Thursday, 30 June 2011

Last Chance for FREE BOOKS!.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...

That's right. You have until tonight to subscribe to this amazing magazine and you, my darling toe-pie will be entered into our contest to win one of Tex's recommendations.

Oh please, oh pick me. Oh yes, oh yes me!

Tex, these are your books. You already own them.


Collect all your friends and family, get them to subscribe to our feed and then tell us you did that! So easy. Tell us on here (anywhere on here!), Facebook, Twitter or even mail us a letter and we will enter you into the contest. Winner to be announced tomorrow July 1st with the July issue! You don't want to miss out. It's new, improved, decorated and anticipated.

See you there, if you dare...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Zoo - Tanya Andrious (sneak peek)

      She looked up at the sky. In all her time living in England, Elizabeth could not recall the sky ever looking like Hell was about to break loose. The once slightly moody sky gave way to an intense concoction of red and black. 
     The wind steadily picked up speed and the rain turned to a wall of sleet causing the temperature to drop significantly. Elizabeth considered herself grown up; she thought she was mature for her age, what with being 13 and all. Still, slithers of fear began to creep across her body. Then a drumming of hail pelted the path and for the first time Elizabeth conceded the notion that she might never leave the London Zoo.

The Zoo
Tanya Andrious

For the rest of The Zoo plus many more exciting and horrifying tales and art, come back tomorrow for the July issue! 

And don't forget to enter our contest  by telling a friend about Underneath The Juniper Tree. You could win one of Tex's favourite books! 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Edward Gorey Challenge Chapter 2

First off, don't forget about our Friendly Contest! We want to give you free books. It's easy to enter and anyone can enter as many times (as many friends) as they have/want! Please pay attention to what you have to do or else you won't be entered and we want you to win. So.

Good luck!

Since the unprecedented popularity of the original Edward Gorey Challenge, we have decided that this needs to be a common thing (the Gorey Challenge, not the unprecedented-ness).

We, Tex and I, are hereby instating a monthly Edward Gorey Challenge to honor the murky and mysterious illustrator and Creator of Eerie-ness. All those in favor say "I".


I've already counted you. That is two Yays and zero Nays and so here we are. Welcome to the Edward Gorey Challenge Chapter 2.

For this challenge we want to you look very, very hard at the image below. Good. Now write us three sentences inspired by, describing or relating in any other way to this image. And your three sentences MUST HAVE A TITLE (the title is not considered part of your three sentences so feel free to be as creative as you want)!

Artists, your challenge is to illustrate one image that portrays what you see when you read the sentence below:

"Dreadful, dreadful, DREADFUL. He must be mad to go on enduring the unexquisite agony of writing when it all turns out drivel. Mad. Why didn't he become a spy?"

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: Monday, July 4. The winners will be announced Friday, July 8.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Edward Gorey Challenge - Chapter 2".

You can submit your work as a word document or directly in the email to 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, 27 June 2011

Blast from the Past - Fox Edition: Deadline

Just a friendly reminder that your Blast from the Past - Fox Edition submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

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

A Special Guest on a Belated Sunday Poetry: Tim Burton - Vincent

And don't forget about our Friendly Contest ! We want to give you free books. It's easy to enter and anyone can enter as many times (as many friends) as they have/want! Please pay attention to what you have to do or else you won't be entered and we want you to win. So.

Good luck!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

July Issue - Sneak Peek

In next month's issue I will be touching on something very near and dear to me.


The Beast. Most of you don't know about the animal that haunts the shadows in my house. Find out in the July Issue. Come back July 1st for the whole tale as I dive into the story that has become legend of The Beast and I.

The Beast and I – Part I:

I watched him gallop around, exploring the world with his teeth. Laying down, he was already as tall as I was standing up.

It wasn’t long before they were after us. Get that monster out of here, they hissed

Now you can keep up to date with our weekly challenges, monthly contests and giveaways! They are all on the right side of the screen.

And don't forget about our Friendly Contest! We want to give you free books. It's easy to enter and anyone can enter as many times (as many friends) as they have/want! Please pay attention to what you have to do or else you won't be entered and we want you to win. So.

Good luck!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Alliteration Obliteration Winner!

And the winner is –


Tex, please. Chew more quietly.


Thank you. And the winner is...

Sam McKenzie! Congratulations on a job well done. Sam submitted a limerick to us that was not only filled with astonishing alliteration but it rhymed! No small feat, Sam.

Good show.

Thank you to everyone who entered! And please remember there is still time to submit your piece for the Blast from the Past - Fox Edition challenge!! Don't be late or I'll send Tex out to hunt you down and chew on your fingernails. Now, without further ado, here is Sam McKenzie's piece for the Alliteration Obliteration challenge:

How the War Began

I tramped through the trees in Tramine
And tore off the twigs the whole time
My dress made of tulle
Was was ate by the stool
As revenge for my troublin' crime.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Friendly Contest Reminder

Hello poppets. Remember all those free books you want? Don't forget to tell your friends to sign up and have them let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments section of any post on this site. Just let us know!

They subscribe just to the right of this post under the "Follow your curiosity" text in that neat little rectangular space.

Subscribing to our feed not only puts you in the running for your choice of the books below, it also will keep you company while you drink your tea at four in the morning. We all need a little company.

Deadline is June 30, 2011.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

July Issue Sneak Peek

For our July issue we conjured up the horrific and painfully beautiful artwork of Jason Smith. The contest during the month of June was Robots Need Love Too and Jason has taken that concept and ran off with it.

July's cover features the endearing edibility of our very own Texillian Armadillion. Take a bow, Tex.

I can't, I'm made of armor plates.

Then just do the Queen's wave.

Come back July 1st to see the whole thing, lightning and all!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Blast from the Past Challenge - Fox Edition

Hello toe-stuffed dumplings. We have a new series of challenges for you.

I will eat all the challenges.

NOT YET TEX. So – Tex and I were up in The Attic the other day pilfering through a dusty, old trunk looking for moth-eaten scarves when we came across a rusty tin box and in that tin box there lay a bundle of photos tied with a string. Tex quickly snipped the string with his sharp beak and we began looking through what was to become our inspiration for some new challenges.

Yes, readers/writers/artists, we have something shiny and new for you.

The Sailor, the fox and the cat - a mighty trio

In under 500 words write us a piece inspired by this photo. Your piece can be poetry or a story as long as it is under 500 words.

Plus some extra words for me to nibble on.

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, June 29th. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 4.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Blast from the Past - Fox Edition". 
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 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 and please send us your website if you have one. If you don't have one, get one. They are free, you know.

We look forward to your creative mind-doodles!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Contest Time! Free Things!

You asked and we listened.

I don't have ears, poppet.

I listened, then. You want prizes, dumplings?

A trough of goodies for the piglets!

Tex, please. Anyways, prizes.


Goodies. We want to give you goodies but you have to work for it.

Shall I get the carrot and the string?

Not now, Tex. Here is what we want you to do. We want you to successfully encourage –

Forcefully insist –

Oh yes, I like that better. Forcefully insist three (or more!) of your friends/family –

Playful strangers.

To subscribe to Underneath The Juniper Tree.

But how will they do it, Dear Marjorie?  

Easy, Tex.
  1. The referrees click in the box below "FOLLOW YOUR CURIOSITY TO RECEIVE EMAILS ON WEEKLY CHALLENGES, CONTESTS AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE!" on the right hand side of the screen.
  2. They put their email address in it. Voila! Subscribed! 
  3. THEN the person who just subscribed has to tell us either on our Facebook page or on ANY POST at Underneath The Juniper Tree in the comments section that they did this. We will pick FOUR winners. That is TWO referrers and TWO referrees. Each person gets to pick a goody.
And what will those goodies be, Tex?

Well, Marjorie, each winner gets to choose a book from MY library to have as their own.

And how much will this cost them, Texillian?

Nothing, dear. Just two minutes of their time to subscribe to Underneath The Juniper Tree.


So what are you waiting for? Get to it! The more people you blabber on about Underneath The Juniper Tree to, the more chances you have of winning. You can refer as many people as you like but they must subscribe to the site and let us know about it in order to win.

Deadline is June 30, 2011

Here are the books!!

Tex's Library:

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner 

The Graveyard Book 

Something Wicked This Way Comes 

The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey 

The Juniper Tree: And Other Tales from Grimm 

A Tale Dark and Grimm 

The Halloween Tree 

Good luck to everyone!

Alliteration Obliteration - Deadline

Just a friendly reminder that your Alliteration Obliteration submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

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

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Walrus and The Carpenter - Lewis Carroll

 The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright --
And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
     Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
    After the day was done --
"It's very rude of him," she said,
    "To come and spoil the fun."

The sea was wet as wet could be,
    The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
    No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead --
    There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
    Such quantities of sand:
`If this were only cleared away,'
    They said, `it would be grand!'

`If seven maids with seven mops
    Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
    `That they could get it clear?'
`I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
    And shed a bitter tear.

`O Oysters, come and walk with us!'
    The Walrus did beseech.
`A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
    Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
    To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
    But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
    And shook his heavy head --
Meaning to say he did not choose
    To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
    All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
    Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
    They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
    And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
    And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
    And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
    Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
    And waited in a row.

`The time has come,' the Walrus said,
    `To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
    Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
    And whether pigs have wings.'

`But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
    `Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
    And all of us are fat!'
`No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
    They thanked him much for that.

`A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
    `Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
    Are very good indeed --
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
    We can begin to feed.'

`But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
    Turning a little blue.
`After such kindness, that would be
    A dismal thing to do!'
`The night is fine,' the Walrus said.
    `Do you admire the view?

`It was so kind of you to come!
    And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
    `Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf --
    I've had to ask you twice!'

`It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
    `To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
    And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
    `The butter's spread too thick!'

`I weep for you,' the Walrus said:
    `I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
     Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
     Before his streaming eyes.

`O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
     `You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
     But answer came there none --
And this was scarcely odd, because
     They'd eaten every one.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mysteries of Juniper Tree Winner!

This was a FANTASTIC outcome of submissions. There were so many to chose from and even though we couldn't pick every single one, we will show them all off in our July issue so check back July 1st to read all the submissions.

Onward and upward. The winner (or should I say winners) of the Mysteries of Juniper Tree challenge are....



The anticipation is making my skin shed prematurely!

Are DM Cunningham:

Zoe's new book was made from recycled creeping ivy and tonight it would return to its deadly form.

and Alice Fanchiang:

Each nightthe words germinated as he slept, drinking up his twisting dreams and soaking in the dark.

Congratulations to both of you for being so incredibly visual in so few words. And thank you to everyone who submitted. You are all my darlings.

I thought I was your darling.

Always, Tex, always.

Want to keep up to date with the weekly challenges, winners and wonderful writing and art here at Underneath The Juniper Tree? You can sign up with your email in the right bar under Follow Your Curiosity. Don't miss out on the next eerie, hairsplitting, nail-chewing piece of writing. IT MIGHT BE YOURS!

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Mouse - Madeline Daniel

This piece is from our youngest contributer who is a stately 9 years old. Thank you Madeline for submitting such a horribly wonderful piece of writing AND artwork!

The Mouse

“P-U!” yells Izzy as she runs down the hallway. “You’re SO gross! Having you as a sister is like living in a roach-infested dumpster!"
         I am just trying to show her a dead mouse I found on our front walkway. I saw it being ripped apart last night by the owls that live in the nest next to my house.

Izzy is in the fifth grade and thinks she is better than me because I’m only in the third grade. She and her friends think I’m weird, but I bet I could melt them with the poisonous potion I’m making. It’s made of dog food and mushrooms I found outside.

         Anyway, I decide to have a funeral for the mouse. I go upstairs and take a piece of red and yellow striped origami paper out of my desk drawer. On my windowsill I notice what is probably left over mouse guts. I think I’ll use these later in my poisonous potion. I start folding the paper and keep on folding until I have a box. I lay the mouse carcass inside the box and grab a red marker to bring with me downstairs.
         Outside, I look for just the right place. I decide on a spot under our cherry tree.  I choose this spot because it is where I buried a dead bird that I found a few weeks ago. I start digging with my hands. It is hard work because I have to dig a hole deep enough for the box, but I power through it anyway. I put the origami box inside the hole I’ve made and cover it back up with dirt. Then, I recite my speech that I came up with during all my work.
“That mouse was a good creature. His family probably misses him, but it’s definitely too late to save him now I didn’t have much time to spend with him, but I know at the bottom of my heart he was an owl’s dinner. This is good and bad. The good part is since the owl ate its meal, it will stop hooting so loudly. The bad thing is that mouse is dead. Amen.”
After that, I search for a good size rock. I find one and, using my red marker, I write: 

The last thing you heard was an owl "hoo"
Too bad he had to disembowel you

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Monthly Contest Reminder

Don't forget to submit your piece for Robots Need Love Too.

Their toes are so...metallic.

Need some inspiration? Watch this video with pen in hand.

Stories must be about robots. It must also fit into our guidelines in our Submissions Page. Submissions that do not fit the requirements will not be considered so read carefully! If you aren't sure as to what we accept, thumb through our June Issue or scan our site and see what we're all about.

Only the most curious and imaginative pieces will be chosen. Winning images and stories will be featured in the July issue of the Underneath The Juniper Tree. The winning images will also be featured in Featured Artists on the side bar.

When emailing us, please put in the subject line "Robots Need Love Too Contest Submission". 

With your submission, please send us a little blurb about yourself, your name (or alias) and your website.

Email your story or artistic piece to
Submission Deadline: June 25, 2011.
Winner will be announced in the July 1, 2011 monthly online issue.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Cover Artists Wanted - Apply Within

Do you have an eye for illustration? Do you doodle in your dreams? Do words sometimes not make sense so you cut them up and mash them all together until they form the shadow monsters in your mind?

Do you have toes to spare? Maybe even a few f-f-f-FINGERS or–

Settle down Tex. If you are any of the things above, then we want YOU. We want your dark, children's fairytale-inspired art. We want your creative genius splayed on the table under the hot lamp. We want to paint the town red with your art.

Underneath The Juniper Tree is currently looking for artists to fill it's white, ravenous pages with your work. It can be color, it can be black and white, it can be collage or photos or drawings.

Think you have what we want to gobble up? Email us some low res examples of your work to

Can't figure out our style? Check out our June Issue and see for yourself what we're into.

Deadline for cover submissions is Monday, June 20.

In the subject line for your submission please put, "Cover Artists Wanted - Apply Within".

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Alliteration Obliteration

My favourite letter is M. It's a menacing letter. It's maniacal, magical, marvelous!




Quite right.


I'm doing well today, thank you, and yes. This week we'd like from you – you daring dumplings – to write a piece (up to 500 words) that uses alliteration. A great example of this is used in Horrid Haiku by Laurel Kahaner:

"My blocks are more powerful than your Horrid Haiku," the young girl said to the man in the black hat and fur coat. “This block of a T contains tornadoes, Terpsichore and tandemonium, (I really don’t care that the word usually begins with a P). It’s not that I don’t like haiku. I do. It’s just that your haikus are mean-spirited and Terrible. Tremendously Too Troublesome.” 
“I’m about to place the T block onto the A block,” the girl continued, moving the block into place. The body underneath the A block was stiff causing the blocks to shift. 
“Then the Tarnadoes will be Tarrific. Ta.” The blocks threatened to topple. The man looked at the blocks, worry wrinkled his forehead. “Ta is a friendly goodbye in Scottish, you know. Now, if you don’t Toddle off this instant I shall be forced to aim this T at your heart.  I don’t expect the block will find a heart but my aim is strong and I will make you wish you never attempted to haiku your way into my nursery. You are disturbing my block play.” 
The A block began to sigh, “Ahhh, ahhhhhhh.” 
Thrice I’ve told you,” the girl said, “Begone! Or we will build your Tomb in this room. Ta!"
The black-coated man looked longingly at the A and T blocks then shuffled away, trying to create a haiku that could explain the little girl. But he could not.  

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, June 21th. The winners will be announced on Friday, June 26.

With your submission please put in the subject line "Alliteration 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 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.

Need inspiration? Watch this video:

Monday, 13 June 2011

Deadline Reminder - Mysteries of Juniper Tree

"It wasn't just the plants, 
the whole forest of animals were in an uproar 
and Jane's house was in the middle of it all."

Just a friendly reminder that your Mysteries of Juniper Tree submission deadline is TOMORROW!!!

The horror.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Banneret - Artemis Grey

  The darkness had always been empty before, but that night Umbra sensed something within it. After so many nights lost and alone she was no longer afraid of what sort of creature might find her.
     He came with the moonlight, turning in an unearthly dance, his nimble movements effortless and unhindered by the platinum scales of his armor. Frost trailed from the strange knight’s fingertips, leaving faint edges of crystal on the leaves. His features flickered from faerie allure to skeletal bones and back again. In his wake the entire forest seemed to unfurl.
     He almost trod over Umbra’s small form and was astounded to find her gazing up at him in awe.
     “Who are you?” She asked.
     Soundlessly he glided in a circle around her where she crouched. His silver eyes glinted, first curious then threatening.
     In the moonlight his feral visage was argent planes and salient edges - within the shadows, hollows caved into his cheeks and his flesh faded to show the bones inside.
     “What an extraordinary girl to see me and have no fear.”
     He reached out and stroked her tangled hair with a hand that changed from ivory-skinned to spindly bones in the undulating moonlight. Around his legs, fog twined into hunting hounds that snarled at her before prowling away with silent steps. Delicate spiders crept along his arm dropping from silk threads to peer into Umbra’s face.
     “No one has ever called me that.” She stared into his cold eyes and saw how they softened for her.
     “If you think I’m extraordinary then take me with you.” She said, stubbornly, “I’m lost but I don’t want to go back. I can’t go back.”
     “Once you’ve danced with me, you can never rejoin the sun.”      “All the sun ever did was burn my nose.” She made the spiders swing with her breath.
     His laughter cracked like ice making Umbra smile without meaning to.
     “I’m not a gallant banneret come to rescue you.” He warned.
     “I don’t need to be rescued.” She stood up and lifted her chin to look right into his ghostly face.
     He swept her into his arms, twirling back into the dance. Instantly she could feel the song all around them, dreamlike and lulling. The silver spiders gamboled across her shoulders, leaving gossamer strands until she was draped in a glittering gown. Around and around they whirled and dipped, across the grass, over old deadfalls and up the vale.
     “What foolish mortals who do not how marvelous you are.” His words left small blooms of frost along the back of her neck. “I promise I will never try to change you.”
     Umbra’s breath caught in her throat. No one had ever thought she was special.
     “I will take you as you are too.” She returned.
     His smile was first charming then gruesomely skinless.
     In the towering crown of a tree their dance slowed so that they could watch the coming dawn. As the light grew Umbra twisted to hide behind him, suddenly afraid. His body grew sheer, the morning rays of the sun streaking through its fading form. Umbra’s body grew thin too so that branches showed through it. He turned and gathered her close again.
     “Do not worry, my extraordinary darling.” He reassured, his powerful-then-skeletal arms fast around her. “Night is always waiting for us somewhere.”