Awards Context

I won’t lie, I like getting awards.  Sometimes it’s simply nice to get recognition from your peers or your fans.  Sometimes you just need that little boost to feed the self-confidence machine.  Sometimes they’re just fun.  For example, when I was in college and still deciding if I wanted to give writing a shot, I entered a short story contest through my school and received an honorable mention (it also came with a shirt, but I may or may not have slept in it every night until it was nothing but threads.  Then gave the threads a viking funeral).

A few years later, at the very first horror convention I attended, the World Horror Convention, I came in fourth place in their short story contest (the true award being receiving my certificate from Neil Gaiman).

The following year, I took first place in that contest.  In a side note, apparently we were going for a POC sweep of that year’s awards:  I took first place in the short story contest; Chesya Burke took first place in the flash fiction contest; however, Wrath James White let the team down by taking second place in the Gross Out Contest (losing to one, Mr. Cullen Bunn).  Also, WHC 2011 is holding a short story contest again, which has just opened for submissions.

I have gone a few years without any recognition.  Well, that changed this past weekend at Context when I received Shroud Publishing’s Hiram award for “The Smasher of Sterotypes.”  To wit:  “He’s charming, a minister of the Christian word, African-American, and snappily dressed – an impossible convergence in a horror writer.”

The Smasher of Stereotypes

And it came with a trophy.

Because sometimes awards are just fun.


A Couple New Stories Out…

My story “Hootchie Cootchie Man” is in the current issue of Black Static (#14). Look at this beauty:
It was reviewed on The review reads in part:

The eponymous ‘Hootchie Cootchie Man’ by Maurice Broaddus is a car thief who steals to order – but the order is placed by those wishing to ditch their cars by leaving a couple of hundred dollars under the floor mat. Nathaniel gives a girl a lift and then keeps running into her over the next few hours, as ‘Like a desperately needed word on the tip of his tongue, Nathaniel was on the verge of realizing an important truth.’ There is something slightly reminiscent in tone of Broaddus’ spare prose of Michael Moorcock, in that Nathaniel is somewhat iconographic in the same way as Jerry Cornelius and the Eternal Champion. The pick of the issue.

And here is the Amazon review (and the Horror News Net) which reads in part:

“Closer Than They Appear” is far and away the best tale in the issue, a painful story of self-doubt, self-hatred and self-destruction that rocked my ass in three pages flat.


*I know, I’ve just made Jason Sizemore weep in his coffee.


Death comes for the cast and crew of the hit comedy TV Show Chocolate City, impacting not only their personal lives but the prospect of their show’s continued success. As each member sinks into their own past, and the spirits of those that came before, the tragedies continue.

Maurice Broaddus weaves a tale of intimate nightmare and dark discovery in a compelling exploration of humanity’s relation not only to his own mind and soul, but also to the ghosts of days gone by—personal and ancient.

When your terror comes to claim you, who will it be?


“There are fewer greater pleasures in a reader’s life than witnessing a writer whose work they have enjoyed reached a new plateau in their storytelling skills, and such is the case here; with The Devil’s Marionette, Maurice Broaddus comes into his own as a writer of dark fiction. It is the brilliance we’ve all been waiting for, and Broaddus delivers in a voice that both whispers and roars and cannot be ignored.” — Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Award-winner Gary A. Braunbeck, author of Mr. Hands, Destinations Unknown, and Coffin County

Announcing Devil’s Marionette, a limited edition novella by Maurice Broaddus, available now from Shroud Publishing.

It started with a stamp.

As with most things with me, this led to a blog. You see, I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. It was an image that spoke not only to a history of how black people were seen, but to attitudes that are all to present today. The ideas, and outrage, associated with this began percolating in the back of my head.

“You can’t consider the history of “racial masking” – or the history of American show business – without talking about Bert Williams.” – David Mills

I ran across an image of Bert Williams in full make up. The burnt cork black face that was a part of his act. A black man who performed in black face. It was a powerful image, this proud man, a sad clown. In one picture, the image managed to capture the dehumanizing aspect of racism and the sacrifice required to muddle through its treacherous waters.

And the responsibility of the artist.

You see, as a black artist, one of the things I struggle with is my responsibility to not perpetuate negative images of my community. However, I have to balance that against being true to my craft. What would you do, what would you sacrifice, to be able to do what you are passionate about? Because at the time, I was seeing some absolute garbage hit the television airwaves and coming out on the big screens which amounted to little more than cooning for a mass audience. And I was angry. Because all black artists should be haunted by the specter of Bert Williams and his dilemma of sacrificing his personal dignity in pursuit of the art he loved so much.

So I raged some more and it became a novella.

Gary Braunbeck
seemed to like it. I hope you do too.

Celebrating for My Friends

Alice Henderson’s book, VORACIOUS, is now out! It was also picked up by five book of the month clubs, including Book of the Month Club, BOMC2, The Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and the Science Fiction Book Club. So Penguin is doing a special hardback edition of it for that! Yay!

Here’s a link to the book on Penguin’s site.

I’d like to officially give a hearty congratulations to Simon Wood and all of his recent success. I can’t wait for his blog on his recent adventures.

And in a semi-self-serving announcement (all will become clear at a future date), some good news about Shroud Publishing:

For the past several months, Shroud Publishing has been working very hard to get Shroud Magazine into the Ingram Periodicals machine, so that Shroud can potentially be distributed through Ingram’s chain partners and independent retailers in the United States and Canada. The dream – and goal – would be that Shroud Magazine would grace the shelves of every Barnes & Noble and B. Dalton in the country.

As of today, Ingram Periodicals ordered 1400 issues of Shroud Magazine, Issue #6. This is huge, of course. Here’s the rub: these issues have been ordered, not paid for, so that means Shroud needs to generate revenue for the print run. THIS is a big issue for folks to advertise in, so because of this, Shroud is offering special rates for Authors and small press publishers.

More Details:

Purchase a quarter page ad for the nationally distributed Issue #6 of Shroud. This offer is limited to the first 100 ads. In addition to a number of online retailers and national independent book stores, Shroud will be available across major retailers in the US and Canada beginning in MAY!

This is a fantastic opportunity for independent authors, publishers, artists, designers, photographers, and musicians to gain the exposure they need to sell their work. In an effort to provide cost-friendly exposure to my creative brethren, AND to fund this print run, they are slashing their quarter-page ad rates for Issue #6 by 40%. This means a $50 ad will now be available for $30.

You can find the rate card and advertising information here.

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