A Q&A with YA Author Claire Eliza Bartlett

claireQ. Tell us a little bit about your background, and your evolution as a writer. If you’ve taken more than one workshop at the Storied Imaginarium, what is it that keeps bringing you back?

A. I’ve always known I wanted to publish stories and novels, but I began to seriously pursue it in 2012, experimenting with style and genre to see what most appealed to me. My first short story was published in 2015, and two years later I got a publishing deal for my first novel. My recent evolution has been very much oriented towards feminism and bringing in some of the issues of our time to be reflected in fantastic settings.

I love taking classes from the Storied Imaginarium because of the unique set-up of the class. I almost always get inspiration from the subjects we study, and end up with stories I would never have written otherwise – but stories that are very much my own. I also get pushed to finish my stories! That is very important to me, as I struggle to finish short stories. These two things always make good reasons to take another class.

Q. Have you published any stories that have come out of the generative workshops at the Storied Imaginarium? If so, what inspired your pieces, and where can we read them?

A. I have one story that has been published, and one story yet to be published, both by Daily Science Fiction. The first, ‘The Velvet Castles of the Night’, is available here: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/claire-eliza-bartlett/the-velvet-castles-of-the-night. It was inspired by the Monstrous Women class on vampires, and my own dislike of vampires, particularly female ones, and the way they are depicted in media.

The second story, ‘We Do Not Know What Happened to the Children,’ is forthcoming from DSF. It was inspired by Intersections of Science Fiction and Myth, the Hansel and Gretel unit.

Q. What advice do you have for writers working with fairy tales and myth as well as combining them with current science and social issues?

A. Read a lot! That way you’ll know where the rest of the market is, and what others have already covered – not to mention there will be plenty of ideas to steal. Go down rabbit holes of scientific and social interest, until something clicks. And if the fairy tale isn’t cooperating with you, change it.

Q. How did you come to writing and who are some of your influences?

A. Jane Yolen would be my primary influence – I read her book Dream Weaver (more accurately, my mother read her book Dream Weaver to me) and thought, “I’m going to do that.”

As a teen, reading Neil Gaiman really opened up my perception of what fantasy could be and do, beyond a secondary world, high fantasy noblebright extravaganza. Susanna Clarke combined my love of history and fantasy and showed me that it was possible to incorporate both in the same tale.

And more recently, great YA authors like Leigh Bardugo, Roshani Chokshi, Hanna Alkaf and more have taught me a lot about writing characters that you fall in love with from the first page, that you can’t tear yourself away from.

Q. Can you give us an insight into your writing process? Any habits when you sit down to write?

A. I am hyper productive in the morning, and only the morning – if I get started early and I’m focused, I can write 5,000 words before I stop for lunch. I won’t say they’re good words – for me, writing is rewriting and rewriting and rewriting – but I get them down, and for me the quantity is key. I like to give myself deadlines, and I don’t like to move from my desk until I’m done. Rewards don’t really work for me, so I tend to use the tough love strategy on myself. Once I stop for lunch, I switch to other writing-adjacent things, such as revising or answering emails.

Q. What is next in store for your readers?

A. At the moment I’m working on a proposal that I’m quite excited about, but I’m not sure I can say more! My novel, recently renamed to WE RULE THE NIGHT, will be released on April 2nd 2019, and has all the feminism and history-inspired fantasy that I worked with in the Storied Imaginarium! And of course, I’m still pushing those short stories.

Author Bio: Claire Eliza Bartlett is a US citizen who grew up in Colorado. She studied history and archaeology and spent time in Switzerland and Wales before settling in Denmark for good. When not at her computer telling mostly false stories, she works as a tour guide in Copenhagen, telling stories that are (mostly) true.

Author Website: www.authorclaire.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/17293691.Claire_Eliza_Bartlett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bartlebett/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bartlebett
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bartlebett/

Workshop Scholarship Fund

The WriterAs a former student, I have struggled to find the necessary funds to further my education. Although there are options (loans, grants, scholarships) when it comes to formal education, online workshops are a different story. To meet this challenge, I’ve decided to run a GoFundMe campaign so that I can offer a potential option to students who could not financially be able to attend a workshop at The Storied Imaginarium otherwise. I plan to offer two full scholarships: one for Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth, and one for Monstrous Women. I will be posting scholarship application information on August 1, 2018. Thank you for you support. Stay tuned!


“I love working with Carina and the Storied Imaginarium. The courses are carefully crafted, a blend of creativity and academia that makes a perfect storm for writing thoughtful, smart speculative fiction. The class format supports constructive criticism that helps me analyze my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, while pushing me to expand my horizons and write outside my comfort zone. More than that, Carina has in-depth knowledge of the various markets for speculative short fiction which she uses to help us revise our work. I am positive that without the Storied Imaginarium, I would not have the publication credits I have today. I look forward to our next class together!” — Claire Eliza Bartlett, author of “The Velvet Castles of the Night,” Daily Science Fiction.

“Carina is a great teacher—insightful, resourceful and empathetic. It was Carina who encouraged me to get my stories out, even when they’d rather skulk in the corners of my brain, then revise and send my work out to publishers. She helped me think critically about my characters, plot, setting, and everything [else] that makes a story. I can’t wait to work with her more in the future.” – Daniela Tomova, author of “Behind Her, Trailing like Butterfly Wings,” Apex Magazine.

“Carina Bissett is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic workshop leaders I’ve ever seen. Her generous reading, sharp eye for detail, and prolific knowledge of both fairy tales and publishing make her an ideal teacher for novice and practiced writers alike. I heartily recommend any writing program with her at the helm.” – Julia K. Patt, author of “Whatever Tower, However High,” Escape Pod and My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun,” Clarkesworld.

“Carina’s classes are intensive and illuminating. I’m impressed with her extensive knowledge of myth and fairy tales, as well as her insightful and kind critique. Plus, there’s lots of writing involved.  Highly recommend!” – KT Wagner, author of “3-D Monarch” in Happily Ever After, “Slipped Stitch” in Dead of Winter, and “Grandma Heloise” at Daily Science Fiction.



Fall 2018 Workshops: Open Registration

Fall 2018 Workshops

Monstrous Women II: A Feminist Approach to Myth and Magic

La-Llorona_artThis intensive, online writing workshop explores the theme of Monstrous Women in literature and myth in a series of modules designed to prompt story generation over the course of 14 weeks. Monstrous Women II will be offered in Spring 2018 and will include the following modules: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides, The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale, Weeping Women and Tearful Prophecies, The Female Descent into Hysteria and Madness, and Mayhem in Numbers and the Sacred Three. Registration opens July 1, 2018.  Space is limited.

Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth

cinderella 1This intensive, online writing workshop explores the theme Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth in a series of modules designed to prompt story generation over the course of 14 weeks. Participants will explore fairy tales, folk tales, and world myths with links to science-based themes. Fairy tales and myths explored in Fall 2018 include Cinderella and Bio & Interactive Tattoos, The Singing Bone and Intersteller Linguistics, Bearskin and Biohybrid Robots, Maid Maleen and Doppelgangers, Golem Myths and Ancient Viruses & the Spark of Life, Snow White and Human Neuro-Reanimation, Pele Myths & The Wizard of Oz and Natural Catastrophes. Registration opens July 1, 2018.  Space is limited.

Submission Round-up

Themed Calls



It’s time Lackington’s celebrates all the “Magics” found in speculative fiction from around the globe. Send your tales of sorcerers, charmed items, mysterious transformations, and enchanted places in this world and others.
Word Count: 1,500-5,000 words
Deadline: Rolling
Payment: $50 AUD

An imprint of Broken Eye Books, eyedolon is open for original short stories of urban weird fiction (so stories about cities and dealing with the complexity that is other people) for the upcoming themed issue Nowhereville: Weird is Other People. These are modern weird tales (give or take a few decades) that could only be told of the weirdness of the urban experience and our interactions with one another. Limit of ONE submission per author. Note: The editors are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations.
Word Count: 3,000-7,500 words
Deadline: July 1
Payment: Professional rates, .08 cents a word.

Oath and Iron
Published by Spring Song Press, this anthology is open for submissions that address the “Oath and Iron” theme in some way. “To us, oath and iron is a reference to fairies and the treacherous bargains they make. We’re interested in both classic and new interpretations of fairies. We’re interested in clever, dangerous, unpredictable creatures, bargains and promises that aren’t what they seem, and bright, brave characters rising to the challenge.” Note: The editors prefer noblebright stories for this anthology.
Word Count: 1,000-10,000 words
Deadline: July 1
Payment: .01 cent a word. Authors will receive the e-book and one print copy of the anthology.

Third Flatiron
This publication is open for the upcoming anthology “Terra! Tara! Terror!” Editors are looking for fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories: “Whether the setting is a cabin in the woods (Terra), Fae (Tara), or spaceship Nostromo (Terror), take us there and spin your adventure. For a bit of mood whiplash, we’d like a mixture of dark and bright stories. Examples: Obsession with odd artifacts (like Roadside Picnic’s golden sphere?), alternate histories, paranormal romance (no erotica, please, we’re PG-13).”
Word Count: 1,500-3,000 words
Deadline: July 15
Payment: Professional rates, .08 cents a word.

Body Parts Magazine
The editors at Body Parts Magazine seek well-written, thoughtfully structured horror, erotic horror, speculative fiction, dark fantasy (including fairy tales and mythology), exceptional stories about ghosts, ghouls, monsters and wretched creatures, Gothic fiction, and all combinations of the above for the upcoming issue based on the theme  A is for Aliens, Apocalypse and Armageddon. Note from the editors: “we’re looking for boundary-trampling, genre-splicing stories here. Skip the standard brain-eaters and ho-hum zombies. Give us something different, something much, much worse.”
Word Count: Up to 8,000 words
Deadline: August 1
Payment: $5 for flash fiction and $10 to $20 (depending on length) for short stories

Markets of Interest

The Gallery of Curiosities
This podcast is seeking speculative fiction stories that include some sort of anachropunkish retro-vintage element. “We want to be taken on an adventure in a time that never was, be it steampunk, gaslamp, weird tales, dreadpunk, vintage horror, mad science, fantastic cities (please!), monsters, impossible machines, clockworks, alt-history adventures, surprises, weird westerns, and things that shouldn’t work.”
Word Count: Up to 7,500 words
Deadline: June 30
Payment: .03 cents a word USD for original fiction and a penny a word for reprints, with a minimum of $10 USD for stories less than 1,000 words.

Cemetery Dance
Cemetery Dance is open for submissions by authors who have never sold a story to the magazine before. The editors are looking for well-written horror, dark mystery, and suspense short stories. In particular, they are looking for “tales that are powerful and emotional—creepy, chilling, disturbing, and moody. Suspense/mystery/crime tales with a horror element are always welcome. Both supernatural and psychological stories are fine.” Limit of ONE submission per author, so make it count.
Word Count: Up to 5,000 words
Deadline: July 5
Payment: Professional rates, minimum of .05 cents per word, plus two contributor copies. Maximum payment of $250.

Big Poetry Giveaway

Big-Poetry-Giveaway2018-768x427 (1)Welcome to the Big Poetry Giveaway! To participate in the giveaway and to find other blogs that are doing giveaways, check out this post.

To participate in my 2018 giveaway, just post a comment with your name and email address included. Please also let me know your first choice, if you win.

Book One: In the Forest of Forgetting by Theodora Goss

In the Forest of Forgetting

About the Book: The reprint of In the Forest of Forgetting by award-winning author Theodora Goss, first published in 2006 by Prime Books, with an introduction by Terri Windling and cover art by Virginia Lee. The table of contents has been slightly modified: “Phalaenopsis” has been replaced by “Her Mother’s Ghosts”, which first appeared in 2004 in The Rose and Twelve Petals and Other Stories, released by Small Beer Press.

Book Two: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

poisoned apples

About the Book: Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

The giveaway ends on April 30th at midnight, at which point I will use a random number generator to select the winners.

You can find others who are giving away poetry listed here.

Good luck! And Happy National Poetry Month!


February Submission Roundup

Themed Calls

Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep
Shine up your stories of the submerged for the upcoming Australian anthology Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, which will be the fourth anthology in the Things in the Well series.  From the editor: “sea monsters and underwater encounters can be believable if written well, which Brian Lumley demonstrates well in his work, as does Ramsey Campbell in stories like ‘The Inhabitant of the Lake,’ and Lovecraft’s ‘Dagon’ also leaps to mind.”
Word Count: 5,000-8,000 words
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Payment: $50 AUD

Making Monsters
Futurefire.net Publishing and the Institute of Classical Studies are looking for retellings or reimaginings of classical monsters in fantasy, horror or science fiction short stories, for a mixed fiction and nonfiction volume titled Making Monsters to be published in mid-2018, edited by Emma Bridges and Djibril al-Ayad. Classical monsters may include those from Greco-Roman mythology, ancient Egypt, the Near East, or any other ancient world cultures far beyond the Mediterranean.
Word Count: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Payment: £50 for short stories (between 2,000-5,000 words); £25 for flash stories (up to 1,999 words) or poetry

Baba Yaga Anthology
Anthologist Kate Wolford is looking for stories from Baba Yaga’s point of view, or the point of view from those she helps or hurts, or from anyone who might be a protagonist worthy of the Baba Yaga story. You can set the story in the past or present. The story can take place anywhere in the world. It can include romance or action or tragedy or comedy.
Word Count: 7,500-20,000 words
Deadline: March 1, 2018
Payment: $50 + contributor copy

Sword & Sonnet
Project editors Aidan Doyle, Rachael K. Jones and E. Catherine Tobler are seeking science fiction and fantasy stories featuring battle poets. Note: Stories must feature a woman or non-binary battle poet as a main character.
Word Count: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: March 1, 2018
Payment: $0.06 cents a word

Uncanny Magazine
This pro speculative fiction magazine is seeking submissions for the special issue Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction. From the editors: “We welcome submission from writers who identify themselves as disabled. Identity is what matters for this issue. What kinds of disabilities? All of them. Invisible and visible. Physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental health disabilities, and neurodiversity.”
Word Count: 750-6,000 words
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Payment: $0.08 cents a word

Markets of Interest

Gallery of Curiosities
Gallery of Curiosities is a speculative fiction podcast looking for stories with an anachropunkish retro-vintage element. “As an audio venue, we want short stories that entertain. We want to be taken on an adventure in a time that never was, be it steampunk, gaslamp, weird tales, dreadpunk, vintage horror, mad science, fantastic cities (please!), monsters, impossible machines, clockworks, alt-history adventures, surprises, weird westerns, and things that shouldn’t work. We will read Bizarro but it must have an internal logic to it.”
Word Count: Not listed
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Payment: $0.03 cents a word

Phantom Drift Limited
This print publication is looking for fabulist flash fiction and short stories. “We like stories that favor the unusual over the usual; we like stories that create a milieu where anything can happen. Stories can take the form of myth or fable. They can invent or suggest an unreal ambience or describe a realistic landscape gripped by a surreal or unexplained event.”
Entry Fee: $3
Word Count: up to 6,000 words
Deadline: March 31, 2018
Payment: $5 per page with a minimum of $10 for flash fiction, plus 1 contributor copy.


Apparation Lit Flash Fiction Contest
Each month Apparition Lit holds a flash fiction contest. For February, the editors are seeking speculative fiction stories that meet the theme Margaret Atwood’s Marrying the Hangman. Other themes for the year include March: Through the mirror darkly; April: Lazarus; May: The lilies on the table; June: Posthumous; July: Follow the light; August: Parasites; September: Emily Dickinson’s Because I could Not Stop for Death; October: You can see the bone; November: Security; December: The final problem . Stories are accepted during the first 15 days of each month with winners announced on the 20th.
Word Count: up to 1,000 words
Deadline: February 15, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Prize(s): The winning story wins $5.

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2018
Hosted by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, this contest is seeking submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, and hybrid forms. Guidelines include Imagining Climate Futures, Scientific Accuracy and Understanding, and Climate Challenges, Human Responses. (NOTE: The contest will once again be judged by science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning author of many foundational works in climate fiction, along with other climate fiction experts from ASU.)
Word Count: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Prize(s): The winning story will receive a $1,000 prize. Nine finalists will receive $50 each.