New Year Horror – Stories Needed!

Some people are sorry to see a year go by. Great things happened, vacations were taken, memories were made.

Of course…not EVERY year is necessarily a good one. And, sometimes, New Year’s Eve can be the scariest holiday of them all. Forced to relive awkward moments, breakups…and sometimes something a little more sinister. A new year doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a GOOD year.

A lot of people die on New Year’s Eve. Many of them happen in traffic accidents. But what about the others? What about the unusual deaths? Could there be a supernatural reason why people don’t make it to a new year? Some force at work determined to thin the herd before the clock ticks over to 12:01?

Untreed Reads is pleased to announce a call for submissions for a new horror short story anthology we’re calling Year’s End. Come tell us your scariest story about New Year’s Eve. Happy endings are not necessary. Heck, the more horrific and unhappy the better.

Here are the rules:

1. All stories must be between 1500-5000 words.

2. Deadline for submission for consideration is October 15th, 2012. This is a firm date; no submissions after this date will be considered.

3. All submissions should be sent to Jay Hartman at with the words NEW YEARS in the subject line.

4. Your story CANNOT take place on New Year’s Day. The ending may take you there, but the bulk of the story MUST happen on New Year’s Eve.

5. Submissions must be in DOC, RTF or ODT format.

6. We will not be publishing the stories individually. Only the anthology will be available.

7. Authors will receive royalty, but not upfront payment. Authors will each receive a share of royalties of 50% of net (net = cover price – vendor commission) based on the number of authors in the final anthology.

8. Characters appearing in other Untreed Reads series or other series not published by us are strongly encouraged. Please check your contract with your publisher to make sure you may legally do so.

9. Your story MUST have a strong horror element to it. Any genre of horror is fine. Preference is to psychological horror rather than gore.

10. Stories not accepted for the anthology may be still be considered for other publication.

11. Previously published works are fine providing that electronic rights have reverted to the author and the story is not currently offered for free anywhere on the Internet or currently published through a self-publishing venue (i.e.: Smashwords, Amazon KDP, etc.).

12. There are no restrictions whatsoever on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, etc in the work.. Just tell us a great story!

Please direct any questions to Jay Hartman at We recommend looking at any of the following for an idea of the types of stories we’re looking for: Joshua Calkins-Treworgy’s Roads Through Amelia series, Benson Phillip Lott’s Pumpkin series or any of the horror works by Rick R. Reed.

All decisions on material will be made by November 1st, 2012. Every attempt will be made to notify all authors of the status of their submission at that time. Please do not inquire about status prior to November 1st, 2012.

This anthology has an expected publication date of December 15th.

The new Waterstones’ Policy – Tackling it Head-on by Leigh Russell

Waterstones recently announced a change in their policy, effectively excluding all but the ‘big names’ from in store events.  There is no doubt Waterstones are missing a trick if they fail to harness the dedication of authors who are passionate about supporting physical bookstores.

Waterstones should be hosting a whole variety of events. Of course they should offer ticketed discussions by panels of famous authors, which will increase media interest and help to build a much needed buzz about the bookshops.  But it is a mistake to believe these events will impact hugely on sales of books. Fans who attend these events will already be buying their favourite authors’ books – some will even buy them online and bring them along for signing in the store.

Where sales clearly do receive a boost is from a group of hard working lesser known authors who are passionate about the physical bookshops, build good relations with booksellers and their local community, know how to approach readers, and are prepared to dedicate their time to enhance customers’ in store experience. I have spoken to thousands of readers at many stores who were thrilled to have an opportunity to talk to a ‘real’ author. Crucially, this gave them an experience they couldn’t have online. To worry about whether or not they bought my own books – some do, some don’t – completely misses the point.

Already many readers are browsing the bookshops to make choices of titles to download. Thousands of readers in the bookshops ask if my books are on kindle.  I reply that they are, and selling in their tens of thousands, but we have to support the bookshops – or we all know what will happen. Waterstones policy of reducing author presence in the stores will not help them survive.

Ironically, in my discussion with a member of the events team at Waterstone’s head office today, a lady told me she wished Waterstones could afford to employ more staff to talk to customers.  There are many authors who would love to do just that at informal signing events. They boost the store’s sales for the day – vital for less busy stores – customers enjoy an experience they cannot access online, and the author sells a decent number of their own books in exchange for their time. Everyone wins.

When I posted about my disappointment with the new policy on facebook, I was amazed by the barrage of responses my comments provoked. Of 200 or so comments, not one supported Waterstones new policy.  I had a similar reaction on twitter.  So great was the sudden furore that I was contacted by a journalist from The Bookseller wanting to quote me.

I hope to have an opportunity to meet James Daunt to talk face to face. Bookshops are not my business. They are his.  But I share his passion for physical bookshops and I worry about the future impact of his new events policy.

You can find links to the discussions on Facebook and twitter on

The article in The Bookseller can be found on

All text © Leigh Russell, 2012, and used with kind permission.

Back by Popular Demand

Hi, gang!

We’ve noticed a few people asking if we’d be doing a season-pass for the second series of Space: 1889 & Beyond. Originally the answer was ‘no’, due to the initial behind-the-scenes chaos with getting the series together. However, we’ve found a way to change that. And so, we’re very pleased to announce that ‘yes!’ we are now doing a season-pass. But there is a catch!

It’s a good one, mind.

The season-pass is only available until August 15th – so if you fancy saving £3.20 ($5) off the entire second series, then run along now and pick up the season-pass for only £10.87 ($17). Yes, that’s just over a tenner for six books! Who can pass up such a deal? But hurry, this only lasts for two weeks.

Visit the Untreed Reads Store HERE to purchase the pass.