Awards Eligibility 2023

Awards Eligibility 2023

It's become a tradition in recent years for authors to do a roundup of stories published each year, categorized for people who do reading to nominate for awards, such as the Hugos and Nebulas. To that end, I'm presenting a comprehensive list of all my original fiction that was published somewhere in 2023.

Mostly I published flash fiction this year (stories of 1000 words or less), as my focus has been on longform projects. However, I did publish one full-length short story, "The Sound of Children Screaming," which appeared in Nightmare Magazine in October 2023. I consider this the best short story I released this year, and one of the finest stories I've written to date. It's eligible for both fantasy and horror awards. If you have time to read only one thing, I would recommend this one.

The complete list (links will be updated as they become available):

I set off in 2023 to try lots of new things as a writer. I took three different workshops: the Highlights Novel Intensive for Speculative Fiction, the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, and Kij Johnson's terrific Repeat Offenders workshop, which was held in-person for the first time since 2019. One big takeway is that I really like workshops! I think it's how they really enforce a separation between daily stressors and the writing. I'd love to keep making workshops and retreats a part of my year, when feasible.

This year, I also pushed myself to try new things creatively, playing around with other forms such as game writing and screenwriting. Along with my ongoing novel projects, it made for a good year to study other forms and learn what makes stories tick. Plus, trying new things replenishes my creative well and teaches me new things about prose forms too.

I read a lot of nonfiction this year, mainly books that deal with ethics, justice, and community values. A few favorites include: Accountable by Dashka Slater, which traces the fallout from an incident in which a bunch of teen boys made a racist Instagram account featuring their Black female classmates; Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink, which recounts a hospital that lost power during Hurricane Katrina, and how some of the medical staff decided to euthanize the sickest patients; and Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandal, which is about conceptions of justice throughout history. I also really enjoyed a book called White Hot Hate by Dick Lehr, which is about a really decent guy who infiltrated a white supremacist militia on behalf of the FBI, and prevented a terrorist attack on his refugee neighbors.

In fiction, I loved Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, which punched me in all the feels. The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia was another standout as a secondary-world fantasy about a medical clinic serving the poor during a strange disease outbreak. And Grady Hendrix's The Final Girl Support Group is tons of fun and very well-paced, as his books always are.

I'm still taking stock of what I want from 2024. Mainly I want to finish more projects and make space for novelty. I want to try my hand at some subgenres outside of my usual wheelhouse, and I want to find more ways to stay connected with other writers in my community. Whatever happens, I am feeling the wind beneath my wings, and lots of excitement to see what I'll do next.