Welcome to the March 2023 instalment of Literally Lyndsey. Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!
HAVE YOU DECIDED ON YOUR QUESTION out Next Week!! (April 4th)
Very excited that my debut novelette will be out next Tuesday 4th April with Shortwave Publishing, in most places that books can be bought. It's been great to see a few early reviews come in, including this amazing one from E.L Crocker calling it a "bite-sized triumph" among other lovely words (with this cool graphic above which I've stolen for the newsletter!) and from Zach Rosenberg at Horror DNA (a quote/graphic below).
Still time to pre-order, all details here. Also, a wee plug that if you do read it I'd love if you left a review on Amazon (for algorithms etc.) and on Goodreads. Reviews and pre-orders are the best gift to authors!
'The Loneliness of Water' was published in Hexagon Magazine, a quiet eco-fic story, taking inspiration from Scottish folklore, about a woman in a dying world, realising she may not be as alone as she thought. Still obsessed with the beautiful cover by Sean Peacock inspired by the story!
'Woman of Ravens' was published in Quill & Crow Publishing's magazine The Crow's Quill - Covens Issue: A young woman makes an offering to the grey woman in the smiling valley in return for deciphering her haunted dreams...
'First Blood' was reprinted in Crow & Cross Keys a feminist body horror about a father watching his teenage daughter transform into something dangerous every month, but not understanding what all the fuss is about...this was originally shortlisted in the Mslexia short story competition, and published in Best Women's Short Fiction 2021.
'The Bee Bearer' in Shoreline of Infinity Issue #34 about a girl that gathers dying bees in a dry desert world for future recommissioning.
'Unfurl' a very short plant body horror flash fiction piece in Janus Literary.
All of these are free to read except for the Shoreline of Infinity issue which is available in e-book and paperback on their website.
OBSOLESCENCE Anthology - out soon!
Was very excited to receive copies of OBSOLESCENCE, an anthology of dark sci fi stories from Shortwave Publishing (my novelette publisher!), edited by Alan Lastufka and Kristina Horner. My story "Hush, Little Sister" is included alongside an amazing ToC, and I think these might be the most beautiful contributor copies I've ever had - in hardback too! I couldn't resist nabbing a couple of the variant covers too. It's officially publishing in May, but Kickstarter backers will be getting copies soon I believe!!
Coming in April!
Not technically new, but my story 'To Replace a Broken Heart' from Seize The Press Issue #6 will become available free online in April! I'm really fond of this weird dystopian story, so do look out for it here.
'The Medium's Assistant' a story about a Medium taking advantage of AI tech for his shows, will be out in the next BFS Horizons issue (British Fantasy Society's magazine). It won second place in the BFS Short Story Competition last year so exciting to see it published.
My drabble 'Not Haunted, Yet' about a haunted family that moves into an ordinary house will be out in Hungry Shadow Press's Deadly Drabble Tuesdays series on April 18th.
Story news further ahead:
Delighted to have sold a sci fi story to Electric Lit, a really dream market! 'To Catch the Dual-Sunrise' is about a robot sneaking out from camp to find a place to watch the sunrise. It'll be out in July.
My SF flash fiction 'Rain Days in Biodome Three' was selected for the National Flash Fiction Day anthology coming in June.
I sold a new solarpunk story 'Hunting for Rain' to World Weaver Press' Solarpunk Creatures, release date tbc.
I'll also have a new very short piece or two included in an upcoming audio project coming from Alternative Stories & Fake Realities, so watch this space!
What I've Been Reading
'Home' by Cailean Steed - a totally absorbing, pacy, and chilling novel about a young woman who returns to the cult she fled years before. Absolutely loved this - I listened to the audio book and had several breath-held moments throughout. A brilliant debut.
'The Shadow Galaxy' by J. Dianne Dotson - a fun and inventive collection of stories and poems filled with stories across lots of genres, sci fi, horror, literary, and fantasy. Some really cool concepts in these small tales, and I sped through reading this in a couple of days.
'White Ghosts' by Katie Hale, a poignant and engaging debut poetry collection, interrogating generational history, including whiteness, privilege and legacies of slavery. Katie's work is some of the best writing I've read, and her novel My Name is Monster was one of my absolute favourite novels over the past few years, so do check that out too!
Stories I've enjoyed:
'A Forcible Calm' by Jonathan Olfert in Beneath Ceaseless Skies
'The Perfect Union of Julianna' by L Chan in IZ Digital
'Sweet Water from Salt' by Jeremy Pak Nelson in Grist Imagine 2200
Dave Goodman's story written to Tiny Bookcase Podcast's prompt of "Illumination" - a great episode discussion and podcast to listen to!
'Red Riding Hood in the Court of Law' by Avra Margariti
Apex Magazine’s monthly flash fiction contest theme for next month will be announced on 7th March, so keep an eye out for that!
Strange Machine: An Anthology of Dark User Manuals, edited by Marissa van Uden for Apex Magazine opens to subs 1st-30th April.
Grist's Imagine 2200 open for subs for hopeful futures climate fiction - open until June 13th.
Shoreline of Infinity's Special Issue call on climate change from 27th-30th April - excited to be guest-editing this one, and a full wishlist is coming soon! Think hopeful futures, solarpunk, revolution and system change stories.
Small Wonders, a new pro-paying SFFH flash fiction market met their Kickstarter goal which means subs opening soon!
Scottish Folklore of the Month
Let's talk about bees! As I have a story out this month about bees (albeit a darker science fiction one with just a touch of folklore inspiration), I thought I'd take a chance to appreciate our pollinator pals.
In Celtic mythology, bees could travel between the worlds, above and below, and were often said to be messengers to the spirit realm. There is also a tradition of bee-telling or telling the bees came from informing the bees that a loved one had died, and was thought to be bad luck not to tell them of death or a major event.
If you also love bees, another plug for Jeremy Pak Nelson's brilliant story 'Sweet Water from Salt' in Grist.
I had a lovely week away in Wales with some writer pals in March, spent on a rural peninsula overlooking the sea. Lots of chats about writing, publishing, and generally getting some rest away from everything (plus we saw loads of wild feral goats, big bonus).
Things are a bit slower on the novel front, and I've been finding the publishing grind quite difficult lately. But, we're subbing my Scottish gothic horror novella soon, as well as my Scottish folklore collection so hoping for some progress in the next months on some of the bigger projects!
I've also started researching/planning a new folk horror in space novel that I'm quite excited about. I'm going to try to take things a bit slower for a while on the short story front and stop trying to write something for every deadline I see (guilty), which should hopefully free up some time for working on the novel (and generally balancing work and life a bit better!)
Thanks as always for reading - until next month!