The Inkitt “Darkest Place” Horror Contest 2015

Today I want to bring your attention to a great website called Inkitt. I was contacted by Lauren, who is head of the author’s community over on Inkitt, and asked if I would write a post to tell you all about the writing competition they are running in February. Of course, I was happy to get involved!

What is Inkitt?
Inkitt is a free platform for writers to cultivate ideas and watch their stories grow. On our site, users collaborate with fellow writers and readers to give each other feedback and improve their work. Our vision is to help writers get the exposure they deserve and the publishing deals they covet without having to jump through the fiery hoops of traditional publishing, or wade in the shark-infested waters of self-publishing.

I love the idea behind websites like Inkitt. They are great places to share fiction with a whole community of like-minded people and can sometimes act as a great platform to get your writing seen by agents or publishers.

So, without further ado, here is all the information you need to know about Inkitt’s “Darkest Place” Horror Contest…

Inkitt's Darkest Place Horror Contest Continue reading

Fantasy In Motion’s 3rd Anniversary

I don’t have a punchy title today, so this will have to suffice. I want to talk about the blog itself today, share some updates and be unashamedly self-indulgent!

This month marked my 3-year anniversary with WordPress, meaning I’ve been blogging for quite a while in one form or another (perhaps with a teenie weenie hiatus). Over that period, I’ve experimented with other blogs, but I’ve always returned to Fantasy In Motion. I have a really great readership here and what’s great is many of you frequently comment and link through to my posts.

We’ve seen some redesigns over the years. I used to have a compulsion to constantly change things around, try new things and design new logos, buttons etc. We’ve had ill-fated “Champion Posts”, an interview with a fictional pony and even our own webcomic. Since then, I’m pleased to say I’ve adopted the mantra of ‘keep it simple, stupid’. If the content is good, people will come.

The Force

I’d like to share a few of the blog’s old logos at the end of this post, so scroll down for some nostalgia.

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Fantasy In Motion Returns! (And An Update)

That’s right, I’m wading back into the fray and taking up the blogging reins once more. I did a brief stint on a new blog, Epically Written, and then decided to focus on another hobby of mine: fantasy mapmaking. Just last year I got a few commissions from various folks which was fantastic. If you’re interested in maps at all, you can check out my work on DeviantArt.

Anyway, I’ve resolved to fling myself back into blogging and stick at it this time. This blog has gained a huge following since I established it. I get Twitter messages praising the blog and asking me to update it. My posts get mentioned and linked to fairly often. And most importantly, I’m proud of the content I’ve written for the blog.

What I intend to do with Fantasy In Motion from now on is focus on three “pillars”:

  1. Writing Discussion – This is the foundation that this blog was built on, so I’ll continue to blog about the process of writing. I want to move away from “advice” articles, though. I’m not a published author, so I would feel uncomfortable advising others how to write. My posts on writing will discuss my own experiences with the craft and try to share nuggets of wisdom here and there.
  2. Fantasy Fiction – I’m going to be bringing fiction itself to the fore, by which I mean novels, those who write them and those who publish them. I want to talk about books more, because fantasy books are a great passion of mine. Heck, I want to publish my own someday!
  3. SFF Genre – By this I mean the sci-fi/fantasy genre as a whole. Anything and everything goes.

So this was just a quick post to let you all know I’m back and ready to get stuck in again. I gave the blog a little makeover too, so I hope you like the new look. I’ll be posting up the first “proper” article very soon, so stay tuned!

Festive Fantasy Week 2013

Christmas is almost upon us and with only one full week left to go, I thought it would be fitting to ring the festivities in with a bang here at Fantasy In Motion! So with that said, I’m pleased to announce Festive Fantasy Week 2013, a week-long extravaganza of fantasy goodies for all you fans out there, right here on the blog, on our Facebook page and on Twitter. Here’s the official Timetable of Fun™ for next week:

Festive Fantasy Week 2013: Timetable of Fun™

16th – 20th December 2013

Monday 16th – We’re going to kick off the week with the Festive Fantasy Quiz, an epic test of your fantasy knowledge! Start swatting up on everything from books to movies to gaming. Post your answers here or on our Facebook wall before Friday – the highest-scoring entry wins a very special ‘Festive Fantasy Champion’ certificate and gets a mention on the blog!

Tuesday 17th – What’s the best thing about Christmas? That’s right, getting loads of awesome presents! We get in the true spirit of Christmas and round up ten of the coolest fantasy-themed gifts for your wish-lists this festive season.

Wednesday 18th – A very special one-off revival of ‘Fantasy In Motion Interviews…‘ in which we interview one of fantasy’s unsung heroes. Last time we interviewed Bill the Pony, the real saviour of Middle-earth. Who will it be this time? Stay tuned – there will be clues posted to our Facebook wall throughout the week!

Thursday 19th – The turkey is roasted, the potatoes are crispy and the Brussels sprouts have been burned in a sacrificial ritual to the Dark Gods. But what’s this? Five of fantasy’s best-known characters muscling in on your Christmas Dinner? Tune in to see what kinds of shenanigans unfold!

Friday 20th – To close out the fantasy festivities, I’ll be releasing a brand new Christmas-themed short story for your pleasure! I’ll be posting the official blurb and a little teaser on our Facebook page very soon!

What are you looking forward to this Christmas? Let us know below!

Looking Ahead to 2014 (And a Retrospective)

With NaNoWriMo gone and 2014 on the horizon, I now feel that Fantasy In Motion could do with a little ‘stamina potion’, just to get the juices pumping again. Articles have been few and far between these past months and for that I apologise. I could probably try to lay the blame on a variety of things, but you’re not interested in the whys and whats (and neither am I – those whys and whats are so boring!)

If I had to sum up my contributions to this blog during 2013 in one word, it would have to be ‘casual’. Like someone dipping back into World of Warcraft during a year of AAA console releases, I was only writing articles when I could be bothered, although I did also manage a nice little blog redesign.

Now, it may sound like I’m being overly hard on myself here, but I’m just being as honest as I can. One of the other reasons why articles have been scarce is likely due to a minor identity crisis. I’ve always been torn between:

  1. Blogging exclusively about writing and the fantasy genre.
  2. Taking a more ‘geek culture’ approach and commenting on gaming, movies, comics etc.

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Our Author Interviews

We’ve had the opportunity to speak to a diverse bunch of authors here at Fantasy In Motion. So what better way to kick off your week than to check out our interviews so far? This is also a great opportunity to let you know that we have more interviews coming soon, so be sure to Follow us to be kept in the loop!

Author Interview with…

Carl Alves

Kimberli Renee’ Campbell

Morgan L. Busse

Orson T. Badger

Zacharias O’Bryan

Chris Stevenson

Elizabeth Moon

Michael J. Sullivan

Tim Marquitz

Luke Scull

More on their way very soon…

Back With a Vengeance!

You may have noticed the brand new blog design that’s just gone up. If not, don’t worry, I forgive you.

The exciting news, of course, is that Fantasy In Motion is back in business. With my novel-writing going well and really coming to life, I thought I should really get back to blogging. I’ve learned a lot about writing, about people and about the fantasy genre, so I have plenty to share.

As always, you can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

This month, I’m planning to write and enter two pieces of flash fiction into contests at SFFWorld and Fantasy Faction. Fingers crossed!

Spirit Thorn at

For those of you who remember our interview with Mr. Zacharias O’Bryan, you’ll be pleased to hear his book Spirit Thorn was recently picked up by Best Thinking (Thinker Books). I encourage any fantasy fans to go check out the brilliant eBook. Here’s a short blurb:

Do parallel worlds exist? Searching for proof, Professors Rodger & Cassie Swift vanish. Kestrelle, a spirit-like girl claiming to know their fate, tells their son Braden he must brave a whitewater tooth-sprouting river into a land where wise vultures predict the future and blue minds inhabit lava caves. Only two powers can help: Kestrelle’s Blood Thorn and Braden’s vine-painted guitar.

Zacharias O’Bryan’s novel Spirit Thorn: A Tale of Parallel Worlds unifies spiritual ethics with both ecological mandates and the mind-bending cosmology of cutting-edge physics. Written as a science-fiction/fantasy adventure, Spirit Thorn captures seekers of all ages, from precocious ten-year-olds to questing adults.

Get Spirit Thorn today at!

New Week, New Start, New Goodies!

Right, there’s four main things I want to address in today’s post:

  1. Champion Posts are gone! :O shocking?
  2. In their place are the new Regular Features (details below).
  3. There’s a revamped secondary navigation bar (that’s the grey one).
  4. Forget all that you know about the posting schedule. It’s scrapped. Read on to find out more…
Champion Posts…

The great thing about blogging is the flexibility and spontaneity of the content. Sometimes I’ll try things out and they’ll work great, but other times I’ll try out ideas and they’ll fail to strike a chord with me or you, the reader. I think Champion Posts were a little too structured and confined by what the individual features were. To that end, I’ve closed out the category for them and rolled them into others as follows:

  • Worldbuilder’s Workout – this will continue to be a feature within the Worldbuilding category.
  • Fantasy Unleashed – this will be discontinued.
  • Writing By Quotes – this may continue and will be under the Writing category.
  • Fantasy In Motion Interviews… – this will be discontinued. It was a fun one-off, though.
… And Regular Features!

Let’s keep it simple, shall we? Regular posts are great fun and they’re something to look forward to each week/month/whenever. So, here’s our new lineup. You can be pretty certain this won’t be changing again anytime soon (unless I add new features):

  • Fiction Friday: The Story – This is our new weekly story. This is going strong and turning out some surprising plot twists. Take a look here.
  • The Fantasy Photo – A brand new feature where I take a photo with my phone, put it up here and you have a guess what it might be and what fantasy theme/story/character it relates to. I’m anticipating this as a new Wednesday feature.
  • Reviewed! – Another new feature in which I review something fantasy-related (books, games, food, places, movies etc.) and leave you my honest verdict.
  • Epic List of the Week – A fun new feature where I’ll compile a Top 10 list of various things and you guys can chime in with your thoughts and even add to the list.
The Secondary Nav Bar (A.K.A. The Magic Content Menu)

Scroll up the page a little and find the navigation bar for the blog. See that grey section underneath the main bar? That’s what I call the Magic Content Menu. Each option on this menu relates to a different aspect of writing and tries to give you tips and advice on each by showing you which of our posts/articles may help. It’s definitely worth a look and it may even give you a helping hand!

Posting Schedule

I’m not going to be posting daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Nope. I’m freeing up the blog from such strict measures. Expect at the very least two articles each week, but there will usually always be more than this. I want you to see new and exciting content when you check out the blog, so I’ll try to post as much as I can.

Here’s a little timetable to show you when our regular features should show up each week:

Monday – Author Interview (Occasional)/Epic List of the Week/Other Content
Wednesday – The Fantasy Photo
Friday – Fiction Friday: The Story

Reviewed! may appear on any day, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for it!

On the remaining days you’ll sometimes find regular posts, other regular features or maybe even a surprise or two along the way. I’m also going to do seasonal posts/events and try to make a little more of the fun stuff that’s happening here in the real world.

I’ve had to remind myself what I originally set out to do with this blog. I want to have fun when I give you content and I want you to have fun reading it or taking part. I think the best blogging is personal and allows you to connect with the blogger. I may have lost a touch of that just lately, so I’m addressing that starting now 🙂

That’s all for today.

~ James

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Twitter: @JWShortland
Facebook: Fantasy In Motion
Reddit: Cirias

A Small Change…

Hi Everyone! I apologise for the lack of posting last week – things were pretty busy.

I just wanted to drop in a quick note to let you all know that I’m going to be posting to the blog on a biweekly basis (twice a week). Hectic work schedules, the need to work harder on my writing and a baby on the way mean I can’t keep up the same demanding pace I’ve set myself thus far. You can expect to see a post every Monday and then another one around Thursday/Friday. The quality of the posts will not be affected and you’ll still see all the great features and author interviews that have been featured previously.

I hope you’ll agree with my decision and hope you’ll keep visiting and making this blog the great place it has been so far.

All the best,

~ James

New Champion Post Badges!

Hi everyone. It’s almost the weekend! Hope the weather’s behaving itself for you all.

Champion Post

I just wanted to share some new badges for our revamped Champion Post lineup. Instead of the generic Orange/Grey badge, you’ll now see one of these designs on the corresponding posts when they are posted:

Fantasy Unleashed

Fantasy In Motion Interviews...

Worldbuilder's Workout

Writing By Quotes

If you click on the badge when you see it on the post, it will take you to that category’s page, where you can then find all of the other articles of that kind. I’m going to introduce link-thru buttons for our Author Interviews and Fiction Friday: The Story features at some point too.

Make sure to pay a visit to the blog on Monday, when we’ll have the start of our new post schedule, a special suggestions week and the introduction of our brand new features!

Notice: A Few Important Changes

Hi Everyone,

First of all, don’t worry, I’m not closing the blog or anything remotely of that nature!

I’m introducing a few changes to the blog, namely:

  1. A new schedule for posts/articles
  2. More information and clarity on regular posts/special features
  3. An open-to-all suggestions week

Just so you’re aware, these changes are not taking place because of a lack of engagement/traffic. In fact, your participation has been fantastic! This is just to make sure I bring you the best possible content I can…

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100(and 2nd)th Post!

We reached our 100th blog post on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to properly welcome it in. So, today on the event of our 102nd post, I officially welcome it in!

No, that’s not all I’m posting today… did you really think I’d short change you like that? Did you really think I’d reel you in with this awesome post, only to throw you back in the sea like an soggy old boot? No way.

That’s why there’s another post coming up shortly. I hope you’ll like it!

~ James