About joshsworstnightmare

Author Josh Schlossberg surveys the dark landscape of today's horror fiction.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! The Jewish Book of Horror

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Horror is part of the human condition, but few peoples across the ages know horror quite like the Jews.

From slavery in Egypt, to the Holocaust, to the crippling neuroses brought on by overbearing mothers, the Chosen People have not only endured hell on Earth, they’ve transcended it to become some of the most influential—and feared—people on the planet.

THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR is an anthology of horror fiction focusing on the culture, history, and folklore of the Jewish people, to be published on the first night of Hannukah, 2021.  

Submissions must tie into the Jewish people or Judaism in some way, shape, or form. While we intend to publish a handful of stories about the Golem and dybbukim, Biblical times (10 Plagues!), and persecution across Europe, we also encourage authors to expand their horizons of what Jewish horror can be, and certainly not shy away from irreverence and/or humor.

THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR will be published by Denver Horror Collective (publishers of Terror at 5280’, Denver Post bestseller and 2020 Best Book Award winner for anthology and finalist for horror & the newly-released Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo), and edited by Josh Schlossberg, biological horror author and lead editor of Terror at 5280’.

Please take a moment to read the submission information below to ensure your story content and format fall within guidelines.

While we of course encourage Jewish authors to submit, this open call is open to all authors, everywhere. 

DEADLINE: Lag B’Omer, April 30, 2021, midnight. 

WORD COUNT: 3,000-7,500 words (please query for stories outside this range).

PAYMENT: $30 for the first 3,000 words, then a 1/2 cent per word up to 7,500 words + print contributor’s copy.

REPRINTS: No, thank you.

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Okay, but please let us know immediately if you sell your story elsewhere. We intend to have all acceptances emails out by June 1. 

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: No, thank you (if you have more than one idea, you’re welcome to query as to which concept we’d be most interested in).

FORMAT:

-Use the Shunn format (https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/). 

-12-point Times New Roman, Courier New, or Arial font.

-Use paragraph formatting for paragraph indents. Please do not manually tab or space in.

SUBMISSION:

-Submit as an attachment—not in the body of the email—in DOC, DOCX, or RTF format.

-Include “Submission,” “Story Title,” “Author Name,” and “Word Count” to nearest 100 words in the subject line (SUBMISSION: Dreidel of Death by Haim Schitzblatt, 3,300 words).

-In the body of the e-mail, please include your connection to Judaism or the Jewish people, a bio up to 250 words, and information about any published works.

-E-mail submissions to submissions@denverhorror.com 

KEY NOTES:

-No pedophilia.

-No rape in a positive light.

-Graphic scenes should be used to move the story, scene, or character forward, and not be included just for shock value.

VIRTUAL FEAST of CONSUMED: TALES INSPIRED BY THE WENDIGO | Jan. 17 | Zoom

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Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were. From desolate snowy mountains and apocalyptic wastelands to New York’s sex clubs and virtual encounters, Denver Horror Collective brings you, dear reader, visions of horror inspired by the Wendigo.

On Sunday, January 17 at 6 p.m. (MT), Denver Horror Collective hosts a virtual feast via Zoom for their newly published horror fiction anthology, CONSUMED: TALES INSPIRED BY THE WENDIGO, with free tickets available through EVENTBRITE.

Headliners Steve Rasnic Tem (winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, and British Fantasy Awards) and Dana Fredsti (author of the Plague Town trilogy), along with Colorado dark scribes P.L. McMillan and Christophe Maso, will read excerpts from their CONSUMED stories set to chilling video and unnerving musical backgrounds.

Colorado-based CONSUMED contributors J.T. Evans, Ian Neligh, Angela Sylvaine, K.D. Webster and Joy Yehle, as well as Ross Baxter, R. Michael Burns, Elana Gomel, Michael Gore, and Amanda Headlee, will reveal what inspired them to write their stories and answer some fun—and disturbing—questions about consumption…and being consumed.

The hour-long event will be hosted by the Denver Horror Collective Plague Doctor.

More information about CONSUMED: TALES INSPIRED BY THE WENDIGO and Denver Horror Collective can be found at DenverHorror.com.

CONSUMED: TALES INSPIRED BY THE WENDIGO Now Available!

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Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were. From desolate snowy mountains and apocalyptic wastelands to New York’s sex clubs and virtual encounters, Denver Horror Collective brings you, dear reader, visions of horror inspired by the Wendigo.

On the heels of the success of its Denver Post best-selling, award-winning, and critically acclaimed Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective has released another horror fiction anthology, available now!

CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo contains stories based on the Wendigo, a part-human monster or possessing spirit that instigates acts of murder, insatiable greed, and cannibalism, originating in the oral tradition of First Nations Algonquian tribes. 

The brainchild of master editors Hollie & Henry Snider (formerly of Strigidae Publishing), CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo features Wrath James White (author of Succulent PreyEveryone Dies Famous in a Small Town, and Population Zero), Steve Rasnic Tem (author of UboDeadfall Hotel, and over 350 short stories), Dana Fredsti (author of The Spawn of LilithBlood Ink, and the Plague Town trilogy), Owl Goingback (author of CrotaDarker than Night, and Coyote Rage), and many more seasoned and emerging horror authors.

In an effort to help communities struggling the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 percent of net profits will go towards Southern Ute Indian Tribe coronavirus relief.

E-book available through Nook and Kindle and print edition available through Powell’sBarnes and NobleAmazon, and from your local bookstore through Indiebound.

Terror at 5280′ Audiobook Available Now!

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s (Denver Post bestselling, winner of the Fiction Anthology category & finalist for Horror Fiction in The 2020 Best Book Awards from American Book Fest) local horror fiction anthology featuring 22 dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains penned exclusively by local authors (including Stephen Graham Jones, Carter Wilson, and others).

Audiobook out now via Audible

TERROR AT 5280′ Wins 2020 Best Book Award for Fiction Anthology!

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Denver Horror Collective’s first anthology, Terror at 5280′, has won the Fiction Anthology category in The 2020 Best Book Awards from American Book Fest.

Terror at 5280′ was also a finalist for the Horror Fiction category.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible! Pick up your copy of Terror at 5280′ here.

Unleashing the Terror at 5280′ Audiobook!

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280’, a #2 Denver Post bestselling & award-winning local horror fiction anthology featuring 22 dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains penned exclusively by local authors (including Stephen Graham Jones, Carter Wilson, and others).

Audiobook available SOON via Audible on Amazon.com, narrated by Kendra Lords. Sign up for The Epitaph newsletter for info on its release!

Paperback available NOW via Indiebound.org, Powells.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and select bookstores.

E-book available NOW for Kindle and Nook.

CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo emerging on Black Friday!

Hunger. Insatiable hunger. Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were.

On the heels of the success of its Denver Post best-selling and critically acclaimed Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective is spawning another horror fiction anthology!

CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo will contain stories based on the Wendigo, a part-human monster or possessing spirit that instigates acts of murder, insatiable greed, and cannibalism, originating in the oral tradition of First Nations Algonquian tribes. 

The brainchild of master editors Hollie & Henry Snider (formerly of Strigidae Publishing), CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo will feature Wrath James White (author of Succulent PreyEveryone Dies Famous in a Small Town, and Population Zero), Steve Rasnic Tem (author of UboDeadfall Hotel, and over 350 short stories), Dana Fredsti (author of The Spawn of LilithBlood Ink, and the Plague Town trilogy), Owl Goingback (author of CrotaDarker than Night, and Coyote Rage), and many more seasoned and emerging horror authors.

In an effort to help communities struggling the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 percent of net profits will go towards Southern Ute Indian Tribe coronavirus relief.

The 4th Circle: Interview with Christophe Maso

-Interview by Desi D

  1. What’s your favorite line in a book/movie? And why?

“Logic is the last refuge of a coward.” – Clive Barker, Books of Blood Vol. 3.

This isn’t true in all things; in fact, sometimes the exact opposite is true. But I absolutely believe this is true in art, and whether spoken or written or acted out, fiction is art. First, last, and always. A good fiction story and the world in which it unfolds follows logic to the extent that it makes sense, because as a writer, it’s always my job to wonder, “If this is true, then what else is true?” But good art often invites one to step into it and leave one’s comfort zone behind.

The ancient Greeks revered logos, but they recognized its limits, and that there’s a place in the human experience for pathos, as well. Brittle minds that fear the question “What if?” always keep logic close at hand as the ultimate emergency escape, because logic doesn’t dare you to step into the unknown. Logic recognizes only what can be established or proven, and essentially dismisses everything else.

  1. As a writer, how would you describe your muse? And your process?

I’m compelled to write. I’d describe my muse as a witch with a gift of magic, but it’s a gift that can’t be refused, and her price is that the magic gets written about. And she doesn’t mind using baneful magic to get her way.

Before too long, a story starts to bubble up from my unconscious. It’s gradual at first, often beginning with just a single element, such as a person experiencing something, or a place and time, or a simple object. Then larger chunks start coming into view–characters, interactions, events, decisions, the general setting. Research into specific topics fills in blanks, makes the story more immersive, and (for me, at least) fires the imagination even further. Eventually I have to start writing. If I don’t, the story becomes all I can think about, my mood starts to spiral, and my sleep patterns start going haywire. The muse won’t be denied.

Fortunately, it usually doesn’t come to that. I don’t write hard outlines; that’s way too rigid. “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”, as the saying goes, and along the same lines, if I wanted to make my muse laugh, I’d try to show her an exact blueprint of the story. The final percentage of the story is always created as it’s being written. But by the time I’m ready to write, I do have a soft, malleable outline in my head, and I’ll write it out in a few paragraphs. That way, I can see the general timeline, and how it naturally breaks down into scenes and chapters.

Unlike some writers, I prefer to edit a bit as I write, rather than trying to vomit the whole tale out without looking back first. But then when the whole tale’s written, the serious editing begins. I read it aloud, and I reword, add, and delete as I go. I pass through that cycle several times at least, always remembering the famous advice to “murder your darlings,” until I’ve trimmed out about twenty percent of the first draft, and the story reads smoothly.

  1. What author has been your biggest inspiration to write? And why?

There have been several, but the earliest was probably Ray Bradbury. I was exposed to him in grade school, when one of my teachers read us parts of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451. I instantly loved his poetic, lyrical style, full of simile and metaphor and image, and how he used speculative elements to get you to think about some thought-provoking, hard-hitting questions. Such as, “What does it mean to be human?”, and “When does fear and so-called ‘law and order’ undermine our humanity and work against us?” Then I read Something Wicked This Way Comes on my own–my first exposure to dark fantasy–and it blew me away. I loved spooky stuff as a kid (and still do)–ghost stories, monster movies, Halloween–and that one story was the tipping point that made me realize I wanted to create stories of my own in a similarly creepy, fantastical vein.

Years later, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker super-charged that inspiration. One quote of Barker’s on writing resonates very powerfully with me, “There must inevitably be unholy business here, just as there will be sacred, but I cannot guarantee to tell you–or even sometimes to know–which is which…All I want now is the time to enchant you.”

  1. What is it about the art of storytelling that excites you? And what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?

As a creator and teller of stories, you’re both rock composer and rock star. You get to create and populate an alternate universe, and then you get to put on a show, as the guide of an immersive tour through that universe. The power of the word has a freedom unlike any other in art–it’s like having a magic carpet that can take the reader anywhere in the space and time of your universe, and can shrink to the microscopic, or expand to the cosmic. Unlike a camera (real or virtual), it’s not limited to the visual and audial. It can speak to all six senses, because it can make the reader telepathic, empathic, and clairvoyant; it can take the reader right into the hearts and minds of characters, both individual and collective. It can foreshadow, hindshadow, or sideshadow.

To be deemed by fans and readers as even minimally worthy of wielding that kind of power is very exciting. To enchant, to excite, to mystify, to terrify, to inform, to amuse, to provoke thought, and to connect with fellow human beings by spinning yarns that ring true and carry meaning for them, there are very few things that carry more meaning for me.

My next story is titled “Feast of the Senses,” and will be included in Denver Horror Collective’s upcoming anthology, Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo.

Tickets for All Hallows Improv Scarytelling on Oct. 25

Halloween is a sacred time for dark fiction readers and writers alike. On Sunday, October 25 at 7 p.m. (MT), Denver Horror Collective is proud to present a first-of-its-kind, improvisational horror storytelling event via Zoom sure to spook and scar anyone misfortunate enough to attend.

Thriller master Carter Wilson (author of The Dead Girl in 2A and Mister Tender’s Girl) and a formidable roster of nine seasoned and emerging Colorado horror writers will exhibit their dark arts by spinning three original horror tales on the spot, round-robin style, while you watch and listen from the (relative) safety of your home.

All Hallows Improv Scarytelling is a fundraiser for the November publication of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo, Denver Horror Collective’s second horror fiction anthology featuring Wrath James White, Dana Fredsti, Owl Goingback, Steve Tem, and others, and edited by Hollie & Henry Snider.

Early bird general admission tickets are on sale via Eventbrite for $5 until October 24 when the price goes up to $10. All attendees get the chance to kick off the stories using their very own prompts.

Dark Wisdom Webinar #6 – LGBTQ HORROR FICTION (with Bobby Crew)

Dark Wisdom Webinar #6 – LGBTQ HORROR FICTION (with Bobby Crew)

Join author and indie publisher Bobby Crew, as we explore themes in LGBTQ horror fiction from historic to modern and learn how some LGBTQ authors naturally gravitated to the horror genre.

Bobby Crew is author of Dining with Devils, a collection of 7 stories that explores the hell you create when you get too close to your demons. He’s also starting a small publishing press that focuses primarily on LGBTQ horror.

Get tickets & Zoom link through Eventbrite ($5 or free for DHC members) or email submissions@denverhorror.com for more info.