Awakenings Book Smugglers Publishing


Courtesy of our Kickstarter backers… Introducing The Book Smugglers’ summer 2018 season of Awakenings short stories!



Six Short Stories for the enlightened reader

Book Smugglers Publishing (BSP jpg)

Once upon a time (in 2014…), we launched our short story program. First, there was the season of Subversive Fairy Tales, followed by Tales of First Contact. Then we had our Year of the Superhero. In 2017, we celebrated the arrival of Gods & Monsters.

This year, following our successful Kickstarter campaign, we are proud to present you with our 2018 season of short stories under the theme of: AWAKENINGS!


For this year’s short story season, we wanted a theme that could be interpreted in several different ways. “Awakenings” is an open-ended prompt–one that could be understood as an elusive sensation, or perceived of as a solid anvil of expression. We had high hopes for this year–would we receive a ton of Artificial Intelligence-type tales? or would folks interpret the theme in a more ethereal way?–and we are thrilled with the broad range of options we received. After sorting through over two-thousand submissions, followed by months of reading, editorial meetings, and the usual agonizing decision process, we are proud to announce our lineup for 2018.

Without further ado, we are delights to present you with six brand new short stories for the summer, and the authors who created them.

One story is a YA Fantasy that features a Trans teen who knows it’s only a matter of time before an invitation to a magical world will come. Another is a SF story about an African American girl whose family “wins” a lottery to be the first host family to an alien. One tale is a bittersweet story about the God of Winter, a girl with a frozen heart, and the boy who falls in love with her. This is followed by another tale that grapples with ancestral trauma, conformity, mental health, abuse, and change, as a young woman seeks to live her life on her own terms. Then, another SF about a young woman, cybernetic modifications and sacrifices one has to make (think Ghost in the Shell, but not whitewashed). Finally, we end the season with an epic YA Fantasy featuring courtly intrigue and the choices a young woman has ahead of her.

Each of these authors accomplished everything we hoped for with this theme giving us stories that subvert, examine and explore the theme in unsuspecting ways, across multiple genres and categories.

And so, with that teaser, we are proud to unveil the official Awakenings lineup of new authors from Book Smugglers Publishing!

When the Letter Comes
Written by Sara Fox

Sara Fox is an information specialist and a ne’er-do-well often found wandering in airports both local and abroad. A fan of continuously recreating themselves, they’ve been a researcher, elementary through college teacher, and a techie. Their stories generally dabble around fantasy coming of age and emotive scifi with LGBT+ characters. To learn more please go to

Nussia… I Said Her Name Like Mine
Written by Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger is a professor, a creative writer, and a pug-lover.

Her fiction has appeared in UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature and Science by Fighting Monkey Press, You Don’t Say: Stories in the Second Person by Ink Monkey Press, Flying South: A Literary Journal, 100wordstory, Thing Magazine, and The Red Clay Review. Her sci-fi novella “Reenu-You” was recently published by Book Smugglers Publishing.

Michele is completely undone by the sight of pugs and has to restrain herself from collecting any item they appear on. She lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina with her partner Tim. Come visit her at ‘The Practice of Creativity’.

The Girl With the Frozen Heart
Written by Y.M. Pang

Y.M. Pang’s earliest memories consist of pacing around her grandfather’s bedroom, telling him stories of magic, swords, and bears. Twenty years later, now living in Canada, she continues to tell fantasy stories, occasionally dipping her metaphorical quill into science fiction and poetry. Find out more about her writing at or follow her on Twitter as @YMPangWriter.

Written by Itoro Udofia

Itoro Udofia is a writer, cultural worker, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves to tell stories that showcase strong female protagonists defying social conventions and reinventing themselves on their own terms. You can find her work in Slice, aaduna magazine, Saraba, Merdiains: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, and the anthology Two Countries: US Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents in Red Hen Press. She has received an Honorable mention from the Speculative Literature Foundation and recently, she’s made the Top 25 list for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers.

Phantom Limb
Written by Reiko Scott

Reiko Scott is a Japanese-American part-time writer and full-time medical student (so she’s often reminded). She enjoys marrying the two through narrative medicine and tearing the two apart through speculative fiction. She’s a graduate of the 2017 VONA/Voices workshop and calls Boston home.

Written by Leah Cypess

Leah Cypess is the author of four young adult fantasy novels published by HarperCollins, starting with MISTWOOD (2010), about an immortal shapeshifter trapped in the form of a human girl. She also writes short fiction, which has been published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Strange Horizons, among other places. Her short story “Nanny’s Day” (Asimov’s 2012) was nominated for a Nebula Award. Leah lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her family.

And there you have it! Our Awakenings Season of short stories officially kicks off in May–we cannot wait to share these wondrous and diverse tales with you.

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