#NGHW News Episode #144

Hello, Addicts!
This week was way more brutal than I think we or the contestants thought it would be. Creating an original character can be tough, but having to write 900 words, mostly of clear character description and have some story to it … that, my horror-addicted friends, is super difficult.
But our writers still did it. They saw the challenge through, even though it lived up to its name – “challenge.”
Episode #144 brought us six semi-finalists.

  1. Silt and bone by Jess Landry
  2. Kerry Anne by Harry Husbands
  3. Changeling by Daphne Strasert
  4. Dr. Sonya Quillius by Jonathan Fortin
  5. Selkie by Adele Marie Park
  6. Cerebus by Sumiko Saulson

This week’s mini prize was pretty awesome. Using the description the author gave, an anime sketch will be drawn of the character they portrayed. This will be done by the amazing artist, Alyca, from Pixel Ghost Creations.

Creative jobs, although they may seem fanciful and relaxed, can be some of the toughest out there and artists often do not get the recognition they deserve. Artists have to create something out of nothing, giving life to where there was none before. Then they have to sit back and see if people like it or even see it at all. Wading through the sea of criticism and self-doubt searching for the buoys of validation can be exhausting and as much as we say we don’t need validation, sometimes it is a necessary evil. Artists have to eat too.

This can be doubly difficult when life happens to us. As it does to all of us. Whether this means your day job getting in the way, relationship issues, sickness, and all the other stray, flaming, Frisbees life likes to throw at us while our backs are turned, this can all inhibit creativity.

Which brings us to this week’s question! This time, I asked our Evil Eleven, “Do you have anything to help you stick with your writing? Even though it is something we love to do and can be therapeutic, when life happens it can be hard to make the time. How do you adult and be a writer?”

“I write on my phone using google docs while I’m on the train to work in the morning. Try to find the little moments in the day to get a little done.
Sometimes I write more if I think of everything else as “that thing I have to do,” rather than my writing. Maybe someday there’s an episode of a show I want to watch. I think of the show as “that thing I have to get done,” and then my writing becomes an act of fun rebellion against myself. It’s weird but effective.” – Jonathan
“I stick with my writing because my heart desires. It wants me to write my dreams down, and to express the things that it deems interesting. The need to create and communicate is what drives me forward. It is my passion, after all, to tell stories.

Also, maybe my secret is that I don’t adult. Sure, my body has grown, and as time goes by, I have a better understanding of things and situations, but I’ve always tried to remain young in my heart and mind. Also in my soul, if such a thing exists. I try to keep things as simple as possible, never take anything too seriously or personally, and remember that growing up is a thing we never stop doing.” – JC

“I eliminate all distractions. No TV. No Facebook. No internet (unless it’s for research). No husband walking around without his shirt on. (In fact, my husband is required to dress in loose, long-sleeved shirts until I have finished writing for the day.) no cute children in the room, no cute puppies or kitties, and no cute ice cream cones or cherry bonbons.” – Naching

Our finalists for episode 144 were, in no particular order, Jess, Daphne and Sumiko. The judges were also quite taken with Harry and Jonathan’s entries also, but the points decided the contestants.

Last week, Daphne took home her first win. This week, there was another first for this comp. Daphne took home her second win! One win after another. Congrats, Daphne! You can read Daphne’s full entry here.

The scores are getting very close. Jonathan is still in the lead, but Daphne is now hot on his tail with only eight points between them. Third place is a tie between Jess and Naching with 29 points between them and Daphne. But it could still be won by anyone. One turn of the tables and everything could change.

So, until next episode, stay spooky!
Hugs
Adelise

#NGHW News Episode #143

Hello Addicts,

This episode opens up with a little more sad news. We are down to eleven contestants now. Timothy has now left us. But hopefully it will not be the last we hear of him.

We do still have our Evil Eleven and competition is getting fierce.

Episode #143 brought us some true stories of horror that the contestants personally experienced. And the mini prize was full publication on this very blog.

So, let’s get straight into this episode’s seven semifinalists, shall we?

  1. Black Death by Naching T Kassa
  2. A Day at The Beach by Harry Husbands
  3. Calling The Dead by Cat Voluer
  4. Sin Scope by JC Martinez
  5. Into The Grave by Daphne Strasert
  6. My Life as a Young Adult Urban Horror Heroine by Sumiko Saulson
  7. Dogs and Sand by Jonathan Fortin

It is so important for authors to blog, these days, and it is good to see such talent and honesty in our Evil Eleven. It is difficult for most people to be honest and open with someone that you are close to, let alone be open and honest with the world. And that is what the contestants have demonstrated here.

Unfortunately, we only got a snippet as always, but I think it was enough to get a feel for the piece and the writing style. Plus, we got to hear our authors’ voices, real voices. They spoke about why they deserve to be the next great horror writer, and the difficulties they have had to face.

Next episode will show the 8th challenge. It is a 900-1000 word Horror Character description. The Eleven have to describe an original character in a story telling way. So, it cannot sound like an instruction manual. The winner of this challenge will have the amazing prize of having their character brought to life by the amazing Anime artist Alyssa from Pixel Ghost Creations. Seeing their character in front of their eyes and not just in their head would be amazing.

Which brings me to the question I asked the contestants this week. I asked the contestants about book covers. We all know that old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but do any of us actually follow this? As exciting as it may be for an author to see their characters brought to life, having a character on the cover of a book can be distracting and, sometimes, deceiving. Here is what some of the authors think.

“I’m picky about book covers. I know they say not to judge, but you only get one first impression. If an author (publisher, etc.) took the time to create a good cover, then I assume they took that same care with the story inside. I love covers that show a character, but only if they’re well made. I’m not a fan of stock photo manipulation. Artist renderings (like those for Patricia Briggs’ novels) are my favorite.” Daphne

“Graphic design is my day job, so covers are definitely very important to me!
As far as the design of the book covers, I think whatever fits the story best is a-okay. If your cover shows a character–great! If not–that’s great, too! But the readers should definitely get a sense of what your novel is about based off its cover.” Jess

“I think readers often make determinations about whether or not to buy a book based on its cover. When I answer calls for submissions for anthologies, the cover art is often a factor. The cover art for Mocha Memoir Press “Death’s Cafe,” Colors in Darkness “Forever Vacancy” and HorrorAddict’s “Clockwork Wonderland” attracted me to those anthologies – I have work in all three.” Sumiko

“I look at a book cover much like an album cover. A bold exciting cover will get people’s attention, holding that attention is then all up to the content. Put shiny wrapping paper on a gift it’ll catch people’s attention but what’s inside is what they’ll remember. No one remembers the wrapping paper once the gift is opened, all they remember is what was inside.” Feind

“Book covers are very important. Even though they tell you not to judge based on them, covers are what catch your eye, and in a world where there are so many choices, covers are the first thing that sets your book apart from others.
Truth be told, I’ve never given too much thought to character-centric book covers. I think the most important for me is that a cover has an understanding of the content of a book, and accurately conveys it with simple yet powerful images.” JC

“They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, many people do. Most won’t even read a book unless the cover intrigues them. Good art does a lot for a story. Bad art can hurt one.
Suppose you’ve written a story about a brave Knight battling a dragon and you illustrate it yourself. Unfortunately, you have no talent when it comes to dragons. Every time you draw your cover, the dragon resembles a mutant spider fighting a stick-figure with a top hat. You publish the story with said cover and no one buys it. Do you need to wonder why? Bad art shows a lack of quality. It’s a disservice to your work. You may have written the best thing in the world but no one will touch it because they think it’s about a man with a hat walking his spider.
By the way, this never happened to me. If it did, I was much younger and my access to art supplies consisted of three crayons, two of which were broken.” Naching

“I am so picky about book covers. I LOVE pretty book covers but ugly covers can detract from the entire experience of reading or make the book seem less professional. I can’t stand covers where we see the character, but not their eyes or forehead. Or only from the neck down. Anonymous Naked Man Chest is also a variety of this. Some of my favorite books have decidedly boring covers (American Gods, Perdido Street Station, Name of the Wind)–covers that aren’t necessarily BAD but aren’t exactly GREAT either. On the other hand, when I see an absolutely BEAUTIFUL cover it makes me want to buy the book. Original, well-crafted, aesthetically pleasing works of art created specifically for the book are my favorite.” Jonathan

What are your thoughts on book covers? Do you agree with any of the contestants?

Our finalists this episode were Harry, Daphne and Jonathan. And don’t forget, addicts, that every challenge brings points to every contestant. The points are close and the big prize of a publication contract could still be anyone’s. You can check out the overall scores here.

Without further delay, if you didn’t already know, I will reveal this episode’s winner. #TeamDaphne got her first win of the series! Congrats to you, Daphne! You can go and read the whole blog post right here.

Come and join in the discussion at the HorrorAddicts.net Facebook page, a community of freaks, weirdos, goths, vampires, and general horror fanatics. We’d love some fresh meat. (insert maniacal laughter here) but seriously, come and have a chat, talk to the contestants and the staff and other addicts in the community.

Until next episode, Addicts, stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise

#NGHW News Episode #142

 

Hello Addicts!

In the last episode, our writers were hit with a big one. A 3000-5000 word horror story. The theme: Music. They were given the extra time, of course, Emz is no monster. But it must have taken a lot out of them. After whipping up 5000 words worth of story… plus editing … and rewriting … and then having it publicly judged, surely they are feeling exhausted.

“For the 5000-word story–man, that was tough! I’m a procrastinator by nature, so of course, I didn’t start writing it until a few days before it was due. I jammed-packed all the emotions a writer goes through while writing a longer story. Basically going from ‘Ooh, this could work as an idea!’ to ‘Dear God, what have I done?’ in less than 24 hours. A new personal best!”-Jess

“I always feel good when I write. And after I’ve finished something, if it will be read or not, if it’s good or bad, regardless of whatever circumstances surround a piece I’ve written, I just keep writing. I think that’s the only thing a writer can do.” -JC

We had some great snippets here. All of them unique and left me wanting to hear the rest. The uses of the genre and the theme were stretched and I really enjoyed the fact that I was surprised by the story ideas. Alternative worlds were Music is like a drug to Japanese folklore. Their stories were so different, it was hard to believe they were given the same set of instructions. But they all ran with the same theme, keeping to the rules. Our semi-finalists last week were:

  1. Cherry Blossoms and Yokai by Adele Marie Park
  2. Scordatura by Jess Landry
  3. Audio Addict by Daphne Strasert
  4. Requiem in Frost by Jonathan Fortin
  5. Audition by Naching T. Kassa
  6. The Agent by Harry Husbands
  7. The Lament of the Piano Man by AE Kirk

This week’s mini prize was not so mini. Publication in the upcoming short story anthology, Crescendo of Darkness. To make the prize even more special, the other contestants were banned from submitting their stories for the anthology. As much as this hurt Emz to do, the stories were so good that she would have liked more of them in the anthology.

Let’s have a quick chat about next episode’s challenge. A 900-1000 word non-fiction blog post on something horrific that the writer experienced. This could be a haunting, a phobia, anything that they have experienced that they found horrifying. It will be judged based on: blog-ability, topic choice, and writing quality.

This week’s challenge is a little more personal than the rest. Even though what writers do is personal, mostly we can hide behind that banner of “fiction”. I asked the writers how they feel about baring something so personal?

This also made me think about privacy and people’s comfort levels with how much they are willing to let people in. As writers, we are generally introverts, but with success comes other things that introverts don’t tend to like. So I asked the writers if being in the public eye is something they feel will be difficult?

“This week’s challenge was difficult. You’re baring a piece of your soul to the world and you’re hoping they understand your point of view. My experience happened over 30 years ago and may seem funny to those who read it. The things we fear may seem ridiculous to others or just as frightening. Sometimes, we don’t choose our fears. They choose us. (By the way, you’re talking to someone whose first fear was a flying sandwich with vampire teeth. Did he choose me? Or, did I choose him? It’s the eternal question.)

I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble being in the public eye. Like most people, I’m nervous at first. But, after a while, I turn into a huge ham. Maybe, that’s why the sandwich chose me.” -Naching

“In real life, I am a total introvert, practically like a monk living high in the mountains away from civilization at times, but writing isn’t like being a rock star or movie star. Most of our “public” attention comes online which is a much easier animal for us introverts to withstand. I don’t know how I’ll stand up to a convention or book signing at some point but armed with my anxiety pills I should be fine. LOL” -Feind

“I’m not a fan of writing about my personal life and would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to just make some stuff up. I’m sure that’s a viable option, but it defeats the purpose. I think in writing about your own experiences, you’re saying: “Hey, I may write fiction, but I’m real.” and that’s too valuable a thing to be phony about. I’m no good at it, but I get real pleasure from reading about writers’ lives whom I admire and so if I ever gained any kind of readership, I’d want to be able to do that for them too. I don’t see myself being in the public eye at any point (I’m talking tabloid man-boob close-ups) but if by some off-chance I ever was, I’d be swift in retreating to the mountains for a while until it all blew over.” -Harry

Episode #142 meant Naching took home her second win! Congrats #teamnaching! You can go and check out a snippet of Naching’s winning story on our website. Remember that if you wish to learn more about the contestants, the past, and present, you can do so at our contestants’ page. Have a peek at their websites or blogs, connect with them via the social media.

We have a little sad news this week. Our fearsome thirteen has been cut down to the Twisted Twelve, with our beautiful cosplaying Riley leaving. I hope that, as I do with all of the writers, that this is not the last we hear of her. I wish nothing but success for all of our contestants.

So, halfway through the contest now and Jonathan still holds the lead with a score of 399. Naching is close on his heels with 375 and coming up into third is Daphne with 369. It is still a close contest. Each week every contestant get a score and just because they don’t win that particular challenge doesn’t mean they can’t take home the big prize. Consistently good can still win out. If you want to check out how close the scores are, you can do so right here.

Until next episode, Addicts, stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise

#NGHW News Episode #141

Hello Addicts!

This episode on the next great horror writer we got to see a sweeter side of our fearsome thirteen. If you can call demon conjuring, zombie love, and flesh-devouring barnacles “sweet.” A 650-700 word, Epic Romantic Horror Poem was the challenge this episode and didn’t the contestants pull out the good stuff! Despite them not liking it very much.

This week the mini prize was publication in Siren’s Call magazine plus ten bucks from Horroraddicts.net!

Nautical seemed to be hugely popular among the contestants. And I loved the different “Romance” scenarios and they were not all completely serious. The only issue that I have is that we didn’t get to hear the whole poems! They were so good!

First cab off the rank was Under the Water by Sumiko Saulson. It was beautiful and dark, ocean and Leviathan imagery ringing through.

Next was Siren’s Song by Riley Pierce. Haunting and a little sad. One of sacrifice and of possible unrequited love.

Flesh Passion by Feind Gottes was a gorgeously dark tale that makes me long for more. Sticking to Feind’s style, it seems a little thicker on the horror than the other poems. And hearing the judges talk about the rest of it, I definitely want to hear the rest.

Our fourth poem was A Warning on Wings by Jonathan Fortin. JF wove a story of longing in such a poetic way that just left me wanting more, yet again.

The imagery in number five is so beautiful. The Only Thing That Remains by Jess Landry is so sweet, I can only imagine how the rest of the poem goes…

A Vampire and a Zombie by AE Kirk went in, what to me was, totally the other way. Lovely and apocalyptic and comical, if you like decaying flesh jokes (which we have already established that I do like the sick sense of humour) and with back story that I simply must find out…

Maybe I can use my journalistic advantage for evil and request the full poems? (insert maniacal journo laughter here)

If you haven’t noticed (but you probably have), we are down to thirteen contestants. We have lost two of our fearsome – Patrick and Quinten – which is sad. The comp is tough. The challenges, although from the outside may seem easy, are grueling, pushing the contestants to the limits of their creative minds and souls.

This week, I asked the fearsome to give some feedback on how they are going. We are almost halfway and things are really moving. We have some clear leaders at the moment but it is in no ways “in the bag.” The going has been tough, but it is not over yet.

This is what some of them had to say…

“So, the poetry challenge. I didn’t hate it, jajaja, and it was a good opportunity to create something I wouldn’t have created otherwise… About the challenge in general… the important thing, to me, is to keep writing. The contestants have made an incredible effort, an incredible job, and have created amazing art, which is the most important. I hope they keep up the great work.”
JC

“I was one of the few who enjoyed the poetry challenge and, though I didn’t make it into the top six, I had a great time. Sometimes, your submission doesn’t meet the needs of the judges or potential editors. It doesn’t necessarily mean your piece sucks. As writers, we tend to link our personal feelings to our art. We act as though any criticism of what we’ve created is a critique of ourselves, our own personalities. This isn’t the case. Many times, editors have no idea who we are.
Sometimes, rejection can be awesome. I submitted a piece to the Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy earlier this year and received a personal rejection from the editor. He told me what he liked and didn’t like about the story and then, he invited me to submit another story in the future! Best rejection ever! I’ll crack that market yet!
With regards to the contest, I must say I love the challenges. Not only are they fun, they’re also functional. I’m building a terrific portfolio here. It’s something I wouldn’t have done otherwise. And, I say, the more difficult the better. I love testing my brain. This whole thing is a blast. I wish it would never end.”
Naching

“I can only speak for myself but the poetry challenge was the toughest so far for sure. I used to write little poems all the time just for fun but trying to write a poem that long (650-700 words) on a subject, horror romance, that I would never touch with a ten-foot pole was no easy task… I feel this contest has already helped improve my writing overall by forcing me to push my limits. No matter how I end up in this contest be it first place or dead last I will continue writing and searching for outlets for my work. During the course of this contest, I have had two stories accepted for publication and several more in the pipeline with more I’m writing every day. The only real problem I see is that because of how much we are being pushed out of our comfort zones that some who perhaps aren’t doing so well will be discouraged from continuing. Writing is a subjective medium, what one person or judge loves another will hate… Everyone has their own taste in art so no matter what happens in this contest it’s important for me and the other contestants to keep in mind that while we must always strive to improve it is equally important to find like-minded outlets for whatever style it is we do best. I’ve been lucky enough to find some and I hope every one of my talented competitors do also.”
Feind

“I really enjoyed the challenge. It was tricky because I had to abandon the stanza structure I was using in order to make it fit the word count, but it worked out in the end.”
Jonathan

Well, Sumiko, Feind and Jonathan got into the finals this week but it worked out really well for Jonathan in the end, because he is the winner of this week’s challenge! Congrats, #teamjonathan. “Trigger the becoming of the darkest greatest you.” This win puts Jonathan in the lead overall.

This brings us to our sixth challenge. It will be a 3000-5000 word story with music or musical instruments involved and in the horror genre. This will be judged on musical theme, creativeness and writing quality. It will be the longest challenge for the season. The winner will be published in the Horroraddicts.net submission call, Crescendo of Darkness, released in 2018. We are only publishing the winner.

So that brings us up to date and ready for the next episode. Stay tuned addicts! Don’t forget to come and connect with us at the Facebook group and let us know who you are cheering for!

Stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

#NGHW News Episode #140

 

Hello, Addicts!

How has everyone been during the break? Have you survived without us? Well, no need to fear, no need to fret, our fearsome fifteen and the horroraddicts.net team are back this week.

Did you all enjoy Episode #140? It has been a little while so I will give you a reminder. The last episode was a bit of a change up from the “norm” and the writers were challenged to write a script. The script was for a spoof commercial for a make-believe horror product. This was a great way to stretch the writing muscles that are not normally stretched in the horror genre. The spoof had to be original and funny. The mini prize was to have their script professionally produced.

The spoofs that made it through to the semi-finals were Dead Fresh Air Freshener by Fiend, Earl King by Jonathan, The Spoof is Happening by AE, Fang Blings by Jess, Full Moon Undies by Naching, MonsterMatch.com by Timothy, Little Bites Kiddie Coffin by Daphne, Home Stench Plugins by Grave by Sumiko.

The fearsome fifteen were in fine form this episode. All of the semi-finalist did a great job, their commercials were all hilarious and on point. But, alas, only three could make it through to the finals. Fang Blings, MonsterMatch.com and Full Moon Undies were the chosen ones.

This brought about discussions about Monster Body Positivity and the such. This led me to think about dating monsters or horror movie/book characters or bad guys in general.

I have recently noticed that, as a young girl, a had a thing for bad guys. This is not something that I am particularly proud of but it is something that I have noticed now that I am older. Anyone from Jareth from the Labyrinth, the Erl King from Raymond E Feist’s Faerie Tale, even the Riddler from Batman (1966 not Jim Carrey’s) So, I had to ask the fearsome fifteen “If you had to (or got to) date a monster or horror character who would you choose and why?” And I got some very interesting answers.

I would normally chop a little to keep them short or choose only three or so to add, but I just loved everyone’s answers. But here are the six answers that made the cut.

“I would date a siren. I love music so I think we would probably get along pretty well. Unless she liked Nikki Minaj, in which case I do not think we would be very compatible.”
– Timothy

“I’ve had the hardest time answering this. “Horror character” just left so many possibilities. Ultimately though, my answer would be Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although I don’t normally like vampires entering into my romantic dreamworld, I’ve had a crush on Spike most of my life at this point. There’s something about a bloody awful poet turned kick ass bad boy that’s as irresistible as his British accent. I loved the black nail polish, the bleached hair, the singing voice – and of course, he’s the type of man who can really get away with wearing black leather. I also love that he’s so passionate about everything he does. When he’s in love with someone, there’s no limit to what he’ll do to redeem himself in their eyes. The other great thing about Spike (as opposed to my other fictional monster crushes) is that his great love story is one-sided. Unlike many of the other people I considered, if we were dating, I wouldn’t be breaking up a couple that was perfect for each other.”
– Cat

“In horror, most of the monsters are pretty undesirable as potential mates. Paranormal romance is a bit better, but it’s still drama-filled. I would go with a safe monster. I like Reuben Golding in Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift because even though he’s technically a monster, being a werewolf, he’s kind of like Bruce Wayne, and I do love Batman. Reuben is probably less Byronic that Batman. And I do love my Byronic heroes. Come to think of it, maybe the older gent, Felix Nideck, who is darker, more mysterious, and Byronic as all get all would be better, but I think he’s gay, so I’ll stick with Reuben. The werewolves in Wolf Gift only kill and eat the really evil people, like chomos. They hunt as a back, and they keep murdering, dismembering, and gobbling down corrupt Catholic Priests and rings of child molesters. They’re almost like superheroes. When they aren’t killing off the wicked – who they can smell, and sense, with their Ghost Rider like superpowers, they have lots of fun sexy times with their pack mates. Wolves mate for life, don’t you know, so even the not so monogamous ones, while not faithful, are loyal as all get all. That’s hot.”
-Sumiko

“If it were my choice, I’d go with a heroine archetype, like Laurie Strode, from the original Halloween, who was intelligent and resourceful, or Mina Murray, from Dracula (the book version), who was so diligent, so sweet and loving, that she managed to overcome being corrupted by the monster. My perfect date, I think, would be Evelyn Carnahan, from The Mummy (the 1999 film), who was a kick-ass librarian (just imagine all the stories she would know about Egypt and its mythology. Amazing). If I had to, that would mean I would not have a choice. However, this being hypothetical and all, I’d have to go with the devil, as portrayed in the Bedazzled remake. It’s always fun to make a wish just for it to be granted the wrong way (or the right, too literal way). Either that or with a succubus. Succubi seem cute.”
-JC

“I absolutely love Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is something so alluring about a dangerous man that would drain the world, but save one – the woman that his dark heart has always loved. I think my favorite line, the one that popped into my head as soon as you asked us this question, was when Dracula says, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you”. It’s so timelessly romantic, and I’ve always loved that. It’s definitely one of my favorite films.”
-Riley

“When I was young, I had a crush on the cutest, sweetest, funniest vampire ever. He had a terrific green complexion and a snappy wardrobe. He was a great father, grandfather, and animal lover. Yes, I had a crush on Grampa Munster and if you had asked me thirty years ago who I would date, he would’ve been my answer.
Would I answer the same today? Are you crazy? No way! I’m a happily married woman!
I also wear glasses.”
-Naching

Bahahahaha … Love it, Naching.

So, if you don’t already know, I will not hold back any longer! MonsterMatch.com by Timothy took home the mini prize this episode. You can go and read the script here or listen to it here. All the congrats go out to #TeamTimothy and MonsterMatch.com

I must say, I am super excited for this next challenge! The challenge for episode #141 is a 650-700 word horror romance poem. It can be rhyming or free form, but it must have a horror romance theme. It will be judged on sexiness, style, and theme. It can be erotic but porn, rape and/or pedophilia is strictly forbidden. The love must be between two consenting adults. “Think Morticia and Gomez,” says Emz.

So make sure you join us for this next episode, where things are going to heat up! Bow Chicka Wow Wow!

Stay Spooky, Addicts!

Hugs xxx

#NGHW News Episode 139

 

Hello, Addicts!

This week was super interesting on the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. On the horrifying podcast there was a twist to what, I guess, most of us were expecting from this competition. This week’s challenge was to write a horror blog post. The non-fiction horror blogspot was judged on blog-ability, topic and writing quality. We were only given snippets of the top eight posts. But what were given makes me want to read more!

  1. Horror Without Women by Naching Kassa
  2. Five Filmmakers changing the Face of Horror Cinema by Quentin Norris
  3. The Warrens Occult Museum – The Button Eyes of Evil by Riley J Pierce
  4. The Culture of Horror and The Horror of Culture by JC Martinez
  5. Horror Binge by Daphne Strasert
  6. Virtual Reality is revolutionizing horror by Harry Husbands
  7. The True Horror Cat Voluer
  8. Horror Addiction – Is There a Cure? Feind Gottes

The winner this week will be gifted the prize of being featured on Cemetery Confessions, a horror podcast hosted by The Count, who also happens to be our guest judge for the week.

The Count commands THE BELFRY NETWORK, which is a community website, blog, app and podcast which aims to bring us goths, HorrorAddicts, and other pretty little weirdos together.

Blogging is hard. But it is one of the many necessary evils that challenge writers of today. Writers can no longer be the recluse, vampiric (and sometimes, alcoholic) hermits they used to be. With so much out there, so many quality (and not) books being released, something has to make you stand out from the crowd. And a good blog, coupled with quality fan interaction, is often the way to do just that.

Blogging is a skill that takes practice and a successful blog is a creature that must be nurtured and tamed. So, having our fearsome fourteen write a blog post is a great way of showing how well they will cope with their future career.

Emz and Heather discussed briefly the pain of having to give writers bad news and judging them. They discussed how writers are forced to disconnect from their pieces and about how writers can learn, over time, which criticisms to take on and which ones to filter out. And how sometimes, a piece of writing may have been good but may not have been suitable for the audience. “No fluffy bunny posts,” said Heather. But I don’t think this means that we cannot try to stretch the genre boundaries.

Genre is a tricky beast and our genre – horror – is sweeping and vast. It is not just about the blood. It’s not just about the scare. It’s not just about the monsters or ghosts or madness. It is about the feelings horror instills and conjures inside us. Looking for new, genre-bending, fiction, in all forms and mediums, should be our goal.

So, back on topic!

This week Daphne Strasert and Quentin Norris were our runners up and their full horror blog posts can be read here.

And, the winner for this week is Harry Husbands! His piece on Virtual Reality playing a pivotal role in the future of horror films and horror fiction was the blogspot that won the judges’ favor. But, alas, you will have to wait until the 2nd of June, 2017, to hear the whole thing. It will be read and discussed on Cemetery Confessions. Congrats #teamharry!

Harry has his own blog as do many of our other contestants.

Adelle also has her own blog and she says, “I love blogging and I have been lucky that through blogging and communicating with other bloggers that my book Wisp has been promoted and reviewed. Also, I have some amazing blogs on my reading list, from the esoteric, horror, sci-fi and self-help. Along with lots of writers who support one another. Articles have helped me enormously in my own life as well as my writing life.” You can check out her here. You can also go check out what is inside JC’s head at Slimy Yet Tasty. Naching can be found lurking at the Frighten Me! Blog. And our dear, busy, Daphne has not one but two blogspots – Write As Rain and Daphne Reads X-men.

I feel like that is enough blogging about blogging for now, so go and follow us on the social media and join in the discussions. And, as always, STAY SPOOKY!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens

#NGHW News 138

 

Hello, Addicts!

Well, how good were this week’s stories! I can’t tell you how happy I am that our judges did not agree. This way, we were blessed with seven stories instead of the promised three. And oh my Odin, what stories they were!

So this week’s challenge was to write 250 words about a monster. Seven monsters we were given, three survived to the next round and then one was picked and deemed worthy of the mini prize – Professional audio production of the winning short story.

Our stories, this week were:
1 LARVAE #teamsumiko
2 THE PET #teamdaphne
3 LINGUA #teamJC
4 BLOODWORM #teamjonathan
5 THE ODDMENTS MONSTER #teamadele
6 THE LAUGHING MAN #teamnaching
7 ALWAYS HUNGRY #teamcat
You can read and/or listen to all these brilliant stories here.

In the discussion after the stories were read, we learned some juicy deets about our beautiful, spooky host, Emz. Our leader into the night is scared of insects and monkeys! And even though the contestants have been warned, it will be interesting to see if any of them draw on this info for their next projects. Knowing what spooks the judges could give them a leg up or tear them down. Only time will tell if any of them dare to scare our dearest Emz.

But this discussion leads me to think … What do our fearsome fifteen fear? What makes our makers of fear jump in the night? I simply had to ask. (And if you’re wondering what scares me, it’s koalas.)

We had some super interesting answers. AE Kirk – our archaeologist – was freaked out by skeletons as a child. Sumiko – the author of LARVAE – has an irrational fear of maggots, which may explain her monster. Naching – our winner for this week’s challenge (oh, had I not mentioned that yet!) – is claustrophobic. Ten points to who can guess what JC is scared of …

One story, which I really wanted to share with you, was from our sweet Daphne. I will let her tell you the story…

“I am TERRIFIED of ladybugs. Yes, the little red and black beetles that populate gardens and children’s story books. I wasn’t always afraid of them–I wore a ladybug dress to my first day of kindergarten–but that all changed when I was ten.
My parents, after twenty-plus years of marriage, finally built their dream home in the Missouri countryside: a magazine-worthy log cabin situated on five acres of wooded land. All was well. The house was completed and we moved in. But at some point during the construction process, ladybugs had laid eggs in one of the interior rooms–specifically, what would become my room.
After a few weeks, the eggs hatched. Thousands of them. While the room had been open to the environment when they were deposited, it was now sealed, locking the beetles inside the house along with me. They were everywhere: in my bed, my clothes, my hair. Their tiny armored bodies blocked out the light that streamed through my windows as they swarmed toward what they thought was freedom. My father would vacuum my room every day (taking the wriggling, writhing mass of insects outside for disposal), only for more ladybugs to appear in their kin’s place. This continued for months before a significant majority of the monsters had been rehomed outside (where I assume they went on to reproduce more of their abhorrent kind). Yet, to this day, when visiting my childhood home, I, without fail, find one of them creeping over a couch cushion or across my arm.”

So, back to the contest. The top three stories this week were BLOODWORM by Jonathan Fortin, THE PET by Daphne Straset and THE LAUGHING MAN by Naching T Kassa. But I totally already spoiled it by telling you that Naching won. Her story, set in a war zone and crossed with creepy bedtime tale, won her this week’s mini prize which you can also hear on the podcast.

Next week on the #NGHW contest is challenge number 3! Write a 450-500 word, non-fiction, blog post about anything horror. This is to test our fearsome fifteen’s ability to blog which is a super important asset for any writer’s career. This is a very different challenge that may see some different contestants take the limelight. It will be really interesting to see how the contestants handle non-fiction. They will be judged on:
• Blog ability. What will appeal to the readers.
• Topic interest. Is it something horror addicts are interested in today.
• Writing quality.
The winner will have their subject discussed on a prominent horror podcast.
So, who will you follow? Perhaps you will be on #teamjonathan – the gothic, demon lover with a taste for the unique and bizarre – or #teamfeind – Cthulu’s best friend and our favourite metal head – or #teamquentin – our filmmaking fan of Frankenstein’s monster – or #teamriley – the beautiful cosplaying gal who loves herself a little bit of Freddy. Let us know in the comments or on the social media.

Stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise M Cullens