A Tribute to Sandra Seamans

by Paula Gail Benson

you’re a writer of mystery short fiction, you’ve probably followed a blog
called “My Little Corner” that was written by Sandra Seamans. Faithfully,
Sandra chronicled potential publishers seeking short fiction and linked to
information about the submission guidelines. Every time I spoke to groups about
writing short stories, I referred them to Sandra’s blog as an essential market
Sandra Seamans passed away on the morning of Thursday, May 23, 2019. Here is a link to her obituary
D. Brazill wrote a message spotlighting Sandra’s talent and work on December 3,
2010. He began with a quote from Sandra, who described herself as “a wife, a mother, a
grandmother, and a writer. But not always in that order.
Later in the Brazill interview, she
explained how she became a writer and why she felt that short stories were
I’ve been making
up stories in my head since I was a kid but about twenty years ago I decided to
start putting them down on paper. Not very good ones, I might add. I discovered
that there was a whole lot I didn’t know and started studying. About five years
or six years ago I started submitting my stories on a regular basis instead of
just one a year then quit for a year because it got rejected. Staring that
rejection in the face, then sending that story back out is the hardest part of
. . . I was also tired of being told that just writing short
stories wasn’t good enough, that you had to write novels to be an actual
author. But there’s so much talent out there in the short story field, and
especially online, that I decided to share what I loved about shorts, the
writers who pen them and the zines that publish all those great stories. So,
the Corner became a place to celebrate short stories.”
Since her passing, a number of authors
have written tributes about her contributions:
“R.I.P. Sandra Seamans–My LittleCorner” by Patricia Abbott (May 30, 2019).
“Remembering Sandra Seamans” by Al Tucher (May 30, 2019).
“Small Crimes: Sandra Seamans and Friday Reads” by David Nemeth (May 31, 2019). 
“Loss and Gratitude” by Travis
Richardson at Sleuthsayers (June 3, 2019). 
blog, which she last updated on May 16, 2019, contains messages of admiration
and respect in the comments to her final message: https://sandraseamans.blogspot.com/
2007, Sandra’s story
“Home Entertainment” (A Cruel
, July/August 2006) was a finalist for a Derringer Award for Best
Flash fiction.
2010-2012, she served
as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Prior to her election, she
wrote a statement that was posted on the SMFS blog. Here are a few snippets
from that message:
“I’d like to see every short story writer feel welcome at the
SMFS, no matter if they write cozy or dark. Only the strength of the story
should count.
. . . I’d also like to see if we could get editors to post
more often on the list – get them to give us insights into their selection
process or maybe just do a Q & A interview that we could post. . . . Shorts
are starting to come into their own via the online markets, there are more and
more people talking about them and I know of several sites that actually review
individual stories and collections. As a short fiction society we should be a
part of this. Well, I know I’m not supposed to be posting this before I’m
asked, but the membership deserves to know where I stand so they can nominate
someone to run against me if they don’t agree with what I believe the SMFS
should be about. And I’d really prefer that this be an election not just a put
her in office because nobody else wants the job situation.”
Unfortunately, Sandra’s anthology,
Cold Rifts, is no longer in print. I appreciate so much the interviews
and tributes I found for this post because they directed me to links where you
can read Sandra’s work online and in anthologies. Here is the list of Sandra Seamans’ stories that
I found:
“A Mulberry Street Christmas”
(December 19, 2008)
following are available though Amazon:
Gimmick” in Discount Noir an
anthology edited by Patricia Abbot and Steve Weddle, Untreed Reads (October
21, 2010) (available on Amazon
Back” in Grimm Tales an anthology
edited by John Kenyon with introduction by Ken Bruen, Untreed Reads (December
19, 2011) (available on Amazon
a July 25, 2012, interview with Steve Weddle, Sandra described the process that led to her story “Taking Back”
in Grimm Tales:

“The minute John Kenyon put up the challenge to rewrite a
fairytale into a crime story, I was in. Yeah, I’m a fairytale freak. I also
knew I wanted to do something different. There are only so many variations of
the usual suspects that you can write. I found a website that had many of the
Grimm’s published. Reading down through the list of titles ‘The Blue Light’
caught my eye. It was the story of a Soldier who’d fought for the King and when
he was wounded and not as useful, the King sent him away. Through a meeting
with a witch he finds a way to get his revenge on the King – perfect setup for
a crime story. I used the basics of the fairytale but turned the soldier into a
cleanup man for a mob boss, gave him some rules he lived by and off we went. It
was a fun story to write.
you to a writer’s writer, Sandra Seamans. We are richer for the legacy you have
left us.