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)  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!

small magpie

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.


pulp fan

Thanking our Printer

After receiving our sixth beautiful issue of Pulp Literature, we’d like once more to acknowledge the fabulous work done by First Choice Books in Victoria, BC.

If you’re an indie author, you’ll understand exactly why we’re grateful to have a real publishing house handing our books.  Many indie authors who received printed copies of their books from print-on-demand services will tell you the same story.  They thought they had their book proofread and loaded, they thought they loved their cover, but when they got their book in the mail, it just looked … self-published.  That over-used font, that too-large gap between lines, the thick paper and too-glossy cover — it all added up to an unprofessional image.

When Pulp Literature was looking for a professional printer to give our magazine the edge it needed in a tight literary niche, we got many quotes, from local and overseas printers.  We wanted to keep production here in BC, but as a start-up with low print runs we were very cost sensitive.  First Choice gave us a price that allowed us to keep the work done locally without breaking the bank.  Not until we held our first 500 beautifully bound copies in our hands did we realize what a treasure we had found.  Six issues into the game, we are still impressed with every aspect of their process, from quote, to proof copy, to the final shipment at our door.

If you think this sounds like an ad, it’s not.  because First Choice has become part of our team. When we launched a second Kickstarter campaign, they campaigned alongside us, posting our updates, running ads, and offering advice and support along the way.  Staff members even backed us. They clearly have been doing more than printing our books; they’ve been reading them. They like us. They’re helping promote us, which is not something businesses do freely these days.

Which is why we’re posting to thank Melanie, Patrick and their team.  First Choice a large part of what makes us look fantastic on the bookstore shelf and in our readers’ hands.

first choice

Issue 6 is packaged and ready to hit the post office tomorrow.  Look for your print copies in the mail soon!

bedside reading

Back Issue Blowout!

pulp year 1Spring is here and it’s time to clean house!  Help us empty our back issue shelves with a fabulous special offer!

All 2014 print issues are on special, and the more you buy the more you save.  You can get one issue for $12 ($3 off the regular price), two for $20, three for $27, four for $32 and five or more books for only $7 each!

You can mix and match any number of each issue as long as our stock holds out.  And if 2014 issues aren’t enough you can also get a 2015 print subscription for only $35 (regular $40), or an ebook subscription for $15.

Use the order form below to request your back issues and we will send you an invoice.  The offer is subject to availability, and ends this Friday April 4th. Get yours while they last!

Issue 4 cover

Moliere Likes Your Page One

Small treeEvery first page is a challenge, often happily so.  We have to establish time and place, hint at the central character and establish tone and authority that lets the reader know she is in good hands.

But Moliere said, The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.

As I leaf through Issue 4 of Pulp Literature, I am struck by the excellent craft of the opening lines throughout. Here’s a challenge for you:  match these wonderful first sentences with author and story title.

  1. I’m baking myself a boyfriend, kneading him out with my hands, my elbows, my shoulders.
  2. The boy fell last.
  3. If my mother had insisted it be above the knee, I would have said something.
  4. My name is Chouko (‘butterfly gGirl’) Takeda, and I was born on August 29th, 1967, in a little town called Slocan, BC, just outside of where the old Japanese internment camp used to be.
  5. Standing on her front porch, her eyes crinkle up in that way I love, the laugh lines flowing up from her cheeks, the shadows, as the moon rises overhead, lacing her cheeks.
  6. I was taking a piss and I fell over.
  7. The fight with Carollus was the end of my formal training as a magician.
  8. There is a particular and odious smell that permeates the underworld.
  1. Soldier, Wake by Susanna Kearsley
  2. Victory Girl by Ace Baker
  3. Doughboy Lovers and the Appetites of Desire by Karlo Yeager
  4. Things to Live For by Richard Gropp
  5. Blackthorne & Rose: Agents of DIRE by KG McAbee
  6. Below the Knee by Susan Pieters
  7. The Death of Me by KL Mabbs
  8. Allaigna’s Song: Overture by JM Landels

We will send a free ebook issue of your choice if you are the first person to correctly match these first lines with their titles.  Put your answers in the comment section below.

First pages and opening lines… say, what was Moliere’s first line? I checked out the start of his most famous oeuvreTartuffe….

“Mme. Pernelle: Let’s go, Flipote, let’s go. I hate this place.”

Not bad at all, sir. Well played.

Spring 2015 cover image small

Issue 6 is here!

swordThanks to our wonderful printers, First Choice Books, Issue 6 is here ahead of schedule and available for tonight’s Pen & Sword event at the Vancouver Public Library.

Subscribers are invited to come down and pick up their copies early and get them signed by one or more of our authors.  And of course if you haven’t yet subscribed, here’s a chance to thumb through an issue and be seduced by the stories and artwork inside.

Special event pricing will be in effect, which means copies are $12 each or two for $20, including back issues.  That’s up to $5 off per copy!

Swordfighting and stories:  is there a better way to spend the evening?

Pen & Sword: The Author’s Journey in Writing Swordfights
Monday, 23 March 2015,  7:00 – 8:30pm
FREE! (come early)
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
VPL Central Library, 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver

Rapier with JM Landels & Gareth Antle

Kris 2

Pen & Sword: The Author’s Journey in Writing Swordfights

CC Humphreys

CC Humphreys

How far would you go for your art?  Would you risk a duel at dawn?  Face an armoured warrior?  Fight an axe-wielding assailant, with only a spoon?  Authors CC Humphreys, Sebastien de Castell, Kris Sayer and JM Landels will discuss their personal journeys studying swordplay (and spoonplay) to enrich their writing, characters and stories.  With live sword fights and show and tell by Academie Duello, fans of fiction, fantasy and history will be entertained and delighted!

Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell

Monday, 23 March 2015,  7:00 pm
FREE! (come early)
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
VPL Central Library, 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver

Pen & Sword Giveaway
Kris Sayer

Kris Sayer

Three out of the four authors in this panel have had works published in Pulp Literature.  Do you know which ones?  The first five people who can name these authors and the stories they have had published in Pulp will receive a free ebook issue of their choice.

JM Landels

JM Landels

Email info(at) with the subject line ‘Pen & Sword Giveaway’ to enter.

Issue 6 Sneak Launch

Pulp Literature Issue 6Hot-off-the press copies of Issue 6 will be available at this event!  There will also be a number of other Pulp authors present including Laura Kostur, Susan Pieters, Kimberleigh Roseblade (who will be enacting one of the sword spoon-play scenes from Kris’s work) Melissa Mary Duncan, Kate Austin, Beverley Boissery, and KL Mabbs.  We will have copies of issues 1 through 5 available, and there will be book sales and author signings by the panelists.

CC Humphreys & JM Landels in 2013. Will revenge be involved this year?

CC Humphreys & JM Landels in 2013. Will revenge be involved this year?

It’s going to be a fun night — see you there!

Find out if poet Kimberleigh Roseblade (right) is as wicked with a spoon as she is with an umbrella!

Find out if poet Kimberleigh Roseblade (right) is as wicked with a spoon as she is with an umbrella!



The panel is a prequel to the biennial Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium happening March 27 – 29th.  This event is a great resource for authors, with audit passes and lectures allowing you a glimpse into the history and technique of many western martial arts.


Making the Cow Creamer Matter

UntitledWriting light comic fiction is tricky, because funny won’t carry a full-length novel on its own. Something big needs to be at stake, and I always think it’s cheating to have characters risk death in this genre. Jerome K Jerome in Three Men in a Boat manages an episodic arc that keeps me in stitches every time I read it (Montmorency!). But above all others in my estimation, PG Wodehouse is most skilled at writing comic narratives. He can weave a plot more complex than a Rube Goldberg machine and still have me rolling on the floor on the tenth read. Take The Code of the Woosters, where Bertie Wooster’s goal is to adhere to his family’s traditional code: “Never let a pal down.” All his pals therefore shovel the worst possible duties upon his narrow shoulders, all of which are life and death to them: stealing a cow creamer, saving an engagement, avoiding a beating, swiping a policeman’s helmet, being flung into jail. And this in a “Golden Fleece”-type narrative clearly and hilariously told, all because no matter what, Wooster’s duty to his pal is more important than life itself. Here, a former girlfriend begs Bertie to take the rap for a crime.

‘I can’t have my precious angel Harold doing a stretch.’

‘How about your precious angel Bertram?’

‘But Harold is sensitive.’

‘So am I sensitive.’

‘Not half so sensitive as Harold. Bertie, surely you aren’t going to be difficult about this? You’re much too good a sport. Didn’t you tell me once that the Code of the Woosters was ‘Never let a pal down?’

 Wodehouse’s themes are lofty and literary, involving loyalty, true love winning out, and apotheosis after sacrifice, each of which resonates grandly with readers’ hearts while we belly-laugh over individual scenes. (And I didn’t even mention Bertie’s valet Jeeves yet.) There is none like you, Wodehouse. None.

PG Wodehouse. The Code of the Woosters. Herbert Jenkins, London. 1938.


Spring is here!

Pulp Literature Issue 6

Pulp Literature Issue 6

Or at least the print proof of our Spring 2015 issue is.  We never get tired of that first glimpse of the book in its ink and paper glory, even if it’s an unbound proof.

Sadly for the rest of you, it will be a few weeks more before bound copies are ready to ship to your doorsteps.  However, to tide you over until then, here’s a snippet of the cover story, ‘The Inner Light’ by Raven Contest winner Krista Wallace, based on the cover painting by Dutch artist Tais Teng.

And if you haven’t ordered a copy yet, be sure to subscribe here to make sure yours will be in the mail.

The Inner Light

by Krista Wallace

“I’m trying my best,” Matilda said.

“Yes, of course I hear you.” Matilda stared into the shiny blackness.

“I know.” Matilda stroked the glossy surface.

“I’m sorry.” Matilda’s pitch rose as anxiety crept up her throat. “There is more coming, I promise.”

“No, please. Please don’t.” Fear scratched at her chest. “Please. I promise there’s more. Lots more. Just please leave Andrew alone.”

Matilda backed away, her fingertips kissing the cold sphere before finally disconnecting. Then she turned and hastened out of the lobby and into the theatre, where the cast was waiting. The stage manager had handed out scripts, and they were all seated around the table on the stage. Waiting for her. Ah. There was Andrew, at the head of the table, of course. She strode down the stairs through the seating in the house.

“Right, ladies and gentlemen.” She articulated the next word distinctly. “Macbeth!”

Predictably, the theatre erupted in the hysterical shrieks of high-strung, superstitious actors. Matilda went up the stage-right steps two at a time, while Lady Macbeth dashed down the stage-left steps and ran through the house into the lobby, likely to turn around three times and yell, “Shit!” Banquo and Duncan fled into the back hall, probably to do the same. Macduff spun around on the spot and spat on the floor to his left, while the three witches clung to each other and recited some piece of verse to chase away the evil spirits Matilda had summoned by not referring to the work as ‘The Scottish Play’ within the theatre. The rest of the actors made all sorts of noises and protestations, complaining that Matilda should have known better. The stage manager had to go and invite Lady Mac, Duncan, and Banquo back into the theatre.

“And it must follow, as the night the day / Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Lady Mac intoned the line from Hamlet to nobody in particular, thereby completing her antidote to the curse. Only Andrew — Macbeth himself — remained completely calm; he had stayed seated at the table, patiently awaiting the read-through, with only a glance and an eye roll to indicate he was aware of the panicked bustle surrounding him. Andrew’s calm was an important element of his character.

Matilda smiled to herself at the minor chaos. Fear. Anxiety. Irritation. Anger. If only she could see the sphere from here.

Read the rest in Pulp Literature Issue 6, available soon!


Magpies on Cherry Trees

magpiesmallerIt’s the season for spring flowers in Vancouver, and the birds outside our window are singing their poetry to the beat of the wind in the trees.  (Our apologies to the rest of Canada.)   At Pulp Literature, it’s the season again for poets to submit their best works to our Magpie Award for Poetry, with final recognition given by Vancouver’s first poet laureate, George McWhirter.  Last year’s entries were inspiring, and the winner received $500 in addition to publication. Our contest is open until April 15th, and we challenge you — no, we double dare you — to make us cry, laugh, or revel in the awful beauty of this temporary condition called life.

Earlybird entry fees are in effect till March 15th.  Submission guidelines here.