Sinister Reads – January 2016

2016 is definitely in full swing! So why not a quick review of some of the best of 2015? In this edition, you will find all the fantastic major releases from our AHWA members for 2015. Missed something? Well, here it is again!  Enjoy.

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Sinister Events

AHWA Competition

 The AHWA Flash Fiction & Short Story Competition is open to submissions from January 1 until May 31, 2016. 

We want your best horror story, your very best. This is Australia’s leading unpublished horror fiction competition and our winning entries are always imaginative, engaging, well-written, and bloody scary. We need tales that frighten, yarns that unsettle us in our comfortable homes. All themes in horror will be accepted, from the supernatural classics (zombies, vampires, ghosts), to psychological roller-coaster rides, to the highly original. No previously published entries will be accepted – all tales must be an original work by the author.
– Cameron Trost, AHWA Competitions Coordinator

There are two categories for submission:Flash Fiction
Stories up to 1000 words in length. The winning author will receive paid publication in Midnight Echo, the magazine of the AHWA, and an engraved plaque.

Short Story
Stories with 1001 to 8000 words. The winning author will receive paid publication in Midnight Echo, the magazine of the AHWA, and an engraved plaque.

AHWA members have free entry.
General public: $5 for flash fiction, $10 for short story entries.
Secure payments can be made via Paypal using our Paypal ID:

Writers may submit to one or both categories, but entry is limited to one story per author per category. No simultaneous submissions. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Electronic submissions (attached in WORD or RTF format) should be emailed to:

The email subject should follow the format:
“AHWA Flash Fiction: Story Title by Author” or “AHWA Short Story: Story Title by Author

Include author name, membership number (for members entries), contact details, and story word length in the body of the email. DO NOT include your name or any identifying details in the story file. The competition uses blind judging.

Please edit your manuscripts thoroughly before sending them through to us. Spelling errors and poor grammar isn’t the kind of horror we’re after!

We are pleased to announce our panel of judges for 2016.

1. Joseph Ashley Smith (2015 short story winner)
2. Zoe Downing (2015 flash fiction winner)
3. Lee Murray (award-winning speculative fiction writer, editor, judge)

Competition closes 31st May 2016.
Winners will be announced in late June or early July.

Contact if you have any further questions.

Sinister Reads


Black Wings IV – New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

Editor: S. T. Joshi

Authors: Various including AHWA’s Charles Lovecraft

Published by: PS Publishing

Release Date: 2015

Available here.

Includes poems by Charles Lovecraft:

  • “The Shadow on the Chimney,”
  • “A Connoisseur in Horrors (The Search for Reasons Why),”
  • “A Passer in the Storm,”
  • “What the Red Glare Meant,”
  • “Earlier Grisly Discoveries,”
  • “A Mountain’s Ghastly Fame,”
  • “Formless Phantasms—The Daemon Lurking Fear,”
  • “An Acheron of Multiform Diabolism,”
  • “The Horror in the Eyes,”
  • “A Nether World of Unknown Nightmare,”
  • “The Ineffable Horror of It All—The Mound-Burrows,”
  • “From Pits Remote and Unimaginable,”



Beyond the Cosmic Threshold: An Anthology of Cthulhu Horror

Author: Various including AHWA’s Charles Lovecraft

Published by: Horrified Press

Release Date: 2015

Available here.

Poems by Charles Lovecraft:

  • “Azathoth,”
  • “Nyarlathotep,”
  • “Cthulhu,”
  • “Shub Niggurath,”
  • “Hastur,”
  • “Yog Sothoth,”


1416172080Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies

Author: Various including AHWA’s Charles Lovecraft

Published by: Ulthar Press

Release Date: 2015

Available here.

Poems by Charles Lovecraft:

  •  “House on the Borderland, 1 and 2,”
  • “The Devil Mists, What Do They Hide?”
  • “And the Worried Waters



Spectral Realms #3

Author: Various including AHWA’s Charles Lovecraft

Published by: Hippocampus Press

Release Date: 2015

Available here.

Poems by Charles Lovecraft:

  • “A Shuddery Tale”
  • “Azathoth,”


Lighthouses-cover-thumbLighthouses: An Anthology of Dark Tales

Author: Various AHWA members

Editor: Cameron Trost

Illustrated by: Greg Chapman, cover artist

Published by: Black Beacon Books

ISBN no.: 9781515353812

RRP: $US11.95; $US6.00 Kindle

Release date: November 2015

Available in hardcopy HERE (CreateSpace) and HERE (Amazon), and Kindle HERE.


Light House, Dark House Greg Chapman
Scrimshaw Duncan Richardson
Horror at Hollow Head Cameron Trost
Psychopomp Mark McAuliffe
Trepidation Danielle Birch
Cloak of Madness Matthew Wilson
The Cape B. Michael Radburn
The Last Keeper Linda Brucesmith
In Search of Jimmy David Dolan
Into the Light Alice Godwin
The Crystal Lighthouse Sam Muller
To Keep the Lamp Alight Steve Cameron
The Tower B. T. Joy
Will o’ the Wisp Deborah Sheldon


unnamed (1)In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep: An Anthology of Australian Horror

Author: Various AHWA members

Illustrated by: Greg Chapman, cover artist

Published by: Australian Horror Writers’ Association

ISBN no.: 1508670382

RRP: $9.95 USD special release price until the 31st of October

Release date: 18/09/2015

Available HERE.

Inaugural Showcase Anthology from the Australian Horror Writers’ Association:

The River Slurry Rue Karney
Triage Jason Nahrung
Upon the Dead Oceans Marty Young
Beast Natalie Satakovski
The Grinning Tide Stuart Olver
Our Last Meal J. Ashley Smith
Veronica’s Dogs Cameron Trost
Bullets Joanne Anderton
Saviour Mark McAuliffe
The Hunt Mark Smith-Briggs
The Monster in the Woods Kathryn Hore
Road Trip Anthony Ferguson
Bloodlust Steve Cameron
Elffingern Dan Rabarts



Another Time Another Place – A Collection of Short Stories

Edited by: Monica Cook and Sarah Mokrzycki

Authors: Various including AHWA’s Porle Joen

Illustrator: Simple Elegance Australia (Cover)

Published by: Swinburne Anthology Group

ISBN: 978-1519302854

RRP: $US8.00 (paperback); $AUD1.37 (Kindle)

Avaibale in paperback here (CreateSpace users) here (Amazon), and here (Kindle).

Release date: 23 November 2015

Mrs. Bishop’s Bed (Anthony Wood)
Call me Jane (Sarah Mokrzycki)
Rumrunnery (Anna de Souza)
Broken Promises (Jeanette O’Hagan)
Isolated (Porle Joen)
Tattle Tale (TC Phillips)
The True Story of Miniature Pineapples (Simon Rowe)
Buried Horns (Monica Cook)
Rift (Jennie Keech)
The Journey (Starsky Tan)


october 2015

The Red King – The Jabberwocky Book Part 1

Author: Russell Proctor

Published by: Permuted Press

ASIN no.: B00U9VD3UE

RRP: $5.49US

Release date: 24 March 2015

Available from Amazon and Smashwords.

There is nothing deadlier than a little girl’s dreams. Alice Liddell had adventures in Wonderland many years ago. Now she is grown-up, married and living a respectable life in Edwardian London. But her dreams have come back to haunt her.



unnamedThe Sixsmiths vol.01 (new edition)

Author: Jason Franks

Illustrated by: J. Marc Schmidt

Published by: Caliber Comics

ISBN: 978-1942351184

RRP: $16.99 USD

Release date: October 9, 2015

Available HERE.

The Sixsmiths are a family of suburban Satanists who’ve fallen prey to the global recession. Now their life is in turmoil: Ralf needs to find a new job; the twins, Cain and Lilith, need to survive the public school system; and Annie needs to keep them all sane and under budget. Meanwhile, their estranged elder daughter Jezabelle is having her own crisis of faith. Will the Devil rise to smite their enemies, or will he damn them with hellfire and wrath.


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The Sixsmiths vol.02

Author: Jason Franks

Illustrated by: Dean Rankine, Bruce Mutard, Jase Harper, Sacha Bryning, Sarah Howell, Anton McKay, Aly Faye, Gregory MacKay, Trevor Wood, Luke Pickett, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Tim McEwen, Bobby N, Ed Siemienkowicz, and Jason Franks

Published by: Caliber Comics

ISBN: 978-1942351191

RRP: $16.99 USD

Release date: October 9, 2015

Available HERE.

The Sixsmiths are a family of suburban Satanists recovering from the global recession. Their eldest daughter, Jezabelle, has returned to the fold with a frightening amount of zeal. Meanwhile, recently converted Dennis O’Dowell finds that adapting a new faith has not made him as cool as he had hoped.

But when the church burns down, the whole community is embroiled in a crisis. What hidden enemy has brought them low? Or is the Dark Lord punishing them for their weakness?


The Transgressions Cycle (3 Book Series)

Author: Mike Jones

Published by: Simon & Schuster

ISBN no.: 9781925030938

unnamed (1)The Mothers

RRP: AUD$3.99

Release dates: 31 August

Available HERE.

1880. Rosanna is an impoverished woman fleeing debts she can’t pay in decrepit industrialised England. When she steals passage to Australia by deceiving a widowed mother and child out of their ticket, she finds herself incarcerated in quarantine on a rocky island off the coast of Tasmania. Here Rosanna uncovers the island’s dark secret – a possessed Warden deceiving migrant mothers and stealing the souls of their children with a demonic photograph camera. Unable to escape the island, Rosanna must make amends for her past transgressions and delve deep into the dark tunnels of the island’s catacombs, struggling to reconnect the ghosts of the mothers to their children before its too late.

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Scrimshaw Marionette

RRP: AUD$5.99

Release dates: 31 September

Available HERE.

1931. Blaming himself for the drowning death of his wife, William flees the hardship of depression-era Sydney with his young daughter, Rosa. Battling his addictions and his sanity, William travels far south and finds work on a remote island whaling station. But when Rosa finds a small scrimshaw marionette doll under the wharf, a restless spirit awakens to puppeteer the living and drag them into the sea. Grappling with his sanity and reason, William must confront the truth of the past, becoming lost in the island’s memories, and struggle to put the marionette ghost to rest to save his daughter and himself.

unnamedThe Reparation

RRP: AUD$5.99

Release dates: 31 October 2015

Currently available HERE.

1952. When Christopher, an ambitious but troubled Anglican priest, takes over the inner city parish of St Agnes, he encounters the mysterious ghost of a girl named Amaranth whose soul lives beneath the cemetery ground.  As restoration is undertaken on the old church, the headstones removed to make way, a dark past is brought to the surface; a story of corruption and murder that Christopher’s predecessors had kept hidden. To unearth the truth of Amaranth and her terrible death, the priest will have to confront what he fears most.


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Sleep With One Eye Open: Ghost

Author: Beau Johnston

Published by: Beau Johnston

ISBN no.: 978-0994427618

RRP: $9.99 US

Release date: September 4, 2015

Available form Amazon (e-book and paperback), iTunes, Kobo, Book Depository, Angus and Robertson (e-book and paperback), Kinokuniya Australia.

With cunning, courage and good luck, John survived the horror of the zombie outbreak in Sydney.

While searching for supplies in the abandoned homes and businesses of Gloucester, John rapidly learns his presence isn’t welcome. He doesn’t know who these people are or understand their motives; but they are determined to make his life hell. Join John as he tries to remain one step ahead of this new enemy.


unnamed (4)The Fading

Author: Carole Nomarhas

Available form Amazon USA, Amazon Australia, and Amazon UK.

Eleven darkly-twisted tales of fantasy and horror, magic and superstition. Venture into a place where the veil between worlds is wafer-thin, where the dead join the living and the sun never sets. Drive a road of dust and bones that may never end and may take you places you do not wish to go… Visit a picture-perfect house, in a picture-perfect village, where there is a very special box. Sit for a while on the front porch, and wait for the end of the world, unless something more terrifying comes calling first…


Beyond_the_Boundary_Cover 3

Beyond the Boundary Fence

Author: Stefan Taylor

Published by: Stefan Taylor

ISBN no.: 978-0-646-942-46-9

RRP: $1.35 AUD

Release date: 10th September 2015

Available HERE.

 What lies beyond the boundary fence, is something that should be left well alone. The new housing estate, Golden Pastures, is a quiet place with quiet streets, and quiet people. For fourteen-year-old Brody Webb and his struggling parents, it’s a new start, and a second chance at making their family work. But when Brody’s dad is laid off and his mother is forced to work long hours, things return to the way they have always been.



Midnight Echo Issue 11

Editor: Kaaron Warren

Distributor: AHWA

RRP: $AUD 2.99 – Comes in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. You’ll receive all three when you buy through the website!

Release date: April 2015

Available HERE.


The Table of Contents:


‘Gardening at Night’ by Vincent G McMackin
‘Uninvited Guests’ by Evan Purcell
‘Accident Report’ by Jarod K Anderson
‘By the Light Unseen’ by  Mark Farrugia
‘The Crying Room’ by Marija Elektra Rodriguez
‘Madeline’ by Claire Fitzpatrick
‘Perfect Little Stitches’ by Deborah Sheldon


‘November Wind’ by Sandy DeLuca
‘In Venice’ by John Grey
‘They’ by Michael Tugendhat
‘Dead Bodies Make Good Cellos’ by A J Huffman
‘The fruit of her hands’ by P S Cottier


From the Vault – ‘The Old Portrait’, written by Jason Franks, illustrated by Leigh Kuilboer, edited by Mark Farrugia

Non-fiction and regular features:

‘Why Sinister’ – Kaaron Warren on her early influences and favourite stories
Celluloid Nightmares – Mark Smith-Briggs talks to Wolf Creek 2 screenwriter Aaron Sterns
‘Writing With The Left Hand’ – P S Cottier discusses the sinister side of poetry
Sinister Reads (all the latest releases from AHWA members)

Special features:

AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition winners  –
‘Sundown’ by Keith Williams
‘What Came Through’ by Stuart Olver


unnamedMadman Across The Water

Author: Caroline Angel

Published by: Staccato Publishing

ISBN no.: 978-1512288544

RRP: $16.99 US

Release date: 12th May 2015

Available at AmazonBook Depository, and Good Reads.

Following a curse several generations ago, a monster now inhabits the woods near a local town. Simon watched his friends get taken when he was just a child, and has spent has whole life searching for a way to rid his family of the deadly legacy that haunts them.

A creepy, suspensful saga of family, horror, and mystery, this is one story sure to leave you frightened of the woods at night, fog, and all things tall and slender!



518lDuFVQiL._SX392_BO1,204,203,200_Who’s Watching Samantha?

Author:  Lynette McClenaghan

Published by: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-6-7 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-7-8 (epub)

RRP: AUD $4.99

Release date: March 31, 2015

Available HERE. Read an excerpt HERE.

How does clever and imaginative Samantha turn mean, wicked and dangerous? Horror sweeps in unleashing an entity that stirs hidden currents causing the Morrison family to implode, placing each member in danger. Samantha’s life is threatened from an unlikely source that wields an uncanny power over her and her family.


Blood & Dust

The Big SmokeBlood and Dust / The Big Smoke

Author: Jason Nahrung

Published by: Clan Destine Press

ISBN no.: (PB) 978-0-9942619-2-2 / (PB) 978-0-9942619-4-6

RRP: AUD $27

Release date: 7 June 2015

Available HERE.

When Queensland mechanic Kevin Matheson gets caught in a battle between two warring gangs of vampires, his life is changed forever.



Hamsikker2 cover

Hamsikker 2

Author: Russ Watts

Published by: Severed Press

ISBN no.:  978-1925342048

RRP: GBP 2.99 Kindle / GBP7.87 Paperback

Release date: 10 May 2015

Available in Paperback HERE, or Kindle HERE.

The dead rose quickly, and not everyone with Hamsikker escaped the zombies of Kentucky. In a world infested by the living dead, somehow Hamsikker and his group of survivors found their way to Saint Paul’s, a place offering safe refuge from the marauding dead outside its fragile fences.

But it’s what is inside that is about to turn their world upside down…



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.




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.


The VanishingThe Vanishing

Author:   David J Delaney

Illustrator: Johnny Digges of Digges Creative

Publisher: Self Published, edited by Jennifer Collins

ISBN no.: 1508932638

RRP: $0.99 USD, $1.28 AUD

Release date: March 11, 2015

Available HERE.

Detective Dean Cornell is investigating the murder of a young woman when he and his partner stumble across a second brutal murder. Hunting for the killer through the streets of Sydney he discovers another young girl has vanished, leaving a distraught father holding onto whatever hope he can.

Can they find the killer before another life is lost



large_FatZombie_EbookCoverFat Zombie – Stories of Unlikely Survivors from the Apocalypse

Author:  Paul Mannering (Ed); Contributing Authors include AHWA members Martin Livings & Dan Rabarts

Publisher: Permuted Press

ISBN no.: 1618684388

RRP: Paperback $16.95, ebook $5.88

Release date: January 2015

Available at Permuted Press and Amazon.

With the theme of unlikely survivors of the apocalypse, the stories in Fat Zombie will enthral you and have you rooting for the little guy.




In Jeopardy 

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-5-0 (Kindle); 978-0-9875408-4-3 (epub)

RRP: Aust$4.99

Re-release October, 2014

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Set in Melbourne, In Jeopardy is a dark, dirty-realist tale of psychological drama and betrayal depicting Christine’s crisis. Other characters pulled into her world reveal that their lives are also struck by disruption, drama and loss threatening their sense of self. How do they navigate the chaos and randomness of modern day life? How do they respond to uncomfortable truths about themselves?




Drew’s Party

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-1-2 (Kindle); 978-0-9875408-0-5 (epub)

RRP: Aust$3.99

Release date: May 1, 2013. RE-RELEASED.

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE. Extract @

Drew is a self-obsessed socialite.

At her opulent twenty-fifth birthday party she is confronted by an unpleasant surprise. She learns that she has unwittingly become subject to an ancient family curse.

Can Drew escape the fate that awaits her?




On the Wind’s Breath

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-3-6 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-2-9 (epub)

RRP: Aust$4.99

Release date: July 31, 2013. RE-RELEASED.

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Freak storms or is the weather out to get you?

Martin, a celebrity photographer, and his wife Vanessa, take a holiday in Black Mountain to reignite their relationship. When they become swept up in the death and destruction inflicted by violent weather, Vanessa is convinced that the storms are malevolent, and supernatural in origin. Martin dismisses her fears as fantasy and becomes increasingly more obsessed with photographing the events unfolding around them, placing both their lives at risk.



Hamsikker-ebook-cover (2)


Author: Russ Watts

Publisher: Severed Press

ISBN no.: 1925225526

RRP: GBP7.04 Paperback, GBP2.99 ebook

Release date: 02 Jan 2015

Available HERE.

The dead rose quickly, and were soon unstoppable. Kentucky’s five million inhabitants were swiftly decimated. Those killed only returned to join the ranks of the dead, to seek out and kill the remaining survivors. It was a scenario repeated across the country. Whatever caused them to return was so fast that no one really new how, or why, it happened.



SAVE1588 (1) (1)

Friends of the Dead and Other Stories

Author: James Doig

Illustrator: Paul Lowe

Publisher: Sarob Press

ISBN no.: 972-2-9549017-1-8

RRP: £30 or US$60 postage paid

Release date: January 2015

Available here.


Stories: “Malware*” “Wolferton Hall” “The Kindness of Strangers” “Mathrafal” “Threads” “The Wild Hunt” “The Land Where Fairies Linger*” “Out of the West” “The Dead Heart” “Friends of the Dead” *previously unpublished. With an introduction by the author.


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)


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook!