- Emily Ruth Verona
A Year in Writing 2022
I got to do some pretty amazing writerly things this year and so here I'm rounding up those highlights.
Stoker Award Nominee
To start, I was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and flew to Colorado for StokerCon!
HOLY HELL. I was not expecting any of that. At all. My essay "A Horror Fan's Guide to Surviving Womanhood" was published by The Final Girls film journal, Bloody Women, in January of 2021 and was nominated in the Stoker's Short Non-Fiction category. It was incredible. The essay didn't win but I met a ton of wonderful people, attended amazing panels, and got to fulfill my mom's dream of bringing her as my date to a fancy awards ceremony. Plus I got to wear a killer velvet dress and gold heels which felt very vintage Hollywood.
I published two pieces of flash fiction, two poems, and an essay this year!
Two of my dark little flash fiction tales found homes at Black Telephone Magazine and Coffin Bell. These are awesome magazines and I feel so lucky to have placed work with them. My first published poem was featured in the incredible Black Spot Books anthology Under Her Skin and I got to contribute to the Horror Writers Association's Mental Health Initiative Of Horror and Hope with a poem about OCD. So, I'm a poet now. Don't tell my teenage-self. She would never believe she had it in her! I also got to write about epistolary horror (one of my favorite topics!) for a Tor.com list which was a dream come true.
Last month, I found out that Ellen Datlow included “A Purim Story" (published in The Jewish Book of Horror) on her "Recommendations for Best Horror #14-long list" alongside some of my favorite stories of 2021. That was very cool.
Going into 2023, I'm looking forward to a lot (even though I can't talk about some of it just yet!)
My short story "Three Nights with the Angel of Death" will be in the western horror anthology Along Harrowed Trails from Timber Ghost Press. It's inspired by my love of 3:10 to Yuma (the 1957 version and the 2007 version) and 30 Days of Night (2007) so I'm stoked! Special thanks to Professor Anne Kern at Purchase College because I took her film class on Westerns in 2011 and it definitely left an impression.
In 2020, my short story "The Abbey" was published by Lamplight Magazine and soon it will be presented in podcast form by Tales to Terrify. The Abbey is a meaningful one for me. When it came out it was the first short story I'd published in four years and it really led me into the horror writing community, which is a a beautiful place where I've made a lot of friends and been introduced to some absolutely astounding writers.
A short story I wrote several years ago called "A Flicker" will be featured in the upcoming anthology Monstrous Futures from Dark Matter INK. It's my first science fiction story and has gone through many revisions over the years. I'm glad it has finally found such an awesome home.
The second Black Spot Books Women in Horror Showcase, Under Her Eye, is due out in 2023 and I'm thrilled that that my poem "Attn: Prime Real Estate Opportunity!" will be included. It's particularly special because I get to share a table of contents with longtime friend and writer Elizabeth Schwartz, who I met in 2008 as a undergraduate when we were Creative Writing students at SUNY Purchase. It's the first time we'll be published in the same place and we've both come such a long way.
I have a poem called ""We Are Always Walking on Dead Things" set to appear in Nightmare Magazine, which I still can't believe is a real thing that's happening. I can't believe most of this is/has happened really. Writing and sharing that writing never gets old.
My brain is telling me this post is egregious and self-indulgent and no one will care what I've done this year. I should delete it. Bury it. Go focus on my failures and insecurities for a while instead. Stew in them until they make me cry. I have always struggled with low self-esteem all my life. It's hard to feel worthy of anything, let alone a place in the world to be proud of oneself. But there is plenty of rejection and disappointment in life, writing-related and otherwise. You work hard and things don't always work out, so when they do work out it should be celebrated.
So, here I am. Celebrating the hell out of a wild year. I'm proud of what I've done. Cheers to the next one!
Emily (the writer) and Phoebe (the dog)