Tag Archives: contests

The Raven Takes Wing

September is like a second new year.  Even to those of us who are no longer in school, the slightly cooler but still-sunny days breathe fresh life into projects that have been lying dormant in the heat of summer, and invigorate us to pick up our tools of the trade and return to work with renewed vigour.

Brenda CarreThat makes September the perfect time to launch our third annual Raven Short Story Contest.  We’ve dropped the entry fee by $5 this year, and the number of entrants are limited to 200, making your chances of winning superb!  And we’re delighted to welcome back Brenda Carre who has graciously agreed to be our final judge again this year.

So take wing on fresh breeze of September, and send us your best short stories.  May the finest-feathered fiction win!

See contest guidelines here.

Spring 2015 cover image smallFor inspiration, and to glean what catches our judges’ eyes, you can read Raven winners and finalists from previous years in Pulp Literature Issue 6 and Issue 10.Issue 10 small

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8 Reasons to enter the SiWC Writing Contest!

Siwc

  1. At $15 (Canadian dollars) it’s about the cheapest contest around, yet has a $1000 prize.
  2. The winner and runner-up are offered publication in Pulp Literature alongside our 2017 feature authors!
  3. Did I mention the $1000 prize? (about $775 USD)
  4. You’ll ensure you write a finished story by the Friday, September 23rd deadline!
  5. The dozen or so shortlisted authors will be read by Diana Gabaldon and Jack Whyte, and that in itself is a reward.
  6. You’ve got good odds.  Despite the high award amount, this isn’t a well-known contest.   As far as I know, they place no paid advertisements and don’t put listings on free sites.  So lucky you for reading this blog post!
  7. Did I mention the $1000 prize?  (No wait, that’s now $800 USD…)
  8. You’ll be joining forces with a spectacular community of writers.  The “Surrey Conference” is known as the friendliest writing conference in North America, for good reason.  We highly recommend it!   (If you’re considering attending, hurry to sign up! They’ve almost sold out!)
    SiWC 2016 Contest Guidelines here!

 

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Congratulate Magpie Winner, Nicola Aime!

Magpie Award final judge Diane Tucker has revealed the three gems which will have everyone standing in line to purchase their Issue 12 copy of Pulp Literature (so order it now)!  Our winners spanned the continent, from Newfoundland to California, yet we are secretly pleased that this contest (judged blind) was won by a local Vancouver poet.  And mainly we’re glad because we’ll get to raise a toast to her in person at the book launch!  Without further ado,  Diane’s comments:

All the shortlisted poems contain clever and even beautiful imagery, emotion precisely and originally expressed, and an extraordinary amount of chutzpah. There isn’t a timid piece in the bunch.  But these three, in my opinion, do the work best.

Magpie Award ($500) to Nicola Aime for  “Dumb Love”
Judged by the contest’s own standard –  “a fusion of musicality, imagery, feeling, and thought” – “Dumb Love” is the winner in this group of poems. Every syllable in it serves the music and the rhythm and the story. The poem’s sustained metaphor, or family of metaphors, is never cheesily over-used or descends into mere punning. The poem’s perfect juggle of swooning passion and subtle and sardonic humour makes it a love poem truer than most to actual human love.  I feel it wants to be recited with a resigned smile.  And through all of this it sustains its music.  It is the most seamless of the entries, the most polished and fully-realized piece of work.

First Runner-Up: ($50) Katie Vautour for “Military Survival Training”
This is a dense, stony, jagged poem, longish but laser-focused, patient and cold and terrifying.  It’s a controlled, drawn-out pain, like a night of sleep spent clenching one’s jaw. Waking doesn’t make it better… It’s going to stay lodged in my head and make me think twice before I eat rabbit again.

Second Runner-Up: ($50) Marnie Eldridge for “Man.hunt”
Almost a complete contrast to “Military Survival Training”, “Man.hunt” is a hugely loose, flailing, overflowing tsunami of a poem.  It works as well as it does because its seemingly rambling passages have a fine strong thread running through them… Its chaotic music and gorgeous, determined fierceness sustain the patient reader.

Congratulations again to all our fine poets, and especially to Nicola!

George McWhirter, Judge of the Second Annual Magpie Award for Poetry

george mcWe are thrilled that George McWhirter, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate, has agreed to judge Pulp Literature’s Magpie Award for Poetry for a second time.

Last year’s finalists received not only his approbation, but in-depth and often extensive comments from a leader in the world of Canadian Literature.

We are most grateful and honoured to BC’s much-honoured poet, novelist, editor, and translator for saying yes to year 2 of the contest.

The closing date for entries to the Magpie Award for Poetry is April 15.


Here you will find an excerpt of George McWhirter’s  superb translation of “Solar Poems” by Homero Aridjis, at blogcitylights.

And here you will find a copy of his stunning poem “My Mother’s Red Shawl” on Alex Waterhouse Hayward’s blog.

 

Magpies on Cherry Trees

magpiesmallerIt’s the season for spring flowers in Vancouver, and the birds outside our window are singing their poetry to the beat of the wind in the trees.  (Our apologies to the rest of Canada.)   At Pulp Literature, it’s the season again for poets to submit their best works to our Magpie Award for Poetry, with final recognition given by Vancouver’s first poet laureate, George McWhirter.  Last year’s entries were inspiring, and the winner received $500 in addition to publication. Our contest is open until April 15th, and we challenge you — no, we double dare you — to make us cry, laugh, or revel in the awful beauty of this temporary condition called life.

Earlybird entry fees are in effect till March 15th.  Submission guidelines here.

Contest Alert!

Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng
Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng

Only a fortnight until the Ravens come home to roost! Our story challenge is to write a piece to link with this painting by Tais Teng. In addition to the $500 prize, the winner will be our Issue 6 featured author, an honour shared with award winning authors CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Joan MacLeod, Susanna Kearsley, and Eileen Kernaghan. If this sounds like good company, send us your story soon! We have a limit of 100 entrants. Your story needn’t capture all the elements in this fantastical painting, but should tie in to at least one of the visual or symbolic references.  Final judge will be CC Humphreys, so sharpen your quills and write!

Today, September 30th, is the last day you can submit your entry to the Raven Cover Story Contest at the earlybird rate of $20.  You’ve got till midnight — after that the fee goes up to $25!

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.

Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest Winners TBA Monday

 We can’t see them yet, but the winning stories of the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest are all set to make an appearance tomorrow.

The entries were wonderful, and I enjoyed every read.  I’m always impressed by Flash Fiction writers.  I write novellas and novels and I’m gobsmacked at the way you Flash Fiction Genii get

1. so many amazing ideas and

2. a fully satisfying story in a couple of pages.

I can’t wait to learn who won.   Again, the announcement will be on Monday September 15.

Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng
Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng

Our next contest is for a cover story. And what a cover! Tais Teng, you leave me … breathless.

 

hummingbird5Due to full mailbox issues here at Pulp Lit central we’ve extended the deadline for the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest to Monday 18 August.  That means you’ve got all weekend to get your stories in to us.

Heck, with a little caffeine, you can probably write two stories under 1000 words in that time, and double your chance of winning $300 and eternal fame!