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!

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

Helpful Things That Aren’t Writing | House Blog

There are times when I find it difficult to write. Sometimes I’ll sit in front of the computer with the best of intentions, but the words don’t come and the page remains blank. Yes, I want to be writing – I desperately want to create – but I feel stuck. Usually it’s because I’m stressed or finding it difficult to think, or trying not to focus on the other things I should be doing instead (i.e. cleaning).

So when the words won’t come, I try to think of other things I can do that will help push my ideas in a forward direction, instead of letting them swirl in an eternal vortex of hesitation. Such as…

Outlining. I never used to be big on outlining. I would sometimes know specific scenes and maybe how I wanted a story to end, but I always got there organically. Sometimes I even wrote out of order, having to find ways to cobble scenes together coherently. But when I’m having trouble writing I find that jotting down a rough outline of how I want the scene to look will help me. This especially helps with stress-brain, as now I know what I’m looking for and working towards. [This probably counts as writing, but it’s still different than actually writing the story.]

Creating Avatars. My visualizing isn’t always the best, so sometimes I’ll go online and create an avatar so that I have a quick reference to what a character looks like. What was their eye colour? Hair colour? Skin colour? Just look at this photo and you’ll know. And you don’t have to stop at avatars – create or find reference photos for places or buildings, too.

Reading a Great Book. When I was in high school I had two friends who were writing stories and they inspired me so much that I wanted to write one of my own. To this day, I can easily get inspired just by reading something amazing. It makes me want to create something just as wonderful. [Note: I can also sometimes be inspired by a book I find not-so-amazing, as it inspires me to write a story that doesn’t have all those things that bothered me in it.]

Reading or Watching Something Similar. If I’m having trouble slipping back into the world I’ve created, I’ll sometimes find something that’s similar in genre/character/tone, to help ease me into the world. It’s not always a book – it can be a television show or movie or graphic novel. Usually I go back to the thing that inspired me in the beginning. Whether it’s a musical that brought about a short story or a television show that I’ve spun into a series, taking another look can help me re-discover my original inspiration.

What are some of your favourite helpful non-writing activities?

Goof Report | From the Rock Stars

From the Rock Stars

Mistakes are going to happen from time to time, especially in these odd times when we all have so much else on our mind.

Anyone who ordered the at-cost version of From the Rock Stars in the past several weeks and taken advantage of the as-cheap-as-possible pricing so that we’d all have something entertaining during COVID-19 may have noticed a glitch: On the Contents page, the two stories contributed by award-winning author Jeff Slade were listed as ‘The Pale Horse’ and ‘Mimir.’ Not only were these stories not the ones that appeared from Slade in the collection, they were not written by him. Slade’s contributions to the collection were ‘Anchored’ and ‘The Culling.’

This error occurred as a result of the rushed layout process due to COVID-19. The Table of Contents was ported over from an existing collection and the details changed, and clearly those were missed.

The issue has been corrected and should not appear in future physical book purchases. The issue was not present in the eBook version of the text.

Checkout From the Rock Stars here.

 

‘Always Greener’ by JRH Lawless had links to the From the Rock series!

Always Greener JRH LawlessHave you read JRH Lawless’ stories ‘The White Bird Dives’ and ‘Breaking the Ice’ in Flights from the Rock and Pulp Science-Fiction from the Rock and need… more? You’re in luck. Both of these stories take place as part of a larger tapestry of stories — The General Buzz series from JRH Lawless!

These stories link to Lawless’ new novel, Always Greener, published in February 2020 by Uproar Books!

From the cover: “Life’s biggest victim, please step up and claim your prize! A smash-hit reality show is offering a lifetime of luxury to the one person living the world’s worst life, and now everyone is out to prove just how bad they’ve got it. Want in? All you’ve got to do is accept ocular implants that let the whole world see life through your eyes, twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week. Fortunately, there’s still one person who hasn’t lost faith in all humanity. The show’s ever-smiling host is determined to wring some tiny bit of meaning out of this twisted competition and your unhappy existence. There has to be a purpose behind all this misery… doesn’t there?

Engen founder Matthew LeDrew raves: “Science fiction at its finest. The brains of Arthur C Clarke and Robert A Heinlien mixed with the wit or Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams!

Check out Always Greener, available now wherever books are sold!