Posts Tagged ‘ horror ’

The Top Twenty

haunting words

First: thanks to everyone who entered the competition. We were delighted at the enthusiastic response to our call for modern, scary stories.

Due to the large number of entries for the Campaign for Real Fear, and the high calibre of the final group of submissions, Chris and I have decided to select twenty winning stories.

You will be able to read the first batch of ten stories in the June issue (#17) of Black Static followed by the second batch of ten stories in the August issue (#18), and they will be podcast by Action Audio.

Top Twenty

  • ‘Copy Degradation’ by Gemma Files; Canada
  • ‘In The Night Supermarket’ by James Burt; UK
  • ‘Nice One, Truly’ by Alan Morgan; UK
  • ‘On The Beaten Path’ by Janos Honkonen; Finland
  • ‘Sanctuary’ by Katherine Hughes; UK
  • ‘The Price’ by Jennifer Williams; UK
  • ‘The Rude Little Girl’ by Kaaron Warren; Australia
  • ‘This Is Mung’ by Christine Emmett; South Africa
  • ‘The Flinchfield Dance’ by Mary Elizabeth Burroughs; Australia
  • ‘Shades of Blue’ by Catherine MacLeod; Canada
  • ‘Infected With Death’ by John Fagan; UK
  • ‘The Exchange’ by Eileen Chao; USA
  • ‘Under The Microscope’ by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt; USA
  • ‘See You Later’ by M. M. De Voe; USA
  • ‘Showtime’ by James Carroll; Australia
  • ‘Hounded’ by Christina Koh; UK
  • ‘Big Brother, Little Sister’ by Sam Fleming; UK
  • ‘Cuckoo’ by Lorraine Slater; UK
  • ‘Dreadless’ by Anna Rogala; UK
  • ‘Give Me More Eyes for Nakedness’ by Paul Synnott; UK

Honourable Mentions

Congratulations to all our winners for writing such memorable stories!

We’re saddened we couldn’t take more, which is why we listed seven honourable mentions. There were several other strong contenders we had to put aside with a great deal of regret.

We received a range of work from first-time writers through to seasoned professionals. Our final group represents a spectrum of experience as well as showcasing the variety of talent writing modern horror fiction.

Our feedback and analysis of the competition will appear in the June issue of Black Static, and afterwards we will publish it here.

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Final Week

The Final DoorChris and I have been receiving a steady stream of submissions for the past two weeks, partly due to The Guardian article and our promotion of the competition at the two big conventions in the UK.

Remember, the deadline for submissions is this Friday, the 16th of April at 5pm GMT. Please read our FAQ for details on how to enter.

If you have a horrid tale desperate for expression, please write it and get it to us by Friday. We will not read any stories received after the deadline.

Again, I’d encourage people to think differently about horror, and what scares you.

The majority of the submissions have come from the UK and the USA, along with a smattering of entries from countries such as Finland, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. We’d love to see more work from international horror writers, so fire up your laptops!

It’s only 500 words. What’s the worst that can happen?

Campaign at World Horror

World Horror Convention 2010Both Chris and I will be attending the World Horror Convention 2010 in Brighton, which kicks off tomorrow.

Please feel free to speak to us during the convention about the Campaign for Real Fear. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Just don’t press scraps of wrinkled paper scrawled with 500-words of frightful fiction into our hands. Electronic submissions only.

If you’re wondering where you can catch us I suggest the bar is a good place to start! I’ll be in Brighton this afternoon, and Chris will be arriving early on Friday morning.

I’ll be moderating a panel on Saturday at noon, in the Russell Room, called Femme Fatales: How Can We Get More Women in Horror?, where I’ll be in the distinguished company of Ellen Datlow, Tanith Lee, Allyson Bird, Sarah Pinbourgh and Suzanne McLeod.

Chris will be moderating The ‘X’ Factor, on Friday at 10am in the Lounge, with Les Edwards, Bob Eggleton, Allen Koszowski, Kim Newman and John L Probert.

On Saturday at 3pm in the Russell Room, Chris is moderating a panel titled When is Horror Not Horror?, with Matt Curran,  Simon R Green, Jasper Kent, Nicholas Royle and Michael Marshall Smith.

Finally, Chris is discussing Teenage Nightmare: The Future of Young Adult Horror on Sunday at 1pm in the Russell Room with Ian Hunter, Tanith Lee, David Simms and  Dan Wells.

Early analysis

Since we’re a couple of weeks into the Campaign for Real Fear I thought it might be useful to look at the submissions breakdown so far by gender.

In the first week of the competition we received an almost 50/50 ratio of submissions from men and women. Chris and I were very pleased by this.

In the past week however, we’ve had more submissions by men and less by women.

Women: send more stories! Men: keep submitting!

The Campaign for Real Fear offers writers the chance to do something different. Take a risk, be inventive with your language, explore the fear of 21st century life, and tell us a story. It’s 500 words: what’s the worse that can happen?

Challenge yourself. Scare yourself – and us.

Everyone is welcome in the Campaign for Real Fear!

Read our FAQ, and email us your work, now.

Stoker Awards 2009

Stoker Award

Horror writer Lisa Morton has put together a very useful web page listing the nominees for the 2009 Bram Stoker Awards – the annual awards decided by the members of the Horror Writers Association to honour the best horror writing during the year.

If you’re wondering what horror fiction is currently getting attention it’s a good page to visit, especially since Lisa took the trouble to include photos of the nominees and their past publications/history.

The winners will be announced at the Stoker Banquet on Saturday, March 27 as part of this year’s World Horror Convention in Brighton.

Remember, keep the submissions for the Campaign for Real Fear rolling in! Before you know it the deadline of April 16th will be upon us.

The campaign starts now

Alien ArchitectureWhat are the horror myths for the 21st century?

Sure, we all love our werewolves and vampires, but where are the new monsters for our age? Where are the characters that reflect the diversity in our streets and neighbourhoods? What are the stories that tap into the terrors of modern life?

We want to read them, in 500-word bites.

Check out our FAQ, and submit your best story by 5pm GMT, on Friday the 16th of April 2010.

The top ten stories will be published in Black Static, and podcast by Action Audio.

If you want change, you better write it.

Get passionate. Get personal. Get published.

Evolution

How did the Campaign for Real Fear originate?

In mid-September 2009, in a blog post entitled Horror Wants Women to Scream But Not Talk, Maura pointed out that the British Fantasy Society was launching a new collection of interviews with 16 horror writers, but had neglected to record an opinion from any women in the field. Later that day Chris posted about the matter, and the debate went around the Internet.

Luckily, the story had a better ending than beginning. Maura posted only a few days later: BFS Apologies for Forgetting Women, and Chris picked up on the piece on his blog too: Horror Wants Women to Scream II: Response. A day or two later The Guardian wrote an article about the incident: British Fantasy Society admits ‘lazy sexism’ over male-only horror book. The BFS impressed everyone with its quick and honest admission of error, and it appeared as if lessons had been learned.

Women in Horror

Around the same time an initiative began called Women in Horror Recognition Month. Its aim was to encourage people to blog and promote women who work in the horror industry during February 2010.

The idea received a lot of support and as February 2010 started blog sites, twitter feeds and Facebook entries were written about women’s contribution to horror. With the advent of World Horror Convention Maura had been spending a lot of time reading horror, with a particular focus on work by women writers. Chris and Maura struck up a conversation in an email exchange about the state of the industry as it is generally portrayed. Chris felt that the horror genre needed a new movement: one that reflected a modern world, with all its diversity and strange terrors.

In a stroke of dismal irony, the genre magazine SFX decided to launch a special horror edition that month, without much contribution from women. Maura wrote about the matter in a blog post SFX Forgets Women in Horror, and wrote to the editor, Ian Berriman, to query how the magazine ended up being a one-sided representation of the horror industry. Chris also discussed the question in Horror: Something for the Boys?, and first raised the question: “Where are the new monsters?” He followed up with an entry called Horror for the Boys 2: The Campaign for Real Fear, and first named his idea for a new horror movement.

Just a few days later Maura posted a blog post called SFX Responds: A Long Post, in which she published Ian Berriman’s reply, and her reaction to his litany of poor excuses.

Early in March Maura’s blog entry Women in Horror: A Summary of Recent Posts, gave an overview of the responses from a variety of sources to Ian’s explanation for forgetting about women  in the horror industry.

On March 9th Chris declared the Campaign for Real Fear: Open for Business.

It’s important to stress that while this movement began from the glaring omission of women from the horror genre, the Campaign for Real Fear wants diversity in themes, characters and monsters. It’s time to reflect a twenty-first century horror sensibility, one that explores what scares us most in our rapidly changing world.

If you want change, you better write it.

Check out our FAQ, and submit your scariest story.