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Christmas Made Easy!

pulp year 1We’ve all seen the ads telling us not to buy junk.  We know from experience that cheap toys and breakable plastic just wind up in the recycling at best, and the garbage at worst.  So this year, buy a gift with the highest credentials:  locally sourced and produced, supportive of the arts, and built to last for multiple users.  Tastefully produced and beautiful to look at,  our magazine appeals to every reader because we provide a spectrum of genre fiction, and all of it fresh and appealing.

Make your Christmas shopping easy.  For $40, you can have four issues of Pulp Literature delivered to the door of your friends or relatives.   For an additional $10 we’ll include a beautiful gift announcement card by Mel Anastasiou, handwritten and personalized with your message.

Notecards by Mel Anastasiou

Notecards by Mel Anastasiou

No fuss, no muss.  No braving the weather, no cruising the mall.  No gift wrapping.  No delivery charge.  And you can contribute to the intellectual growth and creative stimulation of someone you love.   Mailed four times a year, eagerly anticipated, and guaranteed to bring a smile.  It’s a year-round gift that brings gratitude in every season.

There are just a few days left in our Kickstarter campaign.  Back the campaign now, and we’ll play Santa while you enjoy the holidays!

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Award Season!

We are pleased as punch to announce our nominations for the Pushcart Prize.  How did we pick them?  It was hard.  Have you even looked at a fantastic menu and couldn’t decide what to order?  Twice Sue’s had the pleasure of dining at renowned Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver.  Both times she asked the owner which dish he’d recommend, and his reply was the same:  how can a parent choose his favourite child?  As publishers, we find ourselves in a similarly impossible position trying to pick favourites, but by studying the inclinations of each prize, we recommend the stories we think stand the best chance of winning each competition.  The Pushcarts are geared to literary fiction, which we have in each issue, but we proved our cross-genre dedication by nominating a literary vampire story. (Think they’ll notice?) The competition is fierce for these awards, but we know these stories are gems. And win or lose, we trust the authors of these stories will feel how much we value them in our magazine.

Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2015:Victorygirlbutterfly

We have also have suggested the following stories for Imaginarium 4, an anthology of Canadian Spec Fic by Chizine.

In addition, ‘Blackthorne & Rose: Agents of DIRE’ by KG McAbee has been submitted for a Bram Stoker Award.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our Journey Prize nominations.  And hey, all you members of the SFWA, now’s your chance to be a hero and nominate a favourite fantasy or science fiction story for a Nebula Award!  If you’d like a complete list of our stories in that genre, just let us know.  We’d also like to hear from you if there is one or more of our stories you think ought to be submitted for other prizes.

Finally, the estimable CC Humphreys has finished judging our very own Raven Cover Story Contest  and we’ll be announcing the winners on Monday.  To whet your appetite, here, in no particular order, is the list of finalists:

  • ‘The Hemisphere Stone’ by Mike Glyde
  • ‘Dear Louis’ by Sara Cedeno
  • ‘Claws In’ by Ace Baker
  • ‘Odd Jobs’ by KL Mabbs
  • ‘Family Relics’ by Katherine Wagner
  • ‘The Ravens’ by Anna Belkine
  • ‘The Inner Light’  by Krista Wallace
  • ‘The Jealous Valley’ by Kiril Lavarevski

Congratulations to all these authors and best of luck in the final judgment!

hummingbird5

Interview with a Pianist

This interview is a teaser for the flash fiction piece ‘Waiting for Twilight’, the 2014 Hummingbird Prize runner-up by Daniela Elza.  Savour this glimpse into the protagonist’s mind while you wait for the story to come out in issue 5.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Getting lost in the moment.  Or under a tree.  Or by the sea.  Where I am less aware of myself.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  Existentially?  That I have misread my life.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  To attempt to solve other’s problems when they do not want solutions.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Gossip. Judging other people. Small mindedness. Jealousy.  Is that too many?  Perhaps group them under “stop being boring and pathetic.”  There are much better things to waste your breath on.  Like, sing, for a change.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  I do not lie since I cannot remember what I said. But if it saves a life … maybe then.
  6. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  I was wondering …
  7. When and where were you happiest?  You mean am happiest?  When I create music.  Or write.  When I flirt with life.
  8. What is your most treasured possession? My piano, of course.
  9. What is your most marked characteristic?  It is hard to not pay attention.  It is hard for me to ignore people.
  10. What is your motto?  Do onto others as twilight will do onto you.  By which I mean ‘dusk’, not the book.
  11. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Waiting for Twilight’?  I love swimming.

elza.daniela.cropped with handDaniela Elza has won prizes in both the Hummingbird and Magpie Awards.  Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in close to 100 publications.  Daniela’s poetry collections are: the weight of dew, the book of It,  and, most recently, milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.”  Daniela was the 2014 Writer-In-Residence at the University of the Fraser Valley and the 2014 guest editor of emerge anthology.

You can find ‘Waiting for Twilight’ in the upcoming Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature, available for another week only on our Kickstarter page

There’s just a week left to go in our Year 2 Kickstarter campaign.  If you haven’t already renewed your subscription please visit the campaign page.  Ebook subscriptions are cheaper, and print subscriptions come with a free ebook sub through the kickstarter only.  Great rewards like portraits, critiques, workshops, and our luxurious writing retreat make the KS campaign a great place for one-stop gift shopping as well!  See you there!

thlushalumsept15

Interview with an Adolescent

Teenagerhood is an awkward time of strange sensations and metamorphoses.  For some it’s worse than others.  Meet Markella, the protagonist of Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s ‘Thlush-a-lum’, coming up in Pulp Literature issue 5.

  1. What is your greatest fear?  The unknown, especially when I’m trying to sleep and there are sounds coming from outside that I cannot place. It happens all the time. Some mornings I wake up and feel more worn out than when I went to bed.
  2. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  That I don’t satisfy my parents. That must be why they don’t hug and kiss me like other families do.
  3. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  I have four birthmarks on my back: patches of dimpled flesh on my shoulders and on my lower back. I press my fingers into them sometimes, looking in the mirror, and expect it to hurt, but I guess I don’t press hard enough. Can you press too hard? I don’t want to know.
  4. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  Sizzle, snap, flutter, pulse.
  5. When and where were you happiest?  When Mother gave me wine and a smile for my seventeenth birthday.
  6. How would you like to die?  I’ve never thought about that before, though I overheard Mother and Father discussing it once.  They always think I can’t hear them when they speak in hushed tones, but I can.  All they said was that they hoped it happened “anywhere but here.”  I’ve never lived anywhere but home, but I think I’d want that too.
  7. What is your motto?  Don’t listen to what you don’t know.
  8. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Thlush-a-Lum’?  I wish I had a sibling. I think — I think I wouldn’t feel so alone if I did.  We could learn about everything together, maybe even investigate the sounds outside the window together.  I think, with someone else around, I’d feel brave.becca gomez farrell

In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result.  But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe, maybe, sea captain was the right choice after all.  Becca’s speculative fiction and food and drink blogging can be found at rebeccagomezfarrell.com

Find out what those sounds outside Markella’s window are in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature, which can be purchased through our Kickstarter page.

Longriderhills2

Trust the Horse You Rode In On

The nice thing about horses — as opposed to bicycles or cars — is they’ll take you home even if you’re dead tired, it’s dark out, and you’ve perhaps had a drink too many.

So much of writing depends upon a confident attitude.  You may feel you’ve lost your way and are floundering in the dark.  But it helps to remember that, although it’s the mark of the supreme professional to want to learn more, you’ve already learned so much.

We all have.  We’re inspired by writers at the podium who remind us that we’re close to our next great idea.  We’re helped by readers who let us know that we’re onto a good thing.  And we have the enduring support of all our past reading, because all those thousands of books that held us, pleased us, and made us smile are our brilliant teachers.  Thanks to them we have residing inside each of us a specialist in storytelling structure.  That’s your trusty steed who will carry you across the finish link.

When you sit down to write, it’s exciting to know that there will always more to learn.  And it saves a lot of hair-pulling and uncertainty when you realize you are already an expert.

Trust the horse you rode in on to get you home through the dark.

twofish1 small

Interview with a Siren

Some slippery characters are harder to catch than others, but poet Mary Rykov slung her net around the fish-tailed catch of ‘A Siren’s Song’ from Pulp Literature Issue 2.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  I sing the ones I love to death.  <sigh>
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Ear wax.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  I always lie.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  Those bird feathers.  I much prefer mermaid garb.
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  “Stop kissing my mouth.”
  8. When and where were you happiest?  Circa 8 BCE at the height of my charms, singing on my lovely Mediterranean island beach.
  9. Which talent would you most like to have?  To sing louder than Orpheus.
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  I am celebrated to this day by poets for my beauty and for my clear voice.
  11. What is your most treasured possession?  My beauty and my clear voice.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic?  My mythical status as metaphor for the binding power of death.
  13. Who is your favourite writer?  Homer, of course!
  14. What is your greatest regret?  Circe’s warning to Odysseus.
  15. How would you like to die?  Too late, I’m dead. The ship sailed past, and I died.
  16. What is your motto?  “My song of pleasure leads only to death.”
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘A Siren’s Tale’?   I love the thrill of the catch, but not cleaning the fish …Mary Rykov

Mary H Auerbach Rykov is a music therapist-researcher, writer-poet, educator and editor whose current focus is music-evoked imagery for writers and artists.  She is also our dedicated Pulp Lit final proofreader. Read more at maryrykov.com.

You can find ‘A Siren’s Tale’ in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulp Literature, available through our Kickstarter page.

bedside reading

Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe on Kickstarter

You may be wondering why we’re asking you to subscribe or renew via our Kickstarter page, when you could just as easily hit the subscribe tab above and renew with paypal, or send us a cheque in the mail.  And believe us, if that’s how you’d rather subscribe we are more than happy to receive your hard-earned dosh in any form (except cows — we’ll barter for some things, but there’s just no more room for cows).

Still, we think you should give Kickstarter a go, and here are some reasons why:

portraits

Backer portraits

10. Fabulous Rewards!  While you can get our magazine in other ways, there are some things we only offer through the Kickstarter, such as manuscript critiques and backer portraits.   For most of the year our editors and artists are simply too busy to offer these, but for a limited time they are willing to burn the midnight oil to support the Kickstarter campaign.

9. Visibly show your support for the arts.  When you become a backer you are not just an anonymous subscriber.  We’ll print all our backer names in issue 6 of Pulp Literature (unless you ask us not to).  The campaign page itself remains visible and your name (or pseudonym) will always be attached to it, showing that you care about writing, literature, the arts, and good stories.  The backer count itself is as important as the money received in showing the world there is support for grassroots, crowdfunded arts.

Notecards by Mel Anastasiou

Notecards

8. One stop Christmas shopping.  No malls, no post office line-ups!  We ship our magazines anywhere in the world, and for $10 you can add a personalized gift card.  You can send multiple gifts on a single pledge by just adding the appropriate amounts.  When we send you a survey at the end of the campaign you can let us know the details of all the recipients.

7.  A successful campaign generates buzz.   The biggest challenge new magazines face is developing name recognition.  A Kickstarter campaign gets the word out, spreads our logo and helps people remember the name.

6. Help us get a Canada Council Grant.   While we are fortunate in Canada to have grants for the arts, initial funding is hard to secure.  The arbiters want to see a solid financial base, and having the 2015 finances in place will do just that.

5. Save $$. There are plenty of discounts to be had on the Kickstarter page

  • old dormSave a buck on your ebook subscription.  Regular $17.99, $17 on Kickstarter
  • Get 50% off year 2 when you buy the year 1 back issues: 8 issues for $60 instead of $80
  • Critiques are roughly half off regular rates
  • Save $10 on an Hour Stories workshop
  • Save $100 by booking your writing retreat before Dec 2nd!

4. Paying Writers and Artists.  Our writers are paid 50% on publication and 50% when the sales targets for an issue are reached.  By purchasing back issues and new subscriptions through the kickstarter you are bumping up the sales and helping us pay writers and artists sooner.

3.  Free ebooks.  All our print magazine rewards on the Kickstarter page come with free ebooks or digital subscriptions that you can ask us to give to a friend if you don’t read ebooks.pulp pile

2.  Karma.  Supporting the arts and putting money towards something you enjoy or appreciate is just good karma.  Even a $1 donation helps fill up your karmic piggybank!

1. These are stories you won’t forget. Enjoy them.   And enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing you’ve helped us bring them to your doorstep for another year.

If all these reasons don’t convince you to sign in to Kickstarter, we understand completely.   A paper bag of crumpled notes stuffed through the mailbox will still get you a subscription … as long as your name and address is on it somewhere.  Just easy on the cows, okay?

Domenichino155

Free Workshop Tonight!

Have you thought about submitting short stories to literary magazines?  If not, why not?  Tonight at our free talk with the Golden Ears Writers in Maple Ridge we’ll discuss

  • Why short stories are a great way to launch your writing career
  • How stories in literary magazines can improve your own book sales
  • Where and how to submit
  • What catches an editor’s eye
  • How to learn from rejections (we all get them!)
  • Acceptance! Now what? Working with an editor
  • Capitalizing and growing your brand from your short story publications

GEWThere will be plenty of time for questions and answers, and we’ll talk specifically about the types of stories and writing we look for in the slush pile at Pulp Literature.

Join us for a convivial evening with fellow writers:

Tuesday 18 November, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Arts Centre Theatre
11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
(at 224th, north of Lougheed)
admission free, all welcome!

green man

Interview with the Green

From the Beer Faerie to her great grandaddy, today’s interview is with the Green Man from Margaret Kingsbury’s haunting spec fic story ‘The Longing is Green when the Branches are Trees’, due out in Pulp Literature issue 5.GreenManSept16

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Roaming through forests that rise and fall over hills and mountains, sap and bark scenting the air.
  2. What is your motto? Grow.
  3. What is your greatest fear? Fire and man.
  4. When and where were you happiest? The centuries I lived as a yew in my grove, our branches entwining, our leaves whispering to one another in the wind.
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? To humans my skin of bark, to trees my rootless wandering.
  6. Who are your favourite writers? The ones that publish online and write e-books.

Kingsbury Author PicMargaret Kingsbury’s short stories and poems have appeared in Expanded Horizons, NonBinary Review, and in the anthology Battle Runes: Writings on War.  Her fairy tale, post apocalypse novel, currently undergoing revision, was recently awarded honourable mention in the Diverse Writers/Worlds grant.  You can follow her on twitter @MargaretKWrites.

‘The Longing is Green when the Branches are Trees’ will appear in the Winter 2015 edition of Pulp Literature, due out in December.  You can preorder your copy here.