Rachel Swirsky

is creating Stories

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A new, Patreon-exclusive short story or poem every month.


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Monthly excerpts from works in progress, plus everything from the lower tier. 


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A monthly Patreon-limited offering of past or present work, including reprints that aren’t available online, annotated fiction, and exclusive audio or video recordings of my work, plus everything from the previous two tiers.




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About Rachel Swirsky

For the past ten years, I've been a professional short story author. I've published about seventy pieces, and been honored to see them discussed in reviews, blog posts, and fan letters, and named on recommended reading lists and award ballots.

I write about gender, the future, body, queerness, otherness, alienation, surreality, and displacement. I write with one eye on language and character, and another on ideas. Sometimes, I even write humor.

Why short stories?

Short stories can strike with rapid, brutal imagery and emotion. A short story can cut into the skin, and into the bone; it can be a visceral knife.

Why science fiction and fantasy?

Speculative fiction delves into the human psyche: our dreams of the future, the not-now, the not-real. In such imaginings, we reveal our desires, our preoccupations, and the filters through which we see the world.

Why narrative?

Narrative is a powerful tool humans use to interpret our place in the world. We tell narratives about our own lives. We draw narratives from the world around us, recursively creating and being shaped by them.

Emotion, dreams, narratives: that's what my work devolves to in the end. Grief and love; mythical futures and impossible presents; familiar stories viewed through modern kaleidoscopes.

Rachel Swirsky is a short story writer in Portland, Oregon. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Sturgeon Award. She’s twice won the Nebula Award: in 2010 for her novella, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and in 2014 for her short story, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” She graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2008 and Clarion West in 2005. Read and listen to her free online fiction, or visit her website. Find her on Twitter as rachelswirsky.

The illustrations in this piece are by Sam Weber, created for Tor.com to illustrate "A Memory of Wind" and "Eros, Philia, Agape."
$241.21 of $400 per month

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR ME: Every Patreon increase I get brings me further toward financial stability. $400 a month helps me worry less about money, and worrying less about money frees up time for more writing.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: I’ll sometimes add bonus material to the New Words I send patrons, such as audio versions and illustrations. (The rat is my illustration of Cat Rambo’s short story, “The Dead Girl’s Wedding March.”)
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 143 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 143 exclusive posts

Recent posts by Rachel Swirsky

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