Douglas Smith's blog

New HWA anthology: Group Hex

Group Hex antho cover I have a story in a new anthology just released by the HWA (Horror Writers Association). The antho is called Group Hex and features an impressive line up of stories from the Ontario chapter of the HWA. So yeah, an all-Canadian, all-local horror anthology. This is volume one, as our chapter is planning to make this an annual publication.

My story is "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down," which first appeared in the excellent UK dark fantasy magazine, The Third Alternative (now Black Static) in 2001. It was an Aurora Award finalist and was selected for Best New Horror #13 the following year. And yes, this is the story on which the award-winning short film of the same name was based.

I'm thrilled to be included with such a great collection of authors, who include Kelley Armstrong, Nancy Kilpatrick, John R. Little, Julianne Snow, Suzanne Church, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, and many more.

Here's the back cover blurb:

The Great Lakes Horror Company presents this collection of 19 new and previously published horror stories from some of the best writers lurking on the chilling shores of the wild and wicked north. Cannibals, zombies, vampires, vengeful gods, psychotics and the supernatural are just a few of the terrifying things waiting for you in this collection featuring members of the Horror Writer’s Association Ontario Chapter. Gathered here are award-winning best-selling authors, bold and bloody newcomers, and more than a few unhinged souls telling tales that will make your blood run cold.

Illustrated by celebrated genre artists, Group Hex Vol. 1 transports you to the hungry shores of future worlds, to the heart of mystical planes, and to the rooms of what seem like perfectly normal suburban houses…but they aren’t. And after reading these tales, you may never be the same again.

The antho is available at most ebook retailers, including Amazon.

Sign-up for my newsletter

Just a reminder that if you enjoy my writing, you can sign up below for my irregular email newsletters. Subscribers are the first to hear about new books and stories, award news, appearances, workshops, and more. I'll never spam you or share your email address, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

My subscribers also receive free giveaways, exclusive writing content, special offers, and a permanent discount at my online bookstore. And as a thank you for joining, I'll send you a free award-winning short story ebook.

Subscribe here and get your free ebook

Short story news: Upcoming publications

By Her Hand ebook coverI've had a spate of short story sales lately, including one previously unpublished story ("The Last of a Thing," which I blogged about here) along with a bunch of reprints.

Why so many reprints? Why so few new stories?

Well, to answer the first question, I continue to submit my previously published stories to markets that accept reprints. I can do that because I've always been careful about ensuring the rights for my stories revert to me after the original publication.

If you're a writer and don't understand what I'm talking about, you need to check out my book, Playing the Short Game or at least read the series of the same name on Amazing Stories (specifically this post).

Reprints are found money plus they give me the opportunity to find new readers who haven't come across my work before. So reprints are a win-win.

But why am I not announcing more sales of new short fiction? Even "The Last of a Thing" was a story I wrote a while ago.

The simple answer is that I'm focusing on novels now. I finished a new novel, the first book in an urban fantasy trilogy, earlier this year and am now well into the second book of that series. Plus I have another Mysterious Writing Project, which is neither short fiction nor novel, that is consuming my available writing time. More on both of these projects in future blog posts.

For now, just know that I will have the following short stories coming out as reprints over the next few months:

  • My Aurora Award finalist story, "The Red Bird," will be reprinted in a Japan-themed anthology from Guardbridge Books in the UK, tentatively titled Sunrise Lands. The ebook version of the story is pictured at the left;
  • "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down," both an Aurora finalist and a Best New Horror selection, will be reprinted in a HWA (Horror Writers Association) anthology, Group Hex (Volume 1), containing stories from Ontario HWA members; and,
  • My Aurora Award winning tale, "Scream Angel," will appear in the anthology, Survivors, from Lethe Press, edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj

And, of course, as mentioned in a recent post, "Scream Angel," was also narrated and presented as a podcast on StarShipSofa. All of these stories, by the way, are included in my collection, Chimerascope, and are also available as stand-alone ebooks. Check my bookstore for buying links if you're interested.

Upcoming workshop on marketing short fiction

Library workshop flyerThis will be of interest to any short fiction writers who follow me here. I'll be giving a 2-hour workshop on how to market and sell short fiction at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library on Thursday, January 26,2017 from 7-9pm. The workshop will be an introduction to some of the material covered in my book Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction.

During the two hours, I will give you critical advice and answer your questions on how to sell your short stories to professional markets and to build a career as a short fiction writer. Topics I'll be teaching in the workshop include:

  • rights and licensing for short fiction;
  • a strategy for selecting your target markets;
  • finding short fiction markets;
  • selecting the right market;
  • submitting short fiction to a market; and,
  • what not to do when submitting.

$25 includes the workshop and a copy of my book. Registration is required by January 24. You can register online at or by calling the library:

Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library

2 Park Drive

Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario L4A 4K1 | (905) 642-7323

If you're in the GTA region, I hope to see you there!

"Scream Angel" up on StarShipSofa podcast

I'm thrilled to announce that my Aurora Award winning story, "Scream Angel," has been published as a podcast on StarShipSofa. The story is narrated by Brian Rollins and you can listen to it for free at the above link.

"Scream Angel" first appeared in the anthology, Low Port, from Meisha Merlin, edited by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. It won Canada's Aurora Award in 2004 for best short fiction. It was the lead story in my collection, Chimerascope, and is often mentioned by my fans as one of their favourites:

Soldiers on the drug Scream will not only kill, they will revel in it. Jason Trelayne is a Screamer, a soldier and forced participant in the enslavement and death of entire races. When Trelayne falls in love with Philomela, a Scream Angel, an alien who produces the addictive drug, he triggers a chain of events that threatens to bring down an empire.

I hope you enjoy the podcast if you check it out. "Scream Angel" is also available as a stand-alone ebook. Check it out in my bookstore for a list of all major retailer links.

Heroka story "Dream Flight" available as ebook

Dream Flight coverFor fans of my Heroka (shapeshifter) stories, I've just released the short story "Dream Flight" as an ebook. The book is available in both epub and mobi (Kindle) formats at all popular ebook retailers.

"Dream Flight" is a sequel to the short story "A Bird in the Hand" and again features Lilith Hoyl, a Heroka of the bird totem. But Lilith is a little different, even for a Heroka. It was first published in The Dark Magazine in January 2014, issue #3.

Here's what Fantasy Literature had to say about the story: “One expects magic with this set-up, and magic does, indeed, follow, but pain cannot be forever vanquished, for either the girl or the Hoyl. The story charms as well as pains. In other hands, it would be mawkish, but Smith avoids all the pitfalls and gives us something bittersweet instead.”

The ebook is available here: 

All retailers  |   My bookstore

If you haven't read any of my Heroka stories, here's the complete list:

  • "Spirit Dance" — novelette featuring Gwyn Blaidd, a Heroka of the wolf totem (the first story, so start here)
  • The Wolf at the End of the World novel with the characters of "Spirit Dance" that picks up five years later
  • "A Bird in the Hand" — short story that introduces Lilith Hoyl
  • "Dream Flight" — short story sequel to "A Bird in the Hand"

All of these are available at all major book retailers and my bookstore. Check out my bookstore for all the buying links for these titles.

And there will be more Heroka novels — right after I finish the young adult urban fantasy trilogy I'm currently writing. I'm on book #2 in that series now. More on that later.

New story! "The Last of a Thing" in Pulp Literature

Pulp Literature #12 cover I'm very happy to announce that I have a "new" short story out in Issue #12 of the fine Canadian speculative fiction magazine, Pulp Literature. The gorgeous cover can be seen at the side here.

My story is called "The Last of a Thing" and is high fantasy. I purposely play around with the tropes and cliches of that genre to tell a tale whose message is...well, I'll let you read it, but let's just say this little story shares a heart with my novel The Wolf at the End of the World.

Why the quotes around "new"? Well, although the story has never been published before (so it will be new to any of my readers), I had actually sold it a couple of times in the past However, it never managed to see the light of publication until now. Every time I sold it, the magazine would fold or the anthology would never be published.

Yes, this was my "market killer" story. Every short story writer, if they've been doing this long enough, has one of these—a story that seems cursed to take down any market that dares to try to publish it.

So I'm very glad that (a) the story has finally really sold and is now available for you to read, and (b) I didn't end up killing a fine Canadian magazine.

Issue 12 is available for purchase here, in either print or ebook formats. I hope you'll check it out and help support Pulp Literature and Canadian speculative fiction by buying a copy of the issue or, better yet, a subscription.

Local Author Night Oct 19: Toronto Library Appearance

Albert Campbell Library Local Authors Night Oct 19On Wednesday, October 19, Toronto Public Library's Albert Campbell Branch is hosting a monthly Local Authors Night, an evening for book lovers: readers, writers, and everyone in-between. I'll be one of five local writers speaking at the event:

  • Sèphera Girón
  • Tamara Hecht
  • Stephen B. Pearl
  • Douglas Smith
  • Andrew F. Sullivan

We'll each be talking about our writing, giving a short reading, and then answering questions from resident librarian Maria Samurin and the audience. After, we'll all be there to chat with. Books will also be available for purchase and signing. The event starts at 6:30pm and runs to 8:00pm.

I hope if you're in the area that night, you'll drop by to listen and talk with us.

Indie Author Day: Library appearance

Indie Authors DayI'll be one of six authors appearing at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Library (2 Park Drive, Stouffville, ON) for the inaugural Indie Author Day on Saturday, October 8.

Indie Authors Day is a North American event in which "libraries from all across Canada and the US will host their own local author events with the support of the Indie Author Day team. In addition to these local programs, each library’s indie community will come together for an hour-long digital gathering at 2 pm Eastern featuring Q&A with writers, agents and other industry leaders."

I'm a hybrid author, with a traditional publishing short fiction career with my stories and collections, but also an indie career with my first novel, THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD, and my writer's guide, PLAYING THE SHORT GAME. I'm thrilled to be invited to participate in this event, and in my own home of York Region.

Here's the schedule for the day:

1:00-2:00 pm: Panel with the Writers’ Community of York Region

2:00-3:00 pm: Digital panel, streamed and projected

3:00-5:00 pm: Open house with the writers, including short readings and a chance to buy books and get them signed.

I'll have all of my books available for purchase at reduced prices. If you're in the area, I hope to see you there!

Foreign Market List updated

I just posted an update in the FML on the Estonian market Algernon. They have a new translations editor along with new submission and contact email addresses. Older email addies had been bouncing.


Subscribe to RSS - Douglas Smith's blog