Monday, June 24, 2013
Today we're celebrating short stories--specifically those found in the Defy the Dark anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell.
I've mentioned before how honored I was to be invited to participate in this antho, and how awesome it is to work with Saundra. But one of the things that made this antho even more spectacular was that Saundra did something I've never seen before in an anthology.
She solicited manuscripts from never-before-published author to be included in the anthology.
The contest, understandably, had more than a thousand entries--and nearly three and a half million words and Saundra read them all. And gave feedback. So when we say Saundra is awesome, we mean it.
In the end, there could be only three winners--one to be published in the anthology, and two more to be published online at defythedark.com.
by Kate Espey
Read the full story in Defy the Dark
This short story is the grand prize winner, the one published in the anthology. And, as fate would have it, it's also the story published directly after my own, which makes me feel all sorts of awesome about it.
I can absolutely see why Kate won the contest and a spot in the antho. "The Sunflower Murders" is beautifully written, a vignette about life and death and the inconsequentiality and vast importance of both. There are lines in the story that just stun me with their deftness. Lines like:
She had unspeakable things done to her that everyone spoke about anyway...and
Something was ending. Like a story coming to a close and there would be no epilogue, no To Be Continued.Beautiful, no? Kate perfectly grasped the horror of death and placed it beside the normalcy of it, something that is no easy feat. This amazingly talented highschooler definitely has a bright future ahead of her!
by Emily Skrutskie
Read the full story online
According to this wacky old psychology that some fart named Maslow came up with, I’m not actually allowed to need a nonessential like coffee more than human companionship, but the bastard’s wrong.
You'd think a story about swamp witches and were-gators and bogwater would be, well, gross, but it's not. It's a different story wrapped up in a totally different world and sprinkled liberally with flashes of brilliant lines--like this one:
The other truth is that there are worse things in the swamp besides boys who areAnd trust me--seriously, trust me on this--you absolutely don't want to miss the ending of this one. It's quite the twist.
sometimes gators and sometimes not.