End With a New Beginning

The End:

EXT. SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR

Vader’s ship spins out of control with a bent solar fin, heading for deep space.

 INT. DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT

Vader turns round and round in circles as his ship spins into space.

Spinning that Vader craft out into space saves a great enemy for use in the next Star Wars film. But, it also brings just the touch of doubt and darkness that the hyper-positive medal-awards scene needs, as it concludes the film.

Even stories that will not be reprised, need a hint at conflict after the end of the story.

It’s vital to leave a plot aspect or two un-sorted at the end. With future conflict, we readers feel the satisfaction of knowing that the story is part of something bigger than itself.

For example, Sarah Waters in her literary paranormal novel The Little Stranger, opens the end out wide at the end, in a most satisfactory manner. This reader sat muttering, “Is that what I think it means? Yes. Yes, it is.” Readers feel satisfied with the ending, understanding that there won’t be a sequel, but confident that the story still continues somewhere out there, creepy, brilliant, and beautiful. Metaphorically speaking, it’s one way great writers give us the big sky we long for.

Writing Tip 22

Note down the conflict that will continue after the end of the tale, even if, in your book, the entire cosmos is demolished. Good one.

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 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: 18 – 22 Mar

We’re in week 11 of our 2019 Year of Authors! Now that you’ve had some time to get adjusted to daylight savings, why not take advantage of the increased daylight hours with some good stories from your favourite authors? 

Here’s our line-up for the eleventh week …

18th – 22nd March 2019

Monday: Emily Osborne, Issue 17

Poet Emily Osborne Standing in front of seascape with mountains in background

Emily Osborne is a researcher, translator, and poet living in British Columbia, Canada. She earned a PhD in Old Norse-Icelandic literature from the University of Cambridge and recently held a postdoctoral fellowship in medieval literature and linguistics at the University of British Columbia. She has taught mediaeval literature and poetics at Cambridge and UBC and published several scholarly articles. Her poetry has appeared in The Literary Review of Canada and Symposium, and she was runner-up for Eyewear Publishing’s first Fortnight Prize. Emily has also published translations of Old English and Old Norse poetry in academic journals and books.

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Tuesday: Epiphany Ferrell, Issue 20

Author Epiphany Ferrell loose hair and red lipstickEpiphany Ferrell writes most of her fiction in southern Illinois at Resurrection Mule Farm, named for a mule that survived a lightning strike and was, according to sources, never “quite right” afterwards. She is an editor at Flash Fiction Magazine, and her story, ‘Every Town Has One’ appeared in Issue 20.

Issue 20 cover with tech-slum cover by Ben Baldwin

Wednesday: Eric Del Carlo, Issue 13

Eerie photo of author Eric Del Carlo

Eric Del Carlo’s fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Strange Horizons, and many other venues. His novels include The Golden Gate Is Empty, co-written with his father Victor Del Carlo, as well as the Wartorn series published by Ace Books, co-written with Robert Asprin.

Issue 13 cover by Zoran Pekovic

Thursday: Eric Johnson, Issue 12

Eric Johnson is a northern BC artist who specializes in watercolour and India ink painting. His work has appeared in such anthologies as Cloudscape Comics’ Mega Fauna and Epic Canadiana #2 (the second a collaboration with Bevan Thomas), and Seven Stories Press’s The Graphic Canon, Vol 1 (a collaboration with Michael Stanyer).

Issue 12 cover by Melissa Mary Duncan

Friday: Erin EvansIssue 20

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, glasses and close-upErin Evans grew up on the West Coast of Canada and has worked as a high school English and Creative Writing teacher for the past 18 years. She is passionate about her two children, husband, creative projects, bookstores, tea, and good food. ‘The Hub’ is a story that snuck up on her, and it is her first publication credit, as it garnered an honourable mention from Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in 2017.

Issue 20 cover with tech-slum cover by Ben Baldwin

2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Winner

No more bated breath … a winner has been selected.

‘Wife Giver’, by Josephine Greenland emerges as the victor of the 2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest!

The Queen Bee of flash fiction, Bob Thurber, issued this proclamation:

It was a tight race and a close call with all the pieces selected as finalists, but in the end I found this well-blended post-modernized traditional folktale sparkled brighter than the rest.

We are of a hive mind, and can’t wait to share this piece with our readers in Issue 23!

Honourable Mention

The shortlist was incredibly strong this year, and even though there is no runner-up prize the editors and Bob all agree that Honourable Mention goes to ‘Inherited Love of Unexplainable Things’ by Zoë Johnson.

Many thanks to our contestants with their sharp submissions of flash fiction.  Keep an ear to the ground for the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize opening May 1st!

Bumblebee collecting pollen

2019 Bumblebee Shortlist

We cringe at shorting lists, especially when it means getting rid of a wonderful group of bumblebees. However, there’s a prize at stake, so with warm regards to all the authors, we release the 2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest shortlist. You will find the top ten stories below, listed by author’s first name.

2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Shortlist

Andrew Owen Dugas ‘Throwdown’
Jess Simms  ‘The Werewolf at the Farmer’s Market’
Josephine Greenland  ‘Wife Giver’
Kate Felix  ‘Class Party’
KT Wagner  ‘Meals Not Eaten’
Nancy Ludmerer  ‘Summation’
Nancy Ludmerer  ‘Complicity’
Ron Lavalette  ‘Crickets’
Soramimi Hanarejima  ‘The Sublime is Difficult to Replifake’
Zoë Johnson  ‘Inherited Love of Unexplainable Things’

Stay tuned for the big reveal of the 2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Winner on Friday, chosen by our long standing flash fiction contest judge, Bob Thurber!

And poets, don’t forget the Magpie Award for Poetry closes this Friday, March 15th.  Send us your bright and shiny words soon!

Enter here

 

Draft Your 5-Year Plan

Your 5-year plan inspires with big results, as your future success motivates today’s work.

 “You may wish to write down your 5-year plan for writing, year by year.  What a splendid vista of accomplishment, I must say.”

-Day 23,  A Writer’s Boon Companion : Thirty Days to an Extraordinary Volume

Dorothy Parker famously announced, “I hate writing. I love having written.” That facile little mot has been quoted much too often, and no doubt is flitting about Facebook, making writers feel small and defensively ironic about loving to write, all around the world.

I believe we ought to feel big about our careers. We writers are working hard, not in order to pump out discouraging words to the world of other hopeful writers, but to add to the rich selection of reading material in our genres.

Writing Tip: Write your author bio, as it will read five years from now.

Imagine the next 5-year s’ worth of writing. Think about the money you intend to make from it (stifle that irony). Imagine how you’ll manage it, and pay taxes on it. Think about the shelf of stories, physical or virtual, and how many volumes you intend it to hold. Write your bio for 5-years from now. It’ll give you great direction, like writing the end of the book first, and that is another excellent practice.

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 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: 11 – 15 Mar

In honour of Pulp Literature Press’s fifth anniversary and of all the people who have contributed to our success we have declared 2019 our Year of Authors, celebrating the amazing artists and authors from the first twenty issues of Pulp Literature.

Every weekday we are featuring one of these creators on our Facebook page, and the issues that person contributed to will be on sale for a whopping 50% off.  Make a note of the authors and artists you’re following and jump on these deals.  Some print issues are rare and getting scarcer, so nab them while you still can!

Here’s our line-up for the tenth week …

11th – 15th March 2019

Monday: Eileen Kernaghan, Issue 5

Featured author of Issue 5, Eileen Kernaghan is also the author of nine historical fantasy novels and a three-time winner of the Aurora Award for Canadian speculative fiction. Her latest novel, Sophie, in Shadow (Thistledown Press, 2014) is set in 1914 India. An associated novel, Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural (2008) was shortlisted for the 2009 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, while The Alchemist’s Daughter (2004) was shortlisted for the Sheila Egoff Award for Children’s Literature. As well, her short stories and poems have appeared in many North American literary and speculative publications.

Tuesday: EL Firestine, Issue 2

Erin Lee Firestine, of Issue 2 fame, enjoys creeping people out more than is probably healthy (but we don’t judge). She makes jewellery and fairy wings in her spare time, enjoys cheese in all of its wide and varied forms, and dreams of moving to Canada someday, where she plans to build a truly ludicrous number of snowmen. 

Wednesday: Elaine McDivitt, Issue 18

Author Elaine McDivitt amusingly steering boat

Elaine McDivitt is a full-time partner in a landscaping business that grows perennials for garden centres. Her past includes fifteen years of training race-horses. She has two adult children who recall their mother constantly reading to them and to herself. Nine years ago she pursued her passion for writing by taking the Humber College mentor program. She loves her book club so much she works her holidays around it. Her story, ‘The Tape’, appeared in Issue 18 as the winner of the 4th annual Raven Short Story Contest.

Thursday: Elizabeth Armerding, Issue 13

Elizabeth Armerding lives in Vancouver, BC, and enjoys bikes, condiments, and leaving an unwelcome trail of glitter. Her poem, ‘F/G/C/F (Country Love Sestina)’ breaks down the components of love and a good country music song.

Friday: Emily Linstrom, Issue 10

Emily Linstrom is an American writer and artist residing in Italy.  Her work has been featured in a number of publications including Carve Magazine, Three Rooms PressA Women’s Thing, and The Wisdom Daily. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel, a Gothic horror-romance-comedy penned entirely by accident following her move overseas. Her story ‘Black Blizzard,’ a tale of the Depression-era American Dust Bowl narrated by an intrepid young fairytale enthusiast, was the 2015 Raven Short Story Contest winner.

Issue 10 small

2019 Year of Authors: 4 – 8 March

In honour of Pulp Literature Press’s fifth anniversary and of all the people who have contributed to our success we have declared 2019 our Year of Authors, celebrating the amazing artists and authors from the first twenty issues of Pulp Literature.

Every weekday we are featuring one of these creators on our Facebook page, and the issues that person contributed to will be on sale for a whopping 50% off.  Make a note of the authors and artists you’re following and jump on these deals.  Some print issues are rare and getting scarcer, so nab them while you still can!

Here’s our line-up for the ninth week…

4th March – 8th March 2019

Monday: Deborah WalkerIssue 3

Deborah Walker grew up in the most stereotypical English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. She writes all types of science fiction, horror and fantasy, poetry and short stories. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration. Her stories have appeared in Nature magazine’s Futures, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction and The Year’s Best SF 18.  Read her delightful short story ‘Aunty Merkel’ in Pulp Literature Issue 3, Summer 2014.

Tuesday: Diane TuckerIssue 3 & 8

Diane Tucker: triple threat Vancouver poet, novelist, and playwright. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and in more than sixty journals in Canada and abroad. Her first novel, His Sweet Favour, was released by Thistledown Press in 2009. Her most recent book of poems, Bonsai Love, was released by Harbour Publishing in 2014.  Her  poem ‘Caffe Pettirosso’ won the Magpie Award for Poetry in 2015, and she was the final judge for the 2016 Magpie Award.

Wednesday: Donald Dewey, Issue 5

Donald Dewey has published 37 books of fiction, nonfiction, and drama for such houses as Little, Brown, HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, and Carroll and Graf. His short story, ‘The Pledge’, appeared in Issue 5. The protagonist of ‘The Pledge,’ private detective Paul Finley, is also the protagonist of The Bolivian Sailor and two other published books in the series, Wake Up and Smell the Bees and The Fantasy League Murders.

Thursday: dvsduncan, Issue 8

Born in Vancouver BC, dvsduncan now lives in New Westminster with his lovely wife (frequent PL cover artist Melissa Mary Duncan) and a troublesome cat. He holds degrees in English and Landscape Architecture but it is life that has taught him the most. His stories are all true, though not factual. Make of that what you will.

Friday: Douglas Smith, Issue 12

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author whose short fiction has appeared in over thirty countries. His books include a novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope and Impossibilia, and the writer’s guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction. Doug is a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

2019 Bumblebee Longlist

The 2019 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Prize Longlist lives up to its name! The hive was packed full of busy bees this year, and the results of their hard work are golden, rich, and oh so tempting… Stay tuned for the release of the Bumblebee Shortlist mid March.

*Names appear in alphabetical order by first name. If you see a name more than once, that means an author has multiple pieces under consideration!

Andrew Owen Dugas
Erin Evans
Jenn Marx
Jess Simms
John Corry
Josephine Greenland
Kate Felix
Kate Felix
Kate Felix
KT Wagner
Laura Manuel
Lee Ching Kai
Mitchell Toews
Nancy Ludmerer
Nancy Ludmerer
Philip Scholz
Richard Arbib
Robin Lee Lovelace
Ron Lavalette
Ron Lavalette
Sarah Josephine Pendergraft
Scott C Bridges
Soramimi Hanarejima
Willow Croft
Zoë Johnson

Congratulations to all these talented authors for tempting us with their honeyed words.  Best of luck in the next round!

 

Pulp Literature Year 1 & 2

2019 Year of Authors: 25 Feb – 1 Mar

In the eighth week of our 2019 Year of Authors, we have a wonderful lineup of Pushcart and Rhysling poets… and Dave Beynon (award winning in his own right, just not a poet).

Here’s our line-up for the eighth week …

25th February – 1st March 2019

Monday: Daniel Aristi, Issue 13

Pushcart nominee and Issue 13 poet, Daniel Aristi, was born in Spain, and studied French Literature at the French Lycée in San Sebastian. He now lives and writes in Switzerland with his family. Daniel’s work has appeared in Queen’s Ferry Press Anthology 2016, LA Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction and Berkeley Poetry Review.
 

Tuesday: Daniela Elza, Issues 4 and 5

Another Pushcart nominated poet, Daniela Elza was a runner-up in the first ever Magpie Award for Poetry, published in Issue 4, as well as the first Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize in Issue 5. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy of Education and work tirelessly in Vancouver’s Literary community. Daniela’s latest poetry collection will be published by Mother Tongue Publishing in 2020, and she has a book on poetic collaborations forthcoming.

Wednesday: Darrell LindseyIssue 3

Donald Dewey has written some 40 books of fiction and nonfiction, including his latest Mosquitoes and Tortoises, from Sunbury Press.  As well he as contributed scores of stories to magazines and other periodicals. He has also had some 30 plays staged in Europe and the United States. Donald’s awards include those named after Nelson Algren and the Actors Studio. Dewey is a widower with one son and lives in Jamaica, New York. Darrell Lindsey makes our 4th Pushcart nominated poet this week. His poem, ‘Stone Horses’, appeared in Issue 3, and he won the 2012 Science Fiction Poetry Association Contest (Long Form category) while his haiku and tanka have garnered numerous international awards. 

Thursday: Dave Beynon, Issue 20

Another author with a background too varied to list, Dave Beynon’s stories have appeared in periodicals and anthologies, received an honourable mention in The Best Horror of the Year, and he was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett Prize.  He grew up on farmland in Southern Ontario and now lives in a small town outside of Toronto with his family.

Friday: David Clink, Issue 2 & 14

Another Rhysling Award nominee this week! David Clink has four collections of poetry including The Role of Lightning in Evolution from Chizine Publications. He hosts and  organizes the annual Dead Poets Society Night in Toronto. His poem ‘A sea monster tells his story’ won the Aurora Award for Best Poem/Song in 2013.

Developing Strong Characters

Whether a manuscript crosses an editor’s desk, or is loaded onto an e-reader, readers will read on if the author invents characters in which they’re invested.

Intention vs Reaction.

There are a lot of ways to do that—resonance, unique situations, careful plotting–but the clear path most often missed in the manuscripts I read, is “protagonist’s choice, not reaction.”

It’s easy to miss opportunities for the protagonist to make choices.

Events happen in Act 1  that feel strong enough knock the protagonist into Act 2. But, it doesn’t matter how perilous or unique the events we devise for a story may be, if the hero is simply reacting to events, then we don’t have an engaging character.

Events force choices.

Those choices should be grindingly difficult for the protagonist to make. In this way, the same events that provoked mere reaction in a first draft, create satisfying character development in a second draft.  And the reader reads on.

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 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.