Tag Archives: Contests

And the March Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Michael Wehunt

Michael won with his story “Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness.” Not only did he win the contest, but we just sent him an acceptance letter for another story to be published in issue #6. He’s had quite a good day!

The prompt for this contest was this photo, the so-called “blood waterfall,” which Nick wrote about last year. Obviously it is not blood (unless Nick is to be believed), so we asked the authors to explore a simple question:

What if it was blood coming from the earth?

Participants were required to build their story around that image and question. Nearly 50 signed up, 29 finished.

In addition to Michael’s winning tale, Andrew Bourelle came in second with his brilliantly titled “Haemorrhagia Memoriae,” and Third Place went to “Alizarin, with Variations,” by Gio Clairval.

Congratulations, fellas!

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Goodreads Giveaway: Epitaphs: The Journal of New England Horror Writers

Three copies of Epitaphs: The Journal of New England Horror Writers, the Stoker Award nominated anthology featuring work from Kurt Newton, Rick Hautala, Christopher Golden, L.L. Soares, K. Allen Wood (that’s me!), and twenty-one others, are being given away through Goodreads.

If you’re interested in this fantastic collection, toss your name into the virtual hat by clicking Enter to Win below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Enter to win

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And the January Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Lani Carroll

Lani won with her story “Mid-Autumn Moon.” The prompt for this contest was based on Xochimilco, specifically Santana Barrera’s chinampa, sometimes known as the Island of Dolls. You can read about it here, here and here. Sleep well!

Participants were required to build their story around the concept of an island of dolls. Nearly 50 signed up, 31 finished.

In addition to Lani’s winning tale, Damien Walters Grintalis came in second with “Wednesday’s Child,” her sixth top-three placing. Third Place was “Build-A-Dolly,” by Ken Liu.

Congratulations, fellas!

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Kevin J. Anderson Talks Writing

Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert kicked off separate multi-city book tours on January 3 in support of their just-released collaborative novel, Sisterhood of Dune. Check out this inspirational video from Kevin’s tour stop in Denver, CO.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration, follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook. The man is a writing machine!

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And the Contest of Dune Winner is…

Desmond Warzel

Desmond figured this one our real quick. About an hour had elapsed between the time we posted the contest and he correctly guessed the answer.

This was a very simple cipher. The letters represented their corresponding numerical place in the alphabet—A being 1, B being 2, Z being 26, etc. Below < and Below _ referred to keys on a keyboard—the comma being below the less-than symbol, and the dash being below the underscore. Dots were just that, dots (i.e. periods).

There were a couple other minor hints, but once the rest was deciphered, you had this:

43.709207,-124.179583

Coordinates for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The Oregon Dunes, for those who don’t know, was the inspiration—or the inspirational catalyst—for the original Dune novel, published in 1965, by Frank Herbert.

So congratulations to Desmond!

Until next time…

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Contest of Dune

Update: Contest was over nearly before it began. See the comments for the answer.

Interested in winning an audiobook copy of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert’s upcoming book, Sisterhood of Dune?

If so, solve this:


[ it’s not as tough as it looks ]

Post your answers in the comments section below. First person to get it right wins the Sisterhood of Dune audiobook. If you have an e-reader, we’ll throw in a copy of our special holiday e-issue, which features Kevin’s short story “Santa Claus Is Coming to Get You.”

Good luck!

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Sisterhood of Dune Tour

New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert—son of the legendary Dune author, Frank Herbert—will soon be hitting to road for a book tour supporting their latest book, Sisterhood of Dune, their twelfth collaboration in the popular long-running series.

The tour is a “double tour,” meaning Kevin and Brian will be touring at the same time but at different locations across the United States.

The tour kicks off on January 3—with Brian signing at University Book Store in Seattle, WA; and with Kevin at Barnes & Noble in Lone Tree, CO—and runs through January 11. For the full list of dates, click here. If you live near one of the tour locations, stop by and pick up a book.

And if you have our special holiday e-issue, which features Kevin’s short story “Santa Claus Is Coming to Get You,” I’m sure he’d be glad to sign your e-reader.


[ Release date: January 3, 2012 ]

To win an audiobook copy of Sisterhood of Dune, put on your thinking caps, and check out our latest contest.

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And the Wicked Awesome Shock Totem Contest Winner is…

Bec Zugor

Bec guessed The Wicked, which is the correct answer. As I stated in the contest post below, all the clues you needed to lead you to the answer were in that post. The first, and probably least obvious, was “wicked” in the post title. But the real clues were in the image itself.

Figuring out what kind of car that is was probably the hardest for most people. It is a Bugatti. Minus the “atti,” and you’re left with Bug. A gold one, thus “Gold Bug,” or “The Gold-Bug,” Poe’s well-known tale of cryptograms and secret writing. You will also see Poe himself in the dashboard/windshield area near the steering wheel, as well as a raven on the roof.

The numbers at the bottom represent words within “The Gold-Bug,” and the first letter of each of those words spells out The Wicked, which is the title of our upcoming novel. More on that soon.

So congratulations to Bec!

And thanks to everyone who gave it a go. We plan to have more contests like this one in the future.

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A Wicked Awesome Shock Totem Contest

As some of you know, issue #5 has been delayed until July 2012. However, in March 2012 we will be publishing our first novel. In celebration of that, I thought we’d hold a contest.

The first person to figure out the cypher at the bottom of that picture will win the following:

    1. One copy of our upcoming novel (title to be revealed once the contest is won), signed by the author.
    2. One copy each of the first four Shock Totem issues.
    3. One copy of Werewolves and Shapeshifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within, a massive tome edited by John Skipp and featuring our very own Mercedes M. Yardley, among other greats.
    4. A one-year (12 issues) digital subscription to one of my favorite publications, Apex Magazine.
    5. And because I have an extra, one old-ass (but in very good condition) copy of The Magazine of Fantasy of Science Fiction, from July 1970, which features the only appearance of Dean Koontz’s “The Mysteries of His Flesh,” the short story that would later be expanded to become his sixth novel, Anti-Man*.

      * Trivia: Dean’s preferred—and better—title was the same as the short story, “The Mysteries of His Flesh,” but the publisher thought it sounded “too gay.”

      Obviously this contest is a bit tougher than most, but I want you to work for those prizes. That said, it’s not as hard as it looks. All the clues you need to lead you to the answer are in this post.

      Post your answers in the comments below. First person to post the correct answer wins!

      (Some of you are ineligible to win, as you know the answer. We know who you are!)

      Amendment: If you guess right, I will ask how you got to that answer. A wild guess that happens to be correct will not count. If you have truly figured it out, you will have no doubt that your answer is correct.

      Amendment #2: If you think you have the correct answer, please post it in the comments section below like others have been doing, that way your answer is time-stamped. But also send me an e-mail at ken@shocktotem.com explaining how you came to that answer.

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      And the 2011 Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

      Little Knife Houses
      by Jaelithe Ingold


      As many of you know, throughout the year we host a bi-monthly flash fiction contest on our forum (not to be confused with the bi-weekly one-hour flash challenge). From those bi-monthly winners, an overall winner is chosen by a neutral judge, to be published in the next issue of Shock Totem.

      This year’s judge was James Newman, and from the five stories he chose “Little Knife Houses,” by Jaelithe Ingold, which was based on the artwork for our third issue.

      Ah, but now we have to break Newton’s Law, the rule we set forth in issue #2, which, after publishing Kurt Newton in our first two issues, stated that we would never again publish an author back-to-back.

      Jaelithe, however, was featured in issue #4, with her story “Fade to Black”—which, incidentally, was also the contest-winning story for Café Doom’s 2010 short-story contest. So…rule broken.

      And for a good reason! You’ll be able to read “Little Knife Houses” in issue #5 (see the cover and more info on that issue here).

      Congratulations, Jaelithe!

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