Contest Winner!

My short story, ‘The Divvy’, won an award for ‘Propulsive Scene and/or Plot Line’ in the 2015 Stoneslide Story Contest. They may include it in their anthology or publish it on their website; as soon as I know I’ll post here and on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Propulsive scene and/or plot line: “The Divvy,” by Mary Holland, starts with an unwanted and burdensome gift and moves at tremendous speed through complications and challenges, barreling toward revelation, all the while assembling a fantastical and convincing world.

‘The Divvy’ is an outtake from The Bone Road. Originally, it was a bridge chapter between part 1 and part 2, and it was told from Jak’s POV. But it never fit, so I tossed it into the edit folder where I keep the deathless prose that I cannot bear to part with, i.e., large hunks of text that don’t quite work but which I cannot delete. This is the only way I can edit out large globs of text.

When it never did end up in the book, I rewrote the story from another POV and submitted it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They rejected it, but suggested changing the POV (again!) to the primary character instead of to an observer. So eventually I rewrote the story a third time and, trust me, changing a POV is much harder than writing a new story from scratch. Beneath Ceaseless Skies asks authors not to resubmit revised work and I took them at their word, so as other opportunities came up it went out and came back. I’ve lost track of how many times.

I’m so pleased it won an award, and that an impartial editor liked it. If you’ve read The Bone Road you know it’s a complicated world with an oddball premise. Boiling that down without dumping a heavy explanation on the reader’s head was a hell of a lot of work. I’m so happy it paid off.

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Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.

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