The Genesis of My First Poetry Collection

The Scars coverIn late 2001, when I took over The Dream People for Eraserhead Press, I had a great love of literature and had been writing full time for year and a half. I had not until becoming an editor realized that contemporary poetry was not only being written and read but it was prolific and thriving.

Like a number of people I picked up an interest in haiku from reading Fight Club. It was only through editing TDP that I develop a true love of all poetry by sorting through poetry submissions, and seeing firsthand what diversity there could be in both content and form. I was a student of those I published, and in the pages of The Dream People we had horror poets, fantasy poets, postmodern experimental poetry, absurdists, and more.

All of those styles reflected my own personal tastes as a fiction author and so, seeing it happen in poetry form, I picked up the ball and ran with it. I tried my hand at all the poetry. I found I could not stop. I began seeking out poetry markets. Once I began getting published I found I could not stop pursuing that either. In short order I became as well-known as a poet as I was a fiction author, which isn’t saying much, but still there was incredible momentum.

This all culminated a year later in 2002 was the publication of my first poetry collection, The Scars are Complementary. While not a full poetry collection it was a decent sized chapbook with a number of distinctive illustrations provided by my wife Jennifer Barnes. The concept was that scars are provided free of charge in life, and that they accentuate one’s appearance. I just thought I should have a chapbook to break ground in terms of having product available at events, or readings, or just to trade with other authors for their chapbooks. Instead I found people actually ordering the book. Reviews came in, and they were incredibly positive. I was surprised by this. Most of the material was unpublished, and it was a real mishmash of genres and styles. The reviews in the horror press were just as supportive as the reviews in the literary press.

While it did not make me rich, The Scars are Complimentary gave me the credibility to pursue publishing deals elsewhere for my second and third poetry collections. This first venture was merely a self published experiment. While it is no longer in print, you can still find The Scars are Complementary as a bonus feature in the hardcover edition of my fourth poetry collection The Troublesome Amputee, or in the e-book edition of the same. Looking back on it  now I have mixed feelings about the collection overall, but I feel that way about everything I write as soon as it is finished. Either way I owe The Scars a great debt.


me at age 3
I had shifty eyes even at a young age…

Today I turn 41. A lot in the way of resources — both time and material — have gone into getting me to this point, so I want us take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has been involved. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, but either way I am indebted to you because I would not have turned out as I am otherwise.

I started new medication a few months ago, and while the overall effect has been as intended there were lots of ups and downs along the way. That has something to do with why I have not been around as much as usual. I’ll be discussing this in future blogs, but in the meantime if you are waiting to hear back from me about anything I should be getting to you soon.

In truth I never thought I’d make it to age 30, much less 40 or 41. That “it gets better campaign?” Totally true. The older you get the more control you have over your life, and your happiness. I’m glad I made it this far and am really looking forward to 42. It is my sincere hope that everyone else is having a beautiful day today, and will have an even better day tomorrow.

An Exorcism of Angels Cover Reveal

Cover artSteven Archer’s cover for An Exorcism of Angels

Today we’re revealing the cover and launching pre-orders for An Exorcism of Angels, the latest poetry collection by Stephanie Wytovich.

Because she feels writing this book saved her life Stephanie has pledged to donate $1 out of every pre-order to SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

**Pre-order the paperback on 4/23 and receive a $2 discount**

Pre-order the Kindle ebook

About the Artist

Steven Archer is an artist and musician living near Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast. His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. He has designed many covers and interior illustrations for Raw Dog Screaming Press as well as written and illustrated an children’s book, Luna Maris, released through their imprint Imaginary Books.
For more information about Ego Likeness, please visit Steven’s solo electronic projects can be found at and
Book Description

Love is an exorcism of angels…

Heaven and Hell are not places, nor times, but rather shared experiences. It’s a love whether dark or light, a passion whether of pleasure or pain, and there’s a beauty to the ugliness, a smile hidden amongst the tears. Heaven is often defined as paradise; Hell as damnation. The two, while opposites, more often than not, end up being one in the same, especially when it comes to falling in love.

So what happens when our Heaven falls in love with our Hell? When the very person who brings us every happiness and every joy, stabs and beats at our hearts, bruising our fantasy of ‘happily ever after,’ of ‘till death do us part?’ What happens when we can’t walk away because the pain of love is better than no love at all? When we’d rather die every death again and again, than spend one moment away from our heart’s true content? Wytovich plays Virgil in a collection of celestial horror that challenges the definition of angels and demons, of love and hate. She weaves through tales of heartbreak and sorrow, through poems depicting lust and greed, as her words prove testament that Heaven and Hell can be one in the same, a paradise and an inferno. Her women, some innocent, some not, walk through the circles, fall off of clouds, deny their wings, and expose their hearts to demons and devils, to imps and to fiends. They turn their backs on everything they know, question their morals and their faith, all in the name of love, and together, the good help the bad, and the bad, help the good, as not every angel has wings just as not every demon has claws.

Wytovich shows us that love isn’t always the saving grace that we expect it to be. To her, there is no balance of darkness to light, no line between what one desires and what one gets. There’s no choosing who we fall in love with, and just as love is often Heaven, it can just as easily be Hell.


“Fall into a world where the angels themselves love, but the demonic will love you with more teeth. These are beautifully twisted poems of madness…”
–Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls

“Stephanie M. Wytovich lays bare the darkest yearnings of the human – and inhuman – heart with scalpel-like precision. These are  poems forged in hellfire and cooled by a dead lover’s kiss.”
–Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh and Eat the Night

“…fascinates, disturbs and amazes in the manner of a dream that can’t decide between nightmare and heartbreak. In the end, the reader is left with broken wings, withdrawal symptoms, and beautiful, passionate poetry.”
–Peter Salomon, author of Prophets

“There is a lyrical beauty and a haunting, melancholy cadence to Wytovich’s work that is utterly irresistible.…Herein lies a world of pain, and it’s deliciously good.”
–Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Kin and The Turtle Boy

“In the shadows of desire, hope becomes poison, and aching hearts are transformed by Wytovich’s unlimited imagination. Angels and demons dance on the infinite tip of this masterful collection. An Exorcism of Angels turns the pain of shattered love into mesmerizing music.”
—Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend

“Wytovich’s words weave passages of pain and despair through haunting imagery and astute self-reflection.”
—Sèphera Girón author of Experiments in Terror

“…a voice certain to leave the reader both shaken and stirred.”
—Lawrence C. Connolly, author of Veins

About the Author

Stephanie M. Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine, and a well-known coffee addict. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and a graduate from Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated poetry collections HYSTERIA: A Collection of Madness and Mourning Jewelry can be found at, and Wytovich’s debut novel, The Eighth, is due out in 2015 from Dark Regions Press. Follow her at and on twitter @JustAfterSunset.

Current Events

This is a busy week for Raw Dog Screaming Press, with five events happening in rapid succession. One of these is online and accessible to everyone, with two others located in Baltimore, Maryland and two occurring in Ohio. The details are as follows:

Thursday, April 23 cover reveal for An Exorcism Of Angels by Stephanie M. Wytovich. To participate simply join the Facebook group at for special discounts on the book and to interact with the author. One dollar from each sale will go to benefit SAVE, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

F11078246_10153752108124552_8521875606349065466_nriday, April 24-26 Matt Betts at Penguicon. For more information please visit

Saturday, April 25 Ego likeness performance at the Otto Bar in Baltimore, Maryland. This will be the CD release party for the Mindless Faith album Eden to Abyss. Performances will feature Mindless Faith, Velvet Acid Christ, and Ego Likeness featuring Raw Dog Screaming Press authors Donna Lynch and Steven Archer. Many other members of the RDSP and Dog Star crew will be in attendance so be on the lookout. For more information please visit the Facebook event group at

Saturday, April 25 Lucy A. Snyder at the Ohioana Book Festival. For more information visit

Sunday, April 26 Women in Horror discussion at Ukazoo Books in Towson, Maryland. Yes, our February Women in Horror discussion was upgraded to this event featuring two additional panelists — actress Andrea Marie, and performer/author Donna Lynch. The event is still being moderated by Stephanie M. Wytovich alongside panelists Damien Angelica Walters, Deena Warner, and Jessica McHugh. Once again many of the Raw Dog Screaming and Dog Star crew will be in the house. Please join the Facebook event group at

Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling

Taking its name from brimstone, the elusive element medieval chemists believed would transform base metals into gold, this award focuses on the transformational properties of storytelling, and aims to increase understanding of the ways storytelling can promote change in individuals and communities.

The grant supports a model storytelling project that is service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and to some extent replicable in other places and situations. It is our hope that projects receiving this award will have impact beyond their own communities, organizations, or clients, inspiring excellence in applied storytelling work and communicating to new audiences the humanitarian possibilities of storytelling.

Many different sorts of projects can be considered for the award, including community, organizational or institutional programs, curricular activities, short residencies, and projects combining complementary art forms. Projects may involve various kinds of stories, including traditional tales and myths as well as personal and ad hoc narratives. Although oral storytelling should be central to the project, the work need not be conducted by professional storytelling performers. Educators, therapists, naturalists, internal or external organizational practitioners, etc., personnel appropriate to the situation may carry out the project, so long as they can draw on suitable storytelling expertise and experience. We are looking for responsiveness to the standards of good practice in the field of the project.

Note: In keeping with the intent of the Brimstone Award to support innovative, service-oriented projects, the Award will not normally fund honoraria for performances, storytelling festivals, travel, or the purchase of equipment.

Various fields are appropriate for the Brimstone Award, including, for example, health care, environmental education/activism, community development, law, multicultural awareness, organizational development, leadership, intergenerational initiatives, empowerment of the disabled, substance abuse prevention, and educational curriculum at all levels.

Whatever their field or design, proposed projects should be:

  • Service-oriented: aiming to make a positive and lasting impact on some community, organization or group;
  • Innovative in either method or application;
  • Replicable: offering models of design that others can learn from and adapt in new settings;
  • Informed by relevant work in the field: based on knowledge of what has been done elsewhere and on awareness of the broad theoretical framework that underlies the project (expressed in jargon-free discussion that relates ideas in existing literature to the construction of the proposed project);
  • Assessable: designed to include ways of evaluating the effectiveness of the project;
  • Well-documented: planned to culminate in accurate documentation of the process and design, including the difficulties as well as the accomplishments of the project. Different media may be used for documentation and dissemination, so long as the end result is clear, accessible communication.

Please look at previous winners’ projects for some idea of the scope the Brimstone Award Committee is looking for. You will also want to review the rubric and criteria the Committee uses for scoring applications.

Applicants should consider realistically what they can accomplish with the relatively small award of $5000. The award could fund a new project that represents an applicant’s ongoing commitment and expertise in a particular area. However, the award could also be used to enable a project already in motion to come to completion. In other circumstances, it could fund effective documentation and dissemination of a successful project. We encourage collaborative funding; the Brimstone Award might support part of a project that is otherwise sustained by funds from other sources: matching funds, grants and donations, other revenues.

Applicants who are not members of the National Storytelling Network will pay the current membership fee to become an NSN member.

For more information please visit:

The Genesis of My First Novel

Last Burn in Hell coverWhen I started writing Last Burn in Hell I was not setting out to complete a novel. In fact I was just attempting to conduct research for a short story to submit for an anthology. During my research, though, I came across a peculiar website. See, I wanted to write about a prison guard and their relationship with an inmate. I wasn’t sure if it would be friendship or romantic. I wanted to explore the notion of knowing someone as they’re going through their final weeks and days leading up to execution.

What I found was a one-of-a-kind unique porn site apparently making use of security cameras and other footage, all depicting supposedly authentic encounters between prison guards and female death row inmates in several countries. Those countries were France, China, the United States, and one or two others. Why these nations? Because — according to the site at least — it is customary in these nations to permit a prisoner one last sexual encounter before the night before their execution.

So I thought myself, “Wow. That is either real and so messed up it deserves a story in its own right, or that that is fake and so messed up it deserves a story in its own right. Either way I’m going to write about it. Now the real question is: what kind of person would do this sort of thing?”

Enter our protagonist: the well-intentioned bleeding heart whose every move only makes things worse… So how well-intentioned can he really be? Sure, he has his own traumatic past, and bizarre current situation, but at the core is a story about someone who is really, really dense. And that’s what makes it fun.

I’m using the present tense in describing the writing process because I have finally undertaken the process of completing novels two and three in the trilogy, tentatively titled Shame the Truth and First Burn in Heaven. I was about 50 pages into the sequel when I stopped, because writing a novel, helping to run a publishing company, and raising a newborn was a more challenging mix than I had anticipated. Over the years I have continued with writing other things, yet somehow getting back into the Last Burn in Hell world has eluded me.

I will be posting progress reports and sample chapters along the way; look for more substantial news about these books during the summer. It will be slow going since I have other projects slated for completion first. Until then there is still the original if you want to get up to speed on the situation before I dump all the chapters and side stories on you.

Women in Horror 2: The Revenge

WomenInHorrorDetails21We had scheduled this panel discussion in February for Women in Horror Month but it was postponed due to a snowstorm. However any month of the year is a good time for a Q&A with some of the most creative minds in the field, so we hope you’ll come out and join us. From horror poetry and short stories to novels and illustrations our panelists will make you check under the bed, twice! For up to date info join the Facebook event.

Ukazoo Books: Dulaney Plaza Shopping Center, 730 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD

To prepare for this event we’ve done a series of spotlight interviews with each panelist. Here are links to those interviews:

Bios of the women participating:

Moderator: Stephanie Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine, and a well-known coffee addict. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and a graduate from Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her debut poetry collection, Hysteria, was a finalist for the Stoker Award and her follow-up, Mourning Jewelry is currently under consideration for this year’s ballot.

Donna Lynch is a dark fiction writer and the co-founder—along with her husband, artist and musician Steven Archer—of the dark electro-rock band Ego Likeness (Metropolis Records). Her written works include Red Horses, Isabel Burning, Driving Through the Desert, Ladies & Other Vicious Creatures, Daughters of Lilith, and In My Mouth. She and her husband live in Maryland.

Andrea Marie is a freelance Model and Actress currently based in Northern Virginia. Andrea has worked with various indie film companies and photographers up and down the east coast. When she was very young, Andrea’s love of horror began when her father introduced her to Abbot and Costello. From there it was all about the Universal monsters, which then led to interest in other horror films such as Subspecies, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre just to name a few. Andrea values every opportunity that comes along, no matter how big or small. Andrea is the featured model for the March 2015, Volume 1, Issue 2, of Maleficent Beauty Magazine.

If you would like to stay up to date on Andrea Marie’s latest projects, you can connect with her via Facebook, IMDb, and Instagram. For bookings and availability, email Andrea directly at: Serious inquiries only, please.

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction spanning the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. She has had sixteen books published in six years, including the bestselling Rabbits in the Garden her bizarro sci-fi novel, The Green Kangaroos and the first book in her edgy YA series Darla Decker Diaries. Visit the McHugniverse.

As a child, weekly trips to the library fostered Damien Angelica Walters’ love for reading. At the age of eleven, she saw the movie Alien and read Stephen King’s The Shining and her attraction to all things dark and atmospheric turned into true love. Her novel Ink was released in 2012 by Samhain Publishing (under the name Damien Walters Grintalis). Sing Me Your Scars, a collection of short fiction and Paper Tigers, are both coming in 2015. Visit her online.

Deena Warner graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in illustration. She has long had an interest in the horror genre and her artwork has been commissioned by presses like Cemetery Dance, Necon Ebooks, and Raw Dog Screaming. Deena has presented work at conventions across the country and was artist guest of honor at the Bram Stoker Weekend in 2011. She currently lives in Staunton, VA, with her husband, author Matthew Warner, two sons, and one loving feline.

Introducing Our Rewards Program

CD-audiovileHere is an update regarding the online shop:

Many of the strongest brands understand the loyalty of their patrons should be recognized, and offer a rewards program to give something back to repeat customers. We realize how important your business is so we have also instituted a points-based rewards program.

Not only that, but we have instituted a referral program as well. When you refer somebody to us they get a 10% discount on their first purchase, and in return you receive 500 points redeemable through our rewards program.

That sounds great, but what does it mean? Well, 500 points translates into an immediate $5.00 discount, or you can save those points to stack with more points earned at a later date. The system works as follows:

  • register using the black tab at the lower left of your screen
  • earn 4 points per dollar spent
  • earn 100 points for setting up an account
  • earn 500 points for referrals
  • redeem 500 points for a $5 discount
  • redeem 1,000 points for a $10 discount
  • redeem 2,500 points for a $25 discount
  • redeem 5,000 points for a $50 discount

Some of those point totals are large, but we will be adding an array of higher value products shortly. Until then: we thank you for visiting our shop, and hope to meet your expectations with our service.

ALSO…we have added the unique music CD/audio book hybrid Audiovile by Michael A. Arnzen. If you enjoy the strange, humorous, dark, and unexpected you might want to give this one a listen. Visit for more information.

Emerging Writer Fellowship

We welcome submissions from writers of all genres, backgrounds, and experiences in the following genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Emerging Writer Fellows will be featured at The Writer’s Center as part of a special celebration and reading. Fellows living within a 250-mile radius of the center will receive a $250 honorarium, and all others will receive $500.

Emerging Writer Fellows will:

  • have 1 or 2 full-length single-author books published in a single genre, and no more than 3 books published to their credit (including as editors of anthologies) in any genre. Chapbooks and pamphlets will not be calculated into an author’s total publication record and cannot be substituted for a full-length single-author book. Self-published titles or vanity press titles are not admissible and will not be considered.
  • be judged in the category in which their submitted creative selection falls. In cases of cross-genre work or multiple-genre work, our staff will determine the genre of consideration.
  • have published books “in hand” or be in the uncorrected proof stage of publication at the time of their submission.

To be considered, please send:

  • a one-page letter of interest that includes the name of your creative selection and a short bio
  • a resume or CV that details publication history and familiarity facilitating group discussions or workshops
  • a creative selection from your most recent published book:
  • Poetry: up to 10 pages of poems (1 poem per page).
  • Fiction & Nonfiction: up to 16 pages of text double-spaced with 1-inch margins.
  • Your creative selection does not need to be one excerpt, but can be comprised of multiple sections or excerpts up to but not exceeding the total page limit.
  • A committee comprised of The Writer’s Center board members, workshop leaders, and members will evaluate submissions on behalf of our community of writers.

All submissions must be postmarked by June 20, 2015.

Please send your submission materials to:

The Writer’s Center
Attn: Judson Battaglia
Re: Emerging Writer Fellowship
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815

Current Emerging Writer Fellows

To read more about them click here

Past Emerging Writer Fellows

To read more about them click here.


Below are some of the pre-orders for books from Dog Star Books, Raw Dog Screaming Press, and my own books as well. I have included updated links–such as the Kindle edition of On Silent Nights, which only went up yesterday–and discount codes where applicable. Also: don’t forget this is the final day of voting in our Readers Choice Award poll at!

Indelible Ink (SHIPPING IN JULY)

IndelibleinkIt’s What’s Inside That Counts

Something lurks inside Deena Riordan. She never once questioned her life in the criminal underworld as the star of Mr. Marsh’s illegal empire and his youngest assassin. Her ruthless demeanor and dark magical powers have kept her at the top of the heap for years. But one day she pushes the sorcery too far and something snaps. Only then does Deena realize she’s always been a puppet of that dark power with no true will of her own.

Now, in order to get out of the crime business for good, she needs to save her sister from Marsh’s angry clutches. It won’t be easy. She’ll have to make her way through friends turned foes, dodge determined federal agents, and stay out of a particularly stubborn fellow hitman’s sights. Worst of all, Deena will have to wrestle with the darkness inside to keep it from swallowing her up again.

Kindle pre-order:
Paperback pre-order:

On Quiet Nights (SHIPPING IN JUNE)

On Quite Nights book coverThere’s a place inside us that is cloaked in darkness, rubbed raw with silence. It’s a shadow wrapped in a shadow and it screams, but it screams in harsh whispers. This collection explores the blackness within, the gritty underground that hides inside memories and cowers just outside fear. The poems, paired with illustrations from Matthias Matthies work in sync to create a collage of blunt sexuality, masochistic, and sometimes sadistic recollections of love, reflection, and self-exploration.

Lindemann paints pictures with his poems, a slave to the vulnerability and sexuality that drives mankind. His words themselves are body modifications that settle on readers, piercing then slowly penetrating and pumping his audience full with a mix of pleasure and pain. A combination of longing, emotional depth, and bestial intuition, these pieces evoke an innate nature to seek pleasure, to ask for forgiveness, to instill blame.

On Quiet Nights pulls back the curtains at night and asks readers to think about who they are. Lindemann holds a mirror to soul, capturing desire and need, with the courage to answer some of life’s biggest questions: Who am I? What am I? Why am I?

Kindle pre-order:
Paperback preorder:

Paramourn: Unfortunate Romances (SHIPPING IN APRIL)

ParamournCoverWhy are bad choices so tempting? This short story collection explores the dark side of romance, twisting through bizarro alleyways and diving into the dumpsters of horror, science fiction, and fantasy in search of the answer. Although 23 of the stories within were previously published the remainder were deemed too literary for erotic publications, and too erotic for release elsewhere. The paperback edition is exclusive to this shop and unavailable elsewhere online.

For a limited time use the discount code OS4KN790X11M to receive a 10% discount on Paramourn.

Paperback pre-order:

Wholesome Terror: Lawfully Combative Verse (SHIPPING IN APRIL)

Wholesome Terror coverThe sheer terror of hope has been dissected and repackaged as standard rhymes, experimental verse, and other poetic forms in order to rendition the reader blissfully numb. These are poems that contain elements of eroticism, satire, political commentary, and horror wherein the reader need not wonder how many times can Lady Lazarus be resurrected after waterboarding, because they find themselves acting as her proxy in this endeavor. Wholesome Terror is a savage, hydrophobic dog of a book curled up with the reader’s throat comfortably within reach. The paperback edition is exclusive to this store and unavailable elsewhere online.

For a limited time use the discount code UC0AWGDXLVPK to receive a 10% discount on Wholesome Terror.

Paperback pre-order:

The man your librarian warned you about…


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