Syfy’s The Magicians Short

When I first read Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, I was psyched; it had all the charm of the Harry Potter novels but with an adult realism and a nuanced exploration of mental illness. Plus, the meta-fictive Fillorian element. It was the wizard book I’d always wanted.

When the show came out, I watched the whole first season in two evenings; though it was different, I liked where it went with the source material.

When I learned about the #BattletheBeast contest, sponsored by Syfy on the writing platform Wattpad, I knew I had to enter. I love writing within restraints; the contest called for a 1,500-word short that told the story of one of the undocumented times that Quentin and company battled the Beast of the first book and the first season. The winner would have their story turned into a digital short.

I worked out a plot with my partner, Peter Brewer, who has an awesome memory for the details of his favorite stories’ worlds. I wrote the story in one evening. I won the contest.

I was ecstatic.

That excitement was tripled when the digital short came out; they’d asked me to be the model for the character I created, Tara. Not only did I get to see my story brought to life by talented illustrator Miss Tak, narrated by Hale Appleman, the actor who plays Eliot, but also I got to see myself in the world of The Magicians. Which is just so very cool.

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My Year in Stories 2017

Hey all! Nebula nominations have opened and award eligibility posts have started showing up on my timelines.

I had a great year writing-wise. My favorite story that was published in 2017 is my Phantom of the Opera retelling, which takes place in a high school and features a female phantom, a young outcast who lives beneath the high school stage and develops a taste for trickery and music. This one is eligible in short story categories.

For Hugo consideration, I offer “Party Tricks” for the Graphic Story category. This one’s a strange case, but here’s the situation: I won Wattpadd/Syfy’s #BattletheBeast contest with my 1,500-word story set in the world of their Syfy’s The Magicians. They made the story into an illustrated digital short, which debuted on their website in five parts, narrated by the actor who plays Eliot, Hale Appleman. The stills were drawn by artist Miss Tak. Here’s a story in the Dallas Morning News about the contest, if you’re interested in more info.

If you’re interested in reading more of my work from 2017, check out the stories below!

Articles, Everywhere

Today’s been a happy day; I’ve been in the Dallas Morning News and Art & Seek for my Nebula nomination (along with my fellow DFW-area friend William Ledbetter).

Also, Layla Al-Bedawi wrote a lovely article about Art & Words for ArtHouston that was recently posted online. Submissions open tomorrow, and I am thrilled to see this write-up.

Two Big Bits of News

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! Last week, on my birthday, I found out that my novelette “The Orangery” was nominated for a Nebula Award! I’m psyched to be on a ballot with so many friends and great writers and very much looking forward to celebrating in Pittsburgh. The full list of nominees is here.

And more news! As of today, I’ve signed with agent Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.

Award Eligibility 2016

It’s that time of year again, when people like me rush to catch up on all the fiction we’ve missed throughout the year in order to nominate them for various awards including the Nebula, the Hugo, the World Fantasy, the Tiptree, etc. Lots of great stories this year. I’d be honored if you’d consider one of mine.

Thus, the annual Awards Eligibility Post. There’s just one work I present for consideration for the year 2016:

In the Novelette Category

The Orangery (December 2016 | 8,700 words | Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Eligible for Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, etc.

In several myths, women turn into trees to escape unwanted sexual advance. I combined three of these stories to tell my own story, an exploration of the cruel treatment of women in mythology.

The Orangery is a haven for these women-turned-trees, watched over by the Guardian. When Apollo breaks into the Orangery looking for Daphne, the Guardian must fight him–and make sacrifices in the process.

This one’s received some great reviews, with the following nice things being said about it:

Other People’s Work

Or: this is not an exhaustive list of everything I have loved this year, and I am still catching up on so much reading!, but here are some places you might start with if you are like me and working through All the Fictions

All the Birds in the Sky | Charlie Jane Anders | Tor | Novel

Anders combines sci-fi and fantasy to create a clever story of witches, AI, and apocalypse.

Summerlong | Peter S. Beagle | Tachyon | Novel

Well, we’ve established that I love retold myths, so Beagle’s retelling of the Persephone story is right up my alley.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison | Samantha Mabry | Algonquin | Norton YA

Beautiful magical realist YA novel about a boy who falls for a teenage girl rumored to be poisonous to the touch.

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into The Sea | Sarah Pinsker | Lightspeed | Novelette

I love Pinsker’s stories about musicians’ lives after the dissolution of society. This novelette is one of my favorites from the year.

Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire | Tor.com | Novella

This one explores what happens to children who, like Alice or the Pevensie kids from Chronicles of Narnia, have visited other worlds but are now not allowed to return; they’re sent to a home where they try to heal (and some try to go back any way they can).

This is Not a Wardrobe Door | A. Merc Rustad | Fireside | Short Story

I’ve been shirking on my short story reading this year, but this was one of the stories I read and loved, which, like the above, plays with portal fantasy tropes in a brilliant way.

Bogi Takács | Bogi Reads the World | Fan Writer

Love Takács’ reviews of works from marginalized authors and was excited to see their reviews given their very own space here.

Sarah Gailey | Women of Harry Potter | Tor.com | Fan Writer

Gailey’s series about the oft-underappreciated women in the Harry Potter world are brilliant–and part of my inspiration for re-watching the movies and re-reading the books.