Update on RISE ABOVE, our first community sampler – the branding change, acceptance letters, and other features to be included

First off, I apologize for only updating followers via social media while neglecting our website. Let me remedy that.

For those that did not see our social media updates over the past month, our debut magazine issue became a community sampler instead, titled Rise Above. In some ways, it is like a magazine. However, the branding has changed to community sampler to embrace the comradery of our writers in the horror scene, while also allowing me to heavily lean on other features than just new fiction.

When this change occurred, I also introduced a higher budget to accept more than just a couple stories. Unfortunately, as it came time to announce acceptances, my employer began laying off my department in large quantities. Fearing for my job and the future of my household, I decided to look at this sampler differently. I considered putting it on a hiatus for a month or two, as I stated in one of my social media updates. But this weekend I remembered I had a bit of money waiting in my PayPal account and decided I would use it to move forward with this sampler. The end result is a list of acceptances set somewhere in the middle of my first and second consideration for the New Fiction section: totaling four stories from four different authors. Acceptance letters have been sent out and I’ve heard from each of those authors. They will be announced in a separate update later this week.

In this community sampler, you can also expect a wealth of interviews. I spoke with Catherine Cavendish, E. M. Roy, Janine Pipe, Chad Lutzke, Lor Gislason, Andrew Robert, Daniel Barnett, and other authors and publishers. Each interview is very insightful and interesting; I cannot wait for fans to check them out!

There are also several book previews, including Day of the Mummy by Derek Heath, The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun, and Tales from the Green Chair by Samuel M. Hallam. This section was originally created to preview my upcoming novella Feed the Sky and collection reissue Sickness is in Season, but I was lucky enough to find a few more authors willing to preview their recent and upcoming releases as well. I’m open to another one or two book previews, so if you want the extra promotion, send your preview to contact@wintrymonsterspress.com for consideration. If accepted, please be aware this is sadly an unpaid opportunity for additional promotion of your work.

Other features include (but are not limited to) book reviews, author trading cards, movie night reviews, writing tips and tricks, writing prompts, detailed release announcements, and possibly more! Additional articles are currently being considered. Though this is not a paying gig this time around, if you have an article you’d like to submit for consideration, contact us at contact@wintrymonsterspress.com.

Keep an eye here and on our social media for further updates. Next, we’ll be revealing the four short stories that were accepted into Rise Above!

Published by Aiden Merchant

Aiden Merchant is the author more than forty stories, including those found within SICKNESS IS IN SEASON, HORRIFIC HOLIDAYS, and DOCUMENTING DREADFUL EXISTENCES. He is also the author of the crime-fic novella CROSSING RED, and the lead editor and publisher of BLACKBERRY BLOOD (an anthology edited alongside Julia C. Lewis), MILK TEETH (a novella by Andrew Post), and RISE ABOVE (a community sampler). His alter ego, Wesley Winters, leans more toward the extreme and absurd. His debut horror series is appropriately titled FUCKED, and will debut in 2023 with ARTIFACT OF THE EYE and later FEED THE SKY.

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