2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to release the Final Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see http://www.horror.org/) is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,600 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards® in various categories since 1987 (see http://www.thebramstokerawards.com/).

The HWA Board of Trustees and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Final Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Goingback, Owl – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)

Malerman, Josh – Inspection (Del Rey)

Miskowski, S.P. – The Worst is Yet to Come (Trepidatio Publishing)

Murray, Lee – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)

Wendig, Chuck – Wanderers (Del Rey)


Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Amor, Gemma – Dear Laura (Independently Published)

Guignard, Eric J. – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)

Lane, Michelle Renee – Invisible Chains (Haverhill House Publishing)

Read, Sarah – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (Trepidatio Publishing)

Starling, Caitlin – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Bérubé, Amelinda – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)

Dávila Cardinal, Ann – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)

Gardner, Liana – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)

Marshall, Kate Alice – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)

Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)

Salomon, Peter Adam – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds (PseudoPsalms Press)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)

Gaiman, Neil – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)

Manzetti, Alessandro – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)

Tanabe, Gou – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

LaValle, Victor – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine #363) (Weird Tales Inc.)

Manzetti, Alessandro – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)

Taborska, Anna – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)

Tantlinger, Sara – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)

Warren, Kaaron – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Chapman, Greg – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare Magazine Nov. 2019, Issue 86) 

Landry, Jess – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)

O’Quinn, Cindy – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)

Waggoner, Tim – “A Touch of Madness” (The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Chiang, Ted – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)

Jonez, Kate – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)

Langan, John – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)

Read, Sarah – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)

Tremblay, Paul – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Aster, Ari – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)

Duffer Brothers, The – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)

Eggers, Robert and Eggers, Max – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)

Flanagan, Mike – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)

Peele, Jordan – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures)  

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Brozek, Jennifer – A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories (Gallery/Saga Press)

Golden, Christopher and Moore, James A. – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)

Guignard, Eric J. – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)

Wilson, Robert S. – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)


Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Beal, Eleanor and Greenaway, Jonathan – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality (University of Wales Press)

Earle, Harriet E.H. – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)

Kachuba, John B. – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)

Kröger, Lisa and Anderson, Melanie R. – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (Quirk Books)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction

Kiste, Gwendolyn – “Magic, Madness, and Women Who Creep: The Power of Individuality in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman” (Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 2, Issue 1)

Liaguno, Vince A. – “Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre” (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)

Renner, Karen J. – “The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story” (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging) (McFarland) 

Robinson, Kelly – “Film’s First Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf” (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)

Weich, Valerie E. – “Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre” (Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Addison, Linda D. and Manzetti, Alessandro – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Cade, Octavia – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)

Lynch, Donna – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Scalise, Michelle – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning (LVP Publications)

Simon, Marge and Dietrich, Bryan D. – The Demeter Diaries (Independent Legions Publishing)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – The Apocalyptic Mannequin (Raw Dog Screaming Press) 

Works appearing on this Ballot are Bram Stoker Award® Nominees for Superior Achievement in their Category, e.g., Novel, and everyone may refer to them as such immediately after the announcement.

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My “Pussy Magic” Debut

Don’t let the name put you off. I’m chuffed today to share that my poem “Neglected Altars” is up on Pussy Magic today. My poem is a linked haiku chain.

It’s coincidence that I posted two haiku chains in two days (along with my daily haiku for #WiHM11). It makes me think… I really like haiku.

To be honest, I wrote this poem specifically for Pussy Magic because of the publication’s name. I dislike words being labeled as taboo. Not so long ago “pussy” wasn’t a taboo word but simply a friendly term for a cat. Why hate a word? For that matter, why hate anything?

So thanks to Pussy Magic for accepting my poem and for adopting the word no one else wanted. You can read my poem “Neglected Altars” on Pussy Magic here.

From their website…

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Jewel, Epic Haiku Chain

Image by Isabel García from Pixabay

Back in 2018 I celebrated Women in Horror and NaHaiWriMo by writing an epic, long haiku chain. Like this month where I’ve been sharing a feminine themed horror haiku a day, in 2018 I shared a haiku everyday but all telling the same story— that of Romeo and Juliet.

Of course, I forgot about it until today when someone mentioned a retelling of the story… and I remembered this one. For some reason, there’s a hunchback in my version. I don’t remember that from the original…

Regardless, this is my version. Now that I’ve found it I’ll probably pop it into my current WIP. Wonder what else I’ve forgotten about?

Here is a sample of Jewel:

Jewel arrives to see

her Romeo departing

with his new love, Death.

Jealous rage consumes

her future with youthful fire

burning bright on blade.

Knife in hand, she thrusts

eyes fixed on lost Romeo

and opens her heart.

She pours out her soul

in a heated rush of red—

ruining dress and life.

I translated it in Spanish for my friend Soraya (who also corrected my terrible Spanish).  You can read the complete Jewel in Spanish and English here.

And here’s a look at my horror haiku from the second week of WiHM11…

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Demon or Duolingo?

The first time the message appeared… click to enlarge

Today my story “Soft Deadline” went up on Elaine Pascale’s blog to celebrate Women in Horror month. Originally published in Trickster’s Treat’s III: Seven Deadly Sins (Things in the Well) something interesting and creepy happened during the writing I still can’t explain.

My story begins with a witch conjuring a date and she, of course, speaks in Latin. Rather than just make up gibberish, I created a phrase that sounded like a spell and translated it into Latin using Google Translate.

I usually read my work out loud, especially for something like that, and this was no exception. I read it once through, started reading it out loud a second time and then stopped. It was giving me the creeps… highly unusual.

After I’d sent the finished story off to Things in the Well, I logged on to my Duolingo to practice my Spanish. It was the usual lesson about how I’d like a glass of milk and can you bring the check please. And then this popped up—”I do not need to read your terms of service to accept you.” (See screen shot.)

As I practice, I’m reading this out loud, automatically, but as the sentence definition came through to me, I trailed off. I’ve never gotten a lesson like this before on Duolingo. It was high on the spooky scale for me, especially since I’d been repeating (fictional?) lines to conjure a demon less than an hour before. I took a screenshot and went on.

A minute later, the same page popped up. I didn’t read any of it out loud this time, mentally canceled any accidental requests I may have made and took another screen shot. I’ve never seen any message like it on Duolingo since. Nothing even similar.

I meant to make a post about it, but of course forgot until the story went up on Elaine’s blog tonight. You can read “Soft Deadline” on her blog here… but I suggest not reading the Latin out loud. What are your thoughts on this?

Weird Duolingo, or something else?

The story was originally published in Trickster’s Treat’s III: Seven Deadly Sins (Things in the Well). Click the link to find it on Amazon. Proceeds from the book benefit Charity: Water.

The second screen shot…

The second time the message appeared, a minute later.

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#TBT: Toasting Betty Ballantine

Betty Ballantine in 1980. Photo copyright Richard Ballantine/Kathy Ballantine via Associated Press

Yesterday we celebrated Elizabeth Jones Ballantine (September 25, 1919 – February 12, 2019), better known as Betty Ballantine, an American publisher, editor, and writer.

She was born during the Raj to a British colonial family. After her marriage to Ian Ballantine in 1939, she moved to New York where they created Bantam Books in 1945 and established Ballantine Books in 1952.

They became freelance publishers in the 1970s. Their son, Richard, was an author and journalist specializing in cycling topics. Betty and her husband Ian helped invent the modern paperback through their Bantam and Ballantine books.

Paperbacks in America were not popular until the Ballantines improved the quality of the product and offered better titles. The pair were instrumental in establishing the market for science fiction and fantasy novels by releasing the paperback version of “The Hobbit” by Tolkien and were the original publishers for Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, along with titles from Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl.

“We really, truly wanted and did publish books that mattered. And science fiction matters, because it’s of the mind, it predicts, it thinks, it says, ‘Look at what’s happening here. If that’s what’s happening here and now, what’s it going to look like ten years from now, 50 years from now, or 2,000 years from now?’ It’s a form of magic. Not acracadabra or wizadry. It is the minds of humankind that make this magic.” said Ballantine in a 2002 interview with Locus Online.

That’s why it’s on my calendar every year to raise a toast to one of my heroes. When the woman’s empowerment movement was still wearing garters and hose, Betty was already empowered. Without her insight and foresight Tolkein may not be the household he is now. She opened literacy to the masses, moving beyond the pulp trash to bring crafted stories to the grocery store shelves. She realized the potential of the speculative genre, and made it widely available.

I can toast to that.

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The DreamForge Connection

Speculative fiction is the most inclusive genre. In the realms of fantasy, horror and science fiction anything, and anyone, is possible. This is why it is so important to support the open mindset that accompanies speculative creativity. To that end, Space and Time magazine is happy to forge a cooperative bond with DreamForge Magazine, our sunnier sister publication.

Right now DreamForge is having a Kickstarter to fund Year Two of publication and S&T is supporting this venture along with Uproar Books. We are just three small, independent publishers banding together to have a greater impact. We may not make a big impact in the grander, global vista but independent press remains at the forefront of free speech and thought.

Click here for to get free DF with your print S&T!

Were it not for the speculative genre, we’d have no Dune, 1984, Blade Runner, Dracula, Star Wars, Dragon Riders of Pern, Harry Potter…. and without these stories how could we know that it’s possible to rise up against insurmountable odds and win? It’s not a genre for the timid. It’s reading for those who want to get a sidelong look at their monster so they can decide how to defeat it.

This is why it is so important to support the freedom of speculative fiction. In these worlds, there are no limitations. In no other genre is the human spirit free to soar not just upward, but in any direction. Support speculative fiction, and you are supporting the future and all its possibilities.

Here are ways you can actively support the freedom of the speculative genre and DreamForge Magazine:

  • If warm fuzzies weren’t enough, there are some great incentives with Dreamforge’s Year Two Kickstarter. Make a pledge, receive limited edition gifts! Double down your support and get both DreamForge and Space and Time with one subscription. Go here to pledge to the Kickstarter.


  • Help yourself and indie press by taking advantage of two for one advertising deal on The Author’s Bookshelf. $25 gets your book cover in either magazine’s full color book spotlight. For $40 you can have your book cover in both magazines. See your cover in full color print for less than dinner out. Space is limited! Go here to reserve your spot now.


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Review: The Man Who Married Death by Amy Langevin

Here is a book after my own heart and a brilliant pitch-black romantic read about a man who proposes—and marries—Death. Told in poetic forms, be prepared to dip into madness with Zylen LaRocque, the sexy psychopath who charms Death.

When I first heard of this book I knew I had to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. I liked the idea of an attempted suicide that turns into a passionate fling.

The two love birds romp through a landscape of gore as they get to know one another. They leave a trail of horror behind as Death turns out to be an insatiable and promiscuous lover.

I love the clever wordplay Langevin employs to paint her visceral imagery. This is more than just shock and chop writing. The words slide onto the page like cooling blood ready to congeal in all the corners of your mind. Once lodged there they continue to haunt and play.

A good story on its own with a satisfying completion, the use of poetry is just icing on the cake. It’s not an easy read to while away some empty hours. The Man Who Married Death by Amy Langevin is an experience I’m happy to have embarked on.

You can find The Man Who Married Death by Amy Langevin on Amazon in paperback and Kindle here.

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Week One: WiHM11/NaHaiWriMo

The first week of Women in Horror comes to a close and I am happy I was able to keep up with it. I’ve written a horror haiku with a darker feminine theme everyday so far. I’m posting them on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account.

Next week I’ll hopefully continue with my goal with the horror haiku. I have a few interviews popping up I’ll be sharing and my usual Ladies in Horror offering. WiHM11 isn’t really too much different from what I do all year long. It’s just nice to be celebrated for it.

Here’s to WiHM11/NaHaiWriMo week two!
More information on NaHaiWriMo
More information on WiHM11

The month so far…

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#TBT: What is/isn’t Haiku?

Throwback Thursday is back with a post from 2017 talking about what makes a haiku. Think you know how to 5-7-5? Some of what I learned about haiku might surprise you.

Originally inspired by to NaHaiWriMo, this post explains how the Japanese 5/7/5 counts sounds, not syllables…

Find out more at What is/isn’t Haiku? first posted on 

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Women in Horror Month 11

February is one of my favorite months. It begins with Groundhog Day, my favorite holiday after Halloween. Betty Ballantine, one of my heroines celebrates her birthday this month. It’s National Write a Haiku Month and, of course, Women in Horror Month.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’m writing a horror haiku every day for my social media to celebrate. I posted a collection of five as my PoetryNook.com entry this week (click here).

I’ll be sharing news, reviews and interviews from women in horror and I’ll be showing up in interviews and posts as a woman in horror and hosting two open mics where I’ll read my horror themed haiku and initiate a game of exquisite corpse.

The first open mic is tomorrow evening at the Mid-Continent Public Library Liberty Branch beginning at 6 p.m. (click here). The second will be the usual 2nd Wednesday open mic at the Mid-Continent Public Library Independence Branch (click here).

Like every month, I’ll be participating in the Ladies of Horror Photo Prompt-Flash Fiction Challenge.  For fourteen days, 28 different female horror writers offer up their interpretation of the image they were given as inspiration for a flash fiction piece up on Nina D’Arcangela’s blog. Some of my best work has come from this monthly challenge at Spreading the Writer’s Word.

About WiHM: Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre.

WiHM celebrates these contributions to horror throughout the year via the official WiHM blog, Ax WoundThe Ax Wound Film Festival, and with the official WiHM event/project database in February. This database—in conjunction with the WiHM social media fan base—actively promotes do-it-yourself annual film screenings, blogs/articles, podcasts, and any other form of creative media with the ultimate goal of helping works by and featuring women reach a wider audience.

Check out the WiHM website here.

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