Featured Author: Sophie Panzer

Ah, young talent! In the spirit of spring and new beginnings, emerging writers are a symbol of good things to come. Sophie Panzer, author of ‘The Commute’ (Issue 18), is brimming with fresh ideas and expression — fitting for our Spring Issue.

Sophie studies history at McGill University,  and was a finalist for the 2017 QWF Literary Prize for Young Writers, a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Silver Medal. We also have it on good authority that she is a fan of musicals and long walks in the woods.

If you’re wondering what the future holds for Sophie, we we can tell you a few things to keep an eye out for.  Issue 29 of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine and the inaugural issue of Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal will both contain poems penned by Sophie Panzer. Additionally, her chapbook, Survive July, will be released this summer with Red Bird Chapbooks. Her debut chapbook is “…a hybrid collection of flash fiction, text  messages, and mini plays that tells the story of a young woman struggling with her mental health and sexuality after her first year of college.”  We’re excited for it all.

To get you hooked on Sophie’s storytelling style, here’s a peak at ‘The Commute’ from the  newly released Pulp Literature Issue 18.

The Commute

by Sophie Panzer

There’s a demon in the metro again, which means I’ll be late to work for the second time this week.

“This is ridiculous,” I hear a woman behind me hiss as a small crowd of harried commuters throngs around the Atwater metro entrance. A sign in French and English reading, “Out of service 6h — 9h due to demonic paranormal activity. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience,” is affixed to the doors.

“This is the second time this month!” I turn to the source of the voice, a middle-aged woman with a severe haircut and a navy pantsuit. She looks and sounds like my mother, a formidable, wealthy matriarch from Westmount used to getting her own way in her office and on the synagogue board.

“The people who cut funding to the DPAM don’t even live here,” someone else wails. “If they had to deal with this commute, we wouldn’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

I’m already mentally drafting an apologetic excuse to my boss, Sharon, but I doubt it will do me much good. I’m working as a paralegal in her downtown office because she’s an old friend of my mother’s. She’s not my biggest fan, especially since I turned her son down for prom in grade twelve and called her out for being a tiny bit racist when she said the one black member of our congregation looked like her hair had been attacked by a vacuum cleaner.

  Spring into the rest of ‘The Commute’ in Issue 18!

 

Running with the Theme

Here’s a fun game—spot the theme, as stated in the first half of the first act of the novel or film, usually by a supporting character or similar. What about the moment in Spectre when Moneypenny, on the phone with Bond, tells James she can’t help him just then because she has a life, and he should get one too?  Because, there may be shooting, peril, fab inventions, and mad escapes, but in my view (not the only view, obviously) the film’s theme is, It’s hard to get a life, when you’re Bond.

 Your Writing Tip: Run with the Theme.

In The Wizard of Oz, look for Professor Marvel to state the theme in his conversation with the runaway Dorothy in Act 1. The theme is repeated throughout. There’s no place like home. So, for a strong line, write out the theme 3-6 different ways. You can use each of these in strong but subtle ways to draw out the theme throughout the story.

One Theme, Several Ways.

Here’s part of a list of different views on the same theme that I wrote for ‘Stella Ryman and the Ghost at the End of the Bed’, the ninth Fairmount Manor Mystery novella starring my octogenarian sleuth, trapped in a down-at-heel care home. (Pulp Literature, Issue 16.)

  1. Reach out or die.
  2. Without connection, we’re just bundles of cells in fleece warm-up suits.
  3. If we can let go of loving people, we might form new and greater passions. What would they be?
  4. Or, maybe it’s the other way around, and all the love we feel makes supports for more passions.
  5. In Fairmount Manor we residents are like hermits or saints, who must connect to nature because we’ve cut ties with the world.

(The author takes no responsibility for the views of her characters.)

I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and 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.  Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

 

 

Magpie Award Judge, Renée Sarojini Saklikar

It is our pleasure to welcome back the final judge for this year’s Magpie Award for Poetry, Surrey BC’s Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Surrey BC’s inaugural Poet Laureate, writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle.  Work from the project appears in journals, anthologies and chapbooks.  Renée’s first book, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award.

Renée is currently a mentor and instructor for Simon Fraser University, and co-founder of the poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU.  With Wayde Compton, Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015).  She is currently at work on the long poem, “Thot-J-Bap”, excerpts of which can be found in Eleven Eleven, The Capilano Review, DUSIE and The Rusty Toque, as well as in chapbooks published by Nous-Zot and above/ground presses.

We are delighted to have Renée onboard once more as the Magpie Award judge. Thank you, Renée!

The 5th annual Magpie Award for Poetry is open until April 15th.  Contest guidelines and entry form here.

Five Minutes, Five Stories: Pulp Literature Writing Tips

Even at the start of a new tale, it’s worth thinking about the next five stories in your body of work.

“Yes, the story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.” Jules Renard.

Talk about your cool self-confidence, Jules Renard. But it’s possible, even probable, that all our stories exist in Renard’s “some place,” viz. the fertile fields of our writing minds. It’s tempting to push these upcoming stories away to concentrate on the work at hand.

Visit five future tales

Without sacrificing progress on a work-in-progress, it’s worth taking a look now and then at the broader creative vista.

Your writing tip: take five

Take five minutes to list the next five tales before you. Your writing mind will benefit from this ‘heads-up’ (pun intended) on future plotting. And, in this way you remind yourself that you are not only writing, you are a writer by trade, and yours is a great future in our field.

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

Cheers, Mel

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and 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.

 

 

 

Author News: Greg Brown

Pushcart Prize 2018 CoverAt Pulp Literature, we know our writers are talented, and we want the rest of the world to know too! That’s why every year we nominate six of the authors whose pieces have especially inspired us for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Touted as “the best of small presses”, Pushcart awards honour those writers who excel at their craft. This year we are pleased to announce Pulp Literature author, Greg Brown, has been nominated by Pushcart judges for his short story, ‘Love’ (Issue 16).

Greg Brown is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He is a recipient of UBC’s Roy Daniels Memorial Essay Prize, and you can find his stories, criticism, and essays in Postscript, Paragon, The
RS500, Lenses: Perspectives on Literature, and Tate Street. His surreal short story ‘Bear’ appeared in Pulp Literature Issue 14.

We will find out if Greg’s story makes the final cut in May. Until then, we’ll give you a taste of the story that has Pushcart judges sitting up in their seats…

 

‘Love’
Greg Brown

We agreed as a family that the only thing to do was to bring Mom home for the next few months or weeks, whatever it would be. It’ll be hard, Dad said. But maybe it can be fine, too. Denisa was suspicious about the cost of it all — like the private nurse we’d have to pay for, where at the hospital it was free — although she didn’t put it like that, said that we’d be crazy to bring Mom into a place where there wasn’t any immediate care, because what if there was a problem like before, the thing with her stent that plugged up and caused some internal bleeding that almost wasn’t staunched in time?

She could’ve, Denisa said.

The oncologist had said October, and the late pale fog had come and now the
sky was mostly dimmed and gone by suppertime.

I said that I would only do it if we agreed that Pastor Karen would not come to
the house; I was not comfortable with Pastor Karen coming to the house. Jon and Dad looked at me a moment and said, Okay.

Denisa said, I don’t get what you don’t like about Pastor Karen.

And I explained why I didn’t like Pastor Karen.

And Denisa said, Well I don’t think it’s really fair to call her a liar.

And I explained why I thought it was fair to call Pastor Karen a liar.

And Denisa said, Well, by that standard they’re all liars. And then we’d all be
liars, too. The whole thing would be a lie. We don’t need lies right now.

I agreed with Denisa, especially about how we didn’t need lies right now.

Read the rest of ‘Love’ in Pulp Literature Issue 16. And check out Greg Brown’s ‘Bear’ in Issue 14, currently on sale!

 

 

 

Featured Author: John Davies

Author of ‘Tattoo’ (Issue 17), John Davies was born in Birkenhead, UK, and has had work published in Crannóg, The Manchester Review, RosebudOrbis, The Pedestal, QU Literary Magazine, Apex, and Grain. In 2016 he was runner up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature, and he won the RTÉ Guide Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. He organizes a regular creative writing group in Navan, Ireland, which can be found on Twitter: @Bulls_Arse. And if you’re interested in what John is up to himself, check him out @Johndavies1978.

Originally published in The Honest Ulsterman, June 2017, please enjoy another poem by John Davies, ‘Tom Waits’.

Tom Waits
After Tom Waits

Has only ever owned one hat,
but repositions it on a daily basis.
He tours according to the phases of the moon.
He once brawled onstage with a two-ton upright piano–
the piano got up on a nine count that was really eleven.
The index finger of Tom’s left hand is a tuning fork.
He wrote Innocent When You Dream inside a derelict Ghost Train.
Tom was cast as one of the original Dead End Kids,
though his scenes were cut from Angels With Dirty Faces,
the negatives burnt in a wicker man
then buried in a landfill near Ghent.
He was kicked out of the Rose of Tralee contest in 1984
for lacing the judges’ tea with poitín.
For showing the Roses his favourite pictures of carnival freaks.
In his refrigerator you’ll find Keith Richards’ lug wrench,
Jesus blood in a rabbit-foot phial,
a jar of artichoke hearts.
Sitting Bull stared into the campfire once,
conjured Tom out of blue flame.
Two parts smoke to one part bourbon.
Slinky for a backbone.
His resting body shape is a question mark.
Homeless he once slept inside an active volcano.
He plays the cement mixer at Grade 7 level.
He lost a game of dominoes to The Black Rider in Singapore
and it cost him that night’s dream in which Tom
trained a pack of junkyard rottweilers to yodel Edelweiss
for the Sultan of Brunei – in town for a Sultans convention.

He once fixed Barry White’s vocal cords
with nothing but a gelding clamp
and holy water (blessed by the Dalai Lama).
The traditional way.
There have been sightings of Tom’s ghost at the Tropicana Motel–
long since a Ramada Plaza on Sunset Strip–
cooking eggs over easy with a soldering iron,
writing valentines to the residents of Hollywood Forever Cemetery,
flinging them into the stove one by one.

– John Davies

 

 

John Davies can be found in Pulp Literature’s Issue 17, along with other brilliant poetry and prose.

Spring Fever Back Issue Sale!

Spring is here and the daffodils and cherry blossoms are busting out at last!  To celebrate we have pruned the prices on all our spring back issues in print format.  That includes Issue featuring JJ Lee, Issue 6 featuring Krista Wallace, Issue 10 featuring Carol Berg, and Issue 14 featuring CC Humphreys.  But hurry, this special ends March 31st!

Planes, trains, and automobiles transport us with tales from CC Humphreys, Colin Thornton, plus Joseph Stilwell and Hugh Henderson, as well as poetry from David Clink and Ian Haight. There are bears, boars, and kind-eyed villains from Greg Brown, William Charles Brock, JM Landels, and Susan Pieters, while the reaper himself makes a visit in Mel Anastasiou’s next Stella novella.  All that plus the winners of both the Raven and SiWC contests.  Jump on board … the journey’s just beginning!
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017 $14.99  now $9.99

 

Issue 10 small

Magical murder mystery by Carol Berg; monster hunting with Gregg Chamberlain; sleuthing with Stella and Mel Anastasiou; comic by Kris Sayer; poetry by Matthew Walsh, Ev Bishop, and Ada Maria Soto; flash fiction by Andrea Lewis and Stephen Case; short stories by Sarina Bosco and Susan Pieters; Allaigna’s Song by JM Landels; and literary fiction from the 2015 Raven winners Emily Linstrom and PE Bolivar.
Pulp Literature Issue 10, Spring 2016 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

Genre-defying fiction by  Krista Wallace, Bob Thurber, Laura Kostur, Theric Jepson, FJ Bergmann, Tobi Cogswell and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 6, Spring 2015 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

 

 

Our second issue of good books for the price of a beer, featuring fiction and artwork by JJ Lee, Sarah Pinsker, Trevor Shikaze, Milo James Fowler, AY Dorsey,  and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 2, Spring 2014 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

 

 

And if that’s not enough Spring for you, you can also pick up Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, hot off the presses right now!

The One Word Writing Tip

Some movie titles resonate over the decades, with just a single word:
GreedSupermanHeistMementoCharade.

 One Great Word

I’ve been reading Michael Connelly’s The Crossing. I admire the way he joins the inner and outer conflicts in the single word, crossing. The outer problem is finding the point of crossing between victim and murderer. The inner problem is that hero ex-cop Bosch faces crossing a line he swore he’d never cross, in order to solve a murder mystery.

Your Writing Tip: One Word Two Ways

Find one word that describes your protagonist’s story. You get bonus points for pulling off a similar grand feat as the one above. That is, connecting the inner and outer struggle through a single word with two meanings. Moments of clarity like this may help inform an entire story and save truckloads of revision time.

I hope you’ll have another  brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel.

Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.

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

Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

 

Winner of the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest 2018

Anticipation has built to a buzzing frenzy, and we’re happy to announce the winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest, sponsored by Duotrope and judged by flash fiction master, Bob Thurber. Like us, he felt the competition was stiff and each story possessed merit.

Do send along my cheers and congratulations to all the finalists. I was impressed by their fine efforts and obvious talent.  – Bob Thurber

Coming in as the honourable mention for this year’s contest is Alex Reece Abbott with her flash fiction piece, ‘Alphabet Soup’.  Bob Thurber had this to say about the piece:

I found ‘Alphabet Soup’ to be brave and daring, an inverted and upended 2nd POV narrative that is engaging throughout.

The winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest is ‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’, by R S Wynn. Bob Thurber tips his hat to the author:

Such a neatly crafted package, wicked fun to read. Consisting of five animated portraits with a small cast of quickly drawn characters frozen in familiar and alarming poses, it spills across the page, causes one to blink, and question, and remember. Like any good short work, poetry or prose, it’s a joy to reread just to appreciate the fresh flavor all over again.

 

We look forward to unveiling ‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’ in the Issue 19 of Pulp Literature, and encourage our readers and authors in the Vancouver area to drop by our Spring Launch this evening at the Cottage Bistro, where shortlisted author Jude Neale will give us a reading along with local authors Genni Gunn, Michelle Barker, Angela Rebrec, Susan Pieters, JM Landels, and special guest CC Humphreys.

To everyone who submitted their flash fiction, we thank you for your commitment to the craft and hope to see you next year!

Pulp Literature Spring Launch

Friday 16 March, 6 – 8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
FREE, but please RSVP on Eventbrite

 

Pre-order your copy of Issue 18 and save $2.
If you are picking your copy up in person, use the code LAUNCH to avoid shipping charges.