You Row and You Burn now available in The Deadlands

Funny story—when I received this acceptance, I panicked. I panicked so much that I threw my phone across the room in shock. It is my favourite reaction to any acceptance that I have ever had. The acceptance was unexpected, and so too was the reaction. Fitting, really. Why did I react so violently? Well, The Deadlands is a dream publication. From the moment they opened their skeletal hands, I wanted to give them a hug.

This is my hug.

“You Row and You Burn” is a little story that features a gondola chase. Yep, you read that right. A gondola chase. You should read it, and you can do so here.

The Ferrymen are hunting you now. You have broken the rules.

Rule one: Everything dies, no exceptions.

Rule two: Pay the Ferryman.

Rule three: When you cross the Ocean Between, keep your extremities in the boat at all times. Do not—repeat, do not—leave the gondola.

Rule four: No one goes back.


Pre-order CloisterFox Zine Issue Two, featuring In Which Our Lovers Surely Drown

This is one of my favourite forthcoming publications for several reasons. Firstly, CloisterFox is a British publication. It always feels really special when my work is picked up in the UK—and my parents, wonderful and supportive as they are, like to purchase copies of my work, so it’s nice to save them a bit on shipping.

Secondly, CloisterFox is gorgeous. I was lucky enough to snag a copy of issue one, and it’s one of the single most stunning publications I’ve seen. I cannot wait to see what the interior of issue two looks like. If the cover is anything to go by, I am going to fall deeply in love.

Finally, this short story has one of my favourite titles. I love a good title, and this one has been haunting me for a while before its story emerged. “In Which Our Lovers Surely Drown” was slow to reveal itself, but once it did it became a story that I just couldn’t stop writing. I really hope you enjoy it.

You can expect:

🌊an abandoned yacht
🌊a journalism student
🌊mysterious wet footprints
🌊an uneaten banquet
🌊poor mobile phone signal

If you want a beautifully designed selection of spooky, watery tales, you can pre-order a copy here.

Priya casts a glance at the darkening sky. There are no clouds and, with the sun now hidden away beneath the horizon, there is no colour either. Just a flat sheet of grey. The emptiness is oppressive. Somewhere along the coast, the beam of a lighthouse rounds into being, but Priya, Masud and the broken boats are too far away for the lighthouse keeper to see them. 

We’re going to be out here all night.


You Hope, Through Shivers and Sweat now live in Haven Speculative issue five!

Nothing like a publication day to make feeling like death a little bit more bearable. As I’m feeling like death, this will only be a little update. It is apt then, I suppose, that today’s new story is a ghost story. Sort of. “You Hope, Through Shivers and Sweat” is a second-person, eerie sideshow of a story and I hope you love it as much as I do. I also love Haven Speculative, and I am so glad this story found a home there. The entire issue is excellent and just look at that cover. Stunning.

You follow dumbly. You want to rip your fingers away from his, experience be damned. You would apologise to your mother later, or pretend you stayed, pretend you witnessed wonderful things. But you can’t, you can’t even try, such is his power—his voice may be a door, but his grasp is the lock, and it is rusted shut. When you think to pull away, your hand only tightens around his, unbidden.

He pulls you to the next curtain and you hope, through shivers and sweat, that this one will be different.


Holy Water Makes My Wicked Throat Smooth published in The Crow’s Quill

It’s the first day of a new month and I have a new story out in the wild! This story would not exist without this magazine, this theme and Damon Barrett Roe, one of the CQ editors, who tweeted about it at exactly the right time. I was supposed to be writing something else, but this strange little story sank its stone teeth into my skull and wouldn’t let me continue writing the other story until I’d given it words to eat.

“Holy Water Makes My Wicked Throat Smooth” is now live in The Crow’s Quill issue 12. In this story, terrible people who make terrible decisions are met with terrible consequences. It begins thus,

I am terrible, and because I am terrible, I have become stone.

If you like that and would like to read more, click here!

A haunting in Parentheses, issue 13

I love it when a publication date sneaks up on me, and this one did just that. I knew Parentheses issue 13 was due out but I wasn’t sure when. Well, it turns out when is actually another word for today.

I don’t often submit poetry so it always feels a little bit miraculous when one gets accepted for publication. This particular poem, “A haunting”, had been haunting (see what I did there?) my poetry folder for a while, and I wasn’t sure I would even submit it anywhere.

I am so glad that I did.

You can read “A haunting” by clicking here, or, if you feel so inclined, you can purchase a print copy and see that gorgeous cover artwork in the flesh—or, rather, the page?

Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Tatterdemalion appears in Luna Station Quarterly’s 50th issue

Hello, hello, hello. I am so pleased to be writing this post. When I first started seriously submitting my stories, I found Luna Station Quarterly and I fell in love. I watched them talk on some online panels and decided I wanted to see if I could sneak a little story through their door. I didn’t realise when I submitted that, if successful, I would end up in such a special issue!

“Tatterdemalion” is a story that started its life as a round one NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge entry and I was unsure it would ever find a home, though I love it dearly. Luckily, Jen and the team at LSQ loved it too!

I have included a little tiny snippet below for your enjoyment. If you like it, you can read the rest here for free! Alternatively, LSQ is available in print and ebook.

I can’t wait to dig into the rest of the issue.

Not so long ago, a cruel wind swept through the little village, up the little hill and in through the door of the farmhouse—which had always been swinging to and fro with villagers and their children, farm cats and their kittens, and the odd strange little visitor from the woods nearby. It brought with it a fever and, before it went, scooped her husband up and carried him far away.

She buried him beneath the apple tree.


In other news, Drabbledark Volume II is now available for purchase! If you like tiny stories, Drabbledark has 100 all-new 100-word stories for your enjoyment.

Happy reading!

Coming Soon: Crow & Cross Keys

I have a secret. Well, it’s not truly a secret because it’s all over twitter, but my name isn’t on it yet so it could be a secret.

Allow me to introduce Crow & Cross Keys, an online literary journal dedicated to the weird and the whimsical.

Launching on October 31st (naturally), Crow & Cross Keys seeks to provide a home for beautifully written prose and poetry that scratch a speculative itch.

I am currently collecting submissions for the launch of the website but we are live on twitter and instagram; please come and say hello!

After the launch, we are hoping to share at least one new piece of writing a week. If your writing is strange and dark and lovely, please consider submitting.

The Art of Doing Nothing in Aloe

In May, I wrote a couple of poems about the gut-punch anxiety I was feeling during lockdown. I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do with them, I’d pretty much resigned them to a folder on my harddrive. Then I found Aloe.

Aloe is a collection of new writing from the UK and Ireland produced under lockdown and I’m so pleased one of my poems, “The Art of Doing Nothing”, has found a home there.

If you would like to give it a read, you can download a free copy or purchase the print edition (with all profit being donated in support of UK and Irish healthcare workers) on the Aloe website.

Aloe imagery by Samuel Best