Welcome to the June 2023 instalment of Literally Lyndsey. Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!
Short Stories out this month:
Coming in July!
‘When Death Comes Calling’ about Death falling from the sky into someone’s flowerbed is just out today with Scottish indie publisher Soor Ploom Press - it will also be appearing in their upcoming charity anthology Short and Sweet: Volume Two.
Last year, I was delighted to be invited by Air and Nothingness Press to contribute a story to their new anthology, The dérive. ‘The Botanist of Sky City Celeste’ is the result - a Solarpunk tale of robots, plants, and finding purpose. The books are limited to 150 special edition print copies, and can now be ordered here.
'To Catch The Dual Sunrise’ about a robot sneaking out of camp in search of the best spot to watch the sunrise, will be published in ElectricLit - very excited about this one! It’ll be out via The Commuter which you can sign up to for free weekly stories in your inbox.
A couple of stories I’ve mentioned as coming out “next month” for two months, but at this point I’ll not tempt fate, and will only say, maybe they’ll be out at some point (hopefully)…. ‘The Medium's Assistant’ in BFS Horizons #16 and ‘Crosswords and Coffee' in an animated fiction app Calliope Interactive, due to be launching soon…
This month has brought a few very exciting acceptances, some of which I can’t quite share the details of yet, but a couple of them are:
I’m so thrilled to be publishing a story in dream flash fiction market, Flash Fiction Online. ‘The Constellations of Daughter Death’ is a fable about Death’s daughter and how she finds her place in the world below, and is one I’m very fond of.
Something slightly different, but I had a personal essay about Scottish folklore, omens, and death accepted by The Deadlands, another dream publication for me as I absolutely love the magazine! I’ve popped a short snippet of it in my Scottish folklore section below.
I was also asked to contribute to an upcoming magazine, Salt & Mirrors & Cats, a magazine of omens and superstitions, and I’m delighted they’ll be publishing my nautical story ‘Seedseeker’ about hagstones, seafaring, and seagrass meadows, as part of their upcoming publications. I also got to narrate this one for a podcast - details coming soon!
What I've Been Reading
Mostly my month has been taken up reading submissions for Shoreline of Infinity’s Climate Issue which I’m guest-editing (several hundred thousand words worth!!) So there’s not been much time for reading otherwise, though I do have a few in progress which I’ve still been enjoying!
Currently reading: ‘This is My Body, Given to You’ by Heather Parry, ‘Tentacle’ by Rita Indiana, and ‘Below the Edge of Darkness’ (new novel research) by Edith Widder.
Other News and Events
I’m delighted that our Kickstarter for Shoreline of Infinity Magazine’s Special Climate Change Issue is now fully funded! Thank you to anyone who supported it! If you missed the Kickstarter though, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to pick up a copy when it’s out in September! With Shoreline’s Fiction Editor, Eris Young, we’ve been busy at work planning the issue, reading and responding submissions (we’re down to our final few, and will be sending out responses on those very soon!), doing Kickstarter promo and new rewards, but it’s all been worth it now that we can put out the best issue we can with the funding! The issue will include short fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, and non-fiction essays, from new and emerging authors to science and climate fiction greats like Kim Stanley Robinson! Here’s the amazing cover by artist Vincent Kings.
One of my literary year highlights was this month with Cymera Fest - so lucky to have this in Edinburgh! It was a brilliant weekend of attending panels, hanging out with Edinburgh SFF friends, and soaking in the sunshine between events. I also took part in Brave New Words, reading an excerpt from Have You Decided on Your Question which was exciting!
Otherwise, a couple of cool reviews this month, including a lovely review of Have You Decided on Your Question in FanFiAddict, read it here. And, I was delighted to get a mention in a Locus Magazine Review for my Hexagon Magazine story ‘The Loneliness of Water’.
Qualia Nous anthology series is open until July 31st, for SF stories 3-10k words (check the sub page for description of the theme!)
I spotted this submission call from Sans Press for their anthology Another Name for Darkness. Pay is 150 euros per story, and you can find full description (plus a very cool cover) on their sub page. They close for subs on July 12th.
Dark Matter Ink are open at the end of the month for their next anthology The Off Season on July 31st-August 6th, coastal New Weird horror themed, edited by Marissa van Uden.
If you’ve got longer-form work, Polygon Books are seeking “speculative fiction with a strong Scottish connection” until July 31st.
Another great Indie press, Fly on the Wall Press are open for short story collections until 1st September.
Scottish Folklore of the Month
Instead of a folklore fact this month, I thought I’d share the opening to the essay I had accepted by The Deadlands, about death and omens in Scottish folklore.
“Growing up in Scotland, I have many fond memories of exploring remote and wild places, where the landscapes evoke a unique sense of atmosphere and of things unheard or unseen. There is something magical in the way the haar rolls in off the coast, shrouding the sea in a mythical fog, or the quiet stillness found at the summit of a mountain, with nothing but clouds or empty space all around. And, sometimes, you may spend time in these places and find yourself feeling like you’re not alone, and that maybe that spectre in the corner of your eye while in quiet woods or isolated moorland, wasn’t just in your imagination. For me, the landscapes have always held both an eerie and otherworldly power, leading me to imagine a certain kind of tempting darkness lurking just out of reach. From the rich stories we tell in Scotland of omens and superstitions, of death, mischief, and hauntings, I’m definitely not the only one drawn into this feeling.
Keep an eye out in The Deadlands for the essay soon!
What I’m Working On
Beyond the guest-editing work, I’ve been gradually getting back to some writing this past month after a couple of months break, working on a few short stories, and also starting a new novel…it’s very early days, but I’m feeling good about it! It’s dark and speculative, but a bit more nearer future than my usual longer form work. Hoping to make progress on it this month, and have set myself a target on the NaNoWriMo site.
I am now also on sub officially with three projects to publishers (dark Scottish folklore collection, gothic horror novella, and SF horror/mystery novel) so my stressed email checking has reached a new high! The new novel will definitely be a good distraction for that but fingers crossed that one of these will bring good news soon as I’d love to take that next step for publishing!
Until next month, happy reading, writing, relaxing, and enjoying summery things!