Literally Lyndsey

Autumn 2023

Welcome to this Autumnal instalment of Literally Lyndsey. Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!

Writing News

New work!

  • ‘The Constellations of Daughter Death’, a story about Death’s daughter and what she brings to the below-world, is now free to read in Flash Fiction Online! This is a total dream market, so I’m really pleased to sell one of my favourite weird stories there!

  • ‘Sleep Well, My Prince’ in Luna Station Quarterly - a mining ship detects a mysterious signal from a missing ship, one that the Captain has a secret connection to. A Sleeping Beauty retelling in space!

  • ‘Sugarspun’ in Hexagon Magazine, Issue 14, now free to read! A dark cosmic tale of love and communication.

NEVER GONE & other tiny haunts

Something slightly different and fun for the spooky season, but I’ve made a chapbook of seven tiny tales of ghosts and hauntings - it’s free to download and read here! Would love to hear what you think if you read it, it’s my first foray into this sort of design thing 👻

Coming in October!

  • ‘To Gut a Fish First Gather its Bones’ will be published in Monster Lairs, from Dark Matter INK, edited by Anna Madden. This is a Scottish-folklore-inspired tale based on the tale of the Marool, a fish-like sea monster from Shetland. You can pre-order the anthology now!

  • Please Select Your Issue’ a dark tech flash piece will be in Apex Magazine’s Strange Machines: An Anthology of Dark User Manuals, edited by Marissa van Uden.

  • ‘Seedseeker’ in Salt & Mirrors & Cats Podcast - I was delighted to be invited to write something for this magazine and podcast. The podcast episode is coming soon, including an interview, and the story narrated by myself. It’s a Scottish folklore-inspired hopeful dystopian tale inspired by hagstones or seer stones. The magazine will be out later in the year!

  • Be Still, Iron Heart’, originally published in MYRIAD Zine is being reprinted in Space Cat Press’s new anthology Bark & Bone - it’s a forest-themed anthology that is the first in their series of ‘Wilding Worlds’. Here’s their latest very cool cover reveal!

Some recent acceptances!

  • My story ‘The Loneliness of Water’, originally published in Hexagon Issue 12, is going to be reprinted in Flame Tree Press’s upcoming anthology Shadows on the Water. These books are so beautiful and can’t wait to see this one come out in January!

  • Rent-A-Baby: Content Without the Commitment’ will be in the amazing-looking Thank You For Joining the Algorithm, from Tenebrous Press (check out the super cool cover below!)

  • ‘Faceless’ my seasonal tale of creepy dolls will be published in a future Tales to Terrify Podcast episode.

  • I’m still holding onto some vague short story news until I sign contracts - one very exciting horror anthology, and three magazines that I wouldn’t have believed I’d be in if you’d told me a year ago! Feeling really proud of how my short fiction is going lately - more news soon!

What I've Been Reading

  • ‘Venomous Lumpsucker’ - I’m about halfway through and although this is sort of depressing as a policy nerd working in environment policy because it feels way too real, it’s also extremely funny - satire at its best and I’m excited to finish it!

  • ‘I Am AI’ a novelette by Ai Jiang from Shortwave Publishing - another excellent and darkly prescient story, about a future dystopian automated world!

  • I also had the pleasure of beta-reading a friend’s wonderful nautical hijinks fantasy novel this month, and had such a fun time with it! I hope it will get snapped up soon so that I can share more details, and make sure folks get it on their shelves!

Other News and Events

  • The Shoreline of Infinity Special Climate Change Issue is out now! I’m so proud of this issue, and excited for folks to read it! The e-book is available for purchase here, though print copies are slightly delayed. Kickstarter backers should have the e-book already, and I believe other rewards packages will be fulfilled in the next week!

  • A monthly wee reminder, if you have read Have You Decided on Your Question, it would be amazing if you’d like to consider leaving a rating on Amazon or Goodreads! We’re getting closer to the 50 needed for the algorithms!

Submission Calls

Scottish Folklore of the Month

I spent the start of October travelling the Highlands & Islands with a friend visiting from Canada (hence the delayed newsletter!), and it’s been so lovely being a tourist where I grew up, as well as a very rainy but stunning visit to Skye. While there, I was reminded of a fair few folk tales and local folklore, so to mark the trip I’ve written a short blog on my website of folklore and folk tales from the Highands & Islands - read it here, but here’s a snippet from one of my favourite folk tales from around Inverness!

The Fiddlers of Tomnahurich Hill: Tomnahurich Hill overlooking Inverness is said to be a fairy hill – and fairies are often at the centre of mischievous deeds. Here, two fiddle players fell victim to a trick when they were invited by a mysterious man to play music at a party. With the promise of gold, fine food, and ale, they followed the man, to be greeted with a grand party atop Tomnahurich Hill. They played their music until dawn when the mysterious man paid them and bid them farewell. The night of festivities over, they wandered back to Inverness. But everything looked strange – the town and buildings had changed, and even the people were dressed differently. They wandered aimlessly, coming eventually to a church where they found their names engraved on a tombstone. Alarmed, they ran to find the Minister, but on passing the threshold of the Church the gold turned to leaves in their hands, as they themselves turned to dust.

The fiddlers had been tricked in the Kingdom of the Fairies, where they had played music for not only one night but 100 years. I first found this tale in a book from the 1800s while researching for my Scottish folklore collection, and I just loved this idea of time-travelling magic! Now the Hill is the site of a cemetery, which was quite the unique walk, with an eventual lovely view across Inverness

What I’m Working On

I’ve been working on my deep sea speculative eco thriller novel, and will soon be going back to edit my previous ‘Hollywood horror mystery in space’ novel to give it another go on submission in the New Year - it'll be a wee bit more work over the coming months, but I’m happy to be giving the book another go (albeit it feels odd to not be on sub with a novel for the first time in 3+ years)! Still waiting to see how the few other projects I have on the go come together, including two collections and a novella. Fingers crossed for good news on that front soon…(I say vaguely)!

In other life news, I got a new job and will be starting there next November - it’s still in climate change policy, but in a different role more on the international side so quite a change! I’m also going back to full time which means slightly less time for writing/freelance work but I’m excited for a new challenge! Maybe it’ll also give some new writing inspiration.

Until next month, happy reading, writing, relaxing, and enjoying all upcoming autumnal things!