Hodder is publishing a new anthology of short stories selected and introduced by bestselling writer Stephen King.
Six Scary Stories will be published as an e-book on 25th August in the UK and Commonwealth by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £1.99, and in the US by Cemetery Dance Publications.
King discovered the "gripping and chilling" stories when he judged a competition run by Hodder & Stoughton and The Guardian to celebrate publication of his own collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. It invited unpublished short story submissions with the prize of a Guardian weekend masterclass with Philippa Pride, King’s UK editor, up for grabs, as well as online dissemination of their story on promoters' websites.
King was reportedly "so impressed" with the entries that he recommended they were published together in one book.
The anthology comprises: "Wild Swimming" by Elodie Harper, who has since secured a two-book deal with Mulholland Books after winning the competition; "Eau-de-Eric" by Manuela Saragosa; "The Spots" by Paul Bassett Davies; "The Unpicking" by Michael Button; "La Mort de L'amant" by Stuart Johnstone; and "The Bear Trap" by Neil Hudson.
The stories will "make you think twice before cuddling up to your old soft toy, dipping your toe into the water or counting the spots on a leopard", say publishers.
King said on his Facebook page on Friday (1st July): "I was stunned—and absolutely delighted—to discover these six stories. In each and every one there was that icy frisson of fear, that quick stab of the literary ice-pick, that we look for in tales of horror, terror, and the supernatural."
Pride, Stephen King’s UK editor, said: "It's typically generous of Stephen King – who is renowned for encouraging new writers – that he recommended these six stories were published together in one book for which he has written a charming introduction. Hodder are delighted to champion the stories of these six talented authors, each of which showcases the art of the short story form."
King’s own collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is due on 6th September.