Very excited to sneak some (slightly nerdy?) author news in before the end of the year: Fantasy Magazine just licensed first English world rights to “Children of Earth”(!!!)
Skip this next bit if you’re not into geeky publishing insider talk, but: this news is kind of a big deal because, for writers, short fiction markets operate on a scale from “for the love” (unpaid/for exposure) through various token (small money) and semi-pro rates (little bit more money) up to “pro-market” rates. While I love every story I’ve put out into the world and support and appreciate every publisher and market that I’ve worked with, Fantasy Magazine is my first “pro-market” sale. In real terms, it means (a little) more money, the potential for more exposure and recognition, and it’s also a qualifying step toward membership in professional organizations like the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association. So it’s a real milestone!
There’s a bit of fun backstory to how this all came about. Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s weekly business-for-writers blog is a must-read for anyone in publishing or thinking about/moving toward publishing, and her weekly free short stories were also instrumental in nudging me (back) into writing short fiction. She’s an amazing, prolific writer with enormous range, who just so happens to be married to another amazing writer, Dean Wesley Smith. Together, they own WMG Publishing. Which, in addition to putting out great books, does some really fun stuff in terms of Kickstarter projects & author education workshops. (One of my “when I grow up” big deal/pro author dreams is to actually do a workshop with them in person one day when I have the money/time, lol.) Definitely recommend their online or live workshops if you’re able/interested. In the meantime, I sneak in the occasional virtual workshop when I can.
In Fall 2021, I did a virtual workshop with WMG Publishing called “Writing a Pulphouse Story.” Pulphouse Fiction Magazine is a cross-genre quarterly that publishes “strange” lit. I’d already written “Castoffs” (the body-horror meets humour short story in It Was Only A Dream: An Anthology of Bad Horror Tropes Done Right) by then, so I thought it might be my kind of thing. I blew it so hard on the week 1 assignment. Week 2 wasn’t great either. But for week 3, I wrote “Children of Earth.” Dean, who edits Pulphouse, offered to buy it for the magazine. Which was amazing. But, even better, he said I could shop it around first & he’d still be interested in reprint rights. Solid dude. So I entered it in the Writers of the Future contest and (for the first time) placed, with an honourable mention in Q1 of this year (I later received a silver honourable mention in Q3 on a different short story that I’m still shopping around).
Anyway, a big shoutout goes out to Dean Wesley Smith of Pulphouse, Smith’s Monthly & WMG Publishing for pushing me to get as unhinged as possible and not edit my voice into oblivion before submitting. I also just so happened to be reading Rebecca Schaeffer’s (fantastic, twisted, dark, violent, complex) Market of Monsters series when I wrote “Children of Earth.” So the viewpoint character, “Mirella,” is an homage to Schaeffer’s series, and I suspect the body horror aspect owes a debt to her series as well. A true CanLit horror queen~
Finally, I don’t actually know the launch date or which edition of Fantasy Magazine the story will drop in yet, but I’ll be sure to shout about it when it does. One of the cool things (among so, so many) about placing a story with them is you all get to read it for free when it comes out! They also sell digital (only) subscriptions if you prefer ebook format, want to support the fantastic work they do, or are looking for a unique gift idea for a fantasy lover in your life.
So, if you loved “Castoffs” in It Was All A Dream: An Anthology of Bad Horror Tropes Done Right (Hungry Shadow Press, 2022) but thought it could’ve used more body horror, MORE eco-anxiety and a dash of romance, keep your eyes peeled for “Children of Earth” coming soon from Fantasy Magazine!