Category Archives: Editing

All The Things

Silver Pixie There are so many things going on around here right now. So. Many. It’s really an exciting time for me, but also stressful and anxiety-producing (isn’t that always the way?). Some of the things I get to share are these:

Submissions are open for Fae! After working on Metastasis I really needed a project that was a wee bit on the lighter side and I feel like this is it — plus it gave me the excuse to license lots of fairy pictures to use on my blog posts, and that is always a good thing. If you have an awesome modern fairy story I would very much like to read it. The details and submission guidelines are right here. Some subs are already trickling in and I’m going to start actually reading them tomorrow.

In other editor-y news, the latest issue of Niteblade is out, and it is fabulous. What’s more, because I love the cover so very much, this is going to be a blog entry with not one, but two pictures in it. So, yay!

Niteblade #25 (25! OMG!) is entitled Alice Underground after a fantastic poem by Brittany Warman. The cover and table of contents are here:

Niteblade #25 cover - Original art by Marge Simon, cover design by Jonathan ParrishLady Mary Speaks of Dreams by Sandi Leibowitz
With The Band by Carl Barker
Bitter Mnemosyne by Sara Norja
Jonesy by Evan Purcell
Alice Underground by Brittany Warman
Starry Night by David Luntz
Le Cirque by Jess Simms
the moon, so low by Dan Campbell
The Kiss of Legend by T.H. Lee
This man by Erik Amundsen
Empire of Ash by Cameron Johnston
Not Too Bold by Shira Lipkin

You can purchase your copy of our latest issue directly from the Niteblade Store, or Amazon (coming soon to Kobo). Each time you support Niteblade with a purchase or donation you make it a little more likely we’ll release our web version of the current issue to the general public to read for free so not only do you get to read a fantastic magazine (if I do say so myself) but you are also making it so other people can too. Win-win, right?

But wait, there’s more!

Quite a while ago Sein und Werden organized an experience with some exquisite corpses and I was pleased to participate. My specific contribution was:

The only blades were lush, verdant. She plunged her fingers down, through them, down like roots into the loam and brought up great handfuls of pungent-smelling darkness. Spread it over her breasts, like oil, while she undulated above, around. Particles spilled from between her fingers and pattered down around her.

Which is a group of sentences I’m ridiculously proud of. But, as much as I adore them all by themselves, they are so much more, well, exquisite, when you read them in context. Check out the “corpse” in its entirety here –> Come The Spring. It’s a  surreal and beautiful thing (I think perhaps, especially the fragment that comes directly before mine). Then, if you liked that you can also read Beetle and The Point of No Return which are two more exquisite corpses which were organized at the same time.

Thoughts on Metastasis

Metastasis CoverWe’re at a bit of a lull in the production cycle of Metastasis, which makes it the perfect time for me to gather some of my thoughts on it to share.

The creation of this anthology, much like Niteblade, has sort of a sine wave of activity, one week I’m rushed off my feet and feel like my brain is going to explode and the next I’m coasting along with plenty of time on my hands and space in my mind.

With Metastasis things were really busy right at the beginning when we made the announcement and the first big wave of submissions came in, then the activity slowed to a trickle for the bulk of the time we were open for submissions, only to peak again right before the deadline.

After the deadline things got really hectic around here while I read subs and trimmed my selections down to a short list and then to the final bunch I accepted. It didn’t slow down then, though. Once I had the stories and poems chosen we jumped into editing mode, then came paperwork time and now there’s a slight lull, as I said, before we move into final pre-publication stuff and then, finally, onto promoting and selling the book.

This anthology is fantastic. It shines. It really does. And frankly, it had to. I am dedicating my efforts in this anthology to the memory of my mother, so while this is a professional effort on my part it is also very, very personal. And it’s not just personal for me, it’s personal for a great many of the contributors as well. So while I tend to try to rein in my perfectionist streak most of the time, I mostly let it run free while I was working on this book.

And editing it? It was in-freaking-tense. I read each story, each poem, over and over and over again. Through the editing process and again while I figured out the order to put the pieces in, and then again and again to make sure that it all flowed how I wanted it to. Over and over. And these are not light-hearted fun stories. Not even the lightest of them. They aren’t all grim but, I mean, we were dealing with cancer as a theme, it’s pretty tough to make that all rainbows and cotton candy. I didn’t realize just how deeply it was affecting me until I was sitting in a movie theatre watching Pacific Rim and while giant robots and humongous monsters were destroying cities and using ocean liners as maces to smack each other around, I had a constant stream of tears flowing out from below my 3-d glasses. #truestory

Which is not to say the process between accepting stories and now was without its light moments. One of my favourites came as I was playing World of Warcraft and one of my best friends, BD Wilson, sent me an in-game message which said, “For the sake of my ego I submitted to Metastasis using a fake name. Now that my story has been accepted can we publish it under my real one?” Good times.

So I think what I’m trying to say is working on Metastasis has been an emotional roller coaster ride and, well, it’s not over yet 😉


Autumn fairy sitting on a mushroomI adore fairy tales, but it occurred to me not so long ago, that a remarkably large number of fairy tales don’t actually have fairies in them. I want to bring more fairy stories, modern fairy stories, to the world and that goal is the heart of my latest anthology project: Fae.

Historically speaking fairies have been mischievous or malignant. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. In Fae, we want stories that honor that rich history but explore new and interesting takes on fairies as well. We want urban fairies and arctic fairies, steampunk fairies, time-traveling and digital fairies. We want stories that bridge traditional and modern styles and while we’re at it, we want stories about fairy-like creatures too. Bring us your sprites, your pixies, your seelies and unseelies, silkies, goblins or gnomes, brownies and imps. We want them all. We’re looking for lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters.

This anthology will be published by World Weaver Press.

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for life of the anthology.

About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, is at

Open submission period: September 1 – November 30, 2013

Length: Under 7,500 words.

Submission method: Email story to fae [at] worldweaverpress[dot] com.

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

Please note, for this anthology I am looking for stories aimed at an adult audience. Not adult as in erotic, but adult as in not children.

Also, I prefer to receive stories as a .doc or .rtf attachment rather than in the body of your email, but I won’t turn away the latter so if you’ve already submitted, don’t panic. 🙂


September 3, 2013 – Submissions are Open!
September 4, 2013 – Edited to add note requesting submissions be aimed at adults & specifying that I prefer stories as attachments rather than in the body of the email.
October 1, 2013 – Blog post “Update from the Slush Pile: Fae Anthology
November 12, 2013 – Blog post “Editor’s Update from the Slush Pile
December 1, 2013: Submissions are currently closed. I am reading through all the stories I received. I hope to have passed on or shortlisted all the stories submitted by December 14th and have a final table of contents to send to my publisher by December 21st. If you don’t hear from me before Christmas, please query.
January 2, 2014 – I have responded to all submissions. If you submitted and have not heard back from me, please query.
January 9, 2014 – Blog post “Fae Anthology Submission Stats
February 3, 2014 – Blog post “Fae Submitted
February 12, 2014 – Blog post “Fae Table of Contents

Metastasis Cover & Table of Contents

Metastasis Cover

There it is, the cover for Metastasis. The artwork was done by Jo and the design by Carol Hightshoe. I will definitely devote an entire blog entry to the cover but for today it needs to share a blog entry.

As important as the cover is, what is even more important is the book’s content, and let me tell you, this book’s content is awesome. I use that word a lot, awesome, but these stories and poems really, really are, and they come together in such a magical way. The sum truly is greater than the parts (and the parts are pretty fantastic).

This anthology shines. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Metastasis Table Of Contents

The Cancer Catechism by Jay Lake
Cancer: A Fairy Tale by Marge Simon
Oil and Water by Michael Kellar
The Light Box by Barbara Daniels
Time is the School in Which We Learn, Time is the Fire in Which We Burn by Candas Jane Dorsey
Hunter by Beth Cato
Quantum Therapy by David Sklar
Alchemical Warfare by Sandi Leibowitz
The Gypsy Cure by Bill Ratner
Tide Pools by Kevin J. Anderson
Next Placement by Steve Lickman
The Cure by Scott Lee Williams
Painter X by I J Black
Murder of Crows by Rie Sheridan Rose
The Lady in the Doorway by T. Fox Dunham
The Dead Rise For Me by Morgen Knight
A Brief Description of the Five Stages of Puppet Cancer by David McLain
Cancer Maximized by Mary-Ellen Maynard
Hold That Blade by Beth Cato
Missing by BD Wilson
A Hunter Reflects Upon the Properties of Sunlight, and Also of Ashes by Sara Cleto
Unchanged by Michael S. Pack
Sylvia and the Gynandromorph Sea by Brenda Stokes Barron
Arpeggio by Gabrielle Harbowy
Folklore of Lunenburg County by Robert Dawson
Like Sunlit Honey by Cat Jenkins

It’s So Hot…

It’s so hot!

How hot is it?

It’s so hot that:

-> The radio announcers on CBC keep warning people not to go outside unless absolutely necessary
-> The magpies in my back yard were panting and fighting over a nasty little pool of water in our compost
(we put some clean water out for them)
-> My dog, who rarely leaves my side, is hesitant to go anywhere but the concrete floor in the unfinished part of our basement
-> Our neighbourhood convenience store have all their chocolate bars stored in the pop coolers to keep them from melting
-> We have a severe thunderstorm warning for tonight because they expect a violent reaction once the air begins to cool down.
-> The tar on the streets sticks to your shoes and pulls away like ooey gooey bubble gum
-> Even places with air conditioning feel far, far too hot

We don’t have air conditioning. If you need me, I’ll be sitting in the basement, in front of a fan, reading submissions for Metastasis.

(The actual weather was about 34 degrees Celsius but the humidity is so high it apparently feels like 44. All I know is it’s freaking hot, dudes.)

Metastasis Deadline and Decisions

He Loves Me Not - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishThe deadline for Metastasis is midnight tonight. For those who have asked, I’m not sure what time zone the publisher lives in (she gets submissions and sends them on to me) but she’s not exactly a hard-ass so I suspect anything in her mail before she wakes up tomorrow will be sent on to me. Still, I can’t guarantee that so sooner is probably better.

Tomorrow, Monday, I begin another social media retreat week and by the end of it I hope to have made all my final decisions and notified the authors. I won’t be ready to announce the table of contents and stuff away as it has to go to the publisher for final approval and all that fun stuff, but we *may* be able to do a cover reveal by then. Maybe.

So that’s where things stand right now, I’ll definitely keep you up to date as things progress.

Five Questions from Beth Cato

He Loves Me Not - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishBeth Cato is an incredibly talented writer and poet who I’m proud to call my friend. Very recently she offered me the chance to be interviewed about Metastasis, my upcoming anthology from Wolfsinger Publications. I jumped at the chance.

Her interview went live on her blog today. You can check it out here — Five Questions for Rhonda Parrish, Editor of Metastasis. As you may have guessed from the title, the interview is short, only five questions, but it covers a lot of ground just the same. If you’ve submitted to Metastasis, are thinking of submitting or just want to know a little bit more about me or the anthology, check it out. It’ll be well worth your time.

Metastasis Update #2

He Loves Me Not - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishThey say that bad things come in threes, but I’d like to share three exciting developments with regard to Metastasis.

Award-winning author and cancer survivor Jay Lake has kindly donated his story The Cancer Catechism to Metastasis.

Jay Lake has been described as one of the rising stars of the science fiction and fantasy genre. Since first appearing on the scene in late 2001, he has seen over 300 short stories published, along with nine novels out, and more forthcoming. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and significant recognition within the science fiction and fantasy field. He has won two of the most prestigious awards in science fiction and been nominated for numerous others.

Like many of you, I’ve been reading Jay’s books and watching him fight cancer for years now and it is truly an honor to have him be a part of this project.

But wait! There’s more!

Perhaps you’ve heard of Kevin J. Anderson? Kevin J. Anderson, the #1 international bestselling author of more than 115 books, is best known for his Dune novels coauthored with Brian Herbert, his Star Wars and X-Files novels and comics, and his original Saga of Seven Suns series.

Like Jay, Kevin has graciously donated one of his stories to Metastasis. Tide Pools, while not specifically about cancer deals with a degenerative disease and has, at its heart, a moral very appropriate to this anthology.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get more exciting you find out that Marge Simon has donated her artistic skills to this project. That means some or all of the accepted stories and poems will be illustrated. I don’t know about you, but as a writer I always especially adore publication credits where my work is illustrated. Marge has worked with Wolfsinger Publications a lot in the past as well as with me on Niteblade. It is going to be fantastic to have her adding to the visual impact of this anthology.

Me? Excited? That doesn’t even begin to express how I feel.


Bio blurbs were taken from the author’s websites. Also, though both Jay and Kevin’s stories are reprints we are not accepting unsolicited reprints.

On the Cusp

Blodeuwedd - Niteblade #23Ya know, I feel more and more these days, that I’m on the cusp of something. Something awesome…

I just don’t have a clue what LOL

Maybe it’s my writing. The work I’m producing just keeps getting better and W1S1 keeps me motivated to keep creating it and sending it out there. Plus my newest self-published project is going to be making its way out into the world soon.

Could be that it’s Metastasis. There are exciting things happening there. Things I can’t talk about just yet, but which make me very happy.

Or maybe it’s Niteblade.

There is a lot going on with Niteblade these days. A lot.

First of all it’s our 2nd annual fundraiser. We’re running it via IndieGoGo and in the past four days we surpassed the amount we raised all month last year. Currently we’ve raised $179. Exciting! I’m still nervous though. The people who have donated perks for this fundraiser? Well, they want people to pick their stuff and there are still a lot of perks left, so *fingers crossed* more people will pop by and see something they want.

Niteblade’s 2013 Fundraiser

Also exciting for Niteblade? We just released our first issue for the Kindle. We began with the most recent issue (Blodeuwedd, which was released on March 1st) and we’ll be working backward to add all the 2012 titles as well.

~ Blodeuwedd (Niteblade Magazine) for Kindle (Canada) ~ Blodeuwedd (Niteblade Magazine) for Kindle (USA) ~

For other countries just search for ‘Niteblade’ 🙂

So… yeah. I feel like something awesome is going to happen soon. I just can’t wait to find out what.

(also, do you think I could have used the word ‘exciting’ in this blog post any more than I did? LoL)

Update #1: We have a title

The response to the upcoming cancer anthology has been overwhelmingly positive and wonderful. Thank you all so very much.

I have news. Big news. Exciting news. We have a name! Yay!

The anthology is going to be titled Metastasis

Because we chose a name that was not one of the ones suggested on the Wolfsinger Publications facebook page, Carol is going to hold a draw and award a free copy of the book to a random person who suggested a title for us to chose from. We really do appreciate your suggestions and efforts to help us name this anthology. Good luck to everyone whose name is going in that draw 🙂

Right after we put out the call for submissions emails began arriving in my inbox. Some were submissions but many were from people who just wanted to share their story. To connect. I received emails from cancer survivors and from friends and family members of cancer survivors. I also heard stories about those who had lost the battle, people and pets, who were now gone. Cancer has touched almost everyone in one way or another and it seems to help in the healing process, in understanding and accepting, to share our stories.

I’ve edited Niteblade for a few years now, and this feels quite different from that. Each submission feels like it is coming from a very personal place and most are based on a loss or struggle that is very real and painful for the writer. As the editor of this anthology it’s going to be my job to say no to a lot of submissions, but I promise to give them all the respect and attention they deserve. Also? I will never use a single form letter in responding to you.

It is my intention to read and respond to submissions in small batches as they come in rather than waiting until the submission deadline has passed. It is more efficient for me and it means that if you send us something early on that isn’t quite right you still have time to re-submit if inspiration strikes again. I responded to the first batch yesterday, so if you submitted prior to January 21, 2013 you ought to have heard back from me. If you didn’t, please re-submit.

One thing I noticed while reading through the first batch of submissions is that while the quality of the writing was generally quite high, the majority of the stories and poems submitted were not speculative in nature. Not even a little. Some of those pieces were fantastic and if this were simply a cancer-themed anthology I would have taken them without question, but it’s not. Please make sure that your submissions are speculative in nature. Science fiction / fantasy. I define both genres very widely and welcome all their sub-genres. The important thing is if your story could take place in the world we live in today, and no one would blink an eye or think it odd, it’s not right for this anthology.*

If you have questions, please ask. I won’t bite. Honest.

*With the possible exception of a specifically solicited story or two.

Goals for 2013

W1S1 Year 3 GraphicEach year I like to set myself some concrete goals and share them publicly on my blog. Not only does this give me some sort of vision of what I want to accomplish over the year, it adds a feeling of accountability to help keep me motivated and on track. My goals for 2013 are:


  • Lose 25lbs
  • Successfully complete the P90x program (I’m giving myself permission to swap Cardio X workouts in for Plyometric ones because I worry about my ankle and also, I’m a bit of a wussy)
  • No energy drinks
  • Significantly cut the amount of sugar in my diet. I have a complicated set of rules for this for myself, but I don’t want to bore everyone with sharing them.


  • Begin another course (or two) toward my degree no later than April 1st and complete it/them successfully.


  • Sell my cancer anthology idea to a publisher.*
  • Edit the cancer anthology, making sure the end result is something I am proud of.
  • Promote the hell out of the anthology, ensuring that there actually are royalties to donate to charity.
  • Continue to pursue my sekkrit projeckt with CJD
  • Increase Niteblade’s readership and distribution
  • Begin offering Niteblade in more file formats
  • Hold a successful fundraiser for Niteblade
  • Produce a NaNoLJers anthology if sufficient interest exists


  • Participate in The Whittaker Prize
  • Successfully complete the weekly version of Write 1 Sub 1. For the ‘Write’ portion of this challenge I will count completed short stories or poems as well as individual scenes from longer works. By allowing myself to count individual scenes I will be able to work on longer works and still participate in W1S1
  • Participate in Writo De Mayo
  • NaNoWriMo and both camp NaNoWriMos are all optional
  • Finish writing poems for all the 2012 NovPad prompts
  • Actually successfully complete the AprilPad or NovPad properly, without having to make up prompts after the month has passed
  • Self-publish “Aphanasian Stories”
  • Look into the practicality of bundling and re-releasing some of my previously published short stories as ebooks
  • Follow through on my 2012 plans for my zombie poetry


  • Read at least 30 books


  • Participate in A Month of Letters
  • Do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (bonus points if I come up with a theme this year)
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Take a social media retreat for one week a month all year
  • Attend WorldCon 2012 in Texas
  • Post writing prompts/exercises in NaNoLJers on odd numbered Mondays
  • Run and participate in the writing bingo in NaNoLJers
  • Don’t forget that life is for living, not leveling

Phew! I’m kinda exhausted even just looking at that list, exhausted and excited. I’ve set up some real challenges for myself, but if I manage to pull them off imagine how fantastic a year that will be!

*I know I’ve already accomplished this goal, but I hadn’t when I started mentally composing this list and since I achieved this goal in 2013 I’m still putting it on the list. This is not me putting things on here just so I can cross them off.