I have been thinking for some time about how to do any sort of useful 2013 in review. I have to say, this has been one of the most life changing and absurdly successful years for me and yet it has also been a year from which I’ve felt oddly absent. Back in January I decided that my major goal for the year would be to finish my PhD dissertation. To accomplish that I had to put pretty much everything else in my life on hold and put together a serious plan: tracking word counts, tracking hours spent in the library, that sort of thing. Lo and behold, it worked! That’s the kind of thing you can write very easily but the words don’t come close to encapsulating the work that went into being able to say them. It was the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. For most of this year I was an anti-social library hermit. I cannot thank enough all my friends who were so patient, caring, supportive, and wise – particularly my sister Laura who took charge of our apartment, let me ramble incoherently at her, and made me many, many pots of soup.
And along the way a number of other amazing things happened. I received a SSHRC postdoc to spend two years at the University of Oxford in England under the supervision of Daniel Wakelin researching book production in the fourteenth century. As we speak, I am sitting amidst piles and piles of boxes. I leave in less than two weeks, filled with excitement and trepidation in equal measures. I am sad to say goodbye to all my friend and family in Toronto but I’m eager to meet new friends in England. And drink good ale. And to start life as Dr. Grown-Up.
And publishing – egads and little fish! Hair Side, Flesh Side received such an amazing response, from glowing reviews in Library Journal, The National Post, Rue Morgue, January Magazine and Strange Horizons, to being shortlisted for the Aurora Award and winning the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer! (This last in particular was such an emotional moment that I still can’t help tearing up when I write about it.) Along the way, I’ve also put out a second chapbook of poetry entitled The Sex Lives for Monsters: Collected Poems, I’ve had my first professional publications come out with a stellar sale of “The Hanging Game” to Tor.com, I’ve signed on to be represented by Sally Harding of the Cooke Agency and I’ve sold my second collection of fiction to ChiZine Publications: Gifts for the One Who Comes After due out in September, 2014.
A year ago I faced a quandary: to pursue academia or to continue with my writing. Neither offered a clear road for the future and both seemed enormously risky. But today I can look back over hard-fought battles and feel some measure of calm about the future. I don’t know what I’m doing, really, but I’m willing to make it up as I go. Thanks everyone for sticking with me.
Bring on 2014!
2013 Publications and Awards
Literary Codicologies: The Conditions of Middle English Literary Production, 1280-1415 [PhD Dissertation]
Gifts for the One Who Comes After, ChiZine Publications. [a collection of short stories] (For 2014)
“Crossroads and Gateways”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews. (For 2014)
“Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta”, Lackington’s, ed. Ranylt Richildis.
“In the Time of Omens”, Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow (ChiZine Publications). (For 2014)
“I’m the Lady of Good Times, She Said”, End of the Road, ed. Jonathan Oliver (Solaris Books).
“The Slipway Grey”, Chilling Tales 2, ed. Michael Kelly (EDGE).
“The Old and the New”, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, ed. Stephen Jones (Robinson/Running Press). [reprint]
“No Ghosts in London”, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Dark Horror 4, ed. Paula Guran (Prime). [reprint]
“The Book of Judgement”, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing of 2012, ed. Sandra Kasturi and Samantha Beiko (ChiZine Publications). [reprint]
“Sanditon”, World Science Fiction Blog, ed. Lavie Tidhar. [reprint]
“The Raising of Household Objects”, CVC Anthology Series, Book Three (Exile Press).
“The Mouth, Open”, Weird Fiction Review, ed. Adam Mills. [reprint]
“The Hanging Game”, Tor.com.
“The Book of Judgement”, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 28. [reprint]
The Sex Lives for Monsters: Collected Poems, Kelp Queen Press, Toronto. [a chapbook of poetry]
“The Feather Calls Me By My True Name”, Arc Poetry Magazine 73, ed. Monty Reid. (For 2014)
“The Dead Man’s Thumb”, Postscripts to Darkness 4, ed. Dominik Parisien.
“The Collected Postcards of Billy the Kid”, Postscripts to Darkness 4, ed. Dominik Parisien.
“The Ghosts of Birds”, The 2013 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2012. [reprint]
“The Ghosts of Birds”, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing of 2012, ed. Sandra Kasturi and Samantha Beiko (ChiZine Publications). [reprint]
Awards and Honours
“The Raising of Household Objects”, The $15,000 Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Competition. Short-listed.
“The Zhanell Adler Brass Telescope”, Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest. Semifinalist.
Hair Side, Flesh Side, British Fantasy Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer. Winner.
Hair Side, Flesh Side, The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. Long-listed.
Hair Side, Flesh Side, Aurora Award for Best Related Work. Short-listed.
Chiaroscuro Reading Series, Aurora Award for Fan Organizational. Short-listed.
“The Book is Dead, Long Live the Book”, Aurora Award for Fan Other. Short-listed.
“The Ghosts of Birds”, Aurora Award for Best Canadian Speculative Poem. Short-listed.
“The Ghosts of Birds”, Rhysling Award for Poetry, short-form. Nominated.