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.

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.

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!

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

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“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.

WS CoverWhoops. I have been meaning to do an update for…two months?…and just haven’t. Blame the lassitude and election anxiety.

Anyway, as you may recall, Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN is my travelogue through three key geography points in Mary Shelley’s seminal text. It was nominated for a Best of the Net a few years back and is available now as a bicentennial, special-limited edition designed and annotated by Yves Tourigny and Tallhat Press. I write more extensively about it here.

Only 200 copies will be made, and only then available for 9 months from its initial release.

So, current stats are:  there are 140 copies of Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left, with 4 months to go.

If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so at the below links:

Order now on Amazon.com
Order now on Amazon.ca
Order now on Amazon.co.uk

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Courtney Love plays William Tell as Joan Vollmer in BEAT.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Chaosium V.P., Michael O’Brien to discuss Joe Pulver‘s CASSILDA’S SONG, which they published, and my story therein, “The Neurastheniac.” Both the anthology and my story have been nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

For those new here, CASSILDA’S SONG explores the feminine side of Robert Chambers’ (no relation) KING IN YELLOW, and features an all ladies table of contents. My story, “The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/alchemist/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers (as mentioned in “The Repairer of Reputations”) during the 60s. It gets weird.

It’s a quickie–around ten minutes–and I discuss my influences for the story [Joan Vollmer, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Billie Holiday, Courtney Love (who incidentally plays Vollmer in the 2000 film BEAT)] and my love for mystic junkies like William S. Burroughs.

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Selena Chambers plays at writing in CASSILDA’S SONG.

I haven’t done a speaking gig in a while, and I have forgotten how strange it is to hear one’s own voice. It’s even stranger to hear the topics my voice are discussing.  Not to dwell, but I sound shellshocked, and perhaps I am. Surreal? Oh, yes. In the best way.

Michael also sat down with my awesome editor, Joe Pulver, and artist Steve G. Santiago, who did the stunning cover. (I had no idea that image was photo manipulated!) So, yeah, some good behind the scenes stuff, here.

CASSILDA’S SONG is available in print and as an ebook.

Many thanks to Michael and the folks at Chaosium for the time and attention. Links below:

Interview with Joe Pulver.

Interview with moi.

Interview with Steve G. Santiago.

 

 

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