I used to write a lot of short stories. I was told it was the thing to do, to get started. I’d send some of them out, if they seemed good enough. Sometimes they’d get published, sometimes they wouldn’t, but it got to the point where it felt like researching markets, then submitting to them, then waiting (and sometimes the markets folding before you even heard back, or worse, before you got paid) was taking up more time and energy than the actual writing.
So I stopped and started focusing exclusively on longer works. But the thing is, I was still kind of in love/spurned by the idea of writing short stories, good ones. A lot of my favorite writers work exclusively in that medium, and it had this allure to it, was something I wanted to get better at.
Fast forward to now, a bunch of novels and novellas later, and I find myself in a kind of “when it rains, it pours” situation with opportunities presenting themselves to write short stories. In the last couple months I’ve written three shorts, each one coming out toned and tight, better than any of the ones I started with years ago, each feeling like the best thing I’ve ever written.
One of those is still out in the wild, being poked and prodded, but two of them have become sure things and will see print. The first of them will be in the pages of Splatterpunk Zine.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, don’t worry, I was too. Earlier this year when I saw that some of my buddies, writers I admire, were having first-run stories in this little under-the-radar mag. Naturally curious, I ordered a couple of issues (it’s a British zine but neither postage nor wait time is unreasonable, which is a plus).
With its cut and paste DIY aesthetic, handsome original art accompanying every story, and premium writing: I became a fan, a vocal one. This led to editor Jack Bantry taking an interest in my stuff (a review of The Summer Job ran in issue #4, sadly sold out) and he reached out to see if I wanted to send him a story. DID I EVER!
It’s not only awesome to be appearing in an issue with biffles Shane McKenzie and John Boden, the queen of extreme Monica O’Rourke and future-editor Jeff Burk, but also humbling that Dan Henk’s amazing art for my story is gracing the cover.
When I first saw Dan’s art I was repulsed, gob-smacked by its brutality (all positives), but I also thought “wait a second, this story is like the most atmospheric, restrained thing I’ve ever written, how the hell is that the art that..oh wait.” Yeah, that image is in there, restrained and atmospheric or not. You’ve been warned.
You can place your order for an issue here. Do it soon, they do sell out.