Tag Archives: Bob Thurber

2015 Winners of the Hummingbird Prize

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Hummingbird Prize!

‘The Last Neanderthals’ by Cristina Crocker Escribano

Judge Bob Thurber says of this story:

In less than 700 words, ‘The Last Neanderthals’ depicts the precarious situation of an ancestral couple trying to survive tumultuous changes beyond their control. It’s a succinct and pithy glimpse of a people on the brink of extinction.  From the title on we know the ultimate outcome of what the story’s narrator suspects though he can’t quite grasp or articulate it.  The piece is atmospheric, prickly, tragic and satisfying. 

Congratulations to Christina, who wins the $300 prize.  Her story will be published in the Winter 2016 issue of Pulp Literature.

Runner up: ‘Dream House’ by Jennica Broom

In Bob’s words:

Dream House is playful, darkly whimsical, and daring good fun that becomes progressively more unnerving as it unveils a serious real-world soreness.

Jennica wins $75, and her story will be published in Issue 9 as well.

We have also chosen two Editors’ picks, stories that stuck with us:

‘Vellum’ by Andrea Lewis

‘Chipping’ by Jono Naito

As with last year’s Editors’ Picks we hope to offer these authors standard story contracts within the next year.

711L71ogtQLWe’re very sorry to keep everyone waiting until 2016 to read these such great stories.  In the meantime please enjoy the free e-book on offer from our hard-working contest judge.  Bob Thurber’s novella Cinderella She Was Not won the 2006 Meridian Editor’s Fiction Prize, one of Bob’s very long list of credits and awards.  We can’t thank Bob enough for his time spent on a tough decision regarding the winning entries; perhaps our readers can thank him with a review or a nod on their social media.

We were extremely impressed with the quality of the stories that came in this year, and it made choosing the winners hard!  For those who paid the additional fee for editiorial feeback, your critiques will be arriving by email soon.

We hope your pens and keyboards are hard at work generating stories of equal quality for the Raven Contest, which opens September 1st!

 

 

Hummingbird Shortlist

We’ve had some fabulous entries for the Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction — so fabulous that we had a hard time culling the stories for our final judge.  In the end, we sent a shortlist of 26 gems for Bob Thurber to pick from.  The winners will be announced on Wednesday, but in the mean time we want to congratulate these shortlisted authors for transfixing us with their wordcraft:

  • hummingbirdissue7Sarah Scott – ‘A Luminous Veil’
  • Tim O’Leary – ‘Adolf’s Return’
  • Jono Naito – ‘Chipping’
  •  Laura Carter-Stone – ‘City in the Hills’
  • Mike Glyde – ‘Dinner with Geoff’
  • Jennica Broom – ‘Dream Home’
  • Mason Boyles – ‘Escaping from Handcuffs’
  • Fred Waiss – ‘Extra-terrestrial Sex’
  • Melanie Whipman – ‘Heartless’
  • KT Wagner – ‘Hunted’
  • Andrea Lewis – ‘I Mean Everything in my Life up till Now’
  • Brittany Ackerman – ‘Into the Hudson’
  • Jonathan Naito – ‘Listerine’
  • Mark Russell Gelade – ‘Sour Times’
  • Grace Ayers Brewer – ‘The Bathroom Floor’
  • Michael Donoghue – ‘The Demise of Great Expectations’
  • Elizabeth Barton – ‘The Game’
  • Cristina Crocker Escribano – ‘The Last Neanderthals’
  • Laurie A Jacobs – ‘The Saffron Lover’
  • Pedro Ponce – ‘The Scales of Judas Iscariot’
  • Kai Kiser – ‘The Stoop’
  • Matthew Chabin – ‘Tito Uncanny’711L71ogtQL
  • Jim Geist  – ‘Turing Test’
  • Peter DeMarco – ‘Vacation’
  • Andrea Lewis – ‘Vellum’
  • Ace Baker – ‘Wave Runner’

To celebrate the Hummingbird Prize, our kind and generous judge, Bob Thurber, is posting one of his prize-winning novels as a freebie next week, July 13th -17th.  Cinderella She Was Not is modern, dark, and insightful. Check it out!

And if you are inspired to get in on the action for a $500 prize, start penning your entry to the Raven Short Story Contest now.  We open for entries on August 1st!

A Taste of Last Summer

The Hummingbird Contest closes on Monday. Do you have your stories in yet?

Our contest judge is Bob Thurber, master of short fiction.  To inspire you to inspire him, here are a few paragraphs from ‘Wager’, the first of his stories to be published in Pulp Literature.

I’m in this story, though only because I have to be, and I’ve taken liberties to keep my appearance to the barest minimum.  The truly important people are Tony and Phil.  You’ll need to excuse them both, especially Phil.  The poor bastard’s a wreck, jittery from lack of sleep, fuelled by too much coffee.  He hasn’t bathed, shaved or eaten since Thursday’s late afternoon breakfast, when he was chewing on a slice of rubbery bacon, commenting to Tony, his roommate and life partner, how premium quality, centre-cut bacon really should not be cooked on a paper towel in a microwave.

That’s when the phone rang and Phil answered.

The caller’s voice was flat, cold, nonchalant to the point of sounding breezy.  It was a voice right out of a Hitchcock thriller, in that moment right before some woman screams.  After a brief, rather one-sided conversation full of ugly and melodramatic references to shattered bones, torn flesh, broken teeth, the caller said, “Imagine how it’s going to feel to have both your eyes scooped out with a soup spoon, you deadbeat faggot.”

Issue 3 coverWant to read the rest? You can pick up the ebook version of Pulp Literature Issue 3 for just $2.99 for the month of June, and the print version is $3 off as well!  Click here to order.

Celebrating Summer!

We love summer!   After all, Pulp was born on a sunny deck on Bowen Island in July of 2013, and our earliest graphics featured books and beer on the beach.  While we eagerly await issue 7, we thought we’d celebrate the start of summer by offering back issues of last summer’s offering, Issue 3, on sale for the month of June.  Pulp & Prosecco

For this month only you can get the Summer 2014 issue, with stories by Governor General Award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod,  Hummingbird Prize judge Bob Thurber, as well as  Laird Long, Deborah Walker, Conor Powers-Smith, Fred Zackel and more.  Only $12 for print, and $2.99 for ebooks both here on our website and on Amazon. Crack open a cold one and get a head start on summer reading now!

Issue 3 cover

 

 

Contest Special: Paperboy by Bob Thurber

Bob ThurberWord must have spread about the keen eye and discerning taste of our Hummingbird Prize judge, the multiple award-winning Bob Thurber,  because entries are coming in a steady stream.  If you haven’t read anything by Bob, you don’t know what you’re missing!  To prove the point, we’re glad to announce that Bob has discounted his novel Paperboy for the duration of the Hummingbird Contest.  Yes, until June 15th, you can grab Bob’s ebook from Amazon for $4. (That’s half price!)  Folks, this is a man that made the New Yorker‘s list of authors who could weave magic in 25 words. Imagine what Bob can do with a whole novel!

Whether or not you are submitting to the contest, you’ll want to pick up a copy of PaperboypaperboyOnce you’ve had a taste of Bob’s writing, you won’t be able to stop.   Readers are immediately drawn to the narrator, a young boy whose dream is to be a paperboy, biking down a clean street where life is normal.  Because what he wakes up to isn’t.

In case we haven’t sold you yet, check out the reviews for Paperboy on Amazon.  While you’re at it have a look at Bob’s other books, and take advantage of this half-price sale while it lasts!

 

The Hummingbird is an Early Bird!

hummingbirdissue7Our contest is officially open!  You’ve a fortnight to enter the Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction for a discounted pittance, so sharpen your quills!  Pen us a story that will cut our senses to the quick, or dull them with delight!  Our 1000 word contest is limited to 300 entries, and until May 14th, just $10 will get you a chance of earning a solemn nod from final judge and flash fiction icon, Bob Thurber.  The $300 or $75 awards are definite incentives, but let’s not kid ourselves.  The real reward is the thrill of knowing for one moment, you owned the stage.   With words, you served the world up on a plate, and we bit.

Tell your friends!  Tweet the news!  Show your support of lit mags by entering the contest.  Or, if you can’t write worth beans, buy an issue or two.  We promise to intrigue and delight!

Spinning Straw into Gold

Life is full of pain.  As writers, we feel the blows keenly, yet the best of us utilize that pain.  Instead of letting tragedy or injustice overwhelm us, we turn our experiences into words.  We sit in an attic, holding on to the truth, and we dare to spin straw into gold.

Bob ThurberBob Thurber is a writer who transforms pain into beauty.  His dark past brings shadowy depth to his characters, and his dialogue bites like a call from home.  His voice is pure, simple, strong. He’s won or been nominated for every short fiction prize we know of, and it was pure pleasure to print his stories in Issues 3  and 6 of Pulp Literature.  We claimed, “Bob Thurber shines in the darkness like a Bic lighter in a munitions dump.”   We meant it.  When Bob offered to be the final judge for our Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, we felt we had won an award ourselves, and knew something big was about to happen.

Nothing But TroubleCheck out Bob’s latest collection of short stories, Nothing But Trouble, or his novel, Paperboy.  Check out his online micro-fiction at 50-Word Stories, and read his treasures in Pulp LiteratureAnd most important, for all you writers out there, our Hummingbird fiction contest opens on Friday, May 1st.   Entries are limited to 300, giving you a better chance to win, and there is an earlybird entry fee until May 15th.  For guidelines see our contests page.

Submit your stories to a true master.  Take your straw, and spin it into gold.

 

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!

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.