Tag Archives: Rob Taylor

The Affirmative Action Submissions Opening

The recent US elections revealed an ugly underbelly of fear and bigotry that surprised the world and has terrified many marginalized groups across the country.  We here at Pulp Literature feel for our American friends, most of whom are not racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, or anti-immigration.  And while we can’t open Canada’s borders for you, we can open submissions.

To balance the rhetoric coming from south of the border, we are calling specifically for stories that give voice to the rest: to queers, women, immigrants, indigenous people, disabled people, and people of colour.  We want stories by and about humans of all shapes and sizes: feminist, LGBTQIA, people of colour, Métis, First Nations, differently-abled … any and all segments of the population historically lacking representation in the mainstream.

12-issue-spiralBut what if you happen to be a straight white dude?  We’ll still read your stuff, but it will help to have a character with at least one of the above attributes, and who is convincingly portrayed.  Don’t think it can be done?  Read Bob Thurber’s ‘Wager’, PE Bolivar’s ‘The Lament for iCarus’ and Rob Taylor’s ‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’.  They’re all astoundingly beautiful stories by white North American men writing outside their own experiences.

Submissions will be open from November 15th – 30th.  Writers, poets, artists, send us your best and most diverse works.  We invite you to self-identify if you like.  We’ll look forward to your voices!

Submissions Guidelines here.

To read a sample issue, back our Kickstarter campaign at the $5 level.  We’ll send you your choice of back issue right away, no money down.

 

 

Pushcart Picks

At the end of our second year of publishing, we look back at 2015 and admire the works we have printed.  It’s a bit like when I tucked my kids into bed, and thought, what amazing creatures.   That lasted about two minutes, then I went back in and told them to go to sleep.  Fortunately, our four volumes of stories are much better behaved than my children, alice_munro_stampalthough some of the works are trying to creep off the shelves and earn international recognition …

It is my pleasure to announce five writers nominated by Pulp Literature for a Pushcart Prize, in an envelope mailed with three Alice Munro stamps for good luck.  Our nominations:

Rob Taylor, Hummingbird Award Winner,  ‘Here I Lay Down my Heart’ – Issue 5

Kate Austin,  ‘Wax-Winged Icarus’ –  Issue 6

Bob Thurber, ‘Beauty Takes Care of Itself’, and ‘The Manufacturing of Sorrow’ Issue 6

Wally Swist, ‘What is Essential’ – Issue 7

Diane Tucker, Magpie Poetry Winner, ‘Cafe Petirossa’ – Issue 8

Congratulations to all our nominees.  We hope those visiting our website will have their curiousity piqued and venture to read some of these favourites.  In every issue, there are more treasures to be had and more nominations we wished to make, were we allowed a greater limit.

Interview with a Father

This next Proust Questionnaire is a bit of a teaser, since Rob Taylor’s Hummingbird Prize-winning story “Here I Lay Down my Heart” will not be published until Issue 5.   We’re sorry to leave you in anticipation, but believe us, it’s worth the wait!

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? The past.
  2. What is your greatest fear? He pulled Mima tight and brought in only air. He reached and reached.”
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? “My child, he wanted to say, but the word wouldn’t come.”
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.
  5. On what occasion do you lie? Whenever necessary. Too often.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance? How little I can change it.
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Bo’ee elay.
  8. When and where were you happiest? Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning.”
  9. Which talent would you most like to have? Invisibility.
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting here.
  11. What is your most treasured possession? My dove.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic? Fear.
  13. Who are your favourite writers? Italo Calvino. Yehuda Amichai. Michael Chabon. Ernest Hemingway. Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
  14. What is your greatest regret? Oh to choose only one!
  15. How would you like to die? How matters less than that it is a long time from now.
  16. What is your motto? “Samaki, kuku, mbuzi!”
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from Here I Lay Down My Heart? Almost everything.Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor’s  first book of poetry, The Other Side of Ourselves, won the 2010 Alfred G. Bailey Prize.  He has also published four chapbooks of poems: splattered earth (2006), Child of Saturday (2008), Lyric (2010)and Smoothing the Holy Surfaces (2012).

“Here I Lay down my Heart was the first place winner in our inaugural Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, and the story will appear in Pulp Literature Issue 5, Winter 2015.  You can purchase a copy or subscribe 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.