Black Speculative Fiction Month: Day Seven


Here’s a great mention of my horror collection Devil Entendre by Brent Lambert over at R.R.A.P. magazine, who also says I’m “a maestro of the grotesque and horrifying.”

Originally posted on The R.R.A.P. Magazine:


Title: Devil Entendre

Author: John Edward Lawson

Where you can find it:

Why you should get it: “Devil Entendre is a Petri dish in which the dark moments of our lives are allowed to evolve unencumbered”.  That’s straight from the book blurb.  If there is nothing else that makes you want to pick up this book then pick it up for the beautiful use of language.  But it’s October and if you like the holiday of Halloween as much as I do then you’re probably looking for something to spook you.  And this is coming from a black man so need to worry about getting killed off five seconds into the movie or still getting killed off after making every logical choice possible.  Check it out.

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Halloween Preorders

Two great novels will be arriving in time for the Halloween season from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Please support the authors with preorders, or by helping to spread the word to readers who will enjoy their work. On behalf of Lucy and Andy, and everyone at RDSP: thank you!

All the Darkness in the World

All the Darkness in the World book coverHigh school is hard for many but Jace has more than his fair share of troubles. It’s bad enough that his parents’ fights have become explosive and he’s the target of a bully at school but all that pales when he happens on the scene of a brutal back alley crime. Though he survives this terrifying encounter he’s left wondering and unsure about exactly what happened.

Years go by and Jace has built a simple life for himself. Finally free of his family he’s beginning to really live when a dark shadow returns to torment him. He didn’t back down from his father or the bully so he’s not going to back down now but it will take every ounce of his irreverent attitude and a healthy dose of luck to survive this time. He’s about to learn that vampires do exist and  there’s nothing romantic about them.

This book will be released Halloween, and can be preordered at

Author Andy Deane
Author Andy Deane

About the author: Andy Deane is a modern renaissance man, having found success as a musician with the band Bella Morte, a horror author, and as a photographer. He has recently given stand-up comedy a shot, and enjoys making people laugh uncomfortably. He was raised on a steady diet of horror films from the time he figured out what a drive-in theater was, and despite his constant ear to ear grin he never lost his love for art that dares to peer in to darker places. Andy was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and figures he’ll be buried there someday.

While the Black Stars Burn

BOOKS-wheretheblackstarsburn1Lucy Snyder’s stories are the sort that carry you away to unusual places, usually dark ones, and this collection is a perfect example. As the follow-up to the Bram Stoker Award winning collection Soft Apocalypses, it contains plenty of darkly imaginative tales. Many of these stories, including the title piece, are heavily influenced by the work of H.P. Lovecraft and The King in Yellow mythos. They whisper madly among each other creating weird echoes. Like the black stars of theoretical astronomy they are dense entities born from polarization so strong that instead of collapsing into nothingness, a black hole, they instead form dark constellations burning dimly with spectral light.

Italian artist Daniele Serra has created a cover that perfectly reflects the breath-taking and layered tales within. He is a winner of the British Fantasy Award and has worked with companies such as DC Comics, Image Comics, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales Magazine and PS Publishing.

The book will be released in November. Preorder at

About the author: Lucy A. Snyder is the four-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess, and the collections Soft Apocalypses, Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide, Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Steampunk World, In the Court of the Yellow King, Shadows Over Main Street, Qualia Nous, The Library of the Dead, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5.

Author Lucy Snyder
Author Lucy Snyder

Lucy was born in South Carolina but grew up in grew up in the cowboys-and-cactus part of Texas. She currently lives in Worthington, Ohio with her husband and occasional co-author Gary A. Braunbeck.

Lucy has a BS in biology and an MA in journalism and is a graduate of the 1995 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as a computer systems specialist, science writer, biology tutor, researcher, software reviewer, radio news editor, and bassoon instructor. She currently mentors students in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction.

If genres were wall-building nations, Lucy’s stories would be forging passports, jumping fences, swimming rivers and dodging bullets. You can learn more about her at and you can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.

4th Annual Raw Dog Screaming Press Event at MAC

Morgantown Poets will feature its 4th annual Raw Dog Screaming Press event with authors J.L. Gribble and B.E. Burkhead at 7pm Thursday August 20 at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC). An Open Mic follows immediately thereafter.

284a1-jlgribbleJ. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor who also does freelance fiction editing in all genres. Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her thesis novel for the program. This is her debut novel.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

AUTHORS-BEBurkheadB. E. Burkhead is a poet, writer and artist. He lives on the vestigial tail of Maryland with his wife, son and an army of starving cats. His first book of poetry, The Underside of the Rainbow, was published by Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2015.

Public parking is available near the MAC in the parking garage at the corner of Pleasant and Chestnut Streets and at the city lot behind 142 High Street (enter off Spruce). The MAC is accessible to individuals with special mobility requirements; schedule ahead at least two days prior to the event by calling 304-292-3325, or write to

Award Honorable Mention


I, along with a number of other authors, received some very good news recently. The final ballot for the Wonderland Book Award has been announced. I did not quite make it onto the final ballot, but my collection, Paramourn: Unfortunate Romances, was one of only six books to receive honorable mention. The details on the award voting process, and the full ballot, are below.

Wonderland Book Award – Final Ballot 2015
Preliminary voting has ended and the final ballot has been determined. Here are the nominations for this year’s Wonderland Book Awards:

American Monster by J.S. Breukelaar
Dodgeball High by Bradley Sands
Dungeons & Drag Queens by M.P. Johnson
Hungry Bug by Carlton Mellick III
Pus Junkies by Shane McKenzie

I Like Turtles: The Collected Flashes of G. Arthur Brown
 by G. Arthur Brown
I’ll Fuck Anything that Moves and Stephen Hawking by Violet LeVoit
Misery Death and Everything Depressing by C.V. Hunt
Murder Stories for your Brain Piece by Kevin Strange
Stranger Danger by Kevin Strange and Danger Slater

We’d like to give honorable mentions to the titles that came close to placing on the final ballot. These titles are:
The Last Horror Novel In The History of the World by Brian Allen Carr, Hell’s Waiting Room by C.V Hunt, Hearers of the Constant Hum by William Pauley III, Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit by J. David OsborneCreep House by Andersen Prunty and Paramourn by John Edward Lawson.

Voting ends October 31st. Only BizarroCon attendees are eligible to vote. Send your votes (one per category) to

The Wonderland Book Awards for excellence in Bizarro Fiction are presented annually at BizarroCon in Portland, OR.
To register for BizarroCon 2015 please visit

The Pentagon’s Dangerous Views on the Wartime Press

Originally posted on ROSE COVERED GLASSES:

NYT Brian Stauffer NYT Brian Stauffe


“The Defense Department earlier this summer released a comprehensive manual outlining its interpretation of the law of war. The 1,176-page document, the first of its kind, includes guidelines on the treatment of journalists covering armed conflicts

Journalists, the manual says, are generally regarded as civilians, but may in some instances be deemed “unprivileged belligerents,” a legal term that applies to fighters that are afforded fewer protections than the declared combatants in a war.

Equally bizarre is the document’s suggestion that reporters covering wars should operate only with the permission of “relevant authorities” or risk being regarded as spies.

Even more disturbing is the document’s broad assertion that journalists’ work may need to be censored lest it reveal sensitive information to the enemy.

In some instances, the document says, “the relaying of information (such as providing information of immediate use in combat operations) could…

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Categories (From The Crumbling Mansions)

Originally posted on stephanheard:

It’s become a common occurrence to categorize everything we encounter. This enables us to better understand the world. If we put everything into boxes, into categories, it’s easier to understand the unknown or the alien and uncertain. Formal logic works this way (albeit with different categorizations, such as how we put together arguments), but it’s not strictly limited to logic.

Perhaps Aristotle is to blame for this intensive categorizing in the West. Aristotle was famous for categorizing his thought, in order to make it clear. A famous example is his categorization of the active life versus the contemplative life as separate but good ways of living, when it would seem a synthesis of the two would lead to an ultimately better life.

Categories can be helpful, until they start to lead to stereotypes about people. When we start categorizing people, we have lost sight of our brotherhood (the brotherhood of…

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B.E. Burkhead’s Poetry Debut

UndersideCoverToday marks the release of The Underside of the Rainbow by B.E. Burkhead. To say that I recommend this book is an understatement. Here is the introduction I provided for the book:

Chamber Pot of Gold: An Introduction

When I first met Blake it was during my tenure as editor-in-chief of The Dream People. This was back in the early 2000’s, when Blake was a avid reader of our publication. He was so enthusiastic and so skilled in the arts that I did not at first realize quite how young he was at the time.

So it came to be that Blake—as a high school student—became a regular contributor to not only The Dream People, but also provided artwork for Spider Pie by Alyssa Sturgill and the Tempting Disaster anthology I edited. Blake also made pins for us to distribute promotionally, and designed artwork for a Dream People writing journal. We were always corresponding back then, either through email or post or just talking on the phone, and I would send him old magazines to cut up for his collage work. Then he and Alyssa started up a publication of their own, an online ’zine called Blood Cookies, they began publishing my work frequently, so our relationship was a two-way street.

The first time I met in person Blake was at the HorrorFind Convention north of Baltimore in August, 2005 just after my son was born. Blake’s online persona was hardly indicative of just how bursting with energy and creativity and humor he is in person. Soon after that we fell out of touch, gradually as people do over the years, with me raising my son and growing busier with my career, and Alyssa moving away and shutting down Blood Cookies, and Blake moving out on his own and starting a family.

If Blake were someone to follow the typical trajectory this would be where things ended…but, no. Thanks to social media we met up again just a couple years ago. During the intervening years Blake had matured, certainly, but he had retained his vigor and originality. Even more, he had spent those years honing his skills as part of a performance poetry troupe. He and his wife and son were all at my home for dinner and an evening of conversation, and when it was over, as I walked them out to their car, Blake said something about his poem “The Underside of the Rainbow” and how he’d like to perform it for me some time.

Again, following typical trajectories in social situations with other authors and editors, I would normally abstain from such a thing. Authors always want you to read their work, always want your opinion, and so forth, but knowing Blake and having heard that awesome title, I said he should go ahead and do so right then. I did not regret it. In fact, I was blown away. Most professional authors doing readings at book signings or conventions fail to be even half as captivating as Blake was in his unprepared performance standing on my driveway in the dark.

I stared at Blake, at his wonderful wife, and back to Blake. Then I said, “So…you have any more poems?” I was sold.
It just so happens that Blake often composes his verse without writing it down, reciting the work over and over so he will be able to commit it to paper later. I’m not big on performance poetry myself, because it typically refines the performance while falling flat on the page. In the case of the manuscript Blake sent me this expectation was defied.
There aren’t a lot of people who can sculpt a poetic arrangement of words from an unusual concept or unique observation. There are fewer still who can arrange these words on the page as competently as they enact them in the live arena—and vice versa. My belief is these accomplishments have been achieved because Blake works from a place of unflinching emotional honesty. Flip through as many magazines and literary journals as you want, or prowl the open mic nights, but you’ll find people playing to crowds. Blake plays to the art.

Now for the the predictable bit about taking somebody under your tutelage, developing their career, et cetera: I have always been a student of those whose work I put in print. Over the years I’ve received multiple poetry award nominations, and it was working with people like Blake that always inspired  me, pushed me forward. No matter where the art lead, no matter how unexpected or bizarre or discouraging things got, Blake’s support contributed to my knowing I’d be the better for taking the journey. The Underside of the Rainbow reads much the same way.

Of Blake’s crazed verse I can say only that, in the words of Paracelsus, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” So take care with how much you read in any one sitting, and be warned that, as Blake points out, madness is addictive, never more so than in his hands.

-John Lawson
Bowie, Maryland June 16, 2015

The Full Blue Moon 16th #FullMoonEngageMe #SocialMedia Event on #EmpireAvenue #SocialNetworking


Empire Avenue users take note!

Originally posted on DES Daughter Network:

blue-moon Between Wednesday 29th of July and Sunday 2nd of August 2015, join our free social media event taking place at each Full Moon – via #EAv – and give a boost to your social networking! Nearly Full Blue Moon image via peter jones.

The Full Blue Moon

Each year, the moon completes its final cycle about 11 days before the Earth finishes its orbit around the sun. These days add up, and every two and a half years or so, there is an extra full moon, called a Blue Moon. The origin of the term is uncertain, and its precise definition has changed over the years. The term is commonly used today to describe the second full moon of a calendar month, but it was originally the name given to the third full moon of a season containing four full moons..

16th #FullMoonEngageMe Schedule

Our free event will start on Wednesday

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Con Report: Confluence 2015


Several of our authors were involved with the programming at Confluence over the weekend. We were lucky enough to swing by and check in with them as we were visiting family in the area. Also, it was great to finally meet publicist Beverly Bambury with whom we have collaborated so frequently! Here is a recap by author J.L. Gribble.

Originally posted on J.L. Gribble:

This weekend I attended Confluence, Pittsburgh’s science fiction/fantasy/horror literary convention, hosted by Parsec. I had a great time being on panels and meeting other writers and readers.

I’m lucky enough to live close enough to other writer friends that I didn’t have to make the 4.5 hour drive to Mars, Pennsylvania, all by my lonesome. K. Ceres Wright, fellow Dog Star Books author of COG, was excellent company on the road. We both attended graduate school together and it’s crazy to think we’ve known each other for 10 years already!

I had a busy convention schedule, which kicked off Friday night with a panel on “Work-Life Balance for Freelance Writers.” Major point: Avoiding distractions is just as important as not letting yourself get sucked into your work to the exclusion of everything else. My personal addition to that is to remember that your physical health is an…

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Cowwarr Art Space Artist in Residency

The Artist-in-Residence Program is an integral part of life at Cowwarr Art Space. The owners and co-directors Carolyn Crossley and sculptor Clive Murray-White live in a portion of the Art Space and warmly welcome the broadest range of arts practice, related disciplines and nationalities to the Space.

As members of Resartis, the Cowwarr Art Space follows the principle of offering artists, curators, and all manner of creative people the essential time and place away from the pressures and habits of everyday life framed within a unique geographic and cultural context. The program encompass regional based, urban, national and international artists.

The Faculty of VCA & MCM Melbourne University. We are very excited with our new alliance with The Melbourne University.  After discussion with Brian Long, Project Manager, Professional Partnerships, The Cowwarr Art Space Residency Retreat has come into being with the support of the Regional Training and Engagement Fund  (RTEF).  It provides selected students and graduates from the Faculty of The VCA  the opportunity to participate in our residency program. This has add great depth to our program and is of great value to all our other residents.
Aberdeen City Council associated with the Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Travel Bursary to assist young and emerging artists to participate in residencies in Commonwealth Country’s.  We are very pleased to be a Delivery Partner in this program and look forward to the chance to offer a unique experience for a young artist.

Cowwarr Art Space is a unique regional contemporary arts venue, that has been operating since 1993 in a restored heritage industrial Butter Factory C.1918 situated on the outskirts of Cowwarr, a small rural community in Victoria, Australia. Cowwarr has a small general store, Catholic Church, primary school and pub.  The Art Space provides the perfect creative haven for artists wanting to get away from it all and make new work in a self-directed residency, focused individual project or in collaboration. The country location between Traralgon and Maffra in the rich farming country with a backdrop of the Victorian Alps lends itself to a calm reflective experience.

Accommodation is available for artists for either long term or short term residencies, depending on availability. The options are four work/live studio apartments; the Garden Studio, Balcony Studio, Butter Room and the Janina Suite. The studio flats live/work spaces are self contained and fully furnished with cooking facilities, bedding and towels.  Free WI-FI and TV’s available in all studios. Laundry and some bathroom facilities are shared. All visiting artists need to provide food, transport and art materials for themselves and are expected to leave the studios clean and tidy.

Public transport train travel between Melbourne and Traralgon every hour most days.  (Limited bus connections to Cowwarr use Traralgon as the destination for more travel options)  We can meet train connections in the Art Space van when prearranged.  Shopping/provisioning trips can also be arranged.

Gippsland public transport time tables for trains and buses Vline

Gippsland Adventure link to Tourism Information


  • We cannot offer support for artists (visas, travel, accommodation, living or production costs)
  • The exception being Candidates eligible for the above Residency Partnership Programs
  • We can supply letters of support for applications to funding organisations for the residency


  • Weekly accommodation: from $200/week (single and couples)
  • Less than a week: $100/night including breakfast (minimum charge single and couples)


  • Visit our AIR Blog to get a feel for the program
  • Check available dates on the Residency Calendar  if a studio is listed in the calendar it is occupied
  • Check out the Studios 
  • Email for further information


  • Tell us why you want to undertake a residency and what you hope to accomplish
  • Tell us a bit about yourself and your artwork (send images jpg or web links)
  • Please indicate which studio you prefer (allocation depends on availability)
  • Provide us with your preferred dates (allocation depends on availability)
  • Complete contact information, including address, email and phone numbers

The man your librarian warned you about…


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