Tag Archives: writing awards

Writing Update: The Collection Progresses

I have actually been too busy to write here but I thought I’d toss in an update on what’s been transpiring.

Deadline for voting in the Aurora Awards closes on Monday, July 23 so if you’re Canadian and would like to vote you can go here. There is also a voters package that contains the works being nominated. Since you pay $10 to vote (unless you already paid to nominate), then you can consider it a purchase of several novels, short, stories, art works and poems. My poem “A Good Catch” is nominated in the poetry category and the awards will be given in Calgary at the When Words Collide convention, which I will be at.

I have a week left to finish my story for Masked Mosaic. It’s been a bit of a struggle so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. But mostly my time has been taken with formatting and getting my collection of stories ready for putting on Smashwords, for ereaders and then for print. If you’re interested in a print copy, send me a message and I’ll let you know when it’s ready and the cost.

The collection will be called “Embers Amongst the Fallen” and will include sixteen stories, two of them new. Wayne Allen Sallee has written a lovely blurb:

“Anderson is an enigma. Many of her stories evoke the tense subtleties of Shirley Jackson, but then I go on to another story and it breathes of Richard Matheson or the late Ray Bradbury. Few people can pull off the whipsaw of terror to wonder and back, but Colleen makes it way past easy.”

Wayne is a “5 time finalist-Stoker Award-First Novel, Collection, Novella, Novelette, Short Story.” East Coast, dark fiction writer Steve Vernon is writing an introduction for the collection as well so I feel very honored that these people, along with Sandra Kasturi of CZP who proofread it, have agreed to be part of it.

Polu Texni has bought another poem, “Mermaid,” which is written in the style of a villanelle. I’m not sure when it will be up on the site. Now, on to the process of self-producing a book.

books, publishing, collection, reprints, ebooks, Smashwords, writing, book production

Creative Commons: Ninha Morandini

Smashwords is for ereaders and once you have your book formatted they will make it readable for different readers and send out a catalog. You have to meet their formatting guidelines and produce a cover. I have a friend working on one right now. There is a giant book that can be downloaded for free that is the Smashwords style guide. Interestingly enough, it has formatting issues in rtf, but is okay in PDF. It’s written for those who are not even that familiar with using Word. I’m pretty much an expert (though the stupid Office/Word 2007 sucks big time and annoys the hell out of me) so I’m finding the book a bit tedious in some sections. I have to glean through though because some information is buried and some not so clear.

I have got rid of most of the marks and spaces that they require but I also have one story with footnotes and I still have to determine how to make sure those show correctly. I’m presuming once I get to the submission part that I’ll get to review before it goes to the vetters (they send it back if  there are formatting errors). It’s that part that could slow down my release date of Aug. 1.  I’m more than half way through the formatting and just waiting for the intro (and to complete my acknowledgements) so I hope by this weekend I’ll only be dealing with getting the cover art finalized.

It’s been an interesting process and I’ve been working on a few erotic stories to put up as well. Formatting one story is much easier than the book but I’m learning some things when doing this. Stay tuned for the release of my first collection.


			

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Writing: Awards From a Canadian Perspective

Creative Commons: The Bram Stoker Award

 

Like every profession, those who excel or are the tops in their field will often receive an award or some form of recognition. How those awards are meted out tend to differ. For writing, the various top awards are given by means of voting by the readers, by members or colleagues or through juries and judges. All of these have merits and flaws. Here is a partial list of some of the awards given out in speculative fiction:

  • Hugo Awards
  • Nebula Awards (works published in US voted on by SFWA members)
  • James Tiptree Award
  • John W. Campbell
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Theodore Sturgeon Award
  • Arthur C. Clark
  • World Fantasy Award
  • Bram Stoker (voted on by HWA members)
  • Sunburst Award (Canadian works)
  • Aurora Award (Canadian writers)
  • British Fantasy Award (British)
  • Aurealis (Australian)

The list actually goes on, and a full breakdown can be found on the Locus magazine site. Descriptions of each are given as well. My curiosity about visibility of Canadian writers and awards came about because the Horror Writers Association sent me and invitation, saying I was eligible. I’d actually been eligible years before when I could have got full pro membership (before they raised the rates) but never did anything about it. Than I found they’ve created a supporting member category for those who are selling but not at a pro rate of which few magazines offer (.5 cents or more per word). Yes, you do not get rich writing speculative fiction,k in most cases.

I was more interested in whether a story/novel published by a small Canadian publisher would ever be noticed enough to be nominated for bigger awards. Obviously some awards, such as the Nebulas, for works published in the US, or the Aurealis for Australian works, might limit this, but then again there are many Canadian authors published in or distributed in the US. I posted my question to our writers’ list and here are some of the opinions.

Gemma Files, published by Chizine Publications, is up for this year’s Bram Stoker for first novel. Other Canadians have won or been nominated for this award in the past, such as Edo Van Belkom, John Little , Nancy Kilpatrick, Robert Sawyer, Sandra Kasturi, Brett Savory, David Nickle, Don Hutchison, Charles de Lint and probably a few others that I missed. Many of these publications were from the US but some were Canadian. Some of the publishers were Canadian as well, while the authors were American. So it looks like, as long as the publications are known of or distributed far enough, Canadian representation is there in the Stokers.

The Hugo nominees, voted on by fans at the World SF conventions, are supposedly from all countries. However, since most World SF cons are in the US and there majority of publishers are there, there will be a tendency to have more US oriented works. But, that doesn’t mean a Canadian isn’t nominated, especially if they’re published by Tor or some other big US publisher. Charles de Lint is a good example and has been nominated over 45 times for Aurora, Sunburst, World Fantasy, Nebula and British Fantasy awards among others. And he’s Canadian.

However, looking back quickly over the last 11 years of Hugo awards it seems there are very few small presses and  none that aren’t American though in fact they have no restrictions on language or country. (I could also be wrong about small presses from outside the US–someone please correct me.)

But when an award is voted on by attending members of a convention or on fans it is a smaller spectrum of the writing avaialabe. It is first limited by a name the fan recognizes or the books they’ve read. This also runs true for member-voted awards of associations such as SFWA or HWA. There is a limit to how much a person can read or what they like. Some people will vote for someone based on the popularity of their name, even if they have’nt read the work. It happens all the time.

Canada’s population is much smaller than the US, and even if all Canadians were published in the US there would be a smaller percentage and a smaller number nominated for awards. Canadian publishers are less likely to be seen by American readers, which also limits the range of available works. But I doubt there is anyone who has read all that is published in a year though I have to give people like Gardner Dozois and Ellen Datlow huge kudos for the sheer volume of stuff they go through. I’d almost say the Year’s Best anthologies are a more accurate collection of written works than any award.

But truth be told, no award will ever really have all of the best authors or stories or publishers. There is always a limiting of the field by various means. But Canadians don’t do too badly, considering, and are holding their own. As we have more digital formats and the universality of the internet we are likely to see more and more authors from all parts of the world.

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Writing: Black Quill Nominees

Dark Scribe Magazine, a nonfiction magazine highlighting dark fiction started doing the Black Quill awards three years ago. As I talked about earlier this week in “What is Horror?” small presses especially are doing very well with the dark speculative fiction market. The Black Quills look at all presses, whether large or small. This resurrection of dark fiction, after the large publishing houses pooh-poohed “horror” had as much to do with dedicated small presses as it did with the growing trend of print-on-demand publishing, allowing presses without millions of dollars to put out quality fiction in a professional capacity.

And the Black Quills are an award looked at with respect and probably opens the gate to a few more choices, besides the Stoker awards, given by the Horror Writers Association at the World Horror Convention every year, and named suitably after Bram Stoker.

This year, the fourth annual Black Quill Awards, to be given out in February, have the following categories: Dark Genre Novel, Small Press Chill, Dark Genre Fiction Collection, Dark Genre Anthology, Dark Genre Book of Non-Fiction, Dark Scribble (stories in a magazine–paper or virtual), and Dark Genre Book Trailer. Why they limit the short fiction to magazines only and do not allow short stories in an anthology is beyond me. It seems an odd arbitrary choice. A collection is a selection of stories by one author and an anthology is a collection of stories by different authors. The collection award is given to the author and the anthology one to the editor. So the writers in an anthology are effectively barred from being nominated. Very odd. As well, there is no cover art award. Perhaps the trailer is seen as more effective because there is a script and that art really isn’t writing and belongs to someone else.

Several Chizine books authors have been nominated, specifically Gemma Files’ A Book of Tongues for Best Small Press Chill and Paul Tremblay’s In the Mean Time for Best Dark Genre Collection. That’s pretty good for a press that’s been going for about two years. The Horror Library Vol. IV anthology where my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” resides, is also nominated in the Dark Genre Anthology category. Without further ado, here is the full list.

DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR:

(Novel-length work of horror, suspense, or thriller from a mainstream publisher; awarded to the author)
  • A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (Doubleday)
  • Kraken by China Miéville (Del Rey)
  • Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (Leisure / Bad Moon Books)
  • The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman (Overlook Hardcover)
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King (Scribner)

BEST SMALL PRESS CHILL:

(Novel or novella published by small press publisher; awarded to the author)
  • A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
  • Dreams in Black and White by John R. Little (Morning Star)
  • Invisible Fences by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)
  • The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
  • The Wolf at the Door by Jameson Currier (Chelsea Street Editions)

BEST DARK GENRE FICTION COLLECTION:

(Single author collection, any publisher; awarded to the author)
  • Blood and Gristle by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
  • In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine Publications)
  • Little Things by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
  • Occultation by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
  • Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi (VIZ Media LLC)

BEST DARK GENRE ANTHOLOGY:

(Multi-author collection, any publisher; awarded to the editor)
  • Dark Faith Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
  • Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House)
  • Haunted Legends Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
  • Horror Library IV Edited by RJ Cavender and Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
  • When The Night Comes Down Edited by Bill Breedlove (Dark Arts Books)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK OF NON-FICTION:

(Any dark genre non-fiction subject, any publisher; awarded to the author[s] or editor[s])
  • Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators by Rocky Wood (McFarland)
  • I Am Providence: The Life and Times of HP Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press)
  • Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever by Joe Kane (Citadel)
  • The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
  • Thrillers: 100 Must Reads Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)

BEST DARK SCRIBBLE:

(Single work, non-anthology short fiction appearing in a print or virtual magazine; awarded to the author)
  • “Bully” by Jack Ketchum (Postscripts 22/23)
  • “Goblin Boy” by Rick Hautula (Cemetery Dance #63)
  • “Secretario” by Catherynne M. Valente (Weird Tales, Summer 2010)
  • “The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
  • “We” by Bentley Little (Cemetery Dance #64)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK TRAILER:

(Book video promoting any work of fiction or non-fiction; awarded to the video producer or publisher)

You can go to Dark Scribe’s site to view these trailers: http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/4th-annual-bqa-nominees/

  • Neverland / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Douglas Clegg)
  • Radiant Shadows / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Melissa Marr)
  • Specters in Coal Dust / Produced by Michael Knost & Black Water Films (for the anthology edited by Michael Knost)
  • Under the Dome / Produced by Scribner Marketing (for the book by Stephen King)
  • Unhappy Endings / Produced by Delirium Books (for the book by Brian Keene)

Nominations for the Black Quills are editorial-based, with both the editors and active contributing writers submitting nominations in each of the (7) categories. Once nominations are announced, the readers of DSM have an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks in each category. In a unique spin intended to celebrate both critical and popular success, two winners are announced in each category – Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice.

All dark genre works published between November 1st, 2009 and October 31st, 2010 are eligible. DSM does not solicit nominations, nor are there any fees associated with the Black Quills.

Please note that only one ballot per email/IP address will be accepted. Multiple ballots received from the same email/IP address will be discarded.

Reader voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, January 21st, 2011.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011.

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