All posts by PULP Literature

The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest Closes Saturday

Just a few left to enter the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize, so polish up your flashiest flash fiction for submission!

Looking for inspiration? Peruse these snippets from past Hummingbird Contest winners. All that furious fluttering should get the juices flowing.

2018 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 21
‘The Angler’
by Nicholas Christian

It’s said Jeki la Njambe has one crow’s foot and an antelope’s hoof besides. Jeki, they say, huddles around little liver-pecked fires, has one arm and it’s a real Misha. They say he fishes with it and you’ll know it’s that time by the smell of wet maple and iron-wood, or the whistling of hollow bamboo. Sure, they ramble such as it’s cooked, but you don’t go blaming a fire for making smoke. So just gather your ears from the field. I’m to straighten things, if my name ain’t Jeki la Njambe, and I tell you I know the right of it …

2017 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 17
‘Just Down the Hall’
by Jeanette Topar

Truth was, Mrs Cole had become a little afraid of 902.
Late in the evenings she’d hear 902’s footsteps slide across the tiled hallway, hesitating outside her door. “Is this my place?” her neighbour would ask. Mrs Cole would mute the volume on her TV and hold her breath as she sat quietly in her tidy living room waiting for the woman to shuffle away. The last few times Mrs Cole had encountered her, 902 was wearing nothing but a gray slip that blended with the colour of her skin and matched her hair — she appeared little more substantial than a shadow or dust mote hovering in the hall …

2016 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 13
‘Xuefei and his heart’
by Rebecca Wurz

Xuefei sat on a metal stool in the corner of the operating theatre. He’d been awake all night, and now, sitting in the quiet of the deserted room, he felt drowsy. He had transported the heart of the criminal executed at dawn from the prison infirmary to the university hospital’s surgical suite, built especially for this demonstration. American transplant surgeons, collaborating with Chinese colleagues, were scheduled to do the first heart transplant on Chinese soil …

2015 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 9
‘The Last Neanderthals’
by Christina Crocker Escribano

You say, No one is going to eat us, but I know better. The path of the forest is necklaced in footprints. The surface of the snow is scuffed and bloodied. They left no remains of skin or bone, just a fistful of hair that looks like our own. We stop and watch, for a long time, as if the blood was an outline, a shadow, a spirit blooming in the ice. You say the soul lifts from the body, but I see that it doesn’t …

2014 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 5
Here I Lay Down My Heart
by Rob Taylor

Hayim lifted Mima toward the dhow.  The captain knelt, grabbed her by her armpits and lifted her up, then lowered her into the hull.  Hayim tossed in his duffle bag and for a moment, in the thin skim of ocean and sand that skirts Bagamoyo, stood apart from all that mattered in his world.  Then he hoisted himself on board. Mima was already playing with the livestock and making friends with the other children. In the weeks since their arrival in Tanzania she had learned a mouthful of Swahili and was now in full song.  Samaki! Kuku! Mbuzi! she pointed and guessed, and the children laughed and nodded and were impressed.  Hayim climbed atop a mound of rice bags, maybe seven or eight deep, and pressed his duffle bag into the curve of the hull, punching it here and there with his fists, pounding out their shape.  Between punches images of Tel Aviv flashed in his mind — their old apartment, the table and chairs, dishes and books he’d filled it with. Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning.  Then Hayim lay down and his mind cleared …

The 2019 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize close June 15th. We hope to see your submission soon!

Read Hummingbird Contest winners and runners-up of years past in Issue 5, Issue 9, Issue 13, Issue 17, and Issue 21.
 Issue 5,  Winter 2015
 Issue 9, Winter 2016
 Issue 13, Winter 2017
 Issue 17, Winter 2018
Issue 21, Winter 2019


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.

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!

Here’s the Buzz: The 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist

Are we getting excited yet?  The winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist will be announced at our Spring Launch party this Friday at the Cottage Bistro.   In the meantime we’re delighted to announce the shortlisted stories.

The 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Shortlist

‘Alphabet Soup’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Breaking the Ice’ by Natalie Persoglio

‘Cinnamon Grace’ by Jude Neale

‘Crow Funeral’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by K W George

‘Gross Motor’ by Sara Mang

‘Inciting Insight’ by Soramimi Hanarejima

‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’ by R S Wynn

‘Special People’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Third Date’ by Nicole Vuong

Familiar Names

Congratulations to all these amazing authors.  The stories are judged blind, so we have no idea who the authors are until after the shortlist has been selected.  That said there are some familiar names that have come up.

Triple congratulations to Alex Reece Abbott who managed to catch our eye with three of her stories!  Regardless of the results of this contest, Alex’s piece ‘My Brother Paulie: A Domestic Space Oddyssey’ was an honourable mention for the 2017 Raven Short Story Contest and will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 19, coming out this summer.

Poet Jude Neale has been shortlisted for the Magpie Award for Poetry more than once, and her poem ‘About Light’ was published in Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017.  We’re delighted to see her short fiction also make the cut.

Soramimi Hanarejima has also been shortlisted for several our contests and his whimsical short story ‘The Theft of Confidence’ can be found in Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018.  You can pick up this and other back issues at our Friday launch.

We hope you’ll join us this Friday for the public announcement judge Bob Thurber’s pick for best flash fiction!

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.





Wanna schmooze? Join our Team

Become our Publicity Pro!

Pulp Literature Press has an opening for a new publicity intern.  Incredibly onerous duties include

  • visiting bookstores
  • attending writing and fan conferences
  • talking about Pulp Literature on social media
  • selling books at vendor tables
  • attending booklaunches

In addition to all this fun stuff there is a bit of work to do, such as writing letters to bookstores and libraries, researching marketing and book placement avenues, soliciting book reviews, and reporting back at weekly online meetings.

The position is unpaid, but in return we offer you

  • print copies of the magazine
  • monthly Hour Stories writing workshops
  • the chance to attend conferences and events for free
  • an inside look at the machinery of a small press
  • a voice in the direction of the press
  • camaraderie, and our undying gratitude.

The ideal candidate will have a love of fiction, enthusiam for the magazine, and live in the Greater Vancouver area.  However, we also need enthusiastic volunteers to spread the word in other parts of the globe, so don’t let your physical location stop you from applying.  Drop us a line at info(at) if you think you’d like to jump into this opportunity!



Beat the January Blues

The last of the gingerbread is gone, resolutions are falling by the wayside, and spring is still weeks and weeks away.  If January’s got you down, we have a treat for you:  it’s a back-issue blowout!  For the last week of January only, all back issues — that’s all print and ebook issues dated 2017 or older — are on sale for half price.  Use the coupon code BEATTHEBLUES to stock up your shelves at 50% off and help you survive till spring!

Awards Nomination Season: the 2017 Round Up

We love awards! As a multi-genre publisher we try to nominate our authors for as many awards as we can to help their careers along. For fan-based awards we rely on you, our fans who are members of organizations like the CFFSA and SFWA to nominate your favourites.  To help you sort out eligibility here’s a list of everything we’ve published this year, with the exception of reprints and novel exerpts, sorted by genre.  Stories that overlap genres may be listed more than once.

If you are interested in receiving complimentary review copies of any of these works please fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and don’t forget to put us down for consideration in your respective circles!

2017 Publications

Asterisks * indicate Canadian authors.  Contest winners are identifed following the title.  For lists of specific author identities, such as women writers, writers of colour, or self-identified LGBTQIA writers please email us at info (at)

Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror

Debut Fantasy Novel
Allaigna’s Song: Overture by JM Landels *

Novellas & Novelettes
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘The Case of the Cavalier’s Rapier’ by Mel Anastasiou *
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘The Highwayman’s Deception’ by Mel Anastasiou *

Short Stories
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘The Green Thread and the Blue’ by Carolyn Oliver
‘Mermail’ by Eric Del Carlo
‘How to Lose a Week’ by FJ Bergmann
‘Xuefei & His Heart’ (Hummingbird Prize Winner) by Rebecca Wurz
‘Better Watch Out’ by Anna Belkine
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017
‘Jonathan S Primrose Gets Eaten by a Bear’ by William Charles Brock
‘The Handler’ (Raven Contest Winner) by Pat Flewwelling*
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘Gret’ by Brenda Carre *
‘Pack Up Your Troubles’ by AM Soto
‘A Knight at the Royal Arms’ by Charity Tahmaseb
‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’ (Bumblebee Contest Runner-up) by Jay Allisan *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘The River’ by KC Dyer *
‘Clearing Out Nests’ by Brandon Crilly *
‘The Olde Town Haunt’ by Patrick Bollivar *
‘Think Tank’ by Susan Pieters *
‘The Wind of a Train’ by Erin Kirsh *
‘For Your Convenience’ by FJ Bergmann

Graphic Arts Short Stories
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017
‘Blue Skies Over Nine Isles’ by Joseph Stilwell & Hugh Henderson *
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘Gruff’ by Kris Sayer *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘The Vanishing Dot’ by Rina Piccolo *


Debut Mystery Novel
Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries by Mel Anastasiou *

Novellas & Novelettes
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘The Case of the Cavalier’s Rapier’ by Mel Anastasiou *
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017 
‘Stella Ryman and the Case of the Fallen Crusader’ by Mel Anastasiou *
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘The Highwayman’s Deception’ by Mel Anastasiou *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘Stella Ryman and the Ghost at the End of the Bed’ by Mel Anastasiou *

Contemporary, Literary, and Historical

Short Stories
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘Piano Music’ – by Susan Pieters *
‘Painted Nails’ (Hummingbird Prize Runner-up) – by Jenna Park
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017
‘The Ankle Bracelet’ by CC Humphreys *
‘Bear’ by Greg Brown *
‘Candy-Apple Baby’ by Colin Thornton *
‘Robin Hood’ – by Susan Pieters *
‘Forget Me Not’ (SiWC Contest Winner) by Claire Gregory
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘Cannery Row’ by Susan Pieters *
‘The Pool Guy’ by Adam Golub
‘Crushed Velvet’ (Bumblebee Contest Winner) by Ingrid Jendrzjewski
‘Sourdough’ (SiWC Contest Runner-up) by Angela Post *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘Love’ by Greg Brown *
‘Think Tank’ by Susan Pieters *

Graphic Arts Short Stories
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘It Rained Then Too’ by Anat Rabkin *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘The Vanishing Dot’ by Rina Piccolo *


Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017
‘The Third Day of Spring’ by Susie Taylor *
‘Amazon’ by Daniel Aristi
‘About Light’ by Jude Neale *
‘F/G/C/F (Country Love Sestina)’ by Elizabeth Amerding*
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017 
‘Birdhouse’ by David Clink *
‘Detroit V, VII’ by Ian Haight
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017
‘A Wassail in Ink’ by Nicholas Christian
‘The Hair in the Bag’ by Jenny Blackford
‘Inglewood Courts, Edmonton’ by Benjamin Hertwig *
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017
‘Garbage Disposal’ (Magpie Award Winner) by Oak Morse
‘Krang’ (Magpie Award Runner-up) by Leah Komar
‘Ghost Town’ (Magpie Award Runner-up) by Glenn Pape


Cover Art
Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries cover art by Kris Sayer*
Allaigna’s Song: Overture cover art by Melissa Mary Duncan*
Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017 The Shadow by Zoran Pekovic*
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017  Blue Skies Over Nine Isles by Hugh Henderson*
Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017 The Huntress by S Ross Browne
Pulp Literature Issue 16, Autumn 2017 Seabus by Akem *

Body of work, Mel Anastasiou: Pulp Literature Issues 13 – 16, Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries, inks for Allaigna’s Song: Overture.

Body of work, JM Landels: Illustrations for Allaigna’s Song: Aria in Pulp Literature Issues 13 – 16; pencils for Allaigna’s Song: Overture.

Layout & Design
Cover design for Allaigna’s Song: Overture and Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries by Kris Sayer.

Interior layout for Allaigna’s Song: Overture by Kris Sayer.

Interior layout for Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries by Claire Milne.



To request a review copy of any of these publications
please use the form below

‘Simple Decoration’ by Bob Thurber

Forget your last minute shopping and enjoy this timeless Christmas story offering from the reknowned Bob Thurber.

Simple Decoration

by Bob Thurber

It was all Jack that Christmas.

On the drive across town I thought of nothing else. Not my ex-wife, whose car I had begged to borrow, or my daughter experiencing her first Christmas without me.

My headlights carved tunnels in the slanting snow. I found a clear spot in a tow zone and bumped up onto the curb. I left the engine running, headlights on, not caring if I ever saw that car again.

My key still fit. I let myself in, stomping snow from my boots. It was late. I was embarrassed. All the real work had been done.

Phil was there. Arthur, too. They had repositioned the bed, set its angle, laid Jack out neat and cozy. On a pedestal table, dead center of the carpet, stood a two-foot tree, some of its branches dripping wet snow.

“The roads are treacherous,” I told the room.

Someone coughed. Arthur, I think.

He was huddled by the bed, holding Jack’s hand as though it were a tiny bird. Phil was behind him, sipping from a mug with my name on it.

“So what’s the word?” I said. “What do they say?”

I reached under my scarf and fingered the collar of my coat.

“They? They don’t know anything,” Arthur said.

Phil rocked, and shrugged. “Tonight. Tomorrow. Who knows?”

“I do. I know,” Arthur said. “He’ll die in the morning. He’ll die on the day Christ was born.”

My nerves burned cold as I approached the bed. Someone, probably Arthur, had stacked Jack’s prescription bottles into a useless pyramid. I had to tuck my elbow to avoid knocking them over. No one said anything as I kissed Jack on the forehead and slowly backed away.

“That’s new,” I said, nodding at the tree.

“Fifteen minutes old,” said Phil, tilting his watch to catch the light.

“Phil stole it from the side yard.” Arthur said.

“Roots and all,” Phil said.

I started to smile, then thought better of it. I leaned my face into the tree. I touched a pine needle with my nose.

“Tell me,” I said. “Either one of you uncomfortable with my being here?”

Phil shrugged. “You have a right,” he said. “I guess.”

He was staring at Arthur, at Arthur’s back.

“I don’t care,” Arthur said. He was studying Jack’s hand as though something were written there. “Though I used to. I used to care very much. Enough to hate you both.” He turned his head a little; his eyes were closed. “I suppose none of that makes a bit of difference now.”

I shrugged out of my coat.

“Let me help you with that,” Phil said.

* * *
It was in a hallway closet, a closet meant for coats, that we found the wicker basket full of garland and tinted-glass ornaments, and some embroidered things Jack’s mother had made.
Hers was a story we’d forgotten to remember.

She’d been dead almost forever but in her last days had crocheted tiny stockings, little candy canes, macramé angels, a few fat-faced Santas with cotton balls strategically placed.

Fine needlework!

All with a loop of yarn so you didn’t need hooks. Just snatch up a branch and slip the thing on, easy as a ring.

Like fools we used it all.

We emptied that basket, crowding everything in, overlapping when we had to. Then we settled back, sipping cocoa and admiring our handiwork.

The air grew hot with our breathing and the thick smell of pine.

I sunk into a fat chair, closed my eyes and fell asleep — for a minute or an hour.

When I woke the windows were full of light, and the tree looked gaudy and cheap — far too flashy for our friend who hated glitz.

I complained out loud. And first Phil, then Arthur, agreed.

And with fresh cups of cocoa in one hand we stripped that tree bare, except for the garland and a single yellowed angel whose yarn had snarled.

God, we were tired. Each of us needed a shave. The three of us yawned like lions as we circled that tree, planning to start again, to keep it dignified and simple.

But then Jack fluttered an eye, turned his head on the pillow:

“Perfect,” he whispered.

So we left it that way.


Bob Thurber is our judge for Pulp Literature’s annual Bumblebee Contest, which opens in January.  His short stories can be read in Pulp Literature Issues 3, 6, and 12, and are available on Amazon. And yeah, we like his latest look. The eye patch is totally bad-ass, like his stories. This Firebox Fiction’ originally appeared in Night Train Magazine in 2003 and was performed on U.S. National Public Radio (KRCB) in December 2004.

Want Bob to read your story?  Enter the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest …

Membership has its Rewards

You may have noticed we are not running a Kickstarter campaign this year.  Instead we are relying on regular subscriptions, our Patreon page, and our new Pulp Literati memberships to keep the magazine afloat in 2018 and beyond.

Many of you have already switched to one of these three subscription methods, for which we thank you!  If you haven’t yet renewed and are wondering which method is best for you, here are the pros and cons of each:

Regular Subscription

  • Least expensive option
  • Prices are in Canadian dollars
  • One payment per year (will automatically renew unless you tell Paypal otherwise)
  • No-frills.  All you get is your quarterly issue in print or ebook.  But that’s still a big issue of fabulous stories, artwork, and poetry delivered to your door or inbox each season


  • Prices are in US dollars, so slightly more expensive
  • You can choose your payment amount from $1 a month and up
  • Monthly payments are easier to budget around
  • No renewal hassles
  • Access to Patron-only blog content, and patron-only submissions inbox
  • An assortment of gifts at ascending levels of support, including post cards, colouring books, writing guides, manuscript critiques and more
  • The warm fuzzy feeling of providing the monthly support that ensures we keep operating year round

Pulp Literati Membership

  • Prices are in Canadian dollars
  • Memberships start at $5 per month (choose Patreon for smaller amounts)
  • Monthly payments are easier to budget around
  • No renewal hassles
  • An assortment of gifts at ascending levels of support, including post cards, colouring books, writing guides, manuscript critiques and more
  • By not using a crowdfunding middleman, more of your money goes directly to Pulp Literature Press
  • The warm fuzzy feeling of providing the monthly support that ensures we keep operating year round

People have asked us which method we prefer they use.  The answer is, we honestly don’t mind.  We are grateful for your support however it comes, and we want you to choose the method that works best for you.

Cheers, and thank you so much for your support!