You can read my new story “For Your Time” online at Daily Science Fiction!
My story “Under the Shimmering Lights” is available to read for free in the Stupefying Stories Showcase!
I also wrote a new story this past week, and have banged out about 600 words on an adventure fantasy that I’m hoping to submit to the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. I contacted a Realtor and a bank about moving forward on looking for a house, and we’ve started getting some of the requested rewrites for Triangulation: Lost Voices. Our upstairs neighbor had a pipe burst in their sink last night, and it leaked down through the doorway into our apartment, but we didn’t suffer any damage from it. I’m hoping the couple upstairs got of just as easily.
Tomorrow, I’m doing a talk at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill about submitting short stories for Parsec. I came up with this title and description for the talk:
Surviving the Slush Pile
Jamie Lackey, the editor of this year’s Triangulation anthology and an author with over 100 short fiction sales under her belt, will discuss the trials and tribulations of submitting short fiction.
The meeting is free and open to the public, so if you live in the Pittsburgh area, please swing by the library around 1:30! I’ll be there! I’ll talk about submitting and the extreme importance of stubbornness and resilience, and I’m hoping to do a Q&A about writing and Triangulation afterwards.
I had 25 short stories published in 2014–24 originals and one reprint. You can find links to them under “Writing Credits” if you’re so inclined. I had at least one story come out every month, which I think is pretty cool. I wrote a novella and some (but not nearly enough) short stories. I’m working as the editor of Triangulation: Lost Voices (and I got to pick the theme!), and that will be coming out in 2015. I sent out 266 submissions and maintained an acceptance ratio of about 9% (which might not sound very high, but is actually pretty decent). I wrote a bunch of reviews, which allowed me to read some great stuff. All together, that doesn’t look bad at all. I meant to do so much more, though. But I guess there’s always next year.
I’m still working at ModCloth, and Paul got a job there in May. I was writing for the ModCloth Blog for a while, but that ended a while back.
We moved out the the apartment where we’d lived for seven years with less than a month’s notice. That was really hard for me. It was the first home Paul and I shared. It’s where we spent the night after our wedding. It’s where our cat was a kitten. And friction with the new land lord has kept the new place from really feeling like home. We’re planning to buy a house when our lease is up. I’m excited about that–I’ve wanted to buy a house for years, now, and we’re finally in a good place to do it.
2014 was a year of changes, and change is hard. Here’s hoping that all the changes in 2015 are good and easily accomplished, and after that things start to settle down a bit.
You can read my Mesoamerican Fantasy story “The Blood of Four Gods” in the most recent issue on NewMyths.com!
Triangulation: Lost Voices opened for submissions today! Submissions are coming in, which is super exciting!
I also have two new stories available! You can read “Beyond the Reach of Moonlight” online for free at Liquid Imagination, and pick up a copy of the latest issue of FictionVale to read my story “Three Cups.”
Earlier this week, I got an email letting me know that the artist, Anselm Kiefer now has an Artsy page. If you like art, you should totally check it out. You can check out some of my favorites here and here and here.
The main site has a huge list of artists and works. For example, there is unicorn made of beads! Some of the art is even available for you to purchase, if original artwork is something that’s within your budget.
Or, if you’re a writer looking for story inspiration, it looks like an awesome place to browse around.
I had a single-day weekend this week, but I feel like I made the most of it. Paul and I went to the Sci-Fi Spectacular at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Friday night. That was very cool–lots of great music and an appearance by George Takei.
Then, on Saturday I attended Parsec‘s YA Lecture Series and Workshop. Caroline Carlson presented a workshop called “Blueprints for Enchantment: Constructing a magical world for your fantasy novel” which was a lot of fun. I’m not really working on a fantasy novel at the moment, but it did make me want to.
After the workshop, Nalo Hopkinson gave a talk called “Keeping it (Un)Real” which focused on the validity of fantasy and science fiction in the face of so many real-world issues. It was a really interesting, well presented talk, and I’m very glad that I went.
This was the second of the four-part series that Parsec is presenting in partnership with CMU and and SFWA. That means that if you’re local to the Pittsburgh area and you missed it, you should make sure that you catch the next two!
In unrelated happy news, my story “Jigsaw Pieces” is available to read for free online!
I didn’t want to put a long list of ideas or restrictions in my submission guidelines. As an author, I prefer simple guidelines, so that is what I decided to do for the actual submission page. Above anything else, I don’t want to discourage anyone. Send me your stories. I want to read them. I don’t promise to read the whole thing if the opening doesn’t pull me in, but I’d love to have the chance to. If it doesn’t work for me, let me reject it. Don’t do my job for me. Stories are the most important things that I want to see in my slush pile.
But I do know that some other people prefer to have more to go on, so I can ramble a bit about that here.
I chose “Lost Voices” as a theme because I think it will work well as a starting point for science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. I want a mix of all three in the book. I am also very much in favor of diversity in fiction–the world we live in is incredibly rich and diverse, and I think the worlds of our imagination have no excuse to be less interesting than the real world. To me, “Lost Voices” screams for tons of diverse authors showcasing diverse stories–I’m hoping that I see them in the slush pile. If you’re worried about including diverse characters in your fiction because you don’t want to get it wrong and offend people, I recommend checking out this essay by Nisi Shawl.
I’m trying not to be too drunk with my own power, but I’m sure that my personal taste will play some part in the final story selections. I review things on Tangent Online, and you can probably get a few ideas about my taste there. You can also pick up back issues of Triangulation. I worked on Taking Flight, Dark Glass, End of the Rainbow, and Last Contact.
I don’t really like gritty stories, and hopeless tragedy will be a hard sell. I love beautiful, lyrical language. I think that clarity and pacing are incredibly important. I firmly embrace the Oxford comma. My favorite short story authors include Cat Rambo, Eugie Foster, and Octavia Butler. I’m happy to read vampire or werewolf or zombie stories. I’m not a fan of twist endings. I love unicorns. I’m also very fond of dragons and cats.
Some specific story ideas that I’d love to see include radio transmissions lost between the stars, a magical plague that makes everyone in the kingdom go mute simultaneously, and a monster that steals voices from the dying and then uses them to drive their surviving friends and family insane. I could keep going–I love themes and I love writing for themes. I hope that “Lost Voices” inspires you. Send me your stories!
In 2007, I got the first good news in my professional writing life–I won second place in the Parsec Short Story Contest. I was so excited that I literally had to go outside to hop around and giggle. The next year, Pete Butler asked me if I wanted to read submissions for Triangulation: Taking Flight. In 2011, I had the opportunity to co-edit Triangulation: Last Contact with Steve Ramey. Steve’s editorial style and mine didn’t mesh well, and I wanted to take time to focus on my writing, so I stepped down from the Triangulation staff. But the anthology was still very dear to me, so I continued to participate by writing and submitting stories.
Diane Turnshek, who created Triangulation in 2003, asked me if I’d like to edit the anthology this coming year. I said yes, and I was given the go-ahead to select my own theme for the issue.
The theme I chose is “Lost Voices.” The submission guidelines are posted, and we open to submissions in December. I’m excited to see what sort of stories people come up with.