Spring Fever Back Issue Sale!

Spring is here and the daffodils and cherry blossoms are busting out at last!  To celebrate we have pruned the prices on all our spring back issues in print format.  That includes Issue featuring JJ Lee, Issue 6 featuring Krista Wallace, Issue 10 featuring Carol Berg, and Issue 14 featuring CC Humphreys.  But hurry, this special ends March 31st!

Planes, trains, and automobiles transport us with tales from CC Humphreys, Colin Thornton, plus Joseph Stilwell and Hugh Henderson, as well as poetry from David Clink and Ian Haight. There are bears, boars, and kind-eyed villains from Greg Brown, William Charles Brock, JM Landels, and Susan Pieters, while the reaper himself makes a visit in Mel Anastasiou’s next Stella novella.  All that plus the winners of both the Raven and SiWC contests.  Jump on board … the journey’s just beginning!
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017 $14.99  now $9.99


Issue 10 small

Magical murder mystery by Carol Berg; monster hunting with Gregg Chamberlain; sleuthing with Stella and Mel Anastasiou; comic by Kris Sayer; poetry by Matthew Walsh, Ev Bishop, and Ada Maria Soto; flash fiction by Andrea Lewis and Stephen Case; short stories by Sarina Bosco and Susan Pieters; Allaigna’s Song by JM Landels; and literary fiction from the 2015 Raven winners Emily Linstrom and PE Bolivar.
Pulp Literature Issue 10, Spring 2016 $14.99  now $9.99



Genre-defying fiction by  Krista Wallace, Bob Thurber, Laura Kostur, Theric Jepson, FJ Bergmann, Tobi Cogswell and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 6, Spring 2015 $14.99  now $9.99





Our second issue of good books for the price of a beer, featuring fiction and artwork by JJ Lee, Sarah Pinsker, Trevor Shikaze, Milo James Fowler, AY Dorsey,  and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 2, Spring 2014 $14.99  now $9.99





And if that’s not enough Spring for you, you can also pick up Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, hot off the presses right now!

The One Word Writing Tip

Some movie titles resonate over the decades, with just a single word:

 One Great Word

I’ve been reading Michael Connelly’s The Crossing. I admire the way he joins the inner and outer conflicts in the single word, crossing. The outer problem is finding the point of crossing between victim and murderer. The inner problem is that hero ex-cop Bosch faces crossing a line he swore he’d never cross, in order to solve a murder mystery.

Your Writing Tip: One Word Two Ways

Find one word that describes your protagonist’s story. You get bonus points for pulling off a similar grand feat as the one above. That is, connecting the inner and outer struggle through a single word with two meanings. Moments of clarity like this may help inform an entire story and save truckloads of revision time.

I hope you’ll have another  brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.

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

Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.


Winner of the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest 2018

Anticipation has built to a buzzing frenzy, and we’re happy to announce the winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest, sponsored by Duotrope and judged by flash fiction master, Bob Thurber. Like us, he felt the competition was stiff and each story possessed merit.

Do send along my cheers and congratulations to all the finalists. I was impressed by their fine efforts and obvious talent.  – Bob Thurber

Coming in as the honourable mention for this year’s contest is Alex Reece Abbott with her flash fiction piece, ‘Alphabet Soup’.  Bob Thurber had this to say about the piece:

I found ‘Alphabet Soup’ to be brave and daring, an inverted and upended 2nd POV narrative that is engaging throughout.

The winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest is ‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’, by R S Wynn. Bob Thurber tips his hat to the author:

Such a neatly crafted package, wicked fun to read. Consisting of five animated portraits with a small cast of quickly drawn characters frozen in familiar and alarming poses, it spills across the page, causes one to blink, and question, and remember. Like any good short work, poetry or prose, it’s a joy to reread just to appreciate the fresh flavor all over again.


We look forward to unveiling ‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’ in the Issue 19 of Pulp Literature, and encourage our readers and authors in the Vancouver area to drop by our Spring Launch this evening at the Cottage Bistro, where shortlisted author Jude Neale will give us a reading along with local authors Genni Gunn, Michelle Barker, Angela Rebrec, Susan Pieters, JM Landels, and special guest CC Humphreys.

To everyone who submitted their flash fiction, we thank you for your commitment to the craft and hope to see you next year!

Pulp Literature Spring Launch

Friday 16 March, 6 – 8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
FREE, but please RSVP on Eventbrite


Pre-order your copy of Issue 18 and save $2.
If you are picking your copy up in person, use the code LAUNCH to avoid shipping charges.

Here’s the Buzz: The 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist

Are we getting excited yet?  The winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist will be announced at our Spring Launch party this Friday at the Cottage Bistro.   In the meantime we’re delighted to announce the shortlisted stories.

The 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Shortlist

‘Alphabet Soup’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Breaking the Ice’ by Natalie Persoglio

‘Cinnamon Grace’ by Jude Neale

‘Crow Funeral’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by K W George

‘Gross Motor’ by Sara Mang

‘Inciting Insight’ by Soramimi Hanarejima

‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’ by R S Wynn

‘Special People’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Third Date’ by Nicole Vuong

Familiar Names

Congratulations to all these amazing authors.  The stories are judged blind, so we have no idea who the authors are until after the shortlist has been selected.  That said there are some familiar names that have come up.

Triple congratulations to Alex Reece Abbott who managed to catch our eye with three of her stories!  Regardless of the results of this contest, Alex’s piece ‘My Brother Paulie: A Domestic Space Oddyssey’ was an honourable mention for the 2017 Raven Short Story Contest and will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 19, coming out this summer.

Poet Jude Neale has been shortlisted for the Magpie Award for Poetry more than once, and her poem ‘About Light’ was published in Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017.  We’re delighted to see her short fiction also make the cut.

Soramimi Hanarejima has also been shortlisted for several our contests and his whimsical short story ‘The Theft of Confidence’ can be found in Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018.  You can pick up this and other back issues at our Friday launch.

We hope you’ll join us this Friday for the public announcement judge Bob Thurber’s pick for best flash fiction!

Pulp Literature Spring Launch

Friday 16 March, 6 – 8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
FREE, but please RSVP on Eventbrite


Pre-order your copy of Issue 18 and save $2.
If you are picking your copy up in person, use the code LAUNCH to avoid shipping charges.





Featured Author: Genni Gunn

If you look closely, hints of spring are all around us, from barely there tree buds, to coat shedding temperatures. But no sign is clearer than the launch of our Spring 2018 issue! To celebrate Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, Pulp is hosting a launch at Cottage Bistro, complete with readings from local Pulp Literature authors, like Issue 18 featured author, Genni Gunn.

Genni Gunn’s eight books include novels, short fiction, poetry, and memoir. She has also written the libretto for the opera Alternate Visions, produced in Montreal in 2007, and has translated three collections of poetry from Italian. Her novel Tracing Iris was made into a film, and her novel Solitaria was longlisted for the  2011 Giller Prize. She lives in Vancouver and can be found at gennigunn.com.

Genni Gunn, is our featured author in Issue 18 with her short story, ‘Stones’.  Be the first to read an exclusive interview with Genni, as well as other hand-picked short stories, poems, a comic, and the winners of Pulp Literature’s 2017 Raven Short Story Contest when you get a hot-off-the-press copy at our Spring Launch.

Pulp Literature Spring 2018 Launch
Friday 16th March, 6-8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main St, Vancouver
Free to attend, but please RSVP

RSVP here

Until March 15th you can save $2 on pre-orders of Issue 17 print or ebook versions.  Reserve your copy now!


Featured Author: Erin Kirsh

Erin Kirsh is a pushcart-nominated writer, performer, funnyman, and rant maker from Toronto. She has toured original works on stages across North America, and has represented Vancouver twice at both the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the National Poetry Slam.

Her blog, The Losing Game, chronicles the heartbreak and jubilance of publication rejection and acceptance (respectively), which we at Pulp Literature can appreciate all too well. As Erin says: In 2018, you can follow my progress (or lowgress, depending on the stretch) here. Come for the sweat and the ugliness. Come for the support. Come to feed your superiority, if you need to, come to reminisce about a time you were less successful than you are now, come if you need to see the struggle of the game, come if you need hope for yourself. I promise to gift wrap it nicely for you. 

You might remember the riveting reading Erin Kirsh gave last September at the Issue 16 launch. Her story, ‘The Wind of a Train’, had us all worried for a future we hope never to see, and optimistic for the future of this talented writer and performer.

The Wind of a Train
Erin Kirsh

I have thirty minutes to get to the station. It doesn’t really matter which station, anything on the line will work, only I’m not really sure where I’ve gotten to. I don’t have the benefit of being from this city.

The Sinking was sudden. A lot of places, including the coastal city I lived in, shook then were swallowed by water. Those of us who were rescued got airlifted to other parts of the country, where, as it turns out, there’s not enough room for all of us. I was an early recovery, I got here when people were feeling more hospitable. The city wasn’t overrun then. Nobody wants to tell the survivors of a tragedy to fuck off until said survivors start inconveniencing them. So being a sort of pioneer of the good ship shitstorm, I have a shelter of sorts, but it’ll be gone if I’m not back before midnight. If things are lawless in the day, at night they are competitively piratical. I didn’t mean to be out so late, but this city’s more or less unnavigable and it doesn’t take much wandering to end up far from Woodbine or Coxwell or any of the four street names I’ve memorized. So I got lost, and now I’ve got two choices. Get back to the place where I’m somewhat comfortable and my stuff remains unpoached as of yet, or move in on someone else’s territory and hope that the stuff I snatch is better than what I’d be giving up.

Twenty more minutes. I should’ve picked taller landmarks when I first set out. Picking buildings that may or may not be chain establishments was a lapse of judgment. I wish I could ask someone for directions to the subway, but they’d either be Settled and think I’m fucking up their society, or worse, they’d be Displaced. Settled would make me feel bubonic and burdensome, but a Displaced person would lead me in the wrong direction, steer me down some dark alley and mug me. Best case scenario, I mean…



Read the rest of ‘The Wind of a Train’ in Pulp Literature Issue 16

This is the End. Writing Tips at Pulp Literature Press

Sometimes the end of the book seems so far off that a writer starts to feel that fashions will have changed and technology moved on to a still more distant generation before we’re likely to finish it.

The End is Closer Than You Think

Still, objects in the rearview mirror, and all that. The end is nearer than you’d think, so long as you keep this writing destination in mind. The writing brain knows its business, but if an author can’t picture the final scene, the brain is likely to follow its many interests, tracking a long and winding road through the story map. And then … massive rewriting.

Start With the End in Mind

When starting a story, take a few minutes to write the end. This could be

  • the last word,
  • the last sentence,
  • the last paragraph,
  • the final scene.

Set a timer and write for 10 minutes. Remind yourself that you are the respectful and fun boss of you, and you can change it completely if you like.

I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.


Featured Author: AJ Odasso

Part of Pulp Literature‘s mission is to showcase work that challenges us and delights us by new and established writers from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Pulp Literature author AJ Odasso weaves words as an established queer-identifying poet who occasionally dabbles in well-crafted short-narratives.

Odasso is the author of three award-nominated poetry collections (Lost Books and The Dishonesty of Dreams, from Flipped-Eye Publishing; Things Being What They Are, unpublished and shortlisted for the Sexton Prize) as well as a handful of short stories.  She serves as Senior Poetry Editor at Strange Horizons magazine.  You can find her at twitter.com/ajodasso.

AJ left us hanging with Part 1 of ‘We Come Back Different’ in Issue 17, and while we’re patiently waiting for Part 2 in Pulp Literture Issue 18, here’s a refresher:


We Come Back Different
AJ Odasso

3 June 18—
St George’s, Bermuda

My dearest Tess,

In spite of the disagreeable circumstances under which we last parted, I hope that this letter finds you well.  It will cheer you to know that your father’s health is much improved since you left for Scotland this spring.  He delights in your single-minded love of study, and  his desire is that you should make as fine a scholar as your mother.  But I must caution you, my love, to remember that there are pleasures in this world that do not concern anatomy, chemistry, or engineering.  My ever-troublesome charge — Trevor is growing! — has found an expedient use for your old laboratory goggles.  Your brother has taken to packing them for our jaunts to Horseshoe Bay.  He has mastered the art of holding his breath underwater, during which time he is content, from behind glass through which you once squinted at dissections, to observe parrot fish the size of soup tureens.

Regarding our falling-out, I am not inclined to continue in such unseemly avoidance — for you have said that what you admire most is my forthrightness, and I hope I have not been foolish in treasuring your honesty.  Do not take your wealth for granted:  had my mother been rich, she would have wished for me an education as fine as yours.  I understand that the completion of your degree is essential; I want nothing more than for you to perfect your skill in the sciences.  All I ask in return is that you do not write off my fancies, for poetry and politics are equal to the task of improving humankind.  Furthermore, I remain steadfast in my opinion that you have done poorly by Trevor.  His musical talent continues to flourish, and although you set little stock by the performance he had so carefully prepared for your departure, he believes firmly that you are the cleverest, kindest creature ever to walk the earth.  Write to him, Tess.  He misses you.

For my part, I pass endless days in pursuit of Trevor and in seeing to your father’s welfare.  Although he is more sanguine than you will remember, his memory declines.  For each time that he recognizes me, he supposes me to be your mother at least twice.  I cannot persist in this sad affair without reassurance of your support — surely you may find the time to write more than once a month, so that my spirits might be lifted!  I can take only so much solace in Trevor’s compositions and in discovering which of your father’s favourite strays has lately hidden her kittens amidst the banana trees and knee-high weeds in the garden.  Artemis has dropped her first litter.

This corner of the world is monotonous, my darling.  Be brilliant, and be well.

Ever yours,

* * *

12 June 18—
St Andrews,  Scotland

Sweet Amelia,

This correspondence may reach your shores by sea rather than by air, much to my annoyance.  The pilots’ strike cannot continue indefinitely, so why not apply your political acumen to that when next you submit a column to The Trans-Atlantic Weekly?  Several of the faculty here are ardent followers of your rambling yet sagacious wit.  Perhaps it will earn you a scholarship.

Please do not think that I have not taken to heart the contents of your letter, but I must report a strange occurrence that has lately beset my corner of the world.  Lansdowne, my tutor, has been ardently in favour of my chosen discipline — that is, the repair and replacement of organs and other such vital tissue through methods of hermetically sealed replacements, etc.  I will not attempt another description of these devices’ components, nor of the fusion by which they run in perpetuity.  You, lively and insightful, must populate this world with wonders, whereas I, eternally brooding, must endeavour to unlock the causes of its unhappiest misfortunes and to repair them if I am able.

The occurrence of which I speak centres on one such misfortune, Amelia — the gravest of them all, I fear, to which none of us are immune.  The body of a young woman washed ashore on the West Sands just over a week ago …  

Read the rest of part of ‘We Come Back Different’
right now in Issue 17….

… and save $2 when you pre-order Issue 18 featuring the conclusion of the story, due out in April.

The Bumblebee Flash Fiction Longlist

A swarm of flash fiction stories is still buzzing in our heads, but the preliminary decisions have been made. Presented alphabetically by author first name, we are pleased to present the longlist for the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest.

2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Longlist

Note: if a name appears twice, that means two stories by the same author have made the list.  Double congratulations!

Alex Reece Abbott
Alex Reece Abbott
Alex Reece Abbott
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Amy Gavin
Katie Gray
Amy Soscia Paloski
Anneliese Schultz
C.W. Accetta
Catherine Raphael
David Wiseman
Emily Lonie
Jake Teeny
Jake Teeny
Jeanine Manji
Jessica Lampard
Jude Neale

Krista Wallace
Leslie Wibberley
Louise Burch
Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone
Lynne MacLean
Martin Brodsky
Mary Steer
Natalie Persoglio
Patricia Sandberg
Ron Lavalette
Sabella Forde
Tracey White
Victoria Richards

Thank you to everyone who submitted! Stay tuned for the short list.  The final winner will be notified on March 15th, and we will publicly announce Judge Bob Thurber’s choice for most buzz-worthy flash fiction piece at our Spring Launch on March 16th at the Cottage Bistro!

PS: Poets, don’t forget that the Magpie Award is now open for earlybird entries!



Tough Choices = Character Development

“True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.” ― Robert McKeeStory: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.

Consider a number of things that are wrong in a protagonist’s life at the start of the story. Listing them, either before or during development,  produces a template for character development.

Character Development via Tough Choices

Inner and outer problems set the stage for tough and even impossible choices.  The protagonist will have to do what she or he would never have done earlier in the book. That, in a nutshell, is character development. Supporting characters and antagonists go through this process, too, but their real job is to force the protagonist to make those choices.

Choices: Your Writing Tip

Make a list of 6-10 things wrong in your protagonist’s interior and exterior life at the start of the book. The protagonist’s tough choices in dealing with these inner and outer problems drives your story ahead.

I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens.  She is 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