The Darkness Dwells Podcast Interviews Me!

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Jason White and Michael Schutz from The Darkness Dwells Podcast are such cool guys. They have their fingers on the pulse of horror, they’re knowledgable, and they’re also kind. They consistently run one of my favorite podcasts, and I’m so delighted that they invited me on to discuss Women in Horror Month.

This is what they have to say about the episode:

To celebrate Women in Horror month, Jason and Michael talk with Mercedes M. Yardley where they discuss the unfortunate need for a month dedicated to women in horror, what makes a strong female character, voodoo dolls, the ever intrusive unsolicited dick pick (seriously dudes, don’t do this!), advice for young women horror writers, and so much more. Then Michael and Jason Netflix and chill with the Adam Neville adapted novel The Ritual.

You can listen here, and I hope you enjoy!

 

 

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My Six-Year-Old Demonstrates what to do in the Case of an Active Shooter.

No parents should ever have to listen to this. No child should ever have to learn it. But this is the world we live in, and no matter how uncomfortable it is, we need to do what we can to keep them safe.

This is Littlest, my baby, explaining what to do if an active shooter comes to her school. I took this video, praised her for being such a great learner, excused myself, and cried.

 

Welcome to the Family, Marsh Cat!

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Two years ago I met and fell in love with this beauty.  He’s a gorgeous, skinny, fearful-yet-friendly rag doll cat whom the girls named Marsh. Because he’s fluffy, like a marshmallow, but he’s also a boy, and Marsh is a manly name, they explained.

We also call him Mystery Cat. Murder Cat. Mom’s Boyfriend. Mr. E. Murder Paws. Baby. I call all of our animals “Baby.” Rush, the hateful turtle, secretly likes to be called that, but if she tells you, she’ll kill you.

My husband is allergic to cats, so I fed and loved on Marsh outside. For two years.

He started out skinny and afraid, but as you can see, he’s fluffed up considerably. My trusting beauty.

Last week Luke was gone for work, so I took Marsh to be examined, vaccinated, neutered, and microchipped. He stayed inside to recuperate, and then he ran free to the outdoors that he desperately craved. The house was sanitized so my sweet husband could, you know, breathe and stuff. I was afraid Marsh would be wary of coming back, but he still shows up like clockwork, three times a day, for food and snuggles.

Anyway, he is my love. He is literally the reason I got up  in the morning during this last difficult summer. His loud, Siamese-style meow wouldn’t be ignored.

Welcome to the family, Marsh Cat! Do any of you have pets who wandered into your life and chose you as their human? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

I’m Teaching A Class This Week!

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If you’re going to be in Las Vegas, why not stop by? I’ll be teaching at the Las Vegas Writer’s Group, which is a fun meeting where we do trivia, network, and learn a little something-something along the way. I’ll be talking about writing and marketing for your own personal niche, and I hope it will prove useful.

It’s a casual meeting in the back room of a bar that has great fish and chips. Writers of all ages and levels are absolutely welcome. My job is to support you and cheer you on, and hopefully help you attain some of your dreams.

The meeting costs $5 at the door. I’d love it if you could join us.

 Tap House

5589 W Charleston Blvd · Las Vegas, NV

In the doors, down the hallway to the right. The meeting room is non-smoking.

 

 

 

“Loving You Darkly” is a Bram Stoker Award Nominee!

Oh, my friends. I can’t even tell you how it feels. I guess I’d say it feels like SHOCK, and being dumbfounded, and so grateful at the same time. My short story “Loving You Darkly” which was published at Tethered By Letters made it to the final ballot, so it’s officially a Bram Stoker Award-nominated story. Out of all of the wonderful, wonderful stories that came out this year (I read hundreds upon hundreds for Gamut Magazine), it is truly an honor to make the top five on the ballot.

As a special aside, my collection Beautiful Sorrows was originally going to be called Loving You Darkly,  but it didn’t fit the collection quite as well as I wanted. Believe me when I say this story was a long time coming.

“Loving You Darkly” is available to read online. It’s dark and lovely and full of pain and hope. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

I’ve read most of the works mentioned below, and they’re really quite good. I’d suggest adding them to your reading list! The other nominees are:

 

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)

Hayward, Matt – What Do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)

Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)

Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)

Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)

Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)

Duffy, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)

Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)

Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (Tor.com)

Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (Tor.com)

Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (Tor.com)

Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)

Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)

Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)

Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving You Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)  This is me! Ahhhh!

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)

Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)

Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks, Part 8 (Rancho Rosa Partnership, Inc.)

Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)

Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)

Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)

Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)

Hendrix, Grady. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)

Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)

Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)

Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

February is Women in Horror Month!

wihm9-grrrllogotall-br-mI love Women in Horror Month. Although women work in horror all year long (surprise!), I think it’s nice to take time out to specifically search out diversity in our reading and viewing.

Michael Bailey wrote a pretty comprehensive list of some fantastic female writers. There’s something here for everyone, so why don’t you swing by and pick up something new to read? He was also gracious enough to include me, and it made my heart sing. While we, of course, write for ourselves, it’s really wonderful to feel validated by our peers.

Another important, often overlooked aspect of the month is the WiHM Blood Drive. It can be a little nerve-wracking to donate blood, but it’s so very important. I’ve signed up to donate next week, if they’ll accept me. I’ll have to see if the scorpion venom and the horse antibodies/antivenin stuff roaring around in my blood makes me ineligible. We’ll see. I’ll report back.

Happy Women in Horror Month!

Pimp A Friend Friday: Jackie Chin

26167139_10209128281798907_2400287950782708918_nMy friend Jackie Chin hosts the wonderful and always entertaining Zombiepalooza Radio Live. I’ve been fortunate to be a guest, and I’ve enjoyed it without fail. She asks thoughtful, in-depth questions and it’s really something to tune into weekly.

Jackie wrote the book Practical Paranormal: The Untold Secrets to Mastering Self and Your Surroundings. I’ve picked it up and can’t wait to dive in! You can purchase the book on Amazon.

Have you ever thought about someone and soon after the phone rings and it’s them? Have you ever wanted to connect with the spirit world but don’t know where to start?

Everyone has the ability to connect to the spirit world or to unlock their own spiritual abilities. This book offers insight and practical advice for the beginner as well as those who are more advanced to expand their spiritual journey.  You will also get insights on how to develop your gifts through meditation, cleansing your personal energy and bringing a level of balance to your life without gimmicks, huge expense or new age chatter. 

Jackie Chin is a professional international psychic/medium based in Warren, Ohio 

www.psychicconnextions.blogspot.com 

 

Goodbye, Jack Ketchum <3

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His name was Dallas Mayr, but most of you know him as Jack Ketchum. He was a brilliant writer and dear man. If you haven’t read The Girl Next Door, you should. It’s a wonderfully written, horribly disturbing book.

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Mercedes, Dallas, and Laura J. Hickman at Killercon 2011

I have a few memories of Dallas, but my favorite was at Killercon in 2011. I had just had my triplets, and two passed away. The other was still in the NICU. I went to a writer’s conference here in Vegas, and was still little shaky. In fact, that very morning I had cut off my hospital bracelets so I could attend the conference.

It seemed too soon.

Dallas had heard about my loss and gently asked about it. His kindness and sensitivity meant so much to a grieving woman who spent some time sobbing in the stairwell during that conference. He didn’t have to take the time to talk to me, but he chose to. I’ll never forget it.

Rest in the sweetest of peace, Dallas. You deserve wonderful things.

Desert Companion: Mercedes M. Yardley’s “My Space”

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The Desert Companion ran a piece on my writing space in their December issue.  Scott Dickensheets did a write-up of all of my various odds and ends while Brent Holmes threw himself on the floor to take some pictures of my teeny, tiny little area. My writing space is literally the corner of my bedroom. I found myself apologizing.

“I’m sorry it’s so little.”

“I don’t always write here. Sometimes it’s on the couch or I put my feet up on the kitchen table. Does this make me a liar?”

“This house is a shoebox. I want to laugh when you use the word ‘space’.”

But when all is said and done, it’s my happy little area and I love it. Each little item fills me with joy. It’s truly my personal corner of the world.

51wLPTnSRNLI hope you’ll check out My Space and enjoy, and also consider purchasing a copy of the charity copy Vegas Strong. I donated a story titled “His Girl Friday” and the proceeds all go to the Code Green Campaign, which is a first responder-oriented mental health advocacy and education organization. We’re still feeling the effects of the mass shooting in Vegas, and I don’t now if those effects will ever cease. This is a small way I, and you, can help. 🙂

Have a wonderful day! Happy writing and reading.

“Loving You Darkly”

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Art  for “Loving You Darkly” by Brian Demers.

I’m delighted to announce that my short story “Loving You Darkly” has made the  Short Fiction preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards.  This means that it was chosen along with nine other short stories, and there will be a vote by Horror Writer Association members. Five stories will be chosen for the final ballot, and a winner will eventually be picked.

It’s crazy because we don’t write for awards, but it feels really good to be validated by our peers. Thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to read our works and vote. I know it isn’t an easy process.

“Loving You Darkly” was published by Tethered by Letters in their F(r)iction Magazine and can be read online here. I’m particularly proud of this story and of the journey that editor D.M. Hedlund and I went on to make this story as strong as it could be. It’s a timely tale about love, revenge, and justice when your life collapses.

There are some amazing works on the ballot, and here it is. Hopefully you can find some new works to fall in love with this year!

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Barker, J.D. – The Fourth Monkey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)

Jemc, Jac – The Grip of It (FSG Originals)

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)

McGrath, Patrick – The Wardrobe Mistress (Hutchinson)

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)

Nevill, Adam – Under a Watchful Eye (Pan Macmillan)

Rabarts, Dan and Murray, Lee – Hounds of the Underworld (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Purcell, Laura – The Silent Companions: A Ghost Story (Raven Books)

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)

 

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)

Hartwell, Ash – Tip of the Iceberg (Stitched Smile Publications)

Hayward, Matt – What do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)

Rosson, Keith – The Mercy of the Tide (Meerkat Press)

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)

 

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)

Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)

Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)

Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)

Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)

 

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)

Duffey, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)

Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Haun, Jeremy and Hurley, Jason – The Beauty Volume 3 (Image Comics)

Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)

 

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Baxter, Alan – The Book Club (PS Publishing)

Deady, Tom – Weekend Getaway (Grinning Skull Press)

Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)

Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (Tor.com)

Keisling, Todd – The Final Reconciliation (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (Tor.com)

McGuire, Seanan – Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Tor.com)

Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (Tor.com)

Vandermeer, Jeff – The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (MCD x FSG Originals)

Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)

 

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Bodner, Hal – “The Baker of Millepoix” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)

Fawver, Kurt – “Etch the Unthinkable” (Gamut #1) (Gamut Magazine)

Lombardi, Nicola – “Even the Stars Fall” (The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water) (Independent Legions Publishing)

Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)

Marceau, Caitlin – “No Filter” (Read-Only: A Collection of Digital Horror) (WatchMojo Publishing)

Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)

Rourke, Naomi Brett – “Coyote” (Straight Outta Tombstone) (Baen)

Taff, John F.D. – “A Ware That Will Not Keep” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Wahl, M.F. – “Absolution” (Feverish Fiction Magazine Issue #6) (Sleazy Viking Press)

Walters, Damien Angelica – “All the Windows, All the Doors” (Chopping Block Party: An Anthology of Suburban Terror) (Necro Publications)

Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving you Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)

 

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Cain, Kenneth W. – Embers (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Cataneo, Emily B. – Speaking to the Skull Kings (Trepidatio Publishing)

Dorr, James – Tombs (Elder Signs Press)

Fracassi, Philip – Behold the Void (JournalStone)

Gafford, Sam – The Dreamer in Fire and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press)

Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)

Sheldon, Deborah – Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (IFWG Publishing Australia)

 

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Aronofsky, Darren – Mother! (Paramount Pictures, Protozoa Pictures)

Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)

Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)

Ducournau, Julia – Raw (Frakas Productions/Petit Film/Rouge International)

Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks: The Return “Gotta Light?”, Episode 3:08 (Rancho Rosa Partnership Production)

Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)

Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)

Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)

 

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Bailey, Michael and Speegle, Darren – Adam’s Ladder (Written Backwards)

Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)

Eads, Ben – Tales from the Lake Vol. 4: The Horror Anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ferguson, Cin and Campbell, Broos – Mother’s Revenge: A Dark and Bizarre Anthology of Global Proportions (Scary Dairy Press)

Kaheaku, Danielle – California Screamin’ (Barking Deer Press)

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)

Matthews, Mark – Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror (Wicked Run Press)

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Price, David – Northern Frights: An Anthology by the Horror Writers of Maine (Grinning Skull Press)

 

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)

Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)

Cardin, Matt – Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears (Greenwood) 

Hendrix, Grady. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)

Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books; Ill edition)

Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Rhoads, Loren – 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die (Black Dog & Leventhal)

 

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Bolivar, Adam – The Lay of Old Hex: Spectral Ballads and Weird Jack Tales (Hippocampus Press)

Fantina, Michael – Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems (Hippocampus Press)

Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hanson, Michael H. – When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press)

Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ness, Mari – Through Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)

Razvi, Saba – Heliophobia (Finishing Line Press)

Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)

Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Weikel, Cynthia O’Quinn – Return to Graveyard Dust (Goose River Press)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)