Some (What For Me Constitutes) Big News For Arthurian Things

Hello All!

Things have been humming away here at Casa Chaos. The Spring academic term concluded, our eldest child is graduating from high school later this evening, our younger child is auditioning for her dance company this afternoon, Korra the Corgi is in her second round of agility classes, DH just bought a (new to us) car, I’m currently on week 3 of 4 teaching an online summer course, and then I will be turning my attention to a minor surgery and recovery and (I sincerely hope!) a good month or so of dedicated writing and research towards several projects both academic and literary in nature. A lot has been going on, and I hope to offer a more complete update, especially on All Things Writing and Some Things Scholarly, sometime soon. Meanwhile, I did want to just share a couple of recent writing good news items:

My poem “Every Light a Threshold” was published in Haven Speculative Magazine. The Magazine’s webpage is here: and you can buy the issue with my poem in it, alongside several very good stories and other poems, here:

I’m deeply honored to be able to share that my poem “Riding Down a Dream,” originally published in Star*Line 44.4 last Fall ( has been nominated for the Dwarf Star award for short speculative poetry, and will be included in the 2022 Dwarf Star Anthology. This is a Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association award for individual speculative poems of 1–10 lines in length.You can read more about the Dwarf Star awards here:

And finally, what for me constitutes Big News: Arthurian Things, A Collection of Poems, my first full-length book of poetry, published in 2020 by Dark Myth Publications, has been nominated for a 2022 Elgin Award by the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

The Elgin Awards, named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, are presented annually for books published in the preceding two years in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Chapbooks are collections that contain 10-39 pages of poetry and books contain 40 or more pages of poetry. E-books are eligible, as well as print. Only members can nominate books, and they may not nominate their own books. This year’s Elgin Awards Chair is Jordan Hirsch. you can read about Jordan and her work here:

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association was established in 1978 and has an international membership representing over 19 nations and cultures including United States, Italy, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, the Hmong, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association publishes two journals: Star*Line and Eye to the Telescope. It oversees three major literary awards for poetry: The Rhyslings, the Dwarf Stars, and the Elgin Awards.

I have to admit I am absolutely thrilled that my work has been nominated for two of the three SFPA awards this year, especially as I’ve read so many of my co-nominees in both categories, and they are extraordinary!

Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems, by Melissa Ridley Elmes, illustrations and cover design by Anna Elmes, published by Dark Myth Publications, 2020

Here, I want to take a moment to give a major (unsolicited) shout-out and plug to my publisher, David K. Montoya, and his publishing company, Dark Myth Publications. This is a small, independent press that has been doing some great work in speculative literary and genre publishing for many years “under the radar” as it were. I’ve now published both Arthurian Things and a short story, “Dr. Watson and the Werewolf,” in their Full Moon and Howlin’ werewolf anthology, and my experience as a writer working with David’s company has been excellent. The benefits to working with Dark Myth Publications are that Dave works to make YOUR vision of your book happen, you retain creative control start to finish, he doesn’t impose mandatory publishing fees, editing fees, or other extra expense on his writers, and the process from manuscript to product is streamlined and as hassle- and anxiety-inducing- free as he can make it. Unlike with the large traditional publishing houses, there’s no 2-3 year queue of products being released, resulting in a long wait between when your book is ready to go to press and when it does go to press. And he helps promote the book, although you do need to do your share of that as well.

So, for writers in speculative genres (fantasy, science fiction, horror, magical realism, etc.) who have a strong command of editing and proofreading their own manuscripts, are comfortable promoting their own work, and are leery of or not confident in self-publishing, Dark Myth Publications is a great indie press option for a traditional publishing experience. And, if you are unsure of the quality of products released by small independent presses–well, Dark Myth Publications has now produced an Elgin-award nominated book of speculative poetry, and as the author of that book, I have to say I never imagined my first book of poetry could or would be nominated for a major award in its genre. David Montoya is in the business of making writers’ dreams come true. You can learn more about Dark Myth Publications here:

You can check out the other books they’ve published here:

And you can purchase Arthurian Things here:


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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