BOGOF!

January 7, 2018
I know it sounds rude, but all my readers can BOGOF this month! If you buy Discord's Child from https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ksdearsley you'll find a code number to get Discord's Apprentice FREE, valid until 31st January. In other words, you can Buy One and Get One Free.
    Actually, there's a growing trend that makes me feel like adding an 'F' and telling some publishers to bog off. I find it very disturbing that more and more publications are charging writers to submit work to them. This, they say, is to cover the  expense of reading it. Sometimes the publications themselves are free to read online, but sometimes they have to be bought, so the readers are also paying the publishers' costs. Either way, the writer usually receives nothing if their work is chosen, apart from the exposure (which will often prevent them selling that work elsewhere) and maybe the kudos of having work in that publication–although it's a fair bet that none of your friends or family will have heard of it. In other words, the writer is paying to have their work considered. Okay, the editors should ensure that only work that meets their standards is published, but you are unlikely to get a critique of your work or any comments and, in some cases, not even the courtesy of a rejection. How can you be sure that it's even read? At least when you enter a competition, there's a chance you'll win a prize.
    I have more faith in publications that want you to buy a copy or take out a subscription. That way they limit the number of unsuitable submissions, and the writer is guaranteed something for their money. Other alternatives for publications that feel swamped are reading periods outside of which submissions aren't considered, or limiting submissions to particular themes. Otherwise, there's little difference that I can see between submitting your work somewhere that demands a reading fee and paying for vanity publication. That's never been a good idea, and with self-publishing comparatively easy these days, it's totally unnecessary. What do you think?
   
 

New Bginnings

January 1, 2018
Happy 2018! This is a time when many of us try to say 'good-bye' to our old selves, and make ourselves all kinds of promises about who we're going to be in future. From now on we're going to be non-smokers and/or vegan, exercise daily, go on a diet, learn a new language etc. etc. A fair few of us will already have broken at least one New Year's resolution–ah well, a bank holiday after a night of celebration probably isn't the best time for fresh starts, especially if it's cold and dark outs...
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Christmas Dilemma Solved

December 21, 2017
You might think that my middle initial, 'S', stands for Scrooge, as I don't generally give Christmas presents (note: that's 'give', not 'gift'). I like going around the shops looking for ideas, I'm happy to wrap even awkward-shaped items, and I love to see a heap of presents under the tree, but the problem with presents is that they're often bought out of desperation to find something–anything! Even when the recipients like them, they often have no use for them. Instead of giving people thi...
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Read to Write

November 12, 2017
Reading can be depressing. The reason? I recently read Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and now I feel like throwing my pencil away.
    The novel is the author's first, and it's a triumph. The characters are unusual but real, the historical setting is intriguing, the story complex, yet the reader is never lost or jolted out of the world of the novel by any blip in the narrative.
    As if that wasn't enough, I've just finished reading Strange Beasties, Third Flatiron Antholog...
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A Menagerie of Stories

November 12, 2017
The clever editors at Third Flatiron Anthologies have hunted down a batch of stories and released them in Strange Beasties. Each tale features some wild creatures that will roam through your imagination. Some will make you shiver with dread, but not all of them are monsters–in fact, you could end up taking another look at society and wondering who's more dangerous–them or us?
    From the story that opens the anthology, the excellent 'In the Days of Mister Cuddles' by Bruce Arthurs, which ...
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Free Reads (and Much More)

October 24, 2017
Continuing on the theme from the last blog, I want to highlight a place where readers in the UK can enjoy unlimited free books–at least for the time being. Public libraries have books for all ages and tastes, whether you want to read for fun, for research, or to learn more about the area where you live. You can read them on site or take them home. If you can't find what you want, the librarian will help you, and if they don't have the title you want in their catalogue, for a small fee they ...
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Readers First

October 15, 2017
It occurs to me that I've been writing more for writers lately than for readers, so this week I aim to redress the balance. I have three pieces of work due for publication in the near future. In fact one, 'The Enlightened One's Blessed', is already available online–and it's free to read.
    The story is one of 15 fiction finalists in Pen 2 Paper's contest aimed at raising awareness of disabilities. The other sections are non-fiction and poetry. When you visit http://www.txdisabilities.org/p...
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Take Note

October 2, 2017
I always try to keep a notebook cum diary when I'm on holiday, so I can stock up on ideas and tweets. On my recent holiday, what I wrote about mostly was the weather, not just any weather, but more specifically rain. As I once tweeted, 'England's been having such changeable weather–sudden downpours, drizzle, persistent rain, showers, light precipitation, squalls... ' A fortnight of heavy showers interspersed with steady rain has added to my store of descriptions.
    There's the type of rai...
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Dull Light, Dull Writing

September 26, 2017
I've just returned from the rainiest holiday I've ever had. The week I spent in Brighten when I was 10 comes close, but my memory of that is coloured by a child's perspective and my desperate desire to play on the beach.
    It would have been nice to see the sea last week without it being screened by rain, but as a writer, being kept indoors shouldn't depress me (you might think). What an opportunity to write without any of the usual distractions! If I can produce a few thousand words with th...
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A New Crop of Opportunities

September 4, 2017
September. Can you believe it? The summer's gone, the children are heading back to school, and the holidays are over. Before the gloom sets in, this means that many of the magazines that were closed to submissions over the summer are now open again. Theatres that were dark are now launching their autumn seasons too. Even places that hadn't closed tended to be short-staffed, but now they'll be getting up to speed again.
    Any work that's been languishing in slush piles might now get read, and...
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About Me


My writing career began as a freelance feature writer for the local press, businesses and organisations. Now a prize-winning playwright and short story writer, my work has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. I write as K. S. Dearsley because it saves having to keep repeating my forename, and specialise in fantasy and other speculative genres.

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