August 31, 2010

Do you like innocent things like autumn or pumpkins?  Do you like not so innocent things like Jack’o’lanterns grinning innocently or the black cat sitting in your yard with a black feather stuck to its whisker?  Halloween is just around the corner, as the magical candy isles in grocery stores foretell.

To celebrate Halloween this year trapeze magazine will be hosting a themed contest. The theme is Halloween.

1) Each person is allowed only three entries
2) 140 characters MAX of Halloween fiction or poetry
3) As usual, no excessive violence or erotica
4) Please remain in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror and surreal.

Use the Submishmash submission manager to upload your entries in the “Contest” category.

Because Halloween is a very special time, we require a very special judge.  A person willing to step out of the labyrinth of her secret, spectre plagued laboratory and work her mad scientist mojo on we humble twitter writers.  Thankfully, such a person exists (has deigned to step from the Realm of Roses and Screams into this dimension).

Judging this contest is the esteemed and talented Seanan McGuire.

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn’t killed for using her typewriter at three o’clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite. Her upbringing has left her with a love of rattlesnakes and a deep fear of weather, which really explains a lot.

Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan’s personal anecdotes end with things like “and then we got the anti-venom” or “but it’s okay, because it turned out the water wasn’t all that deep.” She has yet to be defeated in a game of “Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?,” and can be amused for hours by just about anything. Just about anything includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, most of the things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality television, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir’s Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye series of novels, the first of which, Rosemary and Rue (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy), was published by DAW Books in 2009. It has since been followed by A Local Habitation (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy) and An Artificial Night (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy), with more to come. She’s working on several other books, just to make sure she never runs out of things to edit.

Seanan’s short fiction has appeared in After Hours: Tales from the Ur-BarGrants Pass, and Apex Magazine. Her Sparrow Hill Road series is one of the featured Universes on The Edge of Propinquity for 2010, and she belongs to  the Book View Cafe, an organization of professional authors who like to give away free fiction. It’s fun! Check them out.

In her spare time, Seanan writes and records original music. She has three CDs currently available, and is preparing to release a fourth, titled Wicked Girls. She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, “With Friends Like These…”, as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie that has the words “blood,” “night,” “terror,” or “attack” in the title. Most people believe that she doesn’t sleep.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her two cats, Lilly and Alice, a vast collection of plush things and horror movies, and sufficient books to officially qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have firmly fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the “marginally.” It probably doesn’t help that she has so many hobbies.

Seanan also writes as Mira Grant, author of the Newsflesh trilogy. For more information on Mira and her works, see MiraGrant.com.

Unparalleled bragging rights.

If anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the contest guidelines please email trapezemag (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you and happy hunting!

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