Crystal Lake Publishing 2021

Fundraising campaign by Joe Mynhardt
  • US$479.00
    raised of $450.00 goal goal
106% Funded
23 Donors
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Crystal Lake Publishing wants to make 2021 the year of Dark Poetry, and only you can unlock it! But don’t worry, we definitely won’t neglect our amazing line-up of Dark Fiction & Horror novels and novellas, as well as two anthologies and projects like our Still Water Bay series, Shallow Waters flash fiction challenges, and author support. After seeing what 2020 had to offer the world, we just want to bring in a bit more beauty and art into the world, and give poets a chance to showcase their work.

Founded in August 2012 by the Bram Stoker Award-winning Joe Mynhardt, Crystal Lake skyrocketed to the top in only a few years, establishing itself as a success story among small press publications. Since that day we’ve received 50 international award nominations and wins (for our books, editors, and the company itself).

Normally we have a medium sized fundraiser at the end of every year, but for this year we're just focusing on the poetry contest. It’ll be free to enter, with a prize of between $200 and $300 for the winner, depending on the success of this 2021 campaign. Your judges will be the award-winning team of Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti (a possible third and even fourth judge to come, depending on the number of submissions).

With your support, we’ll be able to take Crystal Lake Publishing to even greater heights.

With everything that’s happened so far this year, we always look at ways to be proactive without suppressing our output or level of creativity, or lowering our standards. A small press can’t stand still and always needs to be innovative and current. Even before 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, small presses have taken quite a few hits. Crystal Lake Publishing aims to be here for a very long time, and having annual fundraisers takes away some of that risk, and even introduces us to a few new fans. Hopefully, we’ll be able to show you exactly why we’ve become the go to press for authors and readers. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

$300 – unlocks the big dark poetry contest.

The entrance will be free, and the winner will receive $200. We will also have two judges, the award-winning duo of Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti.

$450 – poetry contest upgrade!

Once achieved, this goal will upgrade the poetry contest winnings to $300. We’ll also bring in more judges, since there will most likely be a lot more interest. We are also looking into avenues for publishing the winning poem, and perhaps even a few judges' favorites.

Remember, every Lucky Draw entrant will win something:

- A poetry critique from Linda D. Addison (limited to only 1, this prize will of course only go to a poet)
- A $16.33 gift card code (limited to only 1)
- One month's free membership to our Patreon page (limited to only 3)
- A Crystal Lake paperback of your choice (limited to only 2)
- eBook bundle of your choice containing 5 Crystal Lake eBooks (unlimited)
- Your name as a victim in a Still Water Bay episode (limited to 3, since we still have a few victims to get to)
- A signed paperback copy of AJ Franks' Keep You Cold (limited to 2)
- A Crystal Lake eBook of your choice (unlimited)

Midnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop (just released on paperback and Kindle)
The Featured Author for October on our Patreon page will be Todd Kisling
Jason Parent’s Eight Cylinders
Shallow Waters Vol.7
The Featured Author for November on our Patreon page will be Mercedes M. Yardley
The Wind in My Heart by Douglas Wynne
The Crystal Lake Online Store (before the end of the year)
New website (probably early 2021)
Before He Wakes by Mark Allan Gunnells
Little Sister by Elana Gomel
An anthology edited by Jason Aquilone (and possibly another anthology in 2021, to be announced)
Eidolon Avenue 2 with Jonathan Winn
Jasper Bark’s Draw You In novel
Followers by Christina Bergling
Of Men and Monsters by Tom Deady
Absolute Unit by Nick Kolakowski
When It Rains by Mark Allan Gunnells
Floaters by Garrett Boatman

And since we’re still reading novel and novella submissions from our most recent open submission window, there will definitely be more books to come.

Our team consists of Joe Mynhardt, Monique Snyman, Naching T. Kassa, Paula Limbaugh, Guy Medley, Ben Baldwin, Lori Michelle, Luke Spooner, Theresa Derwin, and an amazing bunch of interns, per project talent, and volunteers.

We strive to work with both young up-and-coming authors as well as and legends in the field. Our books are filled with names like Wes Craven, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, George A. Romero, Charlaine Harris, Jack Ketchum, Mercedes M. Yardley, Josh Malerman, Kevin Lucia, William Meikle, Ramsey Campbell, Elizabeth Massie, Todd Keisling, Jasper Bark, Kenneth W. Cain, Richard Thomas, Joe R. Lansdale, Chad Lutzke, John Connolly, Stephen King, Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon, Lisa Morton, Edward Lee, Adam Nevill, Jonathan Maberry, George A. Romero, Taylor Grant, John F.D. Taff, John Langan, and hundreds more (yes, hundreds!).

We are not a vanity press. We strive to publish only the best in Dark Fiction and Horror. We recently opened for novel and novella subs in an effort to fill up our 2021 schedule. So far we’ve signed on five new titles.

We do our best to offer authors writing opportunities, like our monthly Shallow Waters flash fiction contests (for a cash prize and publication) or our Still Water Bay dark fiction series (1st two episodes free). Still Water Bay episodes is posted on our Patreon page every month, and consists of a team of staff writers and artists. We’ll even have guest authors dropping by from time to time.

We also offer various methods of support to authors, including editorial services and monthly mentoring programs. A few years ago we also started a coalition of publishers to support authors if their publisher goes under (if this ever happens to you, please get in touch).
We have various writing contests and challenges, and offer even more fiction and On Writing support to authors and readers via our Patreon page. We recently launched Write On with Theresa Derwin, where Theresa interviews industry pros for our audience of readers and authors. Starting in October, we will also have featured guest authors dropping by on a monthly basis, for the entire month. Todd Keisling, author of Devil’s Creek is scheduled to be our first guest in October, followed by the likes of Mercedes M. Yardley, William Meikle, John Langan, and Brian Keene. We are also in the process of creating a brand new website from scratch, and creating our very own online store.

We still believe that word-of-mouth is the best marketing around. Tell the world about us. Or...

Support our Patreon page
Purchase some of our books
Subscribe to our Amazon page
Subscribe to our newsletter
Follow us on Twitter
…and Facebook.

Thank you for supporting Indie Publishing.

To show you the top quality we deliver, check out our most recent releases:

Since its founding in August 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books in print, eBook, and audio formats.

While we strive to present only the highest quality fiction and entertainment, we also endeavour to support authors along their writing journey. We offer our time and experience in non-fiction projects, as well as author mentoring and services, at competitive prices.

With several Bram Stoker Award wins and many other wins and nominations, Crystal Lake Publishing puts integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our publishing operations.

We strive for each book and outreach program we spearhead to not only entertain and touch or comment on issues that affect our readers, but also to strengthen and support the Dark Fiction field and its authors.

Not only do we find and publish authors we believe are destined for greatness, but we strive to work with men and woman who endeavour to be decent human beings who care more for others than themselves, while still being hard working, driven, and passionate artists and storytellers.

Crystal Lake Publishing is and will always be a beacon of what passion and dedication, combined with overwhelming teamwork and respect, can accomplish. We endeavour to know each and every one of our readers, while building personal relationships with our authors, reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, bookstores, and libraries.

We will be as trustworthy, forthright, and transparent as any business can be, while also keeping most of the headaches away from our authors, since it’s our job to solve the problems so they can stay in a creative mind. Which of course also means paying our authors.

We do not just publish books, we present to you worlds within your world, doors within your mind, from talented authors who sacrifice so much for a moment of your time.

There are some amazing small presses out there, and through collaboration and open forums we will continue to support other presses in the goal of helping authors and showing the world what quality small presses are capable of accomplishing. No one wins when a small press goes down, so we will always be there to support hardworking, legitimate presses and their authors. We don’t see Crystal Lake as the best press out there, but we will always strive to be the best, strive to be the most interactive and grateful, and even blessed press around. No matter what happens over time, we will also take our mission very seriously while appreciating where we are and enjoying the journey.

What do we offer our authors that they can’t do for themselves through self-publishing?

We are big supporters of self-publishing (especially hybrid publishing), if done with care, patience, and planning. However, not every author has the time or inclination to do market research, advertise, and set up book launch strategies. Although a lot of authors are successful in doing it all, strong small presses will always be there for the authors who just want to do what they do best: write.

What we offer is experience, industry knowledge, contacts and trust built up over years. And due to our strong brand and trusting fanbase, every Crystal Lake Publishing book comes with weight of respect. In time our fans begin to trust our judgment and will try a new author purely based on our support of said author.

To date,we’ve published around 100 books, and with each launch we strive to fine-tune our approach, learn from our mistakes, and increase our reach. We continue to assure our authors that we’re here for them and that we’ll carry the weight of the launch and dealing with third parties while they focus on their strengths—be it writing, interviews, blogs, signings, etc.

We also offer several mentoring packages to authors that include knowledge and skills they can use in both traditional and self-publishing endeavours.

We look forward to launching many new careers.

This is what we believe in. What we stand for. This will be our legacy.

Welcome to Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.


Lucky Draw where every entry wins something (check campaign description for possible prizes)

8 Backers

Shallow Waters eBook bundle (6 flash fiction anthologies in Mobi, ePub, or PDF formats)

0 Backers

Sneak peek / excerpt of an upcoming release (your choice which title, in PDF format)

0 Backers

Poetry eBook bundle – all 6 Crystal Lake poetry collections (Mobi, ePub or PDF)

2 Backers

Tales from The Lake eBook bundle – all 5 short story anthologies (Mobi, ePub or PDF)

1 Backers

eBook bundle of your choice. Any 5 Crystal Lake titles (mobi, epub, or PDF)

3 Backers

Two social media promo posts for authors, publishers, or artists on our Twitter account (over 15k followers).

1 Backers

Newsletter ad space (3.5k subscribers) for authors or industry professionals (editors, artists etc.). Your month of choice.

0 Backers

Short story edit and critique by Joe Mynhardt. And, if your story blows us away, we’ll offer you your money back to publish your story on our Patreon page and monthly newsletter, along with an Author Spotlight interview.

1 Backers

Have your book or author service promoted on our Twitter feed (several posts throughout the month), Facebook page, and Newsletter (with a possible reach of over 25k fans)

2 Backers

You are a most generous benefactor and will have our utmost thanks. To at least try and say thank you, we will dedicate an upcoming shallow waters anthology to you.

0 Backers


  • Joe Mynhardt
  • Campaign Owner


  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 04, 2020
Amount Hidden
  • Timothy P Flynn
  • Donated on Oct 03, 2020
  • Nicholas Diak
  • Donated on Oct 03, 2020
  • Wishing Crystal Lake continued success.


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Donors & Comments

23 donors
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 04, 2020
Amount Hidden
  • Timothy P Flynn
  • Donated on Oct 03, 2020
  • Nicholas Diak
  • Donated on Oct 03, 2020
  • Wishing Crystal Lake continued success.

  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 01, 2020
  • Thank you! Also, I am a poet (one Pushcart Nomination and all) so a poetry critique would be my dream draw.

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  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 01, 2020
  • Erik Hofstatter
  • Donated on Sep 30, 2020
  • Ruthann Jagge
  • Donated on Sep 30, 2020
  • Love all you’re creating!

  • Ben Norris
  • Donated on Sep 30, 2020
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Sep 30, 2020
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Justin Lewis
Ariel Teague
AJ Franks
Carina Bissett
James Aquilone
raised of $450.00 goal
106% Funded
23 Donors