Rachel Swirsky is creating Stories
116

patrons

$328
per month
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."
Tiers
NEW WORDS
$1 or more per month

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

TOMORROW’S WORDS
$2 or more per month

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

YESTERDAY’S WORDS
$5 or more per month

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.

YOUR WORDS
$10 or more per month

Send me your questions or essay prompts, and I’ll pick one of yours at least once a year. Plus access to everything from the previous tiers. 

ILLUSTRATED WORDS
$25 or more per month

At least once a year, I’ll email you an illustrated piece of flash fiction or poetry. Plus you get all the benefits of the previous tiers. 

SPONSOR WANDER
$29 or more per month only 1 left

Wander is a sweet, clueless, three-year-old ball of fluff who likes to cuddle with his uncle Pete, and make his own fun with hair bands. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $25 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Wander being insufficiently grateful for your support.

EPONYMOUS WORDS
$45 or more per month

Within a year, you and I will email back and forth to decide on a detail (such as a character name) for me to slip into a new piece of work. Plus, access to all previous tiers. 

SPONSOR PETE
$46 or more per month only 1 left

Pete launches himself into every activity with gusto. He enjoys dashing around with his brother, Zephyr, and his nephew, Wander. His favorite toys are the straws he pirates from takeout cups. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Pete being insufficiently grateful for your support.

SPONSOR ZEPHYR
$66 or more per month only 1 left

Zephyr is a silky, handsome lap cat with jealousy issues--petting any other cat in his presence turns him into a “green tabby.” He cuddles with his brother, Pete, tolerates his nephew, Wander, and plays fetch with Q-tips. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Zephyr being insufficiently grateful for your support.

SPONSOR CLONE
$123 or more per month only 1 left

Clone is a rickety shambles of a cat who is frequently sickly, double-jointed, weak-kidneyed, eagle-taloned, and has a cry like a dying dinosaur. He has no use for toys or other cats, but believes it’s an emergency if he’s not currently being cuddled by a human. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I’ll send you individualized copies of newly published work when circumstances allow--and occasional pictures and videos of Clone’s distress that you aren’t petting him.

Goals
$328 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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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."

Recent posts by Rachel Swirsky

Tiers
NEW WORDS
$1 or more per month

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

TOMORROW’S WORDS
$2 or more per month

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

YESTERDAY’S WORDS
$5 or more per month

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.

YOUR WORDS
$10 or more per month

Send me your questions or essay prompts, and I’ll pick one of yours at least once a year. Plus access to everything from the previous tiers. 

ILLUSTRATED WORDS
$25 or more per month

At least once a year, I’ll email you an illustrated piece of flash fiction or poetry. Plus you get all the benefits of the previous tiers. 

SPONSOR WANDER
$29 or more per month only 1 left

Wander is a sweet, clueless, three-year-old ball of fluff who likes to cuddle with his uncle Pete, and make his own fun with hair bands. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $25 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Wander being insufficiently grateful for your support.

EPONYMOUS WORDS
$45 or more per month

Within a year, you and I will email back and forth to decide on a detail (such as a character name) for me to slip into a new piece of work. Plus, access to all previous tiers. 

SPONSOR PETE
$46 or more per month only 1 left

Pete launches himself into every activity with gusto. He enjoys dashing around with his brother, Zephyr, and his nephew, Wander. His favorite toys are the straws he pirates from takeout cups. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Pete being insufficiently grateful for your support.

SPONSOR ZEPHYR
$66 or more per month only 1 left

Zephyr is a silky, handsome lap cat with jealousy issues--petting any other cat in his presence turns him into a “green tabby.” He cuddles with his brother, Pete, tolerates his nephew, Wander, and plays fetch with Q-tips. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I will send you occasional pictures and videos of Zephyr being insufficiently grateful for your support.

SPONSOR CLONE
$123 or more per month only 1 left

Clone is a rickety shambles of a cat who is frequently sickly, double-jointed, weak-kidneyed, eagle-taloned, and has a cry like a dying dinosaur. He has no use for toys or other cats, but believes it’s an emergency if he’s not currently being cuddled by a human. In addition to all rewards up to and including the $45 tier, I’ll send you individualized copies of newly published work when circumstances allow--and occasional pictures and videos of Clone’s distress that you aren’t petting him.