The Beard and Other Weirdness

Bram Stoker Awards 2019 News…

The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) have released the Preliminary Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA ( is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,600 members and have presented the Bram Stoker Awards® in various categories since 1987 (see

Note: Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

stokersYou can check out all the preliminary ballot details here: We’d like to congratulate all authors, editors, and publishers who appear on The Preliminary Ballot, which includes three works published by Things in the Well as follows:-

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction: 

  • Chapman, Greg – “The Book of Last Words” (from This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories)
  • Landry, Jess – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (from Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something! edited by Eugene Johnson and Steve Dillon)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology:

  • Johnson, Eugene and Dillon, Steve – Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something!

Voting Members:

The above works are available to be read by voting members for Bram Stoker Award® consideration by emailing with the subject: “Stoker”




Burning Love first lineup announced…

We are excited to announce the first round of acceptances for inclusion in Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts. This is our charity anthology to raise funds for the Australian bushfire victims… All sale proceeds will be donated to the Australian Red Cross and matched dollar-for-dollar by Microsoft (up to $50k) as part of their Giving campaign.

– The theme is dark tales of love and submission are open until 31 January:

– Please note that if you have submitted and have not heard from us we are still reviewing your submission.
Thank you!! – Louise Zedda-Sampson and Chris Mason (editors).
Pre-orders for the Kindle version are here, and the print book will be ready for Valentine’s Day!

This isn’t the complete lineup, but so far the authors and stories announced are:-

  • Erik Hofstatter  ~ “Tender Whisper on a Crimson Tongue”
  • Kurt Newton ~ “Honeymoon Lodge”, “Bloom”, “The Rose Room”
  • Susan Snyder ~ “When He Comes”
  • Janis Butler Holm ~ “Abduction Again”
  • Russell Hemmel ~ “Orchid, Squirrel, White Hot Star”, “Lover Song, Mantis Instinct”
  • Joshua Strnad ~ “A Receipt”
  • William Falo ~ “Broken Crows”
  • Bruce Meyer ~ “Invisible Boy”
  • Miguela Considine ~ “Oldstones”
  • Lynne Lumsden Green ~ “Smoke Signals”
  • Kevin David Anderson ~ “Damaged”
  • Liam Hogan ~ “A Ballet of Blood and Flames”
  • Kevin  J. Kennedy  “Edible Panties”
  • Matthew R. Davis          ~ “The ballad of Elvis O’Malley”
  • Alyson Faye ~ “Fallen Angel”
  • Sara Tantlinger ~ “Fermented fatalities”, “Incisions”, “Or Something”, “Polluted”
  • E. E. King ~ “DNA”
  • James S. Dorr ~ “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale”
  • Ronnie Smart ~ “Doris”
  • A J Collins ~ “Valentine’s Volunteer”
  • Josh Dygert ~ “King Cupie”
  • Anthony Ferguson ~ “One from the Heart”
  • John Grant ~ “The Music of the Heart”
  • Sarah Doebereiner ~ “Melody in the Dark”
  • Steve Dillon ~ “Cleaning up the Act”




Matthew R. Davis

Finally, here’s the big announcement: my first collection of horror short stories, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, will be available through Things in the Well from January 31!

Check out the Facebook page for it here, and you can find the Amazon pre-order here. And here – put together by yours truly, photography (as with all interior art) courtesy of Red Wallflower Photography – in all its glory, is the wraparound cover:

IOTWCS cover FINAL no bleed Cover by MRD – photography by Red Wallflower Photography – model: Aislynn Mary

I’ve been getting some glowing blurbs back on this from fellow writers, award-winning ones at that, which has been quite the boost. I can’t wait to share this thing with you – it’s been so long in the making, and we’ve been through a lot to bring you this book the way it is and should be.

I’ll announce the Adelaide book…

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Pre-Order “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep”

Australian horror writer Matthew R. Davis has written 13 wonderfully dark stories, each of which has been suitably illustrated by dark, evocative photographs by Red Wallflower Photography. The collection has already garnered significant reviews by Lee Murray, Jason Fischer, and Chris Mason (see below for their comments). Things in the Well editor Steve Dillon has this to say of Matthew’s writing: “Matthew has a distinctive way of writing that reminds me of a mixture between Ramsey Campbell and Terry Gilliam. Some might find him too intense, while others will doubtless be enthralled from start to finish, carried by the ebb and flow of his dark, insightful fiction… he’s going from strength to strength…

“so good it almost makes me want to stop trying to be a writer.” – Steve Dillon, editor.

You can pre-order Matthew’s book, scheduled for end of January release, on Amazon here:  

FINAl cover amazon kindle

“If Only Tonight We Could Sleep is a deeply felt collection, gritty and pulsing with the grim cadence of our urban quotidian. Davis secures his place as a writer of note with this insightful examination of the human condition.” — LEE MURRAY, award-winning author of Into the Mist

“Evocative and powerful… in the heart of each story is a raw vulnerability that is compelling. Davis lures the reader into a dark place, then turns out the light and leaves them there.” — CHRIS MASON, Aurealis Award-winning author

“As a writer of short horror, Davis speaks to the sensibilities of the middle class, but he deftly blends the familiar with a sense of creeping dread. With one foot in Adelaide and the other perched on the outer rings of Saturn, Davis treats the reader to supernatural turns that are as unique as they are constant. Whether it’s the murderous LA of the 1980s in his “Flights of Fractured Angels”, the bizarre and beautiful return to childhood strangeness in “Tea Beneath the Twilight Tree” or the magnificent and heartbreaking “This Impossible Gift”, there is a lot to enjoy in this collection.” — JASON FISCHER, award-winning author of Quiver

Matthew R. Davis Collection news…

Things in the Well are delighted to announce the next book in our
ongoing series of single-author collections!

FINAl cover amazon kindle“If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” is a collection of thirteen stories, three of which are original to this collection, by Adelaide writer Matthew R. Davis and will be published in January.

Watch this space for news of the pre-orders for Kindle, and the print editions to follow. The book is beautifully complemented with photography by Meg Wright (Red Wallflower photography)


Nominate for This is Horror Awards

The public nominations stage runs until 8 January 2020. Feel free to nominate your favourite Things In The Well book, story, etc. Or one from any other publishing house, of course but obviously we’d love you to nominate us 😉 And, hey, there’s even a category for Publisher of the Year if you love what we do that much! 

This Is Horror Awards 2019 Banner

The public nominations are now open for the ninth annual This Is Horror Awards.  Here are the categories some of the Things in the Well publications are eligible for:

  • Novella of the Year (e.g. Losing Face by Lee Murray, and Into the Dark by Chris Mason, and Giants by Paul Kane)
  • Short Story Collection of the Year (e.g. White Shadows by Paul Kane, Deeper Darker Things by Steve Dillon, and This Sublime Darkness by Greg Chapman)
  • Anthology of the Year (e.g. Beside the Seaside, Guilty Pleasures and Other Dark Delights, and Tales of the Lost Volume 1)
  • Fiction Magazine of the Year  (e.g. Trickster’s Treats 3 Seven Deadly Sins edition)
  • Publisher of the Year (e.g. Things in the Well, natch!)
  • Cover Art of the Year

“Readers can e-mail in their nominations for each category. Taking into consideration the nominations for each category This Is Horror will then draw up a shortlist. We invite you to include one sentence as to why each nomination is award-worthy.”






Luke Spooner Cover Reveal!

We’re delighted to welcome Luke Spooner to the team putting together our latest anthology, “Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts”. Edited by Louise Zedda-Sampson and Chris Mason, we opened the submissions call yesterday so there’s plenty of time to get your flash fiction in for this Valentine’s Day charity publication to support victims of the Australian bushfires.

And we hope you love the cover art as mch as we do… And many thanks to Luke Spooner for creating such a creepy and thematic cover!

Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts callout!

Callout for “Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts”!
In response to the real-world horrors happening as a result of the Australian bushfires, we have just announced a flash-fiction Valentine’s Day callout to authors from across the globe. #HWA members, please help by writing and submitting your stories (up to 1,000 words) – thanks!