Writing and Drawing Snacks: Betsy James on Incarnation

At one point Betsy was trying, with difficulty, to understand a group of five characters. She couldn’t get the dynamics right, even after writing too much backstory and doing stuff like assigning each of them a symbol—circle, square, squiggle and so on.

She remembered (finally) what she tell students: “In imagination, incarnate as your characters. Be them in their bodies. It’s how we are in our bodies that makes us who we are.”

So, being in the body of each, pen in hand, she asked, “Okay—how would I draw a cat?”

It worked.

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Review by Dawn Vogel: The Shattered Queen by Jaym Gates

Jaym Gates’s collection, The Shattered Queen & Other New Mythologies: A Broken City Miscellany (Falstaff Books, 2016), is a collection of 26 short prose pieces, some of which are more lyrical or poetic than story, and others that create entire worlds in the span of scant few pages. Of the pieces, half are reprints, while the other half are new to this collection.

While all of the pieces are beautifully written, some of the stories stuck with me longer than others. “First Step, Last Breath” tells the story of explorers in over their heads. Using a parallel structure, the reader slowly comes to understand more and more of the truths behind this story, and its inevitable ending.

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Stuff We Like: Morbid Moment Podcast

Do you like spooky stories? Have you lost entire hours reading about monster lore and bizarre unsolved mysteries on Wikipedia? Are you super-fascinated with this one serial killer, but don’t really tell people because you don’t want them to think you’re some sort of secret psychopath? It’s okay, friends. The crew from Morbid Moment totally understands.

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Submission Call: Utter Fabrication A Mad Scientist Anthology

Mad Scientist Journal successfully funded their fourth anthology, Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures. They are now open to submissions for the month of March 2017. Pay for this anthology is 2 cents a word, and they accept stories between 500 and 8,000 words.

They are looking for stories from authors who are underrepresented in fiction: people of color, LGBTQ, and non-Western religions and cultures.

You can see more about what they are looking for in their call for submissions.