Selena Chambers

I imbibe words and consume past minds. As a result, I often awake next to strange sentences and forgotten meanings. I am the Bas Bleu Zombie.

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Cover art by MANDEM.

For the past few months, I have been reading for Zoetic Press’s NonBinary Review #12: The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, which I have the honor of serving as Guest Editor. It was just released, and is now available for digital purchase for just $1.99.

Out of something like 63 submissions, I selected 32 stories, poems, essays, and artwork to appear in this issue, as well as its online sister companion, Alphanumeric. I was only able to do this with the patient gut-checking and assistance of Zoetic Press‘s founder and editrix-in-chief Lise Quintana, and all of her awesome editors. I can’t thank them enough for letting me join their sandbox!

I really enjoyed editing this issue, and I hope you will enjoy reading it! From the dark, decadent gothic to sharp, modern retellings, I wanted to make sure the issue had something for every kind of Poe fan here. One aspect of this issue that may be surprising to all Poe fans is the presence of lighter tones and humor in some of the pieces. Poe was actually a funny guy and that aspect of his personality is often excised when we discuss his work, so I was very happy to receive submissions celebrating that. One fantastic example is “The Ravening,” by Meadhbh Hamrick, which launches this month’s Alphanumeric*

“The Ravening” is a hilarious text-based adventure game based on the archetypal Poe hero that no only sheds light on popular culture’s perception of Poe’s work but also illustrates its timelessness. Can you survive the massive doses of laudanum required to survive? Click here to find out. 

Oh, and Poepathists may recognize my introduction, “The Living Poe Girl.”It is a radically revised edition of a series that ran at Tor.com in 2009, and touches on the heroines that appear in this issue, Ligeia, Berenice, The Oval Portrait, and of course, Virginia Poe.

*Alphanumeric is the fun, free, month-long online companion to each issue of NonBinary Review. This is a great way for readers to get a feel for the issue’s vibe, so if you are on the fence about buying the issue, check in every week to get a sample of the issue.

It’s a book!!!

Light up your cigars, pop the bubbly, and behold my little bundle of horrors, Calls For Submission, my debut collection published by Pelekinesis.

 

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I am thrilled that it is adorned by Joan Horne‘s cute & creepy cover, and includes an introduction by Molly Tanzer, and collaborations with Jesse Bullington and Virginia M Mohlere.

Arriving this May.

If you are a reviewer, blogger, or podcaster, and would like an ARC, please contact either me at LeFilleHST[at]gmail[dot]com or Pelekinesis at pelekinesis[at]gmail[dot]com.

And if you are interested in helping me get the word out, please share!

Back in November, I decided to launch a new literary feminist rag called NASTY WRITERS. The mission statement and guidelines are finally up, and we are open to reading for Issue #1, due out in late Spring. This is still a one-lady shop, at the moment, but slowly am getting things going with a branding/redesign of the site, fundraising development, and assembling a masthead. Please follow www.nastywriters.com for more details.

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“Such a Nasty woman.”  —U. S. President-Elect Donald Trump

“Stop looking to men to find out what you are not.” —Mina Loy, “Feminist Manifesto.”

NASTY WRITERS is a quarterly rag written for women and women-identifying readers by women and women-identifying writers, with the first issue premiering in the late Spring. It was conceived as an initial response to seeing so many of my friends feel devalued from the outcome of the 2016 election.

The mission of NASTY WRITERS is two-fold:

1) The goal is to dedicate a space for the preservation and exploration of the radical intersections between feminism, art, and literature, with a cross-genre bent. Included within these discussions, I hope, will be race, gender, sexuality, and disability within a national and international context.

2) To further hone in on the above, I’d like NASTY WRITERS to focus on the pivotal, symbiotic tradition of writing as a form for female resistance, and honor how important writing has been to feminism, especially when it was one of the few avenues a woman could utilize for financial independence.

For example, the world’s first named author was a Sumarian princess named Inanna. She used her writing to not only commune with the Goddess, but to document politics and daily life, as well as emotionally placing herself directly within these narratives. Like many NASTY WRITERS, she was exiled from her home for her work, and buried within history until rediscovered by academic feminism. I want to take these efforts of academic resurrection and provide a more mainstream gateway to re-establish, re-enforce, and re-new the powerful relationship between womanhood and the written word. This will be done by featuring in-depth oeuvre profiles and interviews from women writers past and present, from Enhudana to current working writers from all genres.

Because we all expected to enter 2017 on a momentous first, the theme of issue 1 will be, you guessed it, “Firsts.” For this issue I am interested in stories that either focus on first strides made in history, or first experiences by the author, especially in reaction to the new administration.

To give you a sense of what I am looking for, we already have a creative non-fiction piece about Inanna from yours truly, and the first installment of the exclusive, original column, “Off the Rag: The Personally Political with Molly Tanzer,” which will detail her experiences of getting an IUD in the wake of Trump’s election and the uncertain future of reliable birth control for women in America.

Please note, because we believe revolutions are cultivated in the bedrooms of teenage girls, we are especially interested in buying work from young adult women and women-identifying writers for our special, reoccurring feature “Go to Your Room.” So yeah, we plan on running the gamut here. Send me your horror, your weird, your literary fic….as long as it is Nasty.

Please e-mail your submissions to Selena Chambers at NastyWriters[at]gmail[.]com. Only files formatted in the standard manuscript format and attached as .DOC or .DOCX format will be accepted. Please include a cover letter that contains the length of your piece, your publishing credits, and other standard cover letter fodder. Please do not send pieces over 5000 words for fiction and non-fiction. NASTY WRITERS will pay a flat honorarium of $50 for both fiction and non-fiction, and $25 for reprints.

The reading period for Issue One is now open, and will close on March 31st.

I haven’t had many reasons to leave the house, lately. Too many deadlines and not enough time. However, when it comes to these two events, I wouldn’t miss them for all the pennies per word in the world.

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On Thursday, March 9th, starting at 7 pm at the Phyllis Straus Gallery in Tallahassee, FL, I will be joining poet Luis Eduardo and others at his event #RESIST.

Quoting from the Facebook Event page:

Join us on a night of resistance and unification as we all welcome the artistry of The Lessers (singer/guitarist Olivier Millour), Mariah J. RománMax EpsteinSelena ChambersMenika LueSawyer CampbellLuis EduardoElton BurgestEric McNeil, and Sawyer Vanderwerff.

[Resist] indicates unification and resistance, the sense of being together with all while also going against any disturbance to said unity. Has to do with current events, with the people against xenophobia, against homo- and trans-phobia, against bigotry and against diving opposing sides in any country, whether it be here in the States or in Great Britain. RESIST can mean many things; hence, resistance includes resisting from society, from pressure, or from the very resisting occurring in society. Unification, in turn, can be the unification of ideas that go against the very idea of unity, therefore, distractions to proper utopias. The two conflict and coerce themselves, like yin and yang. Both are necessary for the development of good and evil found in society.

Just as an aside, I agree with this mission statement 100%. Since November, I have heard testimonies from many people lost in the sea of possibility of resistance: What’s the right way? What’s the best way? Why is it this way? And resistance can come in many forms, and I believe that it is up to the artists, writers, musicians, and creators to explore and illustrate those forms in ways that aren’t necessarily done effectively on the front lines. So, I am very glad to be standing and reading with this great group of artists. Thank you, Luis!

ODS

On Saturday, March 25th, I will be in Atlanta as a guest participant in the first annual The Outer Dark Symposium of the Greater Weird.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird will be an immersive one-day event featuring eight hours of panels, readings and signings centered around Weird and speculative fiction. Admission will be limited to 50 attendees, but all programming will be featured on The Outer Dark weekly podcast which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

Since this is its first year, they are running an Indiegogo campaign with amazing perks from some of the best weird writers and vendors in the biz. To quote co-founder Scott Nicolay, host of The Outer Dark weekly podcast:

A key goal is to keep the symposium affordable ($25) for readers and writers, with everyone attending all programming and sharing breakfast and lunch together. We also will be providing an opportunity to continue the conversation at an after-party in the evening. We’ve crunched every figure and cut corners as far as we possibly can, but to rent a great space for an entire day, fly in some out-of-town guests, provide food services, and print a collectible program chapbook still takes money. In other words, to accomplish ALL this at this crazy price point, we ask humbly for your help.

That’s why we created this Indiegogo campaign through which you can purchase:

  • Supporting Membership ($20, includes program chapbook, limited to 100 copies & signed by all 17 program participants)

  • Basic Attending Membership ($25 for day event including meals)

  • Deluxe Membership ($50 for day event & evening party)

  • VIP Membership ($100, includes exclusive brunch with author guests & more)

With 4 days left, they have almost reached 50% of their goal (which is just under $3k). If you are coming to the Outer Dark, why not consider buying your membership along with some of the great perks? If you are a fan of Frankenstein or Poe, you may be interested in two of the below options that involve my WANDERING SPIRITS: TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN limited edition chapbook from Tallhat Press.

Wandering Weird–$10 USD  + Shipping
 
1 signed & personalized copy of Selena Chambers’ WANDERING SPIRITS; TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (illustrated by Yves Tourigny) & your name thanked in program chapbook & on podcast.
 
Dreadful Poe Pack–$45 USD + Shipping
 
The Dreadful Ape Tiki Mug is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE & finely crafted by Horror in Clay. To make it even more Poe-fect, it comes with a signed copy & personalized copy of WANDERING SPIRITS: TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN by Poe expert Selena Chambers. Plus your name thanked in program chapbook & on podcast.

There are plenty of other options, from simply getting the basic membership for $25, or a special VIP Deluxe Attending Membership for $100, which gets you to “The Outer Dark Symposium, VIP party (8-11 pm, location TBA), farewell Sun. brunch with guests (up to $25 incl tip) & special surprise Weird book/gift. Plus your name listed as VIPDeluxe attending member in program chapbook & on podcast.”

You can explore all the perk options and find more details at The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird’s Indiegogo page or Facebook event page. Many thanks to Scott and Anya Martin for having me along for the ride.

Send me your Poe!

I have the distinct pleasure of being guest editor for Zoetic Press’s Non-Binary Review, #12: The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, and I want YOU to send me your Poe-influenced work.

I have worked with Poe’s material closely now for about ten years, so it has been a real pleasure seeing what others bring to the pendulum table. However, I want more!

Submissions close 2/1 (a week from today), and I am especially interested in seeing non-fiction and pieces riffing off of more obscure works (I’d prefer to read “The Raven” riffs, nevermore). I also would like to see more POC, LGBTQ, and women writers and perspectives represented.

Paying market. Reprints are welcome, but no Emo.

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Please send your submissions here. Continue reading

Reading! Writing! Editing! Yay!  As far as I can recall, this is what I was up too this year in publishing:

Fiction

Last Session

“The Last Session: The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer.” Dunhams Manor Press Limited Edition Chapbook.

Longest fiction written to date. A whole novelette! Hot dang, I will conquer you yet, novel. This is a riff on Poe’s “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” but through the exploration of a mother-daughter relationship estranged by adolescence and cancer, and of course Emo. I got some nice reviews and comments on this one, and I dare say the creep/cry factor is dialed to 11. Many thanks to editor Jordan Krall on letting me give this one the chance to breathe.

“The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” Reprint for WORDS zine, Hex Publishers. 

This anti-Orientalism Steampunk tale set in Turkey originally appeared in Sarah Hans’ STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink). I was stoked to give the Şehrazat another avenue and be a part of Hex Publishers’ weekly magazine WORDS. There is a lot of great FREE stuff over there–stories by Nisi Shawl, Jason Heller, E. Lily Yu, and Alvaros Zinos-Amaro–so if you haven’t checked them out, you are missing out. Thank you for the opportunity, Josh Viola!

“Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.” MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (AND FLASH FICTION) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (AND READER), edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Skyhorse, October 2017.

I am proud of this story for several reasons.

First, to be in anything edited by Nick and/or Molly has been on my goals list for a while, and many thanks to them for liking and accepting the story!

Second, all I really ever want to do is write fiction about cocktails, in this case the French 75.

Third, I’d been reading a lot of and about Hemingway this year, and had been toying with the Iceberg idea–something like “Hills Like White Elephants,” but from only women’s perspectives. Pair this with the constant ostracizing of women who don’t want to have children ever (by women), or define their being by their sexual prowess, or dream of fairy tale love to be complete–you got “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.”

Fourth, I had no idea what was coming in November, so I feel this was sort of a preamble for whatever changes to my writing that may bring. Continue reading

There are a few Kickstarters underway that I wanted to share–a little something for everyone:

7523c5a56c2c302b16ead8ac5545141a_originalSteampunk Universe is the long-anticipated follow-up to Sarah Hans‘ award-winning Steampunk World from Alliteration Ink. Like with World, this anthology is “a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors featuring disabled and aneurotypical characters.” As far as I know, there isn’t anything like this out there, and I am eager to see what the Universes depicted in each story.

While this Kickstarter was fully funded yesterday, there are still 3 days to go, and we all know more $$$ means a better product as well as better pay for the writers. As the publisher outlined:

OUR GOALS

$6000 – Once we hit this fundraising goal, the project will be able to pay all the creative folks for their work. All authors will get at least the current SFWA professional rate.

$7000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to half the stories!

$8000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to (the other) half of the stories!

$9000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, we will be able to give all the authors a pay increase for their stories!

There are still plenty of great Rewards to grab up, but if you are light on the pockets like yours truly, there are more frugal options as well. Every little bit helps.

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If horror is more your thing:  “Pseudopod, the world’s longest running free short horror fiction podcast, is celebrating its 10th Halloween and wants to raise funds to pay their narrators.”

I’ve been a long-time listener of Pseudopod, and while I have yet to crack their market, I have enjoyed their cinematic readings of some of my favorite writers like Thomas Ligotti and Orrin Grey, who has written an essay about the experience here. The goal is about $30,000, which sounds high, but this is actually to ensure professional payment for their narrators for the next several years. In other words, these funds go to ensuring the stability needed to continue to hire and create quality podcasts like they do.

As Rewards go–they’ve got some doozies like the Tiki Pseudopod Tower mugs designed by Horror in Clay:

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Currently, the Pseudopod Kickstarter is a little over half way funded, with 19 days left to go. For more information about Rewards and intentions, visit here.

And speaking of Tiki…

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Holy crap, would you look at Crazy Al Evans‘ Big Sea Serpent!!!!!  Can one be in love with a ceramic mug set? What will society think?

This Kickstarter has been fully funded with 28 more days to go. It is hella expensive compared to the others I have shared, and more than likely I won’t be able to participate because I have a black hole budget, but this is something worth sharing, and the images of process and inspiration make for wonderful virtual window shopping.

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