Writing in a Round Robin: Arkham World’s Fair – The Challenge From Beyond (HP Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con 2023)

Writing needs to be a contact exercise. In the summer, I wrote a story with four other writers in a round robin for the 2023 HP Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulhu Con in Portland, Oregon. There are two other festivals — Rhode Island and Mississippi. We started with a theme “space” and spun off from there.

The story was printed in a double book reward for their Kickstarter (ended up making $62K), first and only printing of 300 copies. It is available on the Arkham Bazaar. While HP Lovecraft’s personal philosophies are tenuous in the modern days, the community of cosmic horror admirers show-up! This gets me excited, because I love writing cosmic horror (genre referencing HP Lovecraft’s style, themes, and monster types). I have a cosmic horror story coming out in 2024 about a ghost ship’s voyage in 1880.

I really like how the story turned out. The main character has a strong arc, starting from scraping gum from the bottom of her shoe at a seaside boardwalk to the weird alternate universe of Arkham. H.P. Lovecraft world comes alive in the journey. I re-read The Dreams in the Witch House and was obsessed with the little fanged furry thing and had to include Little Brown Jenkins in the round-robin.

I loved the flow and exchange of ideas with other writers. Writers should get together more often to construct stories or poetry more often. Stack your sentences. Weave your follies. While its fun to brainstorm ideas, putting the words together are a magical experience.