Tag Archives: Ace Baker

The 2015 Magpie Award for Poetry

The results are in, and here is the report from the final judge, George McWhirter!

The finalists for 2015 were all masterfully precise and evocative at the same time, making a choice of top three not so easy. Finally, I opted for the following:

  1. ‘Caffe Pettirosso’ by Diane Tucker

I think the poem and poet speak for generations of café and restaurant goers whose main item on the menu is their sitting down to appear cool in a cool place, only to have, as on this visit, the afternoon light, the city’s flora and fauna outshine any of the bright lights and personae in the eating and drinking place. This other side of being part of the scene has just been waiting for this poem to happen—with its afternoon scenario, brilliant put-down and simultaneous illumination.

  1. ‘Water in the Way’ by Ace Baker

The drama in the poem of a trip (literal and metaphorical) into death and the consecration of the beloved dead-one’s remains, with the fish-shaped skull, to the deeps of mystery and the waters is spectacular. The moment of that fish arising out of those waters into indelible memory for the granddaughter and the poet solders emblem and epiphany to mine and makes a perfect consummation for the poem.

  1. ‘Wild Berry Suite’ by Jude Neale

This is an elegant and heartfelt elegy with resonant recollections and touching details, very human, very ordinary, but of that small order of the magically ordinary like the berries in the poem that once picked and basketed can be relished over and over with the wild bitter sweet mix of sadness and joy. The poem also mulls the rural and urban into a very special liquidity, the City of Vancouver and the countryside with the fluidity of the river that runs through both and which becomes the sound of Mary Greener Thompson to whose memory the poem is dedicated and that very easy to hear and listen to voice of the poet.

Congratulations to our three finalists, as well as to the rest of the entrants who gave them a hard run for their money.  Our first-place winner will receive $500 and the runners up each receive $50.  The three winning poems will be published in the Autumn 2015 issue of Pulp Literature.

We are thrilled to let you know that all three finalists are local and will be able to attend our awards presentation and reading on Monday May 25th, along with some of the other short-listed poets and both of our judges, Daniel Cowper and George McWhirter.

The Magpie Award for Poetry
magicforestmagpies3Poetry Reading and Award Presentation
Monday 25 May 2015, 6:30pm till ???
The Wolf & Hound, 3617 W Broadway, Vancouver

Please join us as we congratulate the winners with an evening of poetry and celebration!

Journey Prize

It is a lovely irony of literature that the largest Canadian prize for short fiction was endowed by an American.  James A. Mitchener’s Canadian royalties from his 1988 novel Journey fund the $10,000 Journey prize, or at least they used to, since the prize is now officially called “The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize.”  (It is also a literary irony that a man known for his lengthy novels — remember The Source? — endowed a short fiction prize; but Mitchener won a Pulitzer for his excellent collection Tales of the South Pacific.)

The truly fantastic aspect of the Journey prize is that it does not go into the coffers of writers who’ve made it in the publishing world, but to writers just getting started and who need both the money and the encouragement that this prize affords.  Nominees are “new and developing Canadian writers during the early stages of their career…  Writers who have published more than three books of fiction, or who have won national awards for their fiction, or whose fiction has already received substantial attention are not eligible for consideration.”

Part of Pulp Literature’s mandate is to publish works from emerging writers, so we had lots of material to choose from.  It was hard to choose only three stories, but after borrowing editions of past winners from the library, we three editors made our choices as to which stories stood the best chances of winning.  We are proud to announce and congratulate Pulp Literature’s three nominees for the Journey Prize:Mich_journey_1st_ed

SL Nickerson, ‘Only the Loons Know’
Pulp Literature Issue 1, Winter 2014

Trevor Shikaze, ‘The Tun’
Pulp Literature Issue 2, Spring 2014

Ace Baker, ‘Victory Girl’
Pulp Literature Issue 4, Autumn 2014

Best of luck to these deserving authors.  We’re rooting for you!

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!

Canvention Congratulations!

Issue 5

Issue 5

Congratulations to next issue’s feature author, Eileen Kernaghan, who netted an Aurora Award for her poem “Night Journey: West Coast” published in Tesseracts Seventeen by EDGE Publishing!

The Aurora’s were presented last weekend at VCon 39 / Canvention 34 in Surrey, and it was a great weekend for Pulp Lit.   Not only did we launch issue 4 with authors KL Mabbs and Ace Baker, our issue 1 and 5 cover artist, the supremely talented Melissa Mary Duncan was an Artist Guest of Honour and an Aurora nominee.   The fact that another Pulp Lit author, David Clink (‘The Lady in White’, ‘Death Smile’, Pulp Literature Issue 2) took second place in the poem category was icing on the cake.  And to top it all off, issue 7 feature author Robert J Sawyer was one of the eight inaugural inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.  Congratulations all!

Beer Fairie by Melissa Mary Duncan

Beer Fairie by Melissa Mary Duncan

It wasn’t all books and writing of course.  If you dropped into the Academie Duello demo on Saturday afternoon you would have seen the authors of ‘The Wolf’, Kimberleigh Roseblade and JM Landels, in a friendly sword and buckler match, while Susan Pieters (‘Glass Curtain’, ‘Capture of the Muse’, ‘Invisible’, ‘Below the Knee’) chatted with Stormtroopers, angels and inquisitors at the Pulp Lit table.

Rapier with JM Landels & Gareth Antle

Rapiers at noon with JM Landels & Gareth Antle

 

We had a fabulous time at VCon, and we hope to see you again their next year.  Be sure to subscribe, either here on the website or through our Kickstarter campaign, so as not to miss Eileen Kernaghan’s and Robert J Sawyer’s stories in upcoming issues!

Interview Behind the Barn

Our second Proust Questionnaire response comes from Uncle Sid, whom we met in Ace Baker’s Magpie Award Winning Poem, ‘Big Red Schoolhouse’.  You can find the poem in Pulp Literature Issue 4, Autumn 2014.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A little red tractor comin’ home at sunset.
  2. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Callin’ a spade a spade.  
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Not callin’ a spade a spade.
  4. What do you most dislike about your appearance? Mah missin’ digit—can’t give people the finger with that hand!
  5. What is your most treasured possession? A loop of rope.
  6. How would you like to die? With mah cowboy boots on.Baker
  7. What is your motto? “Early to bed, early to rise; men in the fields and wimmin makin’ pies.”

ACE BAKER has won the Magpie Poetry Award, the PNWA Poetry Prize, the SIWC Poetry Contest, and the Storyteller Award for Short Fiction. He maintains a website at www.fighttowrite.com and may be followed @writeracebaker

You can order Issue 4 containing ‘Big Red Schoolhouse’  as well as Ace’s award-winning short story ‘Victory Girl’ for $5 as an ebook or $15 in print (quantities limited) as well as full subscriptions and other backer rewards on our Kickstarter page:

The 2014 Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction

For the past few weeks author, raconteur, and stylish man-about-town JJ Lee has been reading through the longlist of flash fiction stories for the Hummingbird Prize.  That list, compiled by a panel of three readers was:

  • ‘WFF – Worst Friends Forever’ by  Ace Baker
  • ‘The Importance of Documentation’ by  William Masters
  • ‘Beauty Takes Care of Itself’ by  Bob Thurber
  • ‘Mermaid Hunt’ by  Holly Walrath
  • ‘Waiting for Twilight ‘ by  Daniela Elza
  • ‘Testing the Waters’ by  Ryan Seifert
  • ‘Last Train to Strasbourg’ by  Alexis Larkin
  • ‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ by  Rob Taylor
  • ‘Canoeing in the Tropics’ by  Hannah van Didde
  • ‘The Fundamental Clarity of Light’ by  Michael Patrick Eltrich
  • ‘Not All Magic is Nice’ by  Ev Bishop
  • ‘3D Monarch’ by  Katherine Wagner

Of the finalists, contest judge JJ had this to say:

“Short short stories demand much of writers: concision; commitment to a single, sometimes simple, idea or image that can resonate in a reader long after reading is done; and a willingness to somehow find space to bow the arc of narrative in the tightest of spaces. It is hard to get it right. The form is unforgiving.  So congratulations to all the finalists for their stories.”

Editors’ Choice

The variety of tone, genre and style in all these well-written stories makes picking favourites like choosing between apples and helicopters.  Once we editors read all the finalists we realized we wanted to publish more than two, so we each picked an honourable mention from the remainder of the longlist that we would like to place in a future issue of Pulp Literature  at our regular rates.  We’ll be contacting these authors directly.  The editors’ picks in no particular order are:

  • ‘WFF – Worst Friends Forever’ by  Ace Baker
  • ‘Beauty Takes Care of Itself’ by  Bob Thurber
  • ‘Mermaid Hunt’ by  Holly Walrath

Runner-up

‘Waiting for Twilight ‘ by  Daniela Elza
These contests are judged blind, so JJ had no way of knowing that the author of his runner up for the Hummingbird was also runner up for the Magpie Award.  Daniela will receive $75 for her story, which will be published in our Winter 2015 issue.

Hummingbird Prize Winner

‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ by  Rob Taylor
Rob wins the $300 prize and publication in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature.  Here’s what judge JJ Lee has to say about this poignant story:

“On the strength of its setting, naturalism, and the pleasure it takes in the search for language, ‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ wins the Hummingbird Flash Fiction contest.  Its author has created a small gem about a nighttime boat trip and a missing child. The author avoids sloppy dialogue and needless back story and, in less than 600 words, crafts a compelling tale which readers will rush to reach to the end.”

Congratulations to all the contestants who made the job of judging so difficult, but of reading so enjoyable!

The Raven Cover Story Contest opens today, so sharpen your quills and delight us with more of your work!

To read some of JJ Lee’s own short fiction, pick up issue 2 of Pulp Literature, featuring ‘Built to Love’, the story of a girl her bear, and the rise of the appliances.

Magpie Award Winners

The winners of the Inaugural Magpie Award for Poetry were announced last night at our Issue 3 Launch.

The shortlist, compiled by our poetry editor Daniel Cowper was, in alphabetical order by title:magpiesmaller

  • ‘Autumnal Equinox’, by Michael Patrick Eltritch
  • ‘Bear Medicine’, by Ryan Tilley
  • ‘Big Red Schoolhouse’, by Ace Baker
  • ‘Cocktail Noir: The Liquid City’, by Glenn Pape
  • ‘Grateful’, by Liya Khan
  • ‘Ice Fisher’, by Judith Neale
  • ‘intimacy requires more’, by Daniela Elza
  • ‘Riverbank’, by Ada Maria Soto
  • ‘The Arrangement’, by Judith Neale
  • ‘Wax-winged Icarus’, by Kate Austin

Contest judge George McWhirter was impressed with the overall quality of the entries, and from the shortlist selected the following poems, with this to say:

Honourable Mention

‘Riverbank’ by Ada Maria Soto, and ‘Cocktail Noir: The Liquid City’ by Glenn Pape.
The latter was “[A sparking piece that] … just couldn’t quit, like the persona, and if it had stopped after the first section, it would have been a contender for its seriously humorous subject and treatment of it.”

Second Runner-up

‘Autumnal Equinox’ by Michael Patrick Eltrich.
“… it is spare and unsparing, economical with its words and sad wisdom. The resonances in big words like ‘the end’ are orchestrated through the subject’s, the retired architect’s mind into an almost too-sharp perspective by the poet interpreting his position in time and his position on time. Very close to home for someone like me, in his seventies.”

First Runner-up

‘intimacy requires more’ by Daniela Elza
“[This poem] could have got tangled in the length of the analysis of this very delicate, but demanding subject, which itself is made up of demands.. It could have become too abstract, but then as its lines go, intimacy is more than being “shoved against    the wall/ opened       like a cupboard/ scribbled      on a scroll…” It’s hard to renew interest in things that rotate and reform, but they come back surprisingly in altered perspective with surprising phrasing. This is the kind of poem I would not normally keep reading, but I did with this one.”

Magpie Award Winner

‘Big Red Schoolhouse’ by Ace Baker
“The poem in 1st place, ‘Big Red Schoolhouse, keeps us up to our elbows in the muck of the moment and the situation with the calving.  I felt I was physically at the other end of the rope in my new jeans, and my uncle was a world away from where I was at and right beside me at the same time, handing me that rope to tie around the calf’s hocks to haul it out.  The poem is dynamic and dramatic in its details, as elegiac as it is realistic and beautifully sequenced through stanza and line.  I might even say choreographed, a choreographed chaos of feelings and action, dominated by a double dimension of obligation to the birthing and to the uncle.  Wonderful poem.”

We couldn’t agree more.  We were fortunate Ace was at the launch last night to receive his cheque for $500 and read his poem out loud.  We’re looking forward to publishing it and the runners-up, who will each receive a cheque for $50,  in the Autumn issue of Pulp Literature.  The contest was judged blind, so the judges had no idea when they selected Ace’s poem that it would end up published alongside his short story ‘Victory Girl’ in Issue 4.

Congratulations to all!