Thursday, October 23, 2008

An 'Unspeakable' Pre-Order...

Announcing pre-orders for the Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet anthology!

  • ISBN: 978-0981863207

  • Trade paperback

  • 340 pages

More detailed product information here.

Pre-order today!

Friday, September 26, 2008

An 'Unspeakable' Book Trailer...

Dark Scribe Press is pleased to present the official book trailer for its upcoming Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet anthology:

video

A Circle of Seven Production.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Table of Contents


Peeking inside the closet...

Introduction: The Case for Closets / Vince A. Liaguno
Opening the Box / Chad Helder
Emmeline / C. J. Lines
The Bloomsbury Nudes / Jameson Currier
Epistle of the Sleeping Beauty / Jan Vander Laenen
Cask / Jude Wright
Black Annis / Joy Marchand
Memento Mori / Elissa Malcohn
The Shallows / Gary McMahon
I Am the Shadow That Walks There / Michelle Scalise
Bluff / L. A. Fields
In Her Mirrors, Dimly / Maria Alexander
The Portico Angel / Kevin W. Reardon
Vourdalak / Michael Hacker
Memory Box / Reesa Brown
Double Walker / Lisa Morton
Sublet / Rick R. Reed
I’m Your Violence / Lee Thomas
The Engine of Desire / Livia Llewellyn
The Boys of Bald Cave / C. Michael Cook
Prayers of the Living / Erin MacKay
The Next Big Thing / Christopher Fox
The Shaping / Scott Nicholson
A Letter from Phoenix / Kealan Patrick Burke
The Agathas / Sarah Langan


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anthology Cover Revealed...

Dark Scribe Press is pleased to unveil our final cover design, as created by the talented Deena Warner of Deena Warner Design using the magnificent original artwork we commissioned from artist Michael "Pooch" Pucciarelli. (Click on cover for larger image.)

"Monsters in the Closet" is part of Pucciarelli's acclaimed “rides” series - intricately detailed carnavalesque worlds in which characters are sent careening on macabre rollercoaster rides through worlds populated by movie monsters, skeletons, and underground pop culture icons that reflect his constant exposure to Florida theme parks, where surreal carnival ride facades reflect the false fronts of modern society.

Below is an image of the full wraparound (click on image for a larger version):


Stay tuned for more news as DSP preps for the fall launch of what promises to be the year's most intriguing anthology with an eclectic roster of talent that includes Lee Thomas, Sarah Langan, Scott Nicholson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Rick R. Reed, Jameson Currier and 17 other unspeakably dark scribes!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Alternate View...

...of our amazing table of contents:



Some fun with words while we edit, edit, edit!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Open Letter to All Who Submitted & Final Submissions Tally...

Dear Writers,

We wish to thank all those who submitted their stories for consideration in the Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet anthology. As writers ourselves, we understand that nagging sense of uncertainty once the 'Send' button is pressed and your creation is sent hurtling across the Internet en route to some random editor's inbox. Please know that we treated each and every submission received with the same respect that we'd hope for our own work, giving each story submitted a full read and careful consideration. We offered useful feedback and constructive criticism where we felt such would help and hope all who submitted took something away from the process. Our sincerest thanks for trusting your submission to us.

We enjoyed the scope and depth of the stories submitted for this project and marvel at the creativity that abounds in the writing community. We were moved by what we came to discover was a universality in the closet experience - and that the experience of hiding in/coming out of closets takes many shapes and forms. Whether your story was accepted or rejected, held for a second reading or requested to be re-submitted with some revision, each writer who submitted played a part in the anthology's evolution in terms of tone and mood. The project, as a whole, is indebted to the 164 writers whose work we considered.

In the end, we're very proud of the eclectic lineup of literary talent selected for inclusion in the project and believe the anthology will be enjoyed by many readers in the coming years.

We've now completed our final two rounds of readings and have added (2) additional stories to our table of contents - both of which will be unveiled at Dark Scribe Magazine in the coming week. Those who submitted stories to us during the months of April and May should have already received notification of our editorial decisions regarding their submissions.

Here are the final results of our open reading period, which spanned from October 7th of 2007 through May 30th of 2008:
  • Total # of queries = 197
  • Total # of greenlighted queries = 180
  • Total # of stories submitted = 164
  • Total # of stories not submitted = 16
Final Disposition of submissions:
  • Accepted = 23
  • Rejected = 141
Stay tuned to the blog for more announcements in the coming months as the anthology moves into the production process. More unspeakable things to come...

The Editors

Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Are Officially...(Part 2)

...now closed to submissions. Thanks to everyone who submitted.

Some statistics on where we stand to share with you:

  • 19 submissions received in April
  • 38 submissions received in May
  • 4 submissions remain in our "Held for a 2nd reading" pile
  • 16 additional approved queries - never received submissions by May 30th deadline
A few choice slots remain.

More to come...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We Are Officially...

...behind a bit on the April submissions. Happily, we were inundated with last minute queries before the May 15th deadline. The downside to that influx is that our reading schedule got thrown a bit.

Our revised target is to finish up with the April submissions within the next two weeks. Hopefully, by the time we post April's submissions recap, we'll be well on our way through the final batch of May submissions and the small handful of stories we've been holding for a second reading. We know that waiting to hear back on the fate of one's blood-sweat-and-tears creation is the least favorite aspect of the craft for most writers. Please know that we're sensitive to this and are endeavoring to get back to those who've submitted in as timely a timeframe as possible - without sacrificing the time and attention we devote to each submission.

Thanks for your patience!

The Editors

Reminder: Submissions of stories that received a green light during the query process are due no later than midnight EST on Friday, May 30th.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Announcing 'May Days of Unspeakable Horror'...

Here at Dark Scribe Press, we like our horror slow and agonizing, building in momentum until the breaking point of sanity and endurance. In keeping with this predilection for simmering anticipation, we’ve decided to torture our potential readership with the May Days of Unspeakable Horror.

It’s been one of the best-kept industry secrets (even our own authors don't know who they'll be sharing the TOC with), but starting on Thursday, May 1st, we will begin unveiling the table of contents for our upcoming Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet anthology at Dark Scribe Magazine – one incredible author at a time. Each weekday, we will be posting a new TOC announcement until our entire roster of literary talent is revealed.

So get ready as we open our closet door one painstaking inch at a time to reveal the unspeakable horrors lurking within…

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Important: Submissions Deadline Changed...

Please note that an important deadline for submissions has changed. Queries will still be accepted until May 15th, but the deadline for actual submissions for any greenlighted queries has been moved up from June 30th to May 30th.

We've had the good fortune of receiving some exceptional stories, and the process of putting the project together is moving ahead faster than anticipated. We would suggest having your story ready or near-ready for submission before querying.

Thank you.

The Editors

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Anthology Submissions Tally: March

We've now completed our sixth month of readings. Those who submitted stories to us during the month of March will be receiving notification of our editorial decisions regarding their submissions by week's end. Here are the results of our March readings:
  • Total # of queries = 28
  • Total # of greenlighted queries = 25
  • Total # of actual new submissions = 21
  • Total # of re-submissions from previous month(s) = 0
  • Total # of 2nd readings that were re-considered = 0
Disposition of submissions:
  • Accepted = 4
  • Rejected = 17
  • Held for second reading = 0
  • Revisions requested from authors = 0

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tips From the March Submissions...

OK. So we've realized that perhaps using plain English to get our message out there isn't necessarily the best approach. This month, consider the following mathematical equation:

No + Queer + Theme = Instant Rejection

Seriously, our guidelines are rather clear on this. And while we realize that submission guidelines get copied and posted around the Internet, we've been diligent about including a link to this blog with our response to each and every query we receive and respond to, strongly suggesting that each potential contributor give this (helpful) blog a read.

In any event, we are nearing the end of our reading period and can now point out some specifics in terms of what stories not to submit, based either on what we've already accepted or what doesn't work in terms of the direction in which the anthology is evolving:

  • Coming of age stories / teenage angst / runaways
  • Nothing with a gay bar setting (although we've been saying this for some time now)
  • Stories involving a therapist, therapist's office, therapy of any kind
  • Vampires
  • Stories in which traumatic childhood events or abuse triggers the repression of memories and/or sexual orientation.
  • Stories at the higher end of our word count

Conversely, there have been certain stories and story elements that we haven't seen coming across our desks that we have a strong interest in:

  • Surprisingly, we haven't received one story involving an actual closet yet. Come on, people. Closets are scary places!
  • We haven't accepted many stories with "traditional" horror monsters. Have a few good ghosts and an outstanding vampire on board, as well as a marvelous mummy on hold. We haven't seen hide nor hair of zombies yet, and the werewolves who've crossed our paths so far haven't made us howl at the moon. Tough sell unless done extraordinarily well, but we're still open to these.
  • We've yet to find a good story involving a drag queen or transgendered character.
  • Period pieces with a strong sense of time and setting.
  • Stories in the 1,000 to 2,500-word count range are being given preference at this stage in the process.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anthology Submissions Tally: February

We've now completed our fifth month of readings. Those who submitted stories to us during the month of February will be receiving notification of our editorial decisions regarding their submissions by week's end. Here are the results of our Febuary readings:
  • Total # of queries = 22
  • Total # of greenlighted queries = 22
  • Total # of actual new submissions = 20
  • Total # of re-submissions from previous month(s) = 0
  • Total # of 2nd readings that were re-considered = 0

Disposition of submissions:

  • Accepted = 3
  • Rejected = 15
  • Held for second reading = 1
  • Revisions requested from authors = 1

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tips From the February Submissions...

  • Interesting month. On the upside, there was nary a psycho tranny nor man-hating lesbian in sight. That was downright refreshing, and you have our eternal thanks.

  • On the downside, there were several solid stories that were creative in concept and competent in execution but derailed in the final act from over-ambition or predictability.

  • We're winding down now in the process so the "wow" factor is critical for your story to move ahead in the process. The good news is that we're receiving far more good stories than bad; the bad news is that the stories need to be great.

  • Narratives that are little more than rambling, free-association aren't making the grade. Think characters, plot, conflict...

  • Characters need motives, and they need to act on those motives in a manner logical to the situation you've placed them in, to the time period and setting, and to themselves.

  • Most satisfying literary tickle of the month: "jingoistic claptrap." Pure word harmony!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cover Art Unveiled...

Dark Scribe Press is pleased to unveil the central artwork for the cover of its upcoming anthology project, Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet:

This magnificent artwork was created by Michael “Pooch” Pucciarelli, an extraordinary up and coming artist in the Pop Surrealism/ Lowbrow scene. Visually captivating, Pucciarelli’s paintings blend the fantastic and surreal - Mexico’s Dia De los Muertos imagery, a bit of Bosch and Brueghul, and MC Escher's' architectural elements with an infusion of tattoo culture. His acclaimed “rides” series - intricately detailed carnavalesque worlds in which characters are sent careening on macabre rollercoaster rides through worlds populated by movie monsters, skeletons, and underground pop culture icons - reflects his constant exposure to Florida theme parks, where surreal carnival ride facades reflect the false fronts of modern society. Pucciarelli, who is also a renowned South Florida tattoo artist, created an original work in his “rides” series specifically for the anthology.

From his website:

"Raised on a diet of Ray Harryhausen films, H. P. Lovecraft novels, comics, Walt Disney World and other Florida tourist traps, Pooch paints images that seem to exist in a bizarre afterlife. His art is a visual cocktail of these influences—with a shot of lowbrow culture—shaken and stirred, then served up in a souvenir tiki skull on the Day of the Dead. A self-taught artist, he owes much of his painting skills to over ten years of daily tattooing and drawing."

Cover design duties now fall to the equally talented Deena Warner and her team from Deena Warner Design LLC. Check back for more updates and announcements as our TOC comes together for what promises to be an eclectic and amazing anthology!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Anthology Submissions Tally: January

We've now completed our fourth month of readings. Those who submitted stories to us during the month of January will be receiving notification of our editorial decisions regarding their submissions within the week. Here are the results of our January readings:
  • Total # of queries = 24
  • Total # of greenlighted queries = 23
  • Total # of actual new submissions = 20
  • Total # of re-submissions from previous month(s) = 3
  • Total # of 2nd readings that were re-considered = 4

Disposition of submissions:

  • Accepted = 3 (2 new / 1 re-submission)
  • Rejected = 23 (17 new / 2 re-submissions / 4 second readings)
  • Held for second reading = 1
  • Revisions requested from authors = 0

Tips from the January Submissions...

  • If we're open enough to reconsider your work and request changes, either make the changes or politely withdraw the piece. Don't re-submit the same story with one or two minor revisions to placate us. We're going to notice; then, we're going to reject your work.

  • It doesn't take an authentic gay person to imbue a work with an authentic gay POV. It takes talent.

  • Please. We beg of you...no more man-hating lesbians.

  • There's a difference between seamlessly weaving keen political commentary throughout the fabric of a story and dropping a political rant into the middle of it. Save the political speeches for Barack Obama - chances are, he's better at them.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Anthology Submissions Tally: December


We've now completed our third month of readings. Those who submitted stories to us during the month of December will be receiving notification of our editorial decisions regarding their submissions within the week. Here are the results of our December readings:

  • Total # of queries = 14
  • Total # of greenlighted queries = 13
  • Total # of actual new submissions = 12
  • Total # of re-submissions from previous month(s) = 2
  • Total # of 2nd readings that were re-considered = 3
Disposition of submissions:
  • Accepted = 4 (3 new / 1 re-submission)
  • Rejected = 10 (7 new / 3 second readings)
  • Held for second reading = 3
  • Revisions requested from authors = 0

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tips from the December Submissions...

  • No...science...fiction.

  • We want to experience terror from the stories - not suffer nightmares from the grammar. Line edit, proofread, line edit some more, proofread. Repeat until verb tenses agree, the punctuation doesn't upstage your characters, and sentences enjoy self-actualization.

  • The stories that are blowing our socks off are the ones with a strong sense of setting and mood. Avoid the clich├ęd gay bar scene unless you possess the extraordinary talent to bring something mind-numbingly unique to the table.

  • Subtle endings are fine if executed well. Watch for endings that fall flat or take the action from 60 mph to a complete halt within the span of mere sentences.