Sinister Reads – April 2015

There is nothing to fear… except the minds of our AHWA writers! Get a piece of it this month with a collection of scary spectre stories from Robert Hood and some good advice from Bethaney Nielsen – Don’t Play with Dead Things! Also, get into some devilish short stories. Enjoy your April edition of Sinister Reads.

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Sinister Happenings

***Call for Submissions***

At The Edge
Editors: Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray
Publisher*: Paper Road Press (Wellington, NZ)
Release date: Subs open April 3rd through July 31st

At the Edge, an anthology of stories about the edge of civilisation, the fringe of reason, the border of physical reality, by writers from the edges of the earth.

What we’re looking for:

Original science fiction, fantasy and horror from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. No reprints, please. The editors especially enjoy dark, twisted stories; however, they are not looking for stories with gratuitous gore and/or explicit sexual content.

Stories with some connection to Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific are preferred, as are stories which celebrate diversity and inclusiveness.

Interpret the theme of At The Edge however you like. So long as we can pick up the thread, we’ll be happy.

What we’re paying:

Remuneration is via two fixed rates; for stories between 3000-4999 words the payment is NZ$30 plus a print copy of the anthology. For stories over 5000 words, we will pay NZ$50 plus a print copy of the anthology. There is no word limit, you can write as many words as you want, but the maximum payment is NZ$50 plus a print copy of the book. Stories over 10,000 words are unlikely to make the cut.

Payment is for first worldwide publishing rights (digital and print), exclusive for one year. We reserve the right to run a crowdfunding event in order to extend the print run, but contributing authors will receive this payment regardless of whether the campaign is successful or not.

No simultaneous submissions. Multiple submissions are OK, but we are unlikely to publish more than two stories by any one author.

For more details and to submit your work, click HERE.

Sinister Reminders

AHWA Members Critique Groups

Don’t forget about out short story critique group and the writer’s workshop that is open to all members of the AHWA.  That’s right – novels, novellas, short stories – all are invited to participate.  Membership to both groups is open to members of the AHWA by invitation only.

If you are interested in taking part in either of these two groups, you need to join the AHWA today, and check out all the other exciting opportunities, you as an author, are currently missing out on.  There are tips on writing, how to get published, competitions, group forums and so much more.

Check out the Australian Horror Writer’s Association web-site today and become a member.


 Horror Network Australia

Horror Network Australia seeks to keep you, the horror fan, informed about all that is going in Australia within the horror genre. Events, conventions, attractions, publishers, businesses, author tours and signings, film releases – you name it, we list it.
  • Film, magazine, and book releases will be posted in the main timeline, as will announcements about any other horror-based news item.
  • Businesses and other ongoing concerns will be under the static pages, as will horror events throughout Australia.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and blog posts for all the latest news.

Follow the Blog HERE and don’t forget to like our Facebook page HERE.

Geoff Brown Dip. PWE
Editor-in-Chief – Cohesion Press
Editor/Columnist/Reviewer – This is Horror (UK) 

Sinister Reads


Peripheral Visions: The Collected Ghost Stories

Author: Robert Hood

Illustrated by: Nick Stathopoulos

Published by: IFWG Publishing Australia

ISBN no.: 978-1-925148-65-7 (single volume hardback); 978-1-925148-66-4 (Volume 1, trade paperback); 978-1-925148-67-1 (Volume 2, trade paperback).

RRP: AUS$49.99 (inc. postage) / limited edition HC AUS$75 (inc. postage) / trade paperback volume 1: AUS$33.99 (inc. postage). Single volume ebook: AUS$10.99 / trade paperback Vol. 1: AUS$7.80.

Release date: April/May 2015

Available in print HERE .

Peripheral Visions is a unique reference collection that includes all of acclaimed dark fantasy writer Robert Hood’s 44 ghost stories to date, three of them especially written for this volume. These memorable tales display Hood’s uncanny ability to make the fantastic real, to embrace weirdness and create human characters whose lives – both inner and outer – haunted by mortality, are laid bare and revealed to be our own worst nightmares. Ranging from melancholy reflection on life and death, through disquieting tales of dark humour and vengeance, to chilling visions of ghostly apocalypse. Hood’s stories are sure to draw you into a terrifying world that in the end is revealed to be irrefutably our own. Though many of these stories draw on the traditions of the past, they are far from traditional in approach. As you turn each page remember this: not everything here is as it seems. There’s always something more, barely glimpsed, out there on the periphery. In the single volume HC and ebook editions, each section has an evocative, disturbing illustration by noted artist, Nick Stathopoulos, who also designed the covers.


  • “Robert Hood is so good at what he does, he’ll have you believing in ghosts by the end of the first story in this brilliant collection.” – Kaaron Warren
  • “Rob Hood perfects the dread of things that cannot be but are” – World Fantasy Award-winning editor Danel Olson

A Sydney launch is being organised for May/June. There will also be an event at Continuum, Melbourne, in June, at Genrecon, Brisbane, and at Conflux, Canberra in October. Dates etc. to be confirmed.



Don’t Play With Dead Things

Author: Bethaney Nielsen

Distributor: Dennis Jones & Associates Pty Ltd

ISBN no.: 978-0-9923239-1-2

RRP: AUS$ 3.99, UK£2.11, US$ 2.99

Release date: May 1 2014

Available on Amazon AU, Amazon US, Amazon UKPort Campbell PressGood ReadsBooktopiabol.comJB HiFi ebooksCollins BooksKobogeneral-ebooks.comGoogle Books.

‘Don’t Play With Dead Things’ is a collection of 30 short stories, made up of exactly 100 words, filled with horrow and dark humour, perfect for when the sun goes down. Here you will see why you shouldn’t play with dead things, when:

  • A clown discovers IT’S not so scary…
  • The women show the men who’s boss…
  • Kitchen appliances get even…
  • Toys want to play with YOU…
  • Trick or Treating is not that much fun…
  • Monsters are good-old fashion monsters, and more.


  • I really enjoyed the way these shorts draw you in for a brief moment, steal your breath and then force you to exhale with such force that you feel as if you were punched in the gut (in a good way of course). Nielsen brings the reader face to face with ordinary everyday objects and injects them with raw unforgiving malice. You will never look at your kitchen appliances in the same way again. Kudos. – Craig Furchtenicht (author of Dimebag Bandits)
  • What an excellent collection of short horror stories. I got spooked and shocked by some of the endings. A must read for any horror fan!!!! – Joshua Michael Phillips
  • This is not my usual genre I read but I was shocked and surprised, that I had to keep reading all the short stories. My favourite was “Added Flavour”. Well done to Ms Nielsen for encompassing 30 complete stories with only 100 words each. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars is because I would have preferred the stories to be longer. I think I would really enjoy reading longer horror stories by this author. – Lorraine Loveit
  • “Don’t Play with Dead Things” surprised me because I was laughing as much as I was shocked. (I may need therapy???) Nielsen has a wonderful ability to get to the point quickly and paint a gruesomely, amazingly vivid picture in your head. If you like shock horror, this is a must in my opinion – a great read! I would certainly recommend to friends and family. – T.G.
  • I usually don’t read short stories because I don’t always believe they give you enough material to get lost in a story and that is my favorite part of reading. That’s why I was skeptical about reading Don’t Play With Dead Things. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this collection of short stories. Each story stands alone and gives you just enough to give you a hint of what is going on. Bethaney Nielsen uses her sparse words to cleverly broach popular subjects such as vampires and zombie. My favorite story touched on the problem of Facebook obsession that is sweeping our country. Some of the stories are disturbing, particularly the ones involving children but somehow they work. My only criticism of this book is that I wish the stories were longer or that more of them were tied together. There is no thread running through the book that connects the stand alone stories; no “Aha!” moment. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to read horror without having to muddle through tons of gore. I like that the stories are creepy but, for the most part, they’re not gross. – Michelle

Sinister Slices

Sins of Meals Past

by Matthew J Morrison

Published in Insert Title Here


Oil and Bone

by Dan Rabarts

Published in Insert Title Here


Who Looks Back?

by Kyla Lee Ward

Published in The New Cthulhu Two: More Recent Weird

** Originally printed in Shotguns vs Cthulhu, 2012


Footprints in Venom

By Robert Hood

Published in Insert Title Here

Sinister Superstars

Nomination: 2014 Australian Shadows Award: Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction (Novella)

“The Shark God Covenant” by Robert Hood


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