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The Seers Table – December 2016

The Seers Table!

As we brace ourselves to face the approaching cold season we need to support and celebrate diverse authors more than ever before. Please enjoy these recommendations from The Seers’ Table.

Linda Addison recommends:

Tonya Liburd is a multi-talented writer to keep an eye on, her fiction has been long listed in the 2015 Carter V. Cooper (Vanderbilt) Exile Short Fiction Competition. She shares a birthday with Simeon Daniel and Ray Bradbury, which may tell you a little something about her. Her passions are music (someday!) and of

HWA Announces Contents of Its Next Anthology, HALLOWS’ EVE

HWA Announces Contents of Its Next Anthology, HALLOWS’ EVE

jol2013An exciting line-up of bestselling and critically-acclaimed authors will share the table of contents with some of the horror genre’s best new voices in the Horror Writers Association’s next anthology, Hallows’ Eve. Co-edited by Ellen Datlow, past winner of HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Lisa Morton, one of the world’s leading authorities on Halloween, Hallows’ Eve presents seventeen never-before-published tales that explore every aspect of the darkest holiday. In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and even …

Happy Halloween from HWA!

jol2013Happy Halloween from the Horror Writers Association (HWA)!

As horror writers, of course we treasure Halloween, but we also understand the concerns of some educators in regards to the holiday.

Halloween has a rich history that goes back over a thousand years, encompassing elements of folklore, literature, sociology, and pop culture. In the 21st century it is celebrated as a secular festival with playful costumes, parties, and fictitious scares. We urge educators to consider Halloween’s literary and historical side; it’s a perfect time to interest students in such classics as:

  • “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Young Goodman Brown”
Halloween Haunts: A Condemned Man, A Halloween Memory by Steve Rasnic Tem

Halloween Haunts: A Condemned Man, A Halloween Memory by Steve Rasnic Tem

Back then, for me, it was all about masks.

For Halloween, sure, but I’m also talking about day-to-day.  This all started with the perception that people seldom said what they really felt about anything.  I wasn’t sure why, but apparently there was something impolite about frankness, and politeness was something we took pretty seriously in my part of the South.  The only person I knew whose face invariably expressed whatever passed through his head was the town’s developmentally disabled fellow who sat on a bench by the drugstore when he wasn’t out with his burlap sack collecting roadside treasures.  Whether he …

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Defines Fall, At Least for Me  By John F.D. Taff

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Defines Fall, At Least for Me By John F.D. Taff

I have found, in 25 years of fiction writing now, that the surest way to a feeling of verisimilitude in a story is to process the experiences in my life and put them down on paper.  I refer to this process as strip-mining my childhood, and so far, it’s been very good to me.

Not only has this practice helped me to work my way through past experiences, both good bad, it has also lent an air of reality to a lot of the scenes I have written.  Write what you know is, perhaps, the oldest saw in the art …

Halloween Haunts: Emotional Realism in Extreme Horror Fiction by Nicole Cushing

Halloween Haunts: Emotional Realism in Extreme Horror Fiction by Nicole Cushing

 

First things first: let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Extreme horror fiction hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Despite the commercial success of books like Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho and Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door, the field is often seen as only catering to a niche audience. Despite a pedigree that arguably extends at least as far back as the Marquis de Sade, the field is often seen as a playground for recent generations of subliterate hacks.

Perhaps that’s why so little has been said about how to write extreme horror fiction skillfully: so many …

Halloween Haunts: Exorcism for Fun and Profit by Loren Rhoads

Halloween Haunts: Exorcism for Fun and Profit by Loren Rhoads

I read The Exorcist early in high school.  My mom was a school librarian and didn’t place any limits on what I read, figuring that if it was too mature for me, I just wouldn’t understand it.

She limited what I could watch, though.  I wasn’t allowed to see The Exorcist in the theater, but I could read the novel.  Long after everyone I knew was terrified – or claimed they were terrified – by the movie, I checked the novel out of the public library.

The part that struck me more than anything else was Blatty’s introduction, in which …

Halloween Haunts: The Real Creeps, or How to Create Horror Non-fiction Shorts by Lisa Morton

Halloween Haunts: The Real Creeps, or How to Create Horror Non-fiction Shorts by Lisa Morton

One of my favorite pieces of advice for new writers looking to make more sales is to consider trying some non-fiction. As an author who is known for both fiction and non-fiction, I periodically get requests for articles from editors who tell me that for every 300 short story submissions they receive, they get…well, zero non-fiction submissions.

I think many writers have this notion that non-fiction requires a different skill set, or doesn’t provide the emotional satisfactions they get from fiction. My answer to that: Then you’re doing it wrong. Certainly some non-fiction is intended to be first and …

Halloween Haunts: It’s Not a Season, It’s a Lifestyle by Greg Chapman

Halloween Haunts: It’s Not a Season, It’s a Lifestyle by Greg Chapman

chapman_hollowhouse_cvrchapman_nightoctober_cvrYou all know my tale of woe. I am forced to live without the true spirit of Halloween because I live on the other side of the world. 🙁

But instead of crawling into my coffin when October comes around and crying myself to sleep, I bring the Halloween alive through fiction and art – all year round.

I may live in a town without any bonafide haunted houses, or urban legends (yeah pretty boring right?), but that doesn’t mean I can’t create my own.

I paint and draw and write all year round. Mostly I do it to relieve …

Halloween Haunts: It Was a Different Time by JG Faherty

Halloween Haunts: It Was a Different Time by JG Faherty

_cd07475Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a vacation with a group of friends. Five couples, and 2 of them had their daughters with them, ages 17 and 19, respectively. One day, while sitting on the beach, conversation turned to the topic of Halloween. I mentioned that “back in our day,” Halloween was very different. Sure, we went to parties, dressed in costumes, and as kids even got into our share of shenanigans on “Gate Night” or “Mischief Night.”

But even growing up in the 1970s and 1980s was a very different time than now. We had no fear …

Halloween Haunts: Meet Joe Pipe by Pete Mesling

Halloween Haunts: Meet Joe Pipe by Pete Mesling

I grew up in a small town in North Dakota. I’d say the population was around 16,000 to 18,000 back then. In a town that size, there aren’t a lot of celebrities, but there are generally a handful of legends, or myths. Joe Pipe was one such legend among my circle of friends. Stories about his past varied some. He’d suffered a horrific injury when he got his leg caught in a power takeoff, according to some versions. Others had it that he’d left his mind in Vietnam and come back something of a husk. Me, I like to think …

Halloween Haunts: The Widow By Erik Hofstatter

Halloween Haunts: The Widow By Erik Hofstatter

 

A billow of fruity vapour swirled around me as I waited to begin my morning commute. It smelled like peaches and reminded me of a smokescreen employed by the military but fused with a potent, aromatic flavour. I cast a disapproving glance in the boy’s direction, watching smoke camouflage his acne as he puffed on his e-cigarette. He inhaled the poison with short, raspy breaths. A flock of gaunt faces engulfed me and I surveyed them with distaste. Vague melancholy leaked out of their fissured facades. Like them, I abandoned expectation long ago. Like them, I was trapped in …

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