Tagged: TWF

Trembling With Fear 01/16/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. Many thanks to those who responded to our call for drabbles! We had a number but keep them coming!

I’m sat here waiting for the glazier as I type. The damage to our house caused by Storm Arwen back in November is finally getting looked at – the fixing will be in a couple of weeks though! Another plus has been the release of my latest novella, Paused, which I hope people will like. Initial feedback has been pretty good. I’ve a few writing projects on the go but rest assured, the 2021 TWF anthology is one of them!

Latest reads? Chad Lutzke’s Cannibal Creator, not something I would normally pick up but I’m glad I did as I discovered what a great storyteller he is. It also prompted me to finally read Of Foster Homes and Flies (a heartbreaker) and Wormwood (brutal in parts but poignant) which he co-wrote with Tim Meyer. All three of these books are novellas. I also took Kenneth W. Cain’s A Season in Hell.

Trembling with Fear starts this week with Personal Reflections on Bloody Mary by Jennifer Lee Rossman. Written in a casual tone, it sprinkles little asides and snippets as if chatting to the reader directly. It explicitly refers to our understanding of Bloody Mary, as something we can dismiss as no more than childish belief and then undermines that completely by introducing a much darker, and ultimately horrific, element. A skilfully told tale.

Captain of the Dead by Dee Grimes takes us out to sea for a survival story, but who ultimately survives is the twist.

Salon Secrets by Elyse Russell brings in my own personal horror – the trip to the hairdresser which necessitates small talk. It’s where gossip spreads and secrets are learned, or you’d think so.

Water Babies by Jonathan Worlde is a great, almost humorous twist on an alien invasion.

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Progress on the new layout and changes are slow, but they are happening! 

Interested in writing for the site? For those who love speculative fiction- we’re always open to guest posts, blog tour stops, ongoing column writers, book reviewers, and author interviewers! Please reach out on our contact page!

Last time on the following for now: 
Just a reminder – we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together. A perfect time to sign up! (Especially with having lost a couple on the new year.)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 01/09/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. Many thanks to those who have submitted stories to TWF – remember we can always do with more drabbles as we eat them up at a rate of 3 a week!

I would like at this point to politely remind folk to check our submission guidelines for appropriate word lengths and a reminder that we do not accept work in the body of an email. We have a process which progresses stories from initial reading to acceptance or rejection and which relies on the use of easily movable – and editable – documents; we cannot do this with emails. At present, I have copied and pasted such submitted stories to new documents but this does add to the workload. I have not automatically rejected such submissions – yet! Please help me avoid a breakdown and submit stories as a .doc or .docx attachment and not .pdf. If you do not have Word you can use google docs as an alternative. Thank you! 😊

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Hunger Pangs by Cecilia Kennedy. A strong, and grim, tale of pregnancy and cravings. I particularly enjoyed the ending paragraph which loops back to provide a distorted reflection of the first. The tragedy that transpires, whilst horrible, is something we know happens in the wild, and a reminder that basically humans are still animals.

Having currently run short of drabbles, we are publishing a three-from-one this week. Richard Meldrum has been a long-time supporter of, and contributor to, TWF and the Horror Tree. Richard has a talent for pinpointing common points of view or everyday ideas and turning them into story fodder. Here he gives us:

Forbidden develops the idea that the young always know better than their elders – at least in their own minds!

Obsession is another story which shows where curiosity could get you. You might get your answers but will they be of any use in the long run?

The Edge is a bleak and despairing story of literally living close to the edge.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Happy New Year my friends!
Just a reminder – we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together. A perfect time to sign up! (Especially with having lost a couple on the new year.)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 01/02/22

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first Trembling With Fear of 2022. It’s that time for both looking back and then fixing our sights firmly on the year ahead. I sincerely hope that we finally start putting the pandemic behind us. I’ve been jabbed and boosted, though with talk of the possibility of a 4th jab, I am beginning to feel like a human pincushion! I haven’t made any resolutions although I have a mental list of things to do and I’m trying to bring a bit of discipline back to my writing, it all went a bit AWOL over Christmas. The main decision has been to try and restructure my day so that I’m not working in the evening as well – a habit grown into when I was working the day job and which has continued, resulting in little ‘free’ time. Not sure how well that’ll go!

My Christmas Day book this year was The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers, and I can’t rate his work high enough. I’ve read two of his books now and I’ll be collecting the rest. He has a wonderful way with language and he is also a poet which feeds into his fiction. I love finding a new author and collecting them. I also finished Winterset Hollow recently by John Edward Durham. Plenty of whimsy but also plenty of horror alongside the fantasy. Now I have to start a new goodreads challenge! If you want to see what I read last year, go here.

The first story of 2022 in Trembling with Fear is Pitched Terror by Bernardo Villela takes you into that dreaded realm of sleep paralysis and the tricks the mind plays. When the visions overlap into a supposed reality, the effects can be horrific.

Conspiracy by RJ Meldrum delves into the world of conspiracy theories, some of which were bizarrely shared on social media in recent times, and turns them to good effect.

The remaining drabbles are offerings from myself and Stuart. We hope you enjoy them!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Happy New Year my friends!
I don’t have too much to add this week. With the holiday season, not much new has happened. I’ve been spending my time with my family and have been trying to relax. The one thing I did do, as we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

I will say that for those who enjoy writing drabble, we’re once again a bit short on them and could use more! For those of you who already max the amount of drabble we will print from an author each year, we will also be adding another opportunity! That is one a month and one for each of our four specials to those who keep count and there are a couple who do fill them up and we’ve got something growing to share with you soon!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 12/26/21

I hope you had a lovely celebration yesterday – in whatever form that took. I have my family round me and hope to see my parents soon. I know more restrictions are coming in but I hope not for long. I’ve had my booster, which brought on a few side-effects, but this is still better than the illness itself. I’m keeping everything crossed that 2022 will finally see the virus reduced to a more harmless infection and we can live normally again.

Whilst I hope you continue to have a peaceful and restful holiday, I think it important to recognise those who aren’t so fortunate. To those of you who are having to work this period to keep the rest of us going, I’d like to offer my thanks and hope you get to enjoy your own breaks soon. And to those for whom the festive period brings a sharp reminder of personal loss or isolation, please do not suffer in silence. Organisations such as the Samaritans are there to listen and support.

Before I get to TWF, I’d like to give a couple of shoutouts here to TWF writers Eric Fomley and Patrick Winters. Eric has a collection of flash fiction available – Rehuman –  to pre-order here and Patrick has a a novelette, Seeing due out soon. As soon as I have cover and order details I will share them. I am also delighted to share the cover and pre-order details of my own novella with Silver Shamrock Publishing, Paused, here. And if you want gothic darkness, I’ve recently read (and written the introduction for) the latest anthology from Brigids Gate Press, A Quaint and Curious Volume of Gothic Tales, ed. Alex Woodroe, due out January. Another truly wonderful collection which I’ll put into my top 3 anthologies of 2021. In 1st place is The Bad Book, ed. John F.D. Taff, and tied in 2nd are The Jewish Book of Horror, ed. and A Quaint and Curious Volume of Gothic tales.

Rehuman & Other Small Stories : A Flash Futures Collection by [Eric  Fomley] Paused by [Stephanie Ellis]

Our first story this week in Trembling with Fear is Silence from the Dark by Reed Martin Miller. A tale of hiding from life and not grasping opportunities, it reads as a warning and a tragedy. The final sentence is one that sums it up perfectly and has stuck with me.

I Wandered Lonely in my Shroud is a darkly funny parody of Wordsworth’s classic poem.

Signed. Sealed. Undelivered. by Connor Long-Johnson is a neat ghost story.

Spaceship Terror by Christina Nordlander brings sci-fi horror which questions reality. Being slightly ambiguous, it adds an extra chill.

Enjoy our stories and send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Today is a double Trembling With Fear weekend! Not only did we have our Christmas Special yesterday but we’ve got our normal one today! So much fiction, so little time!

As mentioned in thel ast update, I’m slowly working on adding new features to the site. One we had mapped out in MAY of 2021 and I just did was to update our Contact Form. It still takes a few seconds to load once you get it, however, when you select the right area in “to” to now allows for different text to show what we’re looking for, depending on who you e-mail. AND, it is allowing for a few other neat things on our end which is exciting.

Coming up next is the new year, I hope that you all have a great fresh start and have wins to celebrate from the past year in your publishing endeavors.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 12/19/21

Christmas is drawing in. We’ve actually put our Christmas tree up, a bit later it seems than many folk but I don’t like to do it too early – which can cause disputes with my youngest who does like to put them up at the beginning of the month. But she’s not home yet so we’ve been able to delay! The decorations look good though and it’s nice to be able to celebrate in our new home and helps us to put the whole covid issue to the back of our minds for the moment. We’re currently waiting for our booster jabs.

It’s been lovely seeing the short flash stories coming in now that we’ve opened up again. However, can I please remind folk that the length is generally 800-1500 with some flexibility, ie we do take stories of around 500 or 1800 words but prefer people to hit the range mentioned. Anything longer is just not for us unless you wish to be considered for a serial. In this case, send in your longer story split into instalments which match the word range.

Trembling with Fear starts with Oxi by R. Wayne Gray is a story with a warning and some nice touches of dark humour. The setting of a site which disposes of medical waste is one ripe for exploitation and the Gray does this in full, pretty much revelling in the possibilities. What other workplaces could you bring to TWF?

On the Factory Floor by Hillary Lyon has some nice touches of humour with assumptions made in the workplace which actually disguise something more chilling.

Search Party by Tom Trussel takes us into the forest and thus into the realm of folk horror with a clever twist.

Walking in Stories, Stalking in Dreams by Steven Holding talks directly to the reader and challenges your reality. 

And finally, have a peaceful and restful Christmas – and thank you for supporting TWF and Horror Tree so strongly.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Another year is closing in! I know that the holiday season tends to either be fantastic or horrible for everyone so I do hope that those who have it rough are able to seek out comfort in friends.

In case you missed it, we’re currently giving away multiple digital copies of the anthology ‘Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth, And Babies’ edited by Deborah Sheldon!

New changes and expansions are in the works! We did make one minor addition for the writers who love the calendar view on the site. You’re now able to subscribe to it! Details can be found here.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 12/12/21

And the storms continue. Last week I mentioned Arwen, this week we’re being battered by Barra – nor have we had our damage fixed yet! I’m keeping my fingers crossed we get a bit of a breather soon, especially those poor souls up North who still have no electricity. I’ve started my non-horror novel, an alternative history set in a Napoleonic UK in 1914. There is humour in it and I’m doing a lot of research about the Edwardian times. It’s great fun and a lovely change to the dark side. Do you write in other genres or do you stick to just the one?

I had the pleasure of chatting with writer Kev Harrison on the Dark Fusion podcast last Sunday. He has a couple of great novellas out, The Balance and Below. Both of which I’ve read and I’d highly recommend him to others – he also has a number of short stories in many anthologies so look out for those. I also finished a collection of stories by Elford Alley, The Last Night in the Damned House and Other Ghost Stories. The tales felt refreshingly original and were often interlinked, a ploy which worked extremely well. Alley has a real talent for a haunting tale and I’ll be watching out for him in the future.

Our first story in this week’s Trembling with Fear is In the Straw Maze by Nick Dinicola is a great story which completely subverts the idea of a child trying to reach its parents. An original idea full of atmosphere and pace. An excellent piece of writing.

Dig Two Graves by Robyn O’Sullivan is a tale of be careful what you wish for. Sometimes fate can rebound in the strangest ways.

Last Laugh by Catherine Berry is a warning to those who mock and sneer at others, making assumptions based on their appearance. The link between the first line and the last couple is quite clever.

Something Wicked This Way Thumbs by K.A. Williams has an unexpected ending which turns the tables in a neatly dark manner.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

At this time, I’m done with my final for my current course. Huzzah! Now the waiting game for finding out my grade. Almost as bad as that feeling when you send a story out for an anthology submission!

On the upside of things, it sounds like our new mailing list software has been working great so that will be continuing as is for the time being.

In case you missed it, we’re currently giving away multiple digital copies of the anthology ‘Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth, And Babies’ edited by Deborah Sheldon!

Finally, I’m starting to talk to a couple people about a way we might be expanding further into the world of drabble. More soon! 🙂

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 12/05/21

I am pleased to announce we are now open for the short flash stories which lead each week’s TWF! Refer to our submission guidelines for further information.

After waiting for months for the UK Ghost Story Festival in Derby, it’s been and gone! I had a really good time despite the weather affecting attendance and the schedule and met some lovely people, including authors Simon Clark and Tracy Fahey – please check out their books. I also survived my first panel experience and I met members of The Dracula Society – which I didn’t know existed! Wonderful people and hopefully we’ll meet up again at Chillercon in Scarborough next year!

Whilst we were away however, Storm Arwen hit our home and we returned to some damage – broken window and garden fencing and gates, a tile and guttering – but overall liveable with. I feel so sorry for those up North who are still without power or water or both whilst I write this. I know one of our writers, Jimmy Graves, was affected in this way and I hope he’s now got the water back on! For ourselves, we are still trying to get the insurers out. And on top of that we seem to have wildlife in the attic – either mice, bats or squirrel. I suppose our run of good luck following our move had to come to an end! I don’t mind if it’s bats though. They’re harmless – and they are protected in the UK.

In other news, I’ve been sharing online a little of a project I’ve been working on with Cindy O’Quinn, a really talented poet and writer. We’ve created a collection of found poetry, Foundlings, based on the work of Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti. It should be out in February and comments coming back from the ARCs have made us so happy. A new anthology, A Silent Dystopia, is also out from Demain Publishing. Set in the world of Dave Jeffery’s A Quiet Apocalypse, and edited by D. T. Griffiths, it includes a story from me alongside many familiar names on the indie scene. It was huge fun to write in someone else’s world!

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Hunted by Deer from Will H. Blackwell, Jr.  A monologue told in a slightly disjointed way following an accident, it brings with it an unawareness of their situation which adds a chill to the finale. It is also not a good idea to listen to that little voice in your head to justify your actions. The consequences can be disastrous! Excellent writing as always from Will H. Blackwell.

Genius by Patrick Winters reminds me a little of Jack and the Beanstalk where the slightly dim Jack doesn’t follow his mother’s commands. In this instance, a simple bit of wordplay turns the whole story in a similar manner. Neatly done.

Recipe for Horror by Mike Rader is a gorgeously gruesome take on Shakespeare’s witches from Macbeth. Wonderful parody.

Surprise by RJ Meldrum plays on the feelings of someone who knows they’re alone and anything else is impossible – or is it?

 Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

As you read this, I’m down to the final in my current class for my MBA. Knocking this out means I have a month and a half of time to breath (and even more as the next class should prove to be much easier.) So, no real updates for here. I am hoping that this newly about to be found free time does mean that I’ll be able to knock out the new layout that I’ve mentioned previously for the site. I’m hoping to be able to make it a bit easier to navigate moving forward. Enjoy the fiction and the weekend my friends!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 11/28/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

I feel as though I’ve been talking a lot this week! From the live Youtube panel with Raul Reads about the What One Wouldn’t Do anthology, to a chat with Alyson Faye about our upcoming appearance at Derby’s UK Ghost Story Festival, to The Writing Sparrow podcast chat with Salina Langer, I haven’t shut up! It’s that other side of today’s writing career where you have to be more visible – but I will say that I enjoyed all, and I’m getting used to it.

I hope you all notice the Indie Bookshelf ‘specials’ appearing recently. One is a special promotion of the (2021) work of all patreons/sponsors/staff as a thank you for keeping the site running. If anyone reading this, fits this category and missed out on the call (Stuart alerted patreons and sponsors), let me know and I’ll add your work to the post. The other is a gathering up of the charity anthologies published in the past two years, to give a number of worthy causes a boost.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is Settlement One by Hayden Waller an enjoyable sci-fi horror and the consequences for humanity when it attempts to settle other worlds. Can we start again or do we take our old problems and fears with us? We don’t get that many sci-fi/horror mashups and it would be nice to see more. And sci-fi doesn’t have to mean space either!

Rose-Coloured Cream by Claire Fitzpatrick is a tale of guilt and loss and with a gut punch of a last line.

Scurry by Natasha Lewington is one of those awful nightmares which you wake up dreading might be real. In this case it just might be!

The Long Walk by DJ Tyrer is a ghostly and very atmospheric drabble, nicely done.

 

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

For all of those who celebrated, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and have been celebrating what has become a time for gluttony and sloth. Now that you’ve recovered, we once again have a great line up of fiction for you to enjoy!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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