A lot of good things come out of LitReactor‘s workshops. Not just in terms of improving writing, but in that other precious aspect of the craft: making connections.
A bunch of us did the Talking Scars workshop, lead by Jack Ketchum. We began as strangers, and a few of us left as firm writing buddies. This means people you can count on to give honest feedback on your work, point you in the direction of submission calls you might like and may have missed, and… who might call you up to join their own projects.
Which is exactly what happened with Simon Dewar. A month or so after the class was over, he got in touch to tell me about an anthology he was putting together themed Suspended in Dusk, and invited me to submit a story. I banged out about three of them, sent them with the most crass cover letters I’ve ever sent an editor (think: ‘Here you go, buddy! This one rock your boat?’) and he chose Hope is Here, a story about a homeless man and the complexities of looking for (and accepting) help from strangers.
Jack Ketchum was gracious enough to write the Introduction. The anthology also received endorsements from Shirley Jackson Award winner Kaaron Warren, and Bram Stoker Award winner Jonathan Maberry.
The anthology was published by Books of the Dead Press, and has gone on to become a wicked bestseller on Amazon, earning itself some great reviews and pretty high praise from all quarters.
To get a copy, find it here.