How to Get Published: Why Submissions Aren’t the Only Important Step

Over the years we’ve evaluated thousands of manuscripts in our various editorial endeavors, from The Dream People magazine to numerous anthologies and our publishing imprints. One thing we realized is that as editors you are never merely signed an author, you are entering into a business partnership.

We also learned the hard way that when investing a book it’s best to meet the author first. That way we ensure everybody is on the same page, so to speak, concerning the publishing process. We also make sure there’s no issue with personality conflicts, or any other potential problems.

Likewise, we feel it’s a good thing for authors to vet any publisher they might work with, and do so by meeting them in person. Second-hand accounts are great, but you know best what you want and need. If something doesn’t click with the publisher you’re better off knowing prior to being locked into a multi-year deal.

One function our yearly DogCon event serves is to provide a platform for authors to meet us. There’s still time to get tickets and join us. Of course, if you can’t make it to the Broadkill Resort you can join us for the highlights online free of charge.

You don’t absolutely have to attend DogCon5 in order to get to know us…instead you could be patient and come to one of our workshops, but they have a higher price tag.

KW Taylor came to our second Bourbon Ridge retreat, during which she had a sit down with us to discuss her writing. The result? A year later we published her novel The Curiosity Killers.

Jessica McHugh was awarded the scholarship to attend our first Bourbon Ridge retreat after we ran a successful crowdfunding campaign. The result? Next year her novel Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven will be published by Raw Dog Screaming Press.

Jim and Janice Leach also attended our first Bourbon Ridge retreat, and their collaborative poetry collection all soon be published by us.

We’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with many others at our events, many of whom we’d like to work with at some point. Some we don’t, and others still are uninterested in working with us. Not everything is about signing contracts—there is such a thing as just having a good time.

horror-workshop-skyscraperMaria Alexander? She was one of those people we just hung out with back in the early 2000s. Over a decade later her debut novel Mr. Wicker came our way, and when we published it she won the Bram Stoker Award.

Lucy A. Snyder? She was somebody who happened to be at a bookstore where we were doing an event. She asked if she could read as part of our lineup, we said yes, things were cool. Years later she put together her collection Soft Apocalypses, which won a Stoker Award when published by us.

You never know where just being cool and hanging out will lead.

The next similar opportunity is our From Concept to Market: Create a Horror Book in One Week workshop in November. While it is an online workshop, the best way to take full advantage of getting to know us is in person by reserving your room with the on-site upgrade.

What is included? You learn the secrets of the most prolific writers, editors, graphic designers, and publicists in this week-long workshop. From coming up with your idea, writing and editing, to cover design, interior layout, uploading your files, and executing your PR plan, we guide you step-by-step through the process.

This workshop has a total value of $1,356.68…but you get $774.68 in value free when you act now! We hope to get to know you better in the Create a Horror Book in a Week workshop.

Upcoming Workshops and Events

Catch me at the Baltimore Book Fest this weekend!

September 25, 2016, 5-6PM
Horror, Dark Fantasy & Paranormal
If it goes bump in the night then it probably belongs here. Join us as we talk about our deepest fears and learn how authors catch just the right feeling of dread to keep you up all night.
Authors: Jeremy M. Gottwig, Richard Groller, John Edward Lawson, Emmie Mears, Damien Angelica Walters.


September 30-October 3 • DogCon 5

DogCon is a big shindig RDSP holds every year to celebrate books, authors and all our supporters. It’s a chance for the RDSP family to get together, meet each other, show off the latest works and begin new creative ventures. Activities will be running Friday to

Monday but Saturday, October 1 & Sunday October 2nd will be the main event. Each DogCon is different and this one will be more about strengthening the RDSP author community than having public book events. Activities on Saturday & Sunday afternoon/evening will be aimed at the public but other times will be more for the authors. However, anyone is still welcome to hang out the whole time. Plans are evolving but here are some of the things we will definitely do:

  • ticketGuest speaker publicity expert Beverly Bambury will give two workshops on book promotion techniques
  • Group meals/snacks (likely a shrimp boil, s’mores, Gooey donuts and a cookout)
  • Readers Choice Award winner announcement, presentation of the championship belt
  • Beach bonfire (weather permitting) sponsored by Carrion Blue
  • Instigation workshop by Michael A. Arnzen
  • State of the Dog Address, what does the future hold for RDSP?
  • Visit to Dogfish Head brewery (tours are available but are 1st come, not guaranteed)
  • One-on-one sessions with Beverly will be available for a fee
  • Story Swap: authors will swap short pieces & perform each others’ work aloud
  • Thunderdome death matches (just kidding…maybe)
  • Readings by RDSP authors

Book Here

Also, mark your calendar for the very first event organized by the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, free to the public at the Long Branch Library in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, October 22.
There will be four workshops and panels covering a wide array of subjects, from Imagery in Film to world building. More details to be announced!


November 5-12 • From Concept to Market: Create a Horror Book in One Week

broadkillcourselogoHave you ever wanted to take advantage of a great idea? Have you wanted to get a book into the marketplace quickly to take advantage of a holiday season, current events, or just plain beat a competitor to your audience’s wallet? Learn the secrets of the most prolific writers, editors, graphic designers, and publicists in this online workshop. You will receive daily training and personal attention, have access to a members-only online community, learn how to save thousands of dollars by doing your own book design using free online tools, compose a manuscript in days, and initiate your publicity campaign. Hosted by John Edward Lawson.

Book Here

Cover Reveal: Poems of My Night


Coming September 15

Poems of My Night by Cynthia Pelayo is now available for pre-order here!

“These poems are cautionary tales for those who choose not to cover their eyes, warnings for those who refuse to find the light.”

Urban Poetry from Beyond the Veil

Cynthia Pelayo constructs a narrative in her poetry in response to the work of Jorge Luis Borges that examines the themes and subsequent consequences of insomnia, death, and blindness. There’s a visionary quality to her work that dances along the line between the present world that we inhabit and the other world that lingers beyond the veil. Her poetry folds back this blanket of darkness, and shows readers the quiet violence and beauty that hides beneath waiting to be exposed, experienced, and encompassed.

A Poet in the Dark

cynthia-pelayo-1Pelayo showcases this scream of silence through an urban and metaphysical night as she reflects on the spiritual, the occult, and the everyday happenings that become extraordinary in their own rights. Her poems are sermons, prayers to the voices that surround us in the dark, and comforts to those who watch over us as we sleep. Her style is honest, raw, and her voice will leave readers asking questions about what waits for them in the beyond, and whether or not their sins and frustrations are trapping them in the here and now. She shows us that all too often, there is nothing to be scared of when the sun goes down, but that sometimes, we have every reason to be afraid, especially as we enter her world of blackness and decay, of smudged fingerprints and burnt pictures.

These poems are cautionary tales for those who choose not to cover their eyes, warnings for those who refuse to find the light. And when our dreams come to roost, when our sleep eases us in, Pelayo shows us what nightmares are made of, and why there are some stories we can never escape.

About the Cover Artist

Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in 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 is the author and illustrator of the children’s book Luna Maris. For more information about Ego Likeness, please visit Steven’s solo electronic project can be found at

Horror For the Halloween Season

bone-tomahawk-one-sheetBone Tomahawk, written and directed by RDSP author S. Craig Zahler and starring Kurt Russel and Matthew Fox, hits the theaters this week. This film is a must-see for anybody who enjoys westerns, horror, or is just looking for something to do during the Halloween season.

The beautiful cinematography works well with the brilliant performances and dynamic dialogue–the unexpected humor between the characters alone was worth it for me. See what Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and have to say.

AUTHORS-SCraigZahlerZahler’s particular brand of western horror can be found in his novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, but if you’re looking for something different–yet still gritty–try his science fiction thriller Corpus Chrome, Inc. If you want to hang out with our horror and science fiction authors come out this weekend for the free events of DogCon IV in Philadelphia, October 23-25. For full details visit

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.

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.

Get Spicy With Me For Only $2

ParamournCoverTempting Disaster cover

You read that headline correctly. My offerings for adult audiences are on sale at a steep discount for the next eight days. Today and tomorrow you can purchase both Paramourn: Unfortunate Romances and the Tempting Disaster anthology for just $0.99 each! After that the price will go up by a dollar for two days, then two days later another dollar, and so on. If you have have a hankering for sci-fi, bizarro, fantasy-based, hilarious, or horrific erotica give these Kindle editions a try.

About Paramourn

Why 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.

Read a full length sample story free of charge at

Purchase at

About Tempting Disaster

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.

Postmodernists and surrealists come together in these pages with renegade horror and science-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.

While navigating the minefield of gender relations and plotting explorations into the landscape of the other, this volume is all-inclusive in scope. It allows for every lifestyle and viewpoint, no matter how unlikely or bizarre. 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.

Simon Logan’s story “Surgery” received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2005.

Table of Contents:

Junkyard Fetish • Darren Speegle
Broken By Love • Mark Howard Jones
Painstation • Ronald Damien Malfi
The Wound • Brandi Bell
The Agent • Michael Hemmingson
Andrea Gives Good Head • Wendy Brewer
N is For… • J.M. Heluk
The Doll, or: What the Dead Think About at the Very End of the World • Lance Olsen
Lesbian Whores of Broadway • Craig Snyder
Self Service • Jessica Markowicz
An X-Less Story • Perry McGee
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road • John Edward Lawson
Christina Aguilera Ate My Left Testicle • Clint Venezuela
The Hotel Detective • Alec S. Scott
Eat Me, Drink Me • Alyssa Sturgill
Whisper • Michael Amorel
Shadows • Vincent W. Sakowski
Sam Thompson in Love • J. Scott Malby
Revenge of the Living Masturbation Rag • Kevin L. Donihe
Heaven • Christian Westerlund
Surgery • Simon Logan
Black Wings • Jeffrey Thomas
God on Television • Carlton Mellick III
The Unauthorized Woman • Efrem Emerson

What They’re Saying About Tempting Disaster:

Tempting Disaster is a multi-faceted collection of love, lust, and loathing. If you can’t take the heat of this puppy, than you may as well curl up with a blanket and suck your thumb, cause baby, this is going to leave a mark…. There are plenty of goodies to get you off and repulsed at the same time, so make sure to savor each and every one. Tempting Disaster leaves an impression without making you feel cheap and used. Well, used at least. I highly recommend it.”
Gothic Review

Purchase at

Grab Two of My Books For $2


The Kindle editions of Sick: An Anthology of Illness and Truth in Ruins will be on sale for a limited time. During the next day and a half you can purchase the books at just $.99 each, after which the cost will gradually rise to the regular price over the course of the next week through Amazon’s Kindle Countdown program. Want more info about these titles? Read below…


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.

“Sick is just that–sick; a madman’s demented fever-dream. Sometimes funny. Sometimes horrifying. Always engaging. This is dark fiction on the edge.”
-Brian Keene, author of The Rising, Terminal and Fear of Gravity

“Now I ask you, with so much going on in the world today and horrors revealed daily on the evening news, is it still possible to shock the apathetic and indifferent? After reading this book all I can sum up is, “Hell Yes”! In fact, let me back up that statement with the admission that I was physically ill not once but twice during my visit into this world. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill scare here kiddies. In an arena created with mayhem and anarchy, Lawson makes sure to not only make you tremble with fear; he’s going to make you beg to be released.Bringing together a stellar collection of writers to assist him, Lawson annihilates the standard.”

“Stories by Harold Jaffe, Greg Beatty, Earl Javorsky, Brandi Bell, Kevin L. Donihe and satan165 (hilarious stuff) all display the combination of inventiveness and professionalism needed for success in this gray area of prose. Many of the other authors show outright genius…readers will be floored by it and think it a monstrous leap forward…and appreciate the breathtaking, exhilarating and often diabolical machinations of the human mind.”
—Absinthe Literary Review

Purchase at


Through a series of dark bizarro adventures Truth in Ruins chronicles the world’s dying gasps. Sneak into the space where flesh is erased and sanity unspools, where casual brutality rules and hilarity ensues. Here flesh is as malleable as one’s morals, everyone is a serial killer, and one must always keep a shotgun at the ready to fend off trolls and kobalds. You have been warned…

“Truth in Ruins by John Lawson was more enjoyable and exciting for me, though perhaps I’m biased by my fascination with ethical apocalypses and human atavism in all its forms. Really exciting stuff that could be very appealing to crossover audiences.”
-Garret Cook, author of Murderland and Archelon Ranch

“John Edward Lawson’s Truth in Ruins is a violent look at sex, death, and survival in a post-Apocalyptic America, one part Sarah Kane and one part Film Noir.”
-JoSelle Vanderhooft for The Pedestal Magazine

“John Edward Lawson’s Truth in Ruins is one of the most hyperbolic entries in the entire anthology. In Lawson’s grim future humanity is divided into serial killers and profilers, with genetically engineered ‘Humanzees’ poised to take over after humanity’s failure. It’s self-consciously, cartoonishly, uber-violent, and narrative chunks are jammed together in ways that emphasize their incongruities, like a movie made of nothing but jump cuts. I sort of liked it, although I had to skim over some stomach-turning bits.”
Needs More Demons or Not?

Purchase at

Devil Entendre Published!

Devil Entendre book cover

My horror themed collection Devil Entendre has finally been released. This book collects short stories and novelettes published over the last dozen years centered around the theme of corruption, with a few unpublished works thrown in as a bonus. From the back of the book:

“This collection of horror stories asks: are there moments in your past you ignore…pretend never happened…moments you hide from yourself and others? What if the only thing imbuing our past with a sense of dread and terror is the fact that our future is based on it? And every evil incident has given the devil a foothold to step inside and make himself at home in our hearts. Be it a secret vice, a childhood trauma, or disturbing holiday traditions, Devil Entendre is a Petri dish in which the dark moments of our lives are allowed to evolve unencumbered.”

Not only is Devil Entendre available in Kindle format, but if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime you can read the book for free. Another freebie for those in reading groups is the downloadable reading guide which can be accessed at

Enjoy the book? Have a criticism? Please let us know with a review at

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