Illogicon! Jan. 12-14


I’m paneling and reading at Illogicon this weekend! (That is, today, tomorrow, and Sunday in the Raleigh/Durham area!)

They’ve got a handy schedule, but to make this easy, here’s where I’ll be and when:


10pm – Female Body in Fantasy Fiction – Cameron
Like visual art, the female body has a long tradition of being celebrated (or objectified) in fantasy and genre fiction; what does it all mean?
Panelists: Natania Barron (M), , Julie Steinbacher, Mandy Burkhead, Nicole Givens Kurtz

11pm – Sex in Other Worlds (18+) – Smith
How do aliens… do it?
Panelists: J.L. Hilton (M), Julie Steinbacher, Natania Barron, James Maxey, Jim McDonald


2pm – MFAs, Workshops, and Writers’ Groups: Which One is For You? – Reynolds
Do you need them and are they right for you?
Panelists: Julie Steinbacher (M), Holly Walrath, John G. Hartness, Ian Muneshwar, Margaret McGraw

8pm – Reading: Julie Steinbacher – Crescent


11am – Moving Past the “Tragic Gay” in Storytelling – Reynolds
It wasn’t that long ago that having a queer character in a story at all was a “Dangerous Vision,” let alone a queer character that got to be happy (still weeping for you, Tara). What does the future hold?
Panelists: Ian Muneshwar (M), Betty Cross, Julie Steinbacher, Natania Barron, Sharon Stogner

If you’re planning to stop by, come say hey!


Clarion West Official

I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ll be Clarion West’s workshop administrator at the start of 2018! CW was life-changing for me: I learned writing lessons that have stuck with me and continue to shape my work; I made dear friends in near and faraway places; I began to immerse myself in SFF communities, which have opened tons of opportunities for me. I think I’d still be on the path of fiction writing even if I hadn’t attended CW, but I feel that something vital would be missing for me without this workshop and all it has given me.Clarion-West-Logo

I’ve written about Clarion West before, as have many other wonderful writers (whose posts on the workshop you should check out if you’re considering applying), so I’ll keep this brief, but I’m honored, intimidated, and excited to be a part of this experience for new writers. I also want to do my best to continue to foster an environment that is engaging, enriching, nourishing, welcoming, and supportive. I welcome feedback from anyone who has attended this workshop and particularly loved something or would like to see change. It’s my goal to do my best by all the students coming in this year. (I’m also super pumped about our 2018 instructor lineup!)

I look forward to taking on these duties at the start of the new year.


  • My story “Collectors,” published in Beecher’s Magazine, is eligible for SFF awards. Despite being published in a smaller magazine, it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve put out in the world.
  • I’m honored to have been considered for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants. I was an honorable mention in both categories. I’m excited for Erin Roberts, who was awarded both grants this year!
  • The TOC and cover reveal for Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up to No Good is up. My SF story “Blood Sausage” is forthcoming in this collection. I’d say it’s a fitting cover 😉

Fall Update

My life has been propelled forward in some exciting ways since this summer. In August, I was notified I would be receiving a Literature Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. I’m one of seven prose writers selected this year. We’ve read at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village, and tomorrow (October 28), we’ll read at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill at 2pm.

You can read my profile on the NCAC website, in which I sound very collegial and profesh. (Among other gems: “Some questions I find myself asking are, where do we draw the line at ‘human’?” Steinbacher continues. “Do love and intimacy alone humanize those of us who live at the expense of others?”) I’ve already used some of the funds to attend Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford’s online Writing Inclusive Fiction workshop.  I’ll also be making a last-minute appearance at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio next weekend.

“Some questions I find myself asking are, where do we draw the line at ‘human’? Do love and intimacy alone humanize those of us who live at the expense of others?”

One project I intend to support with this funding is work on a novel, which I began developing in June at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction’s SFF Novel Writers Workshop with Kij Johnson and Barbara Webb. (I’m fairly close-mouthed about it at the moment, but I may share some details once I’ve hammered them out further in the next month.) I met some amazing writers there, including R.F. Kuang, Gregory Scheckler, Becca Jordan, Caitlin Rogers, and Jake Frondorf. I also got to reconnect with the fabulous Marlee Jane Ward and M. Huw Evans.

I’ll be continuing to write short fiction and pushing out more stories that have been sitting on the back burner for some time while I was completing freelance projects over the past several months.

Once again, there is more news to come, but I’ve got to keep some secrets for now ;).

Happy fall! On my to-read list:

Got a recommendation? Comment below.

“Collectors” in Beecher’s Magazine

Issue 7 of Beecher’s Magazine arrived in the mail the other day. It includes the winners of the fiction, poetry, and nonfiction contests, and a story by me called “Collectors.” I finished this near-future science fiction story as part of my MFA thesis (where it was lovingly nicknamed “the clone story”). It’s about ownership–of art, of memories, of shared experiences, and of people.


Here’s the first page of “Collectors.” To read more, purchase the issue.

I am honored that “Collectors” was selected as a contest finalist by Carmen Maria Machado.

I have more news to announce soon–subscribe for updates if you’d like to follow me!

IMG_4531 2

My VCCA Residency

Somehow, it’s May already. Spring is flying by, and so did my time at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

The refurbished corn crib that was my studio for nearly two weeks (which I lovingly think of as the Baba Yaga hut) was cozy and a great space in which to work without distraction. It was my goal to draft at least one new story and my novel opening and outline. I lost three days to an unanticipated emergency, but I was still able to produce a lot of good work in that time.


After research, I wrote about 7k of the novel opening and worked out a lot of the outline. I drafted a 3k short story about a couple struggling to survive on a post-apocalyptic Earth where people worship mutants, and got about 1,000 words into an off-the-wall story about a group of teenagers with a very strange addiction. Not to mention the notebook pages I filled with as-yet-untyped work. I also read Kate Wilhelm’s Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang and about two-thirds of George Saunders’ Tenth of December. And revisited a number of Karen Joy Fowler stories available at Lightspeed. And caught up on some of Shimmer‘s latest offerings.

Overall, I’d say it was a successful residency, and I’d love to go to VCCA again. While I didn’t spend a lot of time socializing, there was a great group of artists there with me who I took inspiration from and can’t wait to continue to follow.

Stay tuned for some news about forthcoming publications. I’ll have two pieces coming out in print!


Residencies, Workshops, Publications

It’s been a while since I checked in, but things have been moving along! I’ve been awarded a VCCA residency for the second half of this month. I’m looking forward to relaxing near the Blue Ridge mountains and getting some work done on stories and a new novel.

Speaking of novels… I’ve been accepted to the Intensive Novel Institute at the University of Kansas with Kij Johnson and Barbara J. Webb as instructors. I can’t wait to work once again with Kij, who was one of my Clarion West instructors, and to get to know Barbara after meeting her at Worldcon last summer.

More news to come, but in the meantime, I leave you with a juicy speculative erotica short, “omen Underwear,” which Great Jones Street published as part of their Valentine’s special.



“Chimeras” Makes the Longlist for Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy

It’s been a whirlwind of a spring (I pulled together a 290-page creative thesis, I graduated from NC State’s MFA program) and a summer (trips to Seattle to see my Clarion West community and then to Kansas City for Worldcon). So whirlwindy, in fact, that I forgot to blast the news that my story “Chimeras“–the first story I sold, although Terraform beat Escape Pod to the punch in publishing me–is a Notable Story in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016.

What this means is that “Chimeras” was chosen from all of the stories published in 2015 to cross editor John Joseph Adams’ desk and placed on a longlist. The (about 80) stories on this list were then handed to guest editor Karen Joy Fowler, who chose the top 20 for publication in the anthology.

While it won’t be reprinted in the antho, I’m in good company with writers like Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Sofia Samatar, Kij Johnson, Charlie Jane Anders (seriously, too many good writers to list here)… and colleagues of mine like Helena Bell and Alyssa Wong. Not to mention, Karen Joy Fowler! read my story. Not too bad for my first sale.

You can check out the Notable Stories here and pre-order the anthology on Amazon–or wait until your friendly neighborhood bookstore puts it on shelves in October.