More Writing

2018 continues to be a productive year for me. My essay “Cracks in the viewscreen”, about editing Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction and the future of genre fiction, will be published in the next issue of Quill & Quire! Q&Q has been such a wonderful resource to me over the years, and I’m thrilled to have my essay there. I’m hugely grateful to Sue Carter for inviting me to contribute.

I’m still writing poetry, and hoping to add a few more poems to my chapbook with Frog Hollow Press. I’ve had some poetry acceptances in the last month, and a few publications.

My poem “After convulsing in public” will be published in Poetry Pause, the new poem-a-day program by The League of Canadian Poets. In a strange turn of events, I had a violent convulsive episode on the streetcar Wednesday, and the next day I received word that the poem had been accepted. The universe is weird sometimes.

My poem “MRI, or The New Art of Anthropomancy” will be published by Atticus Review in November. Atticus is a great American journal, and I’m thrilled to have my poem there.

“Side effects may include strangers” recently appeared in Train: a poetry journal. Unfortunately there was a little mixup and my name was the only one omitted from the cover, but I’m in there! Train is publishing terrific work, including this gut punch of a poem by Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and I’m thrilled to my have work with them. Another poem, “The Eganville Healer’s Compound”, will be published by Train in November. More on that one later.

I also had two poems published in Wordgathering: “Old young man” and “Degeneration”. Wordgathering constantly publishes great work by disabled authors, and it means a great deal to me to have work there.

Otherwise, I’m still writing and editing. Part 2 of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction will be online shortly, and I’ll do a post about that project shortly.

Poetry Chapbook!

I can finally announce some BIG NEWS! I’m going to have a small book of poetry! My chapbook We, Old Young Ones will be published by the venerable Frog Hollow Press through their Dis/Ability series.

The chapbook collects 19 of my poems on disability, ageing, and intergenerational dynamics, and it is very near and dear to my heart. The majority of the material is new and was written over the last six months.

I’m particularly happy that my editor on this is poet/physician Shane Neilson, whose work I really admire, and I love that I’ll be joining awesome poets John Barton and Kevin Spenst as part of the Dis/Ability series. Frog Hollow Press has been doing beautiful chapbooks for years, and it is such a pleasure to have my work with them.

There isn’t a set publication date yet, but it should be out by or around Spring 2019. I am SO EXCITED to share this book with all of you!

New Writing

I tend to focus on my editorial projects when I do post anything, but, hey, let’s talk about my writing for a moment.

My creative non-fiction piece “When you could not hear, I spoke” will appear in the CNF issue of The Fiddlehead, edited by the brilliant Alicia Elliott. This is very significant for me for a number of reasons. First, I love Alicia’s work. She is a remarkable writer with tremendous insight. When I saw she was editing the Fiddlehead’s special CNF issue I knew I had to submit. Now I’ve learned she is also a terrific editor. I’ve never been so raw in my writing, and it was so damn difficult to get through this piece. Alicia’s edits were invaluable in tightening the piece and making it leaner, cleaner. Denise was a good friend, and I always knew I wanted to write in depth about her funeral and how I was the only person there. Intergenerational friendships mean a great deal to me, and I’m incredibly excited to have the piece out in the world. The CNF issue will be released later this summer.

The timing also feels perfect as I’ve recently started volunteering with Pals Connect, a queer youth-elder project run by the 519 in Toronto. The project focuses on connecting LGBTQI2S individuals with older members of the community facing isolation. So far the experience is echoing some of what I felt with Denise and my friends in Montreal with Les Petits Frères, where the focus of the organization was specifically to assist elderly folks without family.

In other writing news, my poem “Oliver“, about young queer love, was published by Plenitude, Canada’s queer literary magazine. I really enjoy their work, and I was thrilled when they accepted the poem.

My flash piece/prose poem “Concussion” was published in issue 1.1 of Augur. I’ve had a few concussions now due to my convulsive episodes, and although the piece was written after my concussion in April 2017 it more directly channels the big one I had in 2014. Augur is a new Canadian magazine with a focus on “writing that is difficult to classify—whether specifically speculative, substantially surreal, or slightly strange.” I loved both their preview issue and issue 1.1, and they recently released issue 1.2 with some terrific content. They are well worth supporting.

Another story, “The River Street Witch”, was published in the anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland (Exile Editions), edited by Colleen Anderson, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Back in 2016 my essay “Growing up in Wonderland”  about living with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Todd’s Syndrome) was published in Uncanny Magazine. Colleen apparently enjoyed the piece and asked me to write a story about it, which it turned out I had already been working on at the time. So now my very weird neurological/perception disorder has manifested in a little girl who, because of this condition, is convinced she is a witch. It’s quite a dark piece.

Finally, I just learned my poem “niece with a peach following four minutes of Planet Earth” was accepted by Yes Poetry, another journal with a strong focus on marginalized voices. I don’t yet know when this one will appear, but I’m glad to have it there. My niece/goddaughter Théa inspired this one in the way she keeps copying different behaviour. I think it’s a cute poem, but my family finds it a little horrifying.

I’ve been writing a lot of poetry of late, as well as some new creative non-fiction. It’s been a good year for my writing, in no small part due to the grants I received from the Ontario Arts Council. And that’s it for now!

Robots vs Fairies is here!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME MECHANICAL AND MAGICAL MAYHEM? We sure are! ROBOTS VS FAIRIES launches TODAY! This is my second anthology collaboration with Navah, and once again the fine folks at Saga Press have created a truly beautiful physical book that we are so damn proud to be sharing with the world. This thing is seriously gorgeous inside and out. It is magical and shiny and pretty and (if I do say so myself) GOOD AND FUN! We both had such a blast working on this project – especially with the intro.

You probably already know (or THINK you know) which team you’re on, but you may find yourself switching teams once you’re done reading! Some of our authors can be pretty compelling (and some have some very compelling forces working behind them)…



We have a Goodreads giveaway going until January 23rd, so if you live in the US be sure to enter for your chance to win!


  • Booklist: This is a cinematic and well-paced collection and will please both science-fiction and fantasy readers with its variety. Team Robot or Team Fairy? Definitely both.
  • Library JournalThese lively, action-packed, and emotional tales by the best writers in sf/fantasy allow readers to root for their favorite team or discover new pleasures in an unfamiliar genre. Continuing their excellent teamwork (after The Starlit Wood), the editors highlight two popular character groups in speculative fiction. Exceptional storytelling and well-paced writing make this volume a total delight. 
  • Chicago TribuneIt’s a cliche to say there’s something for everyone here, but in this surprisingly eclectic anthology there probably is.
  • Washington Post: Robots vs. Fairies is the creature feature you didn’t know you wanted.
  • Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy BlogRobots v. Fairies is a perfect mix of wonder and humor, technology and magic, with a touch of darkness here and there to ground us in the truths behind the myths and invention, and it’s sure to appeal to fans of both genres.
  • Publishers WeeklyEditors Parisien and Wolfe have cannily chosen a variety of stories that offer individual, distinctive insights into both living machines and magical creatures, along with glimpses of how humans might react to their face-off.


Neat Things


Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction – Guidelines

The Destroy series is something I’ve admired since it first began with Women Destroy Science Fiction back in 2014. Lightspeed magazine did phenomenal work with the series, and I was thrilled and deeply honoured when Uncanny Magazine took over the project for Disabled People and asked me to be the Guest Fiction Editor. I’m privileged to be working with a wonderful team, and we’re all very excited to move ahead with the project.

The guidelines for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction are now live at Uncanny Magazine, and we hope people will share them widely. As we indicate in the guidelines, we are hoping to receive guidelines from a broad range of disabled creators:

We welcome submission from writers who identify themselves as disabled. Identity is what matters for this issue. What kinds of disabilities? All of them. Invisible and visible. Physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental health disabilities, and neurodiversity.

We will be open to submission from January 15th to February 15th, 2018. Please read the guidelines and submit during the submission window.

We’re all tremendously excited about the project and we are eager to read your work!

The Starlit Wood Essay at Powell’s and interviews

In conjunction with the paperback release of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales Navah and I wrote a brief piece for Powell’s discussing fairy tales. Joining us are Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, Aliette de Bodard, Genevieve Valentine, and Seanan McGuire. In it everyone discusses the importance and resonance of fairy tales, as well as their impact.



The wonderful Angela Slatter is also running interviews with our authors on her blog. The interviews are ongoing, so check back from time to time, but so far she’s posted those with:

Starlit Wood Paperback and Best Horror Longlist

Starlit Wood (1)

Last year, almost exactly to the day, the hardcover of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales was published and Navah and I began our editorial journey together. Of course the actual process started much earlier than that, but the publication of the book was a monumental achievement for both of us, individually and as a team, and it marked our first collaboration.

Today The Starlit Wood came out in paperback. This edition takes all the beauty of the hardcover and delivers it in a more affordable (and flexible!) package. The wonderful design folks at Saga also put an awesome stepback cover with much of the praise.



In addition to the various award wins and story reprints I’ve already shared, a few days ago Ellen Datlow posted her longlist of honourable mentions for the Best Horror of the Year series and four stories from Starlit made the list:

  • “In the Desert Like a Bone” by Seanan McGuire
  • “Some Wait” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “The Thousand Eyes” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “When I Lay Frozen” by Margo Lanagan

We are both incredibly proud of this book, and critical response has been tremendous. Thank you all for your enthusiasm! We hope you’ve enjoyed the book, and if you haven’t read it yet consider picking up the paperback!

Feature in local newspaper

Le Vision, the local newspaper in my hometown of Rockland, ran a two-page feature on me earlier this week. I haven’t seen the printed version yet, but the online one is available here.

I visit Rockland every few months when I’m down to see my family, and the town holds a very special place in my heart, so it feels pretty special to have such a feature. The newspaper also ran a short article on me last year when Clockwork Canada was first published. This one focuses mostly on The Starlit Wood, the award nominations and wins, and discusses my health at length. There’s even a mention of my new tattoo! It’s quite a nice feature. The journalist, Alexia Marsillo, was very kind. We did the interview just a few days after the surprise party for my 30th birthday, so we discussed that too.


On Reaching 30

I turned 30 today. This is a huge milestone for me.

For a long time I didn’t think I would live to be 30. It was the goal, the distant point I hoped to reach. If I made it that far I imagined I would have lived a good life.

After yet another concussion in April, which brought about the worst depressive period of my life, things took a turn for the worse. It got so bad I almost didn’t make it.

BUT now here I am, at that legendary signpost. 30. And you know what, I feel more alive than ever.

When I was younger I never imagined my health would improve. I was often angry, depressed about my condition, and I rarely told others how I felt. A common coping mechanism, but a dangerous one.

Over time I believed I was a burden to the people I loved. It was only in my head, but I felt guilty for wanting to do things I liked, for spending money on anything that made me happy. I felt I didn’t deserve it.

I wish I could tell my younger self, “You shouldn’t feel guilty for being the way you are, for being alive. You have every right to be here.” Even though others tell you that, it can be hard to believe.

Now, at 30, I can say I’m truly happy being who I am, what I am. I have the love and support of my family, my friends, my partner. I love what I do, and I feel fulfilled doing it.

I’m disabled, I still have a lot of health issues, and there are things I can’t do, but I made it to 30, and now I want to make it to 40, 50, 60, to whatever. In recognition of that, and as a celebration, at the end of the month I’m starting on the sleeve tattoo I’ve wanted for years. It will be made possible with the help of some of my friends and family, as my birthday gift.

The sleeve will consist of illustrations from Tainaron, by Leena Krohn, my very favourite book. The book’s exploration of metamorphosis, and of embracing the strange and the unusual, helped me to better understand who I am, and to love myself more.

I’ll keep you all posted on how the process goes.

But in the meantime, thank you all for helping me reach this point. And for any of you doubting your self -worth or worrying that you might not make it, just know that you matter, your voices matter, and you absolutely deserve to be here.

Fan Expo

Fan Expo Canada starts tomorrow! The fine folks at the Toronto Steampunk Society were kind enough to invite me again this year and give me a table. I’ll be sharing the space with the awesome Rebecca Diem, same as last year. Kelsi Morris will also be there selling her Shirley Jackson Award-nominated anthology Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, in which I have a story, “Where Roots and Rivers Run as Veins.” We’ll also have a variety of books from Exile Editions on hand, including my Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction, and I’ll have copies of The Starlit Wood. 

On Friday Rebecca and I will be on a panel about steampunk fiction in room 712. Feel free to join us!

We’ll all be posting throughout the con, so keep up on Twitter @domparisien, @KelsiGrammar and @kthnxbex.

Fan Expo 2017 v1