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The Scribe March 2017






Copyright February 2017 St. Louis Writers Guild – All rights reserved



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Interior, Gateway Arch Tram (due to reopen in March 2017)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Cover design by Brad R. Cook


Editorial Staff

Lauren Miller

Managing Editor


T. W. Fendley

Associate Editor


Brad R. Cook

Cover Designer


Jennifer Stolzer

Staff Writer


Melanie Koleini

Staff Writer


Steven Langhorst




The Scribe is published monthly digitally by the Saint Louis Writers Guild with an annual print issue. The editorial staff invites Guild members to submit original submissions of poetry, short stories, or articles about writing (4,000 words or less) for publication in this magazine. The Scribe is promoted to more than 1,000 people on our mailing list. Submissions should be sent by the first of each month to [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Also, if you are interested in joining the editorial staff as a writer, please contact [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Our website is at http://www.stlwritersguild.org/.


Correction: In the February 2017 issue, we incorrectly cited Van Allen Plexico’s football show as “The Wishbone Effect”. It is actually called the “AU Wishbone Podcast”. We regret the error and apologize for any confusion.

[In this issue
**]March 2017


From the President’s Desk: Horror and Writing by David Alan Lucas



Fortier & Schutz discuss the “artistic language of horror” at Guild’s Feb. 4 workshop by T.W. Fendley



Poetry Calendar

A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events


From the President’s Desk: Horror and Writing

By David Alan Lucas


Each of us is frightened by something different. Some are frightened by abandoned homes surrounded with legends. Others are terrified by heights.

Men or women in face paint give some nightmares. People jump in fear at small, multi-legged critters or rodents. Somehow, even floppy-eared bunnies seem to fill some with chills.


Yet, what is horror fiction?


If you Google the question, I am sure you will find a definition or description that will be an antiseptically clean approach. It may even explore the difference between horror and thriller. But, the real answer comes from within.


Like so many things in life, horror and horror fiction are defined by each eye that beholds them. Writing horror fiction is an exploration of what your eye holds and beholds as terrifying. Like all writing for publication, it is up to us to share the exploration and the emotions, sense, and heart-racing terror with others—in a paper version of a campfire story without the marshmallows.


The greatest compliment a horror writer can be given is when a reader says, “it gave me nightmares.”



Fortier & Schutz discuss the “artistic language of horror” at Guild’s Feb. 4 workshop

By T.W. Fendley


When writing horror—whether a poem or a story-- don’t look at what everybody else is doing.

“Be you, be genuine, be unique—that’s what’s going to stand out,” said Mary Genevieve Fortier at the Feb. 4 workshop on Poetry/Fiction: The Artistic Language of Horror. “Then, people will be wanting you to do something for their book. That’s what you want.”

A widely published and award-winning poet, Mary writes the “Nighty Nightmare” column for the horror website, Staying Scared (stayingscared.com/nightynightmare.html). She has been named “Woman in Horror” three years in a row by Blaze McRob’s Tales of Horror. She appears in numerous anthologies. Most recently, she released a collection of her own horror poetry, “Verses From a Deeply Darkened Mind.”

She and her husband, author and artist David Schutz II, founded the St. Louis Area Horror Writers’ Society.

Mary advises looking at the publisher’s other books before you submit your work. “Generally the person editing the book has a particular style, and that’s what they’re looking for to compile their book.”

Sometimes, however, it can be good to ignore submission guidelines. “If it doesn’t say poetry, query, and along with that, include a sample of what you write,” she suggested.

The first time Mary tried that approach was for an anthology publisher who had never published poetry. She sent a sample with an interesting note and asked him to remember her if he ever decided to include verse. Hers was the only poem included in the book. In fact, it opened the anthology.

Mary, deemed the “Modern-Day Edgar Allen Poe” by her peers, began writing poetry at age seven and was published at age nine. Her poetry is written in story form, some as long as a thousand words, in perfect rhyme and meter.

“For me, it has to be that way,” she said. “It’s like a rhythm in your body—almost like listening to a piece of music. If it’s off by one beat, it drives me nuts.”

Whether you’re writing one page or novels with hundreds of pages, focus on using as few words with as much imagery as you can possibly muster, she suggested. “You want to exude not only that picture, but a feeling. You want their pulse to race.”

Additionally, the structure must make sense, so the story unfolds as if readers are watching a movie within the confines of their mind.

“In horror, it’s not just the slashing, the zombies, or the gore. Horror can be beautiful,” she said. “In classic horror, you don’t have to see a thing…it’s all psychological.”

When it comes to the adage of “write what you know,” to Mary that means choosing prose or writing rhyme with an eye to the legacy you leave for generations to come.

“Poetry is a language of musical words,” she said. “They dance upon an invisible staff, where words echo the cadence to reach within the essence of what we call the soul.”

One thing she strives to do is to create work the reader will remember after it’s been put away. “If I can make someone laugh, cry, or simply think, I feel like I’ve succeeded.”

“If you can write horror sonnets, that’s really amazing,” she said, noting that David does those. “It’s one way to make horror beautiful.”

After a brief discussion of some of the many subgenres—bizarro (gory), clowns, erotic, vampires, zombies, post-apocalyptic—David spoke about cross-genre horror.

“It’s where the horror element creeps in, really changing the nature of the story,” he said. Some movie cross-genre titles he mentioned were “The Thing,” “Mimic,” “The Keep,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

“Real scary things can spawn ideas, such as serial killers,” he said. Having lived a block from where the Manson killings were committed in Los Angeles, he noted how unnerving it was that something so unspeakable happened in an idyllic neighborhood.

When asked about subject matter in writing terror and horror, he suggested writing what you know, and looking at what scares you to exude terror in your writing. Scary toys from childhood inspired an anthology Mary compiled and edited, “Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings.”

Inspiration is everywhere, David said, our nightly newscasts are filled with real horrors.

At the finale of their 24-episode “Terror Train” podcast, they had all the authors record themselves screaming in pain and pleading for mercy. Their dog added her own “little demonic “grrrrr.””

David suggests using a pen name if you’re already published in another genre and want to put your toe in the bloody water, so to speak. “But don’t become Damien Lovecraft, or Edgar Allan Dracula or some variant of Frankenstein, or anything with the first name of Vlad. That labels you as someone not serious. Avoid that.”

Anthologies are great opportunities to have your work shared alongside other great writers, and many are themed.

“There will be schlocky ones,” he cautioned. “It’s always good to do your homework to find the best fit for your work.”

Mary suggested the Horror Writers Association (http://horror.org) for a list of where to submit stories. Most anthologies have their own Facebook page. Check in the back of books you like for information about Facebook pages and websites. They both recommended checking their publisher’s website for open submissions: JWKfiction.com

While it’s important to “put your work out there,” Mary cautioned against placing anything on the internet you intend to submit for publication. She also said to avoid self-publication if possible, noting that for poetry, university chapbooks can be a good option.

For the past two years, David has been working on a personal collection of horror stories and sonnets, “The Interim People,” due to be released in the spring of 2017. He began writing horror fiction in 2012 and has been published in several anthologies. He’s also an artist, like his father, and once, while in college, drew a comic strip. A former screenwriter and Shakespearean actor, David spent many years on stage, screen, and television portraying a wide range of characters, mostly villains.

Many people may not realize William Shakespeare in the late 1500s wrote potboilers filled with gore to fill theatres, such as “Titus Andronicus,” he said. The Anthony Hopkins movie titled “Titus” ends in a beautifully written bloodbath that only Shakespeare could’ve written.

For more information, visit:

p<>{color:#000;}. David’s Amazon.com page: http://www.amazon.com/David-Sch%C3%BCtz-II/e/B00IGWAWAC

p<>{color:#000;}. Mary’s Facebook author’s page: www.facebook.com/MaryGenevieveFortierWriter

p<>{color:#000;}. Their YouTube channel, Fortier-Schütz/Wooden Box AudioWorks, which is dedicated to their audio productions.

p<>{color:#000;}. The Facebook page for the St. Louis Area Horror Writers’ Society; It is a private organization, but you can click request to join.


Poetry Calendar

For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the St. Louis Poetry Center.



Second Friday Notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141


RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.


POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at http://zestyguitar.com/stlpoetry/poetry-at-the-point/


Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.

Tuesdays at 4 p.m.


CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.


EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.


GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.


R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.


ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.


ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)

A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events

It’s as easy as





Workshops for Writers

First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)

10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center


Station Open Mic

Second Tuesday of every month

7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station


SLWG Authors Series

Third Thursday of every month


Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, www.stlwritersguild.org.




Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr. BradRCook.com




T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens, a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. twfendley.com 







Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.



David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.


Lauren Miller is the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and she reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review. She has a fifteen-year background in library science and has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print. Lauren likes to spend her free time discovering new reads, games, period films, and be surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at MidwestMaven.com


Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters. In addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at www.jenniferstolzer.com, as well as Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.


The Scribe March 2017

For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The March 2017 edition features a message from our Guild President, and coverage of our January workshop, written by T.W. Fendley.

  • Author: St. Louis Writers Guild
  • Published: 2017-02-26 03:05:14
  • Words: 2461
The Scribe March 2017 The Scribe March 2017