New Story: The Ghost of Christmas Past

The clock ticks too fast toward midnight. And not fast enough. Curled in the recliner in front of the cold fireplace, I chew my nails down to the quick. I’ve sat sentry every Christmas eve for the past five years. I always hope it’s the last, but it never is.

The Ghost Of christmas past/pauline yates/nightmare Fuel magazine

For horror writers, Christmas time offers a sack full of dark story ideas, and what better way to rattle those sleighbells than with a creepy story on Christmas eve. Even better for horror writers is a new outlet for their stories.

Queensland-based Nightmare Fuel Magazine is the new kid on the block, and they showcase established and emerging horror and dark fiction authors living in Australia. They publish micro-fiction and poetry in the horror genre and all work must be under 666 words.

This Christmas, they called for stories based on the theme ‘Violent Night’. I’ve always had an idea for a creepy Christmas story, so I put pen to paper and thrashed it out – in precisely 666 words, too. I’m pleased to say that my story was accepted and it will sit alongside great stories from other talented and award-winning authors.

You can read my story for free here:

The Ghost of Christmas Past.

You can also read other stories from Nightmare Fuel Magazine HERE.

Thanks for reading. Have a great and safe Christmas.


New Story: A Pony For Christmas

My “ho’s” change to groans as I play the shopping mall Santa—my wife arrives with our granddaughter, Ester, and home-baked cookies for my tea break. I love Ester, but the cookies taste funny and belong in the bin…

A Black Hare Press Dark Moment

My latest story has just been released with Black Hare Press Dark Moments. The theme for this month’s drabble submission was ‘Christmas/Near Year.’

Read it here:


For more Dark Moments drabbles, and links to all my publications, CLICK HERE

2022 Eligibility Post and Publication Round-up.

It’s that time of the year when authors put together their eligibility posts to highlight work they published throughout the year. These posts are important because the horror/science fiction/fantasy award season is just around the corner, and posting links to publications helps readers find the stories they loved, and the stories they missed.

Below is a list of the stories I’ve published throughout the year. I still have a couple of pending releases, and I’ll add them to this post when they come out. Some stories can be read online for free, and others are in anthologies. If you’d like a copy of anything to consider for your recommended reading list, please contact me.  

Short Stories

Day 33 (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Patreon – January

The Happiness Man (Horror) – Tales To Terrify Podcast – February (Listen Online)

The Dig Tree (Dark Historical) – The Casket of Fictional Delights – March (Read/Listen Online)

The Now Effect (Science Fiction) – Etherea Magazine – June

Security Upgrade (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Patreon – July

The Killing Pen (Horror) – Black Hart Publishing/That is TOO Wrong – August

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Horror) – Nightmare Fuel Magazine – December (Read Online)

Drabbles (100 words)

The Greatest Show on Earth (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – January (Read Online)

Twice the Pleasure (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – February (Read Online)

New Sight (Horror) – Black Hare Press – Punk: Cyber/Bio/Diesel/Steam  – March

Blindsided (Horror) – Black Hare Press – Punk: Cyber/Bio/Diesel/Steam – March

A.M.A.N.D.A. (Horror) – Black Hare Press – Punk: Cyber/Bio/Diesel/Steam – March

Dead Promise (Horror) – Black Hare Press – Punk: Cyber/Bio/Diesel/Steam – March

Dressed to Kill (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – April (Read Online)

A Pact with the Devil (Horror) – Black Ink fiction – April (Read Online)

Pinch (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Patreon – April

Petals Don’t Lie (Horror) – Horror Tree/Trembling with Fear – April (Read Online)

Gone Fishing (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – June (Read Online)

Breathe (Dark Fantasy) – Iron Faerie Publishing/The Four Horseman/Plague – August

Bon Apetit (Horror) – The Horror Tree/Trembling with Fear – August (Read Online)

Fallen Angels (Dark Fantasy) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – September (Read Online)

Drained (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – September (Read Online)

Mrs Nagalot (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Nom Nom: Hallowe’en Dark Drabbles– October

Payback (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Nom Nom; Hallowe’en Dark Drabbles – October

The Devil’s Breath (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments – October (Read Online)

First Person, Present Tense (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments/AI – December (Read Online)

A Pony For Christmas (Horror) – Black Hare Press/Dark Moments/Christmass – December (Read online)


Destiny (Dark Fantasy) – Black Hare Press – Eldritch & Ether – May

Ascension (Dark Fantasy) – Black Hare Press – Eldritch & Ether – May

The Fox’s Cry (Speculative) – Black Hare Press – Eldritch & Ether – May

Reprints (not award eligible)

The Secret Keeper (Fantasy) – Metaphorosis/5X5x3: Changes – August

Renascent (Horror) – PseudoPod – August (Read/Listen Online)

Other writing things I did this year was to help judge the 2021 Australian Shadows Awards in the poetry category. Reading all the fantastic entries was a pleasure. I’ve put my hand up to judge the awards again this year and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading and assessing the collected fiction and non-fiction entries.

I also threw myself into the query trenches for the first time with my debut novel. That was a soul-crushing experience I’d rather not repeat, and for a while there, I considered printing out my novel, tucking it under my pillow, and keeping it all to myself. But I’m not one to give up, not after all the years of hard work I’ve put in. So I persisted, and I’m pleased to say my efforts paid off. I found the perfect publisher for me, and my novel is due for release in early 2023. Stay tuned for the cover reveal.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has supported my stories throughout the year. And thank you to the publishers for giving my stories a home. I wish you all happy reading for the rest of the year. I look forward to sharing new stories in 2023.

Want to stay connected? Follow me on any of my links here:






Cover Reveal: Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite

IFWG Publishing

IFWG is very pleased to reveal the cover of our upcoming anthology, Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite, edited by Deborah Sheldon. We gave the artist/designer, Greg Chapman, an ambitious concept to work with, and he delivered what you see here perfectly!

Australia: the land where everything wants to kill you. A continent filled with some of the deadliest animals in the world. 

From creepy-crawlies to crocodiles, you’ll have plenty to fear in this anthology penned by Australian authors. Killer Creatures Down Under: Horror Stories with Bite offers disturbing tales that range from the action-packed and visceral, through the historical and futuristic, to the phantasmagorical and supernatural. 

Prepare to confront your animal phobias… And perhaps develop some new ones. 

The authors/short stories that will be included in the anthology (in alphabetic order) are:

Geraldine Borella, ‘No Frills Holiday’
Tim Borella, ‘Nineteen Hours on Deep Creek Station’

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August Reflections

August was a busy month for reading and writing. I kicked it off with the release of The Killing Pen, a short horror story featured in  ‘That Is TOO Wrong: An anthology of Offbeat Horror: Vol 11’, edited by Jan-Andrew Henderson, Black Hart Publishing.

This is the second instalment of Jan’s horror anthology trilogy. The first volume, ‘That is SO Wrong’, was released in June, and the third instalment ‘That is ALL Wrong’, will be released later this year. To kick off the release of ‘That is Too Wrong’, we held a book launch at Avid Reader. You can listen to the event here: Avid Reader: “That is Too Wrong” Panel with Pauline Yates, Pamela Jeffs, and Jan-Andrew Henderson.

My next release was Breathe, featuring in Plague (4 Horseman Book 3), published by Iron Faerie Publishing. This anthology is part of a series that contains stories about the Four figures in the Book of Revelations and showcases the evils to come at the end of the world, in just 100 words. The anthology is available here: Plague (4 Horseman Book 3) – Iron Faerie Publishing

My next release was Renascent, a horror story I originally sold to Aurealis. It’s been turned into a podcast with Pseudopod. They did a terrific job bringing this story to life in a podcast. You can listen to the episode here: PseudoPod 824: Renascent

My last release in August is Bon Appetit, a bite-sized serving for horror lovers. It can be found in Trembling With Fear, The Horror Tree. You can read it along with other great stories here: Bon Appetit – Trembling With Fear, The Horror Tree

What I’ve been reading

I shouted myself a new book this month: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. A movie trailer featuring this story caught my eye, but I wanted to read the book first. I really enjoyed this book. It kept me reading late into the night because I didn’t want to put it down. I even fastened a head torch to my bedhead to keep reading long after I should have gone to sleep. That said, I finished the book in two nights. In the early parts of the story, I worried that the dialogue would bog me down. The tone reflected through the prose, and it wasn’t quite to my liking. Surprisingly, as the character developed, so did the tone; if this was intended, the author did a great job. By the end, I felt like I’d grown with the character and this has now become my favourite book.

Another story I read was Bluebells by Leanbh Pearson, published by Black Hare Press. This is a vampire, paranormal romance, historical fiction, and thriller, all rolled into one exciting story. I really enjoyed the flicks between characters and getting all points of view. I also enjoyed the jumps back and forward in time which showed the broader story. This was another story I read in two sittings. If you’re looking for a 5-star read, you’ll find it here: BlueBells by Leanbh Pearson.

That brings me to the end of August. Looking ahead, my submission list is empty so it’s time for more writing and less reading and hopefully bring forth some more stories to share. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing new releases later this year, and early into next year, including the release of my debut novel. If you’re keen to keep in the loop, you find me everywhere here:

Happy reading.

New Stories/New Anthologies

I have new stories to share this month, plus some exciting new anthologies to announce. Stories first:

My love affair with drabbles continues with my latest acceptance in Black Hare Press’s Dark Moments Monthly challenge. The theme for June was Killer Flamingos and we were challenged to write exactly 100 words featuring the theme. Creating a suitable story required some deep thought, but I’m pleased to say my effort was rewarded. Only twelve drabbles are chosen for publication each month, mine being one of them. Here’s the link to my Flamingo drabble:

Gone Fishing

Photo by Pixabay on

My next short story just released is also with Black Hare Press. This story was chosen as the winner of their Patreon Monthly Short Story challenge. The beauty of supporting a small independent press via Patreon is the access to writing opportunities not open to everyone. Becoming a Patreon is a win/win for both publisher and writer/s. Supporting a small independent press through a teeny monthly contribution helps to keep the publisher afloat so they can continue to provide paid submission opportunities to all writers, Patreon or not. In return, Patreons receive various benefits ranging from early access to writing opportunities, monthly competitions, and early access to a variety of publications.

My winning story is a thrilling horror including teenage vandals and futuristic guard dogs. It’s available now on Patreon (that’s the early access benefit) but it will also be published in an anthology at the end of the year. But why wait, right?

Security Upgrade

Security Upgrade/Pauline Yates/Black Hare Press

On to new anthology releases:

Reading 5X5 x3: Changes published by Metaphorosis

This anthology takes 15 stories from Metaphorosis authors, including mine, and shows the revision process from submission to publication. Each story includes the final published version, the original submitted version, and an author and editor summary detailing the feedback during the revision process. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get a story published, this anthology is for you. It includes a bonus section about common writing flaws, what to avoid, and how to fix them based on the included stories.

The anthology is available for pre-purchase now and it launches on 23 July, 2022. Click the link above for details.

Last but not least, I’m featured in another anthology release and this one comes with a book launch.

That is TOO Wrong: An anthology of Off-Beat Horror Vol 11 edited by Jan-Andrew Henderson.

This anthology includes stories from award-winning authors and is due for release August 6th, 2022. To celebrate the release, we’re holding a free event at Avid Reader, Brisbane, on Monday 8th August, 2022. All the details are below and we’d love to see you in person or via Zoom. Register your interest here:

Avid Reader Events: That is TOO Wrong – Panel – with Pauline Yates, Pamela Jeffs, and Jan-Andrew Henderson.

I’ve given you plenty to read this month, but there’s one more book I’d like to give a shout out to:

The Foundation of Plot: A Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) Book published by Elena Hartwell.

Elena is the author of “All We Buried” and earlier novels titled “One Dead, Two to Go”, “Two Heads Are Deader Than One” and “Three Strikes, You’re Dead.” Her latest book is about the craft of writing, and having worked with Elena, I’m certain there will be pearls of writing wisdom within these pages. My copy is winging its way to me and I can wait to get a refresher course on everything she taught me but I’ve probably forgotten. The Foundation of Plot is out now and you’ll find it via the link above.

Happy reading everyone, and thanks for stopping by.


New Story Release: The Now Effect

Daniel and I are back sitting at the dining room table. He pops the champagne and fills my glass to the brim, as he did before. I still can’t get my head around this phenomenon. It’s enigmatic enlightenment, but makes me question whether I’ve fully appreciated every other moment in my life…

the Now Effect by pauline Yates – Etherea Magazine Issue 11

My latest short story, The Now Effect, is available to read in Etherea Magazine Issue 11.

Including a time loop and cosmic effects, this was a fun story to write. On a deeper level, I hope it highlights what we too often take for granted – time.

The Now Effect sits alongside a stellar list of stories written by a fabulous lineup of authors and is coupled with great story art created by Etherea editor Aidan Wilson. This issue is available now and you can find it here:

Etherea Magazine Issue 11

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