In four short years, JournalStone Publishing has positioned itself as an attractive home to established authors and new talents alike. With a depth chart that includes Jonathan Maberry, Rick Hautala, Lisa Morton and Christopher Golden, and a deep catalog of horror, science fiction and fantasy novels and anthologies – not to mention an acclaimed quarterly magazine and a prominent genre website – I’d be shocked if you haven’t happened across this imprint already. But just in case you haven’t, consider this your formal introduction.
JournalStone was founded in 2009 in San Francisco by Christopher Payne. It started out as a blog before transitioning into a publishing company the following year. JournalStone followed the unconventional route of building its initial slate via a novel writing contest. The first winner, That Which Shall Not Be by Brett J. Talley, was nominated by the Horror Writers Association in the “Superior Achievement in a First Novel” category for the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards, which helped establish JournalStone early on as a company with an eye for quality.
JournalStone continues conducting writing contests to this day, and this has helped the company build a diverse roster of authors in a variety of genres. They also offer a range of packaging, from trade paperbacks and hardcovers for casual readers to more expensive, bells-and-whistles limited editions for collectors.
Recently, JournalStone has ventured outside of the book publishing business by acquiring Hellnotes.com, a genre news and review staple that was one of the earliest online watering holes for horror fans and professionals. They recently entered into a similar relationship with Dark Discoveries magazine, a popular quarterly publication focusing on short horror fiction. By keeping a thriving short fiction market alive in a time when such markets are becoming more difficult to sustain, and by shoring up one of the genre’s most trusted websites, JournalStone has cemented its standing as one of horror’s biggest supporters.
What it all boils down to is this: JournalStone is spotlight-worthy because it brings horror fans the good stuff. The latest issue of Dark Discoveries contains fiction by David Morrell, Eric Red and William F. Nolan. The company has an impressive slate of scary stuff coming out just in time for Halloween, including a massive two-volume tribute to the late Rick Hautala titled Mister October (the entire profits from which, it should be mentioned, will be going to Hautala’s family) that includes original artwork from Clive Barker and contributions from F. Paul Wilson, Peter Straub, Brian Keene, Tim Lebbon and a host of other big names.
JournalStone produces books that are well written, professionally edited and beautifully packaged. Anthologies, novellas, novels, short fiction – the company is putting its stamp on the genre in a big way, and we the fans are better off for their efforts.
Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.
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