Michael van Koetsveld

My story in Twisted: Ghosts of Christmas is Ear Worm


Michael took a long time to realise that writing is what he likes doing and that fantasy worlds are where he feels at home. A scriptwriter, and currently writing his first novel whilst being Santa for the LSF, he is not averse to wearing a disguise to bring a smile to people’s faces.

My blog entries

Rejection and Redemption by Michael van Koetsveld

I have written literally hundreds of short pieces, to a one-day deadline, to a prompt. The prospect of getting a story done in ten days held no horrors for me.  At the beginning of lock down I joined a group of writers who did the daily tasks for 70 days in a row, completing over 13,300 words in the process, each! I didn’t stop there and have continued this every day since 24th March 2020.

What’s another short story in the mix? Easy, right?


However, writing horror is not something I’ve tried very often, and the main concern I had was whether I could write something horrific enough to be considered for inclusion in the Twisted anthology. My entry for Twisted 50 Vol 1 was rejected. Could I up my game and make it this time?

As a writer, I have often been told that thinking outside the box, taking something that you and your audience know, and twisting it up is a good way to engage your readers.

Well, lockdown for me has presented a combination of imposed quietness and unavoidable noise.

The quietness of the first lockdown, with no planes, cars or crowds, allowing the beautiful sounds of nature to come forward and be noticed and enjoyed was heaven for me.

In stark contrast to that, I have developed tinnitus in one ear. A hissing whine that drives me mad. It’s always there, and I’ve been told that it is something that’s untreatable. In fact, my doctor’s advice was, and I quote, “Just try and ignore it!”

I can’t.

Sometimes it’s intrusive, sometimes ignorable, always frighteningly claustrophobic when I think about having to deal with it for the rest of my life.

That’s when the story idea hit me.

I know that EVERY person who suffers with tinnitus will relate to this.

A couple of hours later and my 1,000 words are done. Throw in an edit, read it aloud, tweak and submit.


Another rejection.

Given that over 230 stories were submitted for a book containing 25, I had an almost 10% chance of succeeding this time, but no. 


Oh well. Chin up. At least I had managed to submit it to the deadline. A mini-win if you like.

Seeing the list of names that had been selected, with published authors in the mix, softened the blow. Who am I kidding that I deserve to be in their company?



That was until a few days after the initial announcement. The selection team had decided that the stories were just too good to limit to 25 and, to my great surprise and joy, I had been included in the new selections.

This is my FIRST published work, and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope you enjoy it, and never suffer from tinnitus like me, or my protagonist!


Michael van Koetsveld
My author bio HERE.


Announcing The Successfully Selected Writers and Stories for Twisted: Ghosts of Christmas

As ever, debate among the judges was heated, but we finally arrived at a list!

Please do leave a comment on this post, and if you are not on the list, keep going, it’s an insane job to judge art. We may also sneak some bonus stories into the eBook too!

I will be in touch soon about when to buy copies of the book so that we can co-ordinate getting on the Amazon Best Seller list.

OK.. the tension mounts… So drum roll please… The successful writers and stories are…

  • Maxine Lennon and Persimmity Glue
  • Lawrence Morgan and Vincent Van Gogh's Ear
  • Josh Shevill and Antlers
  • Andrew Perry and The Gifts of Christmas Past
  • Kurt Fried and Today's Treat
  • Mark Walker and Isabella
  • Ricardo Bravo and Do You Believe in Santa?
  • Helen Bang and The Chorister
  • Suzanne Fox and He Moves in the Night
  • Chris Jeal and Revenge is a Dish Best Served with Stuffing
  • Emma Pullar and Awake
  • Toby Norways and A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas
  • Sherice Griffiths and Jinx
  • Paul Shearer and Family Christmas
  • Fiona Faith Ross and Roasted
  • Jamie Shearing and Just for Christmas
  • Rose Banks and Needles
  • Tim Coleman and The Weeping Widow
  • John Suriano and ComicCon Christmas
  • Claire Rye and Oh! Christmas Tree
  • Suzie Grogan and Life at Christmas
  • Gerry Driver and Santa Sleighed
  • Aaron Nash and The E.D.P
  • Rachael Howard and The Spirit of Yule
  • Gordon Slack and No Heart

Congratulations again, if this is your first time, it never gets old. Your name is on the cover of a book and your words inside it.


What happens next? Contracts will be sent today and will need urgent attention. You will keep all the rights, we just need the right to publish the story in the book. I will also ask you if you can write a blog post to help engage the community - the post will go no this site. And again, we will co-ordinate when to buy books so we can hit the best sellers list.


Thank you also to Mark, Emma, Elinor, Lawrence and Savannah for working around the clock to make this happen.


OUTSTANDING! Publishing date of the 16th December now loking very certain.


Chris Jones


PS - Please do join the Facebook page too at https://www.facebook.com/Twisted50Book