Posts Tagged ‘Belwoeth Harbright’

Today the Samhain 2018 issue of OKLAHOMA PAGAN QUARTERLY arrived, with my story “The Great Man” next to last (as second place winner — see October 19; September 23, 16) in a special section of top ten “Spooky Samhain Contest 2018” winners.  Or to quote Editor-in-Chief Belwoeth Harbright:  This year we have a specially curated concoction of creepy chronicles for you especially eerie individuals. . . .  Our silver honorable mentions come first; then our four finalists round out our 2018 Samhain Edition.  The contest itself had had three divisions of which I had chosen number two, “Spooky Semi-True Stories,” that is tales which are purported to be true or, at least, that the spooky element might be real, as opposed to the other two, of accounts claimed to be absolutely real (ghost encounters, etc.) and those presented as entirely fiction.

So “The Great Man,” anyhow, has to do with certain beliefs that came up during the French Revolution, about guillotining and when an executee’s brain becomes truly dead.  Is there an interval of maybe a few seconds in which one still has consciousness enough to realize that he’s been killed?

The issue actually has been out since October 1 in print-only format, but if you missed it and have a hankering to check out the fuss, just press here.  You get news and features on  pagan subjects plus nine great stories along with mine (well, just having received it myself, I haven’t yet read the other stories, but if they had the taste to give mine the second prize, I assume the others are good as well), which makes for a nice package of Christmas Eve reading while waiting to see if the snare you set to catch Santa this year will actually work.

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Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly’s 2018 Deluxe Samhain Edition has ten tales of terror to frighten the pants off you, interviews, ghost hunts, recipes, and more!  Showcasing the results of our 2018 Spooky Samhain Contest, our literary journal is now a spooktacular scare-a-thon!  Grab it today for all of your Halloween reading wishes!  Yes, it’s available and, according to Amazon, has been for a couple of weeks, OKLAHOMA PAGAN QUARTERLY’s special Spooky Samhain 2018 Contest issue (see September 23, 16) in which we may recall I won second prize.  The story, “The Great Man,” a tale of post-revolutionary France and the magic of guillotines — or at least as was imagined by some then — originally published in THE STRAND MAGAZINE for Spring-Summer 1999.

But that isn’t all.  The first place winner is there as well plus TWO (count ’em!) stories tied for third.  And added to that are sufficient “honorable mentions” to make an even ten with plenty of time still for Halloween, all of which can be found by pressing here.

Taking the wayback machine back a week, we may recall that my story, “The Great Man,” won second place in OKLAHOMA PAGAN QUARTERLY’s “Spooky Samhain 2018 Contest” (see September 16).  There were three actual (i.e., money) prizes for stories in any of three divisions, “True Tales of Terror,” “Spooky Semi-True Stories,” and “Fantastic Frights,” based on degree of actual truth and/or believability, which with seven runners-up added are slated to be published in the magazine’s Samhain 2018 edition.  And so, here revealed in order (note that there was a tie for third place), a tip of the hat to:

1. Just Up the Street and Back – Jef Rouner
2. The Great Man – James Dorr
3. Falling Up – John Haas
3. Keep Me Company – Phillip Ivory
4. Last Dance – Bryn Schurman
5. The Last Sacrifice – James Paris
6. Eyes of Corn – Alexandria Baker
7. My Little Katie – Summer Robbins
8. Serpent’s Head – Thomas Vaughn
9. Beyond The Locked Door – Morgan Chalfant

To this OKLAHOMA PAGAN QUARTERLY Editor Belwoeth Harbright has added, noting first that it was a close contest, [w]e had so much fun with this, however, that we definitely intend on doing it again next year!  So keep writing, editing, and tightening those horror tales and try again next time!  

The call was from a magazine I’m unfamiliar with, OKLAHOMA PAGAN QUARTERLY, but seemed straightforward enough.  Do you have a scary story to share?  Fiction, fact, or otherwise, share your prose with us and you, too, can win up to $100 and get your story printed.  Enter your submission today!  Contest will be judged by a panel of three impartial judges, all of whom have a vested interest in the unknown.  Scare us, terrify us, and thrill us!  I could do that!

On closer inspection, the competition had three divisions, of which I selected number 2:  ‘Spooky Semi-True Stories’ are maybe tall tales, maybe not.  They’re more fantastic stories that the reader may not want to know are real or not.  Consider a well-crafted story about a shopping mall that may or may not have undergone a quarantine that the local news covered up.  The point here is that the reader questions whether the story could have happened or not.   Word length for this choice (they varied) was three to six thousand and, as it happened, I had a 3600-word tale of guillotines and the French Revolution and happenings just after, originally published in THE STRAND MAGAZINE, Spring-Summer 1999, which if they took reprints might just fill the bill.

They did and it did.  So Saturday’s email, which betwixt writers group meetings and the Bloomington Writers Guild (a separate organization) I only got to lateish that night, brought the word from Editor Belwoeth Harbright that “The Great Man” had won second prize!  Your prize is 50 dollars US payable through Paypal or Venmo, contingent upon signing a first-print-run contract for your story with Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly.  You are also entitled to a Physical Contributor’s Copy of our magazine.  Please send us an email back ASAP to let us know how you’d prefer payment, preferably with an author’s photo, and we’ll send you a contract upon your approval via Adobe Sign today.

And so, this afternoon, I have done.




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