Category Archives: News

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!

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day makes us think, among others, of soldiers who were also writers, filmmakers, and readers. We’ve heard about days of long boredom and tension between battles, when men and women waited, or worked to recover their health. We imagine them taking time for their passion for story in those calm moments.

They wrote poetry, essays, stories, and letters home. Scrounged film and took movies. And  even though work was sometimes lost, or forgotten afterwards in attic boxes, much survives. We think of Tolkien’s son Christopher reading tales of Frodo and the Ring his father sent to him at war, and Gertrude Stein driving ambulance in Paris, and then hosting fellow writers after hours. Did Wilfred Owen read his work aloud to other soldiers?

For those at war who made it home, we imagine their pleasure in returning to firesides, armchairs, and desks to read and write again.

The Hummingbird 2019 Longlist

I transformed my back patio into a hummingbird trap, and I have one very greedy female and her jellybean brood. It’s a delight to watch her flit back and forth between the blossoms and her babies, and it reminds me a lot of our annual Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize. The only difference? How many hummingbirds we get! See the longlist below and stay tuned for the shortlist coming Sunday, June 14th. If you see a name twice, the author has two stories worth celebrating!

2019 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Longlist

Ariel Basom
Beth Anderson
Candice Rubie
Chad V Broughman
Chad V Broughman
Colin Thornton
Daniel Aristi
Dawn Miller
Dawn Vrablic
Dietra Malik
Dylan Sealy
Elizabeth Cockle
Emily Ruth Verona
Gary Kirchner
Hannah van Didden
Janey Small
Jeffrey Ricker
Jennifer Gerves-Keen
Joel Gutteridge
Kate Felix
Korena Di Roma Howley
KT Wagner
Leah Andelsmith
Leah Andelsmith
Mack Stone
Mike Donoghue
Nicole Iversen
Nicole Iversen
Norman Thomson
Olubunmi Oyinsan
Patricia Sandberg
Paul Cresey
Rhian Holvey
Rita Donovan
Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
Teya Hollier
V Bjarna

2019 Year of Authors: 29 April – 3 May

Come gather up fiction, poetry and art!  Arrange them in your home in dazzling displays, plant them in your own creative gardens, and gift them to friends, family — strangers, if you like! Our issues are a delight in all seasons, but with spring comes longer hours to spend spread out among the flowers, good book settled in the fresh growth. Welcome to week 17 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors — delight in what our authors and artists have to offer!

29th April – 3rd May 2019

Monday: Jennica BroomIssue 9

Jennica Broom’s story ‘Dream Home’ was the runner up in the 2015 Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction.  She lives in Orlando, Florida, where she spends her time writing and baking. She received her MFA from the University of Central Florida, and her work has appeared in Minerva Rising and Quad Literary Journal. Her blog is the stuff of binging (much like her baking, we suspect).

Tuesday: Jenny Blackford, Issue 15

Jenny Blackford is a poet and author based in Newcastle, Australia. Her poems have appeared in The Pedestal Magazine, Strange Horizons, Star*Line and Rhysling anthologies, as well as various anthologies and venerable literary journals. Pamela Sargent called her subversively feminist historical novella set in ancient Greece, The Priestess and the Slave, “elegant.” Her first poetry chapbook, The Duties of a Cat, was published in 2013 by Pitt Street Poetry. And she speaks so. Many. Languages.

Wednesday: Jessica Barksdale, Issue 18

Jessica Barksdale’s fourteenth novel, The Burning Hour, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in April 2016. Her novels include Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When You Believe. A Pushcart Prize, Million Writers Award, and Best-of-the-Net nominee, her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in the Waccamaw Journal, Salt Hill Journal, Little Patuxent Review, Carve Magazine, Palaver, and So to Speak. She is a Professor of English at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and teaches novel writing online for UCLA Extension. She holds an MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the Rainier Writers Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Thursday: JJ Lee, Issue 2, 7, 8, & 17

JJ Lee presents a Christmas ghost story every year on CBC Radio in British Columbia. He mentors a non-fiction workshop at Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio. His memoir, The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit, was a finalist for a Governor-General’s Award for Literature. He’s illustrated two of our covers, written three featured stories, and a fourth is forth-coming. He’s prolific, yo.

Issue 8 cover art by Mel AnastasiouIssue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Friday: JM Landels, Allaigna’s Song: Overture, Issue 12, Pulp Literature Print Collection

JM Landels divides her professional time between writing, editing, drawing, and teaching people to swordfight from horseback. She holds a BA in Mediaeval English Literature from UBC and may some day return to her doctorate in Arthurian Romance at University College London.  She has been a freelance editor since 2003, and co-founded Pulp Literature Press in 2013. She has no hobbies, since they all tend to turn into professions. Her debut fantasy bestseller, Allaigna’s Song: Overture is available from Pulp Literature Press, with the sequel due out later this year.  You can also find serialized bits of both novels in past issues of Pulp Literature along with her short story ‘Masquerade’ in Issue 12.

Issue 12 cover by Melissa Mary Duncan

Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Magpie Award for Poetry

The scent drifting from our window sill must have let you know the pies are done … and the results are finally in.  We have a Magpie Award for Poetry to dish out! Contest Judge Renée Sarojini Saklikar mulled it over, sampled each offering, and came to these conclusions:

Kudos to all the entrants for a strong showing in a short-list of 10 poems, each with merit . I enjoyed the intelligence, beauty, wit, and ambition of each of the poems on this year’s short-list. Here are my three top choices.

First Place Winner: ‘A Short History of Space Travel’ by Susan Haldane:

Everything works in this finely wrought poem filled with metaphorical layers, weaving together myth, space, and gorgeous imagery.

The title situates us into a narrative arc, comprised of four specific prose poems whose sentences end in line-breaks timed to please both eye and ear (no easy feat).  We are entranced by the poem’s atmospheric pulse that merges prose with lyricism, and takes us on a journey of parallel, closely observed moments, each one evoking something far larger than the created snap-shot.  “If we are made of stardust, we are made of ashes too.” I couldn’t stop thinking about this poem! I want to meet its maker!

First Runner Up: ‘whiskey breath’ by Jack Waldheim

I loved the audacity of this unabashed ‘country ‘n’ western’ style lyric columnar. A song of heart-break, whiskey, cats, dancing: a whole ecosphere of longing, just made for saying out loud, thanks to precise line-breaks. This poem stayed loose on my tongue, with each line falling into the next.

Second Runner Up: ‘The Last of the Iron Lungs’ by Roxanna Bennett

A most excellent title, enticing us into this long concept poem.  Its metre is a bit like blank verse, with over-flowing four-line stanzas that utilize a wonderful poetic device, the ‘drop down line’.  That movement on the page instills in our eyes a visual space that adds to the overall experience of the poem. (see Dylan Thomas in his poem,Fern Hill’).

The striking thing about this poem was the way the ‘factoids’ of the Greek myth were used to evoke a kind of fable-warning about our current eco-crisis as well as share the story of a speaker with a disability.  

Renée Sarojini Saklikar

You can’t keep the magpie down, much like these winning poets, whose poems are as tenacious and flashy as this contest’s namesake.  See them in all their glory in Issue 24, due out this autumn.  And for those of you who identify with another flashy avian creature, the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize is just around the corner, opening May 1st.

About the Judge

Renée Sarojini Saklikar recently completed her term as the first Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Her latest book is a BC bestseller: Listening to the Bees (Nightwood Editions, 2018). Renée’s first book, children of air india, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry. Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015,) a City of Vancouver book award finalist. Renée’s chapbook, After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees, (above/ground press, 2016), was a finalist for the 2017 bpNichol award. Her poetry has been made into musical and visual installations, including the opera, air india [redacted].  Renée was called to the BC Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor, served as a director for youth employment programs in the BC public service, and now teaches law and ethics for Simon Fraser University in addition to teaching creative writing at both SFU and Vancouver Community College. She curates the popular poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU and serves on the boards of Event magazine and The Capilano Review and is a director for the board of the Surrey International Writers Conference.   Renée belongs to the League of Canadian Poets and The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC) and is active on the TWUC Equity Committee. She is currently working on an epic-length sci-fi poem, THOT-J-BAP, that appears in journals, anthologies and chapbooks.

The 2019 Magpie Award Shortlist

Let’s cut to the chase; you’ve been waiting to hear about the Magpie Award for Poetry results for a while now! We offer up the shortlist as a means of compensation for the weeks of suspense. Poets are listed alphabetically by last name.

Kelli Allen
Roxanna Bennett
Chelsea Comeau
Susan Ford
Charlene Kwiatkowski
David Ly
Pattie Palmer-Baker
Roger Vickery
John Waldheim
Cara Waterfall

Congratulations to the shortlisted poets, and many thanks to all those who submitted, as well as to our hardworking first judges Emily Osborne and Daniel Cowper!

Now we really hate to do this, but this is a tough field of competitors and the final results are going to be in the oven a bit longer.   We hope to release the names of the winner and runners up of the 2019 Magpie Award for Poetry, as chosen by final judge Renée Saklikar within the next week.  Please be patient as the shortlist bakes to a delicious golden brown!


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


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!