K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) is an award-winning Canadian speculative fiction author, speaker, and creative writing coach known for the celebrated gothic-dystopian YA Dark Fantasy series Threads of Dreams.

She writes across fantasy, science fiction, and horror subgenres (often within the same work) for middle grade (forthcoming), young adult, and all-ages/adult audiences, exploring the tangled webs of society, environment, and identity through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic.

She has been published by Fantasy Magazine, The NoSleep Podcast, The Fairytale Magazine, Frozen Wavelets, Renaissance Press/Presses Renaissance, Hungry Shadow Press, Fiction-Atlas Press, and Virgibooks (in translation), among others, and is the president of the Children's Writers & Illustrators of British Columbia Society (CWILL BC), a member of The Writers Union of Canada, and teaches with the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC).

LEARN MORE (expanded bio, links) or contact directly at: [email protected]

For semimonthly updates and exclusive content, including a free ebook copy of Threads of Dreams series prequel, Under:

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Available Now




Coming Soon

Books

Songstress WIP

Adult SFF: Romantasy?/Romantic Suspense/UF Murder Mystery/Contemporary Fae Fantasy

Progress: Second Round Edits

ETA: 2024

Cave Story WIP

Jr. Teen/Upper MG Ghost Story

Progress: Third Round Edits

ETA: 2025

Caryopsis WIP

Adult SFF: Ecopunk Midlife High Fantasy

Progress: Zero Draft 10%

ETA: ?


Short Fiction

  • Those Who Look At Hidden Things: Dark speculative SFF/H flash fiction/prose poem on mirrors, childhood & the liminal unseen. Publication pending, LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE, 2024
  • The Patron Saint of Flatliners: Dark speculative SFF/H short story on the Vancouver opioid crisis. SFWA pro-qualifying US Market acceptance, ETA: March 2024
  • Slime Story WIP: Humorous SF-lite short story about humidfier scum escaping cleaning. On submission.
  • Twisted Christmas Carol WIP: Horror-historical short story take on the classic delving into Anti-Asian racism & white supremacy in 1920s BC. On submission.
  • Shellycoat WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about everyone's favourite chaos gremlin. On submission.
  • Queen WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about the mad(?) queen of faery. On submission.
  • True Crime WIP: Novelette spinoff of Songstress WIP about a soccer mom, a trickster fae, and arson. On submission.
  • Crossroads WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about caretaking, retirement homes, and a stranger come to town. On submission.
  • Cult WIP: Ambiguous folklore/folk horror? holiday-themed short story/novelette. On submission.
  • Ghost Town WIP: Dark speculative SFF/H short story about Canada's weirdest ghost town & a road-haunting cryptid. On submission.
  • Geopocalypse WIP: Experimental/concept-driven ecopunk SF short story about a new type of climate apocalypse & what comes after. On submission.



News & Updates

Awards Eligibility & Winter Update

Dec 14, 2023

So, yeah, six+ months since the last update, probably a good moment to remind folks that my newsletter goes out every second Monday if y’all want to hear from me more often.😅

Also, before I drop my release list, if you like speculative fiction but have limited reading time, Sonia Sulaiman has put together a great reading list of Palestinian spec-lit that’s really worth a look instead.

Quick round-up of 2023 publications for awards’ eligibility & end of year reading list purposes:

1. Children of Earth

2,900 words in FANTASY MAGAZINE Issue 90 (April 2023)

Eco-anxiety takes on a life of its own in a body-horror-riffic romcom about a goblin-mode girl, toenail cryptids & a shared compost bin.🌿 This one goes out to all the desperate Millennial renters~😘

Read (or listen) free online here.

2. Castoffs

2,000 words in THERE’S NO PLACE (Renaissance Press, October 2023)

A washed-up rockstar searches for home, hope & escape from fae-cursed hunger amidst the wreckage of the career she stole from under the hill and over the sea.

My entry in this Canadian small press anthology on housing insecurity/homelessness is an alternate/experimental retelling of “A Song of Dark Things” and the upcoming SONGSTRESS WIP, which mash up Scottish Folklore “The Fiddlers of Tomnahurich” “Thomas the Rhymer” & “Tam Lin” with end stage capitalism, artistic angst & female rage.

The full ebook/paperback just launched, but send me a message at [email protected] to request a review copy of the story.

3. Spectres of the Old World “Micro-Trilogy”

A fast-paced, time-skip NA/YA Dystopian Fantasy of loss, destiny & inter-generational trauma in an eco-punk, post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters. Spinoff of/parallel timeline to the THREADS OF DREAMS series.

This “micro-trilogy” of novelettes adds up to a novella (28,000 words) and is free to read in KU or send me a message at [email protected] to request a review copy.

General Information:

All releases lean more fantasy than horror (but generally crossover with dark fantasy/gothic or weird horror). “Children of Earth” and “Spectres” include SF elements. “Children of Earth” is the most accessible (& fun) of the lot, while also having the most body horror. (Funny how that works . . .) Wordcounts are given for each. I’m Canadian, so all works are eligible for the Auroras, as well as speculative awards like the Nebulas & Hugos (& Stoker? IDK if any are horror enough this year . . .) My work is NOT eligible for the Ignyte awards. Thanks for checking them out! :)

That’s it for new releases from me this year (unless there are any late-breaking surprises👀) BUT you can find everything existing & announced on this site under the Available Now & Coming Soon sections of the home page—already three short pieces under contract or accepted for next year, with Submission Grinder stats looking promising for another few in short order~

As a general recap, it’s been a weird year. Some high points—lots of new milestones in terms of short fiction publishing, speaking, etc.—but also it’s getting harder to stay focused and keep moving forward as the rest of the world unravels in spectacular fashion around us. So, yeah, no new novels this year! Better luck next year . . .😅

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Summer News Roundup

Jun 01, 2023

It’s really turned into the year of workshops & short fiction around here—not making as much progress on launching the next series (yes there are now multiples waiting in the wings . . .) as I’d like, because there’s just too much going on between the different author societies, festivals, magazines, etc., but it’s not a bad problem to have!

Coming up in the calendar (full event postings in the appropriate section below):

And I’ll likely also be at Word Vancouver in September on Saturdays. Events earlier this year included presentations to the BC Librarians’ Youth Services Institute, Word Vancouver, and Abbotsford Arts Council, along with my usual Creative Writing for Children term-length workshops.

In short fiction, “Children of Earth” was published (in both text and audio formats) in the April edition of Fantasy Magazine (and longlisted in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize), a spinoff “micro-trilogy” of novelettes, Spectres of the Old World, was published from January to February, two new short stories were accepted to a HWA-qualifying podcast and a SFWA-qualifying small press anthology and a third short was award awarded honourable mention in the Writers of the Future awards.

My latest attempt at restocking my short story folder is going poorly—a really fun high fantasy concept absolutely ran away with the wordcount and is stubbornly turning into yet another novel (or new series), so at some point you all can look forward to a deluge of new releases. Another part of the holdup is that there has been a bit of traditional/legacy publishing interest in some of these works in progress. I like to use Twitter “pitch parties” to practice writing hooks and test market interest/create buzz, and happened to get an (agent) full request on CAVE STORY WIP (a MG Ghost Story) and interest from a (Harlequin romantic suspense?!!) editor on SONGSTRESS WIP (a Fae murder mystery/UF), so...
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Read Local! CWILL BC 2023 Spring Preview

Apr 28, 2023

Special thanks to The British Columbia Library Association Young Adults and Children’s Section (YAACS) for the opportunity to pop into their 2023 Youth Services Institute day for a lightning talk!

Watch the replay for a sneak peek at some of the 2023 new and upcoming BC kidlit releases we’re most excited for at CWILL BC, along with a quick overview of bringing BC kidlit authors, illustrators & books into libraries, schools and institutions!


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Fantasy Magazine

Apr 11, 2023

Incredibly proud and excited to share “Children of Earth” with the world. 🎉

Eco-anxiety takes on a life of its own 😏 in this laugh-out-loud climate fiction-meets-body horror-meets-rom com about the dangers of lusting after your neighbour(‘s laneway house) & the pursuit of eco-sainthood in Issue 90 (April 2023) of Fantasy Magazine.

It features a goblin-mode Millennial, toenail cryptids, and a shared compost bin.

You can read it (or listen to the podcast/audiobook version) for free online, buy the whole brilliant💅 April edition as an ebook for just $2.99, or subscribe for even more fantastic speculative lit for under $24/year!

And don’t miss my author spotlight with Fantasy Magazine co-editor-in-chief Christie Yant while you’re there.

Podcast/audiobook version narrated by Judy Young. Longlisted in the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Honourable Mention in the 2022 Writers of the Future Awards.

With thanks to Arley Sorg at Fantasy Magazine for hands-down the best editing experience I’ve ever had, Dean Wesley Smith at WMG Publishing/Pulphouse Fiction Magazine for the killer workshop that spawned this monstrosity, and Rebecca Schaeffer’s MARKET OF MONSTERS series for the twisted inspo (& Mirella’s name).

And it’s kinda a deep cut, but for anyone who’s curious (mild spoiler alert? IDK?🤷), the thing Mirella orders to deal with her little problem was totally inspired by a Lomi machine, so if you guessed that, congrats. 😂


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The Astonishing Case of the Zombie Sub

Mar 30, 2023

I’ve got some amazing news, but first: a quick heads-up on a super short #IndieApril Sale April 1-3 at Narratess!

And, in other news, I’m excited to have just been accepted into The Writers’ Union of Canada! Check out my new speaker’s profile here. I’ll be eligible for funding going forward under the Ontario Writers-In-The-Schools and the National Public Readings programs, so schools and organizations interested in booking an author visit, presentation, or workshop, please get in touch!

And finally, the contract isn’t actually signed yet, but I’ve just had an offer on a short story I never thought would actually find a home, so buckle up for . . .

The Astonishing Case of the Zombie Sub

If you’ve ever tried to create something, you’ve probably realized in pretty short order that a gap (ahem: yawning chasm, void, black hole, unscalable cliff of doom) exists between what you envision and what you’re able to create.

This is true regardless of the form your creation takes and, to some extent, regardless of skill level, experience, talent, etc.

That’s not to say that you can’t get better at narrowing the gap. A baby artist takes time to gain mastery over her tools. But even a master has that final thread of uncrossable, unscalable, ineffable something more to keep her awake at night.

Every story is, at some level, a battle to translate as clearly and completely that perfect, unattainable vision into imperfect words on a page.

Case in point: in 2019 I set out to capture an idea about a girl who chose to silence herself in order to win her heart’s desire.

It was loosely inspired by Scottish folklore—Thomas the Rhymer, cursed to speak only the truth, The Fiddlers of Tomnahurich, lost from their own time and stranded in a future they didn’t choose or understand, Tam Lin, stolen away by the queen of fairies, or maybe the stealer of virtue himself, destined for sacrifice—and set in a remote corner of modern Scotland where slow decline and struggle for survival roils beneath an idyllic tourism-oriented veneer.

My first attempt was the lyrical, folkloric “A Song of Dark Things,” a longish short story that sold immediately to Unknown Realms: A Fiction-Atlas Press Anthology.

But it didn’t fully capture the depth of what I wanted, the underlying motivation and tension. So I tried again. And again.

The third attempt was something new, something vital and alive and completely different from anything I’d written before. It switches perspectives, introducing an outsider’s view and voice, along with a whole new set of problems and possibilities. And it ended up being the start of something far bigger than I could finish back in 2019. You’ll get a look at it one of these days—it’s now the first chapter in the series I’ve been referring to as Songstress WIP.

But let’s circle back to that second attempt. The weirdest one in the Songstress triptych of tales about fae and rockstars and tricksters breaking barbed promises.

“Calloused” was the shortest, strangest, most difficult story of the three by far.

It jitters between past and present from one scene to the next. It’s entirely narrated, the “action” hinging on quiet, fierce interiority of purpose. While it racked up its share of wonderfully encouraging comments (and...
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More News


Events

Write on Bowen Festival of Readers & Writers

Date: Sunday, September 17, 2023

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Location: The Hearth on Bowen Island, BC

Type: Workshop: “Choosing a Publishing Path”

Learn from the past, peer into the future, and define your personal motivations and publishing goals with this whirlwind workshop on how best to share your creativity with the right audiences.

We’ll hash out the dreams (and unspoken assumptions) we bring to publishing, take a quick tour through publishing history, and survey the (many!) current and emerging publishing pathways available to us (including traditional, independent/self-publishing, hybrid, short, serial, pre-professional, & more) in order to match them up to our personal and professional goals.

We’ll finish with a review of next steps toward the most common publishing pathways and Q&A. (Want to make sure your specific question or situation gets addressed? Feel free to submit it in advance to [email protected]!)

...
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UBC MACL Presents: (Re)Imagining Tomorrow Graduate Conference

Date: Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, 2023

Time: 3-5 pm Friday (1-9 pm Friday, 8:30-6pm Saturday)

Location: UBC Vancouver, Henry Angus Building (Sauder)

Type: TED-style Conference Talks

Honoured to have had my proposal accepted for this exciting two-day conference put together by the University of British Columbia Master’s of Arts in Children’s Literature & iSchool programs.

(Re)Imagining Tomorrow: Agency and Possibility in Literature and Media for Children and Young Adults Graduate Student Conference in Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Media & Culture features creative presentations on Friday, June 23 and academic topics on Saturday, June 24, with two keynotes and over 40 stunningly diverse presenters from around the world.

I’ll be presenting “After ‘The End’: Building Brighter Futures in Apocalyptic, Dystopian & Speculative YA” based on the Threads of Dreams series (specifically the final chapters of Burn the Skies) on Friday, June 23 during...
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“Collaborating with BC Children’s Authors & Illustrators” BC Museums Association x CWILL BC Webinar

Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Time: 12-1 pm

Location: online

Type:

I’m looking forward to showcasing all the exciting collaboration possibilities (and successful examples) between local kidlit creators and museums, galleries & other Arts institutions for the BC Museums Association.

I love history, and all of my series so far feature local history and/or scenes set at historic sites around the province (Burnaby Village Museum in Black the Tides from Threads of Dreams, ghostly flashbacks through the last 150 years of Chilliwack’s history in CAVE STORY WIP, and SONGSTRESS WIP takes a detour through a kobold community hiding in Britannia Mine Museum), so it’s going to be super fun to get to connect with this group!

Watch the replay here!


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Past Events