Anointing the Spooky Savant: Welcoming Our All Hallow's Eve Conqueror!
Halloween Writing Contest
The chance to be the judge of compositions for the Wingless Dreamer's All Hallow's Eve anthology filled me with a deep sense of appreciation and excitement. I must say, having read Wingless Dreamer anthologies in the past, I find them to be real marvels.
As I went through the submissions for this anthology, I was met with a treasure trove of extraordinary writings, each invoking diverse emotions. Every piece remained true to the very spirit of Halloween, radiating a charm that sent shivers down the spine with its vivid portrayals of darkness and dread. Selecting just one from this array of brilliance was a tough task. Nevertheless, it has been accomplished with conviction and dedication.
My earnest congratulations extend not only to the winners but also to those whose submissions contribute to the mosaic of this anthology. It is my sincere hope that, when you hold the anthology in your hands, you will feel the deep impact your writing had on us and that this book will exceed your expectations in doing justice to your fabulous creation.
Anointing the Spooky Savant: Welcoming Our All Hallow's Eve Conqueror!
LYDIA LAGA - THE REAPER’S SHADOW
Lydia Laga is a remarkable author and U.S. Army soldier with a powerful and inspiring story. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she experienced a life-altering event when a catastrophic earthquake struck the country in 2010. This tragedy forced her to leave her homeland and eventually led her to serve her adopted country. Lydia's writing is known for its emotional depth, thought-provoking themes, and vivid descriptions that transport readers to different worlds. Her books are a testament to her incredible talent and her unique perspective on life and the world around us.
Prepare for a spine-tingling crescendo, our first runner-up who bewitched us with their hauntingly good entry is:
HOLLY TOMCAK - MIRRORS ARE PORTALS
Holly A. Tomcak (she/they) is a 23-year-old poet from northeast Nebraska. Common themes within her work include exploring the concept of inner demons, pondering her relationship with God, and being diagnosed with autism in her 20s. With the encouragement of their professors at Wayne State College, they have begun to share their work publicly by submitting it to journals and magazines, as well as competing in local slam competitions. In the fall of 2022, she placed 4th in the biannual slam competition hosted by Wayne State College, and in the spring of 2023, she placed 3rd. They have been published in Eber & Wein Publishing's 2023 poetry anthology, "Quilted Voices." After attending the Nebraska Poetry Society's first annual poetry retreat, they are looking to share their work outside of their region.
Our second runner-up has added their unique blend of warmth and enchantment, making our All Hallow's Eve celebration truly magical.
JACOB MAHURIEN - THE EXORCISM
The spellbinding finalists, who weaved a tapestry of magic and wonder through their entries, left an indelible mark on our All Hallow's Eve celebration:
BRYCE TAYLOR - TALE OF JUNKO
Bryce Taylor, a UNT undergraduate, is entering the graduate program. He likes to read, write fantasy, and spend time tending to his friends and family.
LEIGH ANN MONTAGLIONE - NEW TOOLS
LeighAnn Montaglione is a person who loves to get lost in the world of different stories. Ever since she was a young girl named LeighAnn, when she needed a break from the world around her, the world of storytelling became her home. This led her to become a writer to help others take a break from this world when it gets too much. When LeighAnn is not writing, you can find her behind a camera in nature, hanging out at the beach, or working on local farms.
NICOLAS BENNETT - MONSTERS OF THE MIND
Nicky J. Pilton is a poetry enthusiast, passionately reading and writing poetry in his spare time.
MEG BELL - TURNING LEAVES
Meg Bell is a recent graduate from Valparaiso University studying marketing. In May 2021, she had a play, Test Anxiety, produced at Chicago Street Theatre, and in October 2021, she wrote a short story, Man in the Window, which won a writing contest. She loves telling stories, especially scary ones, so she hopes you enjoy the twisted tale presented here.
MS BLUES - I NEVER LIKED MY TIA’S APARTMENT
M.S. Blues is a multiracial, queer, and versatile writer. Her work revolves around the darker pieces of humanity that society tends to neglect. She has been published by The Trailblazer Review, Eber & Wein, Pa'lante!, Literal Impact, Teen Ink, Wingless Dreamer, Prismatica Magazine, The Insurgence Magazine, Pile Press, and The Amazine. She currently resides in the Bay Area, California. Her Instagram handle is @ms. blues_.
ALAN WAHNEFRIED - SPECTRAL PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
Mr. Wahnefried lives in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, with his charming and understanding wife. He graduated from the University of Michigan. After a career in IT, he is either an experienced programmer or an old hacker. His stories have appeared in Mystery Tribune, Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight, Murderous Ink, Press, Emerging Worlds, Nat1 LLC (Black Ink on a Blank Void), As You Were: The Military Review, Vol. 16, Round Table Literary Journal, Aphelion Magazine, Havok Publishing, From Beyond Press, Sci-Fi Shorts, State of Matter, 101words.org, commuterlit.com, and halfhourtokill.com. CafeLit.uk.co, and SuperFastStories.com.
KATARINA STRANGAROV - I AM TAKING YOU TO GRAVE
KATARINA ŠTRANGAROV is a Serbian poet who currently resides in Austria. From a young age, poetry has been her secret passion, and she hopes her work will resonate with others and help them heal. Her poetry has been featured in the Moonstone Arts Centre, Poet's Choice, and Wingless Dreamer. You can find more of her writing online under the pen name peculiark8.
NEIL A. WILSON - WHEN THE ROT SETS IN
Neil has always written short stories and poems for pleasure. In 2023, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ was accepted for publication in The Ghastling XVII anthology, and in 2018, ‘Diary of a Dead Man’ was included in The Ghastling VIII anthology. Currently, he is writing the last in a series of four fantasy novels, The Towers of the Four Winds. He has published two books of poetry: Pithy and Other Paraphernalia: Part One (2017) and Paraphernalia: Another Fifty Poems: Part Two (2017) via Amazon CreateSpace. In addition, ‘A Flower in the Field of War’ was published as a flash fiction story by Forward Poetry in Flash Fiction (2015). Prior to this, Forward Poetry published ‘Home of Aspirations’ in The Great British Write-Off, Home is Where the Heart Is anthology (2014), and ‘An Ode to the Spider and its Web’ in An Ode to Anthology (2014).
LAUREL ARONIAN - DEAD RACERS GULLY
Laurel Aronian's work has appeared in Young Mensa magazine, Chess Life, American Chess, Lexophilia, and Skipping Stones literary journals. In 2023, she received national silver in the Scholastic Art & Writing regional gold for three consecutive years. She is a 2023 YoungArts merit award winner for songwriting. She placed 2nd in the Society of Classical Poets International High School Poetry Competition and received Rachel Carson's Intergenerational Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild Contest Award. When Laurel is not writing "spook" stories, she is likely playing chess against spine-chilling opponents.