Thanks to J.A. Sullivan for reading the Coppice & Brake Anthology from Crone Girls Press, and this lovely review of my story "The Red Shoes."
One of the stories I enjoyed most, “The Red Shoes” by Holly Lyn Walrath, is a perfect example of unexpected twists. Walrath gives us a story of a lonely old witch in a deserted forest. You would expect that when the witch finds a lost girl (“A lovely redheaded thing curled in the litter of the forest floor like a fairy in bracken”), she would immediately make a meal of her, as the witch had done with so many other helpless children through the years. Yet she doesn’t. Obsessed with the past when trolls, werewolves, and other sorcerers called the woods home, the old woman casts a spell on a pair of red shoes for the girl. But magic rarely brings us the things we most desire, especially not without a hefty price. This was a beautifully written story with sharp images, and it reminded me of being a child, listening to Grimms’ Fairy Tales for the first time.
Read the full review here . . .
Featuring My Retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Red Shoes
By all rights she should have died years ago. A clever child should have come and burnt her up to a crisp, the right way to go, the decent way. But no such child ever came. Or at least if they did, it was her that did the burning. A woodsman should have done it — yes, with a big shining axe like thunder, snapping her neck. Or a knight on a horse as pale as moon rings, banishing her away to the farthest depths of the kingdom. Instead, the depths of the kingdom crept up on her in the night.
— The Red Shoes by Holly Lyn Walrath
I have a new short story forthcoming in the Coppice & Brake anthology from Crone Girls Press! This is one of the oldest stories in my bag, so I was really thrilled to see it accepted by this amazing small press.
This story looks at the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairytale “The Red Shoes” — except from the perspective of the crone. I was interested in looking at how the older women in fairytales are treated. It’s a dark, creepy, and strange story, so I hope you consider reading!
The stories in this anthology are the glimpses of the dark places between the forest and a dream. They are the shadows seeking the last notes of a dying violin. They invite the reader into a world where a condemned man faces his fate over and over and over again. Coppice & Brake is an anthology of dark fiction, featuring tales from the borderlands of horror, speculative fiction, and the nightmare fears that linger even after you turn on the lights.
Pre-order your copy today on Amazon!
About Crone Girls Press
Crone Girls Press originally began as a Facebook Group for fans of speculative fiction, hosted by speculative fiction author and writing coach Rachel A. Brune. As the idea took hold to publish an anthology of horror fiction in honor of her favorite fall holiday, Rachel began soliciting stories of dread, despair, and doom, all of which made for some uplifting reading. Upon receiving some truly terrifying–and excellent–material, she decided to go for broke and start working on an anthology series that would feature work by established and debut authors … from the darker side of speculative fiction. Follow us on Twitter, or visit on the web at https://www.cronegirlspress.com
Want a review copy? Leave me a note with your email and I’ll send you one.
My chapbook of speculative feminist poems was reviewed by Christina Rosso over at Rag Queen Periodical:
"The language in Glimmerglass Girl is seductive, soft to the touch, yet stabbing. You feel like a knife is twisting in your gut as your read through each poem. Walrath uses the collection to explore her experience as a woman, shedding light on the insecurity, desire, and self-love she has faced. The collection looks at the business of disappearing, of splintering one’s female self, while also showing a woman’s desire to be noticed, to be seen as beautiful. In the poem “In Rejoice of Kindred Grief,” she writes, “for anyone to truly / see her drunken starlight as female beauty / for a body that’s not a four-letter word / for one true kiss.”
Read the full review...
I've started doing reviews of poetry books, mainly because I wanted to read more contemporary poetry and I, being a writer, need a deadline. Here's one I wrote for a fellow Finishing Line Press writer, Tyler Robert Sheldon, on his new chapbook Consolation Prize.
"Reading Consolation Prize by Tyler Sheldon was a bit like that, waking from a dream in an empty house and not being able to remember what happened exactly, but knowing that something terrible was there in your consciousness and that thing reached out and touched you."
Continue Reading at Entropy Magazine. . .
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed by Nancy Stohlman of Flash Fiction Retreats. I'll be a member of the flash fiction retreat in Breckenridge this August and I CANNOT wait to join the amazing writers who are in attendance!
"This dichotomy of delicate and strong, girl and woman, power and power distorted comes through beautifully in this debut chapbook of illustrated poems."
Thanks to Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish for their continued support of the writing community and for this lovely review.
Glimmerglass Girl was featured on That Bookshelf Bitch, a blog by a lovely writer who is doing the hard work of supporting women writers through reviews! I am beyond honored to be listed among the names of Rupi Kaur and one of my favorite books of 2018, Women of Resistance.
I was interviewed by the Literary Librarian about my new chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl!
"My writing routine changes all the time because my schedule as a freelance editor is constantly shifting. On a good writing day, I sit down to read on my patio and get some inspiration from books I love. Then I’ll write for an hour or so, sometimes working from prompts or just playing around. There are times where I write every day, but for the most part I have to take the time for my work. It’s not easy to juggle all the demands of the world. I also like to play with writing every day in NaPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo..."
What's this? Glimmerglass Girl is available for download on NetGalley! If you're a reviewer, bookstore, blogger, or other VIP please consider downloading a copy to review! (Note: Only available until November!)
My book is also on Goodreads now!
Whew, deep breaths. I am really pleased to share with you some early reviews for my forthcoming chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl (Finishing Line Press 2018). It is so exciting (and a bit terrifying) to see that people are already engaging with this book.
My chapbook was reviewed by VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts. This is such an honor, as VIDA is a very important organization working to expose gender parity issues in literary journals and the writing world. This is a mission that means a great deal to me so to have them review my work gives me a lot of feels. Read it here.
My chapbook was also reviewed by two bloggers, Melissa Jennings and Morgan Boyer. Thanks for the reviews fellow bloggers!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (Austin, Texas) I was a secret poet. As an undergrad, I wrote piles of poems, most of which never got finished. Then I went out into the real world and had to survive, so I worked shitty jobs. I put my husband through grad school with those shitty jobs, so I can’t harp on them too much. But in the last few years, I finally got to dedicate myself to writing.
Now, I’m writing more and more short fiction. I started with flash, which seemed like an easy jump from poetry. My goal is to get published, to be able to make it with my writing. For now, editing pays the bills (and don’t get me wrong, I love it), but being a full-time writer is the end-game.
The first advice anyone offers a new writer on getting published is to read more. I’ve been following that advice, focusing on finding new journals and new (to me) authors. Here's my current TBR pile.
Comics & Arts:
Tales of Honor by Matt Hawkins: I picked this up at last year's Comicpalooza and have just now gotten a chance to check it out. I also got Wildfire, which is a very well thought-out sci-fi premise about plants taking over the world and made me wish I was a comic book writer! (Its pretty awesome that I got both signed too. Nice perk of attending cons.)
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: I'm not sure where I picked this up, but the first few pages are a rough ride (The character is in the middle of giving birth in the first page)! Talk about starting in medias res. The artwork is pretty rad, too.
SubTerrain: I've got a new penchant for Canadian lit mags, which seem to have it all figured out. This one is beautiful, the inside pages read like a watercolor painting. I'd love to have my work in a journal like this.
I've been trying to read more lit journals with major circulation. I prefer small press and small lit mags, but you have to read what's popular, right? Or rather, what puts the quo in status quo. These are a good selection of different lit fiction/poetry journals - Ploughshares, Southern Poetry Review, Fields, New England Review, and Zoetrope. Fields is a new one - they are based out of my home town, Austin, and I picked it up over at Brazos. I like the design of the mag, but I wanted a bit more meat out of the creative writing. I give them props for including such distinctive local arts coverage.
Asimov's Science Fiction: Asimov's is a standard in the sci fi world. I was surprised by how accessible the work in this volume was. I also like the pocket-sized feel of it. It's a bit nostalgic.
Interzone: A UK-based mag with beautiful layout and visuals. I particularly enjoyed Chris Butler's "The Deep of Winter," (Gripping tale of an underground city changed forever by a time traveling researcher) and Catherine Tobler's "Silencer - Head Like a Hole Remix" (A unique take on school shootings that utilizes voice and POV in ways that make me wish I were a better writer.)
Fantasy & Science Fiction: Another standard. Can you believe I found all of these at my local Barnes & Noble? I was surprised to see that they had such a great literary journal selection.
This is only a selection of the poetry books I've been reading lately. I was always a poetry writer, but I found it hard to find poets I liked. I've found I prefer those that are most accessible. I enjoy playing with structure, and appreciate artists who can make it work, but I find it's often not done well.
Phyla of Joy by Karen An-Hwei Lee: Karen was my workshop leader at this year's Glen West Workshop. She's a delightful leader and lovely person, and her poetry reflects that. My favorites have to be poems about bees, which made me want to write my own bee poems.
Application for Release From the Dream by Tony Hoagland: If you like funny, irreverent poems, Tony's your man. A local Houston poet with an accessible voice.
Gulf Music by Robert Pinsky: If you're a poet, you should probably read the works by former Poet Laureates, right? Pinksy was in town recently but I missed the chance to see him read.
I'm off to the Texas Book Festival this weekend, so I'll bring back more to share! What literary journals have you added to your TBR pile lately?
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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Holly Walrath's books on Goodreads
ratings: 19 (avg rating 4.21)
Our Space: Shorts & Poetry from the Houston Community
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)
In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association
ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.31)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.67)