“First Love” DSP Reader’s Choice Results

First, a ginormous thank you to the hundreds of individuals who took the time to vote for these twelve authors! The First Love Anthology released February 28th as Dragon Soul Press’ second official anthology. The DSP Reader’s Choice was created soon after.01

For those who are still new to the concept, the anthologies and novels are voted on for the entire year. Three stories are chosen from the anthologies and one novel is chosen. The full short stories are republished in a large collection along with a special preview of the novel chosen.

The voting for First Love has ended and provided us with the first three authors who will be featured in the 2019 collection. Congratulations goes out to Simon Dillon, Meg Beopple, and Galina Trefil!

Here are brief samples of their stories below. The next chance to vote is for the Sea of Secrets Anthology. Voting begins May 30th.


Papercut by Simon Dillon

The Paper Girl is here again.

She stands in the centre of my bedroom, staring right at me. I ought to be afraid, but I never feel scared of her. Nor do I ever question how she got into my house in the middle of the night. Instead I stare at her beautiful face, completely mesmerised. Her eyes are blank like a statue. Long strands of paper hair flow down her back – not white, but cream-coloured, like the kind of paper you get in novels. Why does she keep appearing? I sense she wants to tell me something, but what?

Message in a Bottle by Meg Boepple

I’m lonely. Come find me. Before it’s too late.

Moira stared at the slip of paper she’d pried out of the plastic Coke bottle.

How long had the message been floating before it landed on the beach? Where had it come from? And how desperate must the writer be to omit the required apostrophe?

She had not expected a mystery when she’d signed on for a week long “Eco-Mission” trip. Cleaning environmentally sensitive beaches like Padre Island wasn’t glamorous, but it was necessary. At least, that’s how she’d looked at it until five minutes ago.

The Rusalka of the Murashka by Galina Trefil

It was said that a crown of flowers would protect its wearer from evil spirits, but as Svetlana watched her lover gripping her by the back of the neck and forcing her face into the shallow, slender undercurrent of the Murashka river, her eyebrows knit in frantic confusion, knowing this was not so.


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