The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Interesting and thought provoking interview with Horror Tree’s co editor Stephanie Ellis touching on her own writing journey and expressing yourself on social media.

Emz Newz

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Stephanie Ellis
Genres: Horror, Dark Fiction, Poetry

Favorite story you’ve written and why.Favourites change over time as you develop. At present it is The Way of the Mother, a folk horror story (in Nosetouch Press, Fiends in the Furrows anthology) which finally allowed me to join the HWA. A few years back I wrote a story called The Dance (published in Horror in Bloom) which, because I loved the characters in it so much, I turned into a novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel, now currently seeking representation. And again, because I couldn’t leave that fictional…

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A sale, getting into an anthology alongside Ramsey Campbell and a review on Gingernuts of Night of the Rider…

Some lovely publication news- a sale to the tune of $30 from a US publisher for one of my stories – which is my biggest one off fee for a story- Mortal Realm are the publisher and I’ve just signed the contract.

More news to follow.


I have had a double drabble (ie a 200 word story) accepted by prestigious Australian publisher Things in the Well (Steve Dillon)

for my erotic horror piece- the first time I’ve tried to write in that genre; so new direction for me.

As you can see from the cover reveal below, I will be appearing within the same pages as the mighty horror legend which is Ramsey Campbell, (another writing dream of mine come true).



There is a lovely review on Gingernuts of Horror for Night of the Rider from Kim – who has been a stalwart supporter of my writing ever since she reviewed Badlands. A huge thank you to her.

Kim gave it 4/5 gingernut biscuits – so I’m thrilled.

Kim wrote:- “I really liked this short story. It starts out like a fable you tell your kids if you want to keep them out of trouble (“Don’t go past curfew, or the Rider will get you!”). But it has a surprising ending, that is actually quite empowering for one of the characters. Overall, it has a good deal of darkness and evil mixed in with sacrifice and hope.”


Here is the link to my interview with Dean Drinkel of Demain Publishing where I talk about Night of the Rider :-


Deadcades:The Infernal Decimation ed by Stephanie Ellis and David Shakes is available to borrow from Bradford Libraries; a big thank you to Dionne Hood for her support in buying copies of this brilliant horror anthology.


Otley storywalk for families and my drystone radio interview with David Driver and the news about my crime novella-

Otley writers have organised a storywalk around the town centre, for families to include children’s poems and stories for adults, displayed in the shop/business premises – to read and a quiz with prizes.

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Also yesterday pm I had a fun fabulous light hearted 2 hours with David Driver of Drystone Radio Keighley on The Writers Bookshelf where we discussed:-

zombies/ James Bond/Hammer Horror/Frankenstein/ my writing of course/ MR James/ ghosts and supernatural and other related news.

here’s the link if you fancy listening in.

From publisher Dean Drinkel the man behind Demain:-

“Congrats to Aly Faye who was on the radio yesterday (13th August) where amongst other things she talked about her Short Sharp Shocks! but also her upcoming crime / mystery book…well worth checking out!”

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Summertime….open mic/radio interview and signing with Demain publishers to publish my crime novella

Bit of a mix going on at the moment- obviously hols near the seaside with family and Roxy the Borador ; (below on the left with a mate on the right name unknown)

Roxy Aug 2019 linking up with Horror Tree co-editor, writing mate and dark fiction writer Stephanie Ellis  https://stephanieellis .org/about/ on a joint collaboration – of dark stories and poetry inspired by Tarot cards- which is making me write more often and flex that muscle more.

I’ve had a couple of pieces accepted by the Horror Tree and Siren’s Call ezine– one of which is inspired by this picture of a very early example of a lady c.1910 covered in tattoos- provided by Otley writer Alex Williams in a writing prompt exercise which has led to me writing a poem and a story.Tattooed Lady

Steph Ellis flagged up the opportunity to contribute a line to Space and Time Mag’s ‘exquisite corpse’ poem

on the theme of Revolution, 20 poets all sent in their one line and the editor stitched the poem together. My line begins ‘The knife hums….’


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This is an ongoing monthly opportunity to contribute to this well thought of mag and have fun to.


Dean Drinkel of Demain publishing has accepted my crime novella set in post war Britain, c. 1947 for publication later this year or early in 2020- it will appear in e book and paperback and will be part of Demain’s Murder! Mystery! Mayhem series.

So excited about this.


Open mic in Silsden this pm- Gingerlicous hosted by the indefatigable David Driver, radio host, writer, stand up performer and all round great guy.

Here’s me concentrating hard, eyes closed, reading from one of the Horror Tree anthologies and my latest poem inspired by the above tattooed lady.

Gingerlicious me at mic Aug 2019


Tomorrow Tuesday 13 August, from 7-10pm I will be appearing on Dave’s, The Writers’ Bookshelf radio show

on Drystone Radio along with music and chat.

Don’t worry if you miss it, it will be available to listen to on catch up as a podcast for a month after it goes out live.


Fighting the heatwave with creativity…podcasts/open mic/flash fiction…

I debuted a new gothic prose poem at the open mic in Ben Rhydding – Raven Girl- pic below shows me listening to the music makers up at the mic in a wonderful evening organised by Natural Voice teacher and composer Keely Hodgson; who wrote “The audience were treated to wonderful stories: “A Can of Beans, A Bag of Apples” by Linda Fulton; “E-Quality” by Andrea Hardaker & a Gothic poem, “Raven Girl” by Alyson Faye.

The Purple Room runs every month on a Thursday and always has a headliner- here’s the facebook link:

Thank you to Kath Wharton for coming along with me and my husband and son too.

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In other news:- I had a piece read out online as part of the debut podcast from the Ladies of Horror Fiction site – Run, Ruby Run which can be heard here:-

This is a fantastic site for those ladies amongst us who write/listen/read horror/dark fiction- really worth checking out. Ops to submit on there too.


Joanna Sterling at The Casket of Fictional Delights published one of my gentler pieces of flash fiction, Timeslip

with a nod to my interest in Roman history, fostered and encouraged by my  late Dad.

I was thrilled to be back on her site, again, as she was one of the first to publish my work years ago at this my 2nd go round at the whole writing for fun and getting published gig.


I’ve got more news in the pipeline – magazine acceptances, and other stuff, but have to keep it under my hat for the moment- but 2020 is looking exciting already for me. Hoping some of you will be there to support me.

I have also booked myself on another horror/fantasy writing residential this time in Nottingham

and will be going there with Otley writers Alex Williams (here is her amazon author’s page where she lurks under her writing pen names – as the best selling children’s author of——

go click on and find out-

but here’s a picture clue:-

and Martin P Fuller whose dark dark fiction appears on the Horror Tree site and with me in DeadCades,

which shortly will be available to borrow from Bradford Libraries. Thanks to the ever supportive Dionne Hood who organises creative writing workshops (more news of one I am running later in the year) and buys in local writers’ books).


A Moment to Reflect

Here is Stephanie Ellis’s latest blog post, which is both a summation of where her work is available to read upcoming or just out but also lists submission ops for creative folk. Steph is co editor at the Horror Tree and is very supportive of writing folk. I can highly recommend her story, The Choir, in Siren’s Call, it is chilling and clever. Seek it out.

Stephanie Ellis

I have been waiting for a number of decisions on many submissions for a while now, mainly because I have submitted to publications with either far ahead closing dates or long turnaround times. This gets depressing … BUT there is always a silver lining and this is one of those moments as works long in the pipeline have emerged – or are emerging – into the light. This month has seen:

Thread of the Infinite

Thread of the Infinite (Snowbooks) is an industrial horror anthology containing my story, Transcending Nature. Due out 1st August, it is now available for pre-order. This story was written a few years back and accepted for publication but the initial press folded. Dean Drinkel, the editor, was however, determined it should see the light of day and pushed until he found a home for us all. Transcending Nature focusses on the drive of humans to become ever…

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Got a 75 worder up on Paragraph Planet today…

PP was one of the first sites I ever had a piece published on when I re started my writing journey 6-7 years ago during my Otley WEA class and learnt about flash fiction and drabbles from my lovely tutor James Nash. I was so thrilled with PP editor, Richard Hearn accepted my 75 worder, I remember having the lap top page open all day and making my husband and son look at it repeatedly. It was such a boost.

Here’s a screenshot of my paragraph already it’s received some lovely comments on twitter.Screenshot from Paragraph Planet 2019-07-10 10-19-09.png

You can follow PP on twitter @paragraphplanet

The editor is always looking for submissions.


Two Horror Tree anthologies are out and a podcast with submission ops; a Nativity anthology and a gruesome folk horror film all over one weekend…

I’m having a really good run of publications at the moment- to paraphrase the poetess Wendy Cope :-

“Bloody men are like bloody buses
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.” or

in my case – “Bloody submissions are like bloody buses
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.”

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So here I am sitting at my pc tapping away creating murder and mayhem when not one but two Horror Tree anthologies arrive in all their horrific glory on amazon- courtesy of all the hard work of editor/founder Stuart Conover and co editor Stephanie Ellis.

I have several shorts ie drabbles and longer stories in both of them and you can buy them on kindle or in paperback.  They contain work from many up and coming as well as more established horror writers who also blog and run presses – so it’s worth checking out.

Here are the amazon links:-


Last week I had the good news that Gill James of Bridge House Publishers has accepted my humorous story (note not horror) a spoof on the theme of Nativity for her anthology-

Sharing Mary

More info to follow re publishing /launch date.

Christmas Crib Figures, Christmas, Arts Crafts


I have been following the Ladies in Horror Fiction blog for a while now

and they had a call out recently for submissions for their new podcast- Stories of Horror – debuting in July on the theme of Creature- my flash fiction story has been accepted which I am delighted about.

They are looking for submissions of poetry/flash and short stories and next month’s theme is Body Horror- follow them on twitter @LOHFiction for updates;

I am really looking forward to hearing my story read out online.


The gruesome cert 18 film I watched this weekend, very much inspired by The Wicker Man is Ari Aster’s latest, Midsommar

Set in an apparently idyllic countryside community in Sweden with white garbed members (I did wonder about their laundry and how they kept their clothes so Persil white?) a group of post grad anthropology American students rock up with their Swedish mate, for a fun summer (they think) of drugs, drink, sex, fun and observing the community’s quaint historic rituals and absorb the atmosphere. They have no idea what will happen.

No wifi, no car to get away, no landline, in the middle of a huge forest, riven by jealous rows within their group and drugged up, they are lambs to the slaughter.

It does get brutal, so not for faint hearts this one.

This is a long film, well over 2 hours so be warned – but it does saturate you in the community and its life, and I was gripped.

Run you want to scream at them, just get the hell out of there.

Florence Pugh in Midsommar (2019)


Latest ezine is out of Siren’s Call Issue 45 in which I have 2 poems/got a drabble in Kevin Kennedy’s latest horror antho/ 2 drabbles accepted by the Horror Tree/ and made longlist for Corona antho…

Looking at that heading- that’s a pretty good round up there- though why is it you always remember the rejections?

I also did a fun drop in creative writing workshop at Bracken Hall on Baildon Moor for kids mainly to write shape poems- I wrote a fish one.

Fellow Otley writer Martin P Fuller has his short story in – Snap Alley and also fellow Horror Tree writer Richard J Meldrum has a story in there too. Both are strong and entertaining horror writers- worth checking out their work.

Here’s the link to Martin Fuller’s amazon author’s page :-

This time I opted to submit 2 poems – dark verse- instead of prose- Stone Boy and Heavenly Prisoner.


Writer editor Kevin Kennedy is editing a 3rd horror anthology – here’s the fab retro inspired cover below:-

and he accepted a horror drabble of mine for this. I was delighted to get into this much sought after anthology.

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Editors Stuart Conover and Steph Ellis at the Horror Tree

have accepted 2 more horror drabbles by me, including one which is a prose poem- they have been so supportive of my writing over the last couple of years.

Horror Tree is a one stop hub for all sorts of useful info on comps/mags/submission callouts/ fiction- it’s really worth checking out.


Today I heard back from Corona Books who are putting together The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories.

To my great delight my story made the longlist of no more than 50 stories and will get an ‘honourable mention’ in the anthology – Corona had 824 stories sent into them for this antho so I’m really pleased to get the acknowledgement.