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Women in Horror - Marge Simon

Marge Simon is a multi-award-winning poet and author whose works have appeared in dozens of magazines, ezines, and anthologies. She’s also had several of her collections published. She frequently blends horror and science fiction and has a talent for taking the ordinary and twisting it into something dark and bizarre. As you can imagine, I love it!

Women in Horror
by Marge Simon

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I’m the odd one –the woman who doesn’t write novellas or novels. I write flash fiction and poetry with a bite.  I’d like to think it’s literary flash, and there is a very small paying market venue at best. Yet it suits what I enjoy writing and publishing, besides dark poetry. Much of my dark fiction has SF or surreal overtones or undertones, depending on the scope of the magazine or anthology.

Poetry plays into the creative call. I often will take a poem and turn it into a flash fiction, since my poems are often mini stories or part of a story. For example, last year I won the Rhysling short form award with “Shutdown”. This year, it appears as a flash fiction, “The Shutdown” in Daily Science Fiction (January 28, 2016). The story is a glimpse of what could happen if fascist politics became the norm, and censorship of literature prevailed. A pretty scary scenario, one that parallels what certain Tea Party politicians would be satisfied with. 


I don’t just sit down and start writing. To me, works that resonate are never written half-assed. Stories, like poems, demand thought, may include research and skillful use of language. “Ideas are in the air” –I believe Harlan Ellison said that in an interview. It’s true.  Ideas are also in events, current or historic. You don’t need to pay someone to send you ideas from that little shop, “Ideas R Us” in Hoboken. Your plot ideas are not gold. They aren’t worth crap until you mold them into something worth the read.
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Ekphrasis has been considered generally to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its empathetic translation. In keeping with the ekphrasis concept, I have sold several collections based on paintings by the talented Sandy DeLuca–one of them won a Bram Stoker Award for Poetry collection: Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, 2012.

Where to start?

The key to good writing is good reading and a lot of it! Being inspired and “original” is fine, but having a spell checker and proper grammar is another important factor. A writing prof said a student told him that he was tired of doing reading assignments: “I’m not a reader, I’m a writer.”  Sure you are, kid. Sure.

Going Platinum

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I got a reinfusion of literary education as well as an excellent critic who taught me to evaluate my own work through wiser eyes when I married Bruce Boston in 2001. He introduced me to authors I’d either never read or never heard of,  such as Steve Erickson and Ruth Rendall. Later, I joined Good Reads and Robert Dunbar’s Literary Darkness discussion group. I can’t praise it enough for sending me to authors I’d never have read otherwise, along with insightful discussions. I’ve many new friends –some who are readers only, and others writers as well. I strongly urge anyone who enjoys a good read to join GR!

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And with that, I will bid you good day –thanks for inviting me, Greg!


Marge Simon lives in Ocala, Florida and is married to author Bruce Boston. Her works appear in publications such as DailySF Magazine, Urban Fantasist, Silver Blade, Strange Horizons, Niteblade, Pedestal Magazine, and Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter, "Blood & Spades: Poets of the Dark Side," and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees.  She won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award in 2010, the SFPA’s Dwarf Stars Award in 2012, and the Elgin Award for Best Poetry Collection in 2015. She’s also won three Bram Stoker awards for Superior Work in Poetry, two First Place Rhysling awards and the Grand Master Award from the SF Poetry Association (2015). Her poetry and prose collections include: Christina's World, Like Birds in the Rain, Unearthly Delights, The Mad Hattery, Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, and Dangerous Dreams. She's a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can follow her at


  1. Lovely post! (And I'm a big fan of ekphrastic poetry; I'm going to have to check out your work.)


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