2017: The Reckoning (aka my awards eligibility post)

Okay friends. Let's talk about 2017. Although this year was by and large a flaming pile of garbage for the world, it was professionally a pretty productive year for me. I hustled at my day job sharing women's stories at a feminist historical archive; I moved to Raleigh and started grad school; I wrote and wrote and revised and wrote. Some pretty exciting things happened; at the same time, some other things that I desperately wanted to happen did not, in fact, happen. But what would be the point of 2018 if everything had gone right this year? Right? RIGHT?!??! Anyway, as seems to be the tradition at this time of year, I'm rounding up my award-eligible publications for 2017. 


First of all, my book! Speaking to Skull Kings is my debut short story collection, released from JournalStone in May of this year. Here's what Library Journal had to say about it: "Brimming with ghosts, haunted books, alternate ­dimensions, and dark fantasy in an assemblage of lyrical pieces best classified as weird fiction. The complex female characters, creepy settings, and magic-filled story lines draw in readers much like the award-winning works of Karen Russell, Jeff VanderMeer, and Kelly Link." Such kind words! The book is eligible for the Bram Stoker Award, so if the above description sounds intriguing you can check it out here


Now let's talk stories! One of my favorite stories I've ever written, "Evangeline and the Forbidden Lighthouse," came out this May in Interzone. If you only read one of my stories this year, please read this one! It's about female friendship and the sea and about whether it's ever too late to change the path you've set out for yourself. Tangent Online said, "It's precisely the kind of literary, plotless nonsense I abhor in SF and fantasy. And yet it works. It works wonders—to the point where I found myself staring into the distance, wondering where I could have chosen differently in my own life." What a turn! Anyway the point is that if you like literary plotless SFF, this is the one for you, and even if you don't, you just might enjoy it anyway. This one is eligible in the short story category for awards. 

I also had a novelette in Beneath Ceaseless Skies this October: And the Village Breathes, which is a story about a medieval-y village where residents sometimes fall ill with a malady that causes them to sleep for months. These sick folks are treated with respect and care--until outsiders start showing up in the village. This story is basically about xenophobia and how societies value some people and not others. I was worried about how it would be received, considering that it's my most political story to date, but so far people seem to be getting it. This one is eligible in the novelette category for the major awards, so if you like fantasy with a strong plot and a searing message, check it out! 

It seems so long ago, but I had a story out in The Dark in February: The Lily Rose, which is a piece about grief. Specifically about an orphanage headmistress whose charges drown in a shipwreck, and who starts to believe that she is being possessed by the ghost of the ship they drowned on. Also she meets some Russian aristocrats. Anyway this story is Gothic and sad and features the aforementioned Russian aristocrats so it's Very Emily if you're into that sort of thing. Also eligible in all short story categories! 

Finally, I had a story in the lovely prose-focused magazine Lackington's this May: Glasswort, Ice, which is about old age (it features two nonagenarian sisters as the protagonists) and nostalgia and fighting against social inertia oh and also ICE WHALES!! Also eligible for short story accolades. 

That's all for fiction publishing this year! Looking forward to 2018, I have a story coming out in Nightmare in February and in cream city review at some point, both of which I'm quite excited about. Oh, and if you're a non-fiction connoisseur, check out the piece I wrote for Roads & Kingdoms this spring, about the youngest deep-sea diver in South Korea. It's probably my favorite non-fiction piece I've ever written! I promise ocean shenanigans and female-centric societies. 

All right, everyone, that's pretty much a wrap on 2017! Please let me know if any of these stories sound intriguing to you but you're having trouble accessing them online; happy to send you a copy. And thanks for reading. Here's to great things in the new year.