Under the Morgue 2016 Horror Awards

Bloody TrophyUnder the Morgue is gathering votes for their 2016 Horror Awards. Submissions will be open until April 1-2. On April 3rd, the polls will be created and members can vote. Categories include Best Leading Actress, Best Film Of 2016, Worst Screenplay, Best Kill Of The Year, Best Chase Scene, Worst Editing, and Best Composer.

You can view the forum as a guest, but you will be limited to certain areas of the board. Joining our community allows access to member-only sections. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.

Participate by clicking Under the Morgue here.

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Interview: William L. Gent

William L. GentNational Poetry Month is April! To celebrate all the interviews will be poets from here until May. To kick off this line up I chose William L. Gent, a friend and fellow writer. 

I was honored to be able to help Bill publish his first chapbook of poetry as part of a clandestine birthday surprise.

A regular attendee of the poetry open mic circuit, Bill is a vital part of our local literary scene.

Bill, your first book is A Little Left of Pretty. What made you decide to publish your collection of poetry?

A good friend Rachel Reese, because her help and encouragement and skill as an editor made it possible. And my wife who encourages me and allows me the time to be a computer recluse.

Has it been something you wanted to do for a long time?

The story I heard from my mother is, I would be caught writing poems on my diapers and doodling in my pablum. Yes it has been a long time desire. Other kids wanted toys for Christmas, I was happy with a Number 2 yellow lead pencil and a book.

A Little Left of PrettyYour work is often humorous. How important is humor towards happiness?

The Bibles says in the book of Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” I believe that humor is the music that happiness dances to.

You’ve published your book to benefit a good cause. Can you tell me more about it?

Yes. It’s The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, founded by Rabi Yechiel Eckstein. It’s a program that is helping Jews from the former Soviet Union, India, Ethiopia, and elswhere resettle in Israel, as well as funding programs that fight poverty in Israel and help impoverished elderly Jews and orphans in the former Soviet Union.

Will you publish another collection of poetry?

Yes, hopefully. The title is, Poetry in the Raw, From My Coffee Stained Brain.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

I will be doing a few local open mic night’s at the Crestview Public Library, Stone Soup at LJ Schooners in Blue Water Bay hosted by a very gifted local poet Esther L. Hurwitz and the Casbah Coffee Company, a family-owned local coffee roaster & coffeehouse located in Crestview that also serves fresh baked goods, sandwiches and soups.

What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” 

— Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Then remember every story has a beginning, and mine began at age ten. My mother brought me to 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA. There she introduced me to the librarian. Taking me by the hand she said, “So young man, you like books,” followed by some serious questions.

“What would you like to be? Who would you like to know? Would you like to visit the past, see into the future, or perhaps fly on the wings of a dragon? Would you like to see the invisible man or travel into outer space? Could you live on another planet? Doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs all live here in Mr. Carnegie’s Library. All the books you see on these shelves hold the keys to all you can be or ever imagine. They have the answer to some of life’s deepest mysteries.

My advice for any aspiring writer is simple: read, read,and read. I believe as long as there are books and dedicated librarians, no man woman or child can be held captive, or be a slave to ignorance. Reading will unlock what I promise you will be a never ending journey.

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Voice the Unspeakable

anias ninI am hard at work making the final changes on Escape Claws, my soon-to-be-released collection of narrative and poetry that centers around four houses I lived in as a child and the supernatural events that occurred there. Escape Claws is based on the truth as I remember it. The release date is set for April 7.

Publishing this book has been a personal breakthrough. Though I’ve written nonfiction professionally for over 20 years, I’ve never been able to write about my own true events until recently. Through a technique with a licensed professional called brainspotting, I was able to identify the blocks I had in that area and overcome them.

Escape Claws is for all the children who had a real monster under the bed, in the closet— or hovering above as the temperature dropped and the covers slid away. Not all childhood terrors are imagined.

This book doesn’t claim that the supernatural world is real. It simply states the experiences and lets the reader decide.

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Submit: Best Horror of the Year


Ellen Datlow has released a call for submissions for an upcoming volume of the Best Horror of the Year series to highlight material published in 2017:

I am looking for stories and poetry from all branches of horror: from the traditional-supernatural to the borderline, including high-tech sf horror, supernatural stories, psychological horror, dark crime, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, send it. This is a reprint anthology so I am only reading material published in or about to be published in 2017. Submission deadline for individual stories is December 15th 2017. I’ll look at galleys or manuscripts. Authors should check that their publishers are sending review copies to me as I don’t have time or energy to nag publishers for material. I request it once (maybe twice) and that’s it.

I will look at e-versions of anthologies and collections if they are navigable and have running heads. Otherwise, I will not read them. I always prefer print, if your book is available that way.

You can query me as to whether I have your collection or an anthology in which you have a story at datlow@yahoo.com

There will be a summation of “the year in horror” in the front of the volume. This includes novels, nonfiction, poetry, art books, and “odds and ends”– material that doesn’t fit elsewhere but that I feel might interest the horror reader. But I must be aware of this material in order to mention it. The deadline for submissions to this section is December 31st, 2017.

Ellen Datlow
Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten
PMB 391
511 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011-8436

****I regularly read many magazines and webzines that publish horror (Black Static, Dark Discoveries, Cemetery Dance, Supernatural Tales, F&SF, The Dark, Nightmare, and the other digests, etc.) or from anthologies and collections, unless I don’t have or can’t get that anthology or collection. Again, please ask your publisher to send me the magazine or book. For online publications, email me individual files.

Please do not send an SASE. If I choose a story you will be informed. For confirmation that I‘ve received something, enclose a self-addressed-stamped postcard and I will let you know the date it arrived.

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Review: Bipolarity

BipolarityWriting takes discipline. Sharing it takes courage. In Bipolarity, the first published poetry collection from Laura Kester Duerrwaechter, the author shares her personal struggles with bipolar disorder, a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.

Her poetry is full of contrasts as she documents the difficulties of achieving balance riding the roller coaster between extremes. She demonstrates an acceptance of the dual elements that color her world, and in the acceptance of herself she opens the door for others with the same struggle to find the balance.

Bipolarity is a letter of love, written in poetic verse, to all those who journey from depression to mania and back again and allows them to love themselves as they are.

To read more about Laura Kester Duerrwaechter, read the interview I posted on her. You can also find Bipolarity on Amazon.

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Writing Prompts II: Make the World Better

20170323_130946 2It was brought to my attention that I haven’t been posting class assignments on my blog lately. I apologize, and would give all my excuses of how many plates I have in the air but that’s not what’s important. What is important is today’s prompt.

We had surprise visitors today from Stewart Ross, International Trustee and chair of Florida Kiwanis, and Kiwani Grant Williams to share information about what the Kiwanis are doing to make the world better, starting locally.

Afterwards we still had enough time to hear what was written from our last prompt—what would your life be like as an author?  The writers in Prompts always come through with poignant, well thought out poetry and prose. Today was no different.

20170323_151312In honor of our visitors, the new prompt for next week will be—How would you make the world a better place? Bonus points if you can overcome an obstacle or block.

Examples might be ending world hunger by making sure each household was provided with a chicken for eggs. The block might be overcoming prejudice against chickens.

Next week everyone is also invited to bring a favorite book that has impacted their lives. And, speaking of books, congratulations to Laura Kester Duerrwaechter on publishing her first book, Bipolarity, available on Amazon.

The Kiwanis visit inspired our prompt for today—how would you make the world a better place?

The Kiwanis visit inspired our prompt for today—”how would you make the world a better place?”

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Chihuahua Puppies!

PuppiesCOMING SOON: There will soon be three brindle chihuahua mixes at New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary. Park Ranger Bob, Sparkler and Bubbles are about seven weeks old and should be ready to go in the next week or so. Anyone who has fallen in love with my daughter’s “chupacabra”can now have one of their own.

All of the dogs available at New Beginnings receive microchipping​, deworming, monthly heartworm preventative, vaccines​, wellness exams puppies 2and spay or neutering.

If you’re interested in any of their dogs, please download their Adoption Application. You can see all the dogs on their site by clicking here or visit http://www.nicevilleanimalclinic.net/adoption.html.

Since I can’t adopt any more dogs, I’ve adopted New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary instead.

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Vine-Linear-Lantern-3-600x600This Friday sip on chocolate martinis, wine or beer as Julia Vanover teaches how to sculpt and glaze a ceramic candle lantern. The class will be working with clay, and she has a design planned for guidance (see photo), but your creativity is also welcome.

The lanterns will be fired at her studio in Valparaiso and ready to be picked up a few days later. $75 per class.  One lantern per person. No skills needed. All supplies provided. There will be tools, but bring your own if you like.

The workshop will be held at Julia’s Kind Design Fine Art Gallery located at 102 John Sims Parkway, Valparaiso. Wear comfortable clothes. There’s a small risk of staining your clothes when glazing, but not likely.

Lantern Making Workshop, Friday, March 24, 5–8 p.m. $75 per person.

To see more photos of this lantern design, click here. For more information, visit KindDesignFineArt.com.

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Interview: Laura Kester Duerrwaechter

Laura Kester Duerrwaechter
Photo by Rhondaclicks.com

Today I have the special privilege of introducing one of my creative writing students. I now count her as both a friend and fellow author.

Laura Kester Duerrwaechter demonstrates courage as she steps out on a path to fulfill her dreams and it shines in every word of her new book, Bipolarity.

You called your first poetry collection “Bipolarity.” What does the title say about this collection and you as an author?

The collection is autobiographical- my life lived between extremes. Bipolar disorder is defined by the limitations of society’s prejudice. There is no chronology, the tone of each poem validates the momentary struggle. It is my intention to honor those who can not give voice to their identity.  I am not ashamed.

What made you decide to publish at this point in your life?  Was it something you’ve always planned on or has this been a recent decision?
Define “recent”.  The dedication to my Uncle Don is more than fifty years in the making.  I have other projects which span the last decade, but this chapbook was an urgent labor of love.  Honestly, it was six months from beginning to end. Your class description “Tell Your Story, Use Your Words” – Creative Writing at Northwest Florida State College, Fall, 2016 inspired me to try.  At 61, I thought “why not”. Thank you by the way. I started blogging three years ago.  Publishing was just a natural progression. 
There is a musical theme in “Bipolarity” both visually and in some of the poetry.  What does music mean to you?

Music has always been part of my life.  I am a student of classical piano and clarinet.  My last music lesson was well into my fifties.  It was a little intimidating being the oldest student at recitals!  Music is a generational flaw in my family and very much part of who I am.  “Fanfare For the Common Man” by Aaron Copeland, and Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grote’ are my go to favorites.  I had an intuitive reading recently that revealed I am related to Franz Josef Haydn, so I come by it honestly.

The graphic layout of both cover art and interior pages reinforce the theme of dark and light- manic and depressive episodes of the disorder.

Some authors refer to publishing their first book as a birthing process. How has this experience been for you?
Validation. Getting my learner’s permit and taking that 68 Pontiac Firebird , throwing it into 3rd gear and driving it at 90 mph up Interstate 25.  
What is your favorite poem or poems in the collection, and why?
Aspen’s Secret.  This is where my dreams take me at night.  
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any plans for future publications?
A well deserved nap. Future endeavors are to continue the process of reworking my original short story collection of my life as a pet sitter.
Now that Create Space is my new digital bff, I am empowered to try this publishing thing again.  Oh, and thank you for introducing me to the dark side.  I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges presented by this genre.  Late April, I will be immersed  6 feet under in StokerCon , 2017, in Long Beach, CA. Your fault!
Tell us where to find you…
My blog address is GotWhiskers.blogspot.com.  I have two themed blogs, one petsitting adventures (non fiction-only the names have been changed to protect the innocent) and whereprettylittlebluebirdsfly.com which is my personal journey in this incarnation.
Local charitable book signings in the northwest Florida region are a pretty good bet as far as personal appearances.  Your readers can contact me through Facebook @Laura Duerrwaechter if they are involved in upcoming charities.  There’s nothing like meeting your public and giving back at the same time.
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Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Bram StokersThe Horror Writers Association announces two Lifetime Achievement Award winners for 2016. Dennis Etchison and Thomas F. Monteleone will both be on hand to accept their awards at StokerCon 2017 held April 27th-30th on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Both recipients have provided many years of dedicated commitment to HWA and the writing and publishing industry.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by my peers,” Mr. Etchison, a former President of HWA, commented when informed he had won the award. Mr. Monteleone helped develop the HWA in the early years and has been an active member for decades. “I am humbled and honored to receive such recognition,” he stated after learning he had won the award this year.

HWA, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards®, presents the Lifetime Achievement Award annually to individuals whose work has substantially influenced the horror and dark fantasy genres. While the award is often presented to a writer, it may also be given to an individual for influential accomplishments in other creative fields. HWA employs a hard-working committee for the selection process and recipients are chosen through stringent criteria. When more than one award winner is determined, the rules require a unanimous vote from all committee members. Thus, the 2016 winners were recognized as highly deserving individuals for their work in the horror and dark fantasy field.

Dennis Etchison is the author of 12 novels and 7 collections, and has edited 9 anthologies. He has won the British Fantasy Award three times and the World Fantasy Award twice, and he has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award four times. He has written scripts for movies and television, and has written classic movie tie-in books such as the first two Halloweensequels and Videodrome. He has taught creative writing for decades. Anyone who has read Mr. Etchison’s work understands his accomplishments and the reasons for him being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

Thomas F. Monteleone has written more than 24 novels, more than 100 short stories, and has edited the Borderlands anthologies (often noted as the most recognized anthologies in the field). In addition to fiction, he has written a non-fiction column, “The Mothers and Fathers Italian Association (MAFIA)”, for decades, which has earned him a reputation of honesty and bluntness unsurpassed. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel, one of the most popular books in the series. Mr. Monteleone has won four Bram Stoker Awards (all in different categories). He has also won the HWA Specialty Press Award. Finally, he is the founder of the Borderlands Boot Camp, which has been one of the most successful writing workshops worldwide, where hundreds of students applaud him and his colleagues for a successful course in writing fiction. For all of these reasons, Mr. Monteleone has earned the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more information about the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Bram Stoker Awards, please visit the StokerCon 2017 webpage at http://www.stokercon2017.org/.

For More Information Contact:

John W. Dennehy, Communications Director

Horror Writers Association


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