Calling all 2SLGBTQAI+ fiction writers in Newfoundland and Labrador!

Engen Books is accepting submissions for our newest anthology, celebrating the 2SLGBTQAI+ community, to be available in the summer of 2021. Whether you are well-established, or a new author, please consider submitting your work for this groundbreaking anthology.

Engen Books is proud to announce they have partnered with Quadrangle to make this collection a reality, celebrating 2SLGBTQAI+ writers and stories. Quadrangle’s mission is to create a community centre for 2SLGBTQAI+ individuals and organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, a space that is a resource for building community resilience and connection, and that provides supports for existing initiatives of our 2SLGBTQAI+ community. As a registered charity, both working toward having a community centre, and taking up projects like this one contribute to Quad’s vision of contributing to sustainable, positive, community connections.

We’re looking for stories by and for the 2SLGBTQAI+ community that feature 2SLGBTQAI+ characters in any stage of life and from a range of cultures, identities, and experiences. We will consider submissions in a wide variety of genres and styles, including General Fiction, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, and most other genres imaginable!

Continue reading Calling all 2SLGBTQAI+ fiction writers in Newfoundland and Labrador!

Call for Mythology Submissions!

Over the last five years, the From the Rock series has become one of the preeminent anthology series’ in Atlantic Canada. We have been home to some amazing established talent and helped some new authors break through that have gone on to dominate their fields, becoming genre bestsellers in their own right. From the Rock is a title readers consistently ask for, review well, and is a great way for avid readers to get introduced to indie talent they might find interesting. In 2018 the series’ third entry, Chillers from the Rock, went Bestseller on pre-orders alone!

We are currently accepting submissions for the seventh entry in this series: Mythology from the Rock, to be available in Winter of 2021. Continue reading Call for Mythology Submissions!

Never Burn Your Work | House Blog

We’ve all had moments where we’ve thought “This story is so bad that I’m going to set it on fire and roast marshmallows over the flames.” The story doesn’t even need to actually be bad – maybe it’s great but you’ve submitted it so many times that you think it’ll never find a home, or maybe you just can’t get it finished and think only the cleansing power of fire will help. Or maybe you’re simply having a bad day and need to destroy something.

Thankfully now that computers exist, instead of having stacks of paper that can easily be set aflame or ripped into tiny bits, we can merely save those stories in a folder and never look at them again.

Sometimes when I’m in a creative slump I like to wander through my ‘unfinished’ files and see what was going on in my head back then. Why did I abandon that story? Was that actually a terrible idea? Can this be reworked and made into something better?

Today, instead of going through all these random titles* alone, I thought I’d share some with you.

Groundwork : An idea about magical coffee that I used for a very specific submissions call (but never finished in time). Honestly, thinking about it now, I might want to take that magical aspect and put it into another story. Also, I really wish I had magical coffee right now.

City of Ghosts : I have a great chapter 1 written, but just can’t get chapter 2 to work out. This has gone through numerous re-writes and re-casts, and I still can’t quite make it work. Someday I’ll take the time to work on this… someday…

My Mind Makes Things Go Boom : The title says it all. There’s basically 200 words written in this story and nothing about the plot or even what the main character’s name is. I have no idea where I’m going with this, and I’m pretty sure I thought of the title, realized I had nothing else, and gave up.

The Score : A novella that intertwines theft with a musical motif, written when I was in university. I think fondly of it, but oh dear does it need some major work.

No Problem : I have an original character that I adore (from a different, unpublished universe), and I wanted to write a story about him. It didn’t quite work out and the ending has yet to be typed. But I swear I’ll come to back to this one day…

Missing Mountains : Again, I had one small thought and hoped that it would blossom into an actual plot. It didn’t. But maybe some day it will…

Apologies to Patrick Stewart : The story of my first trip to New York City, where all I wanted to do was see a play starring Patrick Stewart. It’s memorable, but not in the way you’d think (spoiler, I never actually met or talked to Patrick Stewart, but I became a bit of a celebrity at the theatre where the show was). This was sent in for a travel story about helpful locals, but never got picked, so perhaps I’ll re-work it for my autobiography (which will come out when I’m 80).

And that’s just a taste of all the works-in-progress cluttering up my hard-drive at the moment. If I’m honest, it actually did give my creative brain a boost. Heck, I might have worked out a plot for Missing Mountains just now…

So instead of putting that story in the recycling bin, hold onto it. After a while you might look at it and realize it’s got potential. Or maybe it’ll give you a laugh. Or maybe you’ll realize that you really need to start taking more detailed notes because what the heck does that even mean?

_____

*Note: this is why you should always try to name your work something interesting, so that by simply reading the name you know what it’s about. I have a few file names I look at and have no clue what might be inside, while other names bring back those ideas as plain as day.

Meet The Editors: Dr. Sulaimon Giwa

Dr. Sulaimon Giwa is an Assistant Professor in the School Social Work with a cross-appointment to the Department of Sociology (Police Studies) at Memorial University. He is the Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University and is a board member for Quadrangle Newfoundland and Labrador. An interdisciplinary scholar who self-identifies as same-gender-loving, Dr. Giwa’s empirical and theoretical research is informed by an intersectional and critical race approach to social justice, to advance understanding about the experiences of racialized and gender and sexually diverse groups with systems of oppression. His research and writings have appeared in top-ranked international journals. Dr. Giwa serves as the convener for the Research Exchange Group on Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research, and has collaborated with the St. John’s Pride Inc. on different initiatives, including coauthoring the report Restoring Confidence in Pride: The Way Forward. Dr. Giwa is an active member of the Black Lives Matter Newfoundland and Labrador and the Anti-Racism Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador, among other social justice movement groups.


Engen Books is accepting submissions for our newest anthology, celebrating the 2SLGBTQAI+ community, to be available in the summer of 2021. Whether you are well-established, or a new author, please consider submitting your work for this groundbreaking anthology.

Deadline for Submissions: March 31 2021 but get your stories in as quick as you can, as it gives our wonderful editors more time to work with you and make sure it is as good as it can possibly be! For more information, click here.

Meet the Editors: Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig is a queer and trans activist, co-founder and board member for Quandrangle NL, and Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. With degrees in both Sociology and Creative Writing, their work has appeared in The Journal of Arts Management, Law and SocietyPoetics; and Journal of Material Culture, as well as in edited collections, including Queer View Mirror: Lesbian and Gay Short Fiction (Arsenault Pulp Press, 1995), Practicing Culture (Routledge, 2007) Reclaiming Canadian Bodies: Visual Media and Representation (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2015) and  The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador (ISER Books, 2017) . Dr. Craig is a cultural sociologist and Fulbright Scholar with interests in gender, sexuality, inequality and art whose work includes exploration of commitment in artistic careers and communities, the sociology of emotion, community service provision, and intergenerational connection and community building in trans and queer communities. Dr. Craig serves as consultant for the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, and has worked with multiple queer and trans initiatives and organizations over the years, including Xtra! Magazine, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, The LGBT Youthline, Pride Toronto, Make it Better NL (founder of inititative), Camp Eclipse,  and the Trans Needs Coalition.


Engen Books is accepting submissions for our newest anthology, celebrating the 2SLGBTQAI+ community, to be available in the summer of 2021. Whether you are well-established, or a new author, please consider submitting your work for this groundbreaking anthology.

Deadline for Submissions: March 31 2021 but get your stories in as quick as you can, as it gives our wonderful editors more time to work with you and make sure it is as good as it can possibly be! For more information, click here.

8 Different Kinds of Drafts | House Blog

  1. The Unfinished Draft :: aka ‘The Albatross’. Will you ever pick it back up and finish writing this draft? Does it count as a draft when it’s not complete? What does the word ‘draft’ even mean? What do words mean? Are you a figment of your own imagination?
  1. The Zero Draft :: It might be a mess, but at least it’s done, and isn’t that the most important thing? A little elbow grease and it’ll be a full-fledged first draft in no time!

Continue reading 8 Different Kinds of Drafts | House Blog

Speak The Speech, I Pray You | House Blog

One odd thing about me is that I love acting, but I hate public speaking. Put me in a costume, give me a character to be and someone else’s words to say, and I’ll do all right; but make me stand in front of people as only myself and I’ll start flubbing my words and breaking out in a cold sweat. And that goes doubly for making me read my own work.

The problem is now that I’m a writer with a few things published, I find that there are times when people want me to read my work out loud. And if you happen to be a writer, you may also find yourself in these kinds of situation. Whether it be book launches, signings, competitions, or conventions, there may come a time when someone expects you to read a thing you’ve written. So best get used to reading your own words (or inventing an “Eccentric Author” character to slip into when you need to do a reading *coughcough*).

However, reading your own work can be a great idea—even if it’s not for the public. Continue reading Speak The Speech, I Pray You | House Blog

Why Editing Matters | House Blog

Confession Time: Not so long ago, I used to be SUPER pedantic about grammar and spelling in books. If I found a word that wasn’t spelled right or an ellipsis that was only two dots, I would feel so superior and want to shout it from the rooftops (even if it was the only mistake in the entire story). I think it mostly came from my secret desire to be an editor – like, “Hey, I found this error! And this one! See how good I am! Hire me! Hire me! HIRE ME!”

But that’s not what writers want to hear. Honestly, it’d be weird to have someone come up to me and say “I found a misspelled word on page 54” and then walk away without saying anything else. But what about the 59,999 other words that were spelled correctly? Did you like any of them?

Over time, I’ve learned that I’m perfectly capable of forgiving an error here and there. If I read a line and think “That should be gasp instead of gas”, I’m able to move on. After all, writers and editors are human, and humans miss things. Even big publishers sometimes get things wrong. And, yes, even I make mistakes (I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one or two in this post). If you’re writing a 50,000 word novel, there’s absolutely nothing wrong if a few mistakes accidentally make it into the finished project.

But don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that editing isn’t important, because it is. Continue reading Why Editing Matters | House Blog

Winner: “Brightest & Best” by Melissa Bishop | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the May 2020 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Melissa Bishop with the story, Brightest & Best!

Born and raised in the St. John’s /Mount Pearl area, Melissa Bishop is a newcomer to the genre fiction scene in Atlantic Canada whose fantastic prose has taken the provinces community by storm. Her work has won two Kit Sora awards prior to this: in 2019: July 2019 ‘Cycles’ and September 2019 ‘Huntress of the Woods,’ and has placed numerous other times.

Bishop describes herself as a loyal Tolkien fan and high school teacher, teaching at the same high school she attended in her youth. She started writing when she was very young and honed her skills in High School, when she started a pen pal friendship that has lasted for over 17 years, writing stories back and forth to each other.

She was published in Pulp Science-Fiction from the Rock with her her short story ‘The Photograph.’

We had three judges for this contest: Continue reading Winner: “Brightest & Best” by Melissa Bishop | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

Winner: “Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow” by Amanda Evans | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the April 2020 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Amanda Evans with the story, Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow!

Amanda Evans grew up in Saint John NB, with eyes to the water and head in the clouds. Sounds like every other writer and dreamer, doesn’t it? Amanda spent a lot of time doing writing projects with Write Now Saint John.

Amanda says: “This is my first time winning a Kit Sora flash fiction contest. I like to joke that I’m the reason Engen Books limited the number of entries per photo after the first flash fiction contest, 18 entries from one person would do that. I do have some stories in Houses in the Fog and some stories in the upcoming Memories in the Fog collection.”

We had two judges for this contest: Continue reading Winner: “Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow” by Amanda Evans | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

Wilwarin: Kit’s Storytime

Happy 2019! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season, and that the joy continues through the new year!

I had a page full of ‘themes’ for this year’s 52 project as 2018 drew to a close, however when the time came to choose one to stick to for another whole year, I simply couldn’t decide! Thus, welcome to 52 Adventures! I hope we can travel to many magical places together over the next 52 weeks! Continue reading Wilwarin: Kit’s Storytime