Open Call! CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo

Hunger.

Insatiable hunger.

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

Denver Horror Collective is looking for stories inspired by the Wendigo. The point of view could be a person becoming the Wendigo, from a Wendigo, pursued by a Wendigo, or a witness to a Wendigo-esque situation unfolding.

Submissions may cover cannibalism, lust, plague, war, anxiety, greed, power, or any topic a person or animal could become obsessed with. Read the Wiki on the Wendigo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendigo, then feel free to think outside the box and let your imagination run wild.

Submissions do not have to have characters turn into a literal Wendigo. Character(s) must go through some sort of a transformation due to the “hunger.” You do not have to use the term Wendigo. We just ask that authors use the core concept of the Wendigo as inspiration for their story.

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

This open call is open to all authors, everywhere.

DEADLINE: August 15, midnight

WORD COUNT: 3,000-12,000 words (lower limit firm, query for longer)

PAYMENT: $20 for the first 3,000 words, then a 1/2 cent per word + print contributor’s copy

REPRINTS: No

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: No

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

FORMAT:
-Use the Shunn format ( https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/ ) with the following caveats:
-12-point Times New Roman, Courier New, or Arial font
-Use paragraph formatting for paragraph indents. Do not manually tab or space in.
-No headers, footers, or page numbers

SUBMISSION:
-Submit in DOC, DOCX, or RTF format
-Submit as an attachment, not in the body of the email.
-Include “Submission,” “Story Title,” “Author Name,” and “Word Count” to nearest 100 words in the subject line. (EX: Submission Last Plate by Jane Doe 3,300 words)
-The body of the e-mail should include an introduction, any publication information you would like to include, and a bio up to 250 words.
-E-mail submissions to dhcanthology@gmail.com

KEY NOTES:
-First or third person only
-Past-tense only
-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.
-Accepted submissions will be hand edited and uploaded to Dropbox in PDF format for the author to access.

TIPS
-Do not capitalize entire words in dialogue or to show excitement/yelling. Let your description and/or punctuation do the work for you.
-Ellipses signify an extended pause or trailing off. Em dashes signify interruption.
-If you’re unsure, ask questions. Please place the words “Submission Question” in your email subject line and query dhcanthology@gmail.com.

The 4th Circle: Interview with Joy Yehle

DHC active member Joy Yehle
  1. What’s your favorite line in a book/movie? And why?

“There’s little good in sedentary small towns. Mostly indifference spiced with an occasional vapid evil–or worse, a conscious one.”
– Stephen King, Salem’s Lot.

I like to imagine the dark in everyday situations and in the unexpected evil right next door. To me, nothing is scarier than an evil that can walk around in the light, nowhere is safe. Stephen King eloquently lays that out here. Small, quiet towns are supposed to be safe, but what if they’re not?

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

I think my muse is a bizarre crossbreed of an evil sorceress, a shaman, a serial killer, a terrified five-year-old, a vampire hunter, a scientist, and a Sunday school teacher. Not complicated at all!

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

My great uncle Will C. Minor was a naturalist and author. We visited him over many summers, and I saw how he created these amazing things to share with his words and a typewriter. In my eyes, he was the original Indiana Jones and I wanted to be just like him. I love the outdoors and do my best writing there, however my writing took a much darker turn than wildlife stories.

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

I love creating a whole world out of nothing. I feel truly free when I let my imagination run wild across the page. My most terrifying and exciting thing, however, is watching the face of a person who reads my stuff and hits that ‘What?!’ moment of scare!

I’m working on two novels and a couple of short stories right now. One novel is a dystopian YA that reality has possibly derailed! The other novel is inspired by a spooky childhood story I was told about a dark entity that feeds on despair titled Malvado, I hope to have this one ready for release by the end of the year.

Dark Wisdom Webinar [May 18]: What Lies Beneath: Redefining Horror (with Shannon Lawrence)

What Lies Beneath: Redefining Horror (with Shannon Lawrence)

On the surface, horror is seen by those who don’t understand it (and even many of those who think they do) as jump scares and gore, but it’s a lot deeper than that. What types of horror are there? Where can readers find unexpected horror? How is horror defined, both loosely and specifically? The world of horror is full of surprises if you widen your horizons

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in over forty anthologies and magazines, and her two solo horror short story collections, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations and Bruised Souls & Other Torments are available from online retailers. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at www.thewarriormuse.com.

Email submissions [at] denverhorror [dot] com to reserve your slot today ($5 via PayPal or free for Denver Horror Collective members)!

Denver Horror Collective Pandemic Fund

DENVER HORROR COLLECTIVE PANDEMIC FUND

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has tragically taken the lives of tens of thousands of people across the globe and infected many more. Even among those of us who remain healthy, many have lost significant income or even their jobs.

While people everywhere are struggling, often the most effective way to alleviate suffering is to act locally. With this in mind, Denver Horror Collective has launched the DHC Pandemic Fund to provide a tiny bit of much-needed cash flow to our greater community of Colorado dark fiction writers.

Through GoFundMe we hope to raise at least $1,666 to disburse in the form of seven separate mini-grants—$666, $500, and five $100—to writers in need (names of applicants will be kept private).

Those kind and generous enough to contribute to the cause will be rewarded with signed copies of the works of some of our Colorado horror masters—including Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, Carter Wilson, and Graeme Davis—as well as hard- covers, paperbacks, or e-books from local greats Bobby Crew, Lanie Goodell, Ian Neligh, Gary Robbe, Josh Schlossberg, Warren Hammond & Joshua Viola, Joy Yehle, and Denver Horror Collective (MORE INFO ON GIFTS BELOW).

So, if you’re able, please consider digging deep into your pockets to help out your local horror writing community…just be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

Sincerely,
Denver Horror Collective


***YOUR CHOICE OF THE FOLLOWING BOOKS FROM COLORADO HORROR AUTHORS IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR GENEROUS DONATION***



$100

Signed paperback of UGLY BEHAVIOR  by Steve Rasnic Tem     

Signed paperback of  MONGRELS  by Stephen Graham Jones

Signed paperback of FINAL CROSSING  by Carter Wilson

 Signed hardcover of MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE  by Graeme Davis

Signed hardcover of COLONIAL HORRORS  by Graeme Davis

 
$35

Signed paperback of DREAD  by Joy Yehle

Signed paperback of MADNESS MURDER AND MAYHEM IN THE COLORADO ROCKIES by Ian Neligh

Signed paperback of LUNAE LUMEN  by Lanie Goodell

Signed paperback of DINING WITH DEVILS  by Bobby Crew

 

$25

Signed BROADSWORDS AND BLASTERS Issue 11  featuring Gary Robbe’s short story “A Touch of Shade”

Paperback of DENVER MOON  by Warren Hammond & Joshua Viola 

 

$20

E-book of TERROR AT 5280‘  by Denver Horror Collective

 

$10

E-book of the short story, HANDGINA , by Josh Schlossberg

Dark Wisdom Webinar [April 25]: Who Do I Have to #@&% to Get My Horror Story Published? (with Henry Snider)

Are you a horror or dark fiction writer looking to sell your short stories, find an agent or traditional publisher for your novel, or market your self-published work? Or maybe you just want to enhance your creepy craft while deepening your understanding of this popular and growing genre?

If so, then DARK WISDOM—Denver Horror Collective’s monthly webinar series—is for you! For only $5 per session (free for Denver Horror Collective members), you can peek inside the disturbed minds of Colorado’s horror fiction masters to level up your writing, your sales…and your nightmares. 

April 25, 2020 @ 4pm (MT): Who Do I Have to #@&% to Get My Horror Story Published? (with Henry Snider) 

If you’re struggling to find reputable, paying markets for your horror short fiction, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, Henry Snider is here to help. A former horror publisher and editor with an 82% success rate on short story sales in 2020 alone (9 sales out of 11 submissions), Henry knows the business and craft as well as anyone, and he’s here to share his experience and knowledge with you.

In this exclusive 2-hour Zoom webinar, Henry will discuss: 

-Honing your craft
-Creating your brand
-The writing business
-And much, much more!

For over two decades, Henry Snider has worked for multiple publishing houses, serving as acquisitions editor, content editor, layout artist, cover artist, website designer, marketing For over two decades, Henry Snider has worked for multiple publishing houses, serving as acquisitions editor, content editor, layout artist, cover artist, website designer, marketing director, and, on occasion, salesman. He and his wife – fellow author and editor Hollie Snider – opened a genre fiction publishing house (Strigidae Publishing) and enjoyed a thriving business until health issues forced its closure. Snider has lectured at local and national conventions. His public recognition includes both Writers Digest and Predators and Editors. On the homefront, he’s co-founded and helped maintain two writing organizations (Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group est. 1996 to help make good writers better, & Fiction Foundry est. 2012 focusing of publication preparation). In his spare time, he’s offered contests to local high schools and taught introductory creative writing class to juvenile offenders.

Email submissions [at] denverhorror [dot] com to reserve your slot today ($5 via PayPal or free for Denver Horror Collective members)!

The 4th Circle: Interview with Sean Murphy

DHC Active Member, Sean Murphy
  1. Name one horror author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.

I admire Stephen King. I read On Writing and that seemed to speak to me. I found inspiration in it and in his story.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot and why?

I like writing horror based in medicine and science, so I’m going with a plague doctor (current situation notwithstanding). I like the gothic look of a traditional doctor. Plus, they are wicked creepy!

  1. Name six of your favorite horror movies or books. Elaborate on any of them.

Books: It – Scared the crap out of me and I read it as an adult. Dracula – Classic story and character. Love it! Illustrated Man – Not traditional horror, but still a great and creepy story.

Movies: The Thing – Best. Movie. Ever. Salem’s Lot – First horror movie I watched. It holds a special place in my heart. Paranormal Activity – The movie I used to introduce horror to my boys, who were 9 and 7 at the time. We watched it as a family, and they still remember it and the nightmares.

4. What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?

I get excited by new ideas and new spins on current stories. I love trying new things and bringing horror elements to genres that may not be typical horror setting; they don’t always work, but it’s worth a shot! I have two more short stories I’m working on, a WWII story and another short. I’m trying to get a novel idea to form, but it’s a slow road.

“I Started the Fire” by Denver Fallux

“I started the fire.”

A voice broke the silence that filled the room.

Startled, Em knocked over her sealed Nalgene water bottle, which clattered loudly to the floor. Not bothering to pick it up, she rose from her chair, struggling to keep from cursing at the sudden interruption.

“Who’s in here?” she asked. “What fire?”

Quickly, she walked around her desk, meaning to catch whichever boy had snuck downstairs past dorm time. Nobody. The office wasn’t nearly big enough to hide in, it was barely more than a closet stuffed with two desks. Perplexed, Em stepped from the small office and into the large cafeteria in which it was located.

The overhead lights, ancient as they were, hummed steadily overhead. Nobody here either. The tables were folded and stored to the side of the wall on the far end of the room opposite her office with the plastic chairs stacked neatly beside them. The cafeteria was big enough to hold the entire facility, between the staff the residents and the day-school students, there were well over a hundred people, she guessed. And when it was packed away like this for the night, it was almost cavernous. Again, nowhere to hide, she was alone.

A small crew of residential kids had been down here only fifteen minutes earlier, loudly sweeping and mopping as part of chore time. She’d laughed along quietly while doing her work in her office as the crew of teens joked with each other in the next room while they cleaned, occasionally turning the volume up just a bit too loud on the beat-up antique of a boombox that lived in the mop closet whenever a favorite new hip hop song played. Randall, the staff member supervising the clean-up, wasn’t the type to silence the kids – unlike many of the staff there – but Em always loved to hear the kids enjoy themselves, so she had no complaints.

That didn’t mean she didn’t enjoy the silence too, when it came. The gentle hum of the building was usually a soothing song to which she would finish the last of her days paperwork.

Suddenly, standing alone in the large cafeteria searching for a disembodied voice, the silence was oppressive — thick. Em was certain she’d heard the voice speak, just as she was certain she was alone. It had been a boys voice, in the limbo of early puberty – deep but still youthful.

Still hoping it was a prankster trying to startle her, Em walked into the main hallway of the building, walking a few feet to the left then the right, searching for some sign of one of the residents. Seeing nobody, she walked back into the cafeteria and checked that the doors to the pantry and kitchen were securely locked. They were. 

She walked slowly back to her office, ears perked for the slightest sound of movement, eyes scanning closely even as she lost hope of finding anyone. Sitting back at her computer, she rubbed her forehead and tried not to think too hard.

She’d heard the stories of the ghosts that haunted this aged building, of course. One of the supervisors who had conducted her tribunal-style job interview had even jokingly asked if ghosts were a deal-breaker. But she always laughed it off whenever it came up, feeling like it was just a running joke. Having been a lifelong skeptic towards anything she couldn’t observe, she’d never once considered that anyone could have been serious.  

But here, without warning, she’d begun to feel close to thinking things she simply didn’t want to think. She considered streaming a playlist from her phone to break the silence, but her shaking hands struggled to navigate the touch screen. Her eyes just couldn’t seem to focus on her computer monitor when she attempted to return to the email she’d been drafting.

Giving up, she packed her belongings into her backpack and promised herself she’d come in early the next morning to finish up.

—–

Continue reading

Stephen Graham Jones in Best Horror of the Year

Nationally-renowned horror author and Boulder resident Stephen Graham Jones snagged a spot in the Best Horror of the Year: Volume 12 edited by Ellen Datlow, the popular editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
 
“This Was Always Going to Happen,” first published in Denver Horror Collective’s Terror at 5280’ local horror fiction anthology in November, tells the tale of an anxious motorist stranded on the side of a mountain road.
 
Congrats to Stephen for the well-deserved honor! 

Stephen Graham Jones (Photo: Anthony Camera)

The 4th Circle: Interview with KD Webster

Denver Horror Collective active member, KD Webster
  1. Name one horror author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.

Prior to joining the DHC I’d only read two horror books. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, when I was around ten years old, scared the crap out of me. To this day, I still can’t read that book. The other was The Entity by Frank De Felitta. I was a teenager at the time. It was about a spirit-like creature that kept stalking a young single mother with three children. It attacked her night and day, but no one could see the creature but her. No one believed her either. Even as an adult this story stays with me.

Now that I’m a seasoned writer (with all of a year under my belt), I’ve been more engaged in reading more with an emphasis on the stories than the authors, with a hope that one writer will stick with me enough to read more.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot and why?

I’d choose a raven. For two reasons, one it represents both genres I write in, horror and fantasy. In horror, the raven is associated with terror, creatures of the night, and Edgar Allan Poe. And we all know Poe, right?

And in my fantasy series the main character is part of a team called the Revyns (pronounced as Ravens), the team’s logo is the outline of a blackbird’s wings.

  1. Name six of your favorite horror movies or books. Elaborate on any of them.

The Nun…made me sleep with the light on (yeah, I said it).

The Blair Witch Project…I grew up hiking and playing in woods just like those.

Paranormal Activity…to me it looked so real!

The Amityville Horror…I read the book as a kid, by myself, at night. Creepy.

It (the original movie)…because they all float down here!

The Descent…one of the most original horror movies I’d seen at that time.

4. What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?

The evolution of the story, from birth to maturity. The spark that inspires the idea. The idea that molds the plot. The plot that forms the story. I have a few things in the fire, but in terms of horror, I have two that stand out.

One is the next installment of the Urban Legends, Electric Avenue. It takes place in a speakeasy type place with underground card games, pool, and dice games. The speakeasy moves from place to place. Most people don’t think it exists, that it’s an urban legend. But if you want to play a game where the reward is worth the risk, dear ole Scratch can get you an invitation.

The other is the next book in the Adrian’s Children series. For those that don’t know, Adrian’s Children tells the ongoing story of Adrian Crisp, set in a modern-day world where Crisp is the first vampire. The first book tells the tale of how Adrian became a vampire, his trial and errors in creating more vampires, and the ones he successfully turned. The second book focuses more on his vampire children, and his plans for creating even more. Starring: Prominent, the first successfully turned Dark Child. Then Ozymandias, who Adrian banished to a cave. Daniel Hosea, the journalist chronicling Adrian’s life as a vampire. And finally Jason March, a former marine turned cop. He’s been hunting Adrian from his escape from prison before his transformation into a vampire.

Okay. Time to get back to writing.

Terror at 5280′ Snags #2 Slot on Denver Post Bestseller List

Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s horror fiction anthology published in November, earned the #2 slot on Denver Post’s local bestseller list for paperback fiction for the week ending January 26, 2020.

Terror at 5280’ editors include Denver Horror Collective members Josh Schlossberg, Gary Robbe, Melinda Bezdek, Lisa Mavroudis, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Desi D, Bobby Crew, and Jeamus Wilkes. 

All 22 Terror at 5280’ stories are penned by Colorado authors, including Bram Stoker Award® winning horror master Stephen Graham Jones, USA Today bestselling thriller author Carter Wilson, as well as the following Denver Horror Collective members and Colorado-based horror fiction writers: Matthew Lyons, Lindsay King-Miller, Rebecca S.W. Bates, Carina Bissett, Joshua Viola, Joy Yehle, Gary Robbe, Cindra Spencer, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Melinda Bezdek, Henry Snider, Josh Schlossberg, Angela Sylvaine, Grace Horton, Jay Seate, Desi D, Sean Murphy, Bobby Crew, P.L. McMillan, Travis Heermann, Jeamus Wilkes.

The anthology’s cover art was created by The Rïpröck and its layout by Henry Snider (both Denver Horror Collective members), with a foreword by Horror Writers Association President John Palisano and an afterward by HWA Colorado’s Larry Berry.

Terror at 5280’ is available at a variety of Denver bookstores including Tattered Cover, Mutiny Information Café, Tennyson St. Coffee and Books, Bookbar, Broadway Book Mall, West Side Books, and Barnes and Noble; 2nd and Charles in Broomfield, Aurora, and Littleton; and in Boulder at the Boulder Bookstore, Trident Café, Bookworm, and Barnes and Noble. 

The anthology is also available online via Indiebound.org, Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook), Powell’s, and Amazon (paperback and Kindle).