|Bibliophiles! Here is the entire Dark House Press Catalog! Publishing neo-noir, speculative fiction with a literary bent, this micro-press is represented here at the low initial bid of $40. That’s more than 50% off the retail price of $128.60. Includes:
All proceeds go to benefit Gamut magazine.
2019 IS FULL. WE ARE CURRENTLY BOOKING STUDENTS FOR THE 2020 CLASSES OVER AT STORYVILLE STUDIO.
Hello everyone! I’m going to teach a creative writing class online called Contemporary Dark Fiction. It’ll be SIXTEEN WEEKS long (I know!) essentially the same length as your average semester.
This is the class I’ve always wanted to teach, taking the best aspects of the classes that I’VE TAKEN online, as well as my MFA, and focusing on books that I love (and think are important) as well as stories I’ve curated. Class sizes are going to be small (a maximum of eight students). Here is a little more information, but if you’d like to sign up, or ask for a syllabus, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each week, you will read one column that I’ve written at LitReactor.com, and we will talk about how to apply that to your own writing. You will also have at least one short story to read each week, which will relate to that week’s column. You will then have a writing assignment for that week that utilizes what you’ve learned from the column and story—anywhere from 200-1,000 words. In addition to that, you will have a section of a novel to read. You will read four books in four months, so that means a book a month. There will also be a weekly Skype call (1.5 hours), where we will talk about that week’s short story, the column and subject, as well as the novel section that you have read. We will have additional ongoing questions and conversations at Facebook (in a private, secret group). At the end of the month, you will turn in an original short story based on whatever inspired you over the course of our studies, up to 4,000 words. I will read, edit, and critique each story, and return it to you with advice on what to do next (keep editing, drop it, polish it up, send it out). At the end of the semester you will get one hour of private Skype time with me to talk about anything you like—your work in class, other projects, the industry in general, markets, query letters, how to get an agent, what to do next, etc.
The New Black (Dark House Press) edited by Richard Thomas (signed, included)
Exigencies (Dark House Press) edited by Richard Thomas (signed, included)
After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones (PDF, included)
The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers (PDF, included)
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville $15.12 710 pages 978-0345443021
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer $8.12 208 pages 978-0374104092
Come Closer by Sara Gran $5.98 168 pages 978-1569473283
Bird Box by Josh Malerman $22.15 272 pages 978-0062259653
WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR:
- Advanced students who are looking to take their writing to the next level, as well as beginners who have no fear, and an open mind.
- Authors who write genre fiction and are looking to make their work more literary.
- Literary authors who are looking to add some genre, or supernatural aspects, to their realism.
- Anyone looking to expand their understanding of contemporary dark fiction.
- Authors that are looking to publish in the top magazines, websites, and anthologies.
- Writers who have the time and discipline to read and write every week for the next sixteen weeks.
- Authors who enjoy my writing, and/or the work I’ve published at Dark House Press, and/or the four anthologies I’ve edited.
(There will be some minor overlap with previous classes I’ve taught, but we will get into the novels and anthologies in much greater detail.)
“This class is easily the best thing I’ve ever done for myself as a writer. I’ve grown so much and now have a much clearer vision of the directions I want to keep growing towards.”—Austin J.
“What is ‘Contemporary Dark Fiction?’ It can mean everything from noir to new weird, slipstream, horror and more. In 16 weeks, Richard Thomas takes you through stories about the absurd and grotesque, the horrific and unexpected. You will write over 50,000 words and you will test the boundaries of your own writing voice. It’s an honest-to-god thrill ride and you will enjoy the trip.”—Richard W.
“This is the class I wish I’d had while studying creative writing in college. This is how you teach writers how to produce strong literary fiction. Not by barring them from speculative or genre elements, but by studying stories with those elements at their best, discussing what they do right, and giving clear, specific, and thorough feedback on students’ own attempts at it. What I love most about Richard as a teacher is that he respects and encourages your own tastes and interests rather than trying to foist his preferences onto you. But that doesn’t stop him from challenging you as a writer. When it comes to feedback, he’s simultaneously direct and encouraging, and I feel like this is the first time I’ve really grown as a writer in years. At university, my professors and classmates mostly focused on how my stories sounded, but Richard really gets down to the meat of a story, commenting on structure, character, setting, etc. As for the class as a whole, it was higher quality than pretty much any class I took at university. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I’d say just the exposure to and discussion of new stories and novels from various realms of dark fiction, alone, made it worth the price. I have so much more to draw from, a clearer understanding of where I fit as a writer, and am excited about where I want to go from here. But on top of that, I’ve written more than I have in years, have met some awesome new writers, got excellent feedback on my writing, and a lot more. So if you’re a writer who wants to improve your craft or figure out where you fit within the wonderful underworld of dark fiction, I highly recommend this class.”—Tara N.
“Yes, the short story reading list is fantastic and enlightening. Yes, the weekly columns will teach you or remind you of incredibly useful aspects of storytelling and technique. And yes, the novels are great, too, and ones you really ought to read. But the most valuable and important part of this class is how much Richard cares. He cares that you become a better writer, he cares that you are exposed to writing that makes you think, and he cares that you pursue and level up when it comes to your passion. There is no dollar amount you can put on that amount of caring, and its impact will last you far beyond this class.” —Becca J.
“One of Richard’s strengths is his commitment to diversity. He offers a safe, honest place to explore the art, and expand your talent no matter where you’re coming from, or your level of expertise. He’s knowledgeable, and approachable. I’d recommend his classes to anyone seeking to learn more about writing, or the genre of contemporary dark fiction.”—Shaw C. (NOTE: You can read this BLOG POST BY SHAW as well.)
“This class really helped me push my limits and learn new ways of writing and approaching different areas of my craft, while helping me to define my focus. The columns inspired me to write better. The content of your courses is fabulous and I always learn a lot.”—Erin C.
“I encourage everyone to take Richard Thomas’ Contemporary Dark Fiction Class. For sixteen weeks he leads a small group through a specially curated program of readings followed by Skype lectures and discussions. He will personally read and comment on your weekly and monthly writings. You will leave the class with a new appreciation of contemporary dark fiction.”—Dona F.
“This class was transformational for my work. It took my literary and genre navigation game to a new level.”—Daniela T.
“Richard has a wealth of knowledge and insight, and this class expanded and deepened my understanding of contemporary dark fiction to an extent that I don’t think I could have achieved on my own. “—Katherine W.
“Imagine your radiator exploding in the middle of a drive in the California desert. You need water, you need a fix, and you have no tools. Take your car to the franchise loaded with dull mechanics collecting the next paycheck? Or take it to the warlock in the dark alley who not just fills your radiator, but communes with your engine? Richard Thomas is that warlock, who not only pulls aside the curtain on some of the magical aspects of writing and gives you an understanding of the craft you can apply immediately, but he loads up your car and brain with a dozen tools that leave your mind spinning and your creativity in high gear. Whether through learning new tools, dissecting and analyzing new techniques, reading his columns, or his providing inspiration through unique story selections, this workshop is nuclear energy for creativity and craft. New writers often feel trepidation or overconfidence when in uncharted waters, and Richard’s lessons constantly surprise and engage, while at the same time encourage chances and risks along the journey. From flash fiction to short stories to novels, from novice to intermediate, Richard’s classes provide a lighthouse in a dark storm for writers who want to up their game and get published. This gave my writing career a nitro boost and an overloaded toolbox for the road ahead.”—Ian V.
“An intensive and deep study of modern dark fiction, including neo-noir, new weird, transgressive and contemporary horror. Highly recommended.”—Matthew B.
“Having taken a number of classes with Richard, I found his manner of teaching allowed for a safe environment, where students could tap into their creative process immediately, whether they were beginners, of an intermediate-level, or accomplished. Richard’s classroom is absolutely refreshing, and worthy of the trust necessary in becoming a successful storyteller. His Contemporary Dark Fiction class offers an MFA-level experience that cannot be found just anywhere outside of university, if at all. He may just be the only writing teacher out there who is this accessible. If you’re looking to become a great storyteller, then please don’t miss out.”—Neil S.
“Want to be a better writer? Want someone to provide shock absorbers to help you glide smoothly over the bumps in the road? Want to have your work read by someone with a discerning eye? Then take one of Richard Thomas’s fiction classes. He is capable, caring, inspiring, and he provides compassionate, in-depth critiques of your work. He can give you the ammunition you need to get to the head of the class.”—Denise C
“This class allowed me to read my favorite sorts of books and immerse myself in the craft of writing while getting valuable feedback from a phenomenal instructor and great colleagues. I highly recommend it. It’s a good deal of work and a lot to read, but the inspiration and understanding that the lessons and stories generate are worth the investment. “—Wendy M.
“Richard Thomas is an excellent teacher and a talented writer. His workshops help fiction writers to polish their craft and explore writing in new genres. Highly recommended.”—Alicia H.
“A great mini MFA class to refresh your writing and help you work on aspects of your craft with other well seasoned writers.”—Dan M.
“I just finished 16 weeks of the best writing class—ever! I’m feeling similar to the way I did in college when I’d finished my semester finals–and the next day there was NOTHING to do. Do you know that feeling? It’s that mixture of satisfaction you’ve accomplished and learned something, pared with sadness the class is over. I’ve written 16 weekly assignments, written four one page papers over the four books we read and analyzed, read and discussed sixteen writing articles, same with sixteen short stories, and critiqued the six other classmates’ work. All this besides reading recommended materials–books, articles, etc. I now have four complete short stories, nine flash fiction pieces, and a tremendous appreciation for everything Richard has taught me. Thank you, Richard.”—Brenda T.
“I would definitely recommend this class to a friend. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn in depth about writing tools and apply them both to novels and short stories. It is very useful even if you are not into dark fiction, like I am. Thanks to the class, I have learned a lot about different kinds of dark fiction. I discovered I even liked some of it. And I would consider writing certain types too. A class is a big success when you discovered something new about yourself.”—Irina S.
“I really can’t recommend Richard Thomas’s classes enough. I took a couple of the shorter ones before building up to Contemporary Dark Fiction, and I’ve learned so much in all of them. There’s pretty much no way taking an RT class won’t make you a better writer. The amount of material and feedback you’ll get is way beyond the dollar value of the course, and Richard is incredibly generous with his time and support. Go for it!”—Matt H.
“I’ve taken four classes with Richard and I’ll take four more and four more after that. He gets the best from his students, because he has true passion for his craft. He knows how to challenge you to challenge yourself. Richard always delivers his guidance in the most positive ways. He’s a motivator, a subject matter expert, and that rarest of beasts—a teacher.”—Ray G.
“I never stop learning from Richard. When I compare my writing throughout working under his direction, I can clearly see a progression of maturity of style and command over my storytelling abilities. The class boosted my love for reading and writing, so now I feel like I must read and write every day.”—Kris P.
“Richard’s courses help me elevate my storytelling. He is a phenomenal teacher, who gives his students the tools to take their writing to the next level. He is generous with his time, promptly responding to emails, forum posts, and assignments. I highly recommend every single one of his course offerings.”—Susan J.
“Richard Thomas’s Contemporary Dark Fiction class was the best investment I’ve made in my writing. The reading assignments opened me up to a whole new world of dark literature. His taste is impeccable and eclectic, giving students a huge pool of examples of what can be done in dark fiction across genres. The assignments were challenging, forcing me to stretch my talent and create work I didn’t know I was capable of. The weekly class meetings and live Q&As with featured authors made the class a fun and engaging, and workshopping each other’s stories was extremely enlightening and helpful, providing a wide array of insights on how to improve my work. Richard Thomas is the kindest and most generous of teachers. He is passionate, knowledgeable, honest, and unbiased. He critiques every piece turned in for the class and is always available to help. His feedback and advice were what I needed to level up as a writer. I’ve produced more short fiction during the four months of this class than I have since I began writing, and with my new knowledge, I feel confident and excited about the quality of work I will be submitting and publishing. I call Richard Thomas the Mr. Miyagi of writing. I will be taking every class he offers!”—Christa W.
$1,200, via Paypal or check. $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot. If you pay in full at the time of your deposit, take 10% off ($1,080). If you are a returning student (from any class, anywhere) take an additional 10% off ($960). Otherwise, it’s $100 upon registration, and half of the remaining balance due before class starts, and the remaining half due prior to the start of the second month. Paperback copies of The New Black and Exigencies are included with your fees, as well as PDFs of After the People Lights Have Gone Off and The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers) for short story analysis. You are required to purchase the other four novels (or feel free to check them out at your local library) for extended discussion. Head on over to Storyville Studio now to sign up.
January 1 – April 30, 2017 Session One FULL
May 1 – August 31, 2017 Session Two FULL
September 1 – December 31, 2017 Session Three FULL
January 1 – April 30, 2018 FULL
No summer session
Sept 1 – December 31, 2018 FULL
January 1 – April 30, 2019 Session One FULL
No summer session
September 1 – December 31, 2019 Session Three FULL
January 1 – April 30, 2020 Session One FULL
No summer session
September 1 – December 31, 2020 Session Three BOOKING
Honored to announce that Exigencies has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. This is the first Dark House Press anthology of entirely new fiction, so it means a lot. ALSO, Letitia Trent has been nominated for her story, “Wilderness,” which kicks off this book. (That excellent story was also selected for Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eight.) Congratulations to all of the authors in this anthology, as well as all of the other nominees. Very exciting. Honored.
Edited by Richard Thomas, Foreword by Chuck Wendig, cover art by Daniele Serra, and interior illustrations by Luke Spooner. Includes “Wilderness” by Letitia Trent, “Monster Season” by Joshua Blair,“Cat Calls” by Rebecca Jones-Howe, “Ceremony of the White Dog” by Kevin Catalano, “The Armadillo” by Heather Foster, “The Last Manuscript” by Usman T. Malik, “Single Lens Reflection” by Jason Metz, “The Mother” by Nathan Beauchamp, “Everything in Its Place” by Adam Peterson, “When We Taste of Death” by Damien Angelica Walters, “Figure Eight” by Brendan Detzner, “My Mother’s Condition” by Faith Gardner, “Fragile Magic” by Alex Kane, “The Eye Liars” by Sarah Read, “Searching for Gloria” by W. P. Johnson, “And All Night Long We Have Not Stirred” by Barbara Duffey, “A Dull Boy” by David James Keaton, “Brujeria for Beginners” by Marytza Rubio, “Heirloom” by Kenneth Cain, “The Owl and the Cigarette” by Amanda Gowin, “Desert Ghosts” by Mark Jaskowski and “Blood Price” by Axel Taiari.
Exigencies has been a real pleasure to put together. When we opened the door for submissions, I didn’t know what to expect, but I can honestly say that 800 stories later, these are the best neo-noir submissions that I got, and each of these authors is amazing, unique, and going to blow up soon (if they haven’t already, like Usman winning the Bram Stoker Award for his short story recently, and other authors getting book deals, like Letitia at ChiZine, etc.). These stories cover a wide range of neo-noir—leaning toward the horrific, the fantastic, and everything in-between. Pick up your copy today. Here’s a snippet from Chuck Wendig’s brilliant foreword:
“Certainly the world we live in is a dank, fucked-up circus. Watching the news for 45 seconds will crush the spirit of even the most stalwart viewer in ways the stories you’ll find in this anthology never would or could. (Because at least the stories in this anthology possess beauty, too. They are told with great care, the narrative given shape and grace, the darkness given form and face and motive. The news is just noise; the stories here are all signal.) Maybe reading these stories helps us give context to the news we see during the 24-hour cycle. Not just a litany of horrific events, but characters and stories—a sense not only of what, but of who and why.”
“From the shadows that dwell in some of the most creative, and gifted minds around, emerges a collection of short stories that will skulk across the footplate of literature for many years to come. Exigencies is the cloak thrown over the world, to show us that in darkness we can still find beauty, and will forever serve as a keepsake to great writing.”
—CRAIG WALLWORK, author of The Sound of Loneliness
“Ah, do you feel it? That’s the spectrum of neo-noir passing over you. It’s wide, wider than you are It’s tall, taller than you are. And it’s got colors we haven’t exactly named yet. Its source is a book, the book you hold in your hands. Exigencies has it all. Some of it’s cold, some of it’s funny. Some of it’s strange, a lot of it’s possible. We’ve all heard of the type of man who ‘can get you things.’ Richard Thomas can get you things. And his specialty is short, scary stories. Just like the addict in the alley searches for voices he can trust, I listen when Richard Thomas says it’s a good story. ‘Here,’ he says, ‘you’re going to like this one…’ And I listen.”
—JOSH MALERMAN, author of the Bram Stoker-nominated Bird Box
“These pages house some of the most exciting writers you’ve never heard of—yet. They make the mundane terrifying, the poignant macabre, the violent touching. The only thing you won’t find is the expected, because these stories will move the ground beneath your feet. Brace yourself.”
—NIK KORPON, author of Stay God
In case you missed it, Curbside Splendor (and Dark House Press, which I run) were just named Chicago Magazine’s, “Best Indie Book Publisher.” Great article in the magazine, and online. Our three titles for the year, THE NEW BLACK, which I edited, ECHO LAKE by Letitia Trent, and AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF by Stephen Graham Jones, are pictured in the story. Honored.
Up in 2015 is EXIGENCIES, another neo-noir anthology I’m editing (all new stories), the first book in the Joshua City Trilogy, THE DOORS YOU MARK ARE YOUR OWN by Okla Eliott and Raul Clement, and Vile Men by Rebecca Jones-Howe. 2016 will give us Steve Himmer’s SCRATCH. More news to come.
I’ve been working with a number of authors for the past couple of years now. If you need help with a short story or novel, everything from big picture edits (what’s working and what isn’t, why doesn’t this have the impact I want, conflict, plot, setting, etc.) to up close edits (typos, grammar, tense, dialogue, etc.) I’m now taking on new clients.
What kind of work am I doing? Here are some details:
1. OVERVIEW/DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT: I can read a story or novel, give you general feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, a developmental edit, and suggest some markets. $4/page (double-spaced)
2. FULL EDIT: I can read a story or novel, give you feedback on big picture edits (developmental editing) and do a line-by-line edit (copy editing) editing for grammar, typos, tense, etc., and then suggest some markets. $8/page (double-spaced)
My rates are very reasonable, I think. I see other editors charging $100-150+ an hour. If you’re serious about working with me, send me a note to email@example.com, and we can talk about a plan that make sense for you. I do not take on all clients or all projects. If you are a part of LitReactor, The Cult, The Velvet, or know me on Facebook and/or Twitter, let me know that, unless it’s obvious, and we talk all the time.
“Richard was a joy to work with. He had an uncanny ability to tune into exactly what I was going for and provide perfect insights to get my story to the next level. His attention to detail and overall feel for story structure was incredibly impressive. Richard’s edits were instrumental in making my novel publishable. He is an absolute wizard and I can’t recommend his services enough.”
“Richard Thomas is a scientist. He will take your work and examine it under his microscope until he’s studied every little detail. He will dissect your manuscript and make it bleed. Affordable and fast paced, I was impressed with the massive amount of care shown on the edits of my book. Not only did he perform a massive copy edit, but he also analyzed each individual chapter and told me what worked—and more importantly, what didn’t. Richard is exactly what an editor should be.”
“Richard has a keen eye for the little details that make a story work as well as for the bigger picture that brings together the plot. His professional demeanor and kind manner make working with him a real pleasure. He catches the things that most writers miss—and that’s a real gift.”
“Richard Thomas is not only a fine editor, but he’s an avid reader. He doesn’t just edit. He invests time in your story, in your characters, and in the fictional world you’ve created. This is what I find to be his greatest strength. His goal is to understand and care about your story as much as you do, and he’ll offer helpful suggestions on how to better reach your intended audience. He doesn’t force you to share his opinion, but I’ve never not heeded his advice.”
“I have contracted Richard to edit several short stories, and have found that his ability as an editor is a direct reflection of his resume as a writer—impressive to say the very least. I have found his editing to be of tremendous value, and would recommend his services to any emerging writer.”
“After looking for a decent editor, a writer friend referred me to Richard. I’m so happy that he did. Not only did Richard tear through my manuscript with a fine tooth comb, he also offered suggestions on what was needed to improve my writing. He also provided several markets to submit my polished piece to. Not only is he affordable, he’s a damn good writer. If you’re looking for an editor who won’t hold back and sugar coat your mistakes, Richard is your man.”
“Richard’s keen eye for detail goes above and beyond fixing punctuation and grammatical errors. He gets to know the work and has an innate feel for the flow, timing, and flavor of the book he is working on. He identifies small elements in a work that the writer may not even notice and makes spot on suggestions for ways to expand those elements in a way that adds dimension and color to a story. The best thing I can say about his editing is that my work has focus-grouped dramatically better after he has worked on it than before (and his edits happened AFTER the publisher’s editor had worked on it). At this point I would never send work out without having Richard edit it first.
“Go ahead and write the best damn story you can. Edit tirelessly for weeks on end. Have your writer friends critique it and their writer friends, too. Then go back and write that perfect final draft. But I bet that even after all that, give it to Richard Thomas and he’ll still find redundancies, misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, plot holes—you name it. What I’m saying is if you want to sharpen that latest draft, Richard is your man.”
“Richard has a gift for taking something good and making it better. He’ll find the little things that don’t catch your eye because you’re looking for big problems and expose their unfinished edges, guiding you in how to polish each element. Send him your finished work and he’ll show you how it’s actually two or three drafts away from being really done. People call him a story surgeon, but he’s more like a gem-cutter. Your story may be pretty, but he’ll show you some new angles, cut a new edge, shine it up and set it nicely.”
“The expertise and insight Richard brings as an editor is formidable. He helped me take three struggling stories from merely adequate to excellent. His feedback is spot-on. If you want to become a better writer, take a story through several rounds of revision with Richard. You won’t be disappointed with the results.”
“Let’s face it, editing is a daunting task. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Richard in the context of a class he taught at LitReactor.com and having him edit my work. He’s given me a structure and process to approach my manuscripts, hacking off hunks in some places, neatly trimming in others. He’s returned my work with meticulous notes, encouragement, and considerations to get to the true heart of my story, coaxing out every ounce of soul. If you’re holding on to a good story and feel the need for professional help to make it great, look no further.”
“I took an online class with Richard Thomas in hopes of preparing a story to submit for publication. I was looking for fine-tooth comb edit on the sentence level. Richard offered that and more. He took an interest in my characters and suggested ways to flesh them out. He showed me the weak spots, and pointed out the grand spots. Richard is at once honest and motivational, real and encouraging. He is a joy to work with. Best of all, my writing is better for the experience. I hope to work with him in days to come.”
“Having read Richard’s work, it was a no-brainer to send my piece over to him when the opportunity came up. My story needed help, and Richard showed me what worked and more importantly, what didn’t. But he didn’t stop there. He gave me suggestions on how to fix the issues and what might work, as well as let me know what I did well. Essentially, he helped give me the tools to take it to the next level. If you’re serious about taking your writing to the next level, definitely see Richard.”
“After achieving what I thought was a solid draft of a story, and after having it work-shopped by several people, I still felt something was missing. Richard Thomas not only unearthed those little morsels that I’d stepped over repeatedly, but his edits also shed a light on certain weaknesses which allowed me to trim the fat and tighten up my tale—to turn it into something I’m now extra proud to send out to the world. I can’t recommend enough his seasoned and discerning eye.”
“Submitting work to Richard is submitting to the story. That’s his primary concern, and it should be yours too. He will identify its strengths and weaknesses, what’s working and what isn’t, and he will guide you in the right direction by way of a clear and thorough explanation. I will definitely be asking for Richard’s help again.”
“Richard does a wonderful job of finding what’s most special in the work and then measures every other element in the story against that high standard. It’s simultaneously humbling and inspiring because he holds you accountable to being consistently as good as you’ve shown you can be. That’s the kind of pushing we could all use as creative people.”
“If you are looking for an editor, Richard Thomas is the man for the job. I found his detailed insight to be eye opening—not only for the story he critiqued, but also my writing in general. I especially appreciated him taking the additional time to give insight on how to better develop a story by approaching from a different angle, developing an aspect of a character or specific elements of the plot and more. Surpassed my every expectation.”
“Richard critiques your work with the eye of a reader but the voice of an editor. He’s the kind of person that devours books and when he reads your story he approaches it as a reader would, noting the inconsistencies and flaws in your work without over-analyzing the context of what you’re trying to do because in the end, what we try to do as writers is inconsequential. What matters if how we’re perceived by your average person, by editors, by fans of the written word who won’t necessarily care about metaphors and other literary slight of hand. More importantly, Richard is able to communicate these flaws with the kind of language writers are familiar with, suggesting possible changes without writing the story for you. While he doesn’t critique in the context of what we’re attempting to do in a story, he acknowledges and understands an author’s intentions, and will always give advice with that in mind. As a horror writer, Richard approached my own story in the context of horror and suggested changes as to how I could best edit the story in order to make it a better horror story. And for this, I was very grateful to have his input.”
“What separates a good fiction editor from a great one? The great ones possess the restraint to edit the language and structure of a story without attempting to augment or water down the truth its writer is trying to present. Richard Thomas exercised this restraint with my work, and I’ve benefited greatly from his fine ear as well as his knowledge of the writing industry.”
“Richard Thomas is a brilliant editor who is also an amazing writer. Not only will he make your work shine, but he’ll help you grow as a writer. His questions and suggestions are immensely helpful, and the grammatical flourish with which he untangles sentence structure is worthy of a linguistic artist. He points out discrepancies, highlights plot points that could use clarification, and acts as an adviser going to war with you. A literary battle. Thrust into the trenches of story pages, he bayonets problems away one knife thrust at a time, but he does it with a whole lot of elan. ”
“Richard cares about the stories he edits and cares about making you a better writer. He’ll help you find solutions to your story’s issues and point to where the story’s strengths lie. He is a great editor, coach, and mentor. Bottom line: If you want to be a better writer, work with Richard Thomas.”
“It’s an honor to be a Richard Thomas client. Richard’s edits and critiques of my work are as eagerly awaited as the responses to my submissions to publishers, if not more so. I tend to make the same grammatical and punctuation errors repeatedly, so a quick review of a prior Richard edit of my work, when I think I’m through with a piece, just makes good sense. Richard’s comments on the stories themselves and my writing style and ability are always delivered quickly. Richard can’t help but bring a spark of his own magic into the work through the power of his critiques. By defining my style and pointing out the best parts of my writing he has also bolstered my confidence. Thank you, Richard.”
“Richard Thomas is equal parts lit doctor—pointing out the weak lungs, obesity issues, or high cholesterol of your story—and personal story trainer—offering a plan for fixing those problems while providing the motivation you need to get it done. If you consider your body of work as the living, breathing thing it is, one that needs to be nurtured and grown with care, then you’d be making a mistake not soliciting Richard’s help. He knows how to make weak stories good, good stories great, and great stories perfect. He sees exactly what you’re not seeing: the very best version of your story and how to get there. And it’s a wonder he still finds the time to write great stories of his own with the abundant amount of intricate feedback he provides on even the shortest stories.”
“Editors are gemstones and I wouldn’t dream of sending my work out without a round by a good one. I am a returning client of Richard’s because he has high skills for content and structural editing of fiction, and he is a solid reader and writes fiction. Three stars right there. His insights about characterization, plotting, and identifying the weaknesses/conflicts in a story are better than most other editors I’ve worked with. Even though I am a copy editor and proofreader by trade, I cannot always see the faults in my own creative writing. As a bonus, Richard knows the fiction markets and is willing to share that perspective; that is a plus that I rarely see in other editors. So yep, this guy is a 5-star editor.”
“Richard provides comprehensive edits while keeping the author’s overall vision of the work in mind. When pointing out problems, he doesn’t degrade or condescend. He strives to help you learn so that you can improve your process going forward and get back to the thrill of writing.”
“A story I was very proud of had received numerous high tier rejections and close calls, but was missing the mark somewhere. I believed in the story, but knew I needed some help to get it to where it needed to be. Richard’s expert edits and notes helped me to see the little details and big elements that were holding it back. I’m extremely proud of the story, and overjoyed with the care that Richard showed it in his edits. If you’ve got a story that could use some fine tuning, you can’t go wrong putting it in Richard’s hands.”
“Richard has a rare talent. I don’t know how he does it, but he finds the ‘true heart’ of the story, points out what works and what doesn’t, and then helps you discover what you can do to make it better. His editing service is very much a short story boot camp. Yeah, you’ll get the kinks out of your current story, but you’ll be a stronger writer in the long run. Bottom line, he’ll invest himself in your story and apply his expertise as if it was his own. I wish I’d found him sooner.”
“I approached Richard Thomas to be my editor for many reasons. I was publishing my novel on my own, and wanted someone with credentials and respect in the industry. As a fan of his writing, I knew he had talent. His stories have an incredible economy of words, with vivid descriptions shaved down to the bone and a plot that is lean and direct, and I wanted that for my own work. As an editor, Richard was very accessible. He worked with me on character development and pointed out things I would never have realized, and listened to special concerns I had. Before, during, and after the editing process, he engaged in dialogue and suggestions rather than micromanaging the novel. The result was a great collaboration and a final piece that is uniquely my own, but would have been a much lesser piece had I not used his services. You won’t find an editor of his respect and quality at the same price.”
“Richard Thomas knows his stuff, from big-picture plot and characterization to all of the little grammatical details that can easily get overlooked. In a nutshell, he gets what makes a good story, has a great eye for detail, and isn’t afraid to give you his opinion—all of which makes him a great editor. I will keep using his services as long as he offers them, and I have no reservations whatsoever recommending him to novice and experienced writers alike.”
“Richard’s comments were timely, encouraging, and right on point. If there is something about your story that just doesn’t feel right, Richard will ferret it out and help get you back on track.”
“Grammar and plot issues should be easy work for any editor worth his or her salt. Richard does a wonderful job with those technical details. What truly sets his work apart are questions and ideas that give you an entirely new way to look at your own story. We get so deeply into our work sometimes—having a keen and compassionate new set of eyes is invaluable. Richard’s insights not only make the individual story far better, they also send my mind off in exciting new creative directions. Add that to fast, dependable turnaround and reasonable rates, and I couldn’t be happier!”
” I asked Richard to take a little sandpaper to my story and work up some grit. He certainly delivered, and my story is all the better for it !”
SHORT STORIES I’VE EDITED HAVE BEEN SOLD TO: Juked, PANK, Interzone, Barrelhouse, Another Chicago Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Pulp Literature, Carve, Thuglit, Pseudopod, Vastarien, Shotgun Honey, Weirdbook, Bizarro Central, Spark, Blight Digest, Red Fez, Sheepshead Review, Dark Moon Digest, Deimos, Crime Factory, Bete Noire, Molotov Cocktail, Literati Magazine, and the following anthologies— Exigencies (Dark House Press), Behold: Oddities Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders and Tales from the Lake (Crystal Lake Publishing), Not Your Average Monster (Bloodshot Books), Nightscript, Simple Things (Lycan Valley Press), The Best Asian Short Stories (Kitaab), and American Nightmare (Kraken Press).
NOVELS, COLLECTIONS AND NOVELLAS I’VE EDITED HAVE BEEN SOLD TO: Angry Robot Books, JournalStone, Crystal Lake Publishing, One Eye Press, Post Mortem Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Kraken Press, Montag Press, and Perfect Edge Books.
LISTS, NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS: Projects I’ve edited have: won the This is Horror award for Best Anthology and Best Short Story Collection, as well as the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel; received several Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award nominations; received Nebula preliminary nominations; been long-listed for The Folio Prize; been on the Publisher’s Weekly “Best Science Fiction Books of the Summer” list. A student was also the winner of the Writers of the Future contest (3rd Quarter, 2016) AND the Grand Prize, for a story he started, and edited, in one of my classes. Stories written and/or edited in my classes, and privately with me, have received numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, and been included in the Best Horror of the Year anthology several times.
WRITING PROGRAMS / MFAS: Clients of mine have gotten into various MFA programs—Spaulding, Stone Coast, University of California-Riverside (2), Columbia University, The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College, The University of Baltimore, George Mason University, and the Emerson College Master of Fine Arts in Popular Fiction Writing program (with a full ride—the prestigious Emerson Community Scholarship). Other students have gotten into Clarion, Clarion West, FutureScapes, and Odyssey.