Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bloody Parchment event 2013

It’s time to haul out your wizard’s hat, carve your pumpkin and dust off those fake spiders – the SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment event will once again manifest in the basement of the Book Lounge. With the likes of S.A. Partridge, Diane Awerbuck, Toby Bennett, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Zane Marc Gentis, Carine Engelbrecht, Rachel Zadok and Nerine Dorman offering their particular brand of strange tales on the night, you’ll be in for a spooky, Halloween treat. And there will be prizes for the best costume, so come be our best Frankenstein!

When? October 30.
Where? 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town.
What time? 5.30pm for 6pm.

For further information about the South African HorrorFest, see

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 Bloody Parchment submission guidelines

As the editor of the SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition, I am pleased to announce that I’ve opened submissions for the 2013 short story competition. For those of you who’re curious to find out more about our previous finalists and winners, do consider picking up copies of our existing anthologies:

Volume 1 (free download) 

Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things and Other Stories 

Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories 

The aim of the Bloody Parchment short story competition is to help develop talented, fresh voices in the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres, by offering a platform and signal boost for finalists. Every year we assemble a kick-ass panel of judges who are all movers and shakers in the publishing industry, with such notables as Sarah Lotz, Joe Vaz, Cat Hellisen and others who have helped in the selection process in the past. While we’re yet to announce which publisher will be picking up where eKhaya left off, there is a fantastic first prize up for grabs for the winner: a comprehensive round of edits and manuscript assessment. The two runners-up are each awarded a round of comprehensive edits and assessment of a short story or novella-length work. The winner, runners-up and finalists then have the option to be included in the short story anthology to be released mid-2014 by Dark Continents. Authors whose stories are included in the anthology will receive US$20 flat rate payment plus one paperback contributor copy.

What are we looking for? 
Bloody Parchment is looking for short stories of up to 3 500 words in the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres. Yes, this includes flash fiction. Yes, you may enter multiple stories. Yes, we like flash fiction too. GLBT authors of genre fiction are welcome. Stories set in locations other than the US or Europe would tickle us pink. We love diversity. We want to know what moves you, what mysteries fascinate you, what frightens you… So long as your story clearly falls within the horror, dark fantasy and weird genres, you’re good. We want to be unsettled

What we DO NOT WANT.
Fan fiction with the serial numbers filed off: When the Saw movies were popular, my inbox was flooded with torture porn; last year it was various permutations of popular zombiepocalypses. Mercifully vampires seem to have gone into remission. Please folks, I know you’re excited by whatever’s currently trending on your Twitter feeds, but if you absolutely MUST play with the tropes, DO put a fresh spin on your offering that will be amazeballs. We want you to dig deep and find something that is truly your own. Gratuitous violence or content that is clearly aimed to deliberately shock for the sake of wiggling your jollies will be rejected out of hand.

In addition, stories that do not follow the brief will be rejected too, so no, we do not want your Christian inspirational fiction, 30 000-word novellas, chick lit or poems. (Every time an author doesn’t follow the submission guidelines, a small gremlin curls up and dies.)

Right, now that we have that out of the way, this is how you enter: mail your short story saved as a .doc file (not exceeding 3 500 words) to before October 31, 2013. Remember to put “BLOODY PARCHMENT 2013” in the subject line. Good luck! And if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a mail. I don’t bite…much.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bloody Parchment buy links

Well, gang, there's a whole range of wonderful buy links to choose from for this year's Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories. You can go feed your Kindle here. Or if you're South African, you might prefer Kalahari. And, for those of you who're using Kobo, you can splash out here. Lekker, hey? (As we say here in South Africa).

And, never fear, we'll let you know when submissions for the next short story competition open (soon). Start thinking up some dark, dreary and mysterious tales in the meanwhile.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories

eKhaya, the digital imprint of Random House Struik, is delighted to announce the publication of Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories.

Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories brings a fresh crop of horror and dark literature from the most recent South African HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition. From dreary subterranean chambers and angelic visitations to the many-legged horrors of alien invaders and a meeting with the Devil himself, this collection of tales offers readers the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the likes of Toby Bennett (winner), and runners-up Anna Reith and Chris Limb. Finalists include Diane Awerbuck, Simon Dewar, Zane Marc Gentis, Stephen Hewitt, Benjamin Knox, Lee Mather, Glen Mehn, S.A. Partridge, and Icy Sedgwick.

"You'll be hard pressed to find a stronger anthology of horror stories this year. There's a staggering number of original ideas and talent on display here, as well as several stand-out stories that easily hold their own against work in any genre. And most importantly, they will creep the hell out of you." - Sarah Lotz, author

eKhaya e-books are available in two formats, ePub and PDF. ePub is compatible with most e-readers on the market and is converted for sale in Amazon’s Kindle format. The PDF is a non-reflowable format that reads well on iPads, other tablet devices, PCs as well as the Kindle. The e-book will be available from 1 June 2013 for instant download at a recommended retail price of R70 at, and, among other online retailers.

ISBN: 978-1-920532-31-4  (e-pub) I ISBN: 978-1-920532-32-1  (PDF)
RRP: R70 I CATEGORY: Horror Fiction

Monday, January 21, 2013

Congratulations to 2012's winner and finalists

Wow, what a bunch of stories to have gone through. First off, a big, hearty congratulations to Toby Bennett. Not only is he the winner of the 2012 SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition with his story The Root Cellar, but another of his submissions was selected as a finalist—Wants and Needs. He wins a comprehensive round of edits for a novel-length work.

Our runners-up are Anna Reith, with Counting Seraphs, and Chris Limb, with Alibi. Each receives comprehensive edits for a short story or novella-length work or, alternatively, edits for the first three chapters of a novel.

Then, our finalists in no particular order:
Diane Awerbuck, Duiweltjie
Zane Marc Gentis, Heirloom
Stephen Hewitt, Kiss the Butcher's Daughter
SA Partridge, Jethro Mackenzie and the Devil
Icy Sedgwick, Protection
Glen Mehn, The Next Big Thing
Simon Dewar, The Kettle
Lee Mather, Jamie's Song
Benjamin Knox, Strands

Then, a huge humungous thank you to our judges. Sarah Lotz, Joe Vaz, Carrie Clevenger, Kelly (It's a Book Thing blog), Shaun Swingler and Cat Hellisen all offered their time to read over the entries and help in the decision-making process. And this year was tough. Trust me. Also, once again, many thanks to Louis Greenberg of eKhaya, for yet another year, and, as always, to Paul Blom and Sonja Ruppersberg, who bring us the SA HorrorFest annually, without fail.

Lastly, though I'd love to send out personal responses to everyone who entered, due to the volume of entries we received, I will not be able to notify those who didn't reach the final round. Many thanks to all those who submitted stories. I'll announce the opening for the 2013 contest later this year.