Trembling With Fear 07/25/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted.

As we continue to bask in the glow of summer (poetic version) or melt in the pressure cooker (reality), life has taken a tiny step forward. If you live across the border in England that is, where some restrictions have been lifted. Here in Wales we have to wait a bit longer. And even then, some things will remain for the duration of the pandemic.

Regardless of the politics and personal views on the matter, I think looking back over the behaviour of both government and individuals will certainly feed into the stories we write. To be restricted in what you do, where you go, who you can see, touch, hug is a degree of micro-management of personal life I never thought we’d experience. Writers and poets have a part to play in exploring and developing these themes, holding up examples of ‘what if’ for society to consider and use as a challenge to the law-makers, ensure that what we are told to do is for a genuine reason and not dictatorship by the back door.

Writers – authors, poets, journalists – are dangerous creatures, it’s why many non-democratic governments imprison them on trumped up charges. Writers have a place as social commentators and freedom fighters as well as entertainers. And genre writers, especially horror, hold a unique place in that they can really dig deep into the psyche and explore the darkness that could so easily erupt in a world of ‘what if’. Use your anger, your frustrations to birth a story and give the world a wake-up call.

There have been people asking if books set in a pandemic will be popular, will people read them. I’ve not been put off. But in particular, I think there will be a growth in dystopian literature as we try to work out exactly how we feel about this lived experience and what we can or can’t tolerate, the polarisation of views, the censorship and self-censorship of speech. Life has become a tightrope and I think horror writers are perfectly poised to explore this world of extremes. I love dystopian work and it would be great to see a touch more at TWF.

The first story in this week’s Trembling with Fear is The House of Dennis Eath by Tom Hook. I’m glad my experiences of house buying did not feature a character such as Mr. Eath and I don’t think I’d have signed on the dotted line but sometimes the price is just too good. Or is it? Lovely chill in the last sentences directing the reader to think only one thing.

Desert Vengeance by Ken MacGregor is a great story for this heatwave – or not, if you consider the consequences. Nicely brutal.

Kraken by Elyse Russell paints a picture of roiling ocean life, some great imagery here.

When Darkness Falls by Dee Grimes brings us another monster of the deep. Terrific description of the creature also shows its intent – without telling. Lovely.


Enjoy our stories and send in yours!



Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

This week, we’re trying something new on our newsletter! I’m trying to step back a bit in preparation for having help for it while I’m away for a couple of weeks coming up. So, Holley Cornetto will have written this one and it’s worth checking out! (She’ll be doing a few of the upcoming ones as well!)
All of this year’s Trembling With Fear copies are now available both in physical and digital format which you can find below! Please, if you’ve ordered these or previous installments, do leave a review on Amazon!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree