The Horror Tree Recent Markets, Articles, Interviews, and Fiction!

Taking Submissions: manywor(l)ds March/April 2024 Window

Submission Window: March 1st – April 30th, 2024
Payment: $10
Theme: Stories of any genre by writers who identify with and as any of the following descriptors: trans, two-spirit, disabled, neurodivergent, Mad, queer, crip, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex.

We welcome submissions by those who identify with and as any of the following descriptors: trans, two-spirit, disabled, neurodivergent, Mad, queer, crip, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex. This is a space for the words, works, and worlds of and by those whose bodyminds defy social expectations and invite new ways of thinking and knowing.

We do not need to know the specifics of your identity/diagnosis/experience unless you want us to. We invite closeted and questioning people to share their work, as well as those whose experiences fall outside the confines of the language we used above.

We welcome submissions from creators of all ages. We particularly encourage unpublished/emerging/young creators to submit. If you know an incarcerated/institutionalized creator who would like to submit, email us for information as to where to mail the submission, or clearly indicate in your message that you are submitting on their behalf.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Hauntings, Tales of Supernatural Dread by Peter Bell

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: Hauntings, Tales of Supernatural Dread
Author: Peter Bell
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Publisher: Sarob Press
Release Date: 29th October, 2023

Synopsis: Peter Bell, in these ten stories, presents an intriguing gallery of people and places that are in various ways haunted: by legend and superstition; cults and curses; vengeance and tragedy; existential crisis; sinister epiphanies; dreams and omens; ghosts, witches and demons. In landscapes as diverse as the Scottish Highlands, the Welsh Marches, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Cumbrian Fells, and in the dark interstices of town and country, the characters find themselves in uncanny congress with their haunted surroundings.

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Taking Submissions: Book Worms Horror Zine Issue #5

Deadline: April 30th, 2024
Payment: 8 cents per word and a contributors copy
Theme: “fun”, “80s style” horror that involve Rock n Roll
Note: Only accepts Mail-In Submissions so don’t wait until the last moment!

Seeking short fiction for our Rock n Roll Issue! From hair-raising riffs to head-banging oblivion, horror and rock n roll are a match made in Hell! Book Worms Horror zine is a limited-edition print only publication sold on Etsy and selective bookstores.

Frequently Asked Question: What kind of stories are you looking for?

We generally enjoy “fun”, “80s style” horror reminiscent of the zine’s old-school vibe, but we’ve also been blown away by fresh voices that take the genre in a new direction. That being said, the best chance for your story being accepted by Book Worms is to follow the submission guidelines. Make sure your story is of the horror genre (you’d be surprised how many we receive that aren’t), mail in your submission versus email, meet the deadline, and don’t exceed the word count limit. And if your story doesn’t make it, please keep trying. We’ve had to turn down many excellent stories due to space constraints alone.

It might be helpful to explain what we don’t want.
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Taking Submissions: Weird Horror Magazine March 2024 Window (Early Listing)

Submission Window: March 2nd – March 15th, 2024
Payment: 2¢ (2-cents) per word , with a $25 minimum and $100 maximum and 2 contributor’s copies
Theme: Horror and weird fiction from 500 to 5,000 words, firm.

OPENS: March 2, 2024

CLOSES: March 15, 2024

We are seeking horror and weird fiction from 500 to 5,000 words, firm. Query first if your story is over 5,000 words. We are a home for the strange, the macabre, the eerie, the esoteric, the fabulist, and the gothic. The darkly numinous. The odd. We are not interested in extreme horror. Do not send science fiction or fantasy.

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They’re Heeeeeeeere: Aliens in the Horror Genre

They’re Heeeeeeeere: Aliens in the Horror Genre

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

From the purported sketches of aliens on cave walls created in India ten thousand years ago to the 1947 Roswell incident in New Mexico, humans have always had a fascination with tales from beyond. As fans of The X-Files (1993-2018), it’s probably not surprising to learn that we both love an otherworldly plot. Likely, our love for this subgenre began with reading copies of Weird Tales, watching numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone on television, and rewatching both of our favorite George A. Romero movies, Night of the Living Dead (1968) or Dawn of the Dead (1978). These plots speculated that something in space caused the dead to arise and become what we now refer to as zombies. We thought that was So. Cool.  

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Trembling With Fear 2-11-24

Greetings, children of the dark. Keeping it short and sweet this week as I’m entertaining an old friend who’s visiting London for the first time in a decade. We went to see the West End production of The Picture of Dorian Gray last night, staring Sarah Snook (who also happens to be from our home town as well as Succession), and it was bloody sublime. Go see it if you can!

To swiftly move to this week’s trembling menu, we have a super-sensory short story from Ben Jackson that’s followed by the short, sharp speculations of:

  • DJ Tyrer, who’s digging, 
  • S.C. Fisher, who’s in a sticky situation, and 
  • Tim Kirton, who shouldn’t have got in the boat.

And remember, we’ve got an extra special edition on Wednesday—keep an eye out for this year’s Valentine’s spooktacular!

Over to you, Stuart.

Lauren McMenemy

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I’m finally back on track for being productive. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fun new feature productivity. It WAS needed productivity, though! We had a few issues with certain e-mails being sent out that required some troubleshooting, which I’m sure no one is that thrilled to hear about. I made payments to Trembling With Fear authors that were due, and that is always good news! I put a huge dent into reading for our TWF Specials, Unholy Trinities, Drabbles, and a small dent into reading some of the short stories that have come in. Also, with a few recent requests, I’ve updated the rate card for our website, though we might be changing that up a bit as well with a couple of revision ideas that I’ve had. That last piece is great news, as we’ve lost a couple of Patreons over the last year, and the sponsorships really help out!
 
 
Don’t forget – Trembling With Fear Volume 6 is out in the world, and if you’ve picked up a copy, we’d love a review! Next year, we may be looking to expand past just the Amazon platform. If we do that, what stores would you like to purchase your books from?

ATTENTION YOUTUBE WATCHERS: We’ve had some great responses so far but are open to more ideas – What type of content would you like to see us feature? Please reach out to [email protected]! We’ll be really working on expanding the channel late this year and early into next.

For those who are looking to connect with Horror Tree on places that aren’t Twitter, we’re also in BlueSky and Threads. *I* am also now on BlueSky and Threads.

If you’d like to extend your support to the site, we’d be thrilled to welcome your contributions through Ko-Fi or Patreon. Your generosity keeps us fueled and fired up to bring you the very best.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Serial Saturday: The Cavern’s Memory by Jacob Calloway, Part Three

  1. Serial Saturday: The Cavern’s Memory by Jacob Calloway, Part One
  2. Serial Saturday: The Cavern’s Memory by Jacob Calloway, Part Two
  3. Serial Saturday: The Cavern’s Memory by Jacob Calloway, Part Three
  4. Serial Saturday: The Cavern’s Memory by Jacob Calloway, Part Four

 

 

Part Three: The Book Discovered

 

It wasn’t until the early morning hours that Jeffrey came across Alan once again, this time in the breakroom where a familiar scene played out: Jeffrey found a comfortable chair to sit in and Alan quietly departed for a few hours somewhere in the building. Dozing in and out of sleep, Jeffrey’s dreams were clear of worry and angst. He would periodically awake to see the familiar breakroom and the clutter piled up on Alan’s desk across the room. When he had rested enough to get bored, Jeffrey began poking around until he came to Alan’s disastrous work area. One piece after another was turned over and shoved aside as he nosed through the various debris and junk. With a final sigh, he opened the long, flat drawer nearest to him. A slew of papers and pens filled the crowded drawer, but directly on top lay a small book which immediately caught his eye. Though not ornate, the cover and binding appeared impossibly old and fragile, displaying an odd picture on the cover. The mess of swirling lines and strange shapes portrayed geometries and figures he couldn’t entirely describe if he had tried to. In the center was a great mass, gilded in gold ink which appeared to reach in all directions. 

Jeffrey’s inspection was cut short when he heard the Alan’s shuffling shoes in the hallway. In an instant of impulse, he grabbed the book from the drawer and arranged the junk on the desk as it had been before. Slipping the book into his backpack, Jeffrey quickly sank back into his chair and pretended to be asleep as Alan made his usual entrance into the room. 

“Time to get the hell outta here!” 

“Oh yeah?” Jeffrey replied, feigning surprise and sleepiness. 

“Mhm! See you tonight.” Alan had grabbed his bag without a moment’s hesitation and quickly hurried from the room. 

Jeffrey stood from his chair and, as he made his way to the door, noticed that familiar musty smell he had come across once before. This time he breathed it in slowly, trying to associate it with anything he could recognize. He looked around the room to determine where it came from, but as the smell slowly faded he suspected it was indeed Alan himself who had carried the scent into the room. Without dwelling on the issue too long, Jeffrey finally grabbed his backpack and left for home. 

Falling into his bed, he sank his head into the pillow and soon drifted off to sleep as the morning light peered through the curtains. Jeffrey’s rest came in fits and starts, however, as the clearness of mind and peaceful dreams of the past couple days now yielded once again to tormenting nightmares. Bone-chilling images of death and decay swirled in all sorts of twisted scenes as his mind conjured frightening narratives in his slumber. More than once he found himself standing beside his bed clutching the nearest furniture for support or holding his arms out before him to hold back some abhorred shadow from his sleeping imagination. Ever the ominous darkness grew in the periphery of his dreaming vision, causing him to shudder without looking over his shoulder. The scenes of gnashing and clawing and corpses and unhallowed terrors tossed and turned him in his bed. Yet even after he abandoned sleep for the afternoon, the unseen presence lurking in the back corners of his nightmares continued to disturb him. Even waking rationality could not shake the uncanny feeling that the images in his nightmares were not his own mind’s creations. 

As Jeffrey sat at the kitchen table that afternoon before Clara returned, he remembered the book was still in his backpack from that morning. Having retrieved the book, he set it on the table in front of him to examine. The binding was old and fragile, and the paper was worn and creased. Strange symbols of a foreign tongue filled the pages, entirely unintelligible to Jeffrey. He could see that certain symbols and sets of symbols were circled or underlined by an author far less ancient than the text itself. Periodically a page contained an illustration or a map of some obscure region entirely unfamiliar- at least unfamiliar to a modern reader. He found drawings of odd scenes- some appeared to reveal humans in violent altercations, others showed grotesque depictions of humans and animals that had died in what must have been horrifying circumstances. The drawings were primitive but explicit. It was on the final page that he found the likeness of what he could only imagine was a dark hole in the ground. From the black opening in the earth were lines drawn as if to depict the long tendrils of something beneath attempting to climb out. Around this picture were symbols scratched onto the page by an anxious hand- one more frightened than that of the composed and well-drawn pictures and symbols earlier in the book. 

As Clara began to unlock their apartment door, Jeffrey quickly tucked the book back inside his backpack. He had no real reason to hide it from her but felt compelled anyways to avoid the conversation that might ensue. Her supportive attitude hadn’t waned since the incident at work, checking in on him and comforting him despite his insistence that everything was alright. Jeffrey now felt a certain loneliness that he could not articulate even in his own thoughts- a distance seemed to creep into their small talk, but it was not a coldness from Clara. In fact, she was in high spirits and wanted to spend time with him. What bothered Jeffrey was not anything that she did or said, but that the coldness seemed to wind its way ever so subtly into his own words from somewhere inside himself- a place he didn’t fully understand. 

He left for work after dinner, departing on good terms with Clara, who was putting on a smile for him despite her awareness that his mood had dampened ever so slightly. Arriving to work a few minutes early, Jeffrey paused before turning the corner into the break room. He heard a clambering and rustling from inside, accompanied by a string of expletives from Alan’s mouth. When Jeffrey finally decided to enter the room, Alan hurried past him and out of the room after ignoring a polite greeting. Alan’s work desk was cleared off, and all the drawers were open. Jeffrey’s confusion at the spectacle was only brief as he soon realized Alan’s distress was certainly provoked by the missing book. Jeffrey began to remove the book from his backpack to return it to the cluttered drawer, but a blended sense of curiosity and fear compelled him to keep the book a bit longer. He came to acknowledge that its mystery disturbed him, and that he wasn’t going to let it go without knowing more about it. Later in the evening, as he wandered the halls, aimlessly meandering in stride and thought, he turned a corner to find Alan standing motionless in the middle of the corridor, with eyes locked on Jeffrey’s as he grimaced. 

“You okay, Alan?” he asked uneasily, slightly taken aback by Alan’s obvious displeasure. 

“Uh, you seen a book around here? It’s an old book,” Alan finally answered after a painfully long pause. 

“Not sure that I have, sorry man,” Jeffrey replied with as casual a demeanor as he could muster. 

“Absolutely certain, eh?” the old man pressed further. “The book’s important. You haven’t noticed anybody nosing around my desk, have you?” 

“No sir, but we aren’t here during the day. Could’ve been the other crew, right?” Jeffrey tried to shift the investigation elsewhere as quickly as he could. 

“Coulda’ been,” Alan abruptly responded. 

“What uh… what kind of book is it, anyways?” Jeffrey followed up, trying to move himself out of Alan’s crosshairs while learning more about the tantalizingly strange text. 

“None of your damn business,” the old man snapped back as he turned and hobbled away down the corridor. 

Epeolatry Book Review: Projections by S.E. Porter

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: Projections
Author: S.E. Porter
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 13th February, 2024

Synopsis: Love may last a lifetime, but in this dark historical fantasy, the bitterness of rejection endures for centuries.
As a young woman seeks vengeance on the obsessed sorcerer who murdered her because he could not have her, her murderer sends projections of himself out into the world to seek out and seduce women who will return the love she denied―or suffer mortal consequence. A lush, gothic journey across worlds full of strange characters and even stranger magic.
Sarah Porter’s adult debut explores misogyny and the soul-corrupting power of unrequited love through an enchanted lens of violence and revenge.

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