Guest designer | Halloween Party ’23

Piece of art by Juan Kantu _1Kan2_ a white skull on a black background with the words the end is my beginning
“The End is my beginning” by Juan Cantu

The moment I saw Juan Cantu’s art I knew I had to own some. Luckily his work is still affordable (but for how long people!), and I was able to grab this beauty you see above.

Because I was also lucky enough to meet him in person, this kind, gentle, and amazingly talented man, I was also able to get to know him a bit, and keep in touch, and I was so thrilled when he said he’d design the new Halloween Party anthology for us. If you visit Juan’s Instagram (_1kan2_) you will see how macabre, funny, dark, and philosophical his work is. If you like to collect art, I suggest you buy yourself an original while you still can. And, it may interest you to know, Juan is also a veteran. He served his country, and that informs his art, and he works to bring art opportunities to veterans like himself.

We did an interview with Juan, and we’ll be posting that in our newsletter in the coming months. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out!

Halloween Party ’23 | Submissions glitch resolved

Apologies if you tried to submit to Duosuma and received a message indicating that the submissions quota was full.

Glitch is now fixed (has been tested) and is open ONLY until 11/30@ midnight, when it will close for good for this season.

Submit your work now, before it’s too late.

Good luck~


There are good writers and there are good editors.

Occasionally there are good writers who are also good editors, but in general, and speaking from experience, a lot of good writers are not good editors.

This is Dave, with a few thoughts about writing and editing. A fellow author once described writers as often clinging to their written words as if each was a precious child. I wish I had heard this analogy years earlier when my first novels were being edited. My skin was salamander thin at the time. I simply could not believe that my editor was shredding my work. In truth, she wasn’t shredding it at all but was, in fact, cutting loose the many illegitimate children peppered throughout my manuscript. In hindsight I recognize the value she brought to the work. It was not so much shredding as it was refining, strengthening, and unifying the work. The editor was Dianne Pearce, and I owe her a debt to this day for having done such a stellar job of making me look a lot better than I was.

If you regard the manuscript as the writer’s baby, then your editor should be considered a caregiver who only has the best intentions in mind for your child. 

I learned a lot from Di’s editing acumen and, having worked in a largely editorial capacity for the past five years, have come to the realization that great stories are built upon well-crafted writing blended with solid editorial input. Editing is a difficult beast to characterize beyond the basics of grammar and punctuation. There is a certain intuitiveness that comes with the job. I’m not sure how else to explain it.

The best advice I can give authors is to trust your editor’s judgement. You can certainly disagree, of course, but it helps, I think, to review your edits with an understanding that your editor is not seeking to rewrite or coopt your work. Rather, they are reviewing it with objectivity. If you regard the manuscript as the writer’s baby, then your editor should be considered a caregiver who only has the best intentions in mind for your child. There are exceptions, of course. I’ve heard firsthand tales of editors who have revised authors so heavily that the source material became unrecognizable. Micromanaging a manuscript is as toxic as micromanaging an employee, and it should be fairly easy to identity and avoid engaging with these types of individuals.

I’ve lost count of the number of short stories I’ve edited. There have been many. The overwhelming majority have been great experiences. In total, I’ve had one author disagree with my edits to the point that he withdrew his manuscript from its impending publication. The main issue, as I recall, was around ambiguity insofar as who was speaking, acting, etc. I felt this made the story inaccessible to the reader because, unlike its author, I knew that the audience lacked the ability to travel into the author’s mind to understand his intentions. I tried to explain this to the writer, but he ultimately insisted that the work be accepted as is. I’m sorry, but even Stephen King has an editor.

So yes, it is possible to be good at the craft of editing and equally good at the craft of writing. My recommendation to writers, however, is to trust in your work, but to also recognize that your editor is approaching your story as an objective outsider, which is exactly how your readers will approach it.

If you’re seeking copy-editing or developmental editing for your manuscript, consider professional editing services such as those available through Devil’s Party. Dianne is the principal editor and believe me when I say, she knows her stuff.

Why not you?

30 days remain

That means it’s not too late to get in on the next Gravelight anthology: HP ’23.

We work hard for our authors, and we’re selective, and we’d like to select you.

Every author you see listed here, in the Exhumed Anthology, was in a prior Devil’s Party Press anthology. We don’t forget our authors, and we put them first for all new opportunities. 

HP ’23 is curated by Jeffrey Keeten, and designed by Juan Cantu~ It’s going to be a gorgeous book!

Guest editor | Halloween Party ’23

by Jeffrey Keeten

Did you know that Jeffrey Keeten is one of the top reviewers on Goodreads? He became interested in DPP books a few years back, and has since partnered with us on many projects, including writing short stories for us, and introducing Halloween Party ’21.

For Halloween Party ’23 Jeffrey is acting as guest editor. He’s reviewing all the entries and picking those that will get published as well as curating the flow of the work within the book.

One thing that’s always captivated me about Jeffrey’s reviews is that they go well-beyond “I like it/I didn’t like it.” He often researches the author, and has read other works by the same writer, and will do a deep dive into the whole canon. Here’s a sample review from Keeten on The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

Take one look at the in-depth review and you can see why we’re incredibly grateful to have this gifted reviewer and editor and author on the HP team. Thanks Jeffrey! We can’t wait to see what you do with HP ’23.

Get Jeffrey to review your work. Submit to HP ’23 today!

Notes on Halloween Party ’21

I published this book and wrote one of the stories in it & the introduction.
However, this book is notable, aside from my own motives for selling it, because it contains the last story that is ever going to be published by David W. Dutton, of One of the Madding Crowd fame.
David was my friend, and a wonderful writer, and left us shortly after publication. 
It also contains a short story by noted Goodreads reviewer, Jeffrey D. Keeten. Did you know Keeten could do fiction too? You did not!
Any Anne Rice fans? Then you may be interested to know that in this book is a story by Faye Perozich, noted for this work
If you read comics, then you’ll be interested in the story by graphic novelist David Yurkovich (of Altercations and Less Than Heroes).
And if you follow horror magazine Samsara, then you will already be a fan of R. David Fulcher.
So, my own involvement aside, this book has a lot of plums hidden in it. I bet you’ll love it, and with it’s square shape and glossy cover, it makes a great gift for that brother-in-law who you never know what present he would like. Give him a cool horror book!

Want to join the Horror Writers Association?

Turns out, if you were accepted into HP2021, you can!

You weren’t? Well, there’s still time to submit to HP ’23!

One of the global changes we made to our company last year was to make a commitment to pay all authors we put on paper. With that check, you qualify for the HWA. A few of our most recently included authors have already been admitted, on the strength of that single payment.

We hope, as our fledgling publishing endeavor grows, we will be able to pay more writers, and pay those writers more. We are committed in using this company to help you achieve your writing goals.

So excited to know some wonderful and life-long horror writers with many many publications are finally being granted membership in a group they so deserve to belong to!

Before She’s Gone Forever

by Phil Giunta

Phil Giunta is one of the best short story writers producing today. This particular story is incredibly moving, and Phil reading it only adds to it. Enjoy this story on a melancholy fall evening with a glass of wine, and someone you love.

~It took the entire morning, but police divers found Eun-ji’s body in the bay—exactly where I said it would be. I wasn’t entirely forthcoming with them, of course. I didn’t tell them about the pictures. I simply informed them that Eun-ji had talked about exploring the peaks of Geoje Island to find a good spot for cliff jumping. Fearless and heavily influenced by western culture, Eun-ji was what the Americans call an “adrenaline junkie.” Hence the reason she had volunteered for civilian military training in the city of Gimpo last month. That’s where we met. 

As a photographer for the Korea Herald, I had been assigned to shoot the weeklong boot camp. My mandatory two years in the Army had just ended six months prior, so I was still able to keep up with the grueling regimen these college students faced. Nothing extraordinary had occurred during the assignment—other than meeting Eun-ji. Day or night, my camera loved her more than any of the others~

Buy the book, why don’tcha?


We’ve sold out and have moved (returned, actually) to Los Angeles. Though it may seem as if we’d perished, in truth we were never really gone. However, in keeping with the spirit of the Halloween season, let’s just say we’re back from the dead so we can announce our upcoming publications…

The Holy Ghost and Other Spooky Stories is a collection by Bernie Brown, one of our favorite authors of short horror fiction. Bernie is the type of writer who can tell a horror story that both amuses and terrifies.

We’ll be releasing two collections by R. David Fulcher. The first collection is entitled The Pumpkin King and Other Tales of Terror. Fulcher has the chops (or fangs) to write solid horror and demonstrates it in this collection of short fiction. There are numerous tales in this collection worthy of a Bram Stoker Award, and we’re excited to bring this title to market.

Dreaming, The Copper City. The Cosmic Horror Fiction of R. David Fulcher provides the reader exactly what its title implies. Call it cosmic fiction or weird fiction or strange fiction if you will. Experience offbeat worlds and stories that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading them.

Look for The Pumpkin King and Other Tales of Terror to arrive in early 2023, followed by Dreaming, The Copper City in fall 2023.

Halloween Party ’23. Our biannual collection of short fiction returns. Noted author and sadist, Jeffrey Keeton, will serve as managing editor. We’re excited to see which stories Mr. Keeten will opt to include in this, our fourth offering in the series.