Anthology Guidelines From a New Press

At the World Horror Convention in Atlanta this month I met the publishers behind Black Mirror Press. They seem like solid fellows, and I’m interested in supporting their efforts. Here are the guidelines to their first anthology.

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Snowpocalypse: Tales of the End of the World – The calendar says the first day of spring, but a jealous snow still wraps the world tightly in a white straitjacket.  Winter will not relinquish its throne and the polar vortex is plunging even further south as icebergs gleam in the Bermuda Triangle and snow falls on the Amazon. Blizzards swirl across the Sahara and the world has become a snowglobe from pole to pole.

Is this just global warming? The coming of the next Ice Age?  Or could this endless winter be the result of an ancient curse, an alien attack, the revenge of the Yeti, a weather experiment gone horribly wrong, the wrath of an ignored winter deity, or a nuclear mishap?

Give us those or your own unique reasons for why winter still rules and what tales can be told as humans battle the persistent ice and snow deep into a heatless summer. Is all lost? Can anything be done to thaw the Big Freeze?

Send us your chilliest tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction from between 3,000-7,000 words. Submissions will be accepted until the last tick of the clock on 8 August 2015 (the 149th birthday of Arctic explorer Matthew Henson) and we intend to publish in the dead of winter 2016. Contributors will receive one print copy and USD $25.00.

We earnestly hope to get to the point where we can pay professional rates, and those willing to work with us as we grow will share in the rewards to come. This anthology is the first step we can take together, so we hope you will join us.

Writers are nothing if not explorers of the vast reaches of imagination, so pull on your parka and take us out into that howling night of arctic cold and tell us what you found.

Please submit your stories to: and  Thank you and we look forward to your submissions.

Three Of My Books = $3 In #Nook

Have a Nook or Nook app? If so you can own three of my books in Nook format for a total of $2.97. I’ll list them below for you with details and links.

directorscutLast Burn in Hell
Kenrick Brimley, the state prison’s official gigolo, hangs over a lava pit on trial for his life in a strange land. He will reveal the course of his life one misguided step at a time for his captors. From his romance with serial arsonist Leena Manasseh to his lurid angst-affair with a lesbian music diva, from his ascendance as unlikely pop icon to otherworldly encounters, the one constant truth is that he’s got no clue what he’s doing. As unrelenting as it is original, Last Burn in Hell is John Edward Lawson at his most scorching intensity, serving up sexy satire and postmodern pulp with his trademark day-glow prose. The Director’s Cut includes: deleted scenes, alternate ending, re-mastering for more enjoyable viewing, and more!

REACHwebsmSick: An Anthology of Illness edited by John Edward Lawson
Here the pen is not merely mightier than the sword; it is a plague heralding the apocalypse for convention, writing a dirge for complacency. Sick is an anthology compiled by editor John Edward Lawson. Themes explored are physical, mental, and societal in nature. These “Sick” stories are horrendous, hilarious, and stupefying dissections of creative minds on the scalpel’s edge.

tdcoverTempting Disaster edited by John Edward Lawson
This anthology from the fringe examines our culture’s obsession with taboos and the added temptation that forbidden pleasures bring. Warnings of danger and peril only heighten our desire for those things we have been told are bad, wrong and have been warned against doing. Post-modernists and surrealists come together in these pages with renegade horror and sci-fiction authors to re-envision what is “acceptable.” By turns humorous and horrific then shocking and alluring, the authors dissect those very impulses we deny in our everyday lives. This literary experiment on human desire opens up many possibilities including the chance that the ultimate disaster might very well prove to be the most compelling temptation.

Recent Acceptances

A quick update before the holidays:

1) My poem “Keys Lost At the Doors of Perception” will be part of the POEtry…Without Apologies anthology edited by Stephen M. Wilson, due in just a few short weeks. This project has been in the making for three years and it’s exciting to see it come to fruition! A lot of the big names in speculative poetry are involved.

2) The contract for Into the Darkness has been signed, and the editors are moving quickly on this project. I’m guessing you can expect the anthology to be published in early 2013. The table of contents has yet to be announced, but knowing Necro Publications I’m sure it will be a good one.

Death To the Brothers Grimm

Death To the Brothers Grimm is now available at for $13.99! Fairy tales have been passed down in one form or another for countless generations. They are often our first introduction to that boundless realm we call imagination. Deep within these old stories lie the seeds of our most elemental fears. Death to the Brothers Grimm is a collection of ten re-imagined fairy tales that revels in those dark and hidden horrors. This anthology features works of bizarre fantasy from Bram Stoker Award nominees Jeremy C. Shipp and John Edward Lawson, Wonderland Award nominee Eckhard Gerdes, and the twisted visions of M.L. Roos, Garrett Cook, Kirk Jones, Crysa Leflar, Jessica McHugh, Lee Widener, and Jess Gulbranson.

Moving Forward Despite the Danger

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

I travel a lot, and as such am accustomed to meeting people. Sometimes they are even good people, and that’s nice. Occasionally I’m lucky enough to meet great people, and it is those instants I realize just how fortunate I am to live in a time and place where it is possible to be an author/editor. Meeting incredible people, however, is something I don’t know how to deal with. It doesn’t happen. We live in a culture saturated by mythologies–the incredible event, the incredible friendship, the incredible romance–all playing out thousands of times a day for us in film, television, and literature. Thus far 2012 has afforded me the opportunity to actually meet not just one, but multiple incredible people, and have incredible experiences, and develop incredible friendships. I’m fairly certain they’ll have to make a movie, book, and television show about it all some day.

In June I found myself in the auspicious position of being an editor guest of Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind Workshop. On the first evening of the workshop a large group of us went out to dinner at Primanti Brothers, a western Pennsylvania tradition. Among the ten of us I found myself positioned next to an unfamiliar face. The woman’s name was Donna, and despite my poor small talk skills it was clear Donna was friendly and intelligent. We talked again at a room party much later that night, but I didn’t realize until the next day she was one of the handful of organizers for the entire workshop.

It’s called a workshop, but it’s really a writing conference in terms of size and scope, only it’s more valuable than most conferences you’ll find yourself attending. Donna had a huge role in making that happen, especially the Gatsby Costume Ball. Looking back on it I cannot believe the whole thing only took four days; it has all the memories and significance of entire months of my life.

It came out a couple weeks later that Donna had been diagnosed with breast cancer. When considering the interval of time it takes to receive medical test results it seems entirely likely that she was operating at the workshop with the prospect of having breast cancer weighing on her. To function gracefully during the 24/7 workload and sensory assault that was the In Your Write Mind Workshop merely being a participant would be difficult for a lot of us, not to mention being an organizer and participant…but then to heap that extra level of stress on with health concerns. You would have never known it from how she conducted herself publicly.

Not surprisingly those involved with Seton Hill’s Popular Fiction Writing MFA program banded together to create a charity anthology unlike any other. At well over 700 pages, with works ranging from romance to horror, from fantasy to mystery to science fiction, Hazard Yet Forward anthology gives you your money’s worth while knowing ALL the proceeds go to assisting with Donna’s medical costs. This is one of those rare times when you can actually give back to somebody who regularly gives all they have to the writing community, and it has been made a matter of convenience. For more information, or to purchase, simply visit:

And yes, I have a story in the table of contents. There are almost 80 authors in all, ranging from veterans to new voices, all of whom are quite accomplished. Please allow us to entertain you in exchange for your support of Donna’s continued cancer treatment.

Death to the Brothers Grimm


“Fairy tales have been passed down in one form or another for countless generations. They are often our first introduction to that boundless realm we call imagination. Deep within these old stories lies the seeds of our most elemental fears. Death to the Brothers Grimm is a collection of ten re-imagined fairy tales that revels in those dark and hidden horrors. This anthology features works of bizarre fantasy from Bram Stoker Award nominees Jeremy C. Shipp and John Edward Lawson, Wonderland Award-winner Eckhard Gerdes, and the twisted visions of Kirsten Alene, Jessica McHugh, Kirk Jones, M.L. Roos, Lee Widener, Garrett Cook, and Jess Gulbranson.”

More info at

WTF?! contest…free copies!

There are only five and a half days remaining to enter Pink Narcissus Press’ contest! Two copies of the WTF?! anthology will be given away via All you have to do is follow the link and click the “enter” button. Voila! You are then entered to win the book. Limited to readers with postal addresses in the United States of America. For more info:

Miseducation submissions update

For any authors who were thinking about contributing to Miseducation of the Writer, we have pushed the deadline back considerably. For more information please visit:

In the Ice Picks anthology

A new short story of mine, “The Curious Urologist,” will appear in the forthcoming Ice Picks anthology of horror. Believe me when I say the title gives you no clue how unpleasant the story will be. The incomparable SS Michaels is editing this volume for Rainstorm Press. You can find out more about them at

In the WTF?! anthology…

My short story “Kubler-Ross’ Ladder” will appear in the WTF?! anthology…soon to be published by Pink Narcissus Press. Pink Narc is an awesome publishing empire in the northeast, one to be ignored at your own peril. Investigate them at Here’s the book’s description:

Corrective surgery gone wrong, punk rockers abducted by aliens, and dwarfs obsessed with pomegranates are just a few of the things you will find in this anthology. From the quirky to the serious to the surreal, whatever happens in these stories is bound to leave the reader wondering WTF?!

Featuring 36 original stories by A.A. Balaskovits, James S. Dorr, A.A. Garrison, Erik T. Johnson, D.C. McMillen, Douglas J. Ogurek, D. Harlan Wilson and a whole bunch of other writers who don’t use initials in their pen names.