It’s about time we finally announce the winners for HALLOWEEN PARTY 2019.

It is extremely challenging to choose winners in general, and this anthology had so many excellent submissions that it was, in fact, doubly difficult.

But, winners there must be.

shobergOur third place prize is going out to James Michael Shoberg for his collection of poems:”The Grim Wicked Wood,” “Lizzy Dies From a Plane Crash at the End of This Poem,” and “Run Red.”

Dave and I found Shoberg’s writing to be absolutely delightful, clever, and creative. Dave read them first, and couldn’t wait to show them to me, and Dave is not typically a poetry guy.

Here is a little taste of one of the poems… to whet your whistle:

Kirk’s father said, “Roam and you’ll come to no good,
For bloodsuckers lurk in the grim, wicked wood.
This farm’s isolated; there’s no neighborhood,
And trees swallow screams in the grim, wicked wood.”
He frightened the lad, maybe more than he should,
To quell the allure of the grim, wicked wood.

“I know my boy’s mind, and he’ll come to no good—
He’ll get himself lost in the grim, wicked wood.
And frightening him, maybe more than I should,
Will keep him away from the grim, wicked wood.”

What will be the outcome of “The Grim Wicked Wood?” Will Lizzy die in that plane crash? I’ll never tell…never.

goodridgeOur second place prize is going out to James Goodridge, for his short story “The Stumpville Affair.”

Dave and I really liked Goodridge’s juxtaposition of horror and pulp novel. Dave said, “James’ story reads like a Dashill Hammett Nick and Nora adventure if Hammett had been writing for WEIRD TALES and finding inspiration in William Hope Hodgson’s occult detective, Carnacki.”

Here is a tasty little morsel from inside of “The Stumpville Affair” just to give you the unique flavor of this piece.

…The creature snatched at him as razor-sharp fangs bit into Mason’s right arm, snapping it off at the elbow. Blood, bone, and muscle mass splattered about in the moonlight. Mason’s lower arm sailed end over end into the air, finally landing atop the weathered house roof. As shock set in, August Mason howled in pain, body quivering. His cries reverberated into the village of Stumpville before trauma took him into eternal darkness.

Just before dawn, the day laborers Mason had hired approached in a dirty pickup. As the headlights grew nearer, the creature, which had been feasting upon the Mason’s crimson and pink flesh, vanished into a nearby treeline. The hens, which had remained silent, resumed their frenzied cackle as Mugsy the rooster emerged from the crawlspace beneath the hen house.

Times were tough, even for occult detectives. Our clientele, those high society moneybags who hired Sue and I to chase ghosts or perform Tarot readings, had dried up as a reliable source of income. Contract work from the city’s paranormal Office of Special Concerns had slowed because of budget cuts.

It was Tuesday, 12:35 AM. Dressed in stripped azure PJs and my red smoking jacket, I was in for the night. I sat behind my desk rolling around a nice-sized emerald from our stash on a desk blotter, wondering how much it might fetch. Off in the distance, a tugboat horn mewed deep on the Hudson River. At least the tug captain had work, unlike the occupants of Riverside Drive and 107th Street. A mug of hyssop tea on my desk curtailed my cravings as the silence of the room was suddenly interrupted. 

Sweet heaven help me! What is going to happen next? There is only one way to find out who, or what, is ripping people apart, and you must find out if you want to survive!

Our first place prize is going out to Lisa Fox, for her story “Fallen Hero.”


Fox is a frequent contributor to our anthologies, and we have enjoyed all of her submissions over the years (can I say that now? Wow! Years!). “Fallen Hero” has amazing suspense, and no respite from the terror and retribution inside. What we particularly liked about Fox’s story was the way it pushed you relentlessly forward; there was no hope of escape from this horror.

Here, then, is a small bit from the beginning of “Fallen Hero,” to disquiet you and make you wish you had the book in front of you so that you could find out how it all turns out. Badly… it all turns out badly.

The man walked.

His scuffed work boots pushed pebbles with each step down the gravel path toward town. Ashen dust clung to his faded dungarees and the faint aroma of smoke lingered in the crisp fall air. Hands tucked in the pockets of his tattered black leather jacket, he strode beside the rusting tracks peeking through tufts of brittle overgrowth, the rails warmed but once per week with the slow rumbling of the CSX train as it passed through Mineville, brimming with coal. In the distance, endless rows of dilapidated houses settled beneath the shadow of shale mountains.

After 20 years away, the man returned to the only home he had ever known. Nothing changed here—nothing ever changed here. But, had he? His rounded and hunched shoulders belied his former stature; it was easier for him, better for everyone, to slink by in a world where he was no longer welcome than to rise to his true height, walk with purpose and show them that he was different now; he’d done his time, made peace with the past. The man welcomed the camouflage of age, his graying hair and beard painting him in a sad, non-threatening invisibility that he hoped would allow him to blend in with the landscape and help others forget.

His hazel eyes, magnified by the thick lenses of his oversized and bent wire-framed glasses, fixated on the dust that swirled in eddies beneath his feet. He studied the impression his soles made in the terrain and the way the gravel reset itself as he marched forward, his presence as fleeting as his footsteps.

The boy emerged from the shadow of a burnt-out home in the distance. 

Oh, no, no, no! If only the boy had not emerged! Sweet-mother-of-all-that-is-unholy, save us!

I have to tell you, truly, that I do apologize, but once you open the pages of HALLOWEEN PARTY 2019, nothing will save you, not closing the book, getting out of bed, putting on all the lights, having a nice cup of tea or a good stiff drink, the dawn… nothing. Open the book, and your doom is sealed.

How pleasant and perfect.

HALLOWEEN PARTY 2019, on sale now.

Congratulations to our three winners, and many thanks to all the contributors who are older authors, support older authors, and make it so hard to choose!

And thanks to you, dear reader, for supporting the writing dream and the writing life, second acts, and late bloomers.

Much love~



DPP is pleased to announce the three winners in the AURORA literature anthology writing contest . . .

• First Place: Tara A. Elliott, Salisbury, MD
• Second Place: Liliana Widocks, Bolton, Lancs, UK
• Third Place: Linda Federman, Rehoboth, DE

More details, and the complete list of contributors, will be coming soon.


Meanwhile, be sure to check out our current contest for the crime-mystery anthology, CRIME TIME. We’re accepting submissions now through September 15.



We love Amazon, but we realize that not everyone does. That’s one reason why we’re now offering our titles on both Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon. So, regardless of which retailer you prefer, you’ll find our full catalog on either site.


And while we’d love to see our titles in every brick and mortar store on the planet, we realize that’s going to take a bit of time. If you’d like to see our titles at your local bookstore, drop by and ask them to carry the DDP catalog. We’ll work closely with them to make it happen.


We’re developing our first round of swag which will include bookmarks, stickers, magnets, and a few other items we’re still deciding upon. If you’d like us to mail you a few no-cost items, swing by our DPP SWAG PAGE and sign up. We will use the information you provide us to mail you stuff or let you know about our latest releases and promotions.

Please understand that we do not share personal information with any other person or company, ever. Not only because doing so is unethical, but because we’ve all had that experience ourselves and it sucks. So, sign up to receive DPP swag.  You’ll get swag and DPP news, nothing more, nothing less. And that’s a promise.


It was a bit surreal to tune in to WGMD on the morning of May 23 for “Out & About Wednesdays” and hear Bob Steele interview two members of our crew. Bob is a fantastic radio host and a terrific interviewer and we felt that Mark and Di did a terrific job explaining not only how DPP took its name but also in answering what we do and why we do it. These, as you may or may not know, are two of the fundamental questions any business needs to be able to answer with absolutely certainty. And if you think the answer to “why we do it” it “to make money” then you’ve probably never been a small press publisher before.

By now you’re probably kicking yourself for having missed the radio interview, but fear not, for you’ll find the entire recording HERE. Check it out to gain some insights into the small press world, and to hear a some really great, spontaneous humor from Bob and his DPP guests. We’re indebted to Bob Steele for his kindness and support of DPP, and we look forward to chatting with him again soon. If you’re a WGMD listener, be sure to drop them a note of thanks for supporting small press.

Lastly, we’d also like to invite you to take a look at our catalog. It’s small, but growing bit by bit..

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Until next time…


As we approach the middle of 2018 (how on Earth is that even possible?) we realize there’s a lot to think about. First is our roadmap for the remainder of the calendar year. I won’t lie, it’s ambitious. Ambitious in that we’re a small, grass-roots start-up. However, we’re excited about our upcoming releases and determined to see everything through.

First up is AURORA, our summer anthology for which we are currently accepting submissions. It’s scheduled to publish in July.

Next is David Dutton’s fascinating novel, ONE OF THE MADDING CROWD, due out this fall. Later still is MOSQUITOES AND MEN, the debut novel by Mark Alan Polo.

Lastly, in November, we’ll be presenting our final anthology for 2018. Watch for news about the theme and the submissions guidelines on or around June 1.

In the next few weeks, we’ll begin fleshing out our 2019 roadmap. While it’ll be sure to include at least two literature anthologies, we’re still not sure about the longer works that we plan to present. We’ll likely be opening submissions up for novels over the summer, so check our Submissions page often for updates. Because we’re small, the number of manuscript submissions will be limited.

Meanwhile, for an idea of the types of stories we like, be sure to check our trilogy of anthologies, available from these merchants…

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Time to get back to work. We’re not paying our staff to stand around and look handsome.


The evening of May 3, 2018, was an exciting night for the DPP staff as we attended the 2018 Delaware Press Association Awards Banquet. We were honored that our first two anthologies, fledgling titles that we freely admit that, while entertaining, are far from perfect, captured the second- and third-place awards for best short story collection.

We left Wilmington that evening at the end of the banquet, pleased by our progress, but determined to do better across 2018 and beyond. You should find our efforts reflected in our latest literature anthology, EQUINOX, which went on sale on the same day as the awards show (and yes, we think there’s a bit of serendipity at work there). We hope you’ll check out our titles, available at the links below . . .

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While there was no time for public thank yous at the show, we are thankful to the judges at the DPA for taking the time to review our work and for the valuable feedback that was provided to us. We look forward to the 2019 awards banquet!


Our third literature anthology, EQUINOX, is now available. You may think us biased, but we kid you not in declaring that EQUINOX is, without a doubt, our most engrossing anthology to date. Dutton, Polo, Crandell, Pearce, et al., have offered up diverse and engaging short fiction that’ll simultaneously entertain and stimulate your mind.

You’ll find EQUINOX and our other titles at the links below. . .


Thanks for checking us out!