Ceremony of Flies Nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award

Boston, MA (May 2015) – In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

The nominees for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards are:


  • Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
  • Bird Box, Josh Malerman (Ecco)
  • Broken Monsters, Lauren Beukes (Mulholland)
  • Confessions, Kanae Minato (Mulholland)
  • The Lesser Dead, Christopher Buehlman (Berkley)
  • The Unquiet House, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)



  • The Beauty, Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
  • Ceremony of Flies, Kate Jonez (DarkFuse)
  • The Good Shabti, Robert Sharp (Jurassic London)
  • The Mothers of Voorhisville, Mary Rickert (Tor.com, April 2014)
  • We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)



  • “The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com, April 2014)
  • “The End of the End of Everything,” Dale Bailey (Tor.com, April 2014)
  • “The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta)
  • “Newspaper Heart,” Stephen Volk (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
  • “Office at Night,” Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt (Walker Art Center/ Coffee House Press)
  • “The Quiet Room,” V H Leslie (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow Publications/ChiZine Publications)



  • “Candy Girl,” Chikodili Emelumadu (Apex Magazine, November 2014)
  • “The Dogs Home,” Alison Littlewood (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
  • “The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2014)
  • “Shay Corsham Worsted,” Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, ChiZine Publications)
  • “Wendigo Nights,” Siobhan Carroll (Fearful Symmetries, ChiZine Publications)



  • After the People Lights Have Gone Off, Stephen Graham Jones (Dark House)
  • Burnt Black Suns:  A Collection of Weird Tales, Simon Strantzas (Hippocampus)
  • Gifts for the One who Comes After, Helen Marshall (ChiZine Publications)
  • They Do The Same Things Different There, Robert Shearman (ChiZine Publications)
  • Unseaming, Mike Allen (Antimatter Press)



  • Letters to Lovecraft, edited by Jesse Bullington (Stone Skin Press)
  • Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow (ChiZine Publications)
  • The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris (Spectral Press)
  • Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, edited by Michael Kelly (Undertow Publications/ChiZine Publications)
  • The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele (Word Horde)


Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.

Congratulations to all the nominees.

Lisa Morton Recommends Ceremony of Flies


“CEREMONY OF FLIES hits the road like a nitrous-fueled GTO…and then pulls the ultimate stunt of getting better. What starts as a deceptively simple hard-boiled noir story twists on itself and adds layers and grows stranger and before you know it, BAM – it’s the end of the world and all you can do is hang on by your fingernails. This really, truly is one of the best novellas I’ve read in years.” –Lisa Morton, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: WASHINGTON DECEASED

S.P. Miskowski Recommends Ceremony of Flies

“Kate Jonez writes fiction that immediately engages all of the senses, not purely for pleasure but to heighten our awareness when the world we recognize starts to spin out of control. This white-hot road trip under a blazing California sun might lead to redemption for the protagonist, an ass-kicking woman on the run from her latest mistake. Or she might find wit and resilience are not enough to battle evil when it manifests simultaneously from without and within. Superb writing, terrific characters, and a whip-fast story. I loved it.” — S.P. Miskowski, Author of the Skillute Cycle



Simon Strantzas Recommends Ceremony of Flies


Ceremony of Flies“Immediate. Startling. Unrelenting. CEREMONY OF FLIES is an explosive, violent journey in the back of an old-fashioned convertible. Kate Jonez works her characters like a demented god, bringing their confusion and desperation to the fore. Her prose is tight and tough and keeps you on edge; before you can recover from the first gut punch, a flurry is taking its place. Jonez is a powerful talent.” — Simon Strantzas, author of BURNT BLACK SUNS





Kate Answers Questions about her Writing

Mary Borsellino has some questions for me.

1) What am I working on?

I am currently working on a novel about a young widow who flees the turmoil of NY’s food riots during the Great Depression to find shelter with her husband’s family in the swamplands of Louisianna. She finds herself and her young son in a frightening world where the only explanations for the strange goings on is shapeshifting and black magic.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

While I’m not the only one who can make this claim, I feel it is very important that every character be well rounded. To a fault, perhaps, I try to make each character unlike any other I’ve read or seen in movies. I can’t stand a stock character even though I know many readers find them comforting. My stories tend to be unsettling. In part this is because the characters do not always act according to expectation.

Candy House my Bram Stoker nominated novel is a good example of this.

 3) Why do I write what I do?

It’s selfish, I suppose. I want people to listen to me. I want them to see things my way. I want them to agree that my views of beauty and horror are compelling.

4) How does my writing process work?

I write a sentence, then check my email. I write another, then check what’s happening on Twitter. When get disgusted with myself for behaving like this I disable the internet and begin the slow and arduous process of stringing words together. 

Thank you to Mary for inviting me to participate in this blog hop. Mary Borsellino is an indie punk writer from Australia. She has a bunch of tattoos and a tendency to get passionately involved with things she believes in and loves. Her latest book, Ruby Coral Carnelian, is a rich, engrossing fairy tale following three students on the run from cruel sorcerers. You can find her blog here.

Three Ideas to Retire in 2014


Traditional publishing is dead. Arguments for this are sounding a bit long in the tooth. Large publishing companies initially had some trouble producing ebooks and responding to other changes in publishing because it takes a minute to turn an  train around. For the most part, they’ve figured it out. The piece that was missing from to the logic of the dying big publishing argument is that some very smart and talented people work in publishing. It was just a matter of time before they figured it out. Sorry, indie authors, you don’t get to rule the world. Blog posts exposing the horrible contracts from big companies or rants about keeping all the money for yourself feel very 2011.

The end of the world is nigh! The situation looked promising for a moment in Dec of 2012 but the Mayan predictions proved false. Anyone planning an end-of-the-world campaign for 2014 can probably just skip it. Stories about this are also wearing a little thin. Is there a way to conceive of a future where at least one good thing happens? Or at least one without zombies?

People don’t read anymore. Yes they do. They absolutely do. Stop saying this. Just stop it!

Kate’s 2014 Predictions


1. Pope Francis will allow dogs into heaven. Except the yappy ones.

2. People will continue to consume coffee and talk about it on Facebook and Twitter as though their enjoyment of this beverage in some way makes them special. They will continue to do this even though it annoys me.

3. There will be weather. I will complain about it unless the temperature is exactly 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Hover cars


I Don’t Understand Why This is Advice

I know, I know, everyone works differently. Writers have  to struggle through until they forge their own way. The writing advice I hear in the month of November especially drives me crazy. Is there some sort of event or something?

  • Don’t think, just write
  • Get the words down
  • Edit later
  • And so on


Why would anyone continue to build something that’s broken?

Fix mistakes when you find them!

Imagine if houses were built this way. “Yep, I knew that foundation was crooked but can’t fix it until I get the roof done. “


Inspirational Quotes


If I haven’t mentioned it before (or enough), I’m the chief editor of Omnium Gatherum / Odium Media. We’ve got a brand new group on Goodreads. Today we’re discussing quotes that inspire us. To join us, click here

This is what I said:

I love a good quote. A well turned phrase that encompasses more than at first it appears to is such a pleasure. This quote sums up a theme I return to often in my writing. What are your favorite quotes?

From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.–Kafka

In The Trial Josef K. finds himself accused of a crime. He never finds out what it is. This quote refers to the point when authority and society in general decides to reject an individual. It seems like a plea to just get it over with because the fact that society ever accepted Josef K. was a lie all along. That’s an interesting thought, but the reason I love this quote is because of the way Paul Bowles used it to introduce The Sheltering Sky. In the context of Bowles’ story it refers to the thought, word or action from which there is no turning back. I’m fascinated by those crucial moments that change the present into the unchangeable past.

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