HorrorFest Shadow Realm inc.

Before film, television and computer games, horror fiction scared readers on paper for centuries.
Below you'll find info on the Bloody Parchment chapter of the annual South African HORRORFEST,
its live reading sessions, the short story competition, anthologies in print & eBooks, and more.
Additional links to source books, novels, biographies, magazines can also be accessed,
transporting you to the shadow realm.

Join: facebook

Enter the Bloody Parchment novella competition here

Access Nerine Dorman's official Bloody Parchment blog at:

Penguin Random House

Click cover images below for eBook versions of the Bloody Parchment short story anthologies
Volume 1 is a free download
(See further down for info on Vol. 2 & 3 in print format)

Bloody Parchment 1 Bloody Parchment 2 Bloody Parchment SA Horrorfest

2 0 1 6

26 October 2016

SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment

This year Bloody Parchment's live literary event will again be at its new location, inside the HorrorFest hub,
the Labia Theatre (Wed 26 Oct, 6 - 8pm). Nerine Dorman is back running the show and expect a horde of
ocal authors reading from their dark writings (published and works in progress).
Snacks and drinks from the Labia Theatre bar can be taken into the cinema location.
Expect a wide range of chilling book give-aways (from Penguin / Random House)

EVENT PAGE: www.facebook.com/events/1533378533355104

all details on the entire 12th SA HorrorFest Halloween event can be explored at

SA HorrorFest

2 0 1 5

October 2015

This year Bloody Parchment's live event will move closer to the hub of the HorrorFest activity,
inside the Labia Theatre (Thur 29 Oct, 6pm),
with local author readings, snacks / drinks /
mingling / networking, special guest Calum Waddell conducting a Clive Barker spotlight,
and James Patterson book give-aways (from Penguin / Random House).

HorrorFest Event Page

Wine sponsor: Zonnebloem
Zonnebloem Blooy Parchment

Come dressed up in your choice of Halloween garb and win some cool stuff!

As of the 2015 South African Horrorfest , SA Partridge will be overseeing the
Bloody Parchment literary chapter's live event!

SA Partridge is an award-winning author of four novels and several short stories. In 2011 she was named one of
Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans. As a journalist Sally has contributed to numerous publications
including The Callsheet, The Event, Itch, PopMatters, Dazed and Confused and Music Review

Meanwhile, the short story competition has been upgraded to the novella format!
All info here

James Patterson book give-aways will include:

Penguin HorrorFest


2 0 1 4

October 2014

sa horrorfest

Wednesday 29 October (5:30pm) will see the 10th annual South African HORRORFEST opening with BLOODY PARCHMENT
at THE BOOK LOUNGE (cnr. Roeland & Buitenkant Str.) featuring live fiction readings by local Horror / Fantasy authors (TBA).

Copies of the 2nd and 3rd Bloody Parchment short story collections will be on sale.

Click Here for info on the short story competition.

Straight after at The Labia Theatre (8:30pm) is a free 40th anniversary screening of the legendary original
All details of the full HorrorFest event, 29 Oct - 7 Nov at www.HORRORFEST.info

2 0 1 3

October 2013

SA HorrorFest

On 30 October (5:30pm) the 9th annual South African HORRORFEST will open with BLOODY PARCHMENT
at THE BOOK LOUNGE (cnr. Roeland & Buitenkant Str.) featuring live fiction readings by local Horror / Fantasy authors,
incl. S.A. Partridge, Diane Awerbuck, Toby Bennett, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Zane Marc Gentis, Carine Engelbrecht, Rachel Zadok and Nerine Dorman.
The 3rd Bloody Parchment short story anthology's print version is ready (The Root Cellar & Other Stories),
which will also make this the book's launch event!

Access the Facebook Event page here: www.facebook.com/events/211316549047067
Dress up for Halloween & bring a batch of your most creative cupcakes. Wine and other refreshments will also be served.
To see what else the HorrorFest has in store until 8 November at The Labia Theatre, check out www.HORRORFEST.info

September 2013

BLOODY PARCHMENT: The Root Cellar and Other Stories
In addition to its e-Book version, a limited print run of the 3rd Bloody Parchment short story collection
will be available soon, for those who still love to hold their reads in their hands, feel the paper between their fingers
and see the books on their shelves.

August 2013


Printed versions of the 2nd Bloody Parchment volume Hidden Things, Lost Things and Other Stories are available!
Mail us to order a copy, or head to:
Kalk Bay Books (124 Main Road, Kalk Bay, Cape Town)
The Book Lounge (cnr. Buitenkant & Roeland Street, Cape Town)
Clarke's Bookshop (Long Street, Cape Town)
Bay Bookshops (Cape Quarter, Greenpoint & B6 Mainstream Centre, Hout Bay)

Print version of Vol. 3, The Root Cellar and Other Stories available soon!


July 2013

BLOODY PARCHMENT: The Root Cellar and Other Stories
3rd short story collection available as e-Book !

Bloody Parchment SA Horrorfest
Grab your on-line copy of the latest Bloody Parchment short story anthology (compiled from the top entries at last year's
HorrorFest) at these stores:

May 2013

short story collection cover art revealed!

Designed by Dr-Benway
Coming soon!

Bloody Parchment SA Horrorfest

February 2013

Finalists for the 2012 HorrorFest / Bloody Parchment short story competition have been selected.
All authors to be announced soon.
To stay updated regularly, join the Facebook Group

January 2013

Bloody Parchment

Late 2012 the second Bloody Parchment short story anthology transcended from its eBook existence to a print version.
This was produced by Nerine Dorman, Paul Blom and Sonja Ruppersberg.

Currently available via mail order and at these stores :

The Book Lounge (cnr. Buitenkant & Roeland Street, Cape Town)
Clarke's Book store (Long Street, Cape Town)
Bay Bookshops (Cape Quarter, Greenpoint & B6 Mainstream Centre, Hout Bay)

Early 2013 it will also be placed at other book stores and on-line locations.
(Details to follow)

Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things and Other Stories authors include:
Brett Bruton (South Africa)
Toby Bennett (South Africa)
Jenny Robson (Botswana)
Benjamin Knox (Scotland)
Lee Mather (England)
Joan De La Haye (South Africa)
Stacey Larner (Australia)
Austin Malone (USA)
Mico Pisanti (South Africa)
SL Schmitz

2 0 1 2

October 2012

2012 HorrorFest

The HorrorFest's Bloody Parchment live fiction evening will happen on Friday 26 October @ The Book Lounge, 5:30pm
(Cnr. Roeland & Buitenkant Str, Cape Town)
Expect imaginative authors sharing their twisted work with the audience, as well as refreshments and Halloween cupcakes!
RSVP at the HorrorFest event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/425878747469204
Bloody Parchment Lounge Of Horror

August 2012

For info on the 2012 South African HorrorFest / Bloody Parchment short story competition,

July 2012

bloodyparchmentWith the next Bloody Parchment live fiction reading event again set to kick off the South African HORRORFEST-ivities in the last week of October, here's some more good news:

eKhaya, the digital imprint of Random House Struik, is delighted to announce the publication of Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost and Other Stories. 

Click Here to purchase your copy at Amazon

Bloody Parchment is the literary component of the annual South African HorrorFest held in Cape Town, South Africa, each October. The Bloody Parchment short story competition was established in 2010. Edited by prolific Cape Town writer and editor Nerine Dorman, this Bloody Parchment collection of the stories from the 2011 short story submissions, include Brett Bruton, Jenny Robson, Mico Pisanti, Lee Mather, Stacey Larner, Toby Bennett, SL Schmitz, Benjamin Knox, Austin Malone and Joan De La Haye. The authors of the collection represent a fine international mix of writers from South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Botswana and Australia.

With the success of films like District 9 and Lauren Beukes’s novel Zoo City, the burgeoning South African genre scene is coming to hungry international attention. eKhaya believes that the Bloody Parchment short story competition is the ideal hothouse to nurture new international genre voices and to encourage cross-pollination between emerging South African and overseas talent, and ultimately develop and encourage indigenous horror stories that appeal to a broad international market.

Bloody Parchment is the sort of cutting-edge book eKhaya is looking to publish in its savvy, electronic format and we look forward to a productive association with the South African HorrorFest.

Bloody Parchment is now available at a recommended retail price of just R70. It will be available as a PDF and ePUB from South African online retailers Kalahari.net and Exclus1ves.com, and from Amazon.com internationally.

(Bloody Parchment cover- & HorrorFest logo design by Paul Blom)

Click Here to purchase your copy at Amazon
For a free download of the 1st Bloody Parchment anthology, Click Here

Visit the Bloody Parchment site
Join the Bloody Parchment Blog
Join Nerine Dorman's Blogs
Join the Bloody Parchment Facebook Group

29 June 2012

A Bloody Parchment Facebook group page has been created!
Join the group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/220467498075567

27 June 2012


April 2012

Coming soon, the next Bloody Parchment short story anthology,
published by eKhaya,
the digital imprint of Random House Struik.

January 2012

2012 Bloody Parchment anthology winner and finalists announced
Nerine Dorman

After having navigated chaos, sickness and a festive season’s madness, I’m pleased to announce that the Bloody Parchment judges have finished reading the stories entered into last year’s competition, and that we have the results. We received more entries this year than before, and it was difficult narrowing down the stories for the final selection that went through to the judges -who were then tasked with choosing the winners.

In first place, we have Christina Vincent (Inferna). Congratulations, Christina. You have won a comprehensive round of edits for a novel-length work. Our runners-up are Brett R Bruton (Hidden things, Lost Things) and Jenny Robson (Healing Hands), who have each won an assessment of their first chapter of a novel or a short story.

Our other finalists are Mico Pisanti (Fluoride in the Water), Lee Mather (Masks), Stacey Larner (Duck Creek Road), Toby Bennett (A Few Withered Leaves), SL Schmitz (The Woman Who Sold the World), Benjamin Knox (Wither), Austin Malone (Excerpt for Bryan) and Joan De La Haye (Death Express).

We will now be entering the editing process with the aim of bringing out the anthology in a few months’ time (barring chaos). Release date to be announced!

Then, a big thank you to the Bloody Parchment judges, who contributed their time and expertise. This year the likes of Cat Hellisen (author, When the Sea is Rising Red), Joe Vaz (editor,Something Wicked magazine), Shaun Swingler (editor, Jungle Jimmagazine), Sarah Lotz (author, The Mall – one half of SL Grey) and Carrie Clevenger (author, Crooked Fang) cast their beady eyes over the entrants.

Once again, I must thank Paul Blom and Sonja Ruppersberg-Blom, the organisers of the SA HorrorFest, for all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the fest. The SA HorrorFest is the only horror-focused event of its kind in South Africa, and each year it grows in scope, offering a variety of films, music, literature and more.

2 0 1 1

Thanks to all attending the 2011 S.A. HORRORFEST
BLOODY PARCHMENT literary chapter - audience, authors and the Book Lounge hosting venue.
Check out some press feedback -

Hy Sê Sy Sê:

Books Live:
http://bookslive.co.za/blog/20 11/11/01/bloody-parchment-2011 -gripping-psychological-terror -at-the-book-lounge/

[ See below for info on the event ]


It’s October, which means it’s time to carve your pumpkins and stock up on sweet treats for Halloween.
The South African HORRORFEST’s BLOODY PARCHMENT literary chapter will open the 7th annual instalment of
Cape Town’s ultimate Halloween festival on October 26th.
It will once again take place at the Book Lounge - 71 Roeland Street, 5.30pm for 6pm.
Dress up as your favourite ghoul, witch, wizard or monster and join us for a literary evening of chills and shivers
as local authors such as Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and SA Partridge, among others, share dark, macabre or downright spooky tales.
In addition we also bring together the masterminds of local horror in a panel, so here’s your chance to hear what they have to say
about what special brand of terror South Africans are bound to unleash in print and film.
As if this isn’t enough incentive to attend, prizes will be awarded to the best costumes (incl. Penguin books and Phantom Sambuca).

Bloody Parchment is convened by Nerine Dorman
For further enquiries, email nerinedorman@gmail.com or call 082 958 3631
Free download of the first Bloody Parchment short story anthology below

The film chapter of the HORRORFEST and alternative market will be hosted at The Labia Theatre (Orange Street, Gardens).

South African HORRORFEST


Bloody Parchment Vol I
Flamedrop Productions & the S.A. HorrorFest in association with Nerine Dorman
is proud to announce the first Bloody Parchment short story collection!

Download here for free!

Below are some of the books up for grabs at the 2011 South African HORRORFEST

(courtesy Penguin Books SA)

bloody valentine
devils edge
vamp academy
wine angels


(2011 competition is also now closed)


The judges have passed their verdict.
The favourite dark tales entered into the South African HORRORFEST's first Bloody Parchment short story competition have been selected.   The Top 3 stories will appear on the Something Wicked Magazine site
and an on-line anthology of the Top 10 - 13 tales will be published soon.
A print version may also be in the piepline in association with Something Wicked.
(head back here for more info)

Thank you so much to everyone sending in their stories.
We foresee this to become a notable platform for Dark / Horror / Fantasy writers.
And a very special thanks to Nerine Dorman for overseeing this chapter of the HorrorFest, and her selection of judges.

The 2010 Bloody Parchment top choices include :

1st Choice:
New Lease On Life by Liam Kruger

Tied at 2nd:
The Depths by Carol Hone, and Strange Fruit by Rachel Green

3rd Choice:
Apartment 415
by SA Partridge

4th Choice:
1301 by Chris MillerFurther commendable stories (in no particular order) include:
Clear Black Glass by Carine Engelbrecht
Regrets, Sunday Afternoon by Rachel Green
Burden In My Hand by Damon Yeld
The Night Walkers by Wendy Cockcroft

We're looking forward to reading the 2011 entries!
(which will be open in August - head back here for updates)


The literary chapter added to the South African HORRORFEST in 2009 will be expanded
in 2010 to include a short story competition!
(The Lounge Of Horror live reading event will also return)

BLOODY PARCHMENT, under the auspices of the South African HORRORFEST, would like to invite all published and unpublished writers of dark fantasy and horror fiction to submit their short fiction (no more than 3 500 words), flash fiction (no more than 1 000 words) and drabbles (no more than 100) words, within the horror and dark fantasy genres, as part of this year's SA HORRORFEST.
The first prize includes one round of professional editing of a novella or novel-length work, with prize-hampers for best runners-up in the short story, flash or drabble categories.

The Top 3 Stories will be published on-line at Something Wicked.co.za

Bloody Parchment will publish an anthology of the top 13 finalists, to be released in anticipation of the 2011 SA HORRORFEST.

Submission guidelines:
Email your entries to nerinedorman@gmail.com as attached .rtf or .doc files and place : "Submission: Bloody Parchment 2010 - [insert author name]" in the subject line. Standard manuscript format applies (Times New Roman, 12pt font; indented paragraphs; double spacing). Please include your contact details (full name, pen name, email address and telephone number if South African resident). This competition is open to South African and international entrants.
Please be a darling and read our rules and regulations for the finer details. The competition is open until August 31, 2010. Winners will be notified by e-mail, and announced on the HORRORFEST websites:

Check out the BLOG for updates

Rules and regulations:

1. The entrant confirms that s/he is the original author of the work and has full copyright of the submitted work and that it is not subject any publication restrictions as a result of prior obligations (including, but not limited to previous publication) or disputes.
2. The entrant confirms that the work s/he submitted does not violate the trademarks, copyright, and/or rights of others and that any liability that may arise from their work will be solely theirs.
3. The entrant accepts that by entering this contest no obligation (direct or implied) exists for the submitted work to be published and/or any compensation accruing to the entrant.
4. The entrant will retain copyright of the submitted work. In the event that the work should be selected as a finalist in the contest, the entrant agrees upon submission that the contest organisers may publish in hardcover and electronic format an anthology containing their work (properly attributed to the author).
5. The entrant accepts without reservation that the decision of the contest judges are final and that no further correspondence will be entered into.
6. The contest is open for submissions from midnight on (June 1, 2010) until midnight on (August 31, 2010).
7. The contest is for short original fictional work written in UK or SA English within the theme of Halloween, horror, urban fantasy or dark fantasy. No fan fiction will be accepted. Work that is not narrative-driven and/or containing explicit and gratuitous violence, sex or any form of bigotry will be rejected.
8. The submitted work must not exceed (3 500) words in length and must be a complete work, not an extract from a longer piece.
9. A submission must be in the following format (or it will be rejected without correspondence to the entrant): an email attachment, saved as a rich text file (.rtf), only the title (without the author's name, which will be recorded according to rule 10 below) and the text, no images or graphics, Times New Roman, 12pt font, double line-spacing, with page numbers in the right bottom corner of each page. The author's name should not appear in the attachment since the judging process relies on the majority of the judges not being aware of the author's identity-those works that are selected as finalists will be reunited with the correct author name before the finalists are announced.
10. Submissions must be sent to the following address only: nerinedorman@gmail.com with the subject line: "Submission: Bloody Parchment 2010 - [insert author name]".
11. The entrant accepts that once a work has been submitted it cannot be updated/edited in any way whatsoever by the entrant, other than changes that may be recommended by the judges of the contest. Resubmissions of works already submitted will be ignored.
12. The entrant undertakes not to withdraw a work once it has been selected as a finalist (barring cases where the contest organisers become aware of a violation of these rules or any other serious transgression involving the submitted work).
13. The contest organisers do not have the administrative capacity to enter into correspondence with entrants and will not confirm receipt of entries; entrants are advised to utilise the "request delivery receipt" function available with many email applications.
14. The entrant acknowledges that any violation of the letter or spirit of the above contest rules will lead to the immediate disqualification of his/her submission.

Impress us
We do not claim to know what makes the perfect story, but as we are the judges and we get to choose the winner, it's only fair that we give some idea what we are looking for. In short, we are going to give the prize to the story that impresses us most and irritates us least. We don't think we're particularly irritable but with a stack of submissions to narrow down to a few winners, any small thing is likely to condemn a story to the larger pile. It's much easier to describe what will irritate us than what will impress us, so we've done that below.
More importantly, what will impress us is a narrative based story with strong characters and an interesting plot. We know that's what everyone says and that in spite of the huge amount that has been written on the subject, it still defies definition. We're not going to try to define it here because we're looking forward to reading entries that show us what it means. If you're looking for a concise description no more than a click away, we recommend http://www.internet-resources.com/stash/weirdtales-1.html.

As this is part of the South Africa Horrorfest, we are looking for stories of horror or dark fantasy. We are not going to be prescriptive about what that means as our definitions are fairly broad. A horror story need not contain a supernatural element, nor must a dark fantasy story give us nightmares. All we really ask for is the sense that the story belongs on the dark side.
Having said that, simply inserting an element associated with the darker genres will not be enough. A romance story about a tall, dark handsome vampire is still a romance story. A crime story about a demonic detective is still a crime story. Which leads on to the list of things that will irritate us.

Things guaranteed to count against you:

Bad usage
We are not going to throw your story out for one spelling mistake but we are all in love with the English language and we don't like to see her abused. Besides, repeated misspellings and grammatical errors are guaranteed to irritate.

Any characters or settings still under copyright are likely to get us sued if we publish them. The idea of being sued irritates us so much that if we're in any doubt, we're not going to touch it even if the story is brilliant. As a general guide, anything published by Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/) is in the public domain.

Your characters may be as bigoted as you like but we're all pale livered liberals and will be irritated by the sense that a story is derogatory toward any particular group of human beings. We don't mind stories derogatory toward imaginary beings.

Derivative stories
Between us, we've read quite a few books and seen quite a few films, and if any of us think a story is a rehash of one of them with slightly different characters, we are likely to be irritated. That's not to say that a story can't share ideas with other stories or films, and in fact it's practically impossible not to, but retellings nearly always have the sense of being second rate.

Twilight knock-offs
Need we say more?

Things that may count against you if not handled carefully:

Gratuitous sex
There's nothing wrong with a bit of sex in a story, but the competition is part of the Horrorfest, not the Sexpo, and we are not looking for erotica.

Gratuitous violence
As with sex, violence may be an essential part of the story and we enjoy a good punch up as much as the next reader, but pornographic descriptions of violence get boring very quickly.

Excessive gore
We are not particularly squeamish and we are asking for horror stories, but gore is another element that gets boring when overdone.

There are probably things that we need to know in order to care about the characters and understand the setting, but conveying information is a way that makes us feel we are being given an orientation briefing by the author is not conducive to a good narrative.

Tropes such as vampires, werewolves, serial killers, etc.
These are staples of horror and dark fiction and we believe they have a lot of life in them yet. However, the fact of their being tropes also means that a lot has been done with them so a story that uses them will need to do something new.

Trying to shock us
We believe we are immune to being shocked. It may be interesting to be proved wrong, but depending on shock value to the exclusion of narrative and characters will not give us the impression that we are reading a good story.

The 6th annual South African HorrorFest Film Festival ran from 28 October - 5 November 2010
at The Labia Theatre on Orange Street, Cape Town, ZA

Announcement: Shadow Realm's Paul Blom is now South African correspondent for the world renowned FANGORIA MAGAZINE!
His first assignment was
covering Neil Marshall's DOOMSDAY which shot in Cape Town, as well as the LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake

© 2013 - Flamedrop Productions