When I launched this contest, I was admittedly nervous. Very few submissions arrived in my inbox over the course of the first two weeks. And then the traffic picked up. However, I still saw a significant decrease in overall entries. Now, in hindsight, I can acknowledge the fact that that may have been a good thing.
There were no bad entries for this contest. Let me say that again: there were no bad entries for this contest! Not every story captivated, and a few felt quite rushed, but I’ll be damned if every last one of these stories weren’t worth at least a single glance.
Not every submission made the cut. That’s just how things have to work around here. If we’re going to continue publishing, we’ve got to ensure that each release is stronger than its predecessor.
NOTE: If you didn’t make the list, I beseech you: Continue writing, and submit again in the future – you didn’t miss inclusion by much, at all!
We’ve made that happen. The Halloween collection was a blast, and I truly enjoyed that collection. But this Christmas release is going to blow people’s socks right off. And it’s chilly this time of year, you kind of want your socks on.
I plan to announce the official contest winner tomorrow. However, I’m really, really torn between three different stories, and it may require an additional day to reach what I feel is the right decision. Either way, the winner will know victory in the very, very near future.
Now, on to the stories and authors who made the cut. There are quite a few familiar names in this list, and it’s nice to see these authors continuing to work hard. It’s even more gratifying to see continued improvement and evolution. These stories are getting stronger, constantly. I can’t help but be proud.
In the lineup you’ll notice some HNR familiars, like Terry M. West, Ian S. McCain, Tim Meyer, Glenn Rolfe and a few others. But you’ll also notice one name that should jump out at you immediately: Joe R. Lansdale.
That’s right, Mr. Lansdale has stepped up to show HNR some love and support by contributing two pieces for the anthology. Joe’s work will bookend this awesome collection, and let me tell you, his work definitely doesn’t disappoint. This guy is a genius, and I’m ecstatic to say that a whole lot of the other stories in this book stand up quite well to the legend’s work. Don’t expect to be left in the dust by Lansdale. Despite how amazing he is, we’ve got some other amazing works in store for you as well!
Alright, alright. Enough babbling! Take a look at the stories that made the cut. And keep an eye on the site in the next 24-48 hours to learn the official winner!!
1 Christmas Monkeys by Joe R. Lansdale
2 Last Christmas by Richard Farren Barber
3 A Spare Place at the Table by John Paul Davies
4 A Spicy Apple Glaze by Robin Dover
5 A Visit from Santa by David E. Greske
6 Scissors by Matt Molgaard
7 Black Santa by J. Nolan
8 Bobby’s Holiday Wish List by Matthew Weber
9 Candy Cane Uprising by Ian S. McCain
10 Five Years Gone by JC Hemphill
11 Gingerbread Death Machine by Tim Meyer
12 Ho by Stanley B. Webb
13 Holy Night by Darryl Dawson
14 Krampusnacht by Thomas Cavazos
15 Let Slay Bells Ring by C.L. Hesser
16 Not Even a Mouse by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt
17 On the Eighth Day of Christmas… by Adam Blampied
18 Out for Santa by Theric Jepson
19 Pete Balances the Books by James Keen
20 Presents of Mind by David Watkins
21 Red Snow by Jonathan D. Nichols
22 Santa Christ and the Xmas Miracle by Terry M. West & Regina West
23 Seasons Beatings by Mark Allan Gunnells
24 The Secret Ingredient by Rebecca Snow
25 Solstice by E. M. Thomner
26 The Garden of Cold Lights by Mark Anzalone
27 The Killing Season by Glenn Rolfe
28 The House by Wayne C. Rogers
29 Tis the Season by D.S. Ullery
30 The War on Christmas by Jenny Knox
31 White Christmas by Charles Schmidt
32 The Christmas Rat by James S. Dorr
33 Christmas with the Dead by Joe R. Lansdale
We’ll have the cover reveal and book title unleashed before you know it, and this bad boy will be live on Amazon inside of a week. This time, we’re prepared!!