Last Chance to Register for Spring Workshops

The next open workshop at The Storied Imaginarium starts the first week of March and runs through the first week of May. Best of all, it’s not too late to register! If you’ve been looking for some inspiration to help you jumpstart your creativity, this is your chance!

There are two workshops running this spring: Monday evenings 6-8:30 pm  MST (5-7:30 PST; 7-9:30 CST; 8-10:30 EST) and Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8:30 pm  MST (5-7:30 PST; 7-9:30 CST; 8-10:30 EST). There are only a couple of open seats left, so act soon. We hope you will join us at The Storied Imaginarium!

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to mine fairy tales, history, science, and other prompts to write 6 stories + 2-3 revisions over the course of 10 weeks. The maximum word count is 3,000 words per story. The portfolio can include up to 3 story revisions up to a total of 10,000 words. The portfolio sessions are held during the last two weeks. The price is $500 with a 10% discount for returning participants. Workshops are capped at five participants per group (plus facilitator!)

The modules for Spring 2021 will be:

MODULE 1: “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” & Cartography
MODULE 2: “Rumpelstiltskin” & Alchemy and Transmutation
MODULE 3: “The Flayed Old Lady” & Anti-Aging Research
MODULE 4: “The Wild Swans” & Social Isolation
MODULE 5: “Rapunzel” & Foraging
MODULE 6: “The Story of Urashima Taro” (Japanese Fairy Tale) & Underwater Realms and Sunken Cities

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $500, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited.

A Panel and a Publication

I’m looking forward to talking about horror with fellow panelists Christa Carmen, Sara Tantlinger, Nicole Willson, Jessica Guess, and Zoje Stage at the online event Females of Fright! The panel will be moderated by award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste. The panel starts at 8 pm (EST) on Friday, February 12. You can register here: http://ow.ly/ZyKp50DtEFC. I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be so much! (Note: The panel is archived at HWA’s YouTube channel.)

And, if you’d like to hear Gwendolyn Kiste read one of her stories, check out the Valentine’s Day special at HWA COS. On February 14, recordings of readings prepared for last year’s Bloody Valentine event will be available for everyone to enjoy. It’s a power-packed roster including Linda D. Addison, L.C. Barlow, Andrea Blythe, Gwendolyn Kiste, Kate Jonez, Sarah Read, Marge Simon, and Mercedes M. Yardley. Also, each week during Women in Horror Month, members of HWA COS will be reading their work for the virtual edition of A Bloody Valentine. This year’s line-up includes J. A. Campbell, Claire L. Fishback, Shannon Lawrence, and Angela Sylvaine.

I’m also excited to share the gorgeous cover for the StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology, edited by Josh Viola. As always, Hex Publishers puts out a gorgeous book with The Phantom Denver Edition. StokerCon 2021 has moved to a virtual platform this year, but we will have the opportunity to meet up again in Denver at StokerCon 2022! The Phantom Edition of this year’s anthology includes my interview with past HWA president Lisa Morton. It was definitely a thrill to see my name on the back cover along with so many incredible writers and poets. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

A Celebration of Women Writers

In 2016, I won the HWA Scholarship. It changed my life. Sometimes, I think it might have even saved my life. The news came just weeks after a bicycle accident that left me with substantial physical and cognitive damage I still struggle with to this day. The depression and pain nearly won. But then, I was rescued.

That simple phone call gave me hope. It gave me purpose. As part of my introduction to the Horror Writers Association, I met women who were compassionate instead of competitive. It was an experience unlike any other. These brilliant, bold, creative women opened doors to paths I’m still walking today.

I met other women, too. Remarkable women who held me up and guided me towards the realization of my dreams. I am lucky, indeed, to be blessed by the presence of the female friends who surround me. My life has also been enrichened by mentors who believe in me, even when I forget to believe in myself.

How can there only be a single month to celebrate the accomplishments of these women who I hold so dear? How can a mere 28 days lead to the discovery of new writers, all of those inspiring and imaginative women who I haven’t even met yet?

The answer, of course, is that a single month is not enough. It will never be enough.

There is not a day that passes when I feel alone. There is not a day, not a single one, when I am not graced by the presence of these beautiful, brave women. It’s a community I cherish with every fiber of my being. We are legion.

I feel it is important to add to this community in any way I can. One of those ways is to support writers whose work I admire. I’m also ardent in my attempts to discover new authors to follow. Even when times are tight, I figure I can purchase a book or two a month. And when I’m flush, I’m a madwoman. Books show up every few days.

As part of my reading endeavors, I’ve preordered several books scheduled to be released in February and March. Some of these writers are familiar, and some are new to me. However, I’m eager to read them all, and I hope they will be of interest to you, too.

Subterranean Press is releasing The Best of Elizabeth Hand in February. When I was at Stonecoast, I had the incredible opportunity to work under the mentorship of Liz Hand on several occasions. She was the first writer to recommend my work to an editor. Even though I was still struggling with the cognitive issues linked to my brain injury, Liz believed in me. Not only that, but she guided me away from the familiar with new ideas and challenges. She was a pivotal force behind that first step into developing a voice of my own. I have a book shelf dedicated to her work, and there is a spot waiting for my personal copy of this limited edition gem.

I remember the first story I read by Isabel Yap. It was “An Ocean the Color of Bruises,” which was published by Uncanny Magazine. I loved Isabel’s voice, so I made sure to keep her work on my radar. In addition to supporting new voices, I also make an effort to support small presses. When I saw that Small Beer Press was publishing Isabel’s debut collection Never Have I Ever, I knew I had to preorder a copy. It’s described as a collection of “Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales .” Luckily, it’s also coming out this month. I can’t wait to dig in.

I love it when the stars align, which is exactly what happened when I met Julie C. Day. Her stories are magic–pure and simple. Vernacular Books included one of Julie’s stories in the future crime anthology The Way of the Laser. The stunning splendor of her world-building skills in that story led to the development of the mosaic novel project Shattered. A new installment is scheduled to come out each month in 2021. (You can read the first installment HERE.) The world Julie has built is terrifying and gorgeous and brilliant. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Several years ago, I read the title story of this collection. It was one of those pieces that haunted me for a long time. So, when I saw that Veronica Schanoes was releasing Burning Girls in March, I knew I had to have it. In addition to the darker side of fantasy, I have a passion for fabulism. Veronica’s work reminds me of stories I’ve enjoyed by other fantasists including Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado, and Aimee Bender. I briefly met Veronica at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, where I awkwardly admired her creative work. She is kind and brilliant. And I think she is simply fabulous.

One of the most anticipated books of spring is All the Murmuring Bones by A. G. Slatter. Although it won’t be released until March 9, I preordered my copy way back in October. It is described as a dark, Gothic fairy tale, which is right up my alley. However, it’s also by one of my favorite authors of all time. I met Angela Slatter online back in 2016, just a few months after my accident. Not only has her work inspired and informed my own, but she has also become a valued mentor and friend. I encourage you to read her work. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

It is easy to purchase books by writers whose work I admire, but I also try to make a point of discovering new (to me) authors. In addition to dark fantasy and horror, I enjoy collecting non-fiction books on subjects of interest. It just so happens that Jess Zimmerman is releasing Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology on the same day All the Murmuring Bones comes out. This seemed like a sign, so into my shopping cart it went. This book is described as a cultural analysis of monstrous women in Greek myth through a feminist lens. How could anyone resist that?

Anthology Award

My story “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead” was featured in the anthology Terror at ‘5280, which won Best Anthology at the 2020 Best Book Awards (BBA) by American Book Fest!

It had been a year of firsts for me, and this was no exception. This is the first anthology my work has appeared in that has received an award. Woot!

Terror at 5280′ edited by Josh Schlossberg (WINNER)

Fiction: Anthologies

The 2020 Best Book Awards

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280′, a horror fiction anthology featuring dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, penned exclusively by local authors.

Short Story Release

Triangulation: Extinction

I don’t often write stories for specific submission calls, but every now and then I take a stab at it. I originally wrote “Aviatrix Unbound” as a contribution for a robot dinosaur publication a couple of years ago. The entirety of my knowledge when it comes to dinosaurs was gleaned from the 1988 animated movie The Land Before Time, so it took a little research to figure out what the hell to write about. I submitted in the final minutes, and it was accepted the same day. (Yay!) But a year later, the publication faltered and then sputtered out. (It happens.) And, there I was with a funky little story and nowhere to send it. After all, dinosaur robots are a pretty specialized subject.

Some time later, I saw a call from ParsecInk for the yearly Triangulation anthology. The theme was Extinction. It just so happens that I was on a kick about endangered species and extinct birds when I originally wrote “Aviatrix Unbound.” In the story, my robot dinosaur evolves into a simurgh and is on a mission to travel through time to save extinct birds. In all honesty, I just wanted to save the Carolina parakeet, a fabulous little bird known to be poisonous. Just like that, it all lined up.

I loved writing this piece, so I’m especially pleased that it found a home. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

You can purchase Triangulation: Extinction here.

Japanese Translation Released

Night Land MagazineToday, my first translated story has been released into the wild! My weird fairy tale mash-up of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” is titled “A Seed Planted,” and it was originally published in the anthology Hath No Fury in August 2018. On request, I sent this to the fabulous acquisitions editor Edward Lipsett, who then forwarded it to Akira Okawada, an editor of Night Land Quarterly (NLQ)
magazine. It just so happened that this piece fit the theme for Volume 21: “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.” My story was translated by the well-known speculative fiction translator Ottojiro Machikane, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see it reach a new audience. (Isn’t the cover beautiful?) Needless to say, I’m over the moon!

The table of contents features a pretty fabulous line-up:

Edgar Allan Poe: The Balloon Hoax
Ernest Hemingway: A Paris-to-Strasbourg Flight Shows Living Cubist Picture
Hugo Hall: The Other Side of the Castle of the Pyrenees
Adam-Troy Castro: Red Rain
Carina Bissett: A Seed Planted
Alan Baxter: Crow Shine
M. John Harrison: Lords of Misrule
Margery Lawrence: The Man Who Walked on the Air

None of this would have happened, however, without the guidance of my mentor and friend Angela Slatter. If you ever have the opportunity to work with her, I can assume you that Angela’s wisdom is worth it’s weight in gold. I’ve had several of my stories critiqued through her Flensing Factory over the years. Each experience has been a master class on everything from plot development to character connections. If you’re not quite ready for an editor, you can still pick up a ton of information on her blog. She has several tidbits of practical advice in her recent column “What to Do When You Don’t Have a Book Coming Out.” It is great list of the ways you can diversify as a writer, and one of those items just happens to be about reprints (including translations). I highly suggest you read it.

That’s it for now. It’s pretty wonderful, isn’t it?

 

Openings Available in Summer Workshop

Brother and sister RackhamHello everyone! I hope your summer is off to a good start. This is the last call for summer workshops at The Storied Imaginarium. There are only two seats open for the next course of Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth. Both spots are in the workshop that starts on next Thursday (6/4). If you are looking for face-to-face interaction through scheduled online meetings, deadlines to help you generate new work, and additional craft gleaned through critique, this workshop might be for you. The dates and times for this course are as follows:

Thursday in the United States and Canada: 4-6:30 EDT/ 5-7:30 pm MDT/6-8:30 CDT/7-9:30 EDT (6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25, 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6)

Friday in Australia: 9-11:30 am AEST (6/5, 6/12, 6/19, 6/26, 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8/7)

The Summer workshop will be ten weeks long and include six modules. The maximum word count will be 3,000 words for each module. The portfolio will include 2-3 revisions (10K max) and these sessions will take place over the course of two weeks. Workshops will begin the first week of June and will run through the first of August. The price is $500 with a 10% discount for returning participants.

The modules for Summer 2020 will be:

  • “Brother and Sister” & Gene Editing
  •  “Jack and the Beanstalk” & Greenhouse Gas
  • “Bremen Town Musicians” & Ageism
  • “Godfather Death” & Transhumanism
  • “Donkeyskin” & Fatal Fashion
  • “The Ballad of Mulan” & Cross-dressing and Gender Expression

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $500, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited.

brother-and-sister goble

Weird Dream Society Anthology Launch

WDSHello everyone! Today is the birthday of Weird Dream Society!

I was one of the co-editors of this fabulous anthology of the possible and unsubstantiated in support of RAICES. I also have a story included along with a whole host of fabulous authors including  Nathan Ballingrud, Gregory Norman Bossert, Karen Bovenmyer, Christopher Brown, Emily Cataneo, Julie C. Day, Michael J Deluca, Gemma Files, A.T. Greenblatt, Nin Harris, Chip Houser, James Patrick Kelly, Marianne Kirby,Kathrin Köhler, Matthew Kressel, Jordan Kurella, Premee Mohamed, Sarah Read, Sofia Samatar, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Steve Toase, and A.C. Wise.

Want more weird dreams? If you purchase the Weird Dream Society anthology, let us know via Twitter (tagging @Weirddreamsociety1 #weirddreamsociety) or post to our FB page (https://www.facebook.com/weirddreamsociety) and one of the authors in the anthology–selected at random–will send you a postcard with some of their actual words written on the back.

WDS Postcard

Where To Get Weird Dream Society Anthology

The anthology is now available at:

An Anthology Release

Arterial BloomMy Snow White retelling “Rotten” is included in the Crystal Lake anthology Arterial Bloom was released a little early by Crystal Lake Publishing. This gorgeous book was edited by Bram Stoker award-winning author Mercedes M. Murdock. Kev Harrison, a reviewer at This Is Horror, penned a glowing review: “‘Rotten,’ by Carina Bissett borrows themes and motifs from a variety of well-known fairy tales, then knits them together into a beautiful tale of abuse and redemption. The descriptive language here is so stark, so stylised that it leaves a strong impression on the reader after the last page is turned.”

Snow White is one of those problematic fairy tales that I’ve explored more than once. Since April is National Poetry Month, it only seems right to share it here. My poem “Reflections” tackles this fairy tale from the stepmother’s point-of-view. This was originally published by Timeless Tales in the anthology Snow White: Issue 10, which features eleven Snow White retellings.

Reflections

Dining alone is an indulgence,
most women deny. They don’t
know the trick to it; the best
seat in the house is at
the center of the bar,

Snow Whitea high throne where one
can watch others watch one
in wall-length mirrors backed
by bottles filled with tonics
that decant our beauty.

Arms cradle roses red:
tiny white snowdrops
press against hooked thorns,
waxy leaves and crooked limbs
bound with dark ribbon.

I smile anyway,
reach for another martini,
like I don’t know already.
Gin bruised, ice cold, dry,
he tells me I’m beautiful.

This tale is a familiar one,
a preservative. The sword
is swift, again, he switches
from the recitation of his
portfolio to his daughter,

shy, in need of guidance.
Where is her mother,
I ask, but I know the answer.
The girl’s mother ran away
with a younger man.

7fc0e01a2e4de13df8d49d24be7c88b5
Vredenburg, Eric, editor. My Book of Favourite Fairy Tales. Jennie Harbour, illustrator. London: Raphael Tuck & Sons, 1921.

I’ve heard it over and over
again. The tale is familiar.
Daughters driving desperate
mothers away, not a pretty
story, the roses are deepening

to a dusky pink tinged with

darkest reds. I should meet her,
I say. Beauty banks on it.
My hand seduces. Smiles
are scimitars. Hair cloaks

bare shoulders like ravens
blackening. The look he gave
me I’ve known forever.
She won’t like you, he said,
you are her mother.

I am nothing like her mother,
I say, a lie of the darkest type.
Not only am I the girl’s mother,
I am also the girl.
It’s time we had a heart to heart.

“Reflections” by Carina Bissett. Copyright © 2018. Originally published in Snow White: Issue #10.

In other news, my popular generative writing workshop is open for registration. Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth starts back up in June.  I will also be opening stand-alone, self-paced modules. This first one will be out this month. It will be based on (you guessed it) Snow White. Best of all, this first self-paced module will be #free. Stay tuned!

gobledwarf
Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock. The Fairy Book. Warwick Goble, illustrator. London: Macmillan & Co., 1913.