Tag Archives: Daniela Elza

Interview with a Pianist

This interview is a teaser for the flash fiction piece ‘Waiting for Twilight’, the 2014 Hummingbird Prize runner-up by Daniela Elza.  Savour this glimpse into the protagonist’s mind while you wait for the story to come out in issue 5.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Getting lost in the moment.  Or under a tree.  Or by the sea.  Where I am less aware of myself.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  Existentially?  That I have misread my life.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  To attempt to solve other’s problems when they do not want solutions.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Gossip. Judging other people. Small mindedness. Jealousy.  Is that too many?  Perhaps group them under “stop being boring and pathetic.”  There are much better things to waste your breath on.  Like, sing, for a change.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  I do not lie since I cannot remember what I said. But if it saves a life … maybe then.
  6. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  I was wondering …
  7. When and where were you happiest?  You mean am happiest?  When I create music.  Or write.  When I flirt with life.
  8. What is your most treasured possession? My piano, of course.
  9. What is your most marked characteristic?  It is hard to not pay attention.  It is hard for me to ignore people.
  10. What is your motto?  Do onto others as twilight will do onto you.  By which I mean ‘dusk’, not the book.
  11. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Waiting for Twilight’?  I love swimming.

elza.daniela.cropped with handDaniela Elza has won prizes in both the Hummingbird and Magpie Awards.  Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in close to 100 publications.  Daniela’s poetry collections are: the weight of dew, the book of It,  and, most recently, milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.”  Daniela was the 2014 Writer-In-Residence at the University of the Fraser Valley and the 2014 guest editor of emerge anthology.

You can find ‘Waiting for Twilight’ in the upcoming Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature, available for another week only 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!