Literally Lyndsey - November 2022
An update on writing and other literary happenings.
Thank you for subscribing to receive my first newsletter, and for putting up with my terrible newsletter pun! Below you'll find writing news, reading and listening recommendations, submission calls, and folklore facts.
It's been an unusually busy month for writing news, so a few updates to share. I've published two short stories, a flash, a novelette, a drabble, and my first poem. You can find them all here:
'The Forest Awaits', a climate policy and speculative story looking at kelp forests as a climate solution, was published in a special COP27 anthology 'No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet'. I'm extra excited as this story is included amongst many authors I admire, including Kim Stanley Robinson and Paolo Bacigalupi. It's out in e-book here and paperback on Amazon or ordered direct from bookshops.
'The Woman of Thorns and the Honeycomb Queen' was featured in Ellipsis Zine's 'Wade'. Details here.
'Cat's Eyes' a drabble about a lonely cat in space appeared in Planetside: Science Fiction Drabbles from Shacklebound Books.
'A Tale of Two Meads' about bee-telling folklore in an urban fantasy shared world created with Skullgate Media's Tales from the Year Between series appeared in 'Chronicles of New Albion: Adventures in 1987
I'm also delighted to share info about some forthcoming stories (more SF heavy than usual which is exciting!)
'Hush, Little Sister', a horror story about a creepy house and sibling with a sci-fi twist will be published in the Obsolescence Anthology with Shortwave Publishing. I'm so excited to be joining this ToC of many established and newer horror writers from the invited and open call. It's out in May 2023, so a wee bit of a wait, but it can be pre-ordered now.
'The Bee Bearer', a sci fi story about recommissioned bees in a post climate-change world will be out in the Spring edition of Shoreline of Infinity Magazine.
'To Replace a Broken Heart', a dystopian tale about strange desert plants will be out in a future issue with Seize the Press Magazine.
'The Medium's Assistant,' a sci fi story about a fraudulent medium in space using AI help, will be out in BFS Horizons 15 for BFS members - it won Second Place in the British Fantasy Society competition this year!
What I've been writing
Mostly I've working on short stories this past month: currently drafting a Scottish folklore-inspired story about a Grandmother seeking revenge against the sea monster that took her family, editing a (hopefully wholesome for a change) flash fiction about a robot exploring an alien jungle in search of the perfect spot to watch a sunrise, wrote and submitted an insect horror story for an anthology, and have plotted a story about faceless dolls for a Christmas-horror themed anthology!
I also went on a brilliant Gothic Horror writing course at Moniack Mhor, run by Carolyn Jess-Cooke and Natasha Pulley. Great to be immersed and learn loads about the Gothic which I'm hoping to put into action over the next few months!
Castle for (up to) Christmas
My very exciting update is that I'm going to write in a castle for a whole month! I'm still pinching myself, but I'm going to be taking up a Fellowship at Hawthornden Castle Literary Retreat from 20th November-17th December. During the time, I'll be able to fully focus on writing in a quiet and peaceful (and hopefully not too haunted!) setting. I've not yet decided what I will be working on, but I will likely focus on putting together a short story collection, finishing a novella, and starting to plot and write my next novel. Though, who knows, maybe the castle will offer some special writing inspiration and I'll work on something entirely different! I'm looking forward to switching off from everything else though which is a luxury I've not had in a while, and meeting the other five writers who will be there! Look out for my next newsletter for how it's going, and though the castle doesn't have wifi or phone signal, I'm sure I'll be tweeting occasional updates.
Coming soon - Moonrise MYRIAD Zine!
I've been busy reading submissions for Moonrise, which I'm guest-editing, this past month, whittling down an excellent number of stories, to an even more excellent shortlist, to a final selection of five stories...watch this space, and follow Hexagon Magazine for the latest and a cover reveal (it's a beauty!) coming soon!
What I've been reading
Dracula - Probably a scandal I got this so far into writing life having not read such a classic, but I've remedied that by enjoying the audiobook of Bram Stoker's Dracula this month. As dark and gothic as I'd hoped!
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy - the second of Becky Chambers' Monk & Robot books, and as equally philosophical, quirky, fun, and beautiful as the first. I love the relationship of the two protagonists and hope we get to see more of their world again!
Currently reading: Outlawed by Anna North and a Shirley Jackson short story collection.
Here's also some excellent short stories I've read this month:
'Idomeneja' by Eris Young in Pseudopod - a gay vampire story that believe me, you're going to want to read, listen to, and reread!
'The Typewriter' by ZK Abraham in Fantasy Magazine - a poignant and beautifully written story.
'All the Boys in the Sea' by Marie Croke in Fireside Fiction - an emotional, beautiful, and rhythmic piece of fiction that feels like folklore or fairytale.
Page One Podcast - perfect for any budding writer or those interested in the publishing industry!
The Gathering by Lewis Carter, produced by Alternative Stories and Fake Realities - a brilliant horror audio drama about two sisters brought back to spend one last night in the ancestral home they'd rather forget...
I've also sorted through a stack of some books I'm hoping to bring with me to the castle retreat (though I will probably need to reduce a little) - mostly dark and strange, which felt like what should be needed for the setting!
Myriad Zine is open until 30th November for stories on the theme of 'Remnants.'
This World Belongs to Us is open for insect horror stories until 30th November
Apparition Lit open for submissions on theme of 'Dread' until 30th November
Literally Dead: Tales of Holiday Hauntings, a holiday horror anthology is open until 20th January
AAN Press opens soon for stories of exactly 1,000 words on theme of Gargantua - 1st December-31st January
Apex Magazine's monthly flash fiction contest is open till the end of the month for speculative stories on theme of 'Footsteps in the Forest.'
This is an interesting one I came across - a Paranormal Flash Fiction competition where you choose a "ticket" and you're assigned a paranormal being to write a story about and submit by 12th December deadline. Cost is £5 to enter though, with £1,000 prize
Scottish Folklore Fact of the Month
The Sluagh, or Sluagh Sidhe/‘Fairy Host’ are said to be spirits of the unforgiven or restless dead. Often taking a crescent form, similar to a flight of birds, they were said to haunt the night skies and search for humans to steal their souls.
Read more about the Sluagh here.
If you've got this far, thank you for reading! I hope this was a mix of interesting and useful, and I'm always open to feedback on what you'd like to hear from me (or hear more/less of!)
Have a fantastic month ahead!