Fall Into Fear: Submission Roundup for September 2022

Welcome back for this month’s Submission Roundup! Lots of great calls for September and beyond, so if you’ve got a story looking for a home, perhaps one of these markets will be a perfect fit!

A disclaimer as always: I’m not a representative for any of these markets. Please direct your questions to their respective editors.

And with that, onward with the Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

Hush, Don’t Wake the Monster: Stories Inspired by Stephen King
Payment: $15/flat
Length: No specified word count
Deadline: September 12th, 2022
What They Want: A Women in Horror anthology, the editor is seeking stories inspired by Stephen King’s work.
Find the details here.

Weird Magazine
Payment: .015/word
Length: 500 to 6,000 words
Deadline: September 30th, 2022
What They Want: This magazine from Undertow Publications is seeking horror and weird fiction.
Find the details here.

Kaleidotrope
Payment: .01/word for fiction; $5/flat for poetry
Length: 250 to 10,000 words
Deadline: September 30th, 2022
What They Want: Open to a wide variety of speculative fiction and poetry.
Find the details here.

Fantasy Magazine
Payment: .08/word
Length: up to 7,500 words
Deadline: October 1st to 7th, 2022 for general submissions; for BIPOC authors, submissions are open until the end of the year
What They Want: Open to fantasy and dark fantasy stories.
Find the details here.

Dracula Beyond Stoker
Payment: .05/word
Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: January 15th, 2023
What They Want: This new journal is seeking fiction that reimagines and expands upon the world of Dracula. For the upcoming issue, the theme is Renfield.
Find the details here.

Nowhere Fast
Payment: .06/word
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: October 28th, 2022
What They Want: This Clash Books anthology is open to coming-of-age horror inspired by 80s and 90s movies.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

From the Ashes: Part One in Our Pro-Choice Horror Roundtable

Welcome back! Today is the start of something very special to me. This is part one in our Pro-Choice Horror Roundtable series. In each installment, I’ll be featuring  a group of horror authors as we discuss how the fall of Roe vs. Wade is affecting us, both personally and professionally. This will be an ongoing series here on the blog for the rest of the year and possibly even stretching into next year.

So with that, I’ll turn today’s interview over to this week’s six incredible authors!

There are so many things to talk about right now, but first and foremost, how are you doing personally? How has the overturning of Roe affected your life so far? How has it affected your family and friends?

JO KAPLAN: I feel sick that the bodily autonomy I’ve always taken for granted is being snatched away, but I’m lucky that I live in California, and my family also lives primarily in states where abortion is not being banned. But just because this isn’t legally affecting me doesn’t mean I can shrug it off. That’s, unfortunately, something you see a lot of these days: this inability to care about things when they don’t affect you personally. It’s depressing that there are so many people in this country who just lack basic empathy, who can only empathize with some pure, idealized notion of the “unborn,” rather than actual living, breathing human beings. The mental gymnastics people go through to argue that a ten year old should carry a pregnancy to term, or that women are somehow idiots or villains who wait eight months before deciding to have an elective late term abortion rather than it being a medically necessary last resort for wanted pregnancies—it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.

ZIN E. ROCKLYN: While overwhelmed, I’m also angry. I knew this was going to happen when the doc was leaked but it was absolutely disheartening for the final decision to be passed. I recently moved to Florida to help take care of my mother who has dementia (even she, a hardcore, Bible-thumping Christian, is pissed) and I am incredibly nervous for myself while straight up scared for other birthing folk, especially the poorest of us. The stigma and continued, persistent ignorance surrounding birthing folks’ reproductive health is more than a concern, it’s a crisis. Friends have already had their life-saving meds denied due to these misconceptions.

MEGAN HART: I am furious. Even knowing it was on the horizon didn’t prepare me for the utter betrayal and outrage I feel now that it’s actually been overturned. I, personally, am unlikely to ever need an abortion again, but I’m livid and horrified for all of those who still will need to make that choice — and have no choice to make.

JANET JOYCE HOLDEN: Personally, I count myself lucky at this particular time that I’m post-menopausal and no longer able to give birth. However, I’m acutely aware of how an important means of healthcare has, in some states, been rudely stripped away. A lot of my friends are in a state of shock, and rightly so.

LYANA RODRIGUEZ: Personally? I’m about as fine as a log thrown into a wood chipper. I think part of the problem is how much this decision is affecting me and not my family. My father, older brother, and nephew, all cis men/boys, don’t seem to display any personal attachment to the issue. My mother, post-menopause, seems mostly glad that it didn’t affect her own life during her marriage with my father. Her continuing response to my concerns has been, “Things change! Things always change, you’ll see, it’ll be back to what it was one day!”

It’s the most out of touch reply I’ve seen so far. None of them seem to understand that this directly affects me the most. I’m twenty-seven years old, I’m bisexual, I’m Latine which means I’m highly fetishized by a lot of people, and I’m in the process of questioning my gender identity. I walk into work, and I wonder at how fast we become desensitized to it. We’re all expected to just keep going as if everything’s normal as fascism creeps in? Really? That’s the “adult” thing to do here?

CHRISTINA LADD: I wake up every morning just a little bit nauseous, just a little bit more scared, and just a little bit angrier than the day before. I try to exist one step removed from everything, focusing only on my job or projects to get through the day, but when I tune back into the Roe reality, all those feelings rush back. I am tired with such a fury all the time. I don’t have a word for this angry exhaustion. Maybe it’s not a word. Maybe it’s a story. Maybe it’s all the stories that come after. I don’t know. Almost everyone I know is in the same place; we just keep expressing the same despair to one another over and over again.

What has Roe vs. Wade meant to you personally?

JO KAPLAN: I’ve grown up with Roe vs. Wade as settled policy, and I’ve never questioned my control over my own body. I’ve never wanted kids. Though this is a personal choice, I can’t help but also think about it in broader terms. I think about the difference between centuries past, when people were having ten children with the knowledge that not all would live to adulthood, and today, when massive improvements in technology and medicine have reduced infant and childhood mortality, and lengthened lifespans. Back then, I think there was an evolutionary imperative to have lots of children. There were also way fewer people in the world. Now we have 8 billion people on this planet, and we cannot sustain continued, explosive population growth with our current infrastructure. So in a way, I think the world needs people like me who are opting out of reproduction. Having choice is good for me personally, but it’s also good for the planet. Unfettered growth is an unsustainable capitalist dream. The right-wing wants to keep churning out babies—the right kind of babies, of course—in pursuit of this ridiculous (and very American) idea that unfettered growth is the end-all be-all, without regard to the consequences of overpopulation. So, what Roe vs. Wade has meant to me personally is having equal rights and bodily autonomy, the opportunity to live my life the way I want, and also allowing everyone the power to make their own choices.

ZIN E. ROCKLYN: It is the final nail in the coffin of freedom of choice for birthing folk. Period.

MEGAN HART: I’ve never lived, consciously, without knowing that I could choose not to carry an unwanted or non-viable pregnancy. Being able to have an abortion has been a choice for my entire life. I’ve always been a strong and outspoken advocate for reproductive rights, even though it was something seemingly “set in stone.” I never took it for granted, but I also never thought that right would be torn away.

JANET JOYCE HOLDEN: Healthcare, choice, and a right to privacy regarding that choice. Plain and simple. It’s nobody else’s business.

LYANA RODRIGUEZ: For me, Roe was the law of the land for my entire life. I always had that reassurance in the back of my head when I got my first period: if anything happened to me, I at least have the right to get an abortion and keep my life on track. Even if people tried to block my way to a clinic, even if they shamed me for something out of my control, I had that choice. In a society where we put the onus so frequently on people who can get pregnant, usually including the most marginalized of genders, having that choice is tantamount to participation in a larger, public society. Technically speaking, Florida has the right to an abortion guaranteed in its state constitution, and a state judge ruled Governor De Santis’ recent fifteen week ban on abortion unconstitutional for that reason.

But this precedent, the overturning of such a huge case, only worries me about other cases. In a matter of months, my right to marry any woman I love could fall away from me. My right to a sexual relationship, even, with another woman could be subjected to on-the-books indecency and sodomy laws. Hell, that’s just in my own personal relationships. What happens should Brown v. Board or Loving v. Virginia gets overturned? Florida isn’t exactly the paragon of healthy racial reckoning. This would be a catastrophe for many Latine families living here in Miami. After all, a lot of Latine cultures didn’t have the same stringent “one-drop” rule that dominated the Jim Crow South and the racist North.

While it may seem like I’m going off topic, I’m really not. In the end, the choice to strike down Roe v. Wade is about snatching autonomy from the country’s most marginalized people and giving it to a bigoted, powerful state. It certainly won’t stop here.

CHRISTINA LADD: It meant freedom. And now it’s gone, and I have fewer rights than a corpse. I knew, intellectually, that this was always the case for some people when they saw me. Roe just meant that it wasn’t the law, those thoughts and feelings of others. Now those thoughts and feelings are the law. Roe was my shield, and now there’s so much less between me and the massed hordes of gibbering idiots, swinging their crosses at my head.

How do you feel the horror genre has responded to the crisis of losing Roe? How would you like to see people do better in terms of supporting us during this crisis?

JO KAPLAN: The people I know in the horror community tend to be conscientious, socially and politically aware people who genuinely want to help create a better society. I like to think the horror genre, through exploring the darkest parts of humanity, reminds us of what is most important to us, what we stand to lose, and what we are willing to sacrifice. I’ve already seen horror folks being vocal, taking a stand, creating charity anthologies with proceeds going to abortion access, and I want to see the horror community keep doing what it does best: using its voice and its willingness to delve into the darkness to push for a brighter future for everyone.

ZIN E. ROCKLYN: With the exception of the HWA’s shitty response, to see folks coming together for benefit anthologies and auctions is amazing. Folks of horror are some of the nicest people in the world and our response has affirmed that.

MEGAN HART: I can’t speak for the genre as a whole. The people I follow on social media all seem to have the same level of outrage and disgust that I do. I don’t need individual support from strangers, so it’s more of a broad desire to see people taking action to protest, support and try to make change to the loss of reproductive freedoms. (And human rights, in general.)

JANET JOYCE HOLDEN: I’ve seen the initial statements of support from various sources, and going forward, at the creative level, I’d like to see a shift away from woman and fetus used as a shock morality mechanism. How about aiming our Klieg light and pen toward the reckless impregnator, cocksure, striding through life, leaving behind a trail of blood and misery? One of the ways we use horror is to better understand ourselves, and this side of the issue is way overdue for a long, hard examination.

On the organizational front, should we move our conventions to abortion-friendly states? I realize some states might not turn out as bad as they’re painted once the legal dust has settled, but it’s worth looking into, for sure.

LYANA RODRIGUEZ: For the most part, the members of the horror community I follow are amazing. They’re so supportive and willing to listen to all my rants about the historical particulars of this decision. Nobody in the community that follows me or that I follow has called me, for example, “paranoid” or “hysterical” the way that so many people have done in the past. (To be fair, this is also true of the anarchist community, but I often find a lot of overlap in these two groups).

The “genre,” on the other hand, has a lot of work to do. I think you all know exactly what I’m talking about here. The HWA incident confirmed some of the worst fears many horror writers have about the big names in the community. It all originated from something so simple, too! Some of HWA’s staff decided to put up a sign stating, “We support women’s rights to choose.” Okay, cool, it’s not exactly inclusive of every single gender that can get pregnant and would be affected by the decision, but it’s not something that will get a non-profit any flak from the IRS. But nope! HWA leadership decided it had to go down. Furthermore, I’m convinced that the reasoning they gave is false. It wasn’t because of them losing non-profit status. They just don’t want to lose any money from more conservative donors. I call it the Bob Iger Special, personally. Thankfully, many other organizations, including several great indie publishers in the horror writing community, spoke out against HWA’s decision and came out firmly in favor of bodily autonomy. Several other horror creators branching outside writing and into film production, film reviews, and more also threw their hats firmly on the side of justice. That gives me a lot of hope, at the least!

CHRISTINA LADD: I’m glad to see the Brigid’s Gate anthology for charity, and glad to see a lot of interactions on twitter. I’m not sure if there’s more–I’m not super plugged in and could be missing a lot. I agree with your statement that I would love to see conventions refuse to do any business in states where abortion is prohibited. I’d also like to see more statements of condemnation, and just like so many websites have statements against transphobia, racism, etc., it would be nice if they included “the message of your work cannot be anti-choice/anti-abortion.”

What’s your greatest fear right now? And also, what’s your greatest hope for where we can go next?

JO KAPLAN: Unnecessary deaths, first of all. With the right to choose being taken away in many places, it’s a simple fact that more people are going to die, whether from back-alley abortions, ectopic pregnancies, or other complications leaving doctors unsure of what they can and can’t do. On a larger scale, my greatest fear is the christofascist takeover of our government and how that might fundamentally change our society—that the religious right will become the law of the land. My greatest hope is that these are the last desperate gasps of a dying political force and that the future will see a people who refuse to kowtow to antiquated and oppressive worldviews.

ZIN E. ROCKLYN: My greatest fear is to become pregnant. That’s it. There is absolutely no support in this country for so many things, worst of all being parents, single or no. Our greatest hope is a revolution and overhaul of how this country is run.

MEGAN HART: My fear is that this is the beginning. That the next target is birth control, the right to marry who we choose, the right to cross state lines, to worship as we please…to be honest, the future seems pretty dystopian and bleak, and I have a vivid imagination, so I can fear a lot of horror on the horizon. My greatest hope is that the people who do not believe in hatred and oppression can rise up and make ourselves known, heard and respected. That we can stop the march of this country into fascism.

JANET JOYCE HOLDEN: The fear is that we can’t turn this around. The hope is that our government will live up to its current promise and right the wrong at Federal level.

LYANA RODRIGUEZ: My greatest fear is pretty simple and possibly vindicated by history. My fear is that Americans will continue to allow this fascist creep to become normalized. Instead of organizing across demographic lines on issues we all care about, such as the climate, abortion rights, healthcare, wages, and rent, they will continue the “Vote Blue No Matter Who Only!” strat, refuse to criticize their leaders, and continue hoping for the return of normality that was ultimately never even really good for us anyways. Then the rest of us that actually hope for a better world just get to sit back and watch as we become the victims of a Christofascist state, our more centrist neighbors complicit in our ultimate victimization.

My greatest hope, however, is just what I proposed: organizing! It is nowhere as easy to do as it is to say, but we need to start doing that now. We have to get in touch with our communities and make them actually livable again. So much connects us here, and we all have so many of the same needs. Plus, once you get into the practice of listening to other people’s lived experiences, the differences that separate us are nowhere near as insurmountable as you might think.

Tips on how you might get started? I’d suggest dealing with two universals in the United States: housing and wages. The housing crisis is worse than ever, and ultimately, everybody no matter what requires shelter to live in. No matter where you live, I guarantee that you either have a mutual aid organization that focuses on building tenant power or a community that would jump at the chance for it. As for wages, we have to go the way of Starbucks: unionization. For those who primarily work freelance or have less sociable jobs, this can be a pain. However, I promise that, even in freelance, people are tired, angry, and want to form a coalition. Start small. Build up an email list, a discord chat room, or anything that can get you all together! And as for the topic that started this whole roundtable together, there are plenty of actions you can take. For starters, if you want to get into abortion rights long term, look up direct action groups in your own neighborhood. Brave fighters such as clinic escorts have been doing the work of clinic defense for years. Consider getting the training for that volunteer work and working hands-on in the fight for our rights. If your circumstances can’t get you that far, I recommend supporting abortion funds and travel networks. A good one is the Brigid Alliance. This organization specializes in getting patients in the most restrictive parts of the country the healthcare they need. This includes patients who are currently in the states affected by trigger laws totally banning abortion.

CHRISTINA LADD: My greatest fear is that there will be a war over this. Or that there won’t be, and that eventually every state will bow to evangelical fascism. That birth control and gay marriage are next. That I will be raped and be forced to listen to a bunch of lies that the criminal deposit of dividing cells has a heartbeat or fingernails or some other lie. That I won’t even be able to listen to those lies, because I won’t be able to get an abortion. I don’t have one fear. They all just chase each other around, ascendant one after the other without end.

My greatest hope is that we get universal abortion rights enshrined as a constitutional amendment, and while I’m at it, I hope we also get an equal pay act and full gender-affirmation rights for trans and nonbinary people. But more immediately, I want “The Lottery.” I want stories so terrible and essential that they imprint on the collective consciousness. I want cis men to be afraid, or barring that, I want more of them to understand our fear. I hope we can make them as afraid as they ought to be, as we already are.

Thank you so much to my featured interviewees this week! I appreciate so much that they shared their thoughts with us about abortion rights!

Happy reading, and happy fighting back against fascism!

Book Tour for RELUCTANT IMMORTALS

Welcome back! Today, I’m super excited because we’re officially only two weeks away from the release of Reluctant Immortals!

*screams joyously into the void*

And that’s not the only reason I’m excited. For the first time ever, I’m doing an actual author book tour! Most of the appearances will be virtual, but a couple will, in fact, be in person! This is seriously the neatest thing in the world to me. I’ve literally imagined doing an author book tour ever since I was a little kid, so needless to say, I’m over the moon about this.

And where will I be appearing? Well, since you asked, here’s a nifty promo featuring all the event dates!

So first up, on the release day of August 23rd, there’s the book launch at Riverstone in Pittsburgh! This is an in-person event, and I’ll be in conversation with author Emma Riva! If you’re in the area, please feel free to stop by! The event starts at 7pm ET!

Then on Wednesday, August 24th, I’ll be doing a virtual event at Mysterious Galaxy! Festivities start at 6pm ET/ 9pm PT, and I’ll be appearing with the always awesome A.C. Wise who was also kind enough to blurb my novel! Bonus: if you order Reluctant Immortals through the Mysterious Galaxy site, you can also get a signed bookplate!

On Thursday, August 25th at 7:30pm ET, I’m thrilled to be appearing at a virtual event at Charis Books, a feminist bookstore located in Decatur, Georgia. I’ll be in conversation with the amazing Addie Tsai whose queer re-imagining of Frankenstein, Unwieldy Creatures, was just released! It’s beyond perfect that my Dracula and Jane Eyre retelling is being paired with a Frankenstein retelling, and I can’t wait to talk more with Addie about our new novels!

To finish off the first week of my book tour, the ever supportive Daniel Braum has invited me back to his Night Time Logic series. That virtual event is on Friday, August 26th at 8pm ET, and I’ll be appearing with the fabulous Rebecca Rowland!

For the second week of my book tour, I’ll be appearing at a virtual event at The Novel Neighbor, a bookstore located in St. Louis, Missouri. This fabulous bookstore does so many wonderful events with authors, and I’m so thrilled to be able to be part of their lineup. The event starts at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT!

On Tuesday, August 30th at 7pm ET, I’m doing a virtual event at Old Town Books where I’ll be in conversation with the amazing and supportive Becky Spratford! It’s always great to talk with Becky as she’s long been one of the biggest supporters of my work, so this will no doubt be a very fun night!

And last but not least, I’ll be appearing at another in-person event when I return to StoryFest at The Westport Library on Saturday, September 10th. I’ll be on the panel “Resist and Rise Up: A Panel on Activism,” alongside amazing authors Sarah Gailey, Hugh Ryan, Mondiant Dogan, and Sonya Huber. That panel starts at 1pm ET, but the event goes all day and features lots of incredible writers, so if you’re in the area, please come and hang out with us!

So that’s the schedule for my first ever author book tour! And as if that’s not enough, I’ll also be appearing on numerous podcasts over the next two months, so like it or not, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch me discussing vampires, the Gothic, Hammer horror, the 1960s, and everything else related to Reluctant Immortals. *another joyous scream into the void*

Happy reading!

Writing through the Apocalypse: Submission Roundup for July 2022

Welcome back for this month’s Submission Roundup! America has completely fallen apart since last we met, so this is a less jubilant post than normal. But art is one of the greatest forms of resistance, so let’s keep resisting fascism, shall we?

A disclaimer as always: I’m not a representative for any of these markets. Please direct your questions to their respective editors.

And with that, onward with the Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

Dread Stone Press
Payment: .02/word
Length: 500 to 1,000 words
Deadline: July 15th, 2022
What They Want: Open to a wide variety of horror flash fiction.
Find the details here.

Brigids Gate
Payment: No payment as this is a charity anthology
Length: 1,000 to 4,000 words
Deadline: July 19th, 2022
What They Want: The Hell Hath Only Fury anthology is seeking body autonomy horror stories. All proceeds will benefit The Brigid Alliance, which is committed to helping pregnant people seek abortion care. Open to all women, femme-identifying individuals, and any authors who have or have had a uterus.
Find the details here.

HWA Scholarships
Payment: Scholarships range from $250 to $2,500
Deadline: August 1st, 2022
What They Want: Sponsored through Horror Writers Association, there are currently multiple scholarships available, including for horror nonfiction, dark poetry, women in horror, and more.
Find the details here.

Creature Horror
Payment: No payment as this is a charity anthology
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: August 1st, 2022
What They Want: This anthology theme focuses on reproductive rights and body autonomy horror. All proceeds will benefit NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Find the details here.

Cosmic Horror Monthly
Payment: .06/word
Length: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: August 1st, 2022
What They Want: This anthology, which is themed broadly around hysteria, is open to anyone affected by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. All proceeds will benefit the Chicago Abortion Fund.
Find the details here.

Les Petites Morts: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales
Payment: .06/word
Length: 1,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: August 31st, 2022
What They Want: The editors are seeking erotic horror stories inspired by folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.
Find the details here.

Under Her Eye
Payment: $5/flat
Length: Up to 50 lines
Deadline: August 31st, 2022
What They Want: Open to women and nonbinary femmes, this anthology is seeking poetry with the theme of domestic horror. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project.
Find the details here.

Nowhere Fast
Payment: .06/word
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: October 28th, 2022
What They Want: This Clash Books anthology is open to coming-of-age horror inspired by 80s and 90s movies.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

Summer of Horror: Submission Roundup for June 2022

Welcome back for this month’s Submission Roundup! Lots of super cool opportunities in June and beyond, so if you’ve got a story seeking a home, one of these markets might be the right fit!

First, a disclaimer: I’m not a representative for any of these publications. Please direct your questions to their respective editors. And with that, onward with this month’s Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

Dracula Beyond Stoker
Payment: .05/word
Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: June 15th, 2022
What They Want: This new journal is seeking fiction that reimagines and expands upon the world of Dracula. For the inaugural issue, the theme is Dracula.
Find the details here.

Rites of Passage: An Anthology of Queer Pagan Fiction
Payment: $25 to $75/flat
Length: 2,500 to 7,500 words
Deadline: June 30th, 2022
What They Want: The anthology is seeking coming-of-age stories about queer pagans.
Find the details here.

Vastarien
Payment: .05/word for fiction and nonfiction; $50/flat for artwork and poetry
Length: up to 7,500 words
Deadline: June 30th, 2022
What They Want: Vastarien is seeking nonfiction, literary horror fiction, and poetry that’s inspired by Thomas Ligotti and related themes.
Find the details here.

Les Petites Morts: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales
Payment: .06/word
Length: 1,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: Opens to submissions on July 1st, 2022
What They Want: The editors are seeking erotic horror stories inspired by folklore, fairy tales, and mythology. Please consider supporting their Kickstarter for the project!
Find the details here.

Nowhere Fast
Payment: .06/word
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: October 28th, 2022
What They Want: This Clash Books anthology is open to coming-of-age horror inspired by 80s and 90s movies.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

Les Petites Morts: Interview with Hailey Piper

Welcome back! Today, I’m happy to be helping out with the promotion of Les Petites Morts: An Anthology of Erotic Horror Fairy Tales from Ghost Orchid Press. The project is currently up on Kickstarter and is over a quarter of the way funded already!

As part of this promotion, I recently interviewed contributor Hailey Piper about her story in the anthology!

What can you tell us about your new story in Les Petites Morts?

It’s a sapphic twist on the Greek myth of the sphinx, in which she’s sometimes offered sacrifices in lieu of riddle answers, and our heroine has become one such offering after getting on a king’s bad side for taking his queen’s attention.

Horror and eroticism have a long history of intertwining. What do you think is the draw of this particular subgenre? What are some of your favorite erotic horror stories and films?

I think horror and eroticism both indulge in visceral elements, and they make an easy couple. There’s both a seductive “wrongness” that draws some, wanting to see something they might consider repulsive, while for others there’s a freedom to indulge in the fiction’s fantasy, and that same thing seen as a repulsive element can instead be beautiful and alluring, which was how I approached scenes in this story, my novel Queen of Teeth, and other work.

As for favorites, Clive Barker really hits a sweet spot with some Books of Blood stories and the movie Hellraiser. I also love Go Down Hard by Ali Seay.

What in particular do you feel makes Les Petites Morts a unique anthology?

Focusing on fairy tales, folklore, and mythology for erotic horror both forces the erotic horror to dance with speculative elements of magic and monsters and sex within, but also invites the stories to play with foundational elements of our cultures, get into the tactile sensations of them, be that blood or other things. Plus I have so much faith in editors Evelyn Freeling and Antonia Rachel Ward, and a book of erotic horror is going to be a wonderful time. I can’t wait to read the other stories.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m finishing up one of my queer horror/weird crime chapbooks for Death’s Head Press, and I’m getting started on a new cosmic horror novella, plus some short stories sprinkled around.

Big thanks to Ghost Orchid Press and Hailey Piper! Please consider backing this fabulous new anthology over at Kickstarter today!

Happy reading!

Fiction for a Dystopic World: Submission Roundup for May 2022

Welcome back for May’s Submission Roundup. Lots of great opportunities this month, so if you’re looking for a home for a story, then perhaps one of these markets will be a perfect fit!

As always, a disclaimer: I’m not a representative for any of these markets; I’m merely spreading the word! Please direct your questions to their respective editor.

And with that, onward with this month’s Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Payment: $120/flat
Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: May 15th, 2022
What They Want: This anthology is seeking horror fiction inspired by Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Find the details here.

Brigids Gate Press
Payment: .08/word
Length: 2,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: May 15th, 2022
What They Want: The latest anthology is seeking splatterpunk western horror set in the Old West.
Find the details here.

Halloween Ghost Anthology
Payment: .06/word
Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words
Deadline: May 31st, 2022
What They Want: Editor Gaby Triana is currently seeking ghost stories set on or around Halloween.
Find the details here.

Dracula Beyond Stoker
Payment: .05/word
Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: June 15th, 2022
What They Want: This new journal is seeking fiction that reimagines and expands upon the world of Dracula. For the inaugural issue, the theme is Dracula.
Find the details here.

Rites of Passage: An Anthology of Queer Pagan Fiction
Payment: $25 to $75/flat
Length: 2,500 to 7,500 words
Deadline: June 30th, 2022
What They Want: The anthology is seeking coming-of-age stories about queer pagans.
Find the details here.

Nowhere Fast
Payment: .06/word
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: October 28th, 2022
What They Want: This Clash Books anthology is open to coming-of-age horror inspired by 80s and 90s movies.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

Spectacular Spring: Submission Roundup for April 2022

Welcome back for April’s Submission Roundup! I can’t believe a quarter of the year is already gone! Fortunately, there are lots of great opportunities this month and beyond for writing. So if you’re looking for somewhere to send your latest work, perhaps one of these markets will be the perfect fit!

First, a disclaimer: I’m not a representative for any of these markets. I’m merely spreading the word! Please direct any questions to their respective editors.

And with that, onward with this month’s Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

The Quiet Ones
Payment: $25/flat
Length: up to 3,000 words
Deadline: April 14th, 2022
What They Want: The upcoming issue’s theme is post-apocalyptic pride and will be released for Pride Month in June.
Find the details here.

Electric Spec
Payment: $20/flat
Length: 250 to 7,000 words
Deadline: April 15th, 2022
What They Want: Open to a wide variety of speculative fiction.
Find the details here.

Rewired: An Anthology of Neurodiverse Horror
Payment: .03/word
Length: 1,000 to 6,000 words
Deadline: April 30th, 2022
What They Want: Ghost Orchid Press is seeking horror stories inspired by neurodiverse experiences.
Find the details here.

Planet Scumm
Payment: .05/word
Length: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: May 2nd, 2022
What They Want: Open to a wide variety of speculative fiction.
Find the details here.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Payment: $120/flat
Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words
Deadline: May 15th, 2022
What They Want: This anthology is seeking horror fiction inspired by Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Find the details here.

Halloween Ghost Anthology
Payment: .06/word
Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words
Deadline: May 31st, 2022
What They Want: Editor Gaby Triana is currently seeking ghost stories set on or around Halloween.
Find the details here.

Rites of Passage: An Anthology of Queer Pagan Fiction
Payment: $25 to $75/flat
Length: 2,500 to 7,500 words
Deadline: June 30th, 2022
What They Want: The anthology is seeking coming-of-age stories about queer pagans.
Find the details here.

Nowhere Fast
Payment: .06/word
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline: October 28th, 2022
What They Want: This Clash Books anthology is open to coming-of-age horror inspired by 80s and 90s movies.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

The Future Is Fierce: Part Four of Our 2022 Women in Horror Month Roundtable

We’ve nearly reached the end of March, which means Women in Horror Month is sadly almost over. But before this awesome annual celebration is done, let’s check in once more with our fabulous roundtable about their hopes for the future of women in horror as well as their own writing plans!

What’s your hope for the future of women in horror?

GABY TRIANA: That we will continue to kick ass. Stories by women show another side of humanity. It’s not just about having different body parts. It’s a whole alternative worldview that’s just as important as the mainstream white, male POV, and we are not all the same. My hope is also that women don’t have to fake writing in the style of men anymore to be taken seriously. They can be whoever they are—feminine, masculine, in-your-face, subtle, romantic, jarring, suggestive, intellectual, weird… whoever they happen to be—and still command the literary stage.

MELANIE R. ANDERSON: That books and stories and poems and scripts with new ideas and angles keep coming for us to enjoy (and analyze)! As an educator, I also hope we can keep sharing the stories of women in the past who got the ball rolling, so to speak, and whose names may have been forgotten.

LISA KRÖGER: I hope that women in horror find so much success that we don’t need a special month to highlight our work.

HYSOP MULERO: I kind of hope that women in the genre do some sort of crazy takeover, even if just for a season or week or a day. It would be amazing to see us collectively or even singularly transcend or kind of push horror into our overall literary landscape. In short, I want to see us create magnificent storms story by story and book by book.

EVE HARMS: I hope to see more BIPOC women in horror read and celebrated.

NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: My hope for the future of women in horror is the inclusion of women from all demographics, especially Black and Hispanic women. I mean a full embrace and lifting up of those stories. I loved how Black Cranes won the Stoker last year. I would love to see works by Black women and trans women also find that level of recognition.

KATHRYN E. MCGEE: My hope is that women continue to do what they’re doing by creating great work in the genre. There really is an incredible wealth of brilliant art to be read and watched. I’d love to see horror by women become increasingly recognized. I’d love to see as many women in positions of leadership as possible, publishing horror books and producing, writing, and directing horror film and TV. Some of the most supportive, fascinating, and thoughtful people in my life are other women horror writers and I hope we’re all able to keep writing and achieve a broad audience. The future of women in horror feels very bright, indeed.

LEE MURRAY: What I hope, Gwendolyn, is that one day we shouldn’t need a Women in Horror month, that we won’t need to band together and scream, “Hey, we’re over here and we’re writing lovely horror” because we’ll already be visible. Because there will be a healthy coven of undead women writers who come to mind whenever the word ‘horror’ is whispered. A host of articulate women writers who are making a living writing horror and talking about horror. When, instead of being a subversive act, women writing horror becomes the norm and we are a welcome part of the horror landscape. I can’t wait for the moment when I’ll scroll to one of a myriad of horror sites on social media where the question “Who is your favourite horror writer?” is posted on a near-daily basis, and see women writers listed in the top ten comments, and not simply as an afterthought. In October 2019, Jeff VanderMeer (author of Annihilation and former co-editor of Weird Tales) wrote [this] post on social media.

Hear, hear, Jeff. I agree. Let’s have future top tens loaded with fabulous women writers of horror. How about Alma Katsu, Kaaron Warren, Gwendolyn Kiste, EV Knight, Kate Jonez, Thersa Matsura, Lee Franklin, or Kate Maruyama, for example? I could go on and on…

What’s next for you? What projects are you currently working on, and what work do you have coming out soon?

GABY TRIANA: The first part of 2022, I’ll be finishing my 5-book paranormal women’s fiction series, which I write under the name Gabrielle Keyes. After that, I have a new horror novel in the works. 1950s Havana, Cuba, haunted house on a hill, palm trees, family secrets, ghosts, a woman fighting societal expectations, a family of mobsters and sugar kings fighting for control, the Catholic church, witchcraft, those who dabble in both, history, psychological horror, and a monster or two terrorizing the island. Can’t wait to get started.

HYSOP MULERO: I’m currently going through another round of edits for a dark/horror middle grade manuscript that I’ve completed. I’m also in the process of finishing my second short story collection that will include the “This Is You” series and a few other pieces that I’m really excited about! Not to mention my thrill for “This is You on Lust” to be included in Pluto In Furs Volume 2 from Plutonian Press. I have a few other TBAs, and WIP’s for 2022! I plan on attending Necronomicon in Rhode Island this year, along with a few other cons and events. I’m active on both Instagram as @wordslinger.co, and my website www.threadedburlap.com should you want to check out my events and daily musings.

EVE HARMS: A lot of projects are in the works, but I’m trying to avoid talking about them in order to bottle up the excitement to propel me forward. I did recently have a short story published in the Monstroddities anthology by Sliced Up Press that is available on all of the major bookstores.

NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: I’m writing the next Kingdom of Aves story. Mocha Memoirs Press is releasing two new novellas for Women in Horror Month. Sumiko Saulson’s Happiness and Other Diseases and L. Marie Wood’s The Black Hole.

MELANIE R. ANDERSON: I’m working on another project with my co-author and podcast co-host Lisa Kröger. And on the academic side, I recently finished up an essay for a forthcoming collection on Edgar Allan Poe. It’s about how contemporary women writing horror are revising Poe’s nineteenth-century take on the haunted house.

LISA KRÖGER: I’ve got another nonfiction book, called Toil and Trouble, coming out with Quirk Books in late 2022. Like Monster, She Wrote, this book is co-written with Dr. Melanie R. Anderson, who may be the best co-author around. I’m working with NYX this year to get out our second film festival, and we recently announced a partnership with Stowe Story Labs for a fellowship for women screenwriters who are writing horror and who are age 40 or over. I’m hoping to get a few other personal projects out into the world too. I’d love to do more fiction, or even write for a different audience, like Middle Grade or Young Adult.

KATHRYN E. MCGEE: I recently had a story, “Golden Hour,” accepted for publication in the forthcoming Chromophobia anthology, edited by Sara Tantlinger, which will be coming out later this year. The stories in the anthology all deal with the horror of color in different ways and are authored by women. I’m beyond thrilled to be part of this excellent group of writers. I also recently finished a draft of a haunted house novel I’ve been working on for several years that I’m hoping to publish soon. Otherwise, I’m writing a collection of horror short stories as well as a middle-grade horror-comedy novel.

LEE MURRAY: Thank you so much for asking, Gwendolyn. 2022 is looking set to be a busy year! I have a small (and hopefully helpful) workbook on Literary Goal Setting coming from Brain Jar Press, and Asian Ghost Stories (Flame Tree Press) for which I was Associate Editor will be published in February 2022; this comprehensive volume of ghost tales includes many of my favourite horror writers of Asian descent. I have stories coming in numerous anthologies, including “Thrall” a seafaring tale of supernatural and superstition in Grimdark’s The King Must Fall (edited by Adrian Collins), “Mooncake” a generational tale of cultural tension in Bad Hand Books’ The Hideous Book of Hidden Horrors, Hothouse Crush, a re-envisioning of Dracula as a demon fae in 1980’s girls’ boarding school for IFWG’s Dracula Unfanged (edited by Christopher Sequiera), and “Kupara and Tekoteko” a Kiwi retelling of Wilde’s The Happy Prince in Clan Destine Press’s Clamour and Mischief (edited by Narelle Harris). My novella “Despatches” will appear with novellas by Angela Yuriko Smith and Maxwell Ian Gold, in Someday, a volume in Crystal Lake Publishing’s Dark Tide series. The themes of Someday are war and mystery, and “Despatches” follows the observations of a war correspondent sent to Gallipoli in the Great War in a supernatural epistolatory tale. Also with Angela Yuriko Smith, I’ll be editing a collection of poetry and flash fiction by HWA members mental health and trauma for the upcoming HWA Wellness page—a rare honour which I’m looking forward to immensely. Angela and I are also excited to be editing Unquiet Spirits, a collection of essays by horror writers of Southeast Asian descent, with a focus on the influence monsters and spirits on perspectives of cultural identity. A follow up to both Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (co-edited with Geneve Flynn) and poetry collection Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken (Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray & Geneve Flynn), the line-up for Unquiet Spirits looks equally stupendous and includes a foreword by Monster She Wrote co-author Lisa Kröger. The book will be published by Black Spot Books in 2023. And I’ll also be delivering the first of three fiction collections for Silver Shamrock publishing towards the end of 2022. I’m expecting the German language translation of my supernatural military horror Into the Sounds will be released in 2022, as will the Spanish version of my middle grade adventure Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse. I also have a handful of exciting film projects on the go, which sadly I am unable to talk about yet. Aargh! In any case, it looks set to be a busy year…

Huge thanks to our eight fantastic authors for this year’s roundtable! It was so amazing talking with all of them!

Happy reading, and happy Women in Horror Month!

Terrifying Advice: Part Three of Our 2022 Women in Horror Month Roundtable

March is nearly over, which means once again, Women in Horror Month is getting ready to wind to a close. As I always say, it’s over way too quick!

But before the month slips away completely, let’s return for part three in our Women in Horror roundtable!

The last few years in the world have been challenging to say the least. How do you motivate yourself to keep writing despite the terrors and challenges of everyday life?

GABY TRIANA: Writing is actually how I think, so if I want to sort out thoughts or feelings, I write. This happens every day, whether it’s writing fiction or journaling or making lists that help me organize my brain. Either way, I write daily.

HYSOP MULERO: Overcoming the mental chatter between my ears combined with daily errands and responsibilities can make writing challenging on the best of days. I am a personal, albeit reluctant consumer of procrastination, and with that type of maladaptive behavior I utilize the “least is better than none” method. Sure, I have great writing days where the sun shines enthusiastically through my window and my coffee is prepared just right, and words are pulsating through my fingers, but more days than not I have to treat writing as yet another errand or task that must be done. So, I put away my grand notions of how this process should look or feel or how hot my coffee has to be and make myself put words on the page. Many many words. And the days that I do get to have the sun grace me with its light, and everything in the universe aligns for me to have a perfect writing day, well, those are the beautiful bonuses.

EVE HARMS: My priority is to keep writing enjoyable. I actually love every part of the process—researching, drafting, and editing—so if I’m not feeling motivated to write, I don’t. I’ve found if I let myself feel guilt around not writing, I rob myself of the joy of remembering how good it feels to write. This does mean that there will be months where I don’t put any words on the page, but that’s okay. And besides, the creative process requires rest to operate at its fullest. Even if I’m not writing, I’m usually still spending time in the worlds I’m creating and occasionally taking down notes about ideas I have for various projects.

NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: I haven’t been as successful at this as I would like. I struggle every. single. day. One of the things I have found is listening to BTS and Tomorrow by Together (K-pop bands). Both groups offer songs of loving myself and how to handle the pandemic and its effects. They’re encouraging and uplifting, which helps repeal some of the darkness enough for me to find enough light to work.

MELANIE R. ANDERSON: When the pandemic started, my job became unpredictable, as happened for everyone. I had previous experience teaching a couple online courses, but shifting formats for all my classes midsemester was chaotic. Keeping a routine has remained difficult. And I had to limit my news consumption. I needed deadline extensions on a couple of academic projects. But, I think one thing that helped keep me researching and writing was that it was something I could keep doing, barring pandemic-related issues with getting resources. Another was that I had some control over that work, as opposed to everything else.

LISA KRÖGER: I’m not going to lie: it’s been hard. Writing is cathartic to me, so even when I don’t feel motivated, I often find that the act of writing helped me to manage my stress and anxiety. Plus, writing is a practice; it’s a muscle to exercise. I try to keep doing it, every day, even if I don’t feel particularly excited about it or inspired. I don’t try to hit certain word counts or write for any specific length of time, though. There’s too much stress in that, and we don’t need more stress on our lives right now. Sometimes, the act of rest can be the best remedy to writer’s block, so I’ve learned that at times, it’s okay to give ourselves some time and space to breathe and let our imaginations run wild. In times of high stress, one of the best things to do for your writing is not to set unrealistic goals. Take small steps towards your goals—those add up over time.

KATHRYN E. MCGEE: Writing has always been a way I deal with difficult emotions. Examining why I’m anxious, angry, or scared by putting a character in a fictional situation dealing with the same feelings helps me cope. When I’m caught up in crafting the plot, character, and technical aspects of storytelling, my worries become something else entirely and are not so overwhelming to me anymore. The pandemic has been a challenge, though. In some ways, I’ve used the daily horrors to fuel writing. I did publish one story, “Mondays Are for Meat,” that deals directly with the anxieties of the pandemic. However, now two years into this, the weight of it all is heavy. There have been periods of time when creating has felt impossible. Recently more than ever. While I usually write intensely, I’ve had to give myself permission to not write and just watch movies or go for walks. Some balance between a butt-in-chair mentality and being kind to myself and resting seems essential, right now, for creativity.

LEE MURRAY: See question 1.

For the past six months, I’ve spent a lot of time online in a zoom chat with my New Zealand colleague Grace Bridges, author of the Earthcore series. As well as being invalided to her room since June, Grace lives in Auckland, a city which has spent more than 121 days in lockdown in 2021 and most of that time from August. To help cope with the isolation, Grace and I have been working online together most working days. There really is something in that adage misery loves company. It’s like having a virtual office mate, although her afternoon teas, carried upstairs by her mum and her flatmate, look a lot yummier than mine! I also like to take walks with my darling, soak in our spa pool, read, cuddle my happy-zoomy dog, and watch movies with my grown-up kids (currently at home). Plus, I’m a baby painter of watercolours and, more recently, of acrylics. With the painting, unlike my writing, I try not to put too much pressure on myself to produce something; it’s more about the process than the product. Nevertheless, there is a lot to be said for the arts, and creativity in general, and horror especially, in providing solace in these stressful times.

What advice do you have for female horror writers who are just starting out in the industry?

GABY TRIANA: Make a name for yourself. Fight to be seen. The horror industry is very kind and inclusive, but it still takes a while for readers to get to know you and your work. Submit to anthologies; it’s a good way of introducing yourself in small bites to the community. Don’t be afraid of advocating for yourself if nobody else will. If people ask “what’s a good horror book by a woman author you’ve read lately,” and nobody mentions you, make suggestions but also mention yourself. At the same time, show a love and respect for the other women in horror, because they’re in the same boat as you.

HYSOP MULERO: Two things: Write about that monster that lives in your core. Whatever it is, regardless of the changes it may go through on the page, nothing will serve you better as a writer than to write about that ‘thing’ that has been placed inside of your belly. No one else has the ability to birth it. Further, keep submitting and falling and failing and reaching and grasping. The universe, the industry, and life are going to look at you and say: “Dammit, we have no choice but to help her now.”

EVE HARMS: Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. If someone says something that resonates with you, try it out and see how it feels. All of the rules about the writing process and industry simple don’t apply to every writer and piece. Engage with the community authentically and only work on projects that you are excited about.

NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: Write what you want! Persevere. Publishing is difficult and challenging regardless of the genre.

MELANIE R. ANDERSON: I’m coming at this from an academic/nonfiction writing perspective–and I’m not a veteran in this space–but I’ll take a stab at it. I’m a big believer in how much reading all sorts of stuff can help with writing. And I think working on projects you want to work on is important. It’s really difficult to write about something you’re not curious about and invested in, especially if it’s a long project that you’ll be with for a while. I’m also grateful that I’ve found a few people who are willing to read and comment on drafts for me. Academics sometimes shy away from collaboration, but I’ve enjoyed co-editing and co-authoring. I think having that conversation going opens up creative possibilities.

LISA KRÖGER: Hone your skills. Don’t worry about publishing right away. Just write and write more. Have trusted people read what you write and get feedback. I recommend practicing with short stories (even micro shorts, under 1000 words) to sharpen your skills. Get comfortable with failure, and use each one as a moment to learn. Then, start trying to publish those better stories in the paying markets. It’s competitive, but I always find it helpful to keep me motivated to write more. If I get a rejection, I just try to write a better story the next time. It took me ten years to get a book contract, and it never gets easier…but I can’t imagine doing anything else. Don’t stop, keep going, and don’t give up before success comes.

KATHRYN E. MCGEE: I think it’s the same advice I’d give anyone starting out. Finish what you’re working on. Share it with people you trust. Get feedback. Take classes if you can. Read books on craft. Be open to learning and growing. Be open to changing your work to make it better. Read horror books all the time. Watch horror movies and TV shows. Immerse yourself in the genre so you know what it’s capable of. Perhaps most importantly, get involved in the writing community and support other authors as much as you can!

LEE MURRAY: Here’s the advice I gave in Tim Waggoner’s Bram Stoker Award®-winning book, Writing in the Dark (RDSP):

“Think of it like a Mad Hatter’s tea party. No room at the literature table? Sit down anyway. Take the rabbit hole to the underworld. Conjure shrink-grow monsters, evil queens, the perfidy of time, and lonely, spiralling madness. Choose chaos as a ruling principle. Ask the hard questions. Say what you mean. Talk when you want to. Debate the intricacies of language. Hide the bodies of your friends in teapots. Cut off their heads. Reference Poe. And drink more of the beverage of your choice.”

And that’s part three in our Women in Horror Roundtable! Join us again next week for the final installment of this year’s celebration of Women in Horror Month!

Happy reading, and happy Women in Horror Month!