Weekly Posts from The Horror Tree for 06/24/2022

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Jun 24, 2022, 6:03:27 PMJun 24
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Word of the week: Voracious – Marked by a strong desire for an activity or pursuit.

Hello and happy Friday! This week, I wanted to take a moment to focus on the importance of reading. One of the articles I’ve linked below discusses reading, but I also wanted to give my own perspective here. When I was enrolled in my MFA program, the number of aspiring writers who said they didn’t read startled me. How can you write if you don’t read? Why would you even want to write if you don’t love reading? Maybe this is because of my own particular background, and the fact that I consider myself a reader first and foremost, but if you are a writer, reading is important!

I currently teach creative writing, and one of the exercises my students do throughout the term is to pick two novels in their genre of choice, and over the course of the term, we break down these novels and discuss the plot, characterization, pacing, structure, and a number of other elements. Students create plot maps and character sheets and evaluate choices that the authors of these works made. I cannot tell you how helpful these exercises are. 

Is it a lot of work? Yes.

Is it worth it? Yes. 

In almost every field, we learn from those who have mastered it. Writing should be no different. In order to learn to write better, more engaging stories, we need to read stories and learn how to incorporate these elements into our own craft. This week, I’d encourage you to pick up a novel or short story in your genre and read it, looking for particular choices the author makes. Map the plot or the character arcs. See what you can learn from authors you admire. But, most importantly, pick up a book!

As always, you can find me (Holley Cornetto) lurking on Twitter @HLCornetto. Now, onto the latest articles on writing from around the web.

Horror Tree / Trembling With Fear Update (This section is generally updated by your fearless editor and chief, Stuart C.!):

While we're still working through our website changes, our server did get a little boost so we're hoping this will help on the backend and load times while we finish streamlining things for... THE FUTURE! 

Our latest anthologies are out and I'm super excited: 'Trembling With Fear: Year 5' and 'More Tales From The Tree Volume 4.'

We're starting to close in on 500 subscribers to our Horror Tree YouTube channel. We're open to posting speculative fiction book trailers to the channel IF your trailer describes the book and the book is coming soon or was released in the last month. Reach out if that is something of interest to you. Also, what would you like to see us include in our YouTube going forward? We'd love to know!

Back to Holley!



This week I have articles that fall under the broad category of “General” and one business article. In the general section, the first article I’m sharing is regarding progress. It can be difficult sometimes for us to see just how far we’ve come in terms of writing talent and ability, but the more you practice your writing skills, the better you will become. I’ve witnessed this firsthand with my own writing. I’m able to tackle scenes now that one-year-ago Holley would have avoided writing. The next article is on the importance of reading. I’ve met too many writers who don’t read because they think it might ruin their authorial voice. Writing without reading is like trying to have a conversation by only speaking to someone and not listening to what they have to say. 

Anne Janzer’s blog posted an article on why not rushing the writing matters. If you read this newsletter regularly, you’ll know that I am a big proponent of writing at your own pace, and not getting stressed out by word counts. Our last article this week is on Amazon Ads. I hope some of you find this helpful!


Fox Print Editorial: “Are You Paying Attention to Your Progress?”

How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book: “Reading Voraciously: Why it Matters to Authors” by Mary Carroll Moore

Anne Janzer: “Reasons Not to Rush the Writing” by Anne Janzer


Jane Friedman: “Amazon Ads: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough for Beginning Authors” by Jane Friedman.


Free Fiction Roundup:

This week, I would like to share with you Elana Gomel’s “Alonya and Ivan,” which appeared at Mythaxis. Gomel uses a deft hand to combine worldbuilding and storytelling to great effect in this story. Dixon March’s story, “To Eat the Evening Meal” appeared at Dose of Dread. If you’ve been following this segment, then you know I love this horror flash publication. Dose of Dread has published so many up and coming (and well established) horror authors. I always love to see new stories posted, and this one was no different. March’s story is equal parts grotesque and creepy. This one unnerved me, readers. The details are graphic here, so proceed with caution! If you write horror, you might take a lesson here from March’s depictions. The last story I’m sharing is by none other than Ai Jiang. Ai’s work is amazing as always. Enjoy the use of the collective point-of-view, and her amazing way with words. This story built a rhythm as I read that had me completely entranced. 

Alonya and Ivan” by Elana Gomel at Mythaxis. 

To Eat the Evening Meal” by Dixon March at Dose of Dread.

For Viporis” by Ai Jiang at Flashpoint Science Fiction. 

If you post any writing content during the week and think it would be a good fit for us to feature, do reach out and let us know at con...@horrortree.com

Thank you, Patreons! As always, the site's lifeblood is in your hands, and we truly appreciate your support. 

Looking To Help Horror Tree?
Here are the main things we're looking for:
- Advertising and either Site or Contest sponsorships! 
- Someone to help create videos for social media (we have tools, but not time!) 
- Article writers (articles, interviews, reviews, crowdsource compilations, etc.) 
- Sharing guest posts with us or reaching out for us to be a blog tour host. 
- The obvious one here is also to become one of our Patreons or donate via Ko-Fi!

If you're interested in contributing and think you have something that would help out PLEASE don't shy away from contacting us! (con...@horrortree.com)


We’re Kicking Off July With A Round Up Of The Final Week Of June’s Open Calls!

Hello to all of our #author and #writer friends! July is here and we’ve got the final week of June’s open calls and the first that we’re kicking off the month to share with you. This also means that we’re halfway through the year. This marks a good time to sit back and re-evaluate your writing goals. Are you on track? Are you ahead? Behind? Do you need to step up your writing? Things to consider as time is moving forward my friends! Just as a reminder, the latest two iterations of Trembling With Fear are out! You can check them out at the two links below: You can find Trembling With Fear: Year 5 here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3GK87LQ and Trembling With Fear: More Tales From The Tree: Volume 4 right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3GL25YJ You can check out our latest round-up in the video below! Watch this video on YouTube. The links to the calls that we’re focusing on this week can be found below! Speculative Poetry’s The Speculative Cat Thurston Howl’s Happy Howlidays: A Furry Advent Calendar The Quiet Ones’ October 2022 Issue Mythaxis Magazine’s July 2022 Window Write Hive’s Reclaiming Joy Thanks for joining us all!
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Indie Bookshelf Releases 06/24/2022

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Taking Submissions: Reclaiming Joy (Early Listing)

Submission Window: July 1st, 2022 to August 30th, 2022 Payment: $30 and a contributor’s copy Theme: Reclaiming Joy This year marks the third year of the WriteHive annual conference! Each year we’ve grown in the number of panels and workshops offered, all thanks to the generous time and money donated by our community. A very special part of our conference has also been our anthology. In collaboration with Inked in Gray, we seek to publish powerful, authentic stories from members of our community. And this year is no exception. In deciding on the theme, we wanted to highlight and empower the positive. The last few years have been difficult in a multitude of ways, and we wanted to bring attention to how communities and people have found ways to reclaim some kind of joy or happiness amidst struggles, tragedies, and oppression, for it is those moments that fuel the light in the darkness.   This upcoming anthology will officially open July 1, 2022, and we will be collecting submissions until August 30, 2022. We will be looking for stories that explore characters or groups reclaiming joy after difficulties, whether it be for themselves or others. Submissions will not be accepted prior to July 1, 2022. Theme: Reclaiming Joy There is no limitation to how you incorporate this theme into your work as long as the story falls within the Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy genre. We encourage you to take the theme and show its manifestation beyond the physical, showing us something unique and engaging. Submission Period: July 1, 2022 to August 30, 2022 Submission Cost: Free Word Limit: 8K words per piece, not including addition information below Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi Submission Details: Previously unpublished works You may submit up to 2 pieces, but each work must be a separate submission Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please let...
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Taking Submissions: Alternate History

Deadline: July 11th, 2022 Payments: 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. Theme: Alternate history stories (that can also show how a change in history would have changed today.) Note: Reprints Welcome We are very excited to announce a new call for submissions, which is now open! Please read through the details for submissions carefully before submitting your stories and make sure to include ALTERNATE HISTORY at the beginning in the subject of your email. Alternate History Short Stories This is a topic to really get your imagination into gear. Alternative history is a big topic for movies and real-world events alike, on Netflix, HBO and more. It’s all science fiction, and this new book aims to cover every angle from ancient worlds to distant futures, world wars, steampunk and more. What if the course of history had been changed by a different decision, a different victor, a different invention? Utopian stories and alternative history stories by H.G. Wells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Castello Holford and others will be combined here with new stories submitted by you, exploring the variety and delight of alternative history to reimagine the world around us – some examples just to give you an idea: What if the Ancient Egyptians had conquered Rome? What if World War II had been won by the loser, not the victors? What if women had ruled the world for 4,000 years not men? The options are limitless for tales of true originality and with a vivid sense of realism… Submissions to 20...@flametreepublishing.com Terms: Multiple submissions are fine. Simultaneous submissions are fine but you must have the right to license your story in an anthology. For accepted stories we pay Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates of 8 cents/6 pence per word for original...
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Epeolatry Book Review: We Can Never Leave This Place by Eric LaRocca

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Dead Headspace Is Offering Free Ad Space To The LGBTQ+ Community

The horror podcast Dead Headspace is reaching out to try and raise up voices within our community. For those unfamiliar with the podcast, Dead Headspace podcast spotlights creatives in the Horror/Dark Fiction/True Crime genres. It is hosted by Patrick R McDonough and Brennan LaFaro. Dead Headspace wants to help as many folks in the LGBTQ+ community as possible! They’re offering free ad space (audio version only, video version currently does not run ads) on their podcast for creators in that community, and here are the steps how you can do just that. 1) Ad must be a finished version (we strongly recommend incorporating music in the background to liven it up. 2) Mp3 format only 3) Must be 30-45 seconds long. Please do not exceed 45 seconds. 4) Send to deadheadsp...@gmail.com, in the header, “Podcast Ad – *your name*” and in the body of the email, a brief description of the ad. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. Friendly reminders: Content does not have to focus on a book, so long as it is a product with a heavy focus on Horror, Crime, or Dark fiction. Depending on the amount of people that submit, your ad may run for a single episode or up to dozens (we won’t know until we know). We will contact you when your ad is going up, just be patient with us. This offer will be available from 6/24/2022 – 7/24/2022 We’re looking forward to hearing from all of you!
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Taking Submissions: New Myths Second 2022 Window

Deadline: July 31st, 2022 Payment: 1.5 cents/word with a minimum payment of $30 for all submissions. Book reviews for $30. Art for $60. Theme: Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading past issues is the best way to know if your submission is a good fit for NewMyths.com. We like to balance each quarterly issue between science fiction and fantasy, dark and light, serious and humorous, hard and soft science fiction, and longer and shorter works. Our readers are not fixated on a single style or tone or genre, but prefer a quality sample of the field. Think tapas or dim sum. Submission Period New Myths considers submissions between January 1-February 28 and June 1-July 31. Artwork, requests for book reviews, and other correspondence can be submitted at any time. Payment Payment is upon publication. NewMyths.com currently pays 1.5 cents/word with a minimum payment of $30 for all submissions, fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We purchase book reviews for $30. We purchase art for $60. Rights NewMyths.com acquires first publication rights only (we are not interested in stories that have already been published elsewhere). Authors retain their copyright on all works after first publication on the NewMyths.com website. By submitting content to NewMyths.com you agree that, should the content be accepted, you grant NewMyths.com a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable right and license to digitally archive and display the content (aka Digital Archive Rights). In the case that we later desire to include your content in any other format (e.g. print, anthology, etc.), those rights will be separately negotiated at that time. Simultaneous Submissions: No problem. We ask that you please indicate in your submission that your story is a simultaneous submission, and notify us as soon as possible if it has been accepted by another publication. Response Responses to your submissions may...
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Taking Submissions: Hidden Realms

Deadline: July 11th, 2022 Payment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. Theme: A setting in an area that is normally hidden from regular people. Note: Reprints Welcome We’re delighted to let you know this new call for submissions is open! Please read through submission details carefully before sending us your stories and ensure you include HIDDEN REALMS first in the subject of your email. Hidden Realms Short Stories Open your mind to contemplate the ways in which places can be hidden – tucked away in remote corners of the world, buried underground, existing on another physical plane or a different dimension in time or on a quantum level, on another planet, accessible only to those with the secret knowledge, or even in plain sight under our noses… They may be inhabited by beings just like you and me, or creatures utterly different to us. Hidden Realms Short Stories will delve into the secret corridors, the hidden doors at the end of the alley, the hole in the trunk of an ancient oak. Your new submissions will sit alongside classic tales from many traditions, including classic literature (from Alice in Wonderland to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) or even tales of the hidden city of Harar in Ethiopia, exploring the adventures of hidden places, secret gardens, and shadow lands in forests and mountains, in the swamps and wild places of our world, and beyond. Submissions to shorts...@flametreepublishing.com Terms: Multiple submissions are fine. Simultaneous submissions are fine but you must have the right to license your story in an anthology. For accepted stories we pay Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates of 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. We will aim to read each story and confirm its status within...
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Taking Submissions: The Quiet Ones October 2022 issue (Early Listing)

  Submission Window: July 15th, 2022 – August 31st, 2022 Payment: $25 Theme: Nocturnal Animals The Quiet Ones is a tri-annual e-zine that centers LGBTQIAP+ and women’s voices in the subgenres of quiet horror and intimate dystopian fiction, both for YA and Adult audiences. New installments of The Quiet Ones are released on the last Thursdays of October, February, and June, and are available for download on our website. We are exploring other avenues for distribution and will update accordingly as The Quiet Ones becomes available by other means.   “Quiet Horror” applies to atmospheric, unsettling stories that rely more on mood and rhythm than on shock and gore. Examples of quiet horror include: classic ghost stories and shorts like The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, modern moody masterworks like The Walls Around Us by: Nova Ren Suma, and films such as The Exorcist III or Pontypool where so much of the horror is left to the viewer to imagine as opposed to horror films that bombard their audience with scenes of excessive gore and jump scares. “Intimate Dystopia” is all about scale. We’re looking to zoom that lens in – show us the personal, everyday impact of living under totalitarian regimes, or heavily restricted environments – anything from haunted houses to run-down clubs or playgrounds – anywhere upon which the larger trappings of dystopian visions apply. For post-apocalyptic stories, give us small, contained spaces which explore life in the ruined world. Examples of intimate dystopia include: Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler, Wool by Hugh Howey, and films such as Quarantine (or [Rec]), or Tale of A Vampire. Accepting: Short Stories up to 3000 Words Flash and Micro Fiction up to 1000 Words Poetry Author Compensation: $25.00 (USD) per piece Rights: We request first worldwide and digital rights for four months...
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What Are Public Domain Characters?

Public domain characters are any characters that are not currently copyrighted. This includes characters from works that have expired, been abandoned, or never been copyrighted in the first place. Characters that are in the public domain may be used for any purpose without permission from the copyright holder. This includes being used in works of fiction, being drawn on T-shirts, and being used in digital media. Introduction: what are public domain characters? Public domain characters are those that are free for anyone to use in their writing. They can be used for any purpose, including commercial projects. There are a number of public domain characters available, and writers can find them online or in books. When using public domain characters, it’s important to be sure that they are free for use. Some authors may own the copyright to a particular character and not allow others to use them without permission. How do you know if a character is in the public domain? When an author creates a character for their writing, they automatically own the copyright to that character. However, there are some instances where a character can become part of the public domain. In order to determine if a character is in the public domain, you need to look at when the work was created and when the copyright expires. For characters that were created before 1923, the copyright has expired, and they are part of the public domain. For characters that were created after 1923, you need to check if the author has assigned the copyright to someone else or if it’s been registered with the US Copyright office. If it hasn’t been registered, then it’s part of the public domain. There are also a few exceptions where a character can be in the public domain even if...
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Taking Submissions: Happy Howlidays: A Furry Advent Calendar

  Deadline: September 8th, 2022 Payment: $10 USD and a contributors copy Theme: Flash furry stories with a holiday theme Deadline: September 8th, 2022 Word count: Up to 1,000 words; a little above and a little below will be acceptable, but remember we are looking for flash fiction. If your story is excessively longer than 1,000 words it is likely to be rejected. You may send up to three stories, but we will only be accepting one per author. Payment: Authors will receive $10 USD and a free contributors copy of the final book. Tentative release date: late November, 2022 Advent calendars. From the beginning of December to the night before Christmas, each door on the advent calendar brings a new treat for you, whether chocolates or some cute trinkets. For this flash-fiction anthology, we are looking for authors who can surprise us with bite-sized treats; one for every day, from the beginning of that special season, till the night before Christmas. Just like you can find different kinds of treats in advent calendars, this anthology is open to any genre and any holiday during the winter season. The stories all need to be furry in nature. We are looking for stories that really capture the spirit of the holidays in 1,000 words or less. We encourage you to think outside the box and show us different takes on these holidays. Sweet, scary, sexy, or serious; we want to see them all and more. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays in December, so not all of our submissions need to be about one certain holiday. Eligible holidays include, but are not limited to: Hannukah Christmas (Day or Eve) Boxing Day Kwanzaa Winter Solstice ​ Things we will NOT accept: Racism, sexism, or discrimination presented in a positive light. Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age...
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Taking Submissions: Mythaxis July 2022 Submission Period (Early Listing)

Submission Window: July 23rd-30th, 2022 Payment: $20 Theme: Science fiction and fantasy Established in 2008 by Gil Williamson, Mythaxis has always been focused on the fiction, with as little distraction as possible – no ads, no clutter, just words on the page to transport you somewhere else. Mythaxis is published four times a year, and is open to submissions within the following periods: January 23rd-30th April 23th-30th July 23rd-30th October 23rd-30th Submissions received outside of these dates will unfortunately be lost and therefore not responded to. When open, we seek and offer the following: Length: 1,000-7,500 words. This is a firm limit. Generally speaking, the further a story goes beyond 5,000 words the more it will need to impress, but the door is not shut in advance. Compensation: $20 on acceptance and return of contract. Payment via PayPal only. If you do not receive an acknowledgment within 24 hours of submission, please get in touch. We aim to accept or reject within 14 days of acknowledgment, but rl (real life) and rl (reading load) can get in the way. If you do not hear from us after 30 days, feel free to query. We require First Print and Digital rights with a six month period of exclusivity from the date of publication. We also ask permission to potentially include accepted pieces in future anthologies, in event of which an additional full payment and digital copy will be offered in compensation. All other rights remain entirely with the author. Simultaneous submissions are not only accepted, they are encouraged. Please tell us if you are, and we merely ask that you notify us of acceptance at another market as soon as possible. In the event that we accept first we would expect a positive confirmation, so we recommend sim-subbing to markets of equivalent status –...
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Epeolatry Book Review: Below by Laurel Hightower

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Taking Submissions: The Quarterly Journal – Let’s Get Weird

Deadline: August 31st, 2022 Payment: $5 Theme: Let’s Get Weird A Literary Journal with Some Art and Analysis Thrown in for Good Measure As Quarter Press continues to grow, we’re adding another coin to our pocketful of change. We want to offer a space for shorter works to mingle with art and other bits of nonsense, so we bring you The Quarter(ly): It just makes cents. Each issue will be themed; however, we will consider any interpretation of said themes. 2022’s Themes and Deadlines: Other Voices (NOW AVAILABLE!) Myths, Fables, and Folklore (June 30) Let’s Get Weird (Aug. 31) Ends (Nov. 30) What’ve you got to show us? Stories and / or Poems For Stories: We’re open to micro works all the way up to 10,000 words. Just keep two things in mind: We want to be engaged and the submission must be completed (no pitches, please!) For Poems: We’d love to see up to five poems from you, but you can always just send one, too. Art As long as it has some tie to the current issue’s theme, we’re open to see any art created in any medium at any time. Just know that it will need to “work in print” and—might—be presented in black and white. Graphic Stories Show us your comic strips or complete short works; we’d love to see them all! Please try to keep submissions to 20 pages or less. Feel free to also send a collection of comic strips / one shot comics, as well. (Please note that our publication size / dimensions might change between issues. Our “Norm” is 6×9”). These must be COMPLETE works. Analysis / Interviews / Reviews As long as it is tied to the theme in some way, we’d love to see any and all media analysis (film,...
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Taking Submissions: The Other Stories #89: Strange Weather

Deadline: January 1st, 2022 Payment: 15GBP Theme: Strange Weather If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 150k+ monthly listeners, then we want your stories! If accepted, we’ll get our fantastic narration team to lend their voices, our editor will sprinkle some magic pixie dust on the track, and you could have your story heard by thousands of listeners each week. (Vol 89.) Strange Weather; deadline 1st January 2023 SUBMIT YOUR STORIES USING THIS FORM If this form isn’t working, please email your submission to kezthe...@gmail.com as a last resort. Title your email with the following syntax: “SUBMISSION | STORY TITLE | THEME | WORDCOUNT”  (e.g. SUBMISSION | THE MARTIAN | SPACE | 1,982) Submission Guidelines • Stories must be 2,000 (10% tolerance +/-) • Save stories in a Word document – Times New Roman font, size 12 • Include a 1-2 sentence log line for your story at the end of the document • Ensure that your name and an email address are somewhere on the document • Stories must fit an upcoming theme • By submitting your story to us, you are confirming that you are the original creator of the story • We will consider entrants whose work has been entered and published elsewhere, however please ensure you state where and when your story has been used elsewhere on the document • You will be allowed to place one call-to-action for your own work at the end of the episode. Be sure to include this at the end of your document, underneath the log line • Payment per accepted story is 15GBP • 2x entries per theme permitted   When will I hear if my story has been accepted or not? We carefully review every single submission that comes through our door....
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