Collection of Auguries

The darkness belongs to no one between the hours of three and four. It is a suspension of theories, feelings, and conclusions that adhere neither to the night nor to the day. It is a podium wreathed with dreams, memories, and thoughts that are not quite yours to claim. What can’t be deciphered in those hours is invented for coherence.

Winds carry stories in them.” – from “Engram” in Collection of Auguries 

“Syed presents a rich and engaging collection of short shorts that reveals hidden truths about the human condition and encourages readers to search for fuller understanding of themselves and their place in the universe.” ~ Publishers’ Weekly

Available at

Amazon   McNally Jackson

Interviews, Mentions and Publications

Mentioned in a Huffington Post article which “focuses on the contributions of people who’ve helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.”

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“Sketch of Truth, ”  a short fiction piece, in Escape into Life

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Interviewed for “Art of Humanity” podcast by Jessica Ann Media

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Reviews and Feedback

It’s sometimes difficult in this contest to judge a collection of short stories. While they’re among my favorite kind of reading, it’s often hard to rate them against novels, and novels make up the bulk of the submissions to the contest. I’m happy to report that Annie Q. Syed’s COLLECTION OF AUGURIES more than holds its own in a field of novels. The best thing about these stories is the sentence-level writing, which is uniformly lovely, lyrically, and even haunting. These, to my mind, are not the kinds of stories that you read for something as mundane as the plot. (Not to say that there aren’t plots, but they were the least interesting thing about the stories, for me.) Instead, you read them for the ways in which they resonate—they’re almost meditations rather than stories, in some ways. Perhaps my favorite piece in the collection is “Gravity,” with its wonderful opening line: “Your shadow is the reason you cannot fly. It’s heavier than you know.” In general, I’m quite pleased with the collection, though I do wish that the production design matched the quality of the writing: work deserves a more elegant presentation. But this is a minor issue, since COLLECTION OF AUGURIES is uniformly smart and well done.
Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
"The emotional tone of these stories is unmistakable, like a just-barely-forgotten dream that still leaves a trace of feeling." Lucy Pollard-Gott author of The Fictional 100.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
What I often like most about these sketches is the spaces that are left blank, and how the details provided, like a Chinese painting draw you towards empty space. The mind wanders towards what is left unsaid.
David Weedmark
“Lovely magical realism – her name, her story, our plight – Beautiful.”
Phil Hackett
“The best part of your stories is that when the end comes, there is always the part left untold, and as such, makes it feel as if it hasn’t ended at all.”
Brian Meeks
“Your stories are one of those which makes one keep on pondering long after the story has ended on paper.”

Copyright © 2016, Annie Q Syed

Illustration by Jamie Berry