short story

Anthology Story Reveal: Backpack Boy

We the members of Phoenix Fiction Writers have been unveiling our entries for the upcoming Strange Waters anthology, and today it’s my privilege to pull the wrappings off this little secret I’ve been working on.

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Pirates have kidnapped Mum and taken her to the cave across the island.
The boy with the red backpack has everything he needs to rescue Mum: a map, a wooden sword, a book about pirate adventures, and a ham sandwich. Most importantly of all, he has his elephant.
But wooden swords and ham sandwiches might not be enough for the boy with the red backpack to face the truth he's afraid of the most.
And the island starts to crumble…

In its earliest conception, Backpack Boy was a simple story about a boy on an adventure, but it quickly became something more: an exploration of a soft heart and a fragile mind, of a very small world that isn’t quite the way it should be, and of the people on the outside who don’t seem to understand.

Backpack Boy will be published this October as part of the Phoenix Fiction Writers anthology, Strange Waters, which will be available for pre-order in the coming month. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Story Spotlight: The Word Thrower by Beth Wangler

Story Spotlight: The Word Thrower by Beth Wangler

Words have power, and Word Throwers can access more of that power than the average person. At Avery Deleford’s Academy for the Locutionarily Adept, gifted students learn how to use that power responsibly. By combining speech and motion, they can shape the world around them as they like…

Story Reveal: The Astoundingly Mortal Peril of Denna Dorwen

As many of you know, the Phoenix Fiction Writers team is releasing an antihero-themed anthology, which will feature seven (if I’m not mistaken) short stories by our talented members. In October’s newsletter, sent out at the beginning of the month, subscribers got an exclusive first look at the title and blurb for my short story, and now I’m bringing the goodies to the world!

Brace yourselves for…

The Astoundingly Mortal Peril of Denna Dorwen

Two years ago, Denna Dorwen burned down Candlewick Spire, a trove of books and scrolls atop the elite university in the city of Galaratheas. An accident, of course, and unequivocally not her fault.

Nevertheless, the pawn broker and part-time thief owes the city a hefty debt, and the Iron Gleaners are coming for her. 


Out of time and out of money, Denna needs every trick up her sleeve if she wants to outwit debt collectors, bounty hunters, and the terrors that lurk in dark tunnels beneath the city...

* * *

You’ll be able to read the story, which features the plucky fan-favorite from The Broken City of Crows*, next month! I hope you’re as excited as I am. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter for early access to treats like these (trust me, there are some big ones coming!) and to stay updated.

Talk to you soon!

*The Astoundingly Mortal Peril of Denna Dorwen takes place well before the events of The Broken City of Crows and is meant to be read as a standalone story, so don’t worry if you’re not one of my Wattpad readers!