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Author Tracy Fahey has been shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award.

Clare author Tracy in line for fantasy fiction award

FANTASY is the forté of Sixmilebridge-based novelist and academic, Tracy Fahey, who has just been shortlisted for another prestigious award.

Tracy, who is Head of the Department in Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD), has taken a place on the shortlist for the Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards for her short story collection, I Spit Myself Out. It is her second time to be nominated for this sought-after prize.

Fresh on the heels of being awarded a prestigious fellowship in Finland for 2023, Tracy is delighted to be one of five writers shortlisted for these global awards, which will be presented in London in September.

The shortlist was announced following votes from the British Fantasy Society (BFS) membership and initial conversations by the juries. Jurors in the Best Collection category are Wendy Bradley, Jay Faulkner, Brian Kinsella, Abbi Shaw, and Filip Drnovšek Zorko.

I Spit Myself Out was a passion project, a book Ive wanted to write for a long time – as a writer, but also as a woman,” Tracy said.

“The short stories of this collection are not an easy read – they deal with the terrors that arise from the female experience, terrors that stem from inhabiting a female body.”

Published in 2021, this collection uses horror tropes such as vampirism, medical experimentation, arcane rituals, and strange illnesses, but their unvarying source is the terror that lurks beneath the skin of being a woman. Faheys previous book, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, shortlisted in 2017 for Best Collection at the British Fantasy

Awards, also drew on the idea of female terror to create claustrophobic tales of domestic horror. 

Does she see I Spit Myself Out as the logical end of this theme of female fears in her work? “Im just getting started,” she laughed. Fahey, who is currently on a career break from the

LSAD at TÚS, is completing a series of residencies which started at the Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat in County Kerry in 2021, and which span into Finland in 2023. There, Tracy is researching the mythological figure of the Hag, or Cailleach.

“My new collection will explore ideas of sovereignty and power relating to the Cailleach,” she explained.

“Older women are often marginalised in fiction, but these stories, set in the contemporary present, draw on the deep well of ancient female figures in European folklore. I want to reinvigorate the emblematic figure of the Hag; to reclaim the word from its current, reductivist use, and reinstate her in her original, fierce glory. I see this work as an important part of restoring ‘visibilityto the representation of older women in global culture.”

Tracy’s short fiction is published in over 30 American, British, Australian and Irish anthologies, including Stephen JonesBest New Horror, Nightscript V, and Uncertainties III, and her work has been reviewed in the TLS and Black Static. Nine of Tracy’s stories have appeared on Ellen Datlows Recommended Reading Lists from 2016-2020. 

Tracy holds a PhD on the Gothic in visual arts. Her non-fiction writing on the Gothic and folklore has appeared in Irish, English, Italian, Dutch and Australian collections. She has been awarded residencies in Ireland and Greece. This year, she was awarded Saari Fellow status for 2023 by the Kone Foundation, Finland.

Tracy is also highly sought-after as a speaker and facilitator of workshops on creative writing. Her recent appearances include guest spots at Canterbury Christchurch University, Middlesex University, Dubai, the Cymera Festival, Edinburgh, the UK Ghost Story Festival, and the Ennis Book Club Festival, with upcoming workshops at Falmouth University and Derby, UK. She can be contacted via her website at Tacyfahey.com

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