Essential Dreams Press

Virtual Event Redux: Co-Sponsored Launch of Our Beautiful Reward (Reckoning Press)

This March, 2023, Reckoning Press launched its special bodily autonomy issue Our Beautiful Reward edited by Catherine Rockwood. To celebrate Our Beautiful Reward‘s print release, Julie C. Day, editor in chief of Essential Dreams Press and Carina Bissett, director of the Storied Imaginarium co-hosted the launch and reading. The event featured readings by Riley Tao, Dyani Sabin, Juliana Roth, Marissa Lingen, M. C. Benner Dixon, Linda Cooper, and Leah Bobet along with writing inspirations, giveaways, and a Q&A with the poets and writers.

Our Beautiful Reward Launch & Reading: Essential Dreams Press, Reckoning Press & Storied Imaginarium


Carina Bissett

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Upon a Twice Time, Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, Arterial BloomGorgon: Stories of EmergenceWeird Dream SocietyHath No Fury, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V, VI, and VIII. She has also written stories set in shared worlds for RPGs at Green Ronin Publishing and Onyx Path Publishing. In addition to writing, she co-edited Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americaås. Bissett also teaches generative writing workshops at The Storied Imaginarium and works as a volunteer for the Horror Writers Association (HWA). In 2021, she was acknowledged for her volunteer efforts at HWA with the prestigious Silver Hammer Award. Bisset’s work has been nominated for several awards, including the Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Publications Best of the Net. She can be found online at

Julie C. Day

Julie C. Day’s novella The Rampant is a Lambda Award finalist. Her genre-bending collection Uncommon Miracles was praised by Nathan Ballingrud, Jeffrey Ford, John Crowley and Kelly Link.  Julie is currently working on her novella Stories of Driesch.  She is the series editor of the themed charity anthologies Weird Dream Society and Dreams for a Broken World. The Dreams series is published under Day’s Reckoning Press imprint, Essential Dreams Press. In addition to her books, she’s published over forty stories in magazines such as PodcastleBlack StaticInterzoneThe Dark, and the Cincinnati Review. You can find her online @thisjulieday or

Our Beautiful Reward Editor

Catherine Rockwood

Catherine Rockwood (she/they) lives in Massachusetts with her family. Their poetry appears in or is forthcoming from Moist Poetry Journal, Strange Horizons, Scoundrel Time, Contrary Magazine, Rogue Agent Journal, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Endeavors To Obtain Perpetual Motion, is available from The Ethel Zine press. Another mini-chapbook, And We Are Far From Shore, is forthcoming from Ethel in 2023.   


Riley Tao

Riley Tao (they/them) is a Californian college student who has been rejected by eighty-five literary agents while seeking representation for their YA fantasy novel, and turned to writing short stories after deciding that maybe they should walk before they run. They spent six months updating a creative writing blog with short stories on a weekly basis at before deciding to focus on a second novel. They also love computer science and mathematics, and in their free time they play homebrewed RPGs and hug their cat.

Dyani Sabin

Dyani Sabin is an author of speculative fiction, poetry, and science journalism. Her work has been published in Strange Horizons, as well as National Geographic, The Washington Post, and Popular Science. You can find her haunting a cornfield, chasing ghosts on the endangered species list, or on Twitter @DyaniSabin.

Juliana Roth

Juliana was selected as a VIDA Fellow with the Sundress Academy for the Arts for her fiction. Her writing appears in The Breakwater Review, Your Magic, Irish Pages, Los Angeles Review of Books as well as being produced as independent films that she directs. Her web series, The University, was nominated by the International Academy of Web Television for Best Drama Writing and screened at survivor justice nonprofits across the country. She writes the weekly newsletter Drawing Animals which features essays, interviews, and doodles celebrating our interconnection with animal life, and teaches writing at NYU.

Marissa Lingen

Marissa Lingen is a freelance writer living in the suburbs of Minneapolis with her family. Mostly she writes speculative fiction. She has a large collection of foliage-themed jewelry.

M. C. Benner Dixon

M. C. Benner Dixon lives, writes, and grows things in Pittsburgh, PA. She is quick to make a pun and slow to cut her grass. Her short stories have appeared in Funicular, the Los Angeles Review, The Hopper, Fusion Fragment, and elsewhere. Christine’s writing includes a collection of craft essays, co-authored with Sharon Fagan McDermott, forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press. Her debut novel, The Height of Land, is the recipient of the 2022 Orison Fiction Prize. Christine is the Adult Program Director for Write Pittsburgh. Find her on Twitter @mchristinebd or at

Linda Cooper

Linda Cooper lives in Ronald, Washington and teaches creative writing at Washington Outdoor School. She completed her MFA at Eastern Washington University and her poems have been published in Verse Daily, Hayden’s Ferry Review, West Branch, Many Mountains Moving, Willow Springs, Third Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Permafrost, Hubub, Elixir, Diner, Pontoon, and many more. She also won the 2015 Orlando Prize for Poetry and the 2022 Allied Arts Foundation Prize.

Leah Bobet

Novelist, editor, and critic Leah Bobet’s novels have won the Sunburst, Copper Cylinder, and Aurora Awards, been Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets, and shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple Year’s Best anthologies and is taught in high school and university classrooms in Canada, Australia, and the US, and her poetry appears in both speculative and literary journals. She was a founding editor at Abyss & Apex, editor of Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, and guest poetry editor for Reckoning: creative writing on environmental justice‘s 2021 issue. She lives in Toronto, where she makes jam, builds civic engagement spaces, and plants both tomatoes and trees. Visit her at