Welcome to Mara Burke’s Mug and Muse

Mara J. Burke

Mara is currently working on her first novel, The Library of Seshat, an historical fantasy set in a Lovecraftian Universe.

She’s also in the midst of a 52 story challenge, writing a new short story every week and subbing one to either a paying market (at least one per month) or to a critique group.

Her blog, Mug and the Muse, features information on writing, the speculative fiction market, and her own personal journey as a cancer survivor and a struggling writer of fantasy and science fiction.


 My Works in Progress (Updated May 21, 2015):

“The Library of Seshat” – (novel, historic fantasy)

First Draft, Take 2
54,497/90,000 Words


“Lunella Vanderheyl discovers there’s more to her inheritance than the decrepit family estate when two strangers arrive on her door step with a Byakhee hard on their heels. Swept into a world of secret societies and terrible monsters, she must face her own worst nightmares to save the world from an eldritch horror– if her family doesn’t get her first.”

First draft in progress (added a 2nd POV character) target ≅ 90k words Due: Setting a hard deadline would certainly be the kick in the pants I need to finish this… but for now I’m leaving it open ended. I keep getting side tracked working on short stories, which suck up all my attention. I am not a multitasking kind  of writer.

52 Stories Challenge

Short Stories Written
6/52 Stories

Submissions to Critique
1/40 Subs

Subs to Paying Market/Contests
2/12 Subs

Read my Recap of Week 1-4.

Paying Market Submission Status

  1. Market Submission Status: 1 story on sub as of July 26, no response
  2. Contest Submission Status: Got a mention, but no win.