Growing a Writing Career

What moves us to take on a writing career? First, the spark. Then, a sense of determination. And a love of hard work. But at some point, as for our stories’ protagonists, we run into problems that present difficult choices. Here are two of the most common obstacles we face.

The Inner Obstacle

The inner obstacle tends to be either a lack, or a surfeit, of confidence; the former can freeze us into inactivity and sorrow, and the latter creates writers who are unwilling to learn.

For both these conditions, the determination to make learning about writing a lifelong goal, is a sovereign cure.

The Outer Obstacle in a Writing Career

The outer problem is often lack of hours in our day. Because we can’t expand the earth’s orbit around the sun, we must make tough choices.

As it happens, most of these involve breaking the addictions that are peculiar to our millennium. Less time on whatever these may be for each of us — bingewatching shows, or perhaps playing with our phones — gives more time in the day to draft, outline, revise, and market, without impoverishing our relationships and health.

I wish you another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel.

Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries was long listed for the 2018 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, and won the May 2018 Literary Titan Book Award. The Labours of Mrs Stella Ryman, volume two of the series, is here alongside volume one.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and the Monument Studio Mysteries starring Frankie Ray. She is a founding editor of Pulp Literature Press.

 

 

2019 Year of Authors: September 16th – 20th

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we have been offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Perhaps we’ve saved the best for last, but that’ll be up for you to decide. Please raise your glasses to week 36, the final week of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

16th – 20th September 2019

Monday: Valentina Cano, Issue 7

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. She also watches over a veritable army of pets. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Of the Web.

 

Tuesday: Wally Swist, Issue 7
Wally Swist has produced over three dozen books and chapbooks of poetry and prose.  His poems have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, such as Alaska Quarterly Review and Spiritus, the latter issued by Johns Hopkins University Press, as well as popular magazines such as Rolling Stone and Yankee. Readings of his work are online at National Public Radio and Sahara: A Journal of New England Poetry published a special issue devoted to his work in the winter of 2003.  His recent books include The Bees of the Invisible (Shanti Arts) and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature (Ex Ophidia Press).
 

 

Wednesday: William Charles Brock, Issue  14
William Charles Brock lives in LA, where he writes mostly screenplays but occasionally does short stories as a break. He enjoys weird things, like talking polar bears and dragons.
 

 

Thursday: William Kaufmann, Issue 17

William Kaufmann’s passion for writing is matched only by his passion for clay. He is an award-winning potter working in Western Wisconsin. His recently completed first novel, The Change, won the 2017 SDSU Conference Choice Award and is being shopped by Trident Media for publication.

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead

Friday: Zoran Pekovic, Issue  13
Zoran Pekovic is illustrator, animator, ux and graphic designer kindly nested in Montreal, Canada. His portfolio is called Pekta and his latest projects are “Relationship,” “Running,” and “Psychology.”
 

Issue 13 cover by Zoran Pekovic

2019 Year of Authors: Sept 9th – Sept 13th

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 35 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

9th – 13th September 2019

Monday: Tais Teng, Issue 3, 6, 8, 9, 19

Tais Teng works as a writer, cover artist, illustrator and sculptor. He also paints murals and decors for theater. When he was a bit younger he wanted to become a starship pilot, but writing and drawing those places isn’t too bad.  He’s been the cover artist for four issues of Pulp Literature and his story ‘Growing up with Your Dead Sister’ appeared in Issue 8.

Issue 13 cover art by Tais TengIssue 8 cover art by Mel Anastasiou

Tuesday: Theric Jepson, Issue 6

Theric Jepson is author of the novel Byuck and the novella Perky Erect Nipples, neither of which feature as many naked women as you might expect. You can find him online by visiting thmazing.com, or by just googling “thmazing” and clicking at random. He lives in El Cerrito, California, with his wife, three sons, and an unholy convergence of snails.

Wednesday: Tobi Cogswell (Alfier), Issue 6

Tobi Alfier (formerly Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Credits include  various journals in the US, UK, Sweden and Australia. In 2012 and 2013 she was short-listed for the Fermoy International Poetry Festival. In 2013 she received Honorable Mention for the Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize. “Lapses & Absences” (Blue Horse Press), is her sixth and latest chapbook. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review.

 

Thursday: Trevor ShikazeIssue 2
Trevor Shikaze from Edmonton, Alberta, enjoys long walks on the beach, fine wines, cheap whisky, watery beer, free champagne, and hangovers. His turn-offs include cat people, dog people, and mole people.
 

 

Friday: Tyner Gillies, Issue 1
Tyner Gillies, author of the novel The Watch, lives in the Fraser Valley of BC with a girl who is far too good for him and two moderately chubby cats. He’s a full time lawman, a novice scotch drinker, and a bit of a meat head. Tyner won the 2013 Surrey International Writer’s Conference non-fiction writing contest with the gut-twisting, beautifully written ‘Blood in Her Hair.’  His humorous fantasy ‘Of Siege and Sword’ in our inaugural issue was of an entirely different tone, and we’re delighted to be publishing another light-hearted dark story ‘The Lord of Lawn Ornaments’ in Issue 24, coming out this fall.
 

 

Gearing up for Writing: Writing Tips from Pulp Literature Press

First, picture a great spot to write in.

Better still, imagine several great spots, because a writing career shouldn’t depend upon a particular spot, or even a particular time of day. Imagine yourself happy at work, dealing cheerfully with interruptions, (or devising a way to avoid them), and returning to work.

Second, you might decide your next step.

Just one next step, because writing is complicated enough without multi-tasking. What is that next step?

If it’s too big for the time you have, you might chunk it down and identify the first bit of work. Imagine what it feels like to finish today’s writing work. What would it look like if the writing went smoothly?

Third, consider the drafting math.

The math is encouraging. If a writer has a cogent outline to write from – you might carry an outline notebook or blank outline graphic organizers through the week, for 5 to 10 minute free preparation time now and then – then 3,000 words drafted a week equals 2 short novels, about 70,000 words, or one longer novel, a year.

Have a great writing day. And I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career.

Cheers Mel

Did you know, there’s a new Stella Ryman book in town: The Labours of Mrs Stella Ryman.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and the Monument Studios Mysteries starring Frankie Ray as The Extra. Mel is Senior Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.

If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here

Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

 

2019 Year of Authors: Sept 2nd – Sept 6th

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 34 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

2nd – 6th September 2019

Monday: Susan Alexander, Issue 18
Susan Alexander is the author of The Dance Floor Tilts
(Thistledown Press, 2017). Her work has received poetry prizes from the Vancouver Writers Festival (2015), Grain magazine (2016), and the township of Whistler (2017). Susan’s poems appear or are upcoming in several literary journals and chapbooks across Canada.
 

Tuesday: Susan Pieters, Pulp Literature

Sue is a short story and novel writer who was part of the founding team for Pulp Literature, and one of her stories can be found in every issue. Sue has an MA in English Literature, but considers her experience as editor for the magazine to have been worth far more than any diploma. She invites (nay, challenges!) other writers to join the party and get their feet wet by volunteering for the magazine.

Wednesday: Susanna KearsleyIssue 4
Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator, avid amateur genealogist, and writer of modern gothic novels that interweave contemporary suspense and romance with historical adventure, meaning they don’t fit neatly into any category and are therefore a marketer’s nightmare.
 

Thursday: Susie TaylorIssue 13

Susie Taylor lives and writes in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. She won the 2015 NLCU Fresh Fish Award for her novel Dispelling the Myths. Her work has appeared in Riddle Fence.

Issue 13 cover by Zoran Pekovic  

Friday: Sylvia Stopforth, Issue  3, 19
Sylvia Stopforth is a university archivist. Her stories, essays,
and poems have appeared in Room, The New Quarterly,
[spaces], and Shy (University of Alberta Press). For more
than ten years she has served as a regular column editor for BC History magazine. Her short fable ‘Dragon Rock’ was turned into a sequential art story by Mel Anastasiou for the Summer 2014 issue of Pulp Literature and has since been published as a colouring book.
 

Issue 13 cover art by Tais Teng

Fewer Steps, More Time to Write

“You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then it still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.”

-Mitch Hedberg.

Fewer steps, more toast. I mean, more of your story written.

Drafting time may end up frittered away with necessary preparations for writing. Luckily, writers can take care of most of those necessary time-eaters in five to ten minute intervals. These can be slotted into a busy day throughout the week.

Four useful tasks that may be worked into 5- or 10-minute time slots

  1. Outline the next scene, or the character arcs.
  2. Write taglines and elevator pitches for the book as a whole.
  3. List 10 ways the next turning point might occur.
  4. Devise a central image for the next scene.

In fact, you may find that with these steps taken outside of drafting time that peaceful drafting hour, when it finally arrives, can really get a writer somewhere fantastic.

I hope you’ll have another great week in your writing career.

Cheers, Mel

Did you know, there’s a new Stella Ryman book in town: The Labours of Mrs Stella Ryman.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and the Monument Studios Mysteries starring Frankie Ray as The Extra. Mel is Senior Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.

If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here

Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

 

2019 Year of Authors: Aug 26 – Aug 30

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 33 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

26th – 30th August 2019

Monday: Soramimi Hanarejima, Issue 17

Image result for Visits to the Confabulatorium Soramimi HanarejimaSoramimi Hanarejima is a writer of innovative fiction and the author of Visits to the Confabulatorium, a fanciful story collection from Montag Press Collective. Soramimi’s recent work has appeared in various literary magazines, including Panoply, Foliate Oak, and Rigorous.
 

Issue 17 cover featuring stellar artwork by Britt-Lise Newstead  

Tuesday: Stephanie CharetteIssue 9

Recently from the wilds of northern Ontario, now transplanted to British Columbia, this cat-wrangling fountain pen enthusiast writes stories and is a graduate of the science fiction and fantasy writing workshop Viable Paradise. 
 

Wednesday: Stephen CaseIssue 5, 10

Stephen Case gets paid to teach people about space, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever. He also occasionally  gets paid for writing stories about space (and other things),  which have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, among others. His novel First Fleet (Retrofit Publishing) is a science fiction horror epic described as HP Lovecraft meets Battlestar Galactica. He lives with his wife, four children, and varying numbers of illegal backyard chickens in an undisclosed suburb of Chicago, and online at stephenrcase.wordpress.com.
 

Issue 10 small

Thursday: Stephen KosterIssue 12

Stephen Koster is never quite sure which way it is to Albuquerque, but he’s content in the meantime to dig tunnels, chew carrots, and be snarky. His work has been published in The Feathertale Review, Bide Magazine, Shooter Literary Magazine, Tincture Journal, and Spark:  A Creative Anthology, among others. 

Issue 12 cover by Melissa Mary Duncan

Friday: Summer Jewel Keown, Issue  20
Summer Jewel Keown in a writer of speculative and other fictions from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her short stories have been printed in Bikes Not Rockets, Hooser Lit, and So It Goes, the literary journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Library. She recently published the romance novel Painted Over under the pen name Sofi Keren. Follow her on Twitter @TheSummerJewel.  
 

Issue 20 cover with tech-slum cover by Ben Baldwin

 

2019 Year of Authors: 19th Aug – 23rd Aug

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 32 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

19th – 23rd August 2019

Monday: Sara Mang, Issue 20

Originally from Labrador, Sara was an artillery officer in the Canadian Forces before retiring to be at home with her three children. In 2017, Sara’s short stories were finalists for numerous awards including The New Quarterly’s Peter Hinchcliffe Award and the Disquiet International Literary Prize. She is currently an MFA candidate in UBC’s Creative Writing Program.

Issue 20 cover with tech-slum cover by Ben Baldwin

Tuesday: Sarah PinskerIssue 2

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the novelette “Our Lady of the Open Road,” winner of the Nebula Award in 2016. Her novelette “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” was the Sturgeon Award winner in 2014 and a Nebula finalist for 2013. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Daily Science Fiction, Fireside, and Uncanny and in anthologies including Long HiddenFierce FamilyAccessing the Future, and numerous year’s bests. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, among other languages.  This year she is celebrating the release of her debut novel Song for a New Day, as well as an acclaimed short story collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea.

 

Wednesday: Sarina Bosco, Issue  10 
Sarina Bosco is a chronic New Englander, full-time homeowner, and hiker of trails. She quietly pursues an interest in mythology from home. Her work has previously appeared in The Missing Slate, Corium Magazine, Town Creek Poetry, and others.
 

Issue 10 small  

Thursday: S.L. NickersonIssue 1

SL Nickerson, whose work has appeared in Analog and Kaleidatrope, is a Canadian astrophysicist at NASA Ames who recently completed her PhD in Zürich. She is an author of fantasy and science fiction.

 

Friday: Sophie PanzerIssue 18
Sophie Panzer recently completed a BA at McGill University and spent a year teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic. She is the author of the chapbooks Mothers of the Apocalypse (Ethel Press 2019) and Survive July (Red Bird Chapbooks 2019). She edits prose for Inklette and her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Coffin Bell Journal, Little Old Lady, Lavender Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Josephine Quarterly
 

 

2019 Year of Authors: 12th Aug – 16th Aug

It’s not every year you get to celebrate publishing 20 issues of genre-busting literature. We want our readers to reap the rewards, and our contributors to shine in the spotlight, so every week we are offering up a selection of deeply discounted past issues, based on one of the authors, poets, or artists whose work fills the magazine’s pages. Welcome to week 31 of Pulp Literature’s Year of Authors!

12th – 16th August 2019

Monday: Robert J Sawyer, Issue 7
Robert J Sawyer is a Canadian science fiction writer. He has published 24 novels, including FlashForward, the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name, and the Hugo Award-winning Hominids. Rob is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
 

 

Tuesday: Robert T JeschonekIssue 11
Robert Jeschonek is an award-winning writer whose fiction,
non-fiction, comics, and poetry have been published around the world. He has won a Scribe Award and the grand prize in Pocket Books’ Strange New Worlds contest. A full list of his publications is on his Wiki page. Visit him online at thefictioneer.com and support him on Patreon.
 

Wednesday: Roy GrayIssue 18
Roy Gray’s short writings and poetry have appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online journals. Another Roy Gray writes erotic poetry online—do not confuse them. Roy’s chapbook The Joy of Technology (Pendragon Press, 2011—now a self-published ebook) could persuade some he is that other, but this Roy’s poetic efforts remain decidedly chaste. ‘Bone Dry’ is his first successful graphic short story.
 

Thursday: RS WynnIssue 19

R.S. Wynn lives in Maine in an antique farmhouse, which she shares with her family and the perfect number of dogs (four, in case you were wondering). She earned an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her short fiction won Pithead Chapel’s 2017 Larry Brown Short Story Award.

 

Friday: S Ross Browne, Issue  15
S. Ross Browne studied Communication Art and Design at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA and Photography at The Corcoran School of the Arts in Washington, DC. Browne is a professional studio artist with over 23 years experience. With an emphasis on painting, he has exhibited domestically and internationally in over 70 gallery and museum exhibitions and is in multifarious private and public collections including the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Browne is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, paints and writes out of his studio in Richmond, Virginia.

 

Pulp Literature at When Words Collide

Calgary, we know we don’t say this often enough but … we’re coming to see you!

A lot has happened since our last visit; we published a debut novel from Cowtowner, Michael Kamakana; we put out several new issues; and by the time we touchdown at YYC for When Words Collide, Matthew Hughes’s magnum opus, What the Wind Brings, will have landed as well.  We’d love to catch up with you, so if you find yourself at Delta Calgary South for the 2019 WWC conference, stop by the Fireside room on Saturday (August 10th) at 2 pm.

In addition to Pulp Literature Presents, Jen Landels and Jessisca Fabrizius will be presenting at the following sessions:

Friday

  • 3:00pm – Hiring the Right Editor
  • 5:00pm – Common Manuscript Problems
  • 6:00pm – Storytelling with Swordplay

Saturday

  • 12:00pm – Pitch session
  • 2:00pm – Pulp Literature Presents
  • 8:00pm – Autograph Session

Sunday

  • 11:00am – David vs Goliath: Writing the mis-matched fight scent
  • 12:00pm – Live Action Slush – High Fantasy
  • 1:00pm – Cover Art Trends
  • 3:00pm – Live Action Slush – Urban Fantasy
  • 4:00pm – Blue Pencil Cafe
  • 5:00pm – Literary vs Speculative Fiction

Some of the other Pulp Literature authors  in attendance at WWC include Jasmin Nyack, Michael Kamakana, Robert J Sawyer, Robert Runté, and Pat Flewelling.  We hope to see you there as well!

Pulp Literature Presents
Saturday 10 Aug, 2:00 – 3:00pm
Fireside Room,  Delta Calgary South

RSVP here