Having realized there is no way we are going to process all these things in a candy overdose coma on the Saturday after Hallowe’en, we decided to extend the deadline for the contest to Tuesday. But then, nice people that we are, we thought it wouldn’t be fair not to extend the other deadlines as well. In an effort to regain our sanity we have staggered the closing dates as follows.
Monday November 3rd: Submission Call closes
Tuesday November 4th: The Raven Cover Story Contest closes
Wednesday November 5th: deadline for backers to get a free copy of Sidnye
So have fun on Friday, and use your weekend to get those submissions, entries, and pledges in! Happy Hallowe’en!
To celebrate the start of our first Magpie Award poetry contest, let me honour Max Plater, a poet from my very first writer’s group who passed along the best writing advice I ever received: trust your reader. As I continue to work through the submissions pile in our inbox, it is clear in the first paragraph which writers have learned to trust and respect their audience’s ability to perceive and follow the delicate rabbit trail. The writers with a true voice, that elusive quality so much sought and praised, reveal an intense intimacy and vulnerability (even if it is only leaked through the cracks.) Lesser writers smack of explanation, of grand action spelled with capital letters, and leave no room for lingering footnotes in the reader’s mind. The Golden Rule of Writing is this: trust your reader as you trust yourself. A writer must dig inside his own soul, wrestle with his art, and dare to go all the way down the rabbit hole. Because if he does, we’ll follow.
I once drove a friend home from a dinner party, and though I wasn’t sure where she lived, I drove confidently for five minutes before my friend asked me where I was headed, since she lived in the opposite direction. I turned around and asked her why she hadn’t said anything earlier. She said, “You just seemed so certain of where you were going.”
Good writing is like good driving. Good writers power forward with such confidence, that we as reading passengers are sure they’re going somewhere important. We stick along for the ride and put up with a lot of uncertainty about the destination because we trust the writer. We are lulled by their clean manner and professional style. We are engaged because they take us off the humdrum freeway and onto the scenic route. We give our allegiance to the intensely focused voice, the strong sense of purpose, the magnetic direction of burning truth. Good writers gain our trust so we don’t want the journey to end. Good writers can take us anywhere.
Pulp Literature is now re-opened for submissions. Good Drivers Wanted.
We confess it. We look forward to feasting on our new submissions.
Not sure what has happened in the past few weeks (could it be the successful kickstarter campaign?), but we’ve been getting fabulous stories in all shapes and sizes, a veritable smorgasbord of literary creations. The hot list of items that we three editors are sharing with each other is getting longer and longer, and our excitement is growing for Issue Two.
Keep your stories coming, and we promise to stop gorging ourselves at some point soon and send out acceptance letters. And if we’re smart, we’ll save room for dessert.
Most writers starting out don’t make much money. They generally wind up paying out lots of money upfront for conferences, for memberships, for websites, for contest entries, for business cards…all in the hopes of eventually breaking even, then getting a real income. We at Pulp Literature find ourselves in a similar situation. In order to promote our magazine, we have volunteered our own time and money to get the website started, the illustrations drawn, the submissions read… We don’t expect to earn an income this year.
But we want our guest writers and artists to earn. We want to pay you first.
Our established feature writers have agreed to donate their works if there is not enough funding. They’re trying to support new writers. As well, Jen, Sue and Mel have agreed to donate their works if there isn’t enough funding. When the kickstarter ends, and our budget is clear, we will offer contracts to our approved submissions and let them know how much we can afford to pay. We would like to offer seven cents a word, but the reality might be less.
We may not make much money our first year, but we can offer a different kind of dividend to our writers and artists. We can offer a new network and a cool community. We can offer publication credits and a printed format that you can brag about and give your parents at Christmas. We can offer a place where your work will rub shoulders with well-known writers who are generously supporting our project. We hope you can also support us by submitting your work and spreading the word.