Recently, I've been perusing a website called Merry Sisters of Fate. It's basically an archive of short stories written by young adult authors Brenna Yovanoff, Tessa Gratton, and Maggie Stiefvater written weekly since 2008. (Sadly, it's discontinued now.) While I've read and enjoyed Brenna Yovanoff's Paper Valentine and Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys, I haven't gotten a chance to read any of Tessa Gratton's books yet - though I want to!

Obviously, the story being featured today was read off of Merry Sisters of Fate, but oddly enough, it's a guest story contributed by Lauren DeStefano. (I've been eyeing her book Perfect Ruin for a while now, and this story just makes me want to read something book-length of hers even more.)

Also, Lauren DeStefano's tweets basically make my life.

The story being highlighted this Friday is titled "The Sometimes Mermaid". It's a magical, oh-so-slightly chilling piece that I love, especially for its atmosphere and perfect ending. The first paragraph is really the best lead-in, so here's that excerpt:
Atticus lived a hundred years, married twice, and loved only one girl. She became more a legend than a girl as the years went on. Her straw-blonde hair took on, in transit from one telling to the next, the pale white of a spirit. Her denim cutoffs and wicked grin became a billowing Victorian petticoat, her soggy daisy crown a shimmering tiara.
"The Sometimes Mermaid" is available to read here.

Here's to hoping you love it as much as I did, and that you all have a great Friday!

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I'm delighted to announce that another one of my works has found a home in a publication! Today it's Canvas Literary Journal, a magazine written by teenagers that is based in Rochester, New York. 

Canvas is a magazine produced by teenagers from the Writers and Books program. My work is set to appear in the Spring 2014 issue, which will be their first ever venture into print. I'm so excited that my writing is going into print for the second time!

For writers and artists ages 13-18 - I would advise you to submit!

The story I sent in is called "Breadcrumb Nightlife", and to be short and sweet, it's about a ghost girl and a lost boy and a glittering corner of a too-big city. I hope that some of you get to read it, because it'll be available online once the issue is released.

Happy reading and writing to you all!
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Hello! Looks like I can actually have a Fiction Friday up on time-ish this week, with two stories for your reading enjoyment.

"Snakebit" by Amanda Downum is a haunting, gritty speculative short story, on the long side for quick fiction but very worthwhile all the same. This selection is another one from Strange Horizons - I find that I really dig what they publish. "Snakebit" specifically has a deeply rooted sense of wistfulness and place. Its atmosphere and descriptions are superb, and the hints are gorgeous, just subtle enough to not be confusing but not horribly obvious. Here's a small excerpt, which shows you what I mean:
The rain had stopped, but clouds slid low across the sky, snagging against the distant silhouettes of grain elevators. Sodium lamps glazed wet asphalt with marigold light. Lanie drew a deep breath, tasting rain on concrete and bitter exhaust. By the time they reached her truck she'd gathered enough courage to ask her question.
You can read "Snakebit" here.

Next up is Mari Ness's "Undone", from Apex Magazine. This is another professional speculative fiction market that I'm looking forward to exploring more of, and "Undone" was a great introduction. I'll give you a hint: it's a fairy tale adaptation, but that element of it crept up on me so quietly that I didn't realize it until the piece had ended. Again, the prose is delectable, but it isn't overbearing. An excerpt, ladies and gentlemen, because you really do want to read this piece:
In the summer, they attach feathers to his other arm, and dress the rest of him in delicate white silk dripping with pearls, to draw the eye away, they explain. His arms remain heavy by his side, even as the feathers shift beneath the summer winds.
"Undone" is available online here.

Hopefully this is a nice addition to your Friday!

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I have two bits of very exciting news.

Remember when I was freaking out about my regional gold key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards?

Some background taken from the website:
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has an impressive legacy dating back to 1923. Over the years, the Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Updike, and many more.
Yeah, okay, pretty darn big, right?

I was pretty happy with my gold key at the regional level. I got a pretty pin in the mail and a nice letter and good feelings - what's not to love? I was hoping for an additional award, but I was also preparing myself to be disappointed. After all, apparently less than 1% of all submissions receive higher honors.

I'm telling you right now - I have a national gold medal for my short story "Service or Steel", in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category. Also, I have a national silver medal for On the Midnight Streets!

National. Gold. And silver.


The National Awards Ceremony is at Carnegie Hall on June 6, and my family's saying that we'll probably be able to go. This is very cool. I've never been to New York.

Also I am freaking out. I will be freaking out for a very long time. *exercises restraint in the freaking out* *fails*

(PS: If you go to my features page, it's been updated with these very shiny awards!)

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Hello, everyone - I realize it's Sunday (or perhaps even Monday for some of you?), but I'm here with a belated excuse for a Fiction Friday.

Strange Horizons is a prominent professional literary magazine in the SF/F community. It publishes some all-around great work, and while I was digging around in its archives, I found a shivery, delightful piece called "Longfin's Daughters", written by O. J. Cade.

The thing that usually gets me about short fiction is the prose - lately I've been finding that if a story's writing style is lackluster, I'll lose interest. But combined with an eerie setup, the toothsome array of words was too wonderful to ignore. If anything about eels, sisterhood, slippery narration, or a flow like a fairy tale sounds up your alley, "Longfin's Daughters" will appeal to you. And even it if doesn't, I'd suggest that you give it a try.

Here's an excerpt:
(Her memory was a sheet of blank paper, thin and crisp like apple skin and translucent enough to see shadows of writing beneath—equations and diagrams that wriggled and squirmed out of their neat lines and tidy arcs into chaos.)
"Longfin's Daughters" is available to read here.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave feedback in the comments!

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