost gone, Nadj woke by the change in tremor. This new word vibrated differently throughout his body. He opened his eyes. Months of ear-splitting volume had deafened the pain of noise, but the debilitating crush of headache and exhaustion never stopped.

He rarely slept long, a few minutes at most. Nadj thumbed the corners of his eyes to remove the grit and saw Hedo. His older brother looked a hundred years old, lying on his side, knees pulled up to his chest. His skin sallowed by lack of sunlight, a coat of dust on matted hair. The only color other than gray was the yellow-brown of his cataracts. Hedo blinked. Still alive.

Nadj’s own misery didn’t matter. Seeing what his brother had become reignited the hate. It burned when Nadj saw Hedo and those who remained from the village. It burned for revenge on the warlord who put them here. Kaled Bahn. Just thinking the infidel’s name soured Nadj’s mouth, but he could not afford the spit to remove it.

As Nadj pushed up from the thin foam pad his papery muscles did not comply. He fell back onto his sleeping mat, feeling it skid on the grit of the filthy cement floor. His first concern was for his fellow prisoners, hoping the noise he’d just made had not disturbed them. Had he the strength to laugh, Nadj would have, realizing that none of the eight remaining men could hear him under the volume from the loudspeaker.

“fate-fall

fate-fall

fate-fall”

Though his ear damage rendered the sound to a distant, hollow buzz, Nadj assumed the thousand voices still chanted in English. The words didn’t make sense; no one in the cell understood any of them. But Nadj knew two things: Kaled Bahn was responsible for this torture. And the words on the loudspeaker changed every day.

Nadj knew it was a daily occurrence, even in a room without windows. When the bare bulbs dimmed, it was nighttime. In his poor town, the electricity was overused at night, improved by day. Even so, everything in the village was better at night. The warlord and his soldiers halted attacks by sunset.

When the bulbs dimmed, prisoners were served a bit of food. The long table, just within reach outside the bars, was laid with stale scraps of flatbread and a shallow pan of weak broth. Nadj watched until the men with fat orange cups on their ears left the room, struggling to his feet only after the door shut behind the guards. Nadj still had strength enough to tear at the hard crescents, soak them in the tasteless soup and bring the food to Hedo. Praise be, his brother could still eat.

Only a few of the prisoners had strength left to stand. All were naked from the waist down and did their best to hide the shame. It was a cruel joke that Nadj, Hedo and the others had only t-shirts to wear; thin, cheap material with Kaled Bahn’s face printed on the front. There were two words on the shirts–Sri Raga–but they were just as foreign as those from the unrelenting loudspeaker.

Wherever Nadj looked, he always saw the thin smile of his enemy, head and shoulders tented in fabric the color of peaches, vengeful eyes never breaking gaze.

Nadj scowled. And this time he spat.

Then he knelt to feed Hedo another piece of bread. After his brother, Nadj delivered food to all who could not walk. It was an honor to serve the few who remained from the village, the faithful.

 

 

END

 

D.L. Shirey

DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon under skies the color of bruises. Occasionally he lightens up, but his dark fiction can be found in Confingo, Zetetic, Liquid Imagination and in anthologies from Truth Serum Press and Literary Hatchet. Find more of his writing at www.dlshirey.com and @dlshirey on Twitter.

Heartbeat

You told me that you gave me your heart, yet I see the confusion on your face. You do not understand why I press my knife into your skin, your blood flowing free because
of me.

Terror mars your once handsome face, your eyes glaze over time.

“Don’t worry baby,” I croon softly. “You won’t feel the pain for long.”

You try to push me off but I am stronger. My fierce love for you makes me a warrior.

I hold your once beating heart, your hot blood painting my face and hands. Yet I smile knowing you are mine.

Kim Plasket

Kim Plasket is a Jersey girl at heart relocated to sunny Florida. She enjoys writing mainly horror and paranormal stories and lives with her husband and 2 kids. When she is not slaving away at her day job, she can be found drinking coffee with fellow author Valerie Willis and planning the demise of some poor character. Currently she has several short stories featured in anthologies such as ‘Demonic Wildlife’ and ‘The Hunted’, also has a story in an Anthology Titled Fireflies and Fairy dust she also has had a story featured in Shades of Santa  with more to come!
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B074YCLRCF

 

The Amulet

Income from the estate no longer supported Lady Agnes, but seeing the gold amulet in her great-great-grandmother’s portrait, she recalled the story that it adorned her corpse. Agnes resolved to seize the amulet for herself.

Crowbar in hand, Agnes unlocked the family crypt’s wrought iron gate and pushed it inwards, the metal screeching in protest. Finding the coffin, she peeled back the lead lining and prised off the lid. Gagging at the stench, Agnes ripped the amulet from the fleshy corpse’s neck and scrutinised it, but a cold hand grasped her wrist, a voice hissing ‘No, dear – that’s mine!’

Greg Fewer

Greg Fewer has had genre stories and reviews published in Aoife’s Kiss, Eile Magazine, Tightbeam and Workshop (@TETWorkshop).

What Mollie Said

After pulling an unforgivable prank on Mollie she yelled, “I could kill you all!

When she said that we laughed and laughed because Mollie has a squeaky

voice and we can be jerks.

Next day Carla was found with her neck slashed to the bone.  Nina’s brains were bashed in and she

was left on her parent’s lawn.

The twins were found floating in the river, and after two days it was difficult to ID them.

I’m cornered in room 207, Geology, while Mollie is tossing a huge geode at my head.

You should never laugh and laugh at Mollie.

Fayth L. Borden

I have written and published nearly one dozen horror poems the past few years in small press zines.

I have written these poems for many years now and began submitting them. Happily several editors enjoyed them and published

From the conciseness of horror poems I turned to writing horror drabbles.  I discovered the challenge of Drabbles which have the feel of poetic storytelling to me as they must be concise, direct and grab an emotion at the end.

Horror in any form has intrigued me all my life.  I’d spend hours in the libraries, from childhood till even now, reading horror and learning how authors create macabre worlds with a thought and a string of sentences with the right words that scare!  

My love of the horror genre began as a child listening to the stories told by my Sicilian aunts and uncles of ghosts, exorcisms and all unholy phenomenon from the homeland.  Scaring me and my cousins was an achieved goal. And we loved it!

The Horror Tree Presents…an interview with Angela Y Smith

Angela Y. Smith

Ruschelle: Thank you for chatting with us here at the Horror Tree. I was peeping your titles online and what grabbed my peepers first…was the adorable lizard on your Literary Lizard Adventures series. It’s a children’s book. I’m a fan of adorable little illustrated lizards. What made you pen a fun book for kids and about the library to boot?

Angela: The Literary Lizard was originally a short story I wrote off the cuff to fulfill a personal challenge I was doing—seven stories in seven days or something. I worked at a newspaper in Florida at the time and that day we’d had a lizard crawl across the glass door. From the inside, his silhouette appeared to be hugging one of the letters. He became the inspiration for the little lizard that ran away from home to follow his quest for new words. An illustrator friend of mine, Robin Wiesneth, read the story and asked to illustrate it. Since then we’ve done quite a few kid books together.

I identify with “Lit” as well, so it’s lightly autobiographical. I ran away from home at 16. There were a number of reasons to do this, but at the forefront of my mind was the goal of finding a life worth writing about. The thought that every experience is material to work with still drives me. Whatever happens to me, however pleasant or unpleasant, I always find myself appreciating and notating the experience to tap into later.

 

Ruschelle: What do you love about writing children’s books?

‘The Christmas Spiders’

Angela: I don’t consider myself a children’s writer at all. I started reading before kindergarten and by the time I was in third grade I was reading adult books. I had no concept of age appropriate and read everything I could get my hands on. I was exposed to quite a lot of material that I didn’t understand at all, of course. Reading The Succubus by Ken Johnson was one of those experiences. I paged through a lot of sex scenes trying to get to the part where the demoness just killed the guy. Mrs. Whitmore was not happy when she discovered what was keeping me so absorbed at reading circle.

I don’t like the idea of stories being candy coated for kid consumption, and I think many of our kids are also tired of being force fed joy. As a child, reading was how I figured out what life was. I wanted to know about the cycle of death and why people could be cruel. Those questions are often present in my work today, kidlit or adult reading.

In The Christmas Spiders, my seasonal children’s best seller, an old woman goes on a mountain to reevaluate her life at its end. In the original version, she does die on the mountain and the spiders encase her in a silvery, frozen cocoon as a Christmas gift. I thought it was beautiful and I cried as I wrote it. Later, at the advice of beta readers I ‘jollied it up” by having the spiders decorate her tree instead and she returns down the mountain. I don’t think it would have been as popular if I’d kept that ending.

  (more…)

Taking Submissions: With Painted Words: The Beacon

Deadline: December 23rd, 2018
Payment: $3

Please make sure to read ALL the instructions on this page (especially the sections on ‘Copyright’ and ‘Compensation’ before submitting a piece of writing or artwork.

We take a submission to With Painted Words as your permission for us to publish your work and do not send out other formal contracts.

Thank you.

Piece of Writing

We accept works of fiction – and poetry – of up to one thousand (1000) words, at most, in length. This is the maximum amount – if you can tell a compelling story in as little as fifty words, for example, then you are more than welcome to do so.

All submissions must be inspired by the current section (Topic: The Beacon.)

Key to fiction types:

Flash Fiction IconFlash Fiction 501-1000 words

Micro FictionMicro Fiction up to 501 words

PoetryPoetry

 

Please make sure to include your full name/s, e-mail address, and bio (including a link to your personal site/blog) with your submission and, if you so choose, the thought process behind your story.

Please send your submissions by the deadline stated in the current section .  Pieces received after the deadline cannot be considered for publication.

‘With Painted Words’ reserve the right to reject any submission without explanation.

Deadline:- This will usually be the 25th of the month, each and every month – any exceptions will be clearly notified.

 


 

Piece of Artwork

‘With Painted Words’ is always open to artwork submissions – they are the heart and soul of the site and inspire the stories! We prefer .jpeg files for artwork submissions. Please don’t upload files larger than 1mb – if your image is larger than this then use the email submission method instead.

Please make sure to include your full name/s, e-mail address, and bio (including a link to your personal site/blog) with your submission and, if you so choose, the thought process behind your artwork.

There is no deadline for artwork but if submitting a seasonal/themed piece of art please allow up to 60 days advance notice.

‘With Painted Words’ reserve the right to reject any submission without explanation.


Copyright

The author maintains complete rights to their work.

‘With Painted Words’ requests Exclusive World Electronic rights for 90 days and non-exclusive anthology and archival rights.  At this time we do not require any rights to your immortal soul but that is always subject to change.

All stories and artwork ‘With Painted Words’ publish will be archived on the site – authors/artists may, of course, link to their stories/artwork.


Compensation

We believe in the importance of being compensated for your work, even if it’s only a token amount. At this time, we are able to offer three dollars ($3) for each published story/artwork, to be paid via PayPal.  This will take place one calendar month afterpublication.

However if you are so inclined you can waive/donate this compensation back to ‘With Painted Words’ to help us pay for the running costs – ‘With Painted Words’ is a labor of love and all resources are ‘home grown’ so your donation would be truly appreciated.

If you are donating your compensation back to With Painted Words please choose the ‘no’ option for User Compensation when submitting (and thank you!!!)

Occasionally compensation may also take the form of a special, limited edition (there will be only 2, at most!) print of the artwork that inspired the story – this will be notified in advance (the artist also gets a copy).


Queries & Email submissions

For any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at: [email protected]

If querying a submitted piece of writing please allow up to 30 days from the date that you submitted the piece

If you are unable to use the online submission section please feel free to email your artwork/writing to the following address: [email protected]

Please make sure to include your full name and e-mail address at the top of the email.

In the subject area please use the following format:

Submission – Title – Full Name

Paste your work into the body of an e-mail (emails with attachments will not be accepted at this time). Do not worry about prescribed formatting as all pieces will be reformatted prior to publication.


Ready to submit

Please use the following links to submit either a piece of writing or a piece of artwork – the relevant pages may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Submit a piece of writing                    Submit a piece of art

Via: With Painted Words.

Video Refresh: Lee Battersby Interview

This is a quick video refresh of our previous interview ‘The Horror Tree Presents… An Interview With Lee Battersby’. In it, he shares his years of experience as an author and what he feels are some of the key points that newer authors might want to focus on if they don’t have a solid plan yet. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out our full interview by Selene MacLeod which is linked too at the bottom of this post!

After watching the video, please like, share, and subscribe to our channel!

This is a new format that we’re playing around with for articles, interviews, and potentially Trembling With Fear. Please let us know if this is something that you’d like to see more of!

You can read the full interview here: https://horrortree.com/horror-tree-presentsan-interview-lee-battersby/.

Epeolatry Book Review: Across Dimensions

Disclosure:

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: Across Dimensions
Author: Gina A. Watson
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Romance
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 28 August 2017
Synopsis: Nine worlds. Nine tales. Countless lives at stake. From a vengeful ghost, to a mythical kelpie, to a mechanical dragon, and more, Across Dimensions weaves its way through multiple genres, offering something for everyone.

She didn’t speak; she was in a trance. Her eyes glazed over, and a smile spread across her delicate face. I always liked it when they smiled. She stopped on the bank of my river and stared into the now rippling water. I called to her again; I needed her to come to me.

Dragons, fairies, and corporate hacker vigilantes, oh my! Gina A. Watson’s Across Dimensions is one that fulfills its namesake, guiding us through realms of her own creation, each presenting new conflicts and the heroes and heroines that will overcome them.

Upon initial reading, Watson’s prose reads quite simplistic and very step-by-step, such basic design reminiscent of old fables, lending it a very juvenile style. Seeing as this is a short story collection, this allows for much action to take place in such a small span of time and allowing readers to be swept along for the ride. Each tale reads like a window, readers allowed a quick glimpse into a particular world that Watson has crafted before being drawn towards the next.

Despite its relatively short length, Watson manages to balance both fantasy and sci-fi with both an archaic and modern flair, balancing out her settings, even going so far on occasion to inject added bits of a secondary genre into the mix.

Unfortunately, this massive undertaking in so short a length leads to many issues of pacing throughout the collection. While we do get a glimpse into the world without the need to drastically re-establish an environment with each new installment, many of these worlds lack an overall context behind them, conflicts that are the driving force behind character action holding no real importance other than to justify character action in the desired moment, leaving these dimensions hollow and almost lifeless. At times, the world can seem confusing in regard to its time period or general sense of place. Brief mentions of the incorporation of magic and technology, or just the casual mention or use of such otherworldly elements can seem almost unnecessary and superficial in the grand scheme of the story’s events.

Characters also suffer from this breakneck pace, going through arcs at a rapid pace, failing to invigorate any emotional resonance from the reader, the protagonists then lacking any depth or true motivation for their actions. Watson also writes many characters with a certain sense of morality and justice, but in certain stories, this morality is not nearly as explored as it should be, especially when crucial decisions need to be made with resounding consequences. Characters can appear far from heroic because of this, losing much of their empathy and humanity, severing that connection between book and reader.

With such a stilted pace present in each tale, they read more as ideas of potential beats than fully fleshed out stories. Plot elements are introduced right as they’re needed to progress the story without any prior build-up. Romances form from so few interactions that it lacks a believability. Characters can switch personalities at the drop of a hat, shifting between antagonist and potential ally.

Across Dimensions tries to maintain a diverse range of lands for readers to explore and, as previously mentioned, can be a monumental task, which is to be commended. However, many of these worlds felt recycled, characters and elements reused without much differentiation other than character names. Dialogue can seem out of place and inconsistent in some, and certain rules or technologies of a world are forgotten when they would have been instrumental to the plot. This along with an extreme lack of cohesion between stories or a single thematic element tying everything together, made the whole venture seem empty and lacking meaningful substance, further reinforcing that these feel more like cliff notes than universe-traversing adventures.

Along with these major pacing issues, are several errors regarding tense, constantly shifting leaving a skewed sense of time and making it difficult to tell when exactly a tale is taking place.

Also, as previously mentioned, despite saying that this anthology reads closer to fables directed towards children, there is a far greater emphasis placed on graphic detail involving romance and violence, leaving a tonal dissonance. Across Dimensions has content certainly not directed towards children, but the simplistic fairy-tale like structure of its prose certainly does not suggest an adult audience, which begs the question who the narratives are really for.

With a busied narrative stream and a lack of variety, Across Dimensions is quite disappointing when proceeding its initial premise. However, for those curious enough for a quick read and a guilty pleasure for romanticized genre fiction, Across Dimensions may be worth a slight peek to sate the magical literary beasts.

Taking Submissions: Demonic Anthology Volume 3, Demonic Carnival: First Ticket’s Free

Deadline: May 1st, 2019
Payment: Contributor’s Copy

Battle Goddess Productions is a big fan of Fantasy in all shapes and forms. We enjoy hack-n-slash adventures, the inner workings of Dark Fantasy, to a bucket load of  paranormal, occult or mythology, to even the funny awkward reads.

Demonic Anthologies Volume III

Demonic Carnival

First Ticket’s Free
Is There A Deadline? MAY 1st 2019 at Midnight EST
When Will This Be Published?

We are aiming to Publish this Anthology in August/September 2019

What Carnival Items/Rides/Games Are Taken?

We are looking for dark & funny stories featuring rides, attractions, or even stands found at a carnival. From the ticket booth to the Merry-go-round to even the Freak show. We want them all! The story should span Horror and Comedy genres in some form. The darker the piece, the further to the back of the book you will be placed. Lighthearted creepy reads often start our readers off in the front of the book. Be sure to email us to claim your topic!

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  • Love Tunnel

  • EMAIL ME TO CLAIM YOUR TOPIC!

Suggestions: Guess Your Weight, Shoot out booth, Fun House, Tilt-a-whirl, Bumper cars, Petting Zoo, Candy Apple stand, Pie Contest, Clowns, Dunk Tank, Ring o Fire, Pirate Ship, Ticket booth, arcade, Fried Everything stand, Cotton Candy Stand, Cattle show, Swine show, Rodeo, Bumper Boats, Himalaya, Pendulum Ride, Ferris Wheel, Drop Tower, Gravity Ride, Roller Coaster, Enterprise, Simulator Ride, Swing Ride, Caterpillar, Devil’s Wheel, Evolution, Fireball, Fun slide, Log flume, Mechanical Bull, Slingshot bungee, spinning Tea cups, Top Spin, Tunnel of Love, Zipper, Ball and Bucket toss, Duck Pond, Darts, Shooting Gallery, Plate Break, Whac-a-mole, Water Gun, Ring Toss, Basketball, and so much more!

If you want to claim one, I will start to build a public list of taken items/rides to help other authors aiming to do something in particular or different from what’s been claimed. Everything will be locked in on JUNE 30 2019 at MIDNIGHT EST. If you talked to me, you know who has the extension and be sure to email me here:

BattleGoddessPro(at)gmail(dot)com

Rights, Usage, Compensation?

You retain rights to the work. I am simply approving it to be added with your permission to publish it in my collection for both eBook and Paperback. We are perfectly fine if its been published before, online some place, or even if you are submitting it to others. It’s your Story and a piece you feel deserves to live in a tome on a reader’s shelf. Unfortunately, I do not have the financial means to compensate you for your work, though I hope in the future I never have to say this again. In the meantime, all authors get to purchase books at cost and keep 100% of the profit made when selling the paperbacks in person. We also send all authors a contributors copy on us.

We will be exclusively on Amazon.com in the first 90 days in order to take advantage of marketing opportunities. Paperbacks will be created and details of how Authors can get copies at-cost will be disclosed within the final group when word count and page count are finalized and pricing is known. We also promise some awesome chapter header designs for each author as a way to express our gratitude along with access to some stellar memes, banners, and marketing files for you to be able to push the book.

What am I wanting the money for? I wish to take Battle Goddess Productions to the next step by becoming a full blown Independent Publisher who can start taking on Authors like you and help you blossom. In order to do that, I have to build the funds in advance and my current day job cannot support that load in the way I want to represent fellow Authors. I am hoping that hosting an annual anthology showcasing my skills and talents, while supporting other authors will provide a way to build my reputation and ability to make this dream come true.

Submission Guidelines
  • Word Count: 1,200 to 3,500 (MAX Story Acceptance set for 25)

  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, Double Line-Spaced, no double spaces between sentences

  • File Types: DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, PDF

  • Formatting:

    • 1″ Margins all around

    • Justified body

    • Headers on page 2 and beyond with “TITLE / LAST NAME / PAGE#” aligned on Right

    • First page Left Corner: YOUR NAME, EMAIL

    • First page Right Corner: “Word Count: #”

    • First Page Center: TITLE

And if that’s too complicated I have included here an uploadable WORD DOC for your convenience: CLICK HERE TO UPLOAD FILE!

Where Do I Submit?

So you’ve read as far as here huh? Before you scroll further, make sure you’ve edited and polished your work the best you can! Be sure that you read the word count range and formatted your work to reflect my requests! Why? Because this will be my first means of declining submissions and I don’t want to have to do that to anyone’s work. I expect some grammar and quirky editing spoofs, but if I can’t comfortably read through the story, then I have to also decline said work. SO, PLEASE! Take a moment and give it one last look before you submit! THANK YOU! Now that we’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, here’s where and how to submit:

  • Subject Line:   “BGP QUERY: TITLE HERE by YOUR NAME”

  • Write me an email! Say hello, introduce yourself, and add a short one liner (or two) blurb of what your story is about!

  • Attach File: Once more, DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, and PDF File Formats are all I will accept. Anything else will be declined. Forgot to attach your file? Resend it! No need to panic!

  • Email:    BattleGoddessPro(at)gmail(dot)com

Via: Valerie Willis.

Taking Submissions: Grumpy Old Gods Anthology

Deadline: January 13th, 2019
Payment: Royalties

Grumpy Old Gods: Seeking

We’re looking for stories about mythical Gods who are waning, reborn, retired, or otherwise AWOL from their assigned post.

We invite you to re-imagine old myths, mine your local retirement home for things that tickle your fancy, and invite your Muse to go wild.  The only requirement is that the god or goddess in question (or whole pantheon if you so choose) must be retired, retiring, waning in power, or ignoring their responsibilities. Bonus points for good humor.

Genre: Speculative Fiction.

What is Speculative Fiction? Well, Wikipedia says… “It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism.”

Words: 3000-4000

Rating: PG13-PG17

Deadline for Submissions: January 13th, 2019

Submission Format: Word Doc or PDF (No Google Docs please, but we’re willing to work with you if you need to submit in a different format, just contact us!)

Publication: March 2019

What rights are we asking for? We’re asking for the right to print the stories in the anthology, but the writers will retain everything else.

Payment: All authors who participate in the collection will receive an equal portion of the profit, paid quarterly via paypal. None of the startup costs for the book (book cover, formatting, etc…) will be deducted from the proceeds. 

Submit to[email protected]

Editors: Vanessa Wells and Juneta Key.

Who we are:

Juneta Key: You know her as the woman who puts together the Storytime Blog posts. The social media skills are strong with this one.

Vanessa Wells: Self-professed short story junkie and editor of two previous anthologies Spirit and Trick or Treat.

Via: June Takey.

10 Awesome Gifts For Authors – 2018 Edition

growingwithtechnology

Folks, Christmas is right around the corner, and if you’re still struggling to find the perfect gift for the writer in your life you only have to scroll down! As late as you are at looking for gifts, I’m late for getting this guide up. We’re a match made in heaven!

So, this is the time to scroll down and take a gander and what we’ve dug up for you to buy your fellow authors this year!

Disclosure: Our articles 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.

Tools Of The Trade


First up we have an awesome lap desk which is perfect for reading and writing while in bed! It is all set for a laptop, notebook, or whichever novel you might be using at any given time!
Available on Amazon.


Many of us suffer from poor time management or could really use ways to improve it. Enter, the Speculative Daily Planner! It was released recently by Crystal Lake Publishing for those who needed a little more help in organizing their days.
Available on Amazon.


The last inclusion here is a bit on the pricier side. However, if the writer in your life is worth it and you have the mean they may very well be interested in this keyboard! Perfect for desktops, laptops, and tablets this keyboard will give any writer the feel that they’re pounding away on a typewriter while working on their next book!
Available on Amazon.

A Fount Of Inspiration


The First Lines Literature Coffee Mug not only is perfect for serving yourself your favorite coffee or tea but it also has some of the most memorable first lines in literature. Get inspired by some of the best openers ever written!
Available on Amazon.


If the well sometimes runs dry for the writer in your life, you might want to help them by offering up ‘642 Things to Write About’! This includes some extremely random writing prompts which should get the creative juices flowing.
Available on Amazon.


A game which can help with a key problem is ‘The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain.’ This offers multiple ways to unlock your creativity, and is great to have around if that dreaded Writer’s Block hits!
Available on Amazon.

Just For Fun


No matter how disciplined a reader is, we’ve all suffered from making the mistake of claiming that we’ll go to bed after “just one more chapter” and this pillowcase is just trying to encourage you to do the right thing.
Available on Amazon.


Having a party or get together with some fellow authors? The Storymatic not only is a useful tool for writing but offers a game you can play with your friends as well! The perfect party game to break the ice and potentially get the creative juices flowing!
Available on Amazon.


As mentioned above, most writers out there love their coffee or tea. However, where are they going to put that cup that gives them the energy to type away all day long? How about a coaster which is fitting for the writer in your life?
Available on Amazon.

Fans Of Horror Tree!

Our store might not be officially set up yet to the public or look that great but you can check out some great shirts and more from Horror Tree at Our Official Store and order them. The look will be drastically changed when this shop goes live, but I wanted to make sure that you knew the option was out there.

There is one other outlet as well you could look into. Much as Horror Tree has a Patreon you can donate to, there is a good chance that you can donate to your favorite author this way as well! Even a dollar a month can make an impact on an author’s output as fans show their unwavering support. So be sure to search the site or their webpage for a link to see how you can help them out!

If you’re looking for some other suggestions on what to get for writers be sure to check out our 2016 edition as well! I may not have written one last year…

I hope that at least one of these ideas may have caught your eye to get for a friend or add to your own wishlist!

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