I have a new poem up today at Liminality: A Magazine of Speculative Poetry. This poem is called “Acacia,” and it’s named after a plant commonly used in rituals and spellcraft.
Use to anoint torches and consecrate hope chests. Endows protection as well as psychic and mystical powers. If planted inside a fairy ring, it will bring prosperity to the closest home. If burned, it creates a hypnotic state that is often perilous.
TW: This poem deals with illness and cancer.
Read the poem at Liminality
She memorizes the little spaces she could hide in --
the white place between letters on the page,
the dashboard — a blushing radio throne . . .
Read the poem at Write Wild . . .
I have a new poem up at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association mag Eye to the Telescope. It’s called “Now the Patient Recounts the Houses in Her Mind.” This poem is inspired by the work of author Shirley Jackson. It’s a combination of The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Read it 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.
When I was little, say four or five, I used to make my Mom write out things in cursive on little cards for me. I’d tell her what to write, then sit next to her at the coffee table in our den and watch her fingers and pen make the loops of cursive words, in neat lines with round letters. My mother has excellent penmanship. On the other hand, my father’s handwriting started out graceful and thin, but more spindly the older he got. Soon he switched to making block letters — in all caps. By the time the Parkinson’s had taken over, he was unable to write at all...
Read the full article at Coffeelicious . . .
Every year at the end of the year I post a review of all the articles, poems, stories, and books I’ve published that year. 2019 was a big year for me in writing. While I felt like I wasn’t getting a lot done, I was surprised when I looked back and realized I really had written a great deal.
Most of my time was spent working on two novels-in-progress. But I did manage to send out some poems for publication too. I’m very honored by the editors who recognized and published my work. Here’s to 2020 and another year of writing.
Glimmerglass Girl — Won the Elgin Award for best speculative chapbook
Numinous Stones — To be published in Italian in 2020 by Kipple Press
The 2019 Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association Contest, Winner: Short Form Category: The Fox and the Forest (Erasure of Ray Bradbury)
The 2019 Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association Contest, Winner: Long Form Category: The Mining Town
Apparition Lit #8 (October 2019) — Belly of the Beast
Mirror Dance Issue 44 (Spring 2019) — Farewell Dead Men
Not One of Us #61 (April 2019) — A Book Is a Tomb and Words Are Souls
The Avenue: Issue V: Music (April 2019) — Chopin Falls in Love with the Night (1827–1846)
The Knicknackery Issue 6 (February 2019) — Bayou Dream
Dreams & Nightmares Magazine (Issue #111, January 2019) — An Unknowing Breach of the Law
Kaleidotrope (Winter 2019) — “All the Glory of Her Earthly Shell”
Medium (12/18/19) — My NaNoWriMo Was a Mess
Writing Hacks (11/27/19) — Tricking Yourself into Writing
Bulletproof Writers (11/28/19) — The End of the Year Sometimes Sucks for Creatives
Storymaker (11/25/19) — Reluctantly Writing About Death
Interstellar Flight Press (11/15/19) — Defying Genre in The Dream House
Daily Muse Books (10/24/19) — NaNoWriMo Isn’t Just for Books
Medium (10/15/19) — Does Publishing Short Stories Matter?
Medium (9/4/19) — The Writing Life: An Infographic
Medium (8/28/19) — 40 Writing Milestones to Celebrate
Medium (8/21/19) — Queries, Contributors, and Common Terms: An A-Z glossary for submitting writing
Horror Writer’s Association Newsletter (7/1/19) — Darkness & Light
Medium (5/16/19) — Fighting Rejection & Imposter Syndrome
Medium (5/3/19) — Switching Genres
Medium (4/3/19) — Creating a Writer’s Mission Statement
Medium (3/27/19) — NaPoWriMo: A Poet’s Challenge
Dream Foundry (3/14/19) — The Cone of Silence
Medium (3/11/19) — These are a Few of My Favorite Rejections
Medium (1/31/19) — Forming a Critique Group 101
If you are a member of the SFPA, my poems are eligible for the Rhysling Award. Click here to download a PDF version for reading.
Confessions of a Supermassive Black Hole
You can’t escape my body.
I deform spacetime, invisible.
I collapse, even as everything surrounds me.
I am the center of you, of your galaxy.
I sieve particles, radiation, light,
searching for the ghost of my former self.
My gravity is also my weakness.
It’s my favorite day of the year, so I thought I’d share a poem from my back catalogue of published work. This poem is an erasure/blackout of Shirley Jackson’s book We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
In case you’re unaware of this form, erasures are a type of found poetry where you “erase” words from a found text and the words left behind form a poem.
Read the poem here . . .
I have a new poem in Apparition Lit #8 (October 2019) - Belly of the Beast. This one is kind of romantic, which I felt like fit the theme of the issue, Euphoria. What is euphoric to you? For me, it's being with the person you love in the weirdest place you can think of.
Let’s live in the belly of the beast.
You can bring a strong IPA
so smooth it’s like milk frothed.
I’ll bring Atwood and Ishiguro and Dickens.
We’ll watch Netflix in the blood vessels
and make love in the open mouth
with the krill and saltwater
pooling at our knees . . .
Read the entire poem here . . .
Add it to Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon:
I have a new article up at Medium today on the economics of short fiction, how commercialism is changing what writers write, & a bit of advice from Shirley Jackson.
“The very nicest thing about being a writer is that you can afford to indulge yourself endlessly with oddness, and nobody can really do anything about it, as long as you keep writing and kind of using it up, as it were.” — Shirley Jackson (“Memory and Delusion,” Published in Let Me Tell You.)
Read the entire article here . . .
What if you woke up tomorrow knowing without a doubt you could write a bestseller? Paint a picture worth a million dollars? Release an album that was guaranteed to go to #1 on the charts?
What would you do?
This is the question behind Yesterday, a charming movie that pays homage to the works of The Beatles by erasing them from the world. Yesterday is a “what if” movie — What if The Beatles never existed? Himish Patel (best known for his work on the British soap Eastenders) plays down-on-his-luck musician Jack Malik, who wants someone to like his music other than his best friend Ellie (played by Lily James).
Read the entire article at Medium . . .
I am honored to announce that my chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl, is the winner of the 2019 SFPA Elgin Award for best speculative poetry chapbook. I am grateful to the SFPA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association) voting members for supporting this little book of weird poems about womanhood.
Get your copy here . . .
I have a new poem up today at Mirror Dance called Farewell Dead Men. I also talk about why fantasy is a genre I love:
While science fiction is based in science, mystery is based in the pursuit of a question, and horror is based in evoking an emotion of fear, I believe that fantasy is the only genre which is purely pulled from the author’s deepest dreams and imaginings. The ability to dream up fantastical beasts and worlds seems to me to be a peculiarity of the human condition—one that even the most mundane of minds can learn to cultivate. Where did the idea for a dragon first come from or the hero myth? They are deeply ingrained paths that we continue to walk, following our ancestors through the mists of imagination.
Read my poem "Farewell Dead Men" here . . .
I have a new poem up today at Kaleidotrope - "All the Glory of Her Earthly Shell." Big thanks to Fred for publishing this one. It's very personal to me, so I'm glad it found a home at Kaleidotrope.
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
Order my book:
I run a monthly e-newsletter with writing prompts, editing tips, writing music, and more. Click below to sign up!
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)