“We read,” he says quietly, remembering an old quote from a book buried now beneath a grave marked Lewis, “to know we are not alone.” Then he opens his mouth, draws breath, begins reading from the pages in his hands, and twelve people listen patiently, and for a chapter or two in a cold, dark tomb know peace. – The Library
Pen of the Damned is a group of eleven writers dedicated to celebrating dark fiction. Each week we take turns to post a short piece of prose or poetry. The only stipulation is that we explore themes of horror or angst. This is the kind of fiction we most enjoy writing, and it is the kind of writing our readers expect.
While we are united by our passion for dark themes, we each represent our own styles and niches. One or two of our number are predisposed to a little poetry. Others prefer the more traditional horror tale. Some celebrate crime noir, others surreal prose. Over the years we have enjoyed the company of a number of interesting characters, from wolf lords and zombie kings to our ladies of darkness. It is from this variety of speculative brands that Pen of the Damned (@PenOfTheDamned) draws its strength.
What is Pen of the Damned?
For me, the most beautiful aspect of the writing group is community. Most writers know what it means to feel alone from time to time, or if not alone then isolated. Most people are familiar with this feeling. Pen of the Damned is a place where we can share our work with both readers and writers. Sometimes the thought of sharing a piece of writing can feel terrifying, but it is only by sharing our work that we can find out more about ourselves, from the technicalities of our writing to the thoughts knocking cobbled tunes against the insides of our skulls. By sharing we grow as people and as writers, and any group or community that nurtures this learning is on to a good thing.
If dark fiction is your kind of thing, swing by for a couple of Tuesdays and see if any of our writers catch your imagination. (We tried catching our readers’ eyes, but they kept rolling away under the furniture.)