Category Archives: News

Friday Live Readings

The Pandemic, the Press, and You

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you in some way. (If you have been living under a rock, stay there — it’s safer). For us at Pulp Lit, many things have not changed.  We’re writers and editors, and we like working at home in isolation — revel in it, even!

We have always conducted our business meetings virtually, and our day-to-day operations haven’t changed.  However Pulp Literature Press will feel the effects. Conventions, booklaunches, and retreats are an important part of what we do.  They get our books out in the community and let us engage with writers and readers in person.

This will be a hard year for us financially with so many event cancellations and the Canadian dollar plummeting due to oil prices.  It will be hard for our authors and artists too. We’ve already seen one of our favourite bricks and mortar stores, the Wylde Wood Collective, close its doors due to the crisis.  Here’s what we’re doing to help out our readers and our authors while keeping our non-profit press alive.

  • We have linked our Patreon income to scaling pay rates for authors and artists.  When we reach $200 a month (we’re almost there now), our maximum pay for short stories will increase to $0.08 per word and go up to $0.10 per word at $400.  You can see more details on the Patreon page.
  • We will be livestreaming readings from authors every Friday at 10am pacific time starting today!  Each week will feature three different authors who will read and answer questions from the audience between 10:00 and 10:30.

Today’s live line-up

Our line-up for today features the amazing trio of CC Humphreys, Laura Kostur, and Mel Anastasiou. Humphreys

He’s an actor, playwright, and fight choreographer. Oh, he’s also an award-winning novelist.  CC Humphreys is the distinguished 1st Issue feature author, appearing again in Issue 14. He’s a chimaera, like so many of our authors — and professional in every field (if his 17 published books and plethora of acting credits are anything to go by).

Laura Kostur

Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, Laura Kostur finds inspiration from her surroundings and the wide variety of people drawn to the West Coast. Now employed in Communications with the Federal Government of Canada, Laura enjoy a job that allows her to write and edit every day, while interacting with a wide variety of people, and being of service to the public. When not at work, or working on her next novel, Laura can be found cutting and thrusting her way through classes at Academie Duello, a school of European Swordplay and Western Martial Arts. Laura currently works, fights and writes in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and possibly a dog, if enough people pester the aforementioned spouse into letting her adopt one.

Mel Anastasiou

Acquisitions editor Mel Anastasiou co-founded Pulp Literature magazine in 2013. She helps writers develop through structural editing with the magazine, in addition to her weekly writing tips on, the popular ‘Writing Muse’ twitter feed, and through her non-fiction workbooks, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Toward and Extraordinary Volume, and The Writer’s Friend and Confidante.  Her fiction includes Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries, the Monument Studio Mysteries, and the Stella Ryman Mysteries.  In addition she is the chief illustrator for Pulp Literature and has produced two colouring books of renaissance-inspired artwork: Colouring Paradise and Dragon Rock.

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Hands by Rebecca Ruth Gould

Reaching from the pages of Pulp Literature Issue 25, Winter 2020, ‘Hands’ by Rebecca Ruth Gould explores connection, time, and memory — and the elusive nature of all that we try to hold onto. We are pleased to share with you an excerpt from this captivating story. 


by Rebecca Ruth Gould

What struck her most about him were his hands. They were long and lanky, like his body. Even more remarkable than their shape was the way he used them. When they first met, he shook her hands boldly and directly, as if it were a perfectly normal thing to do and not a violation of the law in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Taken aback, she forgot to respond. Her hand hung limply in his palm until he dislodged it. 

Just the day prior, she had read about a poet who, after returning from abroad, had been arrested for shaking a woman’s hand. She wanted to warn him: You shouldn’t do that. You might end up in jail for shaking my hands. But he must have known what he was doing, she reasoned, and who was she to tell him how to behave in his own country?

His hands didn’t fit anywhere, not in his pockets or at his sides. They dangled oddly from his arms, like an expert swimmer more at home in a lake than on dry land. The lines on his palms were long, stretching from his wrist to his index fingers. If a fortune-teller — like the one she had just consulted with in Hafez’s tomb in Shiraz — had been asked to read his palms, she would have predicted for him a long life, a fulfilling marriage, and many children. His hands were like an autonomous body. She imagined them keeping her warm at night, soothing the aches in her back, providing a resting ground for her lips, caressing her hips. 

Before they said goodbye that magical night in Tehran, she asked him why he’d decided to shake her hand. Without answer, he waxed lyrical in a different direction. “I dream of working wonders with my hands,” he said. “I want to become a perfumist. I want to make magic potions and aphrodisiacs based on ancient Iranian traditions.” Although it was not an answer, it opened a new mysterious horizon onto his soul. She wanted to know more. 

To find out what happens next, pick up your copy of Issue 25, Winter 2020 here!

Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of the poetry collection Cityscapes (Alien Buddha Press, 2019) and the award-winning monograph Writers & Rebels (Yale University Press). She has translated many books from Persian and Georgian. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was a finalist for the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry (2017) and for Lunch Ticket’s Gabo Prize (2017). Visit her website here.

2020 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Winner

As a fitting reminder to cut the suspense, a bumblebee buzzed past one of our editor’s windows today. From Bob Thurber, the humblest bumblebee we know, we have our winner:  Kate Felix with ‘Shayna’s Eulogy’, just edging out runner up Kim Martins with ‘Let’s Start with the Horse’.  The finalists were all so excellent that we editors couldn’t resist picking another, and the  Editors’ Choice goes to Mitchell Toews with ‘Piece of My Heart’.

To quote Bob Thurber: “A fine batch of finalists this year.  All of them fun to read and so interesting to ponder.”

Queen Bee Kate Felix brings home golden pollen to the tune of $300, and her story will appear in Issue 27, Summer 2020.  The runner up and editors’ choice stories may also be published if space is available.

As always, we thank the writers, readers, and judges who make these contests possible. Your hard work fuels this busy hive!

While you wait for these wonderful stories to appear in print, why not check out contest judge Bob Thurber’s newest anthology If You’d Like to Make a Call … Please Hang Up.  The title story first appeared in Pulp Literature Issue 12, and we’re delighted to see it out in the world again with siblings.


The 2020 Bumblebee Shortlist is Here!

How sweet it is to share with you the shortlist for the 2020 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest! The stories are judged blind, so it is always exciting to discover the authors who make the final round. The winner will be announced Sunday, March 15. For now, the final contenders:

‘Green, Green, & Green Again’ by Elaine Crauder

‘Let’s Start with the Horse’ by Kim Martins

‘No Shade’ by David R Yale

‘Parable’ by Meghan Romano

‘Piece of My Heart’ by Mitchell Toews

‘Shayna’s Eulogy’ by Kate Felix

‘The Devil’s Due’ by Natassia Orr

‘The Slippery Man’ by Hannah van Didden

‘Titrating’ by Jacky T

‘Trudy Takes Charge’ by Kate Felix

Congratulations to all the authors. And thank you for making judge Bob Thurber’s decision so deliciously difficult!


Throwback Thursday: The Fishmonger’s Wife

Each week we are taking a look back at the authors, stories, and poems that captivated us in 2019. Today we offer you an excerpt from ‘The Fishmonger’s Wife’ by Michael Bracken, from Issue 21, Winter 2019

The Fishmonger’s Wife

by Michael Bracken

At the bottom of the ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the fishmonger’s window, someone had written, ‘No Mermaids’. I flipped the collar of my navy pea coat up over my gills and went in to ask him why.

“It’s me wife, see,” said the fishmonger, a grizzled little man missing two fingers on his left hand. He cocked his head to the side as he took me in, from the dark woollen watch cap pulled tight over my ears all the way down to the duffel bag leaning against my sealskin boots. “Me wife she say they eats all the fishes. I got nothing but fishes, what’s the matter one or two little fishes go missing? I say me wife’s jealous.”

“Of mermaids?”

“Not just the mermaids she’s jealous,” the fishmonger said. His breath smelled of island rum. “She think all the women want me.”

“Do they?”

“All the time I’m here, how do I know for the women want me?” The fishmonger continued eyeing me. I stood half again as tall as he, with broad shoulders, thick chest, and powerful arms evident even though the pea coat covered my torso. “For why you come in here ask me about mermaids? You want for a job?”

I told him I did. I didn’t tell him the smell of fish intoxicated me.

“Why you want for a job?”

“I’ve tired of the sea.”

“What ship you be from?”

I named one that had just left port, a whaling vessel I had often seen in the North Sea.

“A name you got?”

“Morgen,” I said, from the Welsh meaning sea-born, though I doubt the fishmonger knew that. “Morgen ap Rhys.”

“Tomorrow you start,” he said.

To find out what happens next, pick up your copy of Issue 21, Winter  2019 here!

Michael Bracken, recipient of the Edward D Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for lifetime achievement, is author of several books, including All White Girls and Psi Cops, and more than 1,200 short stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Hot Blood:  Strange Bedfellows, The Best American Mystery Stories 2018, and many other anthologies and periodicals. He lives and writes in Texas. Visit him at or on Twitter @CrimeFicWriter.

Open for Submissions

Short fiction submissions are open at Pulp Literature Press,  and we’re looking forward to reading gripping, well-written stories across the genres. (Note that we don’t publish YA, Erotica, Religious, or Memoirs/Biographies.)

We strongly suggest reading an issue or two before you submit to give you an idea of the types of stories we publish.  Please read our submission guidelines carefully before sending in your work.

Sign up here to receive our free monthly newsletter with announcements of contests, launch dates, and submission windows.

Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Open to Entries

The 5th Annual Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest opens 1 January 2020

Short fiction up to 750 words, for a top prize of $300. 

Your Earlybird Entry discount is on now at $10 until January 15, 2020.

Get an editorial critique for only $20 more. 

The Bumblebee Contest is judged by flash fiction master Bob Thurber,  winner of numerous awards and author of the novel Paperboy.

Contest opens:  1 January 2020
Deadline:  15  February 2020
Winner notified:  15 March 2020
Winner published in:  Issue 27, Summer 2020
Prize:  $300

Enter Herebumblebee1

Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon 2019

Back by popular demand we bring you our holiday afternoon of swordplay, readings, and tea-drinking, set amid the annual artisan fair at Academie Duello.  This year, we’ve upped the excitement and deliciousness with a baking contest, open to all! Read on for more details …

Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 15 December, 11am – 5pm
Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay
412 W Hastings, Vancouver BC
RSVP here!

The Artisans

Here to tempt you with all things delightful, the artisans of this year’s event have got your holiday shopping list covered! From artwork to playtime. From tasty treats to literary feats. From leather to clay to metal. Our vendors, with their fabulous creations, make shopping local the must-do of the holiday seaso:  Big Pear, Crossed Promise, Donald’s Eye Chainmail Jewellery, Geekcessories, Hussar Armoury, Ian and Quintin’s Leatherworks, Illuminated Geek, Ilena Lee Pottery, Miss Livia Rose, NYWN Art, Scrap Paper Entertainment,Tiger Butter Etc, and Wildwood Spiderling.

The Authors

With readings that span genre, geography, and generation, storytime just got fabulous! So lend an ear as the words of Akem, CC Humphreys, Gregory Brown, JJ Lee, JM Landels, Laura Kostur, Matthew Hughes, Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki, and others take you on adventures near and far.

The Books

What the Wind Brings

Sunday is the official launch day for the trade and ebook versions of What the Wind Brings by Matthew Hughes.  We released the hardcover earlier this year, and it’s been gathering some very positive press.   If you’re on the fence about whether or not to read it, why not let the words of these reviewers and interviewers sway you?

  • Locus interview here
  • Amazing Stories reviews here and here
  • SFFWorld review here
  • BCBookLook review here
  • Goodreads reviews here

Have they convinced you to read it for yourself? Good! Let’s get a copy in your hands!  Choose from limited edition hardcover, trade paper-back, and ebook. Then join us at our 2019 Literary Launch and Swordfighting Salon to get a signature and listen to a reading from Matthew himself.

Pulp Literature Issue 25, Winter 2020

You’ll find our big 25th issue hot off the presses at the launch! With the beautiful red pointe shoe of On Thin Ice, cover artist Ann-Marie Brown (who will be appearing in person at the launch) offers the poignant opening act. Just as a dancer en pointe appears weightless, suspended in a moment of grace, so too do our authors, balancing the weight of beauty and sorrow.

  • Blood and booze set the stage in ‘Wrap Party’ as featured author AM Dellamonica takes us behind the scenes of community theatre.
  • It’s turtles all the way down as Frances Rowat explores the itch and scratch of reckoning in ‘The Smell of Antiseptic’, and Graham Robert Scott and Wallace Cleaves consider the weight of legacy in ‘A Parable of Things that Crawl and Fly’.
  • Two very different genies awake when Susan Pieters casts off ill-fitting confines in ‘Buddha in a Bottle’, and Akem explores capture and deliverance in ‘Shotguns and Jinn’.
  • Elusive moments slip away as Rebecca Ruth Gould’s ‘Hands’ and Allison Bannister’s ‘Ghost Room’ remind us that love and memory are companion phantoms.
  • Adult children ask what is owed by a daughter to her mother, and a son to his father, as our Hummingbird contest winners, Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki and Chad V Broughman, explore loss and longing in ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Featherweight’.
  • Poets David Troupes, Matthew Walsh, and Nicholas Alti deftly guide us through landscape, dreamscape, and escape, each finding unique ache in the ties that bind.
  • And finally, two fan favourites reappear: Mel Anastasiou’s Frankie Ray arrives in Hollywood in part three of The Extra, and JM Landels gives us a prequel glimpse of Irdaign, her twin sister, and the caper gone wrong that sets the wheel of the Allaigna’s Song trilogy in motion.

Order issue 25 here or pick it up along with back issues at a 3 for 2 deal on Sunday!

The Great Bookish Bake-Off

Put down your pens and pick up your rolling pins, it’s a cookie contest, a bar brawl, a tart tournament. It’s The Great Bookish Bake-Off!  This year as part of the Literary Launch and Swordfighting Salon on December 15th, we are inviting you to take place in a baking contest.

Bring two dozen homemade cookies, bars, tiny tarts, or savoury snacks that would look at home on a 3-tiered high tea platter and we’ll give you a free ebook and enter you in our prize draw. Plus your creations will compete to win prizes for the tastiest treats. Bonus prizes for literary allusions and swordy themes.

If you don’t bake but you do eat, you can join the ranks of our judges (aka all the attendees) in delivering your verdict popular vote.  In addition to all this deliciousness there will be author readings and signings, an artisan craft fair, and (natch) swordfighting. See you there with your finest fare!  Entry to the event is free, but please RSVP so we have an idea of how many pots of tea to brew.

The Swordplay

In between shopping, sampling sweets, and enjoying author readings and signings, be sure to catch three thrilling displays of swashbuckling by Academie Duello’s daring demo team.

The Silent Auction and Door Prizes

As you browse the artisan fair, be sure to check out the bid sheets for our silent auction.  There are books, artwork, jewellery, and delicious treats, as well as gift certificates for adventure to be had.  The auction closes at 4:30, and the prizes will be drawn by 5:00, so be sure to enter the prize draw and keep an eye on your bids!

Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 15 December, 11am – 5pm
Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay
412 W Hastings, Vancouver BC
RSVP here!

The Pulp Literature Advent Calendar

Every December growing up, my brother and I received traditional European Advent calendars which offered a lovely and festive countdown to the big event, an agonizing twenty-four days later. Lightly dusted with silver sparkles, they displayed Christmas trees or Santa’s workshop, angels or snow-draped fields . No chocolate treats here, the delight was in the suspense of carefully peeling open each day’s window, wondering what magical scene was playing out beneath.

Our very own 24-day Advent Calendar

With twenty-four fabulous back issues, one to mark each day of Advent, we hope to share with you the joy and magic of the season. When you purchase an issue on its corresponding day, not only will you be collecting great literature, but you will also receive a special gift!

If you choose print copies of the magazine, you will get  a mixture of digital and tangible prizes.*  If you purchase a digital copy, you will receive an ethereal surprise.

A daily email countdown

If you’d like to take the element of chance out of the equation, sign up for our daily email where we will crack open each window early.  We’ll give you a heads-up on the day’s bonus before you buy, along with an inspirational quote from Your Writing Muse.

The Mega-Deal

And if fear of missing out has you worried, we have a super offer for you:  buy our complete six-year collection in print or digital form at any point during the 24 days before Christmas, and you’ll receive all the bonus gifts!

As we begin this holiday season and our look back at the great issues of the past, I feel the same suspense I did as a child, knowing that with each day comes the treasure of the season’s familiar comforts and of the unexpected surprises along the way.

Sign up for our Advent Calendar here, and explore back issues of the magazine here.

*Subject to availability — some print issues are limited, so be sure to get yours early!

2019 Raven Contest Shortlist

It wasn’t easy winnowing the longlist for the Raven Short Story Contest down to ten finalists, but in the end, we succeeded.  Here, in alphabetic order by author first name, is the shortlist

  • Claire Lawrence for ‘Life Supports’
  • Hannah C. Van Didden for ‘The Pang’
  • Jonathan Sean Lyster for ‘Dad’s Ghost’
  • KT Wagner for ‘Wax Agatha’
  • Matthew Vickless for ‘Understudy’
  • MFC Feeley for ‘Dannemora Sewing Class’
  • Michael Donoghue for ‘Life4Sale’
  • Rob McInroy for ‘Zoroman’s Cave’
  • Robert Bose for ‘The Last Wave’
  • Soramimi Hanarejima for ‘Controlling the Means of Production’

Congratulation to these authors for claiming the next rung in the pecking order.  Tomorrow we’ll discover the final verdict from judge JJ Lee!