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This month, we celebrate the talented team at Quill & Crow publishing house, specializing in extraordinary gothic prose and poetry.

EDITOR'S NOTE
We’re sad to say that this marks the final edition of “You’ve Got Read On You” from our talented writer Michael Benavidez. His schedule no longer allows him to keep up with a monthly article, and we are so sad to see him go. This has been one of our favorite columns, and we love celebrating so many incredible indie authors. We are currently looking for a horror-loving bibliophile to join our team and take over Michael’s incredible work. If you’re interested, please email us at editor@morbidlybeautiful.com.

Quill & Crow is a publishing house dedicating itself to a niche market. Focused on bringing attention to gothic storytelling, they do not limit themselves to simply prose. They have also found popularity among readers and writers alike for their work with poetry. It is this collective of creatives that we will be focusing on this month, showcasing the talents involved in creating this growing quest to spread gothic stories and the poetry with it.

Note: Quill & Crow offers much more than the publications I’ve highlighted below. You’ll also find several books by Cassandra L. Thompson, as well as poetry collections by Spyder Collins and Marie Casey. On top of that, they have released a podcast talking with the talents behind Quill & Crow titled Crow Cast. With no sign of slowing down, they have also started an online literary magazine called The Crow’s Quill. With a love for the gothic, they are bringing with them a class of writers deserving of everyone’s attention.

1. Crow Calls Vol 1-3 (Edited by Cassandra L. Thompson)

Intended to bring poets together from around the globe in the hopes of sharing a mutual love of things dark and macabre, Quill and Crow presents…

Poetry has this talent to fill the void that regular stories cannot. It can often be abstract and lyrical, giving the reader room to interpret the emotions being expressed however they want it to be. It can also be clear cut with a poignant message delivered in a few lines, or paragraphs worth.

The poems expressed in these three volumes – with the third having just recently been released — run the gamut.

Bringing together a wide net of poets, there is bound to be something that will impact the reader. The styles are unique; the words and messages are beautiful and deadly.

This is a collection that demands to be reread and will make you linger at certain passages. 

2. Anomalies & Curiosities (Edited by Cassandra L. Thompson)

A collection that explores the intricacies of the human psyche, leaving you with the curious sense of dread that only gothic horror can achieve.

Gothic medical horror is a pretty specific and possibly niche idea on which to base a collection of stories. Gothic stories on their own are a delicate balance of atmosphere and haunting through lines that merge seamlessly into one another. Adding the idea of medical horror further limits the types and styles of stories and plots within.

Or so one would think.

This a collection of ten stories, from ten different authors. Each is unique and layered.

The sense of gothic dread and time period aesthetic are well at the forefront, giving readers what they hunger for and more. The medical side of the stories brings an added twist, sometimes not as apparent as one would think when beginning the tale.

Each author blends their established style with the macabre elegance one looks to find within Gothic fiction while making full use of the medical haunts.

3. Ravens & Roses: A Women’s Gothic Anthology (Edited by Cassandra L. Thompson)

Penned by a diverse group of women authors and pulling inspiration from some of the greatest Gothic works of our time, these writers have created eleven poignantly beautiful tales of love, tragedy, and the woman’s experience.

As a sister companion of sorts to Anomalies and Curiosities, the introduction to Ravens & Roses gives an insight as to how this anthology came to be.

With their first anthology, Anomalies and Curiosities, they had gathered several submissions that were great but not in fitting with the themes and tone of it. And so they collected those stories rather than discarding them, and created Ravens & Roses: A Woman’s Gothic Anthology.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see Ravens & Roses as a sequel anthology.

Many of the stories have a similar idea to Anomalies and Curiosities, focused and centering around medical mysteries. And yet, they stand solidly on their own. The stories seem sometimes darker, sometimes shifting fully in tone from one story to the next — never outshining the one before it, but rather giving the next person in line a chance to tell their tale.

Differing in another way is that Ravens & Roses now includes interludes between stories in the form of poems. Much like in Crow Calls, they vary in style and length, but add rather than take away from the anthology.

In a way, this feels like a series of campfire stories, with each author offering a new perspective and new way to lure the reader into the gothic ambiance.

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