By The Fire: Episode 149: Challenge 13: This is the End

As I start to write this post the song that is playing in my head is The End by The Doors. Because that’s what this is, the end of the contest and what a trip it has been. The last challenge in The Next Great Horror Writer for episode 149 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast is the hardest one yet. This one was only open to the semi-finalists and they had to submit The first 3 chapters of their horror fiction novel including a cover letter, synopsis, and query. Wow!!! I have the highest respect for everyone in this contest because they had to work hard to be a part of it and everyone in it has shown how dedicated they are to their craft. The winner of this challenge and the grand prize for the contest is a book contract from Crystal Lake Publishing.

To sit and think on what everyone in this contest had to do to stay in it just boggles my mind. I can’t imagine doing it myself but this little group of writers really showed us what they were made of. The contest began with almost 120 entries and we eventually saw the field get narrowed down to just few. Along the way our writers had to produce an audio drama, a commercial, short stories, non fiction blog posts, create a monster, an intro to an original character and finally the beginning of a novel.

Through the course of this contest we’ve seen all of these writers grow and improve their skills and get tested like never before. I’ve really enjoyed the journey of these writers throughout this season of the podcast and it makes me sad to see just one winner. I think everyone in the contest should consider themselves a winner and be proud of what they have accomplished. Even if you get rid of all the other parts of the contest and just look at the fact that these writers have gotten to the point where they have submitted the first three chapters of their book is a big deal.

A lot of work goes into writing a novel, the planning, the outlining, the rewrites and finally the finished product. Some people spend years working on a novel and in my opinion its the most personal art form there is. Writers have to put their heart and soul into their novels and sending it to a publisher takes a lot of guts. It’s not easy becoming a published author, there is a lot of work involved in the process and when you do get published a whole new set of challenges await you. A writer’s work is never done and the ones that keep doing it are the ones that consider it their passion.

So Addicts, what did you think of the contest as a whole? Who did you think did the best job on this challenge? what do you thing the hardest part of doing a query and a cover letter are? Have you done one? What are the experiences you’ve had? Let us know in the comments.

 

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#NGHW WInner: Mocha Memoirs Press Publication

 

Winner of the Mocha Memoirs Press Publication is:

Jonathan Fortin with

Nightmarescapes


Nightmarescapes

In a town…where nightmares are solid, a mother is trying to find a way out for the good of her young daughter. She has to fight ghost-like creatures that can control her nightmares and a Spider monsters from her own imagination.

Hero: An African-American mother.

Monster: Spider Nazi with her ex-husband’s head.

 

You’ll soon be able to read Jonathan’s story in a publication by Mocha Memoirs Press.

 

#NGHW News: Episode 147

 

Hello, my Horror Fiends!

This week I’m filling in for your favorite news reporter Adelise since she will be gone for a few weeks. This weeks contest was to create an audio-drama that was no shorter than five minutes but no longer than six minutes. This week’s contestants did a pretty good job. The judges loved the entries this week with a few hiccups. The main issue was that the contestants put visual cues in their audio-dramas. But, you can’t see anything in an audio-drama so it made no sense to add visual elements to this challenge. There were a few contestants that didn’t quite make it the five minutes and a few that ran over time. I actually fangirled this episode because I absolutely love audio-dramas and the cheesiness that goes along with the acting. With that being said, let’s get down to it!

This week’s guest judge was Frank H. Woodward, award winning writer, director, and producer. His top three favorite audio-dramas were:

#3: Fiend Gotts – “Soul bird” was great because the 2 strangers were talking and it felt intimate. He didn’t like how the story ended right as it was getting good.

#2: Harry Husbands – “Turn up & Die” loved the setting for local hangout for the actors who played victims in horror films as well as thought the satire was great. But he didn’t care for the ending because it was stereotypical and the strength would rely on visual gags but it is an audio-drama.

#1: Jonathan Fortin – “Consumption.” was a story in the audio realm with identifiable characters and classic radio in every way.

The top six contestants this week, in no particular order, were:

JONATHAN FORTIN
HARRY HUSBANDS
NACHING KASSA
JESS LANDRY
SUMIKO SAULSON
DAPHNE STRASERT

The top three were:

Harry Husbands – “Turn Up and Die”

Jonathan Fortin – “Consumption.”

Daphne Strasert – “Secondhand Heart.”

THE WINNER THIS WEEK IS Daphne Strasert – “Secondhand Heart.”

Congrats Daphne! Third major win this season. All of the contestants did an amazing job on this challenge. It was innovating, difficult, and yet very entertaining. One thing that Emz and Heather decided this week was to give a chance to the contestants who did not win this season to submit their short stories to the upcoming HorrorAddicts anthology series, “Crescendo of Darkness”. The stories are due no later than Halloween. I will also be submitting a story for this anthology, as well. I can’t wait to read the contestants’ stories!

There is only one more round and then grand finale! Here are the points ranked:

In the lead is Daphne Strassert with 782  points.

Trailing a tad behind her is Jonathan Fortis with 757 points.

Last but not least is Naching T Kassa with 743 points.

Will someone else be able to knock one of the top three out of the running next week? Are these contestants the ones who will be able to pitch their novel for the grand finale? Make sure you keep tuned in to know what happens! It’s getting really close to the finale and I know I’m excited to see which one of our talented contestants will come out on top.

Until next time Horror Addicts, stay scared.

Kenzie

By The Fire: Episode 146: Challenge 11: Write a 5-6 minute Horror Audio Drama

Hello, Addicts, how time flies, we are getting towards the end of The Next Great Horror Writer contest and we have another tough challenge to talk about. In episode 146 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast, the challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to write a 5-6 minute horror audio drama. This is another one of those challenges that doesn’t sound too hard but really is. At first glance, 5-6 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but when you write it out, that’s 6 pages of script. Contestants will be judged on creativity, entertainment value, and concept. Contestants have to come up with their own characters and own idea, they can’t use anyone else’s characters or established story. Winner will get their audio drama produced for the show.

One great thing about this contest is that the participants are really getting tested in every aspect of writing. They have had interviews, short stories, commercials, nonfiction blog posts and other challenges. An audio drama is another form of writing that is very different from any other form of writing. When I think of audio dramas I think of the old radio plays from the thirties and forties. Radio plays are kind of a lost art form but if you look for them you can still find podcasts dedicated to this art. The horroraddicts.net podcast has had a few good audio dramas throughout the years.

Audio dramas are very different from reading a short story or novel, the story is always important but in this case, you have to tell a lot of your story in dialogue form. You also probably need a narrator to set up the story and you have to consider what kind of sound effects you would need. Finding voice actors may be something that has to be considered also.

So Addicts, do you enjoy listening to audio dramas? If so what are some of your favorites and what makes an audio drama good? I think the right voice actors play a big part in it but you also have to come up with good characters, a good setting and a great story idea. So what do you think the contestants will come up with and who do you think will do the best job? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

#NGHW – Guest Judge : Frank H. Woodward

This week, we welcome guest judge, Frank H. Woodward.
Frank will be helping us judge the Audiodramas this week!

Frank H. Woodward

fhw-photoFrank H. Woodward is an award-winning producer, director, writer and documentary filmmaker with over 25 years experience in film and television production. His feature documentaries are fueled by a deep love of sci-fi, horror and fantasy. His first documentary was the award winning Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. His other documentary work includes the critically acclaimed Men In Suits, a look at the art of creature suits and the actors that bring those characters to life. As a screenwriter, Frank wrote the sequel Wrong Turn 6: Last Resortfor Fox and the SyFy Original Movie Black Forest. He was also an executive producer on the SyFy International film Firequake. In 2015, Frank completed the short films Balloon and Quint In ’58 (co-directed with Jack Bennett) while writing three of the Elements of Disaster TV film series. A “film entrepreneur”, Frank is thrilled to explore new frontiers for independent filmmakers beyond the Hollywood system.

Listen to episode #97 to hear an interview with our guest judge this week!

HorrorAddicts.net 097, Season Finale (Oct 2013), Lucy Blue, Frank H. Woodward, Dr. Rotz
Horror Addicts Episode# 097
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
With Guests: Camellia Rains and Ari DaWintre
Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

lucy blue, frank h. woodward, dr. rotz, versailles, translyvania 6-5000

halloween traditions, type-o negative, bloody kisses, translyvania 6-5000, jay hartlove, the chosen, the wickeds, horrible disasters, dr. rotz interview, vampire nurse candy, midnight syndicate, mimielle, goth fashion, zombie george washington, wheelman press, brian herbert, the chef’s table, best band season 8 poll, versailles, free fiction friday, bite club, hal bodner, david books, charla, alexander beresford, frank h. woodward interview, black magic, kbatz, atlantic city zombie walk, most wicked announced, wicked women writers, winner, rick kitagawa, writer’s workshop, events, dead mail, haunted place to go, lucy blue interview

Goodbye, my darklings, until next year. Please be safe and stay spooky!

By The Fire: Episode 145: Challenge 10: Write a 1200-1500 word, non-fiction interview of yourself

In episode 145 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast, the challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to write a 1200-1500 word, non-fiction interview of yourself. The idea is to come up with questions and ask them how a reporter might ask them and then answer them as a professional writer may answer them. The contestants will be judged on interest of questions, interest of answers, and style. Does this sound like an easy challenge? Not really.

Though they are not being judged for it, the hardest part of this challenge may be selling yourself and your writing. In an interview, the author is the star of the show and the point is to get the readers of the interview to want to buy the author’s work. A writer has to wear several different hats, they may be good at writing fiction but can they sell the reader on their work by describing themselves and their stories in an interview?

Being able to come up with good answers in an interview is important because the person reading it is trying to make a decision on if they like the writer or not and if they are willing to purchase their work. It doesn’t matter how great of a writer you are, if you can’t sell yourself in an interview, you may have trouble getting a reader interested in your work. Personally, for me I love reading interviews, it’s a great way to get to know an author and decide if you like them or not. I’ve often made the decision on whether to buy or not to buy someone’s work based on the answers to interview questions. So in other words, learning how to act in an interview is an important skill.

So how about you, Addicts? Have you bought someone’s book based on an interview they had? I know I have. Can you come up with any examples of a good interview or a bad one? What do you think our contestants will focus on in their interview? What is the most important thing for a writer to talk about in an interview? Let us know in the comments.

By The Fire: Episode 145: Challenge 9: Write a 1200-1500 word campfire tale in storyteller format

Hey HorrorAddicts, I hope you’re enjoying the contest so far because things are getting more exciting. In episode 145 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast, the challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to write a 1200-1500 word campfire tale in storyteller format, as if you are telling it to us around the campfire. Contestants will be judged on scare factor, originality and storytelling ability. The winner will have their story published by horroraddicts.net publishing as part of their “Horror Bites Series”.

Campfire tales are possibly the most fun form of horror storytelling there is. If a campfire tale isn’t simple enough it will lose its effect. They should be short, hopefully, have a monster, crazed killer or a ghost and a shock ending would be the icing on the cake. Campfire tales aren’t rocket science, the story doesn’t have to even be that good as long as it’s scary. The whole idea is to gather around the campfire and try to scare your friends with tales of the grotesque or a good urban legend. We’re all storytellers if you think about it and a campfire is a perfect place to perfect your craft.

So Addicts, have you ever told scary tales around the fire? I think most people have, it’s like a rite of passage. To quote A Nightmare Before Christmas: “life’s no fun without a good scare”. What were the stories you tried to scare your friends with? Was your audience scared? Did someone scare you with their story? Pretend this blog is a roaring fire and let us know what your favorite scary story is and leave your tall tale in the comments.