The 2019 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize

It was a hard fought battle between our top ten feisty hummingbird entrants, and the skirmish between the final two was fierce indeed.  After careful scrutiny, our judge declared the winner by a feather to be …

‘Afterlife’ by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Judge Bob Thurber had this to say:

In ‘Afterlife’, the author skillfully tiptoes around grief and heartache, presenting a nicely woven, quirky portrait of life coming at you, whether you’re ready for it or not.

‘Featherweight’ by Chad V Broughman

The runner-up, ‘Featherweight’,  was a close contender with an ache all its own. Two fine stories with dynamic voices.
– Bob Thurber
These two stories will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 25, Winter 2019.  Congratulations to the winners as well as the top-notch shortlist, which included:
  • ‘The Decline of the Human Race: Volume 01100’ by Mike Donoghue
  • ‘One Human Swimming’  by Patricia Sandberg
  • ‘An Aerial Photograph of Home’ by Mack Stone
  • ‘Playing Late’ by Ariel Basom
  • ‘Picture Window’ by  Emily Ruth Verona
  • ‘The Lion’ by Hannah van Didden
  • ‘Mercy’ by Dylan Sealy
  • ‘Slow Night’ by Teya Hollier

Hummingbird 2019 Shortlist

Hummingbirds are quite competitive, and this year we have 10 hummingbirds vying for the sweet $300 grand prize. The shortlist is in the hands of former closet writer and current flash fiction master, Bob Thurber. Best of luck to the following authors!

Ariel Basom
Chad V. Broughman
Dylan Sealy
Emily Ruth Verona
Hannah van Didden
Mack Stone
Mike Donoghue
Patricia Sandberg
Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
Teya Hollier

 

2019 Year of Authors: 15 – 19 July

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 27 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

15th – 19th June 2019

Monday: Mikayla FawcettIssue 17

Mikayla Fawcett is a writer and artist currently inhabiting a mudflat within the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Occasionally Mikayla emerges from the mudflat to engage in a larger collaborative art project.

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Tuesday: Milo James Fowler, Issue 2

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he’s not grading papers, he’s imagining what life might be like in a dozen alternate realities. So far, his fiction has appeared in more than 150 publications, including AE SciFi, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, and Shimmer.

Wednesday: Misha Handman, Issue 17

Misha Handman has been writing fantasy and mystery stories for as long as he can remember. When not writing, he works as a manager for the performing arts in Victoria, BC, helping otherartists bring their own works to their audiences.

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Thursday: Mitchel Toews, Issue 20
Mitchell Toews lives and writes at Jessica Lake in Manitoba. When an insufficient number of, “We are pleased to inform you …” emails are on hand he finds alternative joy in the windy intermingling between the top of the water and the bottom of the sky or skates on the ice until he can no longer see the cabin.

Issue 20 cover with tech-slum cover by Ben Baldwin

Friday: Nicholas Christian, Issue  15
Nicholas Christian’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Lindenwood Review, Off the Coast, Poetry Quarterly, Gravel, Da ̆mfiˉno, and Panoply. He is currently living and teaching in China with his wife and fellow poet Kelli Allen.

The Hummingbird 2019 Longlist

I transformed my back patio into a hummingbird trap, and I have one very greedy female and her jellybean brood. It’s a delight to watch her flit back and forth between the blossoms and her babies, and it reminds me a lot of our annual Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize. The only difference? How many hummingbirds we get! See the longlist below and stay tuned for the shortlist coming Sunday, June 14th. If you see a name twice, the author has two stories worth celebrating!

2019 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Longlist

Ariel Basom
Beth Anderson
Candice Rubie
Chad V Broughman
Chad V Broughman
Colin Thornton
Daniel Aristi
Dawn Miller
Dawn Vrablic
Dietra Malik
Dylan Sealy
Elizabeth Cockle
Emily Ruth Verona
Gary Kirchner
Hannah van Didden
Janey Small
Jeffrey Ricker
Jennifer Gerves-Keen
Joel Gutteridge
Kate Felix
Korena Di Roma Howley
KT Wagner
Leah Andelsmith
Leah Andelsmith
Mack Stone
Mike Donoghue
Nicole Iversen
Nicole Iversen
Norman Thomson
Olubunmi Oyinsan
Patricia Sandberg
Paul Cresey
Rhian Holvey
Rita Donovan
Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
Teya Hollier
V Bjarna

2019 Year of Authors: 1 – 5 July

This week is one of national celebration for our Canadian and American readers and we don’t mind celebrating with stellar savings on seven issues this week. Only ten weeks remain in our year of celebration, so let week 26 commence with a bang as we raise a glass to friends, flags, and fireworks!

24th – 28th June 2019

Monday: Melissa Mary DuncanIssue 1, 512 & Allaigna’s Song: Overture

Fantasy artist and illustrator Melissa Mary Duncan lives in New Westminster, BC, with her husband, author dvs Duncan. An avid historic re-enactor, neo-Edwardian, and wishful thinker, Melissa has a passion for life, learning, and the creative process. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and her art has found homes in private collections from Japan to Great Britain. Her book, Faye—the Art of Melissa Mary Duncan, was released in 2013 and is available for sale through her website along with her 2019 calendar. Melissa was our frst cover artist. Her paintings The Beer Fairy, Fondly Remembered Magic, and The Storyteller have graced the covers of Pulp Literature and she is the cover artist for Allaigna’s Song: Overture from Pulp Literature Press as well.

Issue 12 cover by Melissa Mary Duncan

Tuesday: Michael Patrick Eltrich, Issue 4

Michael is a writer and an architect who, through his essays, short stories and longer works, explores the ways in which lives are forever changed by love, war and travel.  His book-length project, “The Wars I Fought”, is a recollection of his experiences as a 21-year-old infantryman in Quang Ngai province, Viet Nam, and his return there forty years later, hoping to find peace among people who, like him, have led lives marked by the desolate savagery of war. Michael lives in Denver with Capt. Blackie and Chloë, whose amazing feats have never been seen on Facebook or Youtube. His poem ‘Autumnal Equinox’ was a runner-up in our inaugural Magpie Award for Poetry in 2014.

Wednesday: Michael Kamakana, Issue 19, Advent

Michael Kamakana is a Calgary-based novelist with a talent for storytelling that holds readers rapt. He is a prolifc writer who works almost non-stop to get his work out of his head and into print.  His first novel Advent was excerpted in Issue 19 last year, and made its way into the world as a full novel in early 2019.  

Thursday: Michael G Ryan, Issue 11

Michael G Ryan has been an editor for over 25 years, beginning with the National Council of Teachers of English and currently as Publisher for Skull Island, an imprint of Privateer Press. After decades of writing short stories and novels, only to bottom-drawer as many as seven novels for some future time, he’s finally begun to submit them for consideration.

     

Friday: Michelle Barker, Issue  18

Michelle Barker is an award-winning author whose works include a poetry chapbook, a YA fantasy novel, and a picture book. Michelle also works as an editor and workshop leader. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. When she isn’t writing, Michelle does totally normal things like triathlons for fun, sailing, and traveling the world.  Her story ‘MVP’ was the winner of the 2017 SiWC Storyteller’s Award.

Writing Confidence: Ready, Steady …

Some days the story almost writes itself, doesn’t it? So, how can a writer keep and grow the writing confidence that feeds success?

Maintain Your Writing Confidence

  1. Dismiss the chattering, critical interior back-monkey. Your deep interest in the work is a great sign of talent. Just keep an open mind to adding new skills.
  2. Relax in the company of writers you admire (I spend a lot of time with PG Wodehouse, although he passed on some time ago.) All of them had to maintain confidence in themselves.
  3. Still feeling unmotivated? Get some rather thrilling goals going. Go for a walk and imagine the shelf of books, the acceptance speech, the book cover, the lovely review, the cheque.

You have the aptitude, or you wouldn’t want to take the time to do the work. As for outside critics, it may be worth keeping in mind what Anthony Hopkins said.

“It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do.”

I hope you’ll have another successful week in your writing career.

Cheers, Mel

There’s a new Stella Ryman book in town: The Labours of Mrs Stella Ryman.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and the Monument Studios Mysteries starring Frankie Ray as The Extra. Mel is Senior Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.

If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here

Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

 

2019 Year of Authors: 24 – 28 June

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 25 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

24th – 28th June 2019

Monday: Matthew HughesIssue 13 & What the Wind Brings

Matthew Hughes writes in many genres under many names including Matt Hughes and Hugh Matthews. He has won the Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada and has been short-listed for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K Dick, Endeavour (twice), AE van Vogt, and Derringer Awards. He first appeared in Issue 13 with two stories, and now he has pulled out all the stops for a foray into historical fiction with What the Wind Brings, and we are thrilled to be his publisher for this endeavour.

Issue 13 cover by Zoran Pekovic

Tuesday: Matt Andrew, Issue 9

Matt is a retired US Marine officer who deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. He currently lives and works near Dallas, Texas. His fiction can be read in Thuglit, Pantheon Magazine, and Blight Digest, among others.

Wednesday: Matthew Walsh, Issue 10

Matthew Walsh is a writer from Nova Scotia. Their work has recently appeared in Sad Mag and Qwerty, with upcoming work in The Quotable, The Capra Review and Jonathan Magazine. Their recently released debut collection of poetry can be purchased through Goose Lane Press.

Issue 10 small

Thursday: Megan Waring, Issue 11

Megan Waring is a poet, playwright and fiber artist who currently resides in  Boston.  She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech and is currently earning her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts.  In between degrees, she worked in education and non-profits in China and California. She is the recipient of Virginia Tech’s Literary Award and her work can be read in Salamander, The LegendaryAegir, and Germ Magazine, among others. Her second co-authored play, Archer and the Yeti, is being produced by Greene Room Productions in October 2019.

 

Friday: Mel Anastasiou, Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries, The Labours of Mrs. Stella Ryman, The Writer’s Boon Companion, Colouring Paradise.

Acquisitions editor Mel Anastasiou co-founded Pulp Literature magazine in 2013. She helps writers develop through structural editing with the magazine, in addition to her weekly writing tips on melanastasiou.wordpress.com, the popular ‘Writing Muse’ twitter feed, and through her non-fiction workbooks, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Toward and Extraordinary Volume, and The Writer’s Friend and Confidante.  Her fiction includes Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries, the Monument Studio Mysteries, and the Stella Ryman Mysteries.  In addition she is the chief illustrator for Pulp Literature and has produced two colouring books of renaissance-inspired artwork: Colouring Paradise and Dragon Rock.

2019 Year of Authors: 17 – 21 June

Everyday this week, the sun lingers just a bit longer — but these deals won’t! Take advantage of all that extra natural light as we build towards the the summer solstice and the 24th week of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors! 

17th – 21st June 2019

Monday: Marnie EldridgeIssue 12

Marnie Eldridge lives a rather quiet life in Fallbrook, California, with her
two amazing children and stellar spouse who support her writing life as fiercely
as she supports their daily wellbeing.

Issue 12 cover by Melissa Mary Duncan

Tuesday: Marta Salek, Issue 7

Marta Salek lives out in the hills of Australia with her partner and assorted fluffy roosters, chickens, sheep, alpacas, and one dog (who may or may not have fleas). When not working, she passes the time trying to grow vegetables and running over irrigation pipe with her ride-on mower. In a past life, she spent her days programming (or screaming at) computers and writing lengthy emails which were reported to give her managers headaches. Now, she’s more gainfully occupied as a nurse, which legitimately allows her to amuse herself by asking people about their bowel habits. Marta’s computer is infested with short stories and a handful of novels at varying stages of completion. Some of the former have appeared in
publications such as Aurealis, SF&F, Perihelion SF and Freeze Frame Fiction. The latter lurk. And wait.

Wednesday: Mary Rykov, Issue 2 & 9

Mary H Auerbach Rykov is a Toronto-based music therapist, editor, and educator whose research, poems and songs are found in literary and academic journals. Mary serves as proofreader for Pulp Literature and freelances as a scholarly-academic editor. 

Thursday: Matilda Berke, Issue 17

Matilda Berke has been recognized by YoungArts, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the LA Tomorrow Prize, the Molotov Cocktail’s Shadow Award, and the LA Youth Poet Laureate competition, among others. She will be double majoring in English and Economics at Wellesley College. In her free time, she hopes to take up sailing and to read as many books as possible.

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Friday: Matthew Hooton, Issue 11

Matthew Hooton is best known for his prize-winning novel Deloume Road, published with Knopf Canada and Jonathan Cape UK. Matthew has also written fiction and nonfiction for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and journals. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest Closes Saturday

Just a few left to enter the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize, so polish up your flashiest flash fiction for submission!

Looking for inspiration? Peruse these snippets from past Hummingbird Contest winners. All that furious fluttering should get the juices flowing.

2018 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 21
‘The Angler’
by Nicholas Christian

It’s said Jeki la Njambe has one crow’s foot and an antelope’s hoof besides. Jeki, they say, huddles around little liver-pecked fires, has one arm and it’s a real Misha. They say he fishes with it and you’ll know it’s that time by the smell of wet maple and iron-wood, or the whistling of hollow bamboo. Sure, they ramble such as it’s cooked, but you don’t go blaming a fire for making smoke. So just gather your ears from the field. I’m to straighten things, if my name ain’t Jeki la Njambe, and I tell you I know the right of it …

2017 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 17
‘Just Down the Hall’
by Jeanette Topar

Truth was, Mrs Cole had become a little afraid of 902.
Late in the evenings she’d hear 902’s footsteps slide across the tiled hallway, hesitating outside her door. “Is this my place?” her neighbour would ask. Mrs Cole would mute the volume on her TV and hold her breath as she sat quietly in her tidy living room waiting for the woman to shuffle away. The last few times Mrs Cole had encountered her, 902 was wearing nothing but a gray slip that blended with the colour of her skin and matched her hair — she appeared little more substantial than a shadow or dust mote hovering in the hall …

2016 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 13
‘Xuefei and his heart’
by Rebecca Wurz

Xuefei sat on a metal stool in the corner of the operating theatre. He’d been awake all night, and now, sitting in the quiet of the deserted room, he felt drowsy. He had transported the heart of the criminal executed at dawn from the prison infirmary to the university hospital’s surgical suite, built especially for this demonstration. American transplant surgeons, collaborating with Chinese colleagues, were scheduled to do the first heart transplant on Chinese soil …

2015 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 9
‘The Last Neanderthals’
by Christina Crocker Escribano

You say, No one is going to eat us, but I know better. The path of the forest is necklaced in footprints. The surface of the snow is scuffed and bloodied. They left no remains of skin or bone, just a fistful of hair that looks like our own. We stop and watch, for a long time, as if the blood was an outline, a shadow, a spirit blooming in the ice. You say the soul lifts from the body, but I see that it doesn’t …

2014 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 5
Here I Lay Down My Heart
by Rob Taylor

Hayim lifted Mima toward the dhow.  The captain knelt, grabbed her by her armpits and lifted her up, then lowered her into the hull.  Hayim tossed in his duffle bag and for a moment, in the thin skim of ocean and sand that skirts Bagamoyo, stood apart from all that mattered in his world.  Then he hoisted himself on board. Mima was already playing with the livestock and making friends with the other children. In the weeks since their arrival in Tanzania she had learned a mouthful of Swahili and was now in full song.  Samaki! Kuku! Mbuzi! she pointed and guessed, and the children laughed and nodded and were impressed.  Hayim climbed atop a mound of rice bags, maybe seven or eight deep, and pressed his duffle bag into the curve of the hull, punching it here and there with his fists, pounding out their shape.  Between punches images of Tel Aviv flashed in his mind — their old apartment, the table and chairs, dishes and books he’d filled it with. Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning.  Then Hayim lay down and his mind cleared …

The 2019 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize close June 15th. We hope to see your submission soon!

Read Hummingbird Contest winners and runners-up of years past in Issue 5, Issue 9, Issue 13, Issue 17, and Issue 21.
 Issue 5,  Winter 2015
 Issue 9, Winter 2016
 Issue 13, Winter 2017
 Issue 17, Winter 2018
Issue 21, Winter 2019

 

Pulp Literature Year 1 & 2

2019 Year of Authors: 10 – 14 June

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 23 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

10th – 14th June 2019

Monday: Laura KosturIssue 6

Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, Laura Kostur finds inspiration from her surroundings and the wide variety of people drawn to the West Coast. Now employed in Communications with the Federal Government of Canada, Laura enjoy a job that allows her to write and edit every day, while interacting with a wide variety of people, and being of service to the public. When not at work, or working on her next novel, Laura can be found cutting and thrusting her way through classes at Academie Duello, a school of European Swordplay and Western Martial Arts. Laura currently works, fights and writes in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and possibly a dog, if enough people pester the aforementioned spouse into letting her adopt one.

Wednesday: Leah Komar, Issue 16

The geographically diverse Leah Komar grew up in Syracuse and Central Pennsylvania. She attended college in New Orleans and Kyoto, and she has since then lived in Toyama and Austin. She now lives in Tokyo. Her poem, ‘Krang’, was the runner up for the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry.

Issue 16 cover art by Akem

Thursday: Margaret Kingsbury, Issue 5

Margaret Kingsbury lives in Nashville Tennessee, where she writes, teaches English, and works at a used bookstore. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Battlerunes: Writings on War and Expanded Horizons. She is passionate about storytelling, helping to promote diverse and marginalised voices, and parenting from a feminist and scientific perspective.

Friday: Maria Pascualy, Issue 19

Image result for maria pascualyMaria Pascualy lives in Tacoma, Washington, where she writes in a little white house. Her writing has appeared in Panoply, Mulberry Fork Review, and Hobo Camp Review. Her poem, ‘First Date’, will give you an intimate glimpse into an eerie first date.

Tuesday: Mark Mitchell, Issue 5

Mark J Mitchell’s poetry has been published in several hundred magazines and a handful of anthologies over the years, in addition to some novels and chapbooks. His collection, Detective Movie, is quintessential pulp poetry and we fell in love with the tone.