The Human Alchemy – Shirley Jackson Award Finalist

I’m thrilled and very proud to announce that my latest book The Human Alchemy is a finalist for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards in the category of Best Story Collection.

The Shirley Jacksons are my favorite awards, which always influence my reading list after each year’s nominees are announced. I’ve really enjoyed attending Readercon in recent years, and that’s the event where the awards are given out. For the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards, I had the great experience of accepting the “Best Edited Anthology” award won for The Grimscribe’s Puppets by my great friend Joe Pulver, who could not attend.

It’s common for people nominated for awards to express some variation of, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” but in this case, I really think it’s true. To find myself judged worthy to stand among the ranks of so many of my favorite writers, who have been nominated in the past, is such a great honor. In a nod to Jackson’s best-known story “The Lottery,” in which stones small enough to hold in the hand play an important part, SJA nominees receive an inscribed rock. I think even the eventual winners of the award prize the rock more highly than the award statue itself, and I’ve always been jealous of the rocks received by other writers and editors in the past.

Here’s the excellent Justin Steele with the rock he received for his Shirley Jackson Award nomination for Best Edited Anthology for Looming Low. Justin also has one for the previous anthology he edited, The Children of Old Leech. Steely has received a rock for 100% of the anthologies he has co-edited, which is some kind of really good success rate.

This year, I’m going to get a rock for myself!

As I write this, I don’t yet know who the other nominees are, but I have a few guesses, and can’t wait to find out! Every year’s list of nominees includes past greats, and future stars. It’s truly exciting to anticipate finding myself named among them.

I’d like to thank this year’s jury for choosing The Human Alchemy to stand among the best story collections published in 2018, and also especially want to thank my Publisher, Ross E. Lockhart of Word Horde, for doing so much to present my writing in the best possible light.

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