Author Archives: S.L. Schmitz

The Shirley Jackson Award Nominees Have Been Announced

The following post has been wholeheartedly lifted and pasted from the official press release from The Shirley Jackson Awards. So happy for everyone nominated! Apparently the good people who run The Awards have not initiated a hashtag for the event. Therefore – #Shirleyjackson, #Hillhouse, #donotwinthelottery


Nominees Announced for the
2015 Shirley Jackson Awards

Boston, MA (May 2016) — In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

The nominees for the 2015 Shirley Jackson Awards are:

Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press)
Experimental Film, Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
The Glittering World, Robert Levy (Gallery)
Lord Byron’s Prophecy, Sean Eads (Lethe Press)
When We Were Animals, Joshua Gaylord (Mulholland Books)

The Box Jumper, Lisa Mannetti (Smart Rhino)
In the Lovecraft Museum, Steve Tem (PS Publishing)
Unusual Concentrations, S.J. Spurrier (Simon Spurrier)
The Visible Filth, Nathan Ballingrud (This Is Horror)
Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing-UK/Open Road Media-US)

“The Briskwater Mare,” Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
“The Deepwater Bride,” Tamsyn Muir (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July-August 2015)
“Even Clean Hands Can Do Damage,” Steve Duffy (Supernatural Tales #30, Autumn)
“Fabulous Beasts,” Priya Sharma (, July 2015)
“The Thyme Fiend,” Jeffrey Ford (, March 2015)
“A Beautiful Memory,” Shannon Peavey (Apex Magazine)
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong (Nightmare)
“Seven Minutes in Heaven,” Nadia Bulkin (Aickman’s Heirs)
“The Dying Season,” Lynda E. Rucker (Aickman’s Heirs)
“Wilderness,” Letitia Trent (Exigencies)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Stephen King (Scribner)
The End of the End of Everything, Dale Bailey (Arche Press)
Get in Trouble, Kelly Link (Random House)
Gutshot, Amelia Gray (FSG Originals)
The Nameless Dark – A Collection, T.E. Grau (Lethe Press)
You Have Never Been Here, Mary Rickert (Small Beer Press)

Aickman’s Heirs, edited by Simon Strantzas (Undertow Publications)
Black Wings IV, edited by S.T. Joshi (PS Publishing)
The Doll Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor)
Exigencies, edited by Richard Thomas (Dark House Press)
Seize the Night, edited by Christopher Golden (Gallery)

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.

The 2015 Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 10, 2016, at Readercon 27, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Quincy, Massachusetts.

North Carolina Teacher: We Need Your Help!

This. This is important. North Carolina needs to grow up and grow a pair. P.S. I live in this retroactive state, and I wish I could move home. Know where home is? Illinois in a suburb called Naperville. Everyone knows how well Illinois is treating its teachers and retirees right now

Diane Ravitch's blog

The following comment was posted on the blog on Saturday. I won’t add the teacher’s name but you can find it if you search the comments.

She writes:

“As a public school teacher working and fighting for the #SchoolsOurStudentsDeserve, I can understand the conflict about coming to NC. As much as I’d like for NC to not gain one cent from NPE, I also know how much the educators and public school supporters here need support. Not just through emails, blog posts, and social media, but they need to see people, real people, showing up to stand against the regressive, dangerous rhetoric and laws being used in our General Assembly and Governor’s office. I would rather NPE come and everyone in attendance participate in a mass action on our state house or in the streets of Raleigh to show that we ALL stand together against any injustice, to show that…

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It’s February! Welcome to Women in Horror Month!

Here she is, the 2016 official image for Women in Horror Month!


So many wonderful things going on. Check out the website for news, updates, swag, and information on events. Plus – massive blood drive with support from the gorgeous Soska Sisters.

It’s all about the GRRRRRL Power.




Salt and Sorrow

Where should I start?

When you feel empty, you should travel. I went to Paris in October 2015, and it was magical. I took my 9-year old son and my husband to the City of Light, and it was magical. Love you, Baby Bopper. Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower were precious moments….


Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?

What a mess. Thank you Imy Santiago for taking the time to write this essay. The Amazon “Big Brother” situation will affect every writer I know (whether I know them or not, I guess).

imy santiago

A couple of weeks ago I read the third installment of a series I really loved. I will refrain from sharing the name of the novel and its author.

Like any reader, as soon as I finished reading, I wrote my review. When I tried posting it on Amazon (I did buy the eBook, just like any normal and decent human being would), I received a rather concerning email.

I will not share the screenshot of the email as it does contain the title of the book and name of the author. In its place I have copied the body of the email below.

Dear Amazon Customer,

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

Here I was, thinking I had included an…

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Skeleton Girl in a Black Hat

I attended the 2015 World Horror Convention in Atlanta, GA this weekend. So much fun! More pictures coming soon, but I liked this one a lot. #HWA2015

The World Horror Convention 2015 in Atlanta, GA

The World Horror Convention 2015 in Atlanta, GA

Welcome to HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge

Best. Name. Ever.

The fact that Prince William and Princess Kate included Diana’s name is just incredible. I am so glad and a little weepy that they honored the late Princess of Wales in this way. Diana finally got the little girl that she always wanted.

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Princess Diana gazing up at her beautiful new grand daughter

Princess Diana gazing up at her beautiful new grand daughter


Kate and William honoring Diana's legacy

Kate and William honoring Diana’s legacy





You will never look at Burning Man the same again

I am officially archived as The Wicked Library Podcast #519.

I absolutely have fallen in love with Nelson W. Pyles’ voice. I cannot believe how amazing he makes my story, “Leave No Trace”, sound. Then there is Maddie Von Stark’s breathtaking artwork, which captures the essence of the story perfectly. Listen to the podcast – the drumbeats that Pyles adds to the audio are beyond perfect.

You will never look at #BurningMan the same again.

Artwork by Maddie Holliday Von Stark

Artwork by Maddie Holliday Von Stark

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens novels to feature Easter eggs, clues about film

Today is May the 4th, and do you know what that means? If you’re a Star Wars fan, you do.

Disney Publishing Worldwide and Lucasfilm have announced an expansion of the Star Wars universe with the publication of 20 new books over the next 7 months leading up to the December 18, 2015 world premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

1976 Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher Source: KURTZ/JOINER ARCHIVE

1976 Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

The Expanded Universe (known as the EU in George Lucas-lingo) book series titled Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens will continue the stories of Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and other key characters in the months and years after….

Follow the link to read the complete article

SL Schmitz on The Wicked Library Podcast

Thanks to the coaxing of the lovely and talented Maddie Holliday Van Stark, my story “Leave No Trace” will be featured on the Friday March 27, 2015 podcast episode #519 of The Wicked Library. The story takes place on a single night during the infamous Burning Man in Black Rock City, NV, and brings new meaning to the word “sacrifice’.

Featuring author Bev Vincent

Featuring author Bev Vincent

This is the 5th Season of the popular podcast, and last week’s featured author for episode #518 was Bev Vincent.  Ms. Von Stark, whose name always makes me envision a wild cowgirl trying to tame horses named Widowmaker (think Slue Foot Sue), will produce original artwork just for the podcast. Her work is dreamy, funky, brilliant, and surreal. Oh, and HORROR-ible. Her work is always supremely, beautifully HORROR-ible.

Von Stark’s partner in literary crime is cute and scruffy Nelson W. Pyles. It is his smooth voice that carries the show, giving listeners the opportunity to sit back and just listen to him read good stories. Here is a recent podcast featuring author Adrian Chamberlin’s  story “War Pigs” which is a really tense chiller with one wallop of an ending! Ade’s site is and you can fine his work on or as well.

So, please find some time in the next few days to check out The Wicked Library’s archives. For newbies who aren’t too sure how podcasts work – there is a release date for the episode, and then the episode is available for future listening in the archives. All you have to do is go to the website and find the right episode! (PS – don’t forget that SL Schmitz will be Episode #519).

I will post Von Stark’s original artwork for my podcast as soon as it is released.

The Wicked Library Theme is by Novus, art direction by Maddie Von Stark, incidental music by Kevin MacLeod. and follow at @wickedlibrary and check out the website at The Wicked


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