Tuesday, 31 May 2011

June Issue - Comes Out Tomorrow!

A reminder to all you ghoulish gals and fiendish fellas, the first issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree can be downloaded right here tomorrow. Don't miss out!

The June issue will include pieces not yet released and artwork that will tantalize the eyes.

Do you want to be in our next issue? Stay tuned at Underneath The Juniper Tree to find out the latest contests and challenges. Or you can send us general submissions. Please read our Guidelines Page before you submit.



What Do You Have In Your Pocketses Challenge

Sticks, stones, chewed gum, an old boot–

Watch hands, doll feet, poison ivy.


Our challenge to you this week is to write a story about what is in your character's pockets. Your character can be anything as long as it has pockets in which to have things. You can tell us why it has those things in it's pockets, or how those things got there. OR! How your character defeated the Bashful Bear of the dark forest with it's pocket contents.

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, June 7th. The winners will be announced on Friday, June 11.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Pockets Challenge". For the name of your document please put your story/artwork name, underscore and your name. Ex: ToesForEating_MarjorieMerle.doc

You can submit your work as a Word document or stick it directly in the email to junipertreelit@gmail.com and please forgive us in advance if we don't write back to you immediately. Tex is fairly anal about reading and viewing everything we get. With your submission please tell us a little bit about yourself.

For the rest of the guidelines and what should not be submitted, go to our Submit Work page.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Deadline Reminder - Music Challenge

Just a friendly reminder that your Music Challenge submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

Quite. SO! You have until midnight tomorrow night to send them in.

junipertreelit@gmail.com





Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Edward Gorey Challenge WINNER!

Please step forward, dearest Jenn Chushcoff, for I promise not to nibble on your toes. I would just like to sniff around your mind for a bit, for there is something truly lovely and dark within that skull.

Your devilishly debauched tale The Initial Murder: The ABCDeath Series is our winner for the Edward Gorey Challenge! Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone for your delicious stories and pictures. I loved them all so much, Marjorie made a few copies for me to gorge on.

Please, do join me as I read an excerpt from Miss Chushcoff's short story:


Edgar spotted his uncle’s top hat bobbing over a distant hedge and he skipped down the marble steps in pursuit. Fog slithered between topiaries shaped into fighting mythological beasts and stone sculptures twisted into awkward poses. It was as if Edgar had stumbled into an eerie game of Touch Freeze. Thankfully, the bodies were draped with swags of moss in all the right places. 



Sunday Poetry






Would you like to see your limerick or poem up on Sunday Poetry? Email it to us at junipertreelit@gmail.com and put "Sunday Poetry" in the subject line.




Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Play It Again, Tex | Music Challenge

This week we have something special for you.

Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor, perhaps?

Close – but no. What do you listen to while you work? What gears you up to take on the world?

This week we want music to be your muse, to flow through your veins and slip out your fingers in letters or pictures.

We want you to create a masterpiece.

Below is a score from Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands composed by Danny Elfman. Listen and feel the music. Shut your eyes and let the clouds behind your lids frolic and form images. Be involved in the violins and the haunting voices. Show us where this music takes you.




In under 500 words evoke this emotion in your readers. Play the story your mind creates. Paint us a picture. 

Artists, please submit one image only. Go to our Submit Work page under "Dimensions" for how to submit your work to us.

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, May 31th. The winners will be announced on Friday, June 4th.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Music Challenge".

You can submit your work as a Word document or directly in the email to junipertreelit@gmail.com and please forgive us in advance if we don't write back to you immediately. Tex is fairly anal about reading and viewing everything we get. With your submission please tell us a little bit about yourself.

For the rest of the guidelines and what should not be submitted, go to our Submit Work page.



Monday, 23 May 2011

What's In a Name Challenge WINNER!

Hello deviant readers,

Today I, Tex, get the grotesque honor of announcing the winner for Underneath The Juniper Tree's What's In a Name Challenge. I was hungry last night so I gnawed off Marjorie's fingers. Sadly, she can no longer type.

No, I kid. I only nipped at her nails before she kindly placed an anthology of macabre children's stories in front of me which I promptly gorged myself on. Now I'm a bit groggy albeit filled with delicious and horrifying words.

Pssst, Tex! Focus...

Oh right! The winner.

And the winner is...Artemis Grey and her piece Pneuma Nix. Congratulations, Artemis! You will be able to read the entire piece in the June issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree but if you are as hungry for words as I am, you will want this sneak peek. And so you shall have it:

Excerpt from Pneuma Nix by Artemis Grey:

Some kids had seen her talking to seemingly no one. They came over and formed a circle around her, leering.


“Pneuma Nix should be beat with sticks!” One of the boys chanted. “Pneuma Nix who can’t be fixed!”


Eidolon hunched her shoulders, her red curls falling over her face.


“Pneuma Nix, you just don’t mix. Pneuma Nix,” He stopped when Victor reached out and wrapped his burnt hand around the boy’s wrist.


“Ow! My face!” He yelped. His right cheek had turned an angry red. “Freak!”




Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Poetry




Would you like to see your limerick or poem up on Sunday Poetry? Email it to us at junipertreelit@gmail.com and put "Sunday Poetry" in the subject line.



Saturday, 21 May 2011

Deadline Reminder - Edward Gorey Challenge

Just a friendly reminder that your Edward Gorey submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

Quite. SO! You have until midnight tomorrow night to send them in.

junipertreelit@gmail.com




Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Hag

Deep in the forest where trees grew close together around thickets made of razor-sharp spines, far in the middle of a poisonous swap sat a splintery house. In that house lived the wicked Hag. At night she would hunt, trapping any animal that ventured too close to her home. She tied them up in a sack and she lugged them back to her lair to eat.

She threw the animals into a large pot, stirring the broth slowly. When they tried to escape she would lean over the pot and whisper horrible magic words into their trembling ears. Their eyelids would grow heavy and they quickly succumb to the boiling water. The steam rising from the pot carried the spirits of the animals through the air. The spirits swirled and mixed together creating a terrifying collection of monsters. The Hag spoke again in a loud, commanding voice releasing the creatures onto the poor, pathetic nearby town of Rud. The creatures would torment the children, collecting more spirits for the Hag.
  
A long, bony girl named Drusilla lived closest to the forest and she was afraid of nothing. Beside her lived her life long friend, a dirty mess of a boy named Crofton – he was afraid of everything. Drusilla knew a secret: the spirits couldn’t hurt children, only frighten them. However, it’s difficult to be brave when a snarling beast is growling beneath your bed, shaking the entire room. The Hag, on the other hand, was not so harmless and had plans for the children’s spirits.

One cold evening Drusilla gathered all the children of Rud. The menacing creatures had to be stopped. Drusilla had a plan, but it was dangerous, deadly. They had to kill the source of the creatures: The Hag. If they killed her then the creatures could sleep the deep sleep of eternity.

The children lined the edge of the forest. The wind screamed past their ears, icy and sharp. The trees’ spidery fingers reached out to grab them. Each child was dressed in rags or sack. They all had twigs and brush protruding from their clothes and bark around their heads. They looked very much like the demons that haunted them. With Drusilla in front and Crofton quivering behind her, they began their descent into the forest. The trees were part of the Hag’s army. They lunged at the children, tore at their clothes and hissed to them.

This way, Olga. Come closer Frederick. This way – thisssss way.

Drusilla urged the children to move on. The toxic swamp would be much more deadly than scary voices.

Once at the swamp Drusilla motioned them to stop, pointing to the slime climbing up the eroded rocks. One tree had grown too close to the poison; half its trunk was eaten away exposing a black tar-filled center. It had fallen across the swamp and landed up against the house. Drusilla began the treacherous trek making sure to avoid the dark sludge. The rest of the children crawled on their hands and knees, not trusting their rubbery, terrified legs. Crofton whimpered as the tar slithered up towards him. Drusilla turned and gave him a brave smile, letting worry wash over her face only after she turned forward again. They climbed onto the porch and gathered under a window. They saw the Hag moving about dumping animals into a pot. Drusilla directed them to surround the house for a surprise attack. She hoped the Hag would see them as the demons she had created coming back for her soul and she would die of fear. Drusilla told them to get ready; the time was near.

As the Hag leaned deep into the pot Drusilla let out a blood curdling shriek and the children lurched forward out of the shadows screaming and hollering. The monster-children charged the Hag but she remained at her pot. Everyone froze; did the plan work? The hag coughed and gagged. She coughed harder and harder until her gagging turned into a cackling laugh. The Hag laughed so loudly it made Drusilla’s blood run cold.

The Hag turned around, “Is that it?”

The children remained silent, afraid.

“You risk your necks climbing through my forest and past my swamp and that’s it?” screeched the Hag. Drusilla swallowed hard. The Hag’s wicked smile turned to a grimace, “IS THAT IT?

The Hag lunged at them, nails out. The children scattered. The Hag grabbed a little girl by the neck until blood dripped out from under the Hag’s nails. Crofton rushed at the Hag kicking blindly and biting her. She took hold of him by the ear and whispered, “I wonder what you taste like”. Drusilla let out a scream that drowned out the yelps of the children and echoed over the swamp and through the forest. The Hag dropped both children, white as death. Crofton looked at Drusilla who looked over at the Hag and then followed her gaze to the window. Through the dusty pane, hovering in the darkness like a million disfigured lanterns, were the creatures. They had come for the children’s spirits.

The Hag was already at the door when she was met with a million more creatures. She pressed her back into the corner of the room. The creatures glided silently into the house; countless hollow eyes watched the Hag tremble in the corner. She sucked in a breath but before she could let out a scream they were on her, tearing her limb from limb into a tiny pieces.

A wave of relief spread across the children. Drusilla could finally breathe and looked over at Crofton

“Crofton, what’s..."

Abigail, the little girl who the witch had dug her nails into, was on the floor breathing short, raspy breaths. She looked up at Drusilla longingly. Then Abigail’s face changed ever so slightly. Drusilla thought she recognized the look in Abigail’s eyes. She looked over at what was left of the Hag on the floor and back at the little girl. Drusilla realized with horror what was so familiar about the change in Abigail – she had the Hag’s eyes.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Edward Gorey Challenge

We have a delightful surprise for you today, crumpets.

Hats made of bird skulls?

No, darling. This week in honor of Mr. Sir Dearest Edward Gorey we will be having a challenge based around him – or more so his work.

For those new to his work Gorey was a "negligibly" trained artist born on February 22, 1925.

I was already skinning coconuts with my talons by then.


Yes, Tex, you are terribly old. 

And clever.

And clever. Gorey inherited his talents from his great-grandmother who was a card-maker.

Coconut skin lampshade-maker, me.

His devastating talent to draw macabre illustrations for hauntingly sweet stories cemented his fame and glory for all time. Edward Gorey passed away April 15, 2000. Please see examples of his work below.


Image #1


Image #2

Image #3


The challenge for this week is to write a story up to 500 words depicting what you think is happening in the above images illustrated by Gorey in the sequence that they're in. Tex will take to nibbling the toes of people who do not obey this rule.

Artists, do not feel left out! Our challenge for you this week is to come up with a piece that represents what you see in your wonderful creative mind when you read one of these lines from Edward Gorey:

"It's well we cannot hear the screams we make in other people's dreams."


"Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin."


I should like a parsley sandwich. To the best of my knowledge they are not in season."


One image can be submitted per person. Please check the Submit Work page under "Dimensions" to see how you should submit your image.


Deadline for submissions: Sunday, May 22nd, 2011. The winners will be announced the following Monday, May 30th.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Edward Gorey Challenge".

You can submit your work as a word document or directly in the email to junipertreelit@gmail.com and please forgive us in advance if we don't write back to you immediately. Tex is fairly anal about reading and viewing everything we get. With your submission please tell us a little bit about yourself.

For the rest of the guidelines and what should not be submitted, go to our Submit Work page.



Monday, 16 May 2011

Jar Party Challenge WINNER!

Is............

Rosemary Youngblood with her piece Jar Therapy that will be featured in June's issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree. A snippet of her story is at the bottom of this post. Congratulations to Rosemary! Part of your winnings is me keeping Tex from taking off with all your toes.

But–

AND some other works of merit who battled for top spot are Artemis Gray with Darkling and Danyelle Leafty with The Jar. Both will be included in the June issue.

Thirsty for more? Other incredible Jar Party entries will be featured here on Underneath The Juniper Tree for your reading delight. Check back often and see what's being kept in those murderously mysterious jars.


Excerpt from Jar Therapy by Rosemary Youngblood:

The little boy raised his head. Beneath the brim of his hat were two patches of skin stretched over his eye sockets and stitched to his cheekbones.
“Can you show us your jar?”
The boy dropped what he had been holding onto the table and reached for the jar in front of him filled with something he guessed must be colourful. He gave it a shake; a happy,  rattling sound rang in his ears. He smiled. “Buttons.”





Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunday Poetry


Would you like to see your limerick or poem up on Sunday Poetry? Email it to us at junipertreelit@gmail.com and put "Sunday Poetry" in the subject line.






Saturday, 14 May 2011

Deadline Reminder - What's In A Name Challenge

Just a friendly reminder that your What's In A Name Challenge submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

Quite. SO! You have until midnight tomorrow night to send them in.

junipertreelit@gmail.com





Friday, 13 May 2011

The Things I Saw - B.J. Lee


The Things I Saw by B.J. Lee 

Would you like to see your limerick or poem up on Underneath The Juniper Tree? Email it to us at junipertreelit@gmail.com and put "General Poetry Submission" in the subject line.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Over The Hill and Through The Woods

Beatrice stood on a hill looking out over the forest. Shadows crawled across the icy field as the sun sunk below the earth. Shadowy fingers slid through the frozen grass and snatched at her feet. Beatrice jumped over the crest of the shadows and started towards the forest.

The trees puffed up their chests, bark cracking and looked down their noses at her. She pushed through them allowing no fear to creep into her mind. The shrubs scratched at her legs, Come here! they hissed, Come play, Beatrice. Come play nice. But she did not stop. She hummed to herself to drown out their voices.

Beatrice felt something small and soft land on her arm. And then another. And another. A storm of feathers swirled down from the trees. Beatrice looked up; the ravens were nearly indistinguishable against the black forest.

Kawra! Kawra! Come catch us, Beatrice! We have something for you! A gift! A gift! Kawra!

The screeching ravens were louder than Beatrice could hum.

Kawra! This way Beatrice, this way!

Beatrice picked up her pace, walking swiftly through the forest, dodging tree branches and angry shrubbery.

Ssssay Beatrissssss...where ARE you going in ssssuch a hurry? Sssssertainly you can sssstay for just a moment. Let'sssss have a ssssnack, you and I, hmmm?

Beatrice stopped in her tracks. At her feet lay a snake with long, delicate fangs. She looked around to see if she could dodge it but it's long, thick body zigzagged down the path and out of sight. Beatrice looked innocently at the furious foliage and then darted to the left but the snake pulled up its body until it was looking down at her and completely blocking her way.

Ssssuch a hurry, ssssister?

Just then the snake cried out in pain. This way! a small voice cried out. Beatrice was frozen in fear. Come on!


This was her only chance; Beatrice jumped over the snake's long, knotted body and ran towards the darkest part of the woods. The sharp twigs of the trees cut her arms and legs while she sprinted through the forest. Her heart pounded in her chest. She ran until she could no longer breathe then she stopped and sat on a rock. Blood gushed through her body.

The forest was growing restless since it had yet to devour its prey. Beatrice began to shiver and her feet ached.

Keep going.

Beatrice turned just in time to see a small orange tail slip into the darkness. She followed it. The forest was closing in on her.

Kawra! Kawra! It won't be long now! Kawra! You'll be ours!

Beatrice stumbled over roots and rocks but kept going.

Clossssser, darling, closssser to me.

Beatrice pushed the thought of the snake from her mind. The voices were bearing down on her and it was becoming too much. Her legs gave way and she tumbled onto the ground and out of the forest in time to see the sun chasing away the shadows and a little orange tail disappearing behind the hill.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cover Art

We are eagerly looking for–

Toes.

Artists for our June issue! Help us fill up these pages with creepy, courageous, colorful images. Submit your work and ideas to junipertreelit@gmail.com and head over to our Submit Work Page for what is horribly unacceptable.

Toes as gifts will be accepted.

Also, we are looking for an artist of extraordinary calibre to dazzle the cover of our July issue. Send us an email with some examples of your work or what you'd like to see on the cover. Time is of the essence, my little dumplings.


Monday, 9 May 2011

What's In A Name Challenge

We are no longer accepting submissions for this challenge.

Hello poppets. This week's challenge revolves around names and their meanings. My name – Marjorie – means "pearl". My last name Merle means "blackbird". Suiting, no?

Like a delicious bowl of doll hands. I could nibble–

Do not bite the doll hands that feed you, darling. So – write us a short story no longer than 500 words that revolves around a name and its meaning. The story can be about anything, but it must include a name and the meaning must be part of the story.

If you're looking for meanings first, a good site to visit is Behind The Name . You can look up meanings rather than plough through names for hours until your eyes shrivel up and fall out of their sockets.


Deadline for submissions: Sunday, May 15th, 2011. The winners will be announced the following Monday, May 23rd.

With your submission please put in the subject line "What's In A Name Challenge". For the name of your document please put your story/artwork name, underscore and your name. Ex: ToesForEating_MarjorieMerle.doc

You can submit your work as a Word document or stick it directly in the email to junipertreelit@gmail.com and please forgive us in advance if we don't write back to you immediately. Tex is fairly anal about reading and viewing everything we get. With your submission please tell us a little bit about yourself.

For the rest of the guidelines and what should not be submitted, go to our Submit Work page.




Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sunday Poetry



Would you like to see your limerick or poem up on Sunday Poetry? Email it to us at junipertreelit@gmail.com and put "Sunday Poetry" in the subject line.




Saturday, 7 May 2011

Deadline Reminder - Jar Party Challenge

Just a friendly reminder that your Jar Party Challenge submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

Quite. SO! You have until midnight tomorrow night to send them in.

junipertreelit@gmail.com





Things To Know

We've had many questions such as:

"Do you eat toes for breakfast AND lunch?"

"Do you accept poetry?"

"Does the moon sing you to sleep?"

How many toes can a Texillian Armadillion nibble in two days?

The answers are yes, yes and yes. 

We accept poetry, of course! You can submit any form of children's literature to us (as long as it abides to the strict and no nonsense guidelines). The monthly issues will be filled not only with the winners from the contests and challenges but also with smatterings of poetry, limericks, drawings, haikus–

Jars of toes, plates of toes, toes'n'mash–

Yes and so forth.

So feel free to send us things we don't ask for as long as it's children's literature or artwork that fits in with creepy children's literature and we would be more than pleased to oblige.

Make sure you put in the subject line to us "Monthly Issue Submission" so we know that's where you want it to go. If you want it just to be paraded around here on the site then say, "Site Submission Issue".

If you have any questions or are uncertain of what/how to send, email us at junipertreelit@gmail.com.

Happy Mother's Munching Weekend.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Slickety Lickety Limmericks

There is nothing tastier than a good limerick. The succulent way they slide off your tongue; how they are pert and never overstay their welcome; their magnitude for morose manners.

My favorite kind of manners, darling.

Write us a limerick and make it snappy.

Chomp, chomp chomp.

We want to hear what you have to say in five or ten lines, no longer, no shorter. Give us your your rompingest rhyme, your daringest dithers.

Deadline for submissions: Never! We will be collecting limericks all month long and the finest of the fables will be going in our monthly issues.


When emailing us, please put in the subject line, "Limerick Submission" and send it to junipertreelit@gmail.com. You can submit more than one limerick but do not be surprised if only one makes it in as limericks are as abundant as rabbits.

Vicious, delicious rabbits.


For more information on what should probably not be sent in you can go to our Submit Work page.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tex's Tale

Texillian Armadillion
Gobbling up words—that’s why I was born…created…devised, perhaps? My origins are an anonymity even to myself.

I live in a mysterious attic filled with wondrous words, floating around the dust the way that invisible notes of a piano float through a concert hall. Marjorie was revealed to me one day when I saw a tiny toe pass through the darkness. I scrambled to slurp up all of the letters and numbers, punctuation marks and blank spaces I could before the owner of this delicious looking toe took them away from me.
I opened my mouth and inhaled.

Like a phenomenal whirlwind, words and parts of words came dancing into my mouth. And it wasn’t until I finished with the words and started nibbling on that delicious (albeit curious) toe, that Marjorie noticed me.

I am Tex.

I am keeper of the tales.

I am an eerie little creature and I prefer to stay that way. I will eat parts of you even if I love you. I will gnaw on parts of you if I am perturbed. Please do not take offense. As some would ask, “Were you raised in a barn?” Well, no. I was raised in an attic with nothing but alphabet letters and old feline skeletons to keep me company.

Do not feel sorry for me.

For I am Tex.

And I am keeper of the tales.

I hear a symphony when I read words. I see a painting when I watch the alphabet letters dance with the dust bunnies in front of my eyes.

If you must use my beloved letters on that white regurgitated wood, please make them count.

For each letter has a tale to tell, a life to live.

With slobbery toe nibbles and a tip of my bowler hat, 



Monday, 2 May 2011

Jar Party Challenge

We are no longer accepting submissions for this challenge.

This is our first weekly challenge!

A Jar Party is not unlike a Tea Party where there are sips to sup and tiny sandwiches to nibble.

Prefer toes to nibble, me.

Exactly Tex: toes instead of sandwiches. That is precisely right. A Jar Party is not a dainty, frilly thing with delicate pinkies and noses in the air. No, a Jar Party is all about What's In Your Jar.

Write us a story up to 500 words or draw a picture (or series, such as a comic strip) about What's In Your Jar, What Kind Of Jar You Have and Where Did You Acquire This Thing (and the jar)? Is it a creature that feasts on flies? Is it goo that goes moo at two? Whatever it is, let us know about it. We love adding Things Unknown to our repatiore of Beastlies.

You can submit your work to junipertreelit@gmail.com and please forgive us in advance if we don't write back to you immediately. Tex is fairly anal about reading everything we get. With your submission please tell us a little bit about yourself, your age and where abouts in the world you live. We will try our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, May 8, 2011.


The winners will be announced the following Monday, May 16th.

For the rest of the guidelines and what should not be submitted, go to our Submit To Us page.