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The 2015 Magpie Award for Poetry

The results are in, and here is the report from the final judge, George McWhirter!

The finalists for 2015 were all masterfully precise and evocative at the same time, making a choice of top three not so easy. Finally, I opted for the following:

  1. ‘Caffe Pettirosso’ by Diane Tucker

I think the poem and poet speak for generations of café and restaurant goers whose main item on the menu is their sitting down to appear cool in a cool place, only to have, as on this visit, the afternoon light, the city’s flora and fauna outshine any of the bright lights and personae in the eating and drinking place. This other side of being part of the scene has just been waiting for this poem to happen—with its afternoon scenario, brilliant put-down and simultaneous illumination.

  1. ‘Water in the Way’ by Ace Baker

The drama in the poem of a trip (literal and metaphorical) into death and the consecration of the beloved dead-one’s remains, with the fish-shaped skull, to the deeps of mystery and the waters is spectacular. The moment of that fish arising out of those waters into indelible memory for the granddaughter and the poet solders emblem and epiphany to mine and makes a perfect consummation for the poem.

  1. ‘Wild Berry Suite’ by Jude Neale

This is an elegant and heartfelt elegy with resonant recollections and touching details, very human, very ordinary, but of that small order of the magically ordinary like the berries in the poem that once picked and basketed can be relished over and over with the wild bitter sweet mix of sadness and joy. The poem also mulls the rural and urban into a very special liquidity, the City of Vancouver and the countryside with the fluidity of the river that runs through both and which becomes the sound of Mary Greener Thompson to whose memory the poem is dedicated and that very easy to hear and listen to voice of the poet.

Congratulations to our three finalists, as well as to the rest of the entrants who gave them a hard run for their money.  Our first-place winner will receive $500 and the runners up each receive $50.  The three winning poems will be published in the Autumn 2015 issue of Pulp Literature.

We are thrilled to let you know that all three finalists are local and will be able to attend our awards presentation and reading on Monday May 25th, along with some of the other short-listed poets and both of our judges, Daniel Cowper and George McWhirter.

The Magpie Award for Poetry
magicforestmagpies3Poetry Reading and Award Presentation
Monday 25 May 2015, 6:30pm till ???
The Wolf & Hound, 3617 W Broadway, Vancouver

Please join us as we congratulate the winners with an evening of poetry and celebration!

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The Magpie Shortlist

We are extremely pleased to announce the shortlisted poems for the 2015 Magpie Awards.  In alphabetical order by poem title the finalists are:

  • ‘Caffe Pettirosso’ by Diane Tucker
  • ‘Eighty-five green candles’ by Jude Neale
  • ‘Her tongue depressed’ by Sonia Jind
  • ‘Nana’s Hat’ by Jude Neale
  • ‘Northland’ by Ada Maria Soto
  • ‘The heart is a willow tree’ by Ev Bishop
  • ‘The Meadow Spittlebug’ by Monica Diaz
  • ‘Tool Shed’ by Matthew Walsh
  • ‘Water in the Way’ by Ace Baker
  • ‘Wild Berry Suite’ by Jude Neale

According to George McWhirter “The finalists for 2015 were all masterfully precise and evocative at the same time.”

Contest judges George McWhirter and Daniel Cowper will be presenting the awards to the winner and two runners-up on Monday May 25th at the Wolf & Hound pub in Kitsilano.  All the finalists who are local have been invited to attend and read their poems, and we hope you will join us too!

The Magpie Award for Poetry
Monday 25 May 2015, 6:30pm till ???
The Wolf & Hound, 3617 W Broadway, Vancouver

 

Begin with the End in Mind

I’ve been re-reading Stephen R Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The second habit, ‘Begin with the end in mind’, has several layers of application for me.  In terms of my work, I need to focus on my end-goals for my career as an author, which means I’ll be saying no to that tempting but distracting job I got offered last week.  In terms of the writing itself, ‘begin with the end in mind’ is about the most profound advice I can give fiction writers.

"This Double" by Mel AnastasiouFor flash fiction especially, it is the end that marks the master from the apprentice, for the end is the bursting truth of a short story.  In any length of fiction, however, even when I think I’m starting a story with an opening, the truth is I’m starting with a vision of the ending.  The inspiration for a story comes from that end-goal, and it pulls me forward.  It is the climax, and the rest of the story must be designed to set up and support the final emotional note. Some writers hate outlining, and I believe it is because they are intuitively hearing that distant ending call them forward and it guides their path.

Covey  also says of his second habit that ‘all things are created twice.’ I know what this means, as well. Revision, revision, revision. To get to the end, I have to go back and start at the beginning, multiple times.

So back to the grindstone now, fellow writers. Let us remember our endings, for as TS Eliot said, ‘In my end is my beginning.’

Congratulations to Dr Mary Rykov!

twofish2 smallReaders of Pulp Literature will know the high standards of quality that go into every page.  That attention to detail is the result of hard effort from many talented people, including our proofreader, Dr Mary Rykov.  We became friends with Mary in Issue 2, when we printed her wonderful poem, “A Siren’s Tale.”  Since then, Mary has done the final polish on each issue and we only wish she lived closer!

Mary RykovToday we’d like to congratulate Mary on her full scholarship to Sage Hill, where she will enjoy a 10-day poetry residency with Steven Heighton. This is an honour and congratulations are in order! To find our more about Mary and her work as a poet, editor, or music therapist, visit maryrykov.com.

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Contest Special: Paperboy by Bob Thurber

Bob ThurberWord must have spread about the keen eye and discerning taste of our Hummingbird Prize judge, the multiple award-winning Bob Thurber,  because entries are coming in a steady stream.  If you haven’t read anything by Bob, you don’t know what you’re missing!  To prove the point, we’re glad to announce that Bob has discounted his novel Paperboy for the duration of the Hummingbird Contest.  Yes, until June 15th, you can grab Bob’s ebook from Amazon for $4. (That’s half price!)  Folks, this is a man that made the New Yorker‘s list of authors who could weave magic in 25 words. Imagine what Bob can do with a whole novel!

Whether or not you are submitting to the contest, you’ll want to pick up a copy of PaperboypaperboyOnce you’ve had a taste of Bob’s writing, you won’t be able to stop.   Readers are immediately drawn to the narrator, a young boy whose dream is to be a paperboy, biking down a clean street where life is normal.  Because what he wakes up to isn’t.

In case we haven’t sold you yet, check out the reviews for Paperboy on Amazon.  While you’re at it have a look at Bob’s other books, and take advantage of this half-price sale while it lasts!

 

The Hummingbird is an Early Bird!

hummingbirdissue7Our contest is officially open!  You’ve a fortnight to enter the Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction for a discounted pittance, so sharpen your quills!  Pen us a story that will cut our senses to the quick, or dull them with delight!  Our 1000 word contest is limited to 300 entries, and until May 14th, just $10 will get you a chance of earning a solemn nod from final judge and flash fiction icon, Bob Thurber.  The $300 or $75 awards are definite incentives, but let’s not kid ourselves.  The real reward is the thrill of knowing for one moment, you owned the stage.   With words, you served the world up on a plate, and we bit.

Tell your friends!  Tweet the news!  Show your support of lit mags by entering the contest.  Or, if you can’t write worth beans, buy an issue or two.  We promise to intrigue and delight!

Spinning Straw into Gold

Life is full of pain.  As writers, we feel the blows keenly, yet the best of us utilize that pain.  Instead of letting tragedy or injustice overwhelm us, we turn our experiences into words.  We sit in an attic, holding on to the truth, and we dare to spin straw into gold.

Bob ThurberBob Thurber is a writer who transforms pain into beauty.  His dark past brings shadowy depth to his characters, and his dialogue bites like a call from home.  His voice is pure, simple, strong. He’s won or been nominated for every short fiction prize we know of, and it was pure pleasure to print his stories in Issues 3  and 6 of Pulp Literature.  We claimed, “Bob Thurber shines in the darkness like a Bic lighter in a munitions dump.”   We meant it.  When Bob offered to be the final judge for our Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, we felt we had won an award ourselves, and knew something big was about to happen.

Nothing But TroubleCheck out Bob’s latest collection of short stories, Nothing But Trouble, or his novel, Paperboy.  Check out his online micro-fiction at 50-Word Stories, and read his treasures in Pulp LiteratureAnd most important, for all you writers out there, our Hummingbird fiction contest opens on Friday, May 1st.   Entries are limited to 300, giving you a better chance to win, and there is an earlybird entry fee until May 15th.  For guidelines see our contests page.

Submit your stories to a true master.  Take your straw, and spin it into gold.

 

Creative Ink Festival

There’s an exciting new literary festival in town, and Pulp Literature is thrilled to be a part of it!

The Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers, and Artists is the brainchild of writer, fitness guru, and all around ball of energy Sandra Wickham.  This one day event on Saturday April 25th is a fabulous chance to see presentations, panels, and readings by dozens of authors, editors, artists and other creative folk, get your work-in-progress blue-pencilled for FREE, and get inspired for that next project, all for the WOW price of only $25.

This is a great way for new writers to get their toes wet at a fun and friendly conference.  It’s a chance to network, learn more about the business of writing, and come blinking out of the solitary writers’ caves in which so many of us tend to spend our working days.

What will the Pulp Lit team be up to?

Laura Kostur

Kimberleigh Roseblade

Visit us: Come by our booth where you will find Sue and Jen, as well as authors Laura Kostur, Kimberleigh Roseblade and Kris Sayer floating between our booth and Academie Duello’s.  We have free ebook issues for Creative Ink attendees only, as well as 20% off all subscriptions, print or ebook!

Kris Sayer

Blue Pencils: Free blue pencil sessions by a host of authors and editors are on offer.  Sue will have sessions between 10am – 11am, and Jen will be available 11am – noon.  Email Sandra to book a session now.

Susan PietersPanels: Sue will be chatting with Patrick Swenson, Silvia Garcia-Moreno, and Ian Alexander Martin in What Agents, Editors and Publishers are Looking For at 11am, and Jen will have her yea or nay thumb at the ready for Live Action Slush with Claude Lalumière, Patrick Swenson, Mark Teppo, and Alex C Renwick.

JM LandelsReadings: Join us at 4:30 for Pulp Lit readings by Sue, Jen, and special guest authors.

Workshop: Jen will present David vs Goliath: Writing the Mismatched Fight Scene at 6pm.  Come and learn how to write fight scenes that thrill and satisfy, in this interactive workshop involving swords, knives and office furniture.

There’s a full day of programming on offer for writers, readers, artists and publishing professionals, and member bags full of free books and other giveaways.  All for amazingly low price of $25.  Prices go up to $30 at the door, so register online this week.  Come out and support this fledgling festival and help it grow to a full three day weekend next year.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Magpie Contest Deadline Extended

Some people have had trouble with the paypal contact form. Because of this we’ve extended the Magpie deadline to midnight on Sunday, April 19th.

If the contact form is not working please just send your poems and contact information, following the guidelines on our contest page to pulpliteraturepress(at)gmail.com.  We will then invoice you for your entries.  As long as the poems are received by the new deadline we will honour the entries, even if payment occurs a day or so later.

May the best poem win!

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George McWhirter, Judge of the Second Annual Magpie Award for Poetry

george mcWe are thrilled that George McWhirter, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate, has agreed to judge Pulp Literature’s Magpie Award for Poetry for a second time.

Last year’s finalists received not only his approbation, but in-depth and often extensive comments from a leader in the world of Canadian Literature.

We are most grateful and honoured to BC’s much-honoured poet, novelist, editor, and translator for saying yes to year 2 of the contest.

The closing date for entries to the Magpie Award for Poetry is April 15.


Here you will find an excerpt of George McWhirter’s  superb translation of “Solar Poems” by Homero Aridjis, at blogcitylights.

And here you will find a copy of his stunning poem “My Mother’s Red Shawl” on Alex Waterhouse Hayward’s blog.