Literally Lyndsey

November 2023

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

Writing News

Well, first….it’s been an exciting month for some vague writing news things, but as I can’t share anything about all that yet…here are the usual updates!

New work!

  • ‘To Gut a Fish First Gather its Bones’ was published in Monster Lairs, from Dark Matter INK, edited by Anna Madden. This is a Scottish-folklore-inspired tale based on the Marool, a fish-like sea monster from Shetland. (Read about it in section below!) Order the anthology here!

  • Rent-A-Baby: Content Without the Commitment’ was published in Thank You For Joining the Algorithm, a cool magazine from Tenebrous Press fighting against AI encroachment in the arts - order now!

  • ‘Seedseeker’ was published in the beautiful Salt & Mirrors & Cats - I was delighted to be invited to write something for this new magazine and podcast. The podcast episode is coming soon, including an interview, and the story narrated by myself. It’s a Scottish folklore/hopeful future tale loosely inspired by hagstones or seer stones.

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

  • ‘An Offering’, a dark folkloric fantasy set in a weird woods, was one of Flame Tree Press’s November Newsletter which is worth subscribing to if you don’t already!

  • Be Still, Iron Heart’, has been reprinted in Space Cat Press’s new anthology Bark & Bone. Order here!

Coming Soon!

  • My SF flash ‘Crosswords and Coffee’ will be in the new fiction reading app Calliope Interactive in December, and will be animated which is very cool!

  • ‘Hunting for Rain’ a tale of a robotic rain-hunting dog in a dystopian world, will be in Solarpunk Creatures which is out in January. Pre-order here.

  • One of my favourite stories from 2023 ‘The Loneliness of Water’, previously published in Hexagon Magazine, will be reprinted in Flame Tree Press’s Shadows on the Water anthology, coming in January. Pre-orders now available here.

Some recent sales!

I’m delighted to have had some really exciting acceptances lately, in dream magazines and anthologies too:

  • ‘We Maintain the Moons’, an SF tale of a moon-maintaining robot living in the dark and frozen edges of an Alderson disk world, will be published in Analog (!!!) Can’t wait!

  • ‘The Walls in This House’ was accepted for Cursed Morsels Press’s new anthology Why Didn’t You Just Leave. The ToC is amazing, and I’m delighted to be part of it! It’ll be published in March next year - pre-order details coming soon!

  • My weird SF tale about a Rift where the souls of those who die in space go to rest, ‘The Rift Between Us’ will be published by Uncharted Magazine next year.

What I've Been Reading

  • Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle was a really fun, unsettling, and pacy read, with some great twists, while keeping some classic horror tropes that I love.

  • Deep Woods, Dark Water by Jelena Dunato was an excellent read and definitely one of my favourite books of the year. It’s full of so many of the things I love in fantasy - multi-POV, different timelines, plenty of intrigue, interlinking stories, folklore, weird woods, gothic settings, darkness, and (a personal fave) morally grey characters. It’s also written beautifully, with haunting settings that feel like characters themselves.

  • This is Where We Talk Things Out by Caitlin Marceau blew me away and I read it in one sitting - it’s a real masterclass in tension and unease!

  • Split Scream from Tenebrous Press, edited by Alex Ebenstein, is a feature of two horror novelettes. Volume Four included two stories from D. Matthew Urban and Holly Lyn Walrath, and was a lot of fun. Both stories creepy, weird, and unsettling, but told in entirely different ways and settings. I definitely recommend checking this out, and look forward to future Split Screams!

  • Such is My Idea of Happiness is an excellent novelette by Dave Goodman in Clarkesworld - a brilliant look at toxic productivity life, which felt far too real at times…! As always with Dave’s writing, the worldbuilding feels so rich, from just a few paragraphs in - definitely check it out!

  • I’ve also been beta-reading a friend’s novel, which was a real delight (I’m lucky to have such talented pals!)

Other News

  • It’s coming up to the end of the year, so I posted my 2023 Awards Eligibility roundup. I’m really proud of all the work I’ve put out this year, around 25 new stories, two essays, and my debut novelette. There’s more in a roundup, and if you’re reading for awards etc. I’m always very happy to provide free copies of work that’s not available online!

  • The Shoreline of Infinity Climate Issue is well and truly out in the world, and it’s been great to see it arriving to readers over the past month! You can still order it here!

  • And 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! I also think it would make the perfect wee Christmas gift (it’ll even fit in a stocking!). Or, just saying, if you’re desperately trying to reach a Goodreads target, it can be read quickly! Discounted signed copies are also currently available on my KoFi (link at bottom of newsletter!)

Submission Calls

  • Interstellar Flight Press is open for flash fiction (up to 1,250 words) until December 31st.

  • We Are All Thieves of Somebody’s Future from AaN Press opens for submissions until December 31st. AaN press are great, and this is a cool theme! Submit submit!

  • This project looks fun, Monsters in Masquerade, a fantasy/horror anthology from OwlCrate (ooh), open until December 31st. Guidelines are: “Please submit your fantasy / horror stories in full, and don’t forget to include a romantic element of some kind in your story! We are looking for stories that are Upper YA (18+) to adult. Spice is encouraged but not required. Your word count should fall between 6k to 8k words.”

  • Crepuscular Magazine is open for microfiction subs on a rolling basis.

  • Apex Magazine has a Holiday Horror drabble contest open right now until December 15th.

  • Ghost Orchid Press is open for novella subs also on a rolling basis.

Scottish Folklore of the Month

As featured in Dark Matter INK’s Monster Lairs in my story To Gut a Fish, First Gather its Bones, the Marool is a large sea creature from Shetland folklore resembling an anglerfish. With eyes all over its head and a flame crest, it is found glowing phosphorescent in mareel or sea-foam. When ships capsize in stormy weather, it is said that the Marool would sing with joy at the misfortune.

Artwork: Joseph Mallord Turner

What I’m Working On

I’ve been attempting NaNoWriMo this month, working on my new speculative deep sea eco-horror/thriller (vibes above). I’m about 50k words into the book and I’m really happy with how it’s shaping up after a long pause of not working on longer fiction. Here’s also a fan-cast for one of the (side-ish) characters.

Overall, I made it to about 44k words total for the month (including short fiction) but I’m pretty proud of that, especially as I started a new day job at the beginning of the month, so my brain has been a little crowded out with that!I also finished two short stories this month for specific calls, both soon to be submitted (fingers crossed).

Next month, I plan to keep working on the novel, and edits on another project. I’m also going to try to take it a bit slower with writing given the new job, and give myself time to properly settle in before the festive break - so, slow and steady will be my December…(best laid plans, etc.)!

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