Why we're here.

A creative writing blog by Shawn M Klimek / Twitter: @shawnmklimek
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Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Dunwich Romance to be featured in The Horror Tree's "Fear and Trembling", "Unholy Trinity".

When Black Hare Press's "Love Me, Love Me Not" call opened last year, I composed a drabble inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror", titled "The Dunwich Heartthrob". It earned only a form- rejection (i.e., no explanation), but I assume it was rejected for not being dark enough for the publisher's tastes (see preceding blog entry).

So, I rewrote it slightly, then added two more drabbles, expanding the saga into an "Unholy Trinity" intended for The Horror Tree, an online magazine.

The Horror Tree accepted the trio shortly before Valentine's Day, sent me a contract today, (04/19/23), and promised to publish "The Dunwich Romance" on Friday, April 21.

Here's the link: https://horrortree.com/unholy-trinity-the-dunwich-romance-by-shawn-m-klimek/

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Two Drabbles to Appear in Run Rabbit Run

Available April 18, 2023. You can order (or pre-order) your copy of this anthology, here: 


While waiting for my writing groove to recover from its unusually protracted malaise, in recent months, I dabbled in more drabbles, submitting five for this anthology about scary rabbits. Two were accepted, about which I am delighted. There was a prize for being the first author to ten acceptances, (won by a more talented fellow named Bernardo Miller-Villella, ...

...about whose existence I was previously unaware, and is a reminder that as the pool of authors submitting to Black Hare Press has continually increased, my rate of acceptances was bound to diminish. (Congrats, Bernardo!).

BHP has so many projects going at a time and so much reading to do that they now rely on teams of volunteers to vet submissions, which has also somewhat shifted the editorial feel. Logically, more opinions mean less caprice, which suggests more measured, thoughtful results; and more submissions mean a larger pool of stories from which to choose, permitting them to pick the very best (and never or less often settle for mediocre filler).

Frankly, not everything I submit is equally great, although I usually strive to make it so. When I look at a rejected work with fresh eyes, I'm often relieved it was rejected. No writer wants their name forever attached to cringey dreck. Most rejected stories can be rewritten and then resubmitted elsewhere (although peculiar themes make that more challenging).

On the other hand, increasingly, our tastes simply differ. BHP' is predominantly a horror press, after all, and emphatically prefers their stories "daaark" (to quote some early editorial feedback directly from the founder). I lean heavily toward humor in my stories (dark humor, when writing horror), which puts me in the minority among horror writers. Having this work judged by an average pool of horror writers, therefore, most of whom do not prefer humor, predictably undermines my chances. 

That's my theory, at least. As deeply humbled as I am by the talents of other fiction writers (I am now linked to four thousand of them on Twitter: @shawnmklimek), I still have confidence in my own skills, as lacking as they definitely are, in certain areas. I am keenly aware that I am not, nor do I yet deserve to be writing fiction for a living.  To end on a positive note, though, I have published many short gems.