Who wants a free copy of The Weird? Or maybe Nathan Ballingrud’s fantastic new collection North American Lake Monsters? Jeremy L.C. Jones, the co-director and founder of the Shared Worlds program at Wofford College, thinks a few of you might want one or the other. He also believes in the power of charity and supporting artists, writers, and creative endeavors in general.
That’s exactly why Weird Fiction Review is teaming up with Jeremy on a new giveaway for our readers, which will give you an opportunity to win either a copy of The Weird or North American Lake Monsters. Below, you’ll find Jeremy’s account of how he came across his copies of these books in the first place. At the very end, we’ll have the contest rules and regulations, which you can enter effective immediately. Read on, and read closely! – The Editors
The executive director of a local arts organization came up to me at a wedding last week and said, “I’ve got three boxes of weird.”
My 10-year-old daughter, who was standing between us, looked to me for guidance. I shrugged.
“Would you like them?”
Still not entirely sure what we were talking about, I said, “Sure!”
After all, who wouldn’t want three boxes of weird?
“Great,” she said, clearly relieved. “Come by the bookshop on Monday and pick them up.”
Ah. The bookshop. We had scheduled a few readings there during July as part of Shared Worlds, the world-building and creative writing camp I co-direct with Jeff VanderMeer. And the “weird” was The Weird: a Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories that Jeff co-edited with Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer.
Monday morning came – overcast and ten degrees cooler than Sunday. After a few minutes of confusion, the clerk at the bookshop found the manager who said the executive director was busy in her office, so the manager lead me over to three boxes stacked next to the Biography and Current Events shelves.
The boxes were taped tight, except for the top one.
“How many are in each box?” I asked the manager.
“Not sure,” she said. “Weird is a really big book.”
I slid my hand into the box and tried to count spines. It was hard to count with all the slick and glossy paper, wrapped in butcher’s paper and bubble wrap.
“Pull your car around,” she said, hefting the box I’d just palpated.
I hustled to my car which was in the side lot next to the wine store, drove around, and double-parked by the front door. She met me at the curb.
“In the back?”
“Yeah,” I said. She had stacked the other two boxes just inside the door where they usually set up the signing table at readings. We each got one and wedged the remaining weird between the dog crates in the back.
“So,” I said, hoping she’d ask what I planned to do with all that weird.
“Yeah,” she said. “’So.’”
There was a ripple of energy in the air, like you feel when someone else discovers you left the bathroom door unlocked.
“All right,” I said.
“That Marly Youmans reading in November,” I said. “I sent her an e‑mail about the date change — “
“There’s time for that later, Jeremy,” she said, nodding toward my double parked car and the three boxes of weird inside. “Plenty of time.”
Driving away, I squeezed the steering wheel, hummed along with the Grateful Dead, checked to see how much time I had before I need to pick up my daughter, and tried not to think about why we hadn’t talked about why I was being given these boxes of weird or what I planned to do with them.
Somewhere past the brewery but before the stuffed gorilla on a step-ladder, a hole opened in my gut and I kept thinking about the opened box of weird, my hand sliding into the slick, perforated entrails, trying to take an accounting of all that was there.
And I knew what I had to do.
Now, if you want a chance to win one of the free copies of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories or North American Lake Monsters – free, packed up in a box, bag, or oily satchel and mailed right to your door – here’s what you need to do:
Donate any amount to an arts organization of your choice
Contribute any amount to a crowd-sourced project of your choice
Buy something directly from a small press
Provide support of any amount to a writer or visual artist directly
The guidelines are intentionally broad. We won’t split hairs. There’s no need to ask us if a recipient qualifies. We’re more concerned with the spirit of the rules than the letter of the law. The idea is simple. You give, they receive, and you’ve entered. Enter as often as you like but don’t spread your donations too thin. And once you’ve given, provide the name of the beneficiary below in the comments section.
That’s important. You have to enter the recipient in the comments or you won’t be entered in the contest. Also, make sure to include links to who or what you donated to whenever possible.
We have a total of seven copies of The Weird and three copies of North American Lake Monsters, so please indicate your preference in your entry in the comments. Those copies of Lake Monsters would be especially great for those of you who already have a copy of The Weird, of course.
You can enter in to this giveaway between now and September 30. On October 2, we will select TEN people at random, then contact each person via e‑mail for shipping information, and mail each person their respective prize.
Jeremy L.C. Jones
Founder & Co-Director
Shared Worlds @ Wofford College