So, while I was sitting on a beach in Whitstable enjoying a beer on Sunday, I found out I had won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Short Story for my story “The Dying Season” that appeared in Aickman’s Heirs, edited by the fabulous Simon Strantzas and published by Mike Kelly’s Undertow Publications. This is an amazing honor, as was the original nomination–I genuinely did not expect to win and am just thrilled to have done so. Also, the anthology itself won the Best Anthology award.
The rest of the lineup of winners is amazing–Best Novel to Gemma Files for Experimental Film, Best Novella to Liz Hand for her wonderful Wylding Hall, Best Novelette to my compadre Steve Duffy for “Even Clean Hands Can Do Damage” from Supernatural Tales, and Stephen King for best single-author collection with The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. But as you’ll see from the link above, the nominees themselves were equally impressive (the novella category being a particularly tough one this year).
I’ve never even been nominated for an award before, so to be nominated and win all in one fell swoop the genre award that is perhaps the one I hold in highest regard is just, well, massive. I’m very happy. Now go and read all my fellow nominees and all the other wonderful stuff on that shortlist, because it truly demonstrates the literary skill and depth of so many people writing dark fiction today.
The following day, Aickman’s Heirs also received a World Fantasy Award nomination for Best Anthology, as did another anthology I’m in, Cassilda’s Song, while Selena Chambers’s story from that same volume, “The Neurastheniac,” was nominated for Best Short Story. A good few days for awards and award nominations!
Oh, and here is the acceptance speech I wrote that Simon Strantzas was kind enough to deliver at Readercon, where the awards ceremony took place:
It was a real honor to share this ballot with four other talented women writers—or, as I like to refer to them, just writers—Shannon Peavey, Alyssa Wong, Nadia Bulkin, and Letitia Trent. I want to thank Simon Strantzas, for requesting a story from me and putting together such a wonderful anthology; Mike Kelly, for publishing the book and for his general encouragement over the years; Sean Hogan, for introducing me to the place that inspired the story (a place I actually like!), and for his encouragement; and, of course, the spirits of both Robert Aickman and Shirley Jackson, who remain constant sources of inspiration to me. Thank you so much to the jury too—this is the first nomination I’ve ever received for my fiction and so my first award as well, and I am so happy!